Cover A view of the calming minimalist living area in a Singapore apartment designed by Sujonohun

Sujonohun gave a family home in Singapore’s East Coast a much-needed makeover, transforming its interior into a welcoming and elegant space

When the homeowner first laid her eyes on this apartment in Singapore’s breezy Upper East Coast area, she knew it had much potential, with its unblocked views of the sea. The condominium apartment is situated close to East Coast Park, and is home to a close-knit family of three who lives with their five-year-old Scottish terrier dog and a domestic helper.

After the apartment’s last renovation five years ago, its interior design felt a bit too dark and moody, and the spatial planning was not ideal, making the unit feel more cramped than even before the renovation. When the client saw the portfolio of homegrown firm Sujonohun online, she was immediately drawn to their work. “They had the design flair and style that I like; I did not search further nor ask for quotes with any other interior designers,” quips the decisive mum, who works in the banking sector.

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Led by husband-wife team Molina Hun and Sujono Lim, the Singapore-based practice Sujonohun is known for crafting elegant interiors customised for each client, be it a developer or homeowner. The renovation of this Singapore apartment was led by design director Molina Hun and her designer colleague Koh Xinfang. 

“Simple elegance” and “understated opulence” were among the keywords in the client’s brief, says Hun, who shares that the owner was also particular about the quality of furnishings and workmanship of the cabinetry, and requested to ensure optimum window safety for the bedroom for the elder son.

The project wasn’t without its challenges; the apartment enjoyed ample daylight at the front of the unit but was dark and dim in its middle section. The bathrooms were similarly lacking in natural lighting.

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“We always look at our project as a whole; the journey from room to room, and the touch and feel of the hardware and finishes must be well-thought, well-resolved and crafted,” shares Hun. “We took note of the issues and mood from the previous renovation, which include the dark polished floors and black painted windows which had to go as they make the space too moody.”

In place of the previous dark flooring are light and marble-effect tiles selected from Hafary for the wall features and flooring, altogether providing a sense of lightness to the apartment. The firm also aimed to improve the overall visual cohesiveness of the home design.

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“There were previously too many elements in the house, which we simplified to a few main materials used.” This includes the use of a laminate with a wood-like effect applied consistently to the wall cladding, bedroom doors, as well as the carpentry and wall panellings in each room. A contrasting accent wallpaper or fabric selected for each bedroom adds a personalised touch to the spaces.

Sujonohun also paid heed to the feng shui requirements given by the owner’s selected geomancer. “From the geomancer's requirements, we were briefed to have one elevation of the house clad in reflective materials. So we picked bronzed mirror panels and fabric-laminated glass for the home, and paired it with marble slabs and large-format marble-lookalike feature tiles to create the understated opulent look which the client is looking for.” 

Equal attention was paid to every room, including spaces like the shared bathroom, which features fittings from Gessi and Laufen. “We clad the walls and customised the basin in the same large format tiles [as the rest of the home]—this help to put a focus on the beautiful bathroom fittings used. The LED lighting strips also helps to highlight the large-format tile design we picked from local tile supplier Laminam, fabricated and installed by Areal Solutions.”

The other bathrooms retained the existing mosaics from the previous renovation as these were in a good condition; the firm replaced the previous black floor tiles to off-white marble-lookalike floor tiles. The firm also selected a built-in basin from Areal Solutions for the master bathroom and paired with wall-to-wall mirrors to expand the sense of space, paired with new bath fittings from Gessi, Laufen, and a Toto Bathtub from W. Atelier. 

The master bedroom is among the notable spaces in the home; it was designed to feel like a hotel suite and incorporates motorised blinds from Jesprit to cater to different lighting needs throughout the day. “We love how the work-from-home station is next to the window, with the view out to the sea,” adds Hun.

Although the timeline was also longer than usual due to delivery and manpower delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the completed result was worth it; its elegant look is a testament to the firm’s understated design approach. 

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