Home Tours: How a Couple Designed Their Elegant Abode

By : Adeline Ang
25 June 2020

Nestled in the heart of Boon Keng is a cosy 3-room flat which stands out for its understated elegance and style. The light-filled home incorporates simple lines, pale wood, and plenty of white to achieve the zen vibes that would make it @hometrulee – a play on the homeowners’ Instagram handle.

Taking On the Role of Interior Designers

While many other home owners would have engaged the services of interior designers to bring their vision to life, Mr and Mrs Lee, who are both working in the education industry, took a more unconventional approach. “We decided to not engage an interior designer as we wanted to take on the challenge of designing our own home,” the couple laughs.

The flat features wooden and white accents

They kickstarted the project by deciding on the overall theme months ahead of their key collection date. This stage involved a lot of research, creating mood boards and referencing different sources, including fellow home owners, for tips and inspiration.

With neither background in design nor 3D renders of their home, visualisation played a big part during the designing process. “We had to mentally picture the entire design and hoped that the elements will go hand-in-hand,” the couple recalls.

Upon receiving the keys to their flat, the couple then took measurements of their new home with their contractor. “Only some minor layout changes were made to the master bedroom,” Mr Lee says. “We were really excited and started renovations the day after!”

Without an interior designer to oversee and coordinate the various aspects of their home renovation, the couple had to step up to fulfil this role despite their work commitments. “We had to personally visit the site to ensure that the works are in order. We also visited many different tilers  as we couldn’t decide on our flooring,” they say.

“We’re really glad that everything worked out in the end!”

A view of the cosy living room

Bringing Out the Cosy Vibes

The home owners eventually selected Herringbone floor tiles, in a wooden shade that would complement the furniture which they mainly sourced from Ikea and Taobao. “We tried to have furnishings of the same wooden tone,” Mrs Lee says. “It was challenging but the result is very satisfying.”

The couple chose furnishings and décor pieces in complementary, muted colours

Coming from a family of home gardeners, the couple also naturally took an interest in plant keeping.  “Adding a dash of greenery is a simple way of injecting life and calming vibe to the house,” the Lees say.

Pontos, or money plants, are a good option for those just starting out as they are affordable and easy to care for. The couple also suggest the Zamioculcas Zamiifolia (ZZ) plant as it is hardy and grows well, but cautions that it is unsuitable for pet owners as the plant is toxic to animals.

One of the plant corners within the flat

The morning light peeking through the blinds

The Lees took advantage of the natural light that floods their home by opting for blinds. “We love the effect of natural light peeking through the blinds, especially in the mornings. We also thought blinds were more complementary to our theme,” Mrs Lee says.

Instead of curtains, Venetian blinds are used to elevate the theme

For homeowners considering the same, Mrs Lee advises, “As Venetian blinds don’t block out the light, blackout blinds or curtains may be better options for individuals who prefer to sleep in complete darkness.

Combining Form and Functionality

The kitchen countertop and backsplash are made of KompacPlus, a low-maintenance material popular amongst homeowners

Beyond aesthetics, the couple highlighted the importance of functionality in a home. “Ease of maintenance is key,” Mr Lee emphasises. “For instance, we made sure to purchase furniture pieces with ‘legs’ as we wanted to clean the house with a robot vacuum. We also chose KompacPlus for our kitchen countertop and backsplash as the material is easy to clean.

Home in the Heartland

 “We were initially a little apprehensive about purchasing a 3-room flat because of the size, but the flat turned out to be spacious enough for us! Plus, a smaller flat is also easier to maintain,” the couple laughs.

“Boon Keng is a great location and many of our friends live in the neighbourhood. We couldn’t be happier with our home!”

Photos courtesy of Mr and Mrs Lee (@hometrulee)


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