This Two-Bedder’s Look is One Part Minimalism, One Part Fun
Patience, time, and a close attention to details were the keys to creating the elegant interior of architect and designer Christopher Chow’s home.
Creating the clean and simple interiors of minimalist homes isn’t as easy a task as it may seem and it’s a fact that Christopher Chow is (painfully) aware of due to the amount of time he spent on perfecting the simple, but polished look of his two-bedder condo at Compassvale Bow, which he shares with his entrepreneur girlfriend, Sihui.
“Many homeowners misunderstand the idea of minimalism,” says the Malaysian-born architect and designer who plans to start his own practice in the future. “It’s not about wanting nothing or having less renovation work done. Minimalism is simplicity with purpose.”
This very definition is what forms the design identity of Christopher’s dwelling, and it's shared by an equally essential, but unlikely quality: fun.
“It was important for us to find a way to express ourselves through our home, and so we had a bit of fun by experimenting with various design elements that also add a personal touch and character,” he says.
Above, architect and designer Christopher Chow
Testifying to Christopher’s efforts, brand-new creative elements – such as a personalised pegboard display in the hallway, the master bedroom’s bold hues, as well as a living room feature wall that typifies an “architectural expression of peeling” – now contribute to the unique blend of joyful simplicity that underscores Christopher’s home.
“It really took a conscious effort to make sure all of these details were aligned to create a seamless home that’s visually delightful,” he says. “If I had to quote Marie Kondo (laughs), a space has to have elements, such as little quirks and details that ‘spark joy’.”
Personalised elements – which are both expressive and experimental – can be found throughout Christopher and Sihui’s apartment, including a pegboard wall (that they plan to fill up with knick-knacks from future travels) as well as a living room feature wall with wooden slats that ‘peel away’ to reveal a walkway bookcase.
In the living room, downward cove lights played a key role in bringing out the warm, pleasant character of the home’s surroundings. “Lighting is an important design element for an interior space and it was great that I had the opportunity to experiment and discover the best effect it can give for my own house,” shares Christopher.
Yet another material that Christopher had the opportunity to experiment with was brass, which he combined with ceramic tiles to create a one-of-a-kind kitchen bar table. The metal was also put to good use as a classy frame that delineates the threshold between the entryway and living areas.
“We wanted to have a dining table really badly, but it would have been too big for the balcony,” says Christopher. In lieu of this plan, the area was converted into a natural cosy corner that comes complete with an assortment of potted greens, an outdoor seat, as well as simple storage in the form of an IKEA wall rack.
Thanks to Christopher’s careful planning, no space goes to waste in the house – not even an empty wall. In the corridor leading from the living area to the master bedroom, an open bookshelf was constructed to make use of what would have been a dead zone. Says Christopher: “It’s going to be useful because we’ve plans to collect more books now that we’ve our own home.”
To create a more restful space, a muted palette of green and pink was chosen for the master bedroom’s sleeping room while a small nook, adjoining the bedroom’s TV wall, was carved out to serve as a compact vanity counter.
Connecting the bedroom’s sleeping area and walk-in wardrobe is a classic arched entryway that’s yet another unique architectural feature in Christopher and Sihui’s home. However, instead of a play on brass, this threshold makes use of form and shape as another elegant way of adding visual interest.
Formerly a second bedroom, the walk-in wardrobe now features a reconfigured layout after the original bedroom entrance was sealed – with the corridor bookcase taking its place on the outside.
New fixtures were also created from existing ones: originally situated in the sleeping area, the master bedroom’s wardrobe was shifted and combined with the secondary bedroom’s own to create a new L-shaped storage unit.
Says Christopher about the clever hack that achieves more with less: “Both (wardrobes) came with good fittings on the inside, so we decided to use them create our own custom closet. All we had to do was to dress them in pink laminates and we were done!”
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