A Modern Minimalist Home With Warm Touches and Dynamic Spaces

Beautiful wooden finishes and creative space planning maximize the narrow area of this stunning modern home in Singapore

Photography: courtesy Ming Architects on Houzz

A home adapts to the changing needs of its dwellers. This rings true for a growing family, such as the one living in this corner terrace home in Bukit Timah, a residential estate in Singapore.

The family enlisted the help of Ming Architects to redesign their 632sqm house. Aside from bedrooms for each family member, the owners also wanted the house to be warm, open, and cozy enough for entertaining and gatherings.

“It is a contemporary house with a focus on practicality. There is a balance between public and private spaces, as well as the ‘wow’ spaces and the utilitarian areas,” says Cher Ming Tan, the firm’s principal architect.


Warm, timber elements punctuate the house’s sleek, white contemporary facade featuring chamfered wall details. The architecture defines the design language of this home—simple yet sophisticated.

Living area

To maximize the house’s long and narrow plot, the designer kept the interior spaces open and flowing. “The interior is a visual layering of spaces,” says Tan. This means that spaces flow into each other. Users move through these spaces freely, devoid of corridors. When the folding doors are fully tucked away, the boundaries between each space and activity disappear.

Going for a minimalist color palette also reinforces the fluidity of the spaces, according to Tan. In the living area, deep grays complement the warm wood tones and marbled textures. The TV is recessed into a silver back-painted satin glass wall, to maintain a clean and sleek look. (Get a similar long, sectional sofa from Roche Bobois.)


Flanked by the swimming pool (seen slightly at left) and the koi pond, the double-height courtyard is “a fulcrum of the house, introduced to break the monotony of space in this linear house,” Tan says. The solid Burmese teak timber flooring and ceiling not only enhance the warm ambience, but also draw the eye forward, creating an impression of a larger space.

Full-height glass doors also bathe the key living areas with generous daylight, and impart a sense of openness and continuity with the outdoor swimming pool. The “Melt” pendant lights by British designer Tom Dixon (you can find these locally at Mos Design at Bonifacio High Street), with their slightly warped spherical shape and metallic finish, create a dramatic effect when lit.

Dining and Kitchen

The wife, who likes to cook and bake, requested from the designers to create a large, dry kitchen. The design team fulfilled her wish and more by delivering a space that is bright and streamlined, as well as fitted with ample storage. White Carrara marble not only dominates the flooring and countertop, but also makes a striking statement on the backsplash. “We were looking for a strong book-matched pattern as a focal point for the kitchen. We tried a few variations with different book-matched patterns and settled on this one as it looked the most visually arresting,” says Tan.

Stairwell and Koi pond

The three-storey-high steel staircase cantilevers over the koi pond below it and is set against a feature wall composed of black river pebbles. “We initially tested out a three-storey-high green wall, but didn’t push through because of technical and cost constraints,” shares Tan. In the end, the pebble wall proved to be a better choice as a focal point.

Outdoor lounge

Being on higher ground, the corner house enjoys unobstructed views of the surrounding greenery in Bukit Timah. The design team took advantage of this feature and extended the entertaining areas beyond the ground level to the roof terrace. Comfy outdoor lounge areas sit on solid timber decking, while the well-equipped outdoor kitchen and bar area features black Shanxi granite.

This article by Verlaine Marquez originally appeared on Houzz.

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