This apartment was designed by one of our own. This rarity for us to witness work that speaks unadulterated from an interior designer’s heart has been an absolute joy.
At this apartment which Meiyi shares with her husband, she finally had absolute reign over the planning and design of it. At first, plans to flip the cookie cutter HDB apartment layout on its head was the primary goal. She was on a roll with multiple drafts excitedly done up and revised, before getting stopped short in her tracks: she was expecting a visit from the stork.
Much like one’s journey on any project, circumstances change and we learn to run with it. Meiyi decided (honestly, was resigned) to retain a few necessary configurations in the layout for functional family living and turn her focus on colours, materials and textures to make up for the lack of spatial interest.
The colour palette of her apartment was largely inspired by a café in Melbourne, The Poacher and Hound: designed by Techne Architecture. She wanted an interior that was straightforward yet unveiling its beauty only if you knew where to look.
Colours and textures were not chosen for their loudness or variation when exploring the material board. Meiyi believes that an interior of a residential space should play the supporting role, not the main act. It should not shout louder than the family photos on the wall, or the treasures brought back from your travels, your favourite posters or an inherited armchair.
Although she loves experimenting with colour when designing, she didn’t wish to deal with the commitment the permanence brought, so the base palette of the apartment was kept fairly neutral. But an accent colour was still needed so she snuck it into the space as a strip at the bottom of the built-in dining table and across the bathroom vanities, spots of black flicked across the apartment as light switches and door handles.
Meiyi felt the space needed texture and her love for grids resulted in the introduction and application of mosaic tiles on the kitchen and bathroom walls in a discreet “white-on-white” (white tiles and white grout) combination to ensure subtlety.
The one thing that guided Meiyi in the planning and design of her home was the experience of having lived in different apartments before arriving at the present one. It was through moving and living in different spatial configurations that helped pinpoint their exact needs and preferences. This apartment was to be designed according to their habits and built around their lifestyle—for example, having lived in a studio apartment for a while, they got used to having each other well within sight all the time so having an open floor plan was a no brainer.
There were details replicated from previous abodes, like having visible wardrobe drawers instead of hiding them behind doors, enabling straight on access.
Some ideas were inspired by other designers. The specific depth of the built-in dining table and its curved end were inspired by Iles Crawford’s Together Table. The two features were to facilitate closeness and conversation, both of which have lived up to expectations when she hosts guests.
It’s the little things like these that make the house work for you and make it truly yours.
Through the way this apartment was designed, you can tell that richness need not be realized in trends or styles or colours—it does the trick with the careful combination of one’s favourite materials in the right amounts and placements. Also build a home according to your lifestyle and preferences, and let the rest of it flow from there.