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Preview: Home Rejuvenation (by KNQ Associates)

Home Rejuvenation (by KNQ Associates)

Updated: 2018-04-22T22:57:12.694+08:00




There is something mesmerising about looking at the workspaces of other artists, designers and creators. Looking at the things they collect and how their personally crafted environment inspire their work offers me much insight into the creative process of other designers, and in turn provides me with new ideas in my own work.
Where They Create is a visual documentation of the creative environments of artist & creatives that Paul Babera met during his travels for photography assignments. He invites us into these spaces: the offices, studios or even workshops. The blog posts are filled with beautiful photos taken by Barbera. Together with the insightful interviews, they reveal the nature of the work that's being done in there, and the people working inside. You get to see the unique collectibles sitting on the shelves or hanging on the walls, the beaten furniture in the rooms, the atmosphere of the entire workspace and most importantly, personal spaces filled with life. Essentially, these aren't your highly polished, pretty interiors found in countless other interior design publications.

 A site highly recommended.




I had the honour of attending a lecture by the architect Daniel Libeskind in a local university recently and took notice of this particular residential project designed by his team. This bronzed stainless steel structure is designed as one folded plan and is set into the green Connecticut countryside. Created for an art collector client who, according to Libeskind, wants the house itself to be an artwork rather than a typical abode in which he hangs his personal collection (which explains the lack of art inside).The result is spectacular in an avant-garde manner yet retaining a cozy. The cladding accentuates lustre and exaggerate the changes of light and season, while the interior is finished predominantly in solid stained white oak. Circulation throughout the home is seamless and free-flowing, a theme which carries through in the nearly-nonexistent distinction between inside and outside. Challenging both traditional and modern notions of “the house in the landscape,” this bold design does not sacrifice itself to its natural setting, but selectively incorporates the elements therein for the enhancement of both house and landscape. LinkStan[...]



Want a more hassle-free home remodelling or moving process? Greycork offers affordable high-quality living room furniture set - that can be assembled in minutes - packed into a box and ships right to your doorstep. When you need to move, it is simple to take apart, easy to transport, and set up again in a new home - all without giving you headaches.



Running out of ideas on how to make your bedroom truly special? Try hanging a bed off the ceiling. Trends shows us a collection of bedroom design with that one common feature.



We just received images of an apartment design in Sceaux by h2o architectes. Below is what the architects have to say about this project. "This interior design and refurbishment project takes place in a 1960’s housing block built out of finely finished armed concrete. Unchanged since its construction, the ancient apartment followed a relatively classical distribution with closed rooms yet with rather generous openings onto the surrounding green urban environment. The commission was to transform the space including a spacious living room and bedroom, a semi-open kitchen and a temporary bed-sit accommodation for guests. The structural elements as well as the mains network (supplies and evacuation) had to remain unchanged. We imagined the volume of the apartment as a free plan, opened up to a maximum in order to make the best of the space throughout the flat, which receives natural light on both sides. The different functions of daily life are integrated in distinct volumes which organize the space. These volumes are made up of wood, for the structure as for the envelope. Each function is differentiated thanks to the use of a different kind of wood, adding a contrast of materials. The volumes function as articulating objects between the spaces. Each autonomous “box” is set at a distance from the façades to leave the great window bays along the balconies free.  A game of slopes in the upper parts allows for the volumes to detach from the ceiling. They give the impression that they have been slotted inside the building. This work on slopes also allows to preserve the entire perception of the empty volume and to appreciate the newly freed space. The different wooden volumes each have a window creating interconnections between the programs as well as visual openings towards the panoramic views of the glazed façades. A great number of cupboards, shelves and other useful elements are integrated in the depth of the walls of the interior constructions. The dimensions of each volume is adjusted to offer both the necessary space linked to the function of the “room” but also to leave a maximum of space to the negative volume, which paradoxically remains the principle living space…"Stan[...]



Our sister design studio Vievva Designers recently completed a minimalistic studio apartment design at Lorong Limau. Link"The redesign of this studio apartment is based on the client's request for a new layout that would better utilise the interior space, and allows him to have a fully functional kitchen, dining area, bedroom, work area and entertainment space all within 452 sqft. To keep the space bright and airy, we removed all existing partition walls to allow daylight to penetrate into every corner of the apartment. The design style is decidedly Japanese minimalism, utilising plenty of wood elements and maintaining a simple aesthetics. A row of cabinet which stretches from the entrance to the living hall offers plenty of storage for daily essentials. A semi translucent 'glass box' positioned in the middle of the home, offers privacy in the bedroom and allows essential daylight into the corner kitchen at the same time. The bathroom was also revamped with an updated look and more room for movement than before. The decor is casual and lived-in, providing a homely feel throughout."Stan[...]



I love designing small spaces. When we take on the design for small apartments - think anything less than 600sqft - the limited space available certainly poses a few challenges to us. But with the right mindset, you can also create a gorgeous environment that feels spacious and beautiful by yourself.When every inch of interior space becomes a luxury, flexibility, functionality and versatility are the 3 main design components that you need to consider properly. The ability to work, eat, play and sleep in a tight space is key, as a 'usable' room feels less small. It might even look smart (yes, a term you seldom use to describe physical spaces) because of its multi-tasking character. For this newly TOPed studio apartment which our firm is currently working on, I'm hoping to translate those ideas into reality. See that set of bulky sliding doors which were fitted in originally to separate the living room and resting area when the need arises? It creates a sense of oppression due to its size and colour, and its actual functionality to close up the resting area is really less than ideal here as it doesn't close flushed to the side wall and closing it up cuts the whole space into two really tiny rooms. The window treatment space at the sliding doors and window side is also going to be a headache when you shut it up. Hence I decided to remove it in place of an open plan living. After all, this is a space for a bachelor, so privacy is not a big issue. Rather than fighting it, I focused on the benefits of a 400 sqft area and what I can do with it. To maximize the usage of space, I had the media storage and PC work desk integrated in an 180 degree swivel unit cladded in stainless steel and black timber finishes and positioned in the middle of the whole room (after removing the sliding doors as mentioned earlier). A concealed queen sized bed is hidden into a wall-to-wall storage unit at the resting area and only folds down when needed, saving much space for a one person home office. At night, the unit can be rotated for movie watching in bed and the living area becomes another environment in which the owner can work in.No matter what size the house is, it's important to always consider using different materials, textures and colours to make a home visually interesting, which translate to physical comfort whether directly or indirectly. We all feel happy and relaxed when we look at beautiful things, don't we? I added a dark coloured stone-look tiles from Italy for textural contrast. The walls are going to be splashed with a dose of taupe and the furniture are all going to be in various masculine shades of grey. You must be wondering about the supposedly diminishing effect dark colours have on an interior by now? For me, colours work both ways in a small home - you either make all the walls as bright as possible or you  just play along to the smallness. Darker colours make a small room more cosy and intimate. For some people, deeper tones help them to relax more. When all elements are well considered to work together as a whole, nobody is going to harp on the fact that your home is only 300, 400 or 500 sqft. Because they'll be too busy looking around and enjoying the space!Stan[...]



Vintage or pre-loved furniture have an aura which new pieces cannot attain. It could be the fact that they were once in the company of human beings for years, hence developing a little 'life' of its own. Or it could be because the non-populist looks were created to appeal to the consumers during that era and not so much to the masses today, imparting the pieces an exclusive character which cannot be replicated in modern furniture. 
In Singapore, where new is better, shops which deal in true antiques are also getting harder to come by. That is until new startup Möbler came into the picture several months ago. This fantastic store offers more than 500 authentic Scandinavian vintage and antique furniture/decor suitable for any homes aiming for a unique style, a little unheard of on our shores in the past. From the early 1800's Allmoge and romantic Gustavian epoques, to Empire and Art Deco periods and the Bauhaus era, including Retro of the 1950-60's, all Möbler pieces cannot be found elsewhere in Singapore - or indeed in Asia. The only question to ask: are your pockets ready?




Love it or loathe it, his buildings are crafted with such distinct angles, curves and geometries that make them such iconic landmarks in our urban landscape. Daniel Libeskind is an international figure in architecture and urban design, having worked on many prominent architectural projects in the past few decades, and there is a reason why he is one of the best if not the best. His ever growing portfolio spans over different fields as diverse as literature, music and art, so it'll surely be an eye-opener to attend this upcoming lecture at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) by the man himself. Pretty stoked... Link




If you are, like me, one who likes to pry into the lifestyles and homes of other creative types, you're in luck. The book Artists Living with Art brings readers into the homes and personal art collections of a few of the world’s well-known contemporary artists, including Tauba Auerbach, Cindy Sherman, Chuck Close, Rashid Johnson and John Currin. Through the pages, Stacey Goergen and Amanda Benchly lead readers into some beautifully renovated lofts in SoHo, 19th-century Brooklyn brownstones and even a restored farmhouse which all share one thing in common - an interior filled with the occupant's precious collection of artwork, objects, textiles, and ceramics displayed in artful manners. Photographed by Oberto Gili, these gorgeous lived-in interiors - a refreshing change from so many showflat-looking apartments lacking just that touch of character in design books - will inspire readers to rethink the display of their own artwork and treasured possessions. Highly recommended.




The client's love for street art and pop imagery led us to design a home inspired by our urban environment. Upon entry, one is struck by the vivid blue of the metal hoarding cladding the walls that extend around the corner to the living area. Metal perforated screens provide a ventilated facade for shoe storage besides the main door. It is in the hall where the fun begins. This fun and colourful style is synonymous with the bachelorette's personality and sets the tone for the rest of the house. The collection of toys, art and wacky objects come together on full display here. Imagining the whole space as a street, we brought in humble materials like concrete, cement screed, bricks (white-washed and stripped down) and pavers to tell the story. The street lamp post lends a whimsical touch to the 'al-fresco cafe' dining corner while the graphical patterns on the rug in front of the sofa reminds one of a collage of ceramic tiles on the floor. Prints by UK street artist Eelus inject the interiors with bright pop hues.A window opening created on the kitchen wall offers a glimpse of the action in the hall and illuminates the cooking space. The accent square tiles provide visual stimuli with the seemingly hand-drawn graphics. A weathered timber panelling hides the house shelter door from view. Elsewhere in one of the 3 rooms, the design is a clear tribute to Piet Mondrian's compositions with red, yellow and blue. Black strips run in an 'organised disarray' around the room, creating the sense one is living inside a painting. The colorful elements at the TV wall are made up of Lego base plates. A vibrant work titled Once We Dreamt by UK street artist duo Miss Bugs hanging above the denim-upholstered headboard completes the decor. In the study room, doors in various looks group together in a seemingly haphazard arrangement on the overhead storage unit, a move which is inspired by the works of contemporary Swedish artist Michael Johannson. A practical flip-up table top next to the built-in daybed can be kept away to save space in the small room when not in use. The terracotta colour on the walls and ceiling evokes a sense of being surrounded by old factory bricks, offering an intimate environment to read and work.An organic feel permeates the master suite, spotting patterned wood planks and green shaggy carpet which mimics vertical greens. A special effects paint provides a cement look-alike finish to the walls, one of which is decorated with works by seminal pop artist Peter Blake and French street artist Dran. In the adjoining bathroom as well as the common bathroom, images by Italian painter Piero Fornasetti add an element of surprise and challenge the notion that bathrooms should look either formal or opulent - it can also be fun.Stan[...]



An unique rust iron wall finish envelopes the entry hall, picking up the vibrant colors in the artwork ‘The Unveiling’ by Irish urban artist Conor Harrington – which literally sets the tone for the subsequent‘unveiling’ of the rest of the spaces inside - and providing a sharp backdrop for an one-of-a-kind whimsical pendant lamp conceived by the home owner/ designer.Inside, the soothing atmosphere is deepened by intriguing textures. Imagined as a totally ‘blank’ white canvas, there is never any intention on the part of the home owner/ designer to keep to a certain design style. He seeks to create a livable art gallery as much as to use it as a testing bed for experimenting with different design styles, materials and textures.A striking 3D-effect wallpaper from Belgian brand Arte serves as the perfect treatment for the TV feature wall, whether for aesthetical or practical (acoustical) purposes. The high gloss white laminate finish in the open kitchen features a cantilevered dining table (customised with hexagonal Spanish wall tiles and protected with clear tempered glass)  built into a counter. Museum style track lighting and a paper made lamp by a Filipino design studio provide the illumination for this space.The owner’s collection of art and sculpture/ toy pieces are nestled amid the clean-lined furniture and masculine black and grey color scheme in the living area. Mirror panels climb the wall behind a beautiful painting by UK street artists Miss Bugs and helps to double the sense of volume in the home. Next to it hangs dark crinkled silken curtains that sluice down tall sliding doors leading into an outdoor balcony where greenery abounds. An industrial concrete top coffee table stands in front of the settee.The front portion of the work area cum guest bedroom was carved out to form a larger living area and  a timber/ metal loft structure inside was erected at the designer’s instruction to make good use of the 3.4 meter ceiling height. Accessed by a flight of storage steps, the loft above was converted into a relaxing entertainment space and adopts a ‘never taken seriously’ design direction, what with the installation of a neon light sign housed inside an internally painted recycled wine box (made by the home owner/ designer himself) and ‘white-washed’ brick wall wallcovering on the wall. Below, a compact mirror door wardrobe sits next to an industrial metal table and a small library of art and design books. Opposite, the owner displays his ‘wall of art’ comprising a beloved collection of prints by Maya Hayuk, Faile and Bezt etc hanging via a gallery style hanging system from eye level up.In the master bedroom, simplicity takes precedence. The white-on-white color scheme results in a sense of serenity within. A quiet but powerful painting by Spanish street artist Pejac hanging over the headboard  wall finished in a Kelly Hoppen-designed paintable wallcovering anchors the room and fits the theme of the room somewhat perfectly with its subject matter. A third smaller bedroom provides a little private lounge area for reading. Stan[...]



The Exploded Cinema by Hong Kong designers One Plus Partnership has got to be one interior design project I personally liked a lot in recent years. Deconstructed design elements, a monochromatic scheme and an air of mystic make up an innovative space for entertainment. At once dramatic, modern and futuristic, one can imagine a cinematic experience where they are seemingly transported into another world - akin to the movies they are watching."The theater has 10 similar-size screening rooms and one large screening room with 344 seats. The walls and ceiling of the jumbo theater are covered with approximately 6,000 boxes of gray acoustic paneling, tilted and mounted at six different angles for a random appearance. The spectacular visual effect also gives the room superior acoustics, since all of the angled surfaces absorb sound more effectively than a flat surface. Interspersed with the paneling are acrylic box-shaped light fixtures. A VIP lounge features an angular bar in black marble and graphic walls of black-and-white acoustic paneling. Even a visit to the bathroom is a trip into a potential future: Custom pedestal sinks and wastebins emerge from the floor at unexpected angles. In the bathroom for the VIP lounge, the faucet is a square tube, dangling from the ceiling, which automatically releases a stream of water when a sensor is triggered." Stan[...]



This contemporary residence was specifically designed and constructed to showcase the owners’ large art collection. The juxtaposition of elegantly detailed natural stones with humble materials like raw cement screed and textured wallpaper provides a subdued backdrop for an extensive art collection. The art work, which was amassed over the past two decades, ranges from canvas paintings to sculptures to works on paper and on wood.Living/ dining/ entry areasIn the living room, a large canvas painting by a renowned Chinese artist hangs on the long marble-tiled wall and helps to anchor the entire living and dining areas. Two strip-patterned mirror doors opening up to a shoe storage (built in place of an existing door opening into the kitchen) brings in much light and help to open up the private lift lobby. A modern Swarovski wall lamp lends a touch of class and bling with its stylish diamond cut glass shade.Bedroom 2Elsewhere, the apartment is also furnished with high quality furniture and fittings from the likes of Poltrona Frau, Tom Dixon and George Nelson, providing a luxurious environment for the couple and their two adult sons to live and entertain in. In the bedrooms, functionality take precedence. Every need of the occupant(s) in each of the rooms have been taken into account of, and the spaces were designed to maximise those requirements.Master bedroomBedroom 3 Stan[...]



Coinciding with the London Design Festival, Design Shanghai is to bring the best of Chinese design to the UK, with a unique exhibition at leading show 100% Design, taking place 23-26 September 2015 at Olympia London. Supported by Shanghai Promotion Centre for City of Design, Icon presents: Hi Design Shanghai will feature ten top Chinese design brands, both emerging and established names, exhibiting together for the first time in UK. The event will be an extraordinary platform for some of the most talented designers, including; Blue Shanghai White, Design MVW, EY-products, Frank Chou Design Studio, Maxmarko, Song Tao Wu Haoyu, WUU, Yang Design and Yuue.The show will offer a preview of the most innovative and latest products by a selection of brands that will be also taking part in the third edition of the Asia’s leading international design event Design Shanghai, returning in March 2016, following the remarkable success of the first two editions. \Icon presents: Hi Design Shanghai is a celebration of the long-standing support and cultural exchanges between China and the UK. Many more opportunities are being explored this year, as 2015 marks the first ever UK-China Year of Cultural Exchange, a unique opportunity to further deepen the existing relationship between the two countries across the creative industries. Icon presents: Hi Design Shanghai is organised by 10 Media Shanghai in collaboration with Shanghai London-China UK Design Innovation Centre and Icon magazine, supported by Shanghai Promotion Centre for City of Design.  Stan [...]



The owners of this apartment have been our studio's long time friends. Given that this is the second time we are working with them, we are able to understand their needs and requirements, as well as personal taste better this time.Living area - afterThe clean-cut aesthetics starts at the living room. Introducing angled lines and undulating surfaces to create a direct visual contrast against straight and flat elements, we hope to deconstruct the interiors in a subtle, unobtrusive manner. Even the little details, like the customised picture of black and white photography which decorate the walls are arranged artfully in an atypical collage arrangement to tie up with the design concept. Living/ dining areas - after The color palette is kept light and monochromatic to ensure the interior space stays airy and feels 'light'. The color blue serves a central role to keep the home from looking sterile from using a neutral scheme, as well as being a color picked by a Feng Shui master to ensure the well-being of the couple.Master bedroom - afterStudy/ guest room - afterThe asymmetrical forms continues in the master bedroom, where a TV panel has been designed to keep the space between the end of the bed and the opposite wall clear for passage. Looking like a monolith, it breaks the regular boundary of a rectangular room and serves as part of the false ceiling to hold the lights. Similarly, a bold red wallpaper at the headboard wall - color suggested by the Feng Shui consultant - commands presence in the room. The room feels serene even with such a strong accent nevertheless. In the study cum guest room, the customised built-in storage furniture is similarly designed with the central theme in mind - graphical lines create a geometric pattern on the doors for visual interest. The choice color of orange on one wall jumps at you, especially since the rest of the walls are covered in light off-white and brown tones. Stan[...]



Take the current art in your home to the next level. Link



Last week BAUX debuted at the world´s largest design fair, Salone del Mobile in Milan. The company is known for their environment-friendly, recyclable material made from wood wool, cement and water. For the occasion they built a 5x20 meter large wall featuring an iconic silhouette of a Swedish forest using a range of triangular tiles on the advice of the Stockholm based Studio, Form Us With Love. In a combination of property and geometry, the studio decided to bring chunks of Swedish forest into the interior space using a wide format. The result is five wall patterns, combining 22 colours that follow the scheme of the Scandinavian landscape, in a contemporary play with the outside and the inside. The result is simply amazing! Link




Some of you probably knows I'm a street art fan judging from my instagram posts. The art movement isn't particularly big in Singapore - at least not yet - but the once black sheep of the scene has gained credibility overseas with high prices paid for Banksy, a graffiti artist and painter from the UK. In turn, this has created a lucrative limited edition print market for collectors and investors.
So, it is only fitting that IKEA, the Swedish retailer known for its affordable sleek designs and modern sensibilities, would enlist graffiti artists from around the world to create 12 posters for its annual art event. It is hoped that the different styles and expressions will create a better everyday life - for everyone who loves great art.

The global launch for the prints has already started earlier this month, and as it’s a limited collection, the posters might sell out very quickly. So grab one for $19.90 while you can. Link



This is an easy project to make yourself a new lamp (or lamps) to hang over your dining table. Minimal spending, maximum impact! Link



"There are many reasons not to cover up your lighting cords. Sometimes cost is a factor. Sometimes architectural features don’t allow for the change. Or it might need to be temporary so you can take it with you. That’s when you turn that decorating frown upside down, and make the most of your space while working with what you’ve got." Link



Studio Bouroullec just sent in the Officina chair and stool, their next step of an on-going experimentation with iron in collaboration with Italian design company Magis. For this chair and stool, the brothers used the same construction geometry as the table collection they created last year and associated the wrought iron to a shell made in injected plastic - which also comes wrapped in leather.
Wrough iron - the shaping of iron by hammering - is one of the oldest techniques for making objects. The result of using that here is a system of legs with a newly made geometrical shape. As structural elements, they can create furniture of extreme sophistication, refinement and harmony. The surface of wrought iron is alive and imperfect, which lends the objects a special vibration. By reflecting the random, mechanical traces of the tools that gave them shape, these pieces bring a breath of fresh air to the industrial scheme.
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Always wanted to introduce plants into your living spaces but am running out of room for that? We know exactly how you feel. But don't despair as we've thought of a few ways to bring in a splash of green into your home effortlessly. 1. TerrariumsTerrariums are a beautiful addition to desks, dining room tables, or other well-lit spots. These usually comprise of sealable glass containers that can be opened for maintenance and to access the plants inside. Incredibly easy to DIY, terrariums are getting popular by the day and prove to be one of the easiest way to bring greenery anywhere into the house. Link 2. Sky planters This planter is a fabulous conversational piece. I mean, who wouldn't be captivated by it? The way in which plants are grown - upside down instead of the normal straight manner up - isn't something commonly seen. Even growing herbs in the comfort of your home is now an attainable dream! Easy to maintain and install, it's surprising this product haven't caught up with the local market as yet. Link 3. Faux carpet grass If taking care of living things isn't exactly your cup of tea, local firm Absolut Outdoors do carry a range of artificial turf and plant products to cover the floor (as a rug or in the balcony if you have one) and walls respectively. For the latter, one can choose from the ready-to-use framed designs in various sizes or customize the walls with their wide selection of artificial plants and greens. Practically zero maintenance is needed when it comes to these products. Link Stan[...]



This DIY project is a fun and easy way to create a bespoke coffee table out of  unwanted wine crate boxes. We really like the rawness and authentic nature of this one-of-a-kind furniture piece. Have fun! Link



The most fundamental shift in home design over the past decade has been the open concept kitchen. And with it comes the open dining concept, where the dining room is located right off the kitchen and living room. It's hardly surprising that this would become commonplace, given that a closed kitchen puts up a barrier to conversations with family and friends and made it difficult to entertain the guests - notwithstanding the fact that spaces in Singapore has become much smaller these days. Integrating the kitchen into other areas of the house immediately expands the visual sense of space. The recent study on BTO flats, showing that more new home owners prefer an open kitchen, supports that fact.Cooking in the open also represents a major change in the lifestyle and acceptance level of home dwellers. It is unheard of just about a decade or two ago to remove the walls to a kitchen. Many think of it more as a typical room than just a forgotten corner hidden at the back of the house for preparing food. The open kitchen of today serves as a spot where one shows off his or her culinary skills, a casual dining space for quick meals or even  contains an integrated library to display a personal collection of recipe books.Nevertheless, there will still be people who are concerned about issues that rises from an open kitchen, particularly smell (from cooking) penetrating the rooms and the clutter that comes with food preparation. But given the fact that there is an increasing number of people who eat out or don't do heavy cooking most of the time, these factors do not seem strong enough a deterrent. It will be interesting to see how this trend develops over the next few years though.Stan[...]