Apartment Law

The Living Room (left to right: Luka TV console from Castlery, coffee table from Grafunkt, Beolit 15 bluetooth speaker from B&O, vintage public telephone, 1980s rattan chair gifted from BooksActually, Cody camel leather sofa from Castlery). Photography by Bryan van der Beek.

On an innocent Thursday afternoon on 26 May 2016, my mate and founder of interior design firm Obllique, Abigael Tay, published images taken by her photographer husband Bryan van der Beek, of her latest project on her firm’s Facebook page.

The two of the most humble creatives I know generated over 15,000 shares, 10,000 new fans, 3,800 reactions (no “Angry” thank goodness) and 1,400 comments with that Facebook post.

Lucky for me, that project was of my apartment.

How it all began

In April 2015, I joined my aunt at a bank auction during lunch time near my office. A freehold walkup apartment at East Coast Road of 1,033 square feet was up for grabs, and to put it simply, I won the bid. It’s hard not to when I was the only crazy bidder who didn’t mind the lack of a swimming pool or an elevator.

Because the apartment is as old as my mother, a floor plan wasn’t available for me to commence renovation as soon as I got my keys. An appointment with the Building Construction Authority needed to be arranged for me to develop the films of my apartment into hard copies. That appointment was a one-month wait.

Anyways, enough talk. A picture paints a thousand words so here’s the library of awesomeness by my mate.

The transformation

I decided to leave the wall unpainted to maintain the unassuming exterior (and also because I’m too cheap to pay for paint by that point). The sleek wooden sign with backlight was probably inspired by Abigael’s KFC client.
The original apartment had four poorly partitioned rooms. We gutted the apartment proper and hacked down the walls and mismatched floor tiles.
I had originally wanted a bar, but since we didn’t have enough space, Abigael gave me an open kitchen with heaps of storage spaces.
Walk-in wardrobe because what else am I going to do with an odd-shaped room like that?
There were two toilets that were right next to each other. Didn’t make any sense to me to keep both.
Placing the bed by the windows would have been an obvious choice but that would have limited the space I had left for my platform bed.

The Final Product

All images unless specified stunningly shot by Bryan van der Beek.

The Entrance

The OCD in me was initially uncomfortable with the unfinished wall but I’ve since gotten rather accustomed to the unassuming exterior. The democratic doormat is from Naiise.
Wooden sign with backlit.

The Living Room

Cody Camel leather sofa from Castlery, coffee table by Nathan Yong from Grafunkt, Luka TV console from Castlery, bamboo fan from Haiku, aroma diffuser from MUJI, Beolit 15 speaker from B&O, silkscreen print by Shepard Fairey, Naked Lunch cabinet by Mojoko.
Requested for custom pegboards for walls because I get bored easily.
View from the bay window.

The Dining Area + Open Kitchen

Bakelite switches from Restore in Style, Steam oven from Miele, Oven and Induction hob from Electrolux, bigass fridge from LG, sexy red coffee machine from Nespresso. Yes, I’m missing a whisky bar cart for my whiskies.
At one point of my life, I was a rather aggressive vintage furniture collector. I wanted to bring a bit of that into my apartment without looking too kitschy. These aren’t vintage, they’re new. And you can get them from Restore in Style. Photography by yours truly.
Ninebyfour wooden tubelight fixture by Waarmarkers. Crafted from one single piece of salvaged Amsterdam elm wood, I waited a year before the new supply of Ninebyfour was made available. Get yours here. Photography by yours truly.
View from the other end of the apartment where I smoke.
I was adamant about getting a dining table of a height of 60cm because it fits me, the vertically-challenged. I finally found one from MUJI but frankly, the service in Singapore paled in comparison to Japan. If not for the fact I couldn’t find an alternative, I would not have bought my dining table set from MUJI Singapore at all.

The Walk-in Wardrobe

Closet Complete Metal Bronze/Gold hangers from Amazon, Square Pendant Scarf Holder from Umbra.
Pegboard wall for my walk-in wardrobe because god knows I’ll be needing more shelves soon.
Ash iWear Rack handmade in Colorado from Board By Design.

The Bathroom

Grohe shower solutions from Sansei Singapore.
Jo-Hannah brass spout from Wood Melbourne. Finding bath sprouts that don’t look like they came from the same factory in Singapore’s been tough. Wood Melbourne’s been great with delivery and service — to make their sprouts compatible, I had to get their pipe which they were glad to help provide promptly.

The Bedroom

A pair of Piper Floor Lamps from Castlery to frame my mattress (which is from Castlery too). Bedsheets from G.O.D. Hong Kong. The Damn Good Shop will be selling G.O.D. bedsheets soon so stay tuned. My two chihuahuas sleep with me and to prevent them from getting a slip disc (the boy) or a pulled ligament (the girl), I needed a lower platform bed. The closest one I found in Singapore was at $2500 so I got this one custom from a friend’s carpenter.
Towel Ladder by MENU from Amazon for “jeans that are still clean”. The white version was out of stock at most places but I managed to find one on Amazon, of all places. Photography by yours truly.