By : Priya Shandhini
28 April 2015
White, white, everywhere…on the walls, cabinets and even furniture! The ample use of this colour was the first thing that struck me when I stepped into this airy 5-room flat in Tampines Starlight. But it was not an all-white affair – wood and other country-style touches were added to achieve a combined Scandinavian and country theme that the home owners, Qiu Yi and Kenji had envisioned.
Clean lines draw a picture of a cosy home
Even the children’s room is in white
Qiu Yi and Kenji are popular bloggers of a site which was originally meant for their travelogues, but have since documented their new home and renovation journey too.
(On the right) A ‘chalkboard’ sticker on the wall with a quote that couldn’t be more apt for Qiu Yi and Kenji’s renovation story
The couple, who are in their thirties, bought this resale flat a few years after getting married. As their previous flat was rather basic, they had big design ideas for their second purchase. “We wanted to engage an interior designer but the amount quoted was above our budget, so we decided to design it ourselves,” said Kenji.
Both of them were equally involved in designing the flat during the 6-month period before finalising the resale deal. “We were inspired by the homely and comfortable bed-and-breakfast apartments in Taiwan, and we sought to replicate that look. Other holidays in Japan, Italy, London and Paris also gave us great ideas,” said Qiu Yi. “Even television shows provided good tips.”
The master bedroom in cool Scandinavian colours
However, both of them acknowledged that their renovation journey has not ended and they are always making small changes throughout the house. As Kenji put it, “We want to make our living space as comfortable as possible. With two young kids, they will have different needs at different stages of life, and we need to adjust accordingly.”
The open kitchen is the centre of a hive of activity. Cupcakes, anyone?
To accommodate changes, the couple moves their furniture around whenever they see a need to. They are also big on multi-tasking items like a small table that doubles up as the kids’ dining table when they have guests over.
It’s a platform… It’s a storage unit… Actually, it’s both!
‘Save what you can while you can’ is a mantra for this family. They brought over some furniture from their old flat and Kenji even salvaged some wooden planks from a discarded bed frame to build a tiered planter.
Kenji’s DIY creation
Some fans of their blog often ask them for advice on home decor. “It’s your own house, so stick to what you want. Be different, be brave,” shared Kenji. Qiu Yi agreed, and added that less built-in furniture meant greater flexibility to play ‘musical chairs’ to change the layout of a room.
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