Instantly Add Style to Any Room

Sometimes the simplest of touches can make all the difference. We’ve scoured the web to find some of the easiest styling ideas that you can easily replicate at home.

Create a Theme

Liven up a living space by adding accessories of the same colours / patterns / lines / materials throughout the room. This could be done by adding a colourful fleece to your bed, adding lamps or vases with colours from the fleece, and using the same material to make a matching cushion; or echoing the asian style of a cherry blossom wallpaper with framed chinese art.

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[Top: Hilltops condominium]

Switch up your Lights

It’s amazing what light fixtures can do to a space. Don’t forsake an area just because it’s small, dark or apparently hidden away. Creative lighting can make even the dingiest of spaces hospitable.

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[Top: A walk-in wardrobe/study area featured in Square Rooms Magazine, Nov 2012]

Statement Pieces

Use bold pieces like the rug below and a floor to ceiling mirror to make a small space look big.

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Colour Therapy

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The difficulty with colours is that they’re so changeable. Depending on the time of day, the materials they’re used on, and what thye’re matched with – a colour can take on a completely different personalitiy and feel. With so many shades and tones to choose from sticking to finding the right colour theme can be particularly challenging.

I recently came across a nifty site which was like going for colour counselling. Design Seeds is a site all about colour. With swatches based on inspiration photos, the site offers a bit of clarity and focus to one’s colour choices – great for getting inspiration.

I especially like the “find palettes you love” tool.

Awesome Offices

There have been tons of bloggers advocating the idea that creative environments help boost creativity in people. If the mere sight of the Apple logo is enough to set our minds on a lateral thinking path as they would have you believe, imagine what an entire office – filled with poignant primers of how creative you are – could do for you, the employee, as you go about your daily toil. Are we really such products of our environment?

Well hey I’d like to think so! (Even if it’s just because I’d love to work in one of these incredible offices!) Problem is..some of these are so creative, you wonder if anyone can stop finding creative uses for their time at work.

Below: It was such a thrill to get an inside look into the offices at Etsy on Laughing Squid – many thanks to Scott Beale for posting these. Which kind sympathetic soul knitted wool warmers for the air conditioning vents?!

Below: Pixar’s offices house many toys and paintings from their animations and has surreal living room/offices which look like ice-fishing cabins/greenhouse garages. Images via The Roxor, Best House Interior,

Below: It’s a circus at Ogilvy & Mather’s Guangzhou office. Images via The Cool Hunter.

Below: Just the way I like them – some functional yet unconventional creative agency offices featured on This Ain’t No Disco (it’s where we work).

Finnish communications agency Trust Creative Society adopted an open floor plan that resembles a cosy restaurant – complete with kitchen and dining area – rather than the traditional office layout. It really looks like they’re working in a cafe – round the clock refreshments and perfect for discussions.

American communications agency Big Giant has a professional yet homely vibe with warm wood textures, carpets and sofas. Toy-adorned shelves in the rest areas encourage play and brainstorming.

Below: Of course, couldn’t do a post about creative work spaces without including a mention of Google’s notoriously smashing offices. Images via The Concept Times and here.

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Seen at the Singapore Biennale 2011

The third Singapore Biennale opened on 13 March featuring the work of 63 artists from 30 countries, and presented across 5 venues:

  • The Singapore Art Museum at Bras Basah Rd
  • SAM at 8Q (along Queen St just behind the Singapore Art Museum)
  • National Museum of Singapore at Stamford Rd
  • Old Kallang Airport
  • Merlion Park at Marina Bay

This year’s theme ‘Open House’ alludes to a gathering of multiple perspectives and creative processes and the commentary on how we move between borders, see each other’s points of view, and form connections with others.

The event is on till 15 May and as the works are distributed across the city, you’d probably be best taking your time to visit the sites over a few days or weekends. Did you visit any of the sites – what did you think? Any favourites? Here’s a glimpse of a few of mine:

Architecture Exhibition: 20 under 45

20 under 45: the next generation is a collection of works by Singapore-registered architects under the age of 45. Exhibited in late 2010, the small display is up again for a second viewing at the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) building at Maxwell Road.

Some outstanding works:

Above: Richard Hassel, WOHA Architects – 1. Alila Villas Uluwatu, Indonesia; 2. Crown Plaza Hotel at Changi Airport, Singapore. I love how alive these structures feel! It takes an inspired mind to soak in the culture and geographical beauty of these locations, blend that with a modern aesthetic, and create something as wonderfully surprising yet completely natural as these structures.

Above: Ling Hao, Ling Hao Architects – Small Worlds at Niven Road, Singapore

This sort of narrow multi-storey ‘shophouse’ is a common sight along the old streets of Singapore – it offers homeowners lots of exciting design possibilities – but also challenges (especially for bringing light into such a narrow space).

Above: Alan Tay, Formwerkz Architects – Aramsa Spa, Singapore

Aramsa Spa is a top class spa set none other than in the center of the humble heartlands at Bishan Park. The lush garden landscaping and graceful architecture of wooden walkways flanked by reflection ponds, glass rimmed lounges, bamboo beamed outdoor showers, and unexpected details (e.g. corrugated iron sheets reminiscent of kampong tin roofing are used to segregate the outdoor showers) give the place its irresistible allure. What I love is how open it is yet so private – rustic yet modern – and how it clearly loves nature and encourages visitors to commune with it. I’ve seen many imitations but Aramsa Spa really got it right down to the heart.

The Bathrooms

This is a home craft project I’d like to do – this is the picture that inspires the whole of the guest loo. It’s a shelf made up of square tiles and plaster.


The tap and the shape of the sink are quite interesting as well.

This is a classic bathroom with gorgeous marble tiles and an irresistably lovely bathtub – look at those legs!! omg…

Great mirror

I like the skirting, door frame and of course the windows…


A modern – ‘easy to clean’, practical bathroom

The same bathroom with a hole in the wall for a clean look
(The sink was taken out of the bathroom and put outside in the kitchen)

The Living Room

Hidden tvs and shoe cabinets


Example of 3 Room flat living room renovations

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ROOM DIVIDERS
One of the things I’m mulling over is this semi partition – which is supposed to seperate the kitchen from the living area. While I think it’s an akward thing – now it cuts the dining table in half, its a sort of ‘poor feng shui’ thing if the entrance faces the back window right? So I was wondering what to do with this space…


Glass?

Keep the wall as is…and use furniture and pictures to give the impression of depth

Get rid of the half wall and have… doors
Have a doorway bookcase! Gives a little intrigue seperating the living and dining areas – but will it make the place look smaller??

Will the space behind it be enough to house the dining area??

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FURNITURE & STORAGE

Look it’s the Charles Eames rocker again!

I was thinking of a white bookshelf under the front window by the corridor entrance. Otherwise I feel it’s a bit of a waste of space. Alternatively, would a sort of bay window seat be strange?

The Dining Room

This is the current space – which is …not much of a dining room. This is probably the area which I’m struggling with the most – because right now it seems to just be a random spot floating between the kitchen and the living room – when in fact it should be a central focus of the place.. I’m just not sure how to place the furniture with the half wall in the way…

There is the option of knocking that down – though would that bring about a fengshui issue – having the door look straight across out to the back window? I’m not hung up about it… but it’s just a consideration – other ideas would be to have a glass/half glass partition? This is something I’ll tackle in the section on the living room.

I intend to keep the large red persian carpet my mother bought but don’t want it to dominate the whole house – I guess I could just ‘hide’ it under the dining table. 😉Open concept kitchen

I’ve always loved the idea of having a bench style dining area – very communal and informal – my dream home would have a long solid wood dining table – but maybe for my current 3rd floor mini mansion I might give this a pass…

and go for a little dining table like this….

The Kitchen

The kitchen tends to be the place from which all my design fantasies begin. Well it is the heart of the home isn’t it? What could be worse than a home without a heart – like shoes with no soles! This is a gripe those who know me would probably have heard many a time before – why do brands we’ve grown to love end up morphing into profit preoccupied megaliths – corner cutting, stripping, diluting, plastering over.. wherefore the dissolution of the heart of a product? What pennypinching throwaway society have we evolved into to condone the production of …souless shoes?? but anyway…

… here’s a montage of my kitchen…that’s as green as Yoshi from mario brothers…

“!”

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Renovations of another 3 Room Flat

Here’s an example of a flat that has nearly the same layout at mine. Thought it would be an interesting idea to have the hand basin in the kitchen as it leaves a bit more space in the shower. Not sure if it distracts from the main purpose of the kitchen – I like having different spaces with different characters based on their purpose.

“Don’t you love our kitchen conversations, honey?” Jon wondered why he always felt cornered when making cheese toasties.

This is a cool kitchen in a 5 room flat – nice lights. Though I’m not into modern shiny black laminates/acrylic, I thought this one was tastefully done.

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The ‘Long’ House

Study Area connected to the kitchen area.

I love the dark floors that reflect the row of lights from the ceiling.

I’ve fallen in love with these rectangular white tiles arranged in a brickwork like pattern. I would really like to have dark granite kitchen table tops and white wood cabinets.

Another example – rather than a complete black floor – notice the white tiles! I also love the window ledges – can I have windows like those?? having a serious case of window envy…

Many things I adore about this one – especially the Charles Eames rocking chair – but what is the dog bowl doing on the dining table….

Kitchen Islands

I was wondering if it would be possible to have an island in the center of my kitchen or would it be too space consuming? Could this be the substitute for a dining table? is it better that the stove and the sink are kept to the perimeter?

Here are a few inspirations..much bigger kitchens of course…