A Modern Tropical House in Singapore by a Filipino Architect

Design consultant Michael Cu Fua builds a spacious home to help a family move on and start anew

Photography: Bai Jiwen Design Consultant: Ong & Ong - Michael Cu Fua

When you say goodbye to a loved one, building a brand new house just may be the last thing on your mind. However, creating a cozy and comfortable home can actually keep you busy and productive, provide you with a fresh start, and even bring your relatives closer together! 

To help this Singapore-based family heal from the painful loss of their father, design consultant Michael Cu Fua of Ong & Ong turned their ancestral house into a modern tropical home. He built an L-shaped property so that every room will have a picturesque view of the swimming pool in the backyard.


How can you drive by this modern tropical home without slowing down? The impressive style of the facade captures the attention of friends and strangers alike.


In line with the modern tropical theme of the home, the house has sleek lines and natural materials. The strong appeal of the structure is complemented by the use of wood, brick, and stone.

Concrete Steps

The concrete steps lead to the garden surrounding the family home. Wood-and-glass sliding doors offer a peek into the house, giving one an idea of what to expect inside.

Miniature Pond

A fish pond invites prosperity into the home! This water feature can also soothe anyone in and outside the house. 

Wooden Niches

The other side of the house is lined with lighted wooden niches. These niches offer a unique way to display precious jars.

Swimming Pool

Michael created an L-shaped house so that the family can cherish the calming view of the swimming pool from every room!

Wooden Chairs

These wooden chairs help create the perfect spot for taking a nap or getting a tan.

Breakfast Nook

Near the wooden chairs is an outdoor dining area that serves as an ideal breakfast nook. The round dining table is surrounded with four dining chairs, making it ideal for the small family.


The airy and open hallway could belong in a modern tropical resort on a remote island. The white walls are paired with wooden screen doors and a row of house plants

Living and Dining Areas

For a spacious feel, there are no walls and partitions in the living and dining areas. The living area is furnished with an L-shaped sectional sofa and a brown coffee table resting on a printed rug. 

Living Area

Facing the sofa is a flat-screen TV on a wooden console table. Above it is a colorful painting on a plain white wall.

On the other side is a pair of identical wooden chairs with intricate carvings and hand-painted details.

Dining Area

The vivid yellow wall is a welcome addition to the predominantly white space. The bold hue instantly brightens up the area and adds to the tropical feel of the house.

Horse Painting

A horse painting adorns the white wall in the dining area. Beneath the painting is a wooden chair and side table. 


The hallway that leads to the bedrooms is filled with warm neutrals and flourishing house plants.

Master Bedroom

Michael used wood from the family's old home to create a unique headboard in the master bedroom. This recycled wooden headboard reminds the homeowner of the house that she grew up in.

Master Bedroom

Michael explains that he lifted up the roof and chose clear glass above the windows to let sunlight into the second floor of the house.

The master bedroom is completed with an Eames lounge chair and ottoman. On the other side is a wooden divider with colored glass


The bathroom is another area that seems to be inspired by a modern tropical resort. The highlights of the space include the wooden screen window, pristine bath tub, and the white open shelf adorned with plants.

Home Office

Most home offices have a row or even a wall of wall-mounted shelves. In this particular space, the shelves are arranged in a different way for an unexpected look. 

If you want to use a lot of wood in your own home, you should also consider using a similar shade for every room. For example, the rich shade of the wooden shelves matches the wood used in other parts of the house.

Swimming Pool at Night

When the sun sets, the swimming pool in the backyard looks even more beautiful! Pool lights make the mosaic tiles beneath the water stand out. 

Swimming Pool at Night

With all of the lights on in the two-storey family home, one cannot help but admire the structure of the house. From this vantage point, one can see the raised roof of the second floor of the modern tropical family home.


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