The pandemic has changed the way we live, whether it’s in our work or our personal lives. Our homes are a reflection of this; the way we use them, and the way they work for us, has changed. We take a look at five interior styling and design home projects taken on by Arete Culture that have been led by the lifestyle changes brought on by COVID, and how they’ve used home design to turned them into stunning spaces. Once you’ve viewed these stunning projects check out their fab reader offer at the end of the article too!
Interior styling and design case studies
Project: The Interlace
Services: Interior styling and design, renovation and build
This was a bedroom and dining makeover done for returning clients for an expat couple with no children. Arete Culture had previously completed a home styling makeover of their entryway and living room around eight months prior. With the Circuit Breaker in place, the couple realised they didn’t have enough space for the both of them to work from home. They wanted to create functional but multi-purpose work areas.
Their dining room was redesigned to optimise the space, allowing them to work, unwind or entertain from home. A new bar counter was incorporated, retaining the existing bar seating; aslo, banquet seating was added using the existing bay window area, and a new dining table completed the look.
Since the couple couldn’t travel, they wanted to redo their master bedroom to feel like a resort so they could properly unwind. The doors of the wardrobes were replaced, and the team designed a multi-functional vanity and work area for the wife. This extension matched the wardrobe treatment for a seamless, built-in effect.
“In the space of three years we have partnered with Caroline and the Arete Culture team twice. I cannot think of anyone else we trust as much to help deliver a fine balance of styling, finesse, and comfort. It has been an amazing exploration into the world of home styling; everything in the house feels as if we did it on our own.
That is the sheer magic of working with Caroline and her team. They care enough to listen, expertly assess what we want versus need, open our minds to what the existing space has to offer, educate us on the pros and cons of each option, and patiently navigate the journey with us. From the get go, it is gold-standard project management, ownership, and transparency.”
Project: The Interlace penthouse
Services: Interior styling and design
The client has a global work role and previously travelled frequently. She and her family had been living in this unit for about eight years. After the 2020 lockdown, she decided she wanted help with creating a home that her family could relax and feel safe in.
They had a lot of existing pieces of sentimental value, and an extensive art collection. The home felt dark and heavy before because most of their pieces were bulky teak wood and antiques. There was also a lot of underutilised space.
Arete Culture managed to recycle 90 percent of the client’s furniture and accessories; they reframed almost all of their art, refurbishing their heavy wooden pieces and reupholstering tired textiles.
On top of incorporating most of their old pieces, the team also introduced new items. Because the floor plan was reconfigured, Arete Culture was able to optimise the spatial flow and make the home feel much larger than it did before.
Additional seating options were created in the living room, which was what the client wanted; importantly, this give them additional storage to boot. Some newer more modern pieces helped offset the client’s traditional pieces of furniture. The team used a mix of marble, glass and reflective surfaces to visually lighten the rooms. They also consulted on some minor renovation work — feature walls with wallpaper plus wainscotting and false ceilings for recessed lighting.
“Arete Culture and its rockstar team of Caroline and Insha deserve no less than a five-star review for helping me design and style my home. We engaged them in the unprecedented year of 2020 as I took a career break to focus on my home and interiors.
We are avid readers, so book reading and poetry sessions with large groups in the living room is part of our lifestyle. My partner and I also wanted to bring nature into the living zones and keep the area modern and in tune with the fantastic views of our balcony. Finally, we did not just want to chuck all old and buy new furniture, or change our art as much as other home renovations since it is not eco-friendly, sustainable or even budget-friendly.
Caroline read this well from the start and transformed these perceived limits into advantages. She refurbished a number of my classic items and most importantly turned our house into a beautiful home. I can’t thank and recommend Arete Culture enough and now know why they are one of the top styling firms of Singapore or indeed Southeast Asia.”
Project: Chelsea Gardens
Services: Interior styling
Loving how convenient it is to travel and visit family from Singapore, this couple decided to retire here. They’d been renting for a long time but decided to purchase their own retirement property. Since they weren’t travelling because of the pandemic, they decided to spend time and effort creating a new home for themselves.
Initially visiting the Arete Culture showroom looking for a mirror, they enlisted the company’s styling help when they found out more about the services they offer. Arete Culture came in to create the cosy but contemporary home the clients were looking for by styling a bright, light, and functional space.
The wainscotting was carried out by the previous contractor, but the team advised on lighting selection and positioning, and chose the window and wall treatments, with the furniture and accessories also from Arete Culture.
“What a wonderful experience; the end result was more than we could have ever expected! Our plan to have everything light and white needed some special touches to make our home more inviting and less austere. The new look provides a relaxed feeling and is perfectly balanced with the soft furnishings and furniture recommended.
Laura was fantastic. She provided options without us feeling pressured and fortunately helped guide us when we couldn’t make a decision. We truly appreciate your dedication Laura and Caroline.”
Project: Cape Royale
Services: Magical Homes package with additional consultancy and décor
This involved interior styling for a couple and their toddler. The couple realised they would be spending more time at home due to travel restrictions; they wanted a more serene and less stressful environment, so they moved to a rental unit in Sentosa.
Arete Culture helped to design their new home for a seamless indoor/outdoor flow. The team also built a selection of bespoke furniture pieces for the client as they wanted a tailored fit for the home.
The dining and living room layouts were reconfigured so the unit would feel bigger. Arete also advised on wall treatments and pulled the colour palette from the coastal view.
The home was child-proofed, with rounded pieces used wherever possible and breakables kept out of arm’s reach.
“Jeanette and Caroline are an amazing team. With very minimal effort on our part, they captured the vision we had for our home beautifully, and helped us build our dream home in Sentosa. Their style is tasteful, elegant and timeless; we’re so happy we decided to use their Magical Homes service. We would highly recommend them, especially to renters who are looking to transform their home!”
Project: Eastwood Green
Services: renovation, build, interior styling and design
A past interior styling client had been in touch to redo the second floor of his penthouse unit. A few factors motivated the project, including a leak in the rooftop that necessitated repair. The client, who used to travel a lot for work, could no longer travel during the pandemic, and found that his home office was not conducive to working in for long stretches as it was too dark.
This room had to be a guest room for visiting grandparents, a home office for the client, and an entertainment room for the kids. It was previously an open-concept room, so the team set to work, zoning the space by building the dividing wall. This immediately made way for a more comfortable guest room.
Since the space is multi-functional, they opted for a neutral colour palette. Since they were working with limited space, floor-to-ceiling built-in storage was also incorporated. Arete Culture also chose all the wall, floor and window treatments, and carried out the home styling and design of the space.
The newly redone space was christened with a birthday staycation for the kids, where they got to invite their friends to stay the night in their ‘hotel-at-home’.
“This was our second time working with the incredible team at Arete Culture; we were so impressed the first time, we went for it again! This project mandate was to recreate a space in the loft area of our two-storey penthouse apartment, and the task was to rebuild the space. The results were way beyond expectations – it has reinvigorated our home. The team at Arete Culture were world class, and we felt safe, confident, and well looked after the entire time – all in the middle of a global pandemic! I unreservedly recommend the team for any project; you’ll never be disappointed!”
Arete Culture has an exclusive reader offer, valid from now till 31 June 2021. Enjoy a complimentary gift of décor worth $850 when you engage Arete Culture to help you with your home. Valid for Magical Homes, interior styling, and design and renovation build projects only.
For more interior home styling and design advice and inspiration check out these stunning home projects.