Sunday, December 6, 2009

Design Inspiration: Laboratory of ideas

These days more and more homeowners are adopting personal, eclectic looks for the interior. Instead of a single look or style, homeowners are, thanks to travel and exposure to different looks, filling their homes with furniture and furnishings from varying periods and the far-flung corners of the world. Achieving a personal, eclectic look though is more than just avoiding a one-look-fits-all design; it’s about finding a unifying thread among the different items so that the final look is one that is diverse yet harmonious.

Through this living room setting Koh hopes to give homeowners an idea of how to put varying looks together

It was with this in mind that Richard Koh established his design showroom, Interiorscape, which he has dubbed “a laboratory of ideas”. Based on his experiences gained over the years of marrying different looks and styles for a single space, the showroom boasts bespoke furniture and furnishings that are either locally made or sourced from abroad.

“The aim is to show people that you don’t have to be stuck with one look in the home… you can mix and put different things together to personalise the space,” he says. A good example is the

reproduction Venetian mirror that has been paired with a marble-top Chinese side table for a look that is refreshingly unique.

He calls the 400 sq ft showroom a “curated interior”, explaining that the furniture and furnishings chosen have been well thought out. Pointing to the showroom that has been done up as a living area, he says: “This is a useable room and shows homeowners that the living area can be more than just a room with a sofa. It can also be a reading area or even incorporate a study.”

He adds that the look in the showroom will be changed every three months. “We may choose a whole different look next, like a kidney-shaped sofa for a sexier vibe or a dining table with actual food and people dining akin to an art installation. The whole intention is to offer interior design ideas.”

"A Venetian mirror is paired with an antique side table"

Indeed, those looking for an eclectic selection of furniture will not be disappointed — there’s vintage, antique and modern to choose from. In most instances, the pieces are one-off, like a rare, teak art deco sofa set from Malaysia. Originally covered in multi-hued PVC, Koh had it reupholstered in leather, accentuating its elegant and classic lines.

The oversized Anglepoise lamp makes this a quirky and personalised corner

The ABC cabinet is another quirky statement piece ideal for a child's bedroom

There are also European vintage chairs, treasured Huanghuali stools, decidedly modern cabinets and quirky items, like an ABC cabinet that can be customised with any number of shelves or drawers and is suitable for a child’s room.

In giving the home a personalised treatment, the choice of soft furnishings should not be overlooked. Rugs, lighting and mirrors from varying eras and styles can come together harmoniously, Koh says, adding that art should not be overlooked either. “People seem to be afraid of hanging paintings in the home. Here, we try and show how artwork can be used to give the home a different look.”

For Koh, the space is also an opportunity to experiment with different design ideas — the first of these is a stool that’s covered entirely in ostrich hide. “I’m also experimenting with stainless steel chairs that are so comfortable you can even meditate in them!” Written by Sreerema Banoo

This pouffe that's upholstered in ostrich hide

Limited edition and rare furniture pieces like this teak arm chair are some of the gems here

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