Apartment envy: How to ‘cosi-fy’ your home

What makes a living space look like more than just an expensively-designed condo showroom? Kiwha Lee Blocman of THE FLAT, a furniture concept store in Balestier, has some tips

Unique furniture pieces and home styling ideas
Unique furniture pieces and home styling ideas
16 Sep 2015

Unique furniture pieces and home styling ideas

Walking into The Flat is like being invited to the home of your very stylish, very well-travelled pal, who has that special ability of taking things that at first glance shouldn’t be friends (like a Moroccan rug and a rattan chair) and making it all work in a way that’s cosy, chic and full of character.

Kiwha Lee Blocman (above), a Korean married to a French investment banker, is that pal with the magic touch. The owner of The Flat, which opened last April, calls herself an artist-designer who is sensitive to trends and has a knack for collecting things with artisanal quality, and her adorably-chic two-storey shophouse space is testament to that. 

The little touches
The little touches
16 Sep 2015

The little touches

Indonesian teakwood furniture pieces hang out with antique Dutch tables, while her own art pieces take pride of place on the walls next to decorative collectibles from Europe and the US.

“These are things I believe are ‘collect-worthy’. Building a collection for your home that is artistic is not for the elite. I don’t bring in things to make a quick buck. It’s about rare, artisanal, interior things that we live with and collect,” says Kiwha, who’s trained in fine art, visual communication, and space and industrial design. 

Treasures and collectibles everywhere
Treasures and collectibles everywhere
16 Sep 2015

Treasures and collectibles everywhere

An antique grille ornate mirror (the grilles are sourced by Kiwha and made into mirrored art pieces) costs $725 — not a terribly large price tag for an original and unique decorative item, while a leather stool is about $275.

And if you’ve got the cash but not the ‘eye’, Kiwha offers interior styling services to the tune of $175 per hour for a customised styling session, or one hour of free styling consultation with every $1,750 spent.

Styling tips
Styling tips
16 Sep 2015

Styling tips

LIGHTEN THE MOOD
If you’re renovating, forget lights that are overly built-in. They’re often too bright, costly and excessive, and their effect can be stale and unreflective of your lifestyle, in the hands of contractors who don’t know you well. Instead, add a floor lamp and some surface lamps for mood, subtleness and the personality that only lamps can create. You’ll also be able to rearrange pieces when you feel like it.

RUG UP
It’s surprising how many people in Singapore are missing out on the benefits of having a rug, thinking that they’re unhygienic or hard to maintain. A good quality rug is a never-fail addition to a room and a way to instantly turn a space into a home, as it adds warmth, colour, pattern and texture. Besides the living room, the bedroom is an excellent place to place a rug under the bed. Your bare feet in the morning will thank you for it. As for cleaning, spot cleans or home steaming can be done relatively easily now with certain vacuum cleaners.

THROW IT
A throw draped over a sofa, chair or bench makes for a relaxed vibe that will instantly make you look forward to curling up and relaxing after a long day. After all, that’s what a home is!
 

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