Cover Purchased in Hanoi from Green Palm Gallery, an oil painting by Vietnamese artist: Hong Viet Dung adds a pop of colour to the living area. Photography: Jovian Lim

The client desired an elegant way to display their collection of art and ceramics—she found a worthy collaborator in an ex-classmate who co-founded design studio Wynk Collaborative

Si Jian Xin and Shi’ai Liang met in architecture school but life took them on different paths. Si went on to establish Singapore-based studio Wynk Collaborative with Leong Hon Kit, designing homes as well as beloved F&B institutions such as Standing Sushi Bar, while Liang entered the hospitality and real estate industry. When Liang and her partner Prem Dadlani were planning to move into a two-bedroom apartment in central Singapore, she called upon her former classmate to design it.  

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Rather than embellishing it with unnecessary flourishes, Si leaned toward streamlining and optimising the 1,012 sq ft condominium apartment’s original layout. This includes replacing the swing door of the master bedroom with a sliding screen door and repositioning the wardrobe out of sight of this portal so that there is always a pleasant view at the end of the corridor of rooms. A small storeroom formerly housing the distribution box was combined with a bathroom to create a larger guest bathroom.     

The interior palette employing satin-finish, large-format floor tiles, and joinery wrapped in Elmwood veneer is a tempered backdrop for the couple’s collection of art and craft objects acquired over the years. “It’s our canvas for expression,” says Dadlani on the considered selection of materials, colours, and textures for this purpose. There is a dreamy oil painting by artist Hong Viet Dung purchased from Hanoi that backs a plush Arflex Strips sofa, while Australian artist Juan Ford’s The Mystic oil-on-linen piece and German artist Michael Müller’s vivid, sanguine artwork Portinatx, both purchased from Galerie du Monde in Hong Kong, animate the dining room walls.   

In the living room, a long, low console mirrors the length of a floating shelf showcasing an assortment of ceramics. The largest is a lacquered pot sitting on the console. It is a housewarming gift from John Lim, founder of local botanical design studio This Humid House. “This is a tea dust-glazed vase produced in Jingdezhen, which is the centre of ceramics production in China. The vase is part of a pair. The other is displayed in John’s home, which makes it an even more meaningful gift,” says Liang.   

The furniture selection includes many with organic lines “to break the linearity of the space,” says Si. There is also a Fritz Hansen pouf and AYTM Curva magazine holder that the couple brought over from their former abode. Those in the living room are lighter in tone while the dining room pieces, including a Sovet Totem round table and Fritz Hansen Series 7 chairs upholstered in handsome chestnut leather, bring a cosy feel to the the dining area.

Another intention was to create a contemplative respite from the busyness of everyday life. To this, the design team has succeeded. “We realised the importance of living in a home that met our needs for work, play and rest, especially when we were spending so much time at home during the pandemic,” Liang comments, adding, “It’s a relaxing and warm space. We like to entertain in our home and people get comfortable very quickly!”  

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