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This Couple Took This SG Condo From Boring To Stylish, Looks Like A Great Gatsby Book

3 August 2022 | BY

We are digging the unique Great Gatsby style and Art Deco finishings.

1919 residences art deco 1-bedroom condo featured home

Singapore HDBs and condos are all cookie-cutter, you say. Well, not exactly. Tucked away in Sophia Hill is a colonial-style condo 1919, that stands out from its sisters with its distinct monochromatic colour palette and colonial stylings. 

The black-and-white scheme is a chic tribute to the typical shophouses you’d find in the colonial era, and translates well into the resident homes, so that the effect is both old and new-world luxe at once.

1919 Residences facade
The unique facade of 1919 Residences. Image credit: Land.plus

We managed to swing our way into a sneak peek of owners’ Viola and Ray’s 1-bed+study freehold apartment here. With $80K spent on furnishings and renovation, the space is elevated by the couple’s unique touches – and of course, two adorable cats: a cute Persian Calico Munchkin and a tuxedo Himalayan Persian.

From blank canvas to chic B&W space

Couple Viola & Ray have been living in the chic condo for four years, with Viola moving in first after coming back from Hong Kong, and Ray following after. When they both settled in, they realised the possibilities were endless as the previous tenant’s interior design was a blank canvas.

“It was originally just a few spare pieces of IKEA furniture,” recalled Ray. The couple were the second owners after the condo was built in 2015, and so they proceeded to kickstart their own renovation in 2019 (thankfully, before Covid-19 hit our shores). 

However, it wasn’t smooth-sailing. Some snafus with their contractors and initial interior designers erupted, so they ultimately decided to take the renovation and styling into their own hands, with dedicated commitment to ensure everything in the modest 635 square feet apartment fit into the desired black-and-white theme. 

“We accumulated things over time, and tried to highlight gold elements or source for fittings that matched the B&W look,” they explained. Viola also took tons of inspiration from Pinterest, and went the extra mile to source for furnishings from Hong Kong, Shanghai, and even Australia.

Making a statement in the living room 

Fun fact: the entire house was inspired by a single piece of furniture.

off the moon side table

And the statement piece in question was an Off The Moon side table designed by Maison Dada which the couple got in Seoul. With a postmodern design in sleek black and gold, it proved to be a great starting point for the rest of the apartment’s furnishings and accents. From bar stools to a burnished gold frame of the TV console, the name of the game was luxe.

bar stools great gatsby art deco style

The statement piece, then, is the Art Deco-style wallpaper in the living room that was imported from Australia. For Viola and Ray, it was a case of “love at first sight” as the couple wanted the wallpaper to look straight out of The Great Gatsby. “Every other wall was also kept minimalist, and black-and-white in order to let that wall ‘breathe’ as an accent”, explained Ray. 

art deco style 1-bedroom condo living room with cat

Though copious use of black could minimise an already small space, the effect here turned out more cosy rather than claustrophobic, with a custom-made down sofa by BLAFINK and feathered white pillows adding softness to the angular lines and dark space. “It’s also an easy-to-clean sofa, which is great since we have cats,” the couple laughed.

Beneath the sofa was also a space-saving secret: a Limbo coffee and dining table that could be extended to dining table height, or be pushed all the way down to be stashed under the sofa. 

Limbo coffee and dining table with adjustable heights

Viola and Ray also invested in a modular String Shelving system, which allowed them to display colourful knick-knacks such as a Dita Von Teese porcelain bust, perfume, as well as classical literature and art books to further bring out the theme. 

shelves with knick knacks like dita von teese bust and crown

There’s even a foldable study deck built in – just the thing for these WFH times!

art deco style work from home study desk

Of course, no home nowadays is complete without a Taobao haul, and this is evident in thoughtfully chosen details such as golden lamps and lights that add touches of character throughout the area.

taobao lights and lamos

Sleek kitchen space

As for the kitchen, it was mostly left with the original condo furnishing: black granite L-shaped counters, dark backsplashes and an iconic checkerboard tile panel spanning the classy marble floor. 

1919 residences condo kitchen

“When styling the place, we wanted it to match seamlessly with the original condo design and facade as well. After all, we did pick 1919 for its unique colonial look,” was the couple’s rationale.

Playing on the patio

Even in a small condo space, a relatively large area was carved out for lounging so that one could feel like a lady – or gentleman – of leisure. Enter the patio, which stood out immediately with bold black-and-white checkered tiles amidst lush faux plants and plenty of light. 

1919 residences patio

This is where the couple hosts guests, and they also have a soft spot for having tea sessions at the custom wicker table. The chair and tables come as a set and fully form a circle when the chairs are nestled in. 

Towering loft bed with plenty of storage 

With the bedroom being a key sanctuary for rejuvenation, it made sense for the area to have the most renovation work done. This was in the form of a towering loft bed, once again inspired by Viola’s Pinterest moodboard. 

1-bedroom condo loft bed of height

1-bedroom condo loft bed of heightProbably twice as high as a ‘normal’ bed.

“I drew the picture, and commissioned wood supplier NS Trading to do the measurements and execution.” Using formaldehyde-free wood with a chic dark finishing, the end result was a loft bed with plenty of hidden storage.

As most condo residents know, the couple explained, space is at a premium in such a small apartment. As such, the queen-sized loft bed was a godsend with its generous under-bed storage. From IKEA storage boxes and luggage to sportswear and board games, anything and everything can be stashed beneath the bedframe – and even the steps that lead up to the mattress. 

hidden storage space of a loft bed in 1919 residences

Viola and Ray also took advantage of the unit’s soaring, high ceiling. “We decided to skip the headboard, and have four to five cupboards mounted up instead,” they said. Here, books and collectibles are neatly stashed away, and even some of the knick-knacks they usually put on the shelves outside are rotated in and out. 

1919 residences toilet with mosaic wall

As for the toilet, the mosaic shower wall and continued black-and-white theme kept things slick. New additions include a Veetra porcelain and sink set, plus a floating Amazon cabinet for ease of washing. 

Art-deco style condo in Sophia Hill 

It’s not everyday we see a condo apartment that departs from the Scandi norm in Singapore, or has such carefully curated furnishing that enhances the original renovation. As such, this 1-bedroom condo is truly a rare gem that bursts with personality, transporting one to the Roaring 1920s with a spirit of celebration.

For more condo-related content, check out:

Cover image adapted from: Viola and Ray

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