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Home Tour: This Stylish Scandi Style BTO was Inspired by a Copenhagen Airbnb

It was the Copenhagen Airbnb apartment that the couple stayed over during their honeymoon four years ago that provided the design inspiration for their 5-room BTO flat in Punggol. Alex and his wife loved that the apartment from their holidays was clean, functional and extremely cosy and stylish. It also featured a modern Scandinavian theme that didn’t overly use wood, which the couple really took to as it didn’t feel too rustic. The look and feel of the space stuck with them so much that it became the overarching theme when they got their first family home with their 3-year-old son years later.

For their renovation, the couple decided to engage designer Ashton Siew from Starry Homestead. “He was sincere, very patient and responsible, and was always quick to respond to our questions and requests via text. That was why we went with him,” says Alex on their decision to go with Ashton after meeting up with a total of seven interior designers.

Before: The living room

Before: The kitchen and the bedrooms.

The colour scheme

The dark blue wall adds a modernity to the space, serving also as a focal point in the living room.

The brief to the designer was to recreate the look of the Danish Airbnb, while also incorporating other ideas that they gleaned from magazines and sites like Pinterest. One of the ideas was to feature different shades of grey to create a modern, moody feel. You see this throughout their apartment, from their living room’s vinyl flooring, which has a concrete screed-like motif, to their furnishings, kitchen cabinets and walls of their master bedroom.

Shades of dark grey are found throughout the home, including the master bedroom.

A little nook was carved out from the built-in wardrobe to serve as a bedside table.

To provide a focal point in the living room, the designer also suggested painting one of the walls a dark colour to juxtapose against the crisp white surfaces. The couple narrowed it down to two colours: dark blue and dark green, but eventually went with the former when they saw how elegant it looked in the 3D renderings.

In contrast with the more sombre tones elsewhere, Alex and his wife wanted a cheery, bright pop of colour for their son’s bedroom in order to create a positive environment for the child to grow up in. They went with yellow and asked the designer to include the hue using colour blocking. This resulted in a graphic statement that is at once visually arresting as it is uplifting.

A bright pop of yellow greets anyone stepping inside the toddler’s bedroom.

Design features and furniture choices

One of the other things that the couple really liked from the Copenhagen apartment was also that it had lots of tasteful furnishings and furniture displayed throughout the home so it didn’t appear too empty. With their own home, they too sought to incorporate various home accessories. One of the most notable is the pair of tropical prints (purchased from Gallery Mori) in the living room, which were framed up on gilded frames, creating a prestigious air in the living space.

Pendant lights were also one of the things the homeowners liked about the Copenhagen apartment, so they included that for their own dining area.

Most of the furniture in the living room also feature a “see-through” quality and come with skinny legs in order to create a light and airy feel throughout the space and to ensure that the darker colours don’t visually weigh down the room.

Because Alex’s wife cooks often, the couple decided to go with sliding glass doors to close off the fumes and grease during a cooking session. Otherwise, the kitchen is left open so that light and air can better circulate throughout the flat. It’s also the default choice whenever they have guests over in order to create a more comfortable environment to mingle.

The kitchen comes with dark grey bottom cabinets and a lighter, sand-coloured hue for the top cabinets. This helps to create the impression of a taller ceiling. The backsplash is made up of the original tiles from HDB. The under-cabinet LEDs help to showcase the textural interest of the tiles.

Sliding glass doors were incorporated so that the cooking space can be closed off to contain the fumes and grease when cooking is taking place.

This wasn’t the only practical feature they considered. In order to create a safer and more child-friendly environment for their son, Alex and his wife made the choice to go with furniture pieces that have softer edges. This allowed the toddler to move about the home freely with his prized ride-on toy car.

Learning journey

With the help of their designer, Alex and his wife made efforts to keep the renovation budget to about $45k. For homeowners about to start their renovation, he suggests setting up a budget tracking spreadsheet to list down estimate costs first. Then put down expenses (appliance purchase, design costs, etc.) as they come in. If there are any savings, you can then opt to spend on accessories or other good-to-haves.

The bathroom continues the modern theme with matte-black fittings against a neutral-coloured scheme.

Besides budgeting, time management and scheduling are also important in a renovation process. While hiring an interior designer can certainly help with that, Alex and his wife found that there were times when schedules conflicted. He advises always letting your interior designer know of the delivery dates and times of your big-ticket items, such as your kitchen appliances.

Finally, the couple also recommends getting your interior designer to do up the carpentry works first before starting on your flooring. This is especially the case if you have a flooring that is highly susceptible to scratches, like vinyl.

The renovation took an estimated two months to complete. And with the completion, the couple now has a home just like the Copenhagen apartment they had such fond memories of. But it’s even better, because it now encompasses people and things they love.

Interior images courtesy of Starry Homestead. ‘Before’ photos by homeowner.


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