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Styling a Singapore shophouse

Maia Devereux Maia Devereux
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Elliot James is a design consultancy that combines England’s design heritage and London’s fashion scene with the sleek, clean lines of Singapore, to create stylish, opulent and classic interiors. Founder Elliot James has worked extensively all over the island – creating everything from the swanky hospitality suite for the Singapore Grand Prix 2013 to styling the cool new Chillax Market at The Grandstand. However, the company's main focus is residential, and Elliot has renovated and decorated an range of properties in Singapore, including shophouses, penthouses and even mansions. All reflect the company's philosophy that 'The interior should reflect the client and brief, not the designer.' The consultancy also works on single room makeovers. Today, we're featuring a Singapore shophouse redesigned by Elliot James to create a refined, calm and inviting interior. Take a look below!

A sea of tranquility

 Living room by elliot James Pte Ltd
elliot James Pte Ltd

Living room / dining room

elliot James Pte Ltd

The clients in this project were looking to start the next chapter in their lives and wanted to de-clutter all those possessions they're collected over 20 years, and to create a mature and minimal home that offered relaxation and tranquility. Fond of entertaining, they requested a living room suitable for socialising whilst having a separate room as an entertainment  and family room, incorporating TV and sofa area, as well as an office and spare bedroom for guests. The water pool in the living room brings classic tranquility to the space, while the high ceilings ensure that it's airy and light.

Careful use of colour

Essential for the clients was the creation of a modern, warm home with pops of colour and personality. We can see those pops of colour here in the bright turquoise bowl on the dining table, reflecting the blue and turquoise of the wall art. Warm, wrought wood is simultaneously refined and welcoming, while carefully placed lighting creates atmosphere. 

Restrained palette

 Living room by elliot James Pte Ltd
elliot James Pte Ltd

living room corridoor

elliot James Pte Ltd

The interior throughout is a careful mix or dark wood, white, and cream. Pictures have been framed in dark wood and stand out prettily against a matte white wall; echoing the dark wood of the ceiling and the pool-surround. The neutral mix of creams, whites and browns means that pops of colour, as in the dining room, really stand out. Keeping such pops to details means that the interior as a whole oozes mature refinement, while also being imbued with a genuine sense of personality. 

A life's work

Part of the brief for this project was to incorporate various antiques collected over the clients' lifetimes, whilst also giving the design a European sense of depth and detailing. Varied textures, combined a limited colour spectrum from cream to brown in the living space keep that space low-key and mature, while also being visually interesting. The dark wood of the traditional shutters is the cue for a room that's a harmonious mix of classic and modern. 

Classic and contemporary

Elliot James describes its philosophy as: 'To merge the classic with the contemporary. To design a home that is an extension of your personality and who you are, whilst improving your quality of life.' Touches like these striped cushions add that touch of the contemporary, while the traditional paintings just glimpsed in the background are carefully placed to add that classic feel. Light-coloured furnishings and rugs keep the space from seeming dark or dolorous; rather they bring out the accents in the dark wood, and make it seem warm and rich. 

Roof garden

A small roof garden is kept minimal, but warm, dark wood reflects the building's heritage and ensures the space doesn't feel bare or cold. Again we see the palette of browns and creams, with a lantern carefully placed to give a touch of the lighter colour. Minimal planting is, again, part of this home's refinement, and also means that back-breaking gardening work is kept to a minimum!

Does this house's neutral palette and restrained interior appeal to you? Let us know in the comments!
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