Four years ago, the married owners of this bungalow moved into their new nest with their baby boy. Since then, many of life’s special moments have passed within this bright and airy abode at Third Avenue, making home a really sweet home—with the bonus of being a stone’s throw away from their extended family.
Inspired by the pentagonal shape of a ski lodge, this striking house is one of three interconnected homes built on the same compound. “It was a shared decision to stay close to one another—to enjoy elements of communal living while having the privacy of our own residence,” explains the wife, whose family shares the property with her sister’s family and their parents.
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The families looked to architecture firm RT+Q to design an ideal environment for harmonious multigenerational living. The brief was to construct three abodes, distinct from one another, that would be interconnected through communal spaces such as a co-working zone, a play area for the children and a pool. The family opted for abodes inspired by European winter lodges in terms of proportions and style, situated within a tropical context. “Balinese style was really not my thing—and all three families came to the consensus that it wasn’t what we wanted,” says the wife.
Led by architect Koh Sock Mui, the design team proposed a barn-like structure that alludes to its winter inspiration, as well as an L-shaped scheme that connects the three homes. “With such a sprawling compound, we wanted to ensure that the architecture remained light and open,” explains Koh. “The three barns were designed to ‘float’ above the white feature walls, which are the common unifying element across the three buildings.”
The entrepreneurial sister took a hands-on approach to her home's interior—together with her restaurateur husband, she selected every piece and decorative element to fit the Scandinavian style that they adored. For one, the couple opted for light oak flooring to pair with the white walls and a neutral palette. “My husband and I have a very similar aesthetic,” she explains. “We knew what we liked—we’re all about being simple and contemporary. We love big, open spaces with high ceilings, like a New York-style loft.” She adds, “We didn’t want the kind of home where you have to tiptoe around. I like pieces with that ease about them.”
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On the first floor of the couple’s home, the open-plan concept felt like a natural fit. “I love it, because there’s no separation between the living and dining zones,” explains the homeowner. “Father and son could be playing their games in the living area while I’m at the kitchen island doing work or cooking.” It is decorated in a neutral palette, paired with a sleek glass dining table, white chairs and a leather sofa in cream. At her restauranteur husband's request, the worktop is clad in stainless steel and a Sub-Zero fridge keeps produce fresh and crisp.
Spaces are peppered with a whimsical mix of accessories inspired by their son’s love of elephants and automobiles. Under the stairs, a carpet and a tent sections out another cosy play zone for their young son. A lean cantilevered staircase leads up to the second storey, where the bedrooms are situated.
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In the master bedroom, a Bonaldo bed takes pride of place in the snug space: “I like how the headboard curves in, wrapping you in a warm embrace,” she says. “You want to feel that sense of cosiness and warmth in a bedroom.” A bamboo carpet, sourced from Dream Interiors, adds to the soft textures of the room.
The master bathroom was another passion project, as the wife had a clear idea about how she wanted the space to look. “I wanted a very spacious bathroom that withstands the test of time,” she says. “I like having a dressing table, and a seat within a bathroom, hence the cushion and the headboard to create that softness.” She chose to clad the entire bathroom in travertine tiles: “I love travertine, as it’s a little imperfect.”
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Two separate sets of staircases lead up to the study and the walk-in wardrobe. Clad in light wood, the staircases were modelled after photo references that the couple had shown to the architecture firm to create the curved steps that they desired.
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Upstairs, the boutique-style wardrobe offers a vantage view of the surrounding foliage. Looking at her well-crafted interiors, the proud owner sums it up: “I love everything about our home. There is so much open space—all the kids that visit are drawn to our home, as there is the freedom to run around.” The only drawback? Resort retreats no longer have that same appeal: “I actually look forward to coming home from a holiday!”
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This story was originally published in Singapore Tatler Homes October-November 2017.