The Chic Home: raw beauty in an industrial-style terraced house

SINGAPORE – While some people change their decorating style every time they move house, others keep it the same for years.

The Chan family’s 3,000 square foot terraced house in Hougang – home to a family of five, a domestic help and a dog – has a similar industrial aesthetic to their previous residence.

The design was conceptualized by the lead designer of the interior design company Edge Interior, Mr. Alvin Chua. The $200,000 project took around three months and the owners moved into the premises in November 2020.

Mr. and Mrs. Chan – who are in their 70s and declined to state their full names and occupations – and their three adult children like to entertain, so Mr. Chua designed a large, open-concept space where friends could meet.

Since the brief also called for the car’s porch to be redesigned, he rebuilt the roof, installed a laminated wood ceiling and raised floor, and built seating for the owners to entertain their guests.

This space also provides a visual transition to the rest of the house, which has been filled with raw materials such as concrete screed, plywood and metal for a more industrial look.

Using a concrete screed to cover the walls and ceiling was one of the biggest challenges because “there had to be a continuous texture,” says Chua.

By painting the cable duct black instead of covering it, the design team introduced a graphic accent that stands out against the concrete. He also removed the false ceiling, allowing the new lofty height to make the space feel taller and airier.

Mr. Chua also introduced a peninsula island in the middle of the common area, since the owners of the house wanted a café concept. The team applied a layer of waterproofing to metal plates, followed by a layer of concrete to match the raw look of the interior. A wire mesh now covers the front of the island and LED lights accent the area.

Mr. Chua has taken care to incorporate design elements that bring warmth throughout the space. Just outside the dining room, a green wall and the plants above the island balance out the gray concrete. The team also covered a central column with red bricks for a splash of color.

The owners also went furniture shopping with Mr. Chua, who provided information on things like the projector and artwork. This resulted in an overall look that was a collaborative effort that went beyond just industrial-chic abode design.

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