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Inside An Architect Couple’s Classy Black-And-White Maisonette With Colonial Bungalow Vibes

20 May 2024 | BY

This architect couple didn’t design their open-concept maisonette with an inspiration in mind, but a consideration of the tropical climate.

When ideating a design for their home, most homeowners assume the first step is to choose a theme. The home’s various furnishings and renovations are then built around the theme chosen.

That’s not the case for ‘“House In The Sky”, the self-designed dwelling of an architect couple from Versify Studios. A breezy, open-concept maisonette with panoramic views of the Kallang River, the home’s design isn’t confined by a theme but was instead designed around the existing elements of Singapore’s tropical climate.

Passive cooling features made for the tropics

Image credit: Versify Studio

This ethos is apparent in every element of the home, with each feature thoughtfully being designed around living in Singapore’s tropical climate. In fact, visitors of the home are first greeted by a 7m-tall foyer, bathed in natural light from the massive windows lining the upper reaches of the home.

Image credit: Versify Studio

These strategically placed windows draw warm air up and out of the apartment, ensuring the air isn’t stagnant and promoting air circulation. This, combined with the expansive and open space of the lower floor, represents the homeowners’ passive environmental approach to designing the home.

Panoramic balcony views

Image credit: Versify Studio

The pièce de résistance of the home’s tropical-centric design are the front and back verandahs that drench the home in the glow of warm sunlight, creating a seamless connection to the outdoors. Additionally, rainwater poses no problem here—it conveniently seeps through the gaps of the boarded wooden flooring, connected to a hidden drainage system.

Image credit: Versify Studio

Beyond its functionality, the verandah also offers a breathtaking view of the scenery around the home. The home overlooks the lush neighbourhood green as well as the Kallang waterfront, so the homeowners are always graced with living colours as vivid as a painting.

Rest area that’s a home within a home

Image credit: Versify Studio

The home earns its title of “House In The Sky” from its unique split-level concept. The lower floors are vibrant social spaces, while the upper floors are the homeowners’ private resting quarters. 

This is most apparent in the adaptable nature of the lower floor, with movable partitions that allow the home to take on any configuration to suit any occasion—from large dinner gatherings to “pool parties”.

Image credit: Versify Studio

The purposeful division is also expressed in the colours of the home. Painted in monochromatic shades of grey, the structural beams and underbelly of the upper floor simulate the scaffolding of a house on stilts. This completes the illusion of a house in the sky when contrasted with the pristine white walls of the lower floor that remind us of an art gallery.

Art gallery-esque collection of furnishings & wall art

Image credit: Versify Studio

With the homeowners’ extensive collection of furnishings and wall art, the comparison to an art gallery is quite apt. The home is decorated with various paintings and framed photographs that are each a cherished travel memory.

They view their home as an empty canvas, where the art pieces they curate don’t have a theme, but are purposeful in the overall scheme of the home’s decor. 

Image credit: Versify Studio

For example, the life-sized horse lamp by Moooi caught the eye of the homeowners precisely because it was the perfect size to fit into the small, underutilised nook below the staircase. The lamp now brightens the space and ensures even the tallest guests navigate the space with ease. It’s also an excellent conversation starter, with how pronounced it is.

Classy black-and-white colonial maisonette

Image credit: Versify Studio

The well-placed lamp exemplifies the homeowners’ design ethos—to design in response to the existing environment around you. “House In The Sky” embodies the sentiment that comfort is the new luxury. 

Image credit: Versify Studio

For more maisonette home inspiration:

Cover image adapted from: Versify Studio

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