With lovely, leafy views and lots of space to browse, Bungalow 55’s new showroom at Dempsey Hill is an excellent place to spend a morning or afternoon. The items are all personally curated by owner Nina Beale, who also offers up her professional styling services to clients.
But, you dear reader can benefit from her decorating wisdom right here! These are her top tips for making any SG rental unit feel more like, well, home.
Given that Singapore’s condos and HDBs tend to be compact, sometimes every centimeter counts. “Small spaces require careful planning,” says Nina, who recommends you consider your lifestyle before you make any purchases. “If you entertain, I would suggest a round dining table and a traditional style sofa, rather than a sectional.” Why? Both are less bulky, yet allow for extra seating. Similarly, she advocates for versatile pieces like small upholstered stools or bar carts, which can repositioned as needed. If space is at a real premium, she suggests nesting tables on the side of the sofa or middle of the room, instead of a traditional coffee table.
“Items such as ceramic coasters, acrylic tissue boxes or mirrored trays are great ways to add a little luxury to everyday life,” notes Nina, who also suggests displaying coffee table books that express your personality. (Tip: Peruse through the eclectic collection of books available at Bungalow 55.)
One of the most frustrating things about living in a rental is that, if you paint or wallpaper your walls, there’s a good chance you’ll have to cover them when you leave. Better idea? Incorporate mirrors or eye-catching wall art. “I like a triptyque, or series of three mirrors, along a wall,” shares Nina. “Otherwise, I favour handpainted botanical prints in a series of three large or six smaller ones.”
Which larger pieces are worth the investment? “Lighting is make-orbreak in creating an atmosphere in the home,” she says. “I recommend investing in a pendant light over the dining table. It adds a touch of glamour in the evening, and divides an open-plan living-dining area.”
In SG, many homes have tile, marble or wood floors. So, it’s key to get some area rugs to soften the hard surfaces. “They bring texture to a room and help define an area,” explains Nina. Her best low-maintenance picks? “I favour patterned, indooroutdoor polypropylene rugs, which feel like cotton, for hallways or outdoor living spaces, and natural fibres such as jute and abaca for living rooms.”
For the lastest Bungalow 55 updates and sales, follow its Instagram page. To find its new brick-and-mortar store at Dempsey, look for the 8D entrance, then take the stairs to the top floor!
By Sara Lyle Bow, The Finder Issue 299
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