S’pore couple turns 4-room HDB flat into cosy Kyoto-style apartment

Damn zen.

Nyi Nyi Thet | December 6, 2019 @ 03:17 pm


Singaporeans absolutely love Japan.

Kyoto is one of the top few destinations within the country — which Norman Choo and his wife are fans of.

The couple fell in love with the “Japanese culture” when they visited five years ago.

That love weighed heavily in their interior design decisions when they got their own flat in Strathmore.

Here’s their living room.

Image courtesy of Norman Choo
Image courtesy of Norman Choo

The renovation in total cost around S$70,000.

While they had their hearts set on the Kyoto-style decor, actually getting an interior designer that was on the same wavelength as them proved to be somewhat an issue.

The interior designer they approached was Sync Interior Pte Ltd.

The design concept and renovation was done up together with Sync Interior Pte Ltd.

Choo told Mothership it took months to find a designer that understood the meaning behind “Japanese cultures and features”.

But that was not all there was to the designing process.

The Choos had to conduct thorough research into conceptualising and curating the outcome, and eventually decided to style their house after the Edo period (1600-1868).

Image from Norman Choo

Specifically, art practices like the tea ceremony, poetry and calligraphy, and placing other traditional features like tatami mats and Japanese style alcoves.

The painstakingly-designed theme continues behind the curtain that separates the living room from the kitchen.

Image courtesy of Norman Choo

They even designed their very own zen garden.

Image courtesy of Norman Choo

The couple even conducts house tours for friends to help visitors better understand the “purpose, history and meaning to the many traditional Japanese elements and aesthetics” around their house.

Image courtesy of Norman Choo

Hopefully allowing the visitors to have a better understanding of Japanese culture when they visit Japan in the future on their own.

In a touch of irony though, the authenticity of the house has led to some being afraid to explore the place without the couple’s guidance due to the number of “traditional antiques on display”.

Also, the bed!

Image courtesy of Norman Choo


Images courtesy of Norman Choo


Content that keeps Mothership.sg going

This is where you can find FREE Instagrammable rooms.

We compare the colleagues you can’t stand to these animals.

Click here for an itinerary for first time solo travellers.

Have you ever felt like a boomer in your 20s?

About Nyi Nyi Thet

Thet likes to read.

Morning Commute

Interesting stories to discuss with your colleagues in office later