This Decor Habit May Make Your Home Look Dated

Art & Design

August 26, 2017 | BY Hong Xinying and Sunuja Naidu

Try these practical tips instead, to craft an interior style that's more timeless than tired. 

That millennial pink shade may be the look du jour for interiors right now, but is it a fleeting fancy or a look that you'll love to keep?

While it’s easy to get caught up with decor trends, quit the habit of copying the complete look—else you might tire of that dramatic feature wall sooner than you would expect. Instead, try opting for accents of these trends, advises Victor Ng, director of interior design firm Elements ID.

“We try to avoid using trendy pieces, as trends come and go quickly,” explains Ng. “The Balinese style was trending 10 to 15 years ago; today, cafe-style interiors and the Scandi-chic look are very popular among younger clients. Rather than go all out with these popular themes, my approach is to keep the interior modern and pair it with accents from these trends.”

Using a neutral palette to set the scene, and layer your spaces with striking accessories that embody a trending look, such as a throw and cushions that embody the Scandi-chic theme or potted plants that can bring the tropical vibes home; these can easily swapped or replaced whenever you’re in the mood for a new look. Here, he discusses the importance of ambience, space-planning as well as the design philosophy that informs his projects.


How would you describe your design philosophy?
Victor Ng (VN) I aim to craft luxurious and timeless interiors that will stand the test of time. Bearing in mind that most homeowners will reside in their abode for at least seven to 10 years, my team and I want to create a look that stays fresh yet doesn’t become dated easily. Design shouldn’t be too distracting.


Which aspects of interior design speak to you the most? 
VN I place great importance on space-planning and ambience. The layout should be the first thing we work on—to minimise wastage of space. Some architects may only consider the facade without thinking about the interior. Engage an interior designer to work together with the architect from the start, to avoid the hassle of hacking walls, moving power points and other rectification work that may need to be done.

You must also be able to feel the intended ambience in the end product. Ambience isn’t easy to achieve. You can’t just get a contractor, show him a few photos, and expect him to recreate that cohesive look and feel. From the space-planning to the careful selection of materials, colours, dimensions, furniture and lighting—everything needs to come together to create a coherent look and feel.


Which areas of the home tend to be poorly designed? How can these spaces be put to better use?
VN Some of the most neglected areas include the balcony, which becomes used as a laundry area or even a storage space. In fact, the balcony can become a seamless extension of the interior; turn it into an outdoor dining deck or a lounge area. In some large homes, the owners may include a guest room, which is hardly ever used. We’ll try to find alternative uses for such rooms, and suggest converting these spaces into an outdoor garden or a shower and steam room (as seen above). For long corridors, we’ll include shelving, artworks and sculptures where possible to maximise the use of the space.


What are some ways of bringing local flavour into your abode?
VN Artworks, antiques and sculptures are an easy way of adding Asian-inspired design to your interiors while keeping the look timeless. We also work with a gallery, Ode to Art, to recommend and select pieces for clients. A tropical theme is another way of subtly adding a local touch to your home. This can be achieved with the use of wood while exploring various ways of bringing nature into your home.

This story was adapted from Singapore Tatler Homes August-September 2017.

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