Now that you’re past hunting for a new abode, and you know what amount of cash is needed as a startup for your renovation works, it’s probably time to take a peek into half a dozen, or at least three bespoke interior designs for your first home.
So, if this is your first time renovating, I would encourage you to scout around and talk to a good interior designer who is quick to focus on personalised style, comfort and most importantly, someone with a vision for your home.
Great interior designers are able to come up with lots of ideas, and they aren’t afraid to talk you through each one of them. Here, we talk to three interior designers cum consultants with their favourite styles that pop! Read on as they share their design concepts and practices to see what design elements you could explore adding to your first home.
Japanese Zen Interior Design Style
Raphael Tan, 32
“My favourite design is always the Zen Interior Style. In Japanese, Zen refers to meditation. Thus the emphasis are balance, harmony and relaxation. To fulfill these characteristics, I try to keep the colour palette natural, such as white, grey, green, shades of beige or pink beige, which have a power to induce a sense of relaxation and calmness.”
“Conventionally, I try to keep the interior theme at a constant throughout the entire home. I pick soft furnishings in cosy cream and brown pieces, furry cushions, plush toys and fuzzy carpeting and match them with the rest of the room. All these provide a sensation of intimacy, while reducing noise and giving the ultimate laid back feel.”
“Although the Zen-style is best achieved with elaborate space, it can be rather tricky to accentuate that since Singapore is a country starved for space. That basically means implementing space-enlarging tricks anywhere I can. As any professional interior designer would know, the elements that make a space look even more capacious are some good lighting tricks, mirrors and clear glass. So I always have these ideas in mind when drafting the layout of the interior design. Though one thing I must mention here is that mirrors must be used sparingly to induce a cosier and more relaxed feel for the homeowners.”
“To emphasise on height, I pick low-level furniture pieces in areas such as the living room and bedroom. I select simple and streamlined designs to create a light and airy ambience. With these basic fundamentals you can ensure that the house has all the elements of a Zen theme.”
American Colonial Interior Design Style
Photo by Kristin Drohan
Aileen Wong, 38
“Without doubt, my favourite is the American Colonial design. The design ideas originate from the influences brought to America when English immigrants settled there during the early 18th century and decorated their own homes. This design consists of rustic interpretations of traditional European homes of that era. Typically, it induces a sense of classic in a modern contemporary space plus it is not over-complicated or over-styled.”
“To achieve these traits, I use extensive cabinetry making and joinery techniques. Handmade furniture and cabinets carved from pine, birch or maple are chosen to heighten the early American furnishings look. Besides doing my own carpentry work and trimming them, I also work on case trims around doors and windows, crown mouldings at ceilings and the surroundings. These are enormously popular for the American Colonial interior style.”
“Also popular are figured wood, rustic floors, and iron and brass fixtures and lighting. As for the colour scheme, the American Colonial design uses most colours on the palette, from yellows and greens to blues, blacks and browns. Normally, I favour a deeper shade for the walls and a lighter shade for the ceiling as this match incorporates both comfortable and casual elements to home owners. And I can safely say that the effect of this meticulous match pays off in a big way, striking just the right moods and ambience of an early American Colonial theme.”
Modern Gothic Interior Design Style
Photo by Home Decorating Ideas
Lauren Chee, 25
“I’m rather particular about designs and my preference is to always come up with unusual ideas for my clients. After handling so many HDB flats and private homes with different types of interiors, I personally like the modern Gothic Interior Style and I am not one bit apologetic about it. I know it is rather uncommon for homeowners in Singapore to create a Gothic style apartment, but really, it’s an acquired taste.”
“This style is characterized by dark colours for the walls, ceilings and floors to less-darkening options, giving you the privilege to conjure different themes for different areas in the house. However, I usually recommend shades of black for the ceilings and floors as the style revolves around a sensation of luxury and mystique. As for the walls, I would go with not-so-dark shades like dark brown, burgundy, maroon or navy blue.”
“With Gothic designs, you generally feel more cramped especially when you choose the darker shades. That’s why the furnishing and accessories must come with simplistic attributes of neutral shades and uncomplicated shapes, so that they will naturally and visually add an expanse of space to the house. Then the other basic consideration is displaying what needs to be displayed only, especially when too many things can create a sense of discomfort to the already cramped space.”
“Another key to achieving a Gothic inspired interior is the window. Large and formal windows are prominent aspects of the Gothic style. I use black or black shades spray paint on windows as well as on the door to match the interior colours. This can immediately change the feel of the space. Meanwhile, I choose unique chandeliers over conventional lighting to create an elegant flamboyance and a soft light in a space dominated by black. The result is a highly gorgeous design and you practically make your Gothic theme come to life!”