Right in the heart of Singapore, on Caldecott Hill, is a palatial Modernist bungalow—all sharp angles, sleek grey concrete and dark wood accents. Imposing as its size is, there is a warmth and a Zen serenity to the aKTa-architect-designed house, thanks to the Japanese garden on the rooftop— visible even from the street—as well as the rock arrangements and the Bonsai-like greenery lining the driveway. Though the city bustles on right outside, all is quiet here, buffered by an abundance of nature. This is where Fumi Lee, a personal stylist who is in her 50s, has chosen to make a home with her husband, two children and two dogs.
The striking but subtle visual impact of the façade carries through into the interiors—Lee’s aesthetic of choice is minimal but not austere, and elegant without being cold. A whimsical giant chilli sculpture by Kumari Nahappan that sits outside the front doors hints at what’s to come inside; almost every wall in the house is hung with a work of art and an impressive collection of Modernist furniture is sprinkled throughout.
“The first thing about this house that attracted me was that the structure is really simple but modern and beautiful. I like the outside to be simple so the inside can really shine. It’s the things you put inside that reflect the personalities of the people who live there. Everything here is a collection of the things I love, which is mostly modern Italian furniture and Japanese antiques from the Meiji era. Even with furniture, I’m drawn to things with simple shapes but very beautiful details; little details are very important to me,” says Lee.
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