Ever since they moved into their terrace house nine years ago, Chris Lee and his wife Annie Li would have dinner with their son in their second-storey living room, as they did not like the configuration of their dining area and kitchen on the first floor. During the Covid-19 pandemic, they made the decision to renovate the spaces to suit their needs.
“The pandemic made me realise that we have to live in the moment,” declares Li. “If you don’t feel comfortable with something, make a change. It’s not really about feng shui, but rather the feeling of the space.”
Li works in sales and marketing, while Lee is the founder of multidisciplinary design studio Asylum, the creative force behind the industrial-chic interior of The Warehouse Hotel and the National Gallery’s minimalist logo.
In October last year, the couple founded Artifactt, a new web store selling artisanal tableware. This was driven in part by Li’s desire to start her own brand, and also by her husband’s participation in the KYO Project in 2018, which partnered Singaporean designers with Japanese artisans to create modern-day products. Lee was impressed by the skilful craftsmanship he witnessed, and Artifactt was a way to give these workshops an alternative audience.
As designed-focused individuals, how food is presented at a meal makes a difference; the couple use many of Artifactt’s products in their own home. Dark wood and leather furnishings complement the house’s industrial palette of exposed red brick and black steel columns. “We tend to choose dark, earthy tones,” says Li.