Singaporean entrepreneur Johnathan Chua is a familiar name and face for locals who follow Real Talk by MOSG and The Daily Ketchup. The co-founder of GRVTY Media, which manages Vulcan Post, Millennials of Singapore, and The Playbook, Johnathan Chua recently opened up his 1,141sqft condo to Uchify and gave us a tour around the place.
Earthy mid-century modern meets wabi-sabi home
Handled by Shuwen from interior design firm Rezt n Relax, the renovation of Johnathan Chua’s home took 4 months to be completed, and the total cost came up to around $110K.
The condo, which Chua shares with his wife Patrina, is designed with elements of mid-century modern and wabi-sabi aesthetics in mind. Central to the overall look of the home is the liberal use of wood, which creates an earthy, relaxing vibe in their home.
The theme is clear the moment you reach their doorstep, where you’ll be greeted by a custom-wrapped door that matches the tone of the wood used inside their home. Instead of a regular lock, the door is secured with a digital lock that can be unlocked via a PIN code, key card, fingerprint, and even 3D facial recognition.
While bringing us around the house, Chua highlighted the use of curves throughout the interior, which made the place feel more organic and homey. The foyer is adorned with a fluted panel that leads to a built-in shoe cabinet that is deeper than it actually looks.
What’s ingenious about the foyer is that it utilises a pillar that cannot be hacked, integrating it into the overall design so that it looks intentional. And while the built-in drawers that line the pillar look shallow, they open to reveal deep pull-out drawers that can store multiple pairs of shoes and even other miscellaneous items.
On the right of the foyer is a bronze mirror set in a half-moon frame, perfect for last-minute fit checks before you head out the door.
Statement lighting & smart home features
Once you walk past the foyer, your eyes will be drawn to the statement pendant lighting suspended above the dining table. It was handmade by a Spanish artist and usually retails for $5,000 at Sol Luminaire. According to Chua, the piece was inspired by the ocean floor, and each lamp that the artist creates is slightly different due to its handmade nature.
Image credit: @humanplusspace
What truly elevates this aesthetically pleasing home is the use of smart home features that look unobtrusive, and they can be controlled via a kinetic switch, an in-built app, and even voice commands.
Image credit: @humanplusspace
Throughout the house, spotlights and LED strip lighting illuminate shelves, hallways, bed headboards, and other surfaces of importance. The lights can be dimmed and brightened, and the temperature can also be adjusted.
Similarly, the zip track and roller blinds on the balcony look deceptively simple, but actually have high-level features baked into it. If you have roller blinds shielding your balcony from the elements, you’ll know the pain of having bugs trapped in it. But Chua’s roller blinds are equipped with brushes – kind of like the ones you see on the sides of escalators – that sweep away insects and debris as the blinds retract.
Image credit: @humanplusspace
One example is the hood above their stove, which can be controlled via a touchscreen – you can even hover your palm over the touchscreen to change the settings if you don’t want your oily hands to dirty the surface.
And in the master bedroom ensuite, there’s a toilet bowl that lifts its lid as you approach it. The toilet seat can be automatically warmed, and when you’ve concluded your business, the toilet even deodorises itself.
Liberal use of dark wood and custom-made furniture
To get a cohesive look with perfectly matching shades of wood, Chua had most of his furniture custom-made. In the living room, to the left of the TV, is a set of floating shelves made of live edge American Black Walnut wood.
The dining table is also customised – although Chua initially wanted a round table, he realised that his new dining space wouldn’t be able to accommodate one, so he went for a custom-made stadium-shaped table that seats up to 9 people.
The rest of the house is also decked out with dark wood and fluted panels. One point of pride is the balcony, which bears specially made, lightweight faux fluted panels on the wall and ceiling.
Because most of the furniture and carpentry were tailored to Chua and his wife’s tastes, they were able to request for plenty of concealed storage that kept clutter at bay. This includes an arched wall niche that hides a small storage room, as well as bathroom mirrored cabinets that hide windows leading out to the air-con compressor.
The guest bedroom, which also doubles as a casual hangout space when the couple doesn’t have any guests over, has a Murphy bed disguised as a wardrobe, but actually pulls down to reveal a full-sized bed.
Herringbone flooring to direct wealth into their home
Herringbone flooring is notoriously difficult to maintain when you live in a humid climate. To siam this problem, Chua opted for vinyl flooring with a herringbone effect. And if you look closely, you’ll notice that the inverted ‘V’ of the herringbone leads into the house and rooms – a superstitious belief that it will channel wealth into your home.
Similarly, the walls of the home are coated with textured paint rather than actual limewash, which looks pretty but can darken over time. So, to keep things low-maintenance, the couple opted for textured paint in their living areas and limewash-effect wallpaper in their bathrooms for a chio but easy-to-maintain look.
Jonathan Chua’s $1.41M mid-century modern condo
Though Chua and his ID initially set out to create a mid-century modern space, the liberal use of dark wood and earthy tones added a prominent wabi-sabi feel – a happy accident, if you ask us. Organic curves and live edges inject more warmth and liveliness, taking away any tinge of sterility that can often accompany minimalist homes.
There’s actually plenty more to highlight about Johnathan Chua’s $1.41M condo, but many of these ingenious touches can only be truly appreciated when you get to visit in person. But since that’s not a feasible option for most of us, here’s the next best thing – a home tour vlog from their JOHNPATCROSS YouTube channel:
For more home tours:
- High SES siam diu HDB
- Coastal beach-themed Paya Lebar landed home
- Aquascaping HDB flat with 40 aquatic species
Cover image adapted from:
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