Moving Past White Boxes to Modern Colourful Homes
You don’t need to live in a white box if you love colour; just have a look at some of these examples of how using colour can add life to Singapore home interior design schemes.
Designed by Fuse Concept, The Gale
1. Dreamy Pastels
Pastel colours are an ongoing trend in interior design and are a soothing way to add colour to your home. The trick with pastel colours is to ensure that they are not too ‘sweet’ and childlike, but have enough depth to remain elegant and adult.
Pink is always a popular colour, but make sure you use a ‘dirty pink’ ie. one with a touch of black to it, so that your rooms don’t look too much like a little girl’s bedroom. By adding additional pastels like soft blue, grey or yellow will also ensure the look remains stylish rather than cute.
This apartment in West Ridges was designed by the team at Mr Shopper Studio to combine classic Scandinavian design with cooling wintery pastel shades that are still stylish. The soft tones of pink, blue and a greenish grey sit perfectly with the pale timber furniture and floors.
Designed by Mr Shopper Studio, West Ridges
The colour of the timber you use in your home can be considered a colour too; pale shades that suit the Scandinavian style work very well with pastel shades. By including the colour of the timber details of floors and built-ins, you can keep the overall look more streamlined, adding just one more pastel shade and white as a balance to the interior scheme.
The honey blonde pastel tones of the wood used in this 676B Yishun Ring Road apartment (above) by Lemonfridge Studio acts as an additional colour against white and pale blue, for example, creating a soothing palette for the eye.
Designed by Lemonfridge Studio, 676B Yishun Ring Road
Pastel tones are also useful if you want to balance out a brighter colour in a room. By cutting a stronger colour with white you can create a tone-on-tone scheme that layers the various strengths of a single colour for more interest.
In this Bukit Timah resale condo redesigned by Black N White Haus Interior, the designers mixed pastel blue with a variety of other blue shades to create a richly textured space for a relaxing living space. Again, white and pale timber was used to balance out the colour in the room.
Designed by Black N White Haus Interior, Bukit Timah Resale Condo
Acid pastel colours are shades that are a whitened version of an acid or neon colour; these are pastels that are soft but retain a touch more brightness than traditional pastel shades.
While these colours are slightly stronger than the more traditional pastel tones, they can be used for great effect in minimalist or Scandinavian style homes. To balance out the acid pastel colours you can use soft grey, white and pale timber.
The design team from Chapter B combined Scandinavian pale timber with fun acid pastel shades to create the perfect bright space for the family who own this Sumang Walk apartment.
Designed by Chapter B, 217D Sumang Walk
2. Fun Colours
One of the most popular interior design trends, Mid-Century Modern is often thought to be just timber and white, but in fact, colour was used to define the geometric lines and shapes of the style. The easiest way is to go for dashes of primary colours like red, blue, yellow and green.
This is a fun style to choose if you really do love colour, and it’s not for the faint-hearted. Again, ensuring that everyone is equally in love with the concept is important; this is not a colour concept that sits in the background of a room.
This Institution Hill apartment by Create makes the most of graphic shapes by using different primary colours for the kitchen cupboards, combined with a fun red couch.
Designed by Create, 15 Institution Hill
Another way to add strong colour to an interior space is to use it in conjunction with lots of white. This way the bright shades are balanced by the more neutral white. Pale timber or a soft grey can also be used to even out the more eye-catching colours. And if you want a more striking design, feel free to add in black as well.
This modern minimalist apartment at AMK BLK 590 that was designed by MMJ Design Loft uses a crisp, glossy white to balance out flashes of yellow and pink, accessorised by more fun colour details.
Designed by MMJ Design Loft, AMK Blk 590
When it comes to adding colour to your home, one of the easiest ways is to choose one room to go crazy with a fun shade. The idea is to keep the strong colour statement to one space and to emphasise the colour.
Bathrooms, bedrooms or kitchens - the smaller spaces in apartments - are good places to try this concept. You can also choose to make a major single colour statement by using it in your entryway area as a style statement.
Since strong colours can sometimes be hard to live with, using them in a frequently used room like the living space could be too much for some people. It’s also hard to get everyone who uses the space to agree to a major statement single colour scheme.
In the case of this HDB apartment in The Gale by Fuse, the bathroom is an explosion of a stunning shade of turquoise.
Designed by Fuse Concept, The Gale
3. Bold and Daring
If you really want to make a strong colour statement, you must really love colour. This style is probably not the best option if you are looking to resell quickly or need to accommodate lots of people’s preferences.
One way to add bold colours is to go for a single feature wall in a strong shade, and then accessories with soft furnishings in the same colourways. This way has the benefit of being easy to change should you get tired of the shade, and is also much easier to fix if you are planning on selling your apartment.
For this Penaga apartment, the design team from Neu Konceptz layered up various tones of bold fuschia with warm wood tones and more muted greys for a highly textured living space. Adding a bright splash of orange on the chair adds to the mix in a bright eye-catching way.
Designed by Neu Konceptz, Penaga
Again, it is a good idea to restrain the colour blocking with touches of white, or other neutral tones as the designers did in this bold primary colour kitchen.
The owners of this Telok Blangah apartment directed the team from MMJ Design Loft to be bold and daring with the use of primary colours, for an eye-catching result.
Designed by MMJ Design Loft, Telok Blangah
If you have a specific strong colour you love, you can mix it with classic black and white to create features throughout your home. Sticking to one strong colour contrasted by the more neutral tones of black, white or grey, creates interest and impact without being too overwhelming to the eye.
The strong use of black and red gives this Aalto condo apartment designed by Fuse a very daring and defined personality. Adding a few touches of soft grey in the form of the rug and curtains helps to ensure the room doesn't become too dark.
Designed by Fuse Concept, Aalto
4. Calming Blues
Blue is known to be one of the more relaxing colours, linked as it is to shades of the sky, sea and water. Blue is also a more traditional, or classic, colour range and can be teamed with other popular interior design shades to create a comfortable home.
Most often blue is used as a base colour that is contrasted with white for a nautical feel, but this can also feel dated. Instead, look for tone-on-tone blues to combine them with white or add pastel colours for a modern look.
This Senja Road apartment has been decorated in tone-on-tone shades of blue by the team at Design 4 Space. The home used white walls and a flecked stone floor to create a bright space; a strong blue is used as a statement detail combined with warm timber and a denim blue sofa.
Designed by Design 4 Space, Senja Road
As blue is a traditional home interior colour it looks great with more classic design styles and furniture; it’s also great with darker timber features.
In this Onan Road apartment the classical interior style is given a calm lift with the addition of various shades of blue from dark to light. The design team from The Interior Lab chose traditional trims and furniture styles to create a timeless interior design.
Designed by The Interior Lab, Onan Road
5. Dark and Moody
One of the more interesting recent trends in interior design is the rise in dark and moody colours. Dark colours have traditionally been connected to glamorous, grown-up spaces like hotels and luxury bars or clubs.
Now, these colours are moving into homes to help create indulgent, luxurious spaces for home entertainment or luxe relaxing.
To create a glamorous home, or one that reminds you of a 6-star hotel, this apartment in Level 66 by the design team at 0932, uses muted dark grey and black-grey timber to creates an elegant and luxurious feel.
The floor-to-ceiling windows allow in an enormous amount of light, ensuring that the rooms do not become too dark. The sheer white curtains mute the edges of the room too, creating a feeling of floating in the clouds.
Designed by 0932, Level 66
Decorating with a dark theme doesn’t always have to mean using lots of black in your interior design theme. This glamorous apartment at Mackenzie 88 uses a range of deep greys and browns to create a soothing, elegant space.
The design team at Summerhaus D'Zign have added layers of textures to create interest and touches of bling for a dramatic feel.
To balance out the darker tones, lighter versions of the same colours have been added to ensure the space doesn’t become too gloomy. It is important to add a variety of textures to darker spaces to give the eye something to look at.
Designed by Summerhaus D'zign, Mackenzie 88
Darker tones can be soothing too. Graduated shades of the same colour, from darkest to lightest, can be combined to create a smooth transition from space to space.
The dark floor covering and furniture in this Martin 38 studio apartment combines with muted concrete grey finishes creating a minimalist but calming space. The white kitchen graduates through to a grey wall and then to a black painting, but the darker floors hold the scheme together.
Designed by 0932, Martin 88
The design team from 0932 continued the darkly soothing theme into the sleeping area of the studio apartment; touches of lighter grey are balanced with dark mirrors to create the illusion of more space.
This is a great example of how to use darker shades to delineate the various spaces; the private and more intimate spaces are darker, and the more public spaces like the kitchen and living are brighter.
Designed by 0932, Martin 38
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