June 17, 2024

“Colours, joy, rainbows, functionality”. These were the four keywords that homeowners Sauman Mahata, a technology consultant in a global technology consultancy, and Gisela Sim, an associate project director in a creative advertising agency, used to define their vision for their new home with eclectic vintage interior design.

Who Lives Here: A couple and their two cats
Home: A 2-bedroom walk-up apartment at East Coast Road
Size: 1,141 sqf 

Teal and yellow shoe cabinet and settee fitted with rattan doors by the main entrance in a  2-bedroom walk-up apartment along East Coast Road.
Teal and yellow shoe cabinet and settee fitted with rattan doors by the main entrance in a 2-bedroom walk-up apartment along East Coast Road.

Third Avenue Studio

They entrusted the project to interior designer Pamela Ong, director of Third Avenue Studio, who came highly recommended by homeowner Gisela’s friend, whose home was also designed by Pamela. 

The couple, who are in their late 30s and early 40s respectively, were well-prepared. They put together reference materials and colour scheme, as well as a list of items that they like and want to have in their new home, specifications for the things that they were bringing over from their previous home and their proposed locations.

“We also offered additional references for the creative exploration of form, drawing inspiration from the artworks of Wassily Kandinsky,” shares homeowner Gisela.

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A barn door in the living room in a 2-bedroom walk-up apartment along East Coast Road.
A barn door in the living room in a 2-bedroom walk-up apartment along East Coast Road.

Eclectic Vintage Interiors

Some of their requirements were quite specific, such as opting for painted carpentry on raw plywood instead of using laminates. They have a sizeable collection of vintage tea wares, which warrant a spot that would do them justice. With two cats, Billy and Bella, which the couple adopted from a friend, the home also had to be cat-friendly. 

The apartment was in excellent condition as the former homowner renovated it about a year ago.

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A full-height display for the vintage tea wares in a 2-bedroom walk-up apartment along East Coast Road.
A full-height display for the vintage tea wares in a 2-bedroom walk-up apartment along East Coast Road.

Vintage display cabinet

Some hacking of walls was involved, mainly around the store area in-between two bedrooms, which interior designer Pamela then proceeded to locate a full-height display for the vintage tea wares that is visible from the corridor, and a walk-in wardrobe behind, within the master bedroom. 

The existing colour palette of the house back then was mainly black and grey.

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Eclectic colours

As the homeowners are adventurous with colours, shapes and the usage of different materials, interior designer Pamela introduced a myriad of shapes, patterns, colours, textured glass and other materials within the home. These are most apparent in the extensive carpentry works that were added in the living room, kitchen and yard so as to accommodate all of the couple’s belongings.

“We used a number of bright colours, shapes and patterns, all of which come together nicely, just like a rainbow,” interior designer Pamela comments.

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Bold circular shapes in yellow and teal colour blocks for the kitchen cabinets.
Bold circular shapes in yellow and teal colour blocks for the kitchen cabinets.

Painted plywood

Painting the raw plywood using water-based paint posed some challenges. Interior designer Pamela admitted to being worried about whether it can be achieved, especially in terms of ensuring that the individual shapes and patterns do not bleed, that the circles are round and the lines are straight.

“Everything was done freehand, just like art,” she says. 

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Eclectic vintage bathroom in this 2-bedroom walk-up apartment along East Coast Road.
Eclectic vintage bathroom in this 2-bedroom walk-up apartment along East Coast Road.

$110,000 Renovation cost

The renovation took about 2.5 to three months and the couple moved into their new home in August 2023. The cost came up to about $110,000 excluding furniture and furnishings.

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Framed frosted glass doors and vintage ventilation blocks in this 2-bedroom walk-up apartment along East Coast Road.
Framed frosted glass doors and vintage ventilation blocks in this 2-bedroom walk-up apartment along East Coast Road.

Eclectic Vintage Style

Overall, the eclectic vintage style came together very nicely, without compromising on functional aspects, which reflects interior designer Pamela’s design ethos.

Bold, eclectic kitchen cabinet design.
Bold, eclectic kitchen cabinet design.

Diverse designs & cultures

For the homeowners, their new home is an amalgamation of diverse cultures, colours, textures and materials in what they describe as a “deliberately orchestrated, yet enchanting cacophony”. Each element is carefully considered and proportioned to achieve an equilibrium such that no one element overpowers the entire composition.

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