Simply put, “feng shui” is a study of the flow and movement of energy within a space. It’s used by homeowners with feng shui masters and interior designers to create a more harmonious and happy interior, ensuring that each and every corner of the home isn’t wasted.
And if you’re worried about your home looking too traditional or old-fashioned, these 11 stylish feng shui-inspired homes in Singapore are here to dispel the myth.
Homeowner Li Ling is a firm believer that feng shui can help to optimise health and wealth. So, when she collected the keys to her new apartment, a three-bedroom condominium at Highline Residence, she consulted both a feng shui master as well as an interior designer.
Based on her horoscope and the orientation of the place, the feng shui master came up with a list of recommendations – including which of the three rooms to use as her bedroom and her study, as well furniture placement and even the colour scheme to adopt.
As Li Ling lacked the element of metal, she was advised to make up for it by using grey, white and gold – all colours associated with metal. “I am alright with grey and white, but decided on rose gold instead of the traditional yellow gold,” she says.
“Even my dog is the correct colour,” she says jokingly about Fonzie, her seven-year-old grey miniature schnauzer.
Working closely with the feng shui master on the layout, Carmen Tang, design director of Wolf Woof, went to great lengths to integrate these elements into her concept proposal. “It wasn’t just simply about addressing the feng shui needs. More importantly, it was about doing it with style,” Carmen emphasises.
The dining area is a small and cosy corner right beside the kitchen. The existing glass panel separating the two was removed to create a better spatial connection between the small spaces.
The priority for the dining area, however, was to incorporate more metal elements, so Carmen designed a marble dining table with metal legs complemented by a large monochromatic portrait by illustrator Ruben Ireland framed in metal. Her original intention was to copper-plate the metal table legs and poster frame, but as the cost was exorbitant, Carmen settled for a rose gold spray-painted finish instead.
Built-in storage runs the length of the wall, from the main entrance, past the kitchen and dining area, and all the way to the TV console feature in the living room that was designed to flush with the protruding column and beam.
As Li Ling’s unit is relatively small with no provision for a yard or any form of storage, it was important that the design catered for these and concealed any clutter. “I travel frequently, so my home has to be maintenance- and clutter-free,” says Li Ling.
When home, she spends most of her time working and taking conference calls in the study, which used to be one of the bedrooms. According to the feng shui master, the south-facing room is ideal as her study so an existing bedroom wall was hacked and the door was replaced with a glass wall to open up the space. Now, although a defined work space, it remains spatially connected to the rest of the home.
Another south-facing room is the master bedroom. Working with a grey palette proved tricky because too much would make the bedroom appear dull, so Carmen introduced some rose gold here.
The existing wardrobe was retained, with more cabinet space clad in grey and rose gold laminates added. Even the track lighting is rose gold. “Most of the rose gold elements were difficult to source locally, but we managed to find some from Taobao,” shares Carmen.
Grey wallpaper with metallic motifs is exactly what the feng shui master prescribed.
Li Ling admits to heeding the feng shui master’s advice very closely and some of that means limiting the time she spends in the dining area and adjacent kitchen because these are unfavourable for her due to their orientation. She also keeps the windows in the third bedroom and common bathroom closed as they face north.
Overall, however, she is pleased that her new home has a softer appeal as compared to her previous home that she shared with her brother.
Moving from a larger flat with four bedrooms into a smaller apartment with fewer bedrooms is no mean feat, especially when you have a family of four, plus a domestic helper. Interior designer Ng Kho Woon of W2 Design Associates managed to pull off this home renovation in under eight weeks, designing it in a contemporary and minimalist style.
“This is what I usually go with, whether it is my own home or my clients’,” he says. “I keep the lines clean and try to have things concealed as far as possible, but where necessary, I will incorporate display elements.”
“The concrete wall behind the sofa stands out as a design feature, but it is actually due to feng shui requirements. The feng shui master originally advised that I should erect a full-height wall, but I felt that it would segment the dining and living room spaces, which are not large to begin with. As a compromise, the wall just needed to be taller than my head when seated on the sofa, so I reduced the height, taking reference from the height of the window.”
Woon also incorporated elements of symmetry in the design and planning of key spaces in the home.
“The main entrance and the door to the master bedroom align to form an axis that also demarcates the main circulation within the apartment. This linear element also defines one side of the dining and living areas that extend all the way to the building envelope,” he says.
“I introduced another circulation between the curtain wall and the dining and living spaces. Although it is narrower than the main thoroughfare, it runs parallel to it and both set a rectangular grid within which I planned the layouts for the dining and living areas. The dining set, sofa and coffee table are all positioned symmetrically within this spatial rectangle.”
The dining table was also customised according to Woon’s requirements, from the length right down to the legs.
“For the master bedroom, I used the curtain pelmet and new wardrobe as markers. The bed and headboard then fit symmetrically into that framework.”
Despite the space constraint, Woon managed to incorporate a wardrobe designed like a walk-in closet in the master bedroom, with additional small display shelves on the other side to make the most of it.
Woon’s seating position in his home studio was determined based on fengshui principles, so that clients will be more receptive to his proposals and “won’t climb over my head”, he says.
A former banker, Wilfred Leu, found his calling as a feng shui practitioner after a debilitating financial crisis in 2008. He had the opportunity to apply his expertise of the Chinese philosophical system to his condominium apartment, and the result is a tasteful blend of Chinese and Western designs, a sort of Chinoiserie chic.
According to Wilfred, a home must have very good lighting and homeowners often overlook this. There should be a good balance of direct and indirect lighting in every house, particularly in the living room, where warm-white lighting is preferable to cool-white, he says.
Trying to combine Scandinavian-style interiors with feng shui may not sound like it could work, but this modern and cosy three-room HDB flat in Tiong Bahru is proof that it does.
Working with interior designer Ken Lee of Space Matters and a fengshui master, the homeowner wanted her home to be a comfortable and airy space to relax in, which also encourages harmony and balance through the use of colours.
The homeowner likes to jazz up her Boconcept fabric sofa with colourful, printed cushions. The rattan chair is a memento from her childhood home.
The geomancer recommended using red in the kitchen, so she chose a red Smeg fridge, which she matched with an unusual magenta quartz kitchen countertop by Silestone.
For her orange wall, she displayed items such as travel photos and her growing book collection.
The renovation cost includes the merging of two bedrooms, as well as the built-in shelves and partition wall demarcating the study and bedroom.
This antique-furnished three-room HDB flat has an open layout. It also takes into consideration feng shui requirements. The home has a monochromatic backdrop, allowing interesting furniture and decor to take centre stage.
The designer contrasts super-modern finishes like black glossy flooring, floor-to-ceiling mirrored walls and clear acrylic furniture with wooden antique furniture and carvings.
A customised planter by the designer adds an element of nature in the bedroom. And with a little creativity, wooden screens become the headboard and a decorative feature in the bright bedroom.
The owners of this 1,900sqf condominium in Upper East Coast strongly believed in feng shui, and had consulted a geomancer to help them select a house that suited them, as well as advise them on the colour scheme and positioning of items.
The contemporary aesthetics of this home show that applying feng shui need not compromise the chic factor of a space. In the master bedroom, green was required so the homeowners installed olive-green curtains.
The crystal ball in the living room is placed at the cai wei (wealth position) to enhance the couple’s wealth luck.
For their first home – a five-room HDB in Choa Chu Kang – this young couple tasked the renovating and decorating to two experts: a geomancer who is a close family friend and interior designer, Ray Sim.
White saloon-style swinging doors carved with an Oriental motif contrast with the gold-coloured columns and jade green wall stripe.
Subtle details like a geometric motif and a red wall highlight this Chinese fusion theme. A carved Oriental motif screen echoes the red on the wall, as well as the pattern of the saloon-style swinging doors to the bedrooms.
Maximising space in this three-bedroom condo was imperative given the compact bedroom sizes and layout. The homeowners also wanted a “modern contemporary look”, while taking into consideration their feng shui requirements.
The style incorporates the use of warm, natural materials such as wood – which fortunately tied in with the earth element of their feng shui reading. A bold mix of natural materials on the walls – from teak strips to marble – appear almost like works of art.
The glass panels cladding the air well were frosted or spray painted brown to make a sleek feature wall.
In this five-bedroom cluster house, luxe finishes indoors make for an interesting juxtaposition against the casual vibe outdoors. With the living area leading directly to the backyard, the owners can relax while keeping an eye on the children as they play outside.
Interior designer Terri Tan drew up storage solutions in many areas to fulfil the homeowners’ requirement. “The dining table was custom-designed to include storage in the table support. We even managed to have full-height storage integrated with the lift at every level,” she says.
The dining area, cosy and warm, is infused with a luxe feel with leather, matte and glossy surfaces, as well as metallic finishes.
The homeowners also requested several feng shui elements to be incorporated, which Terri did without compromising on the aesthetics. A tall storage-cum-display cabinet was worked into the living room design for auspicious reasons.
And in the master bedroom, purple – the husband’s lucky colour – is used for the headboard, while everything else dons neutral hues. “We also sealed off a window behind the bed, as the fengshui master advised putting a ‘wall’ behind the bed,” Terri explains.
Here’s a cheerful, adventure-themed abode featuring quirky bespoke decor and inspiring illustrations. The homeowners also consulted a feng shui master, who laid down some dos and don’ts to ensure harmony in the home.
Interior designer Carmen created quirky customisations for the home. She opted for softer silhouettes and a hand-drawn style, as advised by the feng shui master, setting the tone for a cheerful adventure theme.
With the help of foldable furniture and the idea of storage boxes, William Chan of Spacedge transformed the 1,152sqf condominium into a calming black and blue pad – all while keeping in mind the concepts of feng shui. It’s every minimalist’s dream home!
Based on the elements of feng shui, a palette of blue, black and wood was selected. The colours, which represent water, balance out the abundance of wooden furnishings.
This futuristic-looking home is a colossal sculpture that houses generous spaces and elements inspired by feng shui principles. Two skylights combined with water features were explicitly inspired by feng shui. They symbolise the collection of rain water into the home, which is associated with prosperity.
The futuristic character of this room reinforces the home’s architectural language.
Text: Domenica Tan, Louisa Clare Lim & Lynn Tan, Home & Decor Singapore