Designing The Perfect Family Home With A French Twist

Art & Design

February 26, 2018 | BY Hong Xinying


Avid decorator Elaine Kim explores French furniture brand Gautier boutique for inspiration while sharing the details that make her interior scheme complete.

Elaine Kim lives a full life—she’s a mum to three adorable boys, a doctor working in palliative care, and the entrepreneur who co-founded family-friendly workspace Trehaus, social enterprise Crib and luxury bridal boutique Trinity Gallery. When it comes to decorating her family abode, she takes charge of its interior design with the same gusto and ambition. “We’re always looking for ways to redecorate our home to make these spaces uniquely our own,” enthuses Elaine. 

While the aesthetic design of her home is still a top priority, Elaine appreciates the importance of child-friendly features that make a family home a safe haven for all—and French furniture brand Gautier is mindful of all these qualities through its thoughtful selection of pieces for the young ones.

(Related: 9 Cosy Ideas For A Family-Friendly Living Room)

Elaine Kim with her three sons Luke, Nate and Kyan at a bedroom area within the Gautier boutique

Elaine and her eldest son Kyan explore the sofa colourways in the living area of Gautier

Elaine loves drawing cues from Hamptons-style interiors—she favours the use of pale wood, neutral tones and glass in her home

Housed within a bright, vibrant 7,534sqft space, the French manufacturer’s Singapore flagship is a colourful realm of decorative possibilities.

Living, dining and bedroom zones have been arranged by theme to provide decor inspiration for the whole family. The brand’s signature collections include modular furniture pieces in myriad colourways, which can be customised to suit the needs of each home. A selection of lighting pieces, accessories and other decor items sourced from Europe complete the look of each space.

Versatility also serves as another key feature. Most of Gautier’s furniture collections include modular pieces that can be assembled in different configurations to suit the changing needs of your family. Take, for instance, the brand’s popular range of extendable dining tables, or the bunk beds that can be rearranged to accommodate a growing child’s needs from early childhood to adolescence. Gautier’s collections also embody eco-consciousness, with all pieces produced in Vendée, France using wood sourced from sustainably managed forests as well as recycled wood.

“As the boys grow older, I’ll need to look at getting a study desk or a large workbench where the boys can build things, such as the little robots they love working on,” muses Elaine as she explores Gautier’s themed children’s bedrooms.

“My eldest son Kyan likes coding and building apps; he’s even built his own computer. I would love to create a space for him to explore this further. For Luke, I would love to bring out his artistic side—the boys currently have an art easel in their playroom they can draw on.”

Next to the colourful children’s rooms and living areas in the Gautier boutique, the adult bedrooms are decked out in a muted palette of neutral tones accentuated with metallic details. In particular, the selection of pale wood furniture leans towards Elaine’s decorating style.

“I love the Hamptons-inspired palette of neutral tones, pale wood and glass"

“I love the Hamptons-inspired palette of neutral tones, pale wood and glass,” she shares. “I’ll pair shades of cream with accents of light blue and teal, or in certain places a mix of blush and gold for spaces I can call my own.”

She’s currently on the hunt for a new console and pieces from the Dovea collection catch her eye. Available in finishes with dark wood-effect tones, the collection features oval shapes and a touch of retro inspiration. Pieces such as a folding screen have a modern twist; the screen conceals a swivellable mirror and storage area for coats, shoes and accessories.

Elaine’s family is happy to leave the task of decorating and furniture shopping to her—and she revels in the challenge of designing their new home. “My husband, John, pretty much leaves everything to me and he trusts my taste,” she quips. She personally sees to every design detail in her home, including customising the furniture, decor and the art selection.

“I’ve commissioned art especially for our home and I also create the floral arrangements that decorate the interior.” Of course, numerous photos of the couple’s three sons also decorate the walls and spaces of the family home. “While aesthetics is always very important to me, it’s still got to be an interior that is cosy and evokes a happy feeling that you want to come home to,” summarises Elaine. “It has to feel like home—a space where my family and I love returning.”

Browse some of the key bedroom collections for children in the slideshow below:

Create a lively bedroom for your children with a room as cheery as their personalities. This fashion-inspired collection pairs pale wood with brushed metal and colourful textiles; the fabric headboard also features an additional pocket for toys and books.

Furnish a space that adapts to your child’s changing needs with this modular collection. It features an array of storage and layout options for furniture such as the bed, drawers, shelves and desk. The matte-black finish, angular dimensions and the use of pale wood add to its modern look.

Let your child’s imagination take to the seas with this nautical-inspired collection. Grooved panels, brushed aluminium handles and a yew wood finish reference the seafaring spirit; the bookcase, in particular, features a decorative panel in the shape of a sail.

The Gautier Singapore flagship is located at 18 Tampines Industrial Crescent, #01-15, Space@Tampines, Tel: 6908 0880.

Art direction: Jasper Loh
Photography: Koh Boon Wei/Beebox, assisted by Tong Li
Elaine’s make-up and hair: Angel Gwee, using Dior make-up and Kevin Murphy for hair

Read more about the Gautier boutique in the April-May 2018 issue of Singapore Tatler Homes.

Related Stories