1. It’s all about balance.
The striking scheme, which Raymond terms “arranged chaos”, is a mix of different styles defined by punchy pastels and origami-inspired geometric shapes balanced with clean and pared back Scandinavian-style furnishings so it’s not too overwhelming.
“My home is a rojak of many different things that I currently like,” he shares. “I’ve always loved the retro, pop art colours of the 70s and 80s, but here I chose mainly pastels as they’re softer and more soothing.”
2. Find colours that you like.
“But don’t use colours for the sake of it,” Raymond cautions. “Ask yourself: are you really okay with looking at them for the long term? Find colours that you like. Trends are useful as they can help you determine what kinds of palettes you like, but you don’t have to follow them. It’s really all about personal preference.”
3. Bring in a personal element.
From the various feature walls to a toy collection display shelf, every nook and cranny of the two-and-a-half bedroom condominium, which he shares with his wife, son and in-law, is filled with character. “The most important thing for any homeowner is to decorate with something personal that shows your character,” Raymond says. “For me, it’s my collection of figurines, although I need to start to trim down as the shelf is overflowing!”
4. Embrace imperfections.
He also encourages homeowners to think out of the box and embrace imperfections. “Besides painting the walls, you can decorate with tiles,” he suggests. His living room alone features a screed wall which adds texture, as well as three types of tiles to zone different areas.
Blue mosaic tiles artfully frame the TV in an almost organic-looking way, while hexagonal tiles are thoughtfully arranged in an “incomplete” fashion and round mosaic tiles, traditionally used in toilets and wet areas, cover the wall near the entrance. “I like imperfection because it creates more contrast and chemistry,” says Raymond.
5. Rethink your layout.
To maximise the small space, Raymond shifted the dining area to the roomy balcony (the table indoors is used mainly as a prep area). This visually lengthens the entire living room area and makes the home look bigger and airier. “Dining at the balcony was my wife’s idea, and we customised a dining table to fit,” he says.
“It’s a more useful layout as now the balcony feels like part of the living space instead of just a place to hang clothes or store things, and it’s very refreshing to have our family meals there.”
Raymond’s home is also evidence that you do not need lots of storage solutions to have an uncluttered interior. “With a small space, I tend to find myself throwing away things more often, as well as arranging things so the space doesn’t look overly messy. But a bit of mess is okay! A home shouldn’t feel too clinical and cold.”
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Photos courtesy of Raymond Seow