The Chic Home: Apartment alive with the sound of music, Home & Design News & Top Stories

As music lovers, lawyer Mark Cheng and his engineer wife Putri Wijaya wanted their home in Pipit Road to be designed around classical music, while incorporating luxe and Scandinavian elements. Also part-time piano teachers, the couple – both in their 20s – regularly host soirees for friends and family, so […]

As music lovers, lawyer Mark Cheng and his engineer wife Putri Wijaya wanted their home in Pipit Road to be designed around classical music, while incorporating luxe and Scandinavian elements.

Also part-time piano teachers, the couple – both in their 20s – regularly host soirees for friends and family, so the design had to accommodate these requirements.

Except for the parquet staircase and balustrades, most of the 1,616 sq ft executive maisonette’s first level – including the walls, the floor and wall tiles, and the built-in cabinets – was hacked away.

For senior design consultant Kuay Mei Yee from local agency Distinct Identity, demolishing the partitioning walls set the stage for an open-concept interior where the foyer, dining, kitchen, living and piano areas are connected.

The foyer, which used to be part of the common corridor, became part of the flat when the previous owner bought it. The area is now a recreational corner where the couple can play foosball with friends.

Nearby is the integrated dining-kitchen space. “With the wall removed, the two areas are now one, with an island joining the dining table to form a long surface,” says Ms Kuay.

The two-tiered island’s upper tier is just the right height for preparing food or baking while standing. Bar stools allow it to be used as a bar counter, too.

The lower tier is designed for sit-down meals. A bank of sockets built into the vertical drop makes it convenient when the home owners want to have a hotpot meal or plug in their laptops and use the table as a work desk.

The different sections are distinguished by the decor, which ranges from modern to classical. The living room and dining-kitchen space have a modern style, while the piano room is more classical.


A cafe-like nook offers a view and a chance to chill or chat (left) and  classical touches in the master bedroom reinforce the overall design theme. PHOTOS: TAN WEI TEE

The latter is inspired by composer Chopin’s home in Poland, which the couple once visited. Surrounded by modern takes on classical details – such as a faux fireplace, wall beadings and a crystal chandelier – a grand piano takes centre stage. With a glass canopy, bar counter and stools by the window, plus pendant lights and plants, the balcony is perfect for enjoying a cup of tea and a piano recital.

The master bedroom on the second storey is an oasis of calm that continues the classical theme. The original master bathroom and adjacent common bathroom have also been combined into an en suite master bathroom to accommodate the couple’s request for a large, free-standing tub.

And they turned one bedroom into a music room with specialist acoustics, including walls and a ceiling filled with soundproofing material, a raised floor system and double doors. These features ensure the home owners are not disrupted by noise from the street and that they do not disturb their neighbours when making music.


The soundproofed music room allows the couple to make music in a purpose-built environment. PHOTO: TAN WEI TEE

The couple spent approximately $100,000 on the 12-week renovations, excluding furniture and furnishings. Having lived in it since September 2019, they also like how easy it is to maintain.

And they are looking forward to welcoming friends and family back once restrictions ease.

•This article first appeared in the June 2021 issue of Home & Decor, which is published by SPH Magazines.

•Get the August and latest issue of Home & Decor now at all newsstands or download the digital edition of Home & Decor from the App Store, Magzter or Google Play. Also, see more inspiring homes at the Home & Decor website.

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