At Home with Lynette and Family
Scandinavian, industrial, vintage, and minimalist are some of today’s home decor buzzwords. These popular home styles might fit the bill for young couples, but may need some tweaks to suit the needs of larger families living together.
When I visited my friend Lynette’s newly-renovated home for a gathering, I was in awe – it exuded classic elegance with a modern touch. This 5-room flat in Tampines is home to a family of 5.
Mr Lam, Lynette’s father, shares: “We wanted a warm and timeless look that’s not kitschy or too contrived. As a family staying together, the design has to suit everyone’s taste, so we couldn’t go for strong themes such as vintage or industrial.”
“We moved to Tampines in 2002 when the kids were still schooling. 14 years on, our kids have all grown up – we have also grown older – our family’s needs have changed. For instance, there’s no longer a need for bulky study tables! We felt it was time to renovate our home, accommodate our different lifestyles and start a new chapter together as a family”.
Lynette also notes that the family has accumulated a lot of stuff over the years: “So we really want lots of practical storage to keep clutter at bay. We spent time researching space-saving ideas and that’s why we decided to go for platform and loft beds with plenty of storage below.”
Almost every vertical surface has a hidden storage compartment – while this idea is not novel, it is rare to see a home where the panels are done up seamlessly to work with the available space and maximise functionality.
Lynette gave me a tour of various design touches around her home:
To complement the muted upholstery, Lynette hunted major online marketplaces for colourful, bargain finds. She even found a Van Gogh ‘Starry Night’ print on a cushion cover!
The common area beside the living room is designed as a flexible extension – it can be a relaxing nook for reading or a place to chat away from the living room TV. Or even a place for Lynette to practise yoga.
The accent panels on the right are very useful for that and more – these darkened mirrors not only make the space look bigger, but they also lend a sophisticated contrast to the light panels on the other side.
For her bedroom, Lynette has opted for a soothing scheme of light wood tones with sky blue walls. To save space, full height cabinets are kept to the minimum. The bed rests on a frameless platform, with large drawers built into the steps.
Concealed drawers don’t mean that everything gets magically hidden away. The discipline to declutter regularly becomes more important to retain the room’s aesthetics
Only cute pop culture figurines are allowed prime shelving space!
Some interesting decor items that Lynette found on online marketplaces
Lynette’s brothers share a room, so they decided on a loft bed concept which hides their wardrobe below. Of course, the steps leading to the upper level are also drawers in disguise.
Just pull and voila – walk-in wardrobe!
With these space-saving ideas, the rooms in this family home feels much more spacious and functional than the ordinary. Don’t you wish that your cabinets have hidden wonders, too?
(All photos courtesy of Lynette)
By Nicholas Yau
April 26, 2016
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