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Decorating tips: How to add a splash of colour to your home

Jane and Rupert Glascow had their work cut out for them when they bought their apartment in Serangoon four years ago. After knocking down walls and re-shaping the space, they turned to Lois Lam, a designer at The Shophouse, to breathe new life into the interior. In a transformation of pale pastels into hot pinks, Lois turned the space on its head. Here’s what he did.

The Shophouse (After) 

1. The ottoman, the main focus of the living area, was reupholstered in shocking pink and turquoise by Designers Guild. The votives on the ottoman each cost $18.

The Shophouse (After) 

2. The pink and blue footstools, once badly damaged by the two family cats, have been reupholstered in a rich Designers Guild stripe. The legs were also stained darker to match the new sofa and existing furniture. The cats have since had to find a new place to sharpen their claws.

The Shophouse (After) 

3. This is the smaller of the two sofas, whose pale pink fabric had become faded after years of use. Lois re-upholstered it in a neutral shade of micro-suede that coordinates well with the stripes on the ottoman. The accent cushions draw on the colours and motifs used on the other furniture.

4. The larger sofa was custom-designed in a plush aubergine chenille and the seats made especially deep so that Jane can tuck up her feet. The scroll design at the back of the sofa is a nice detail that adds subtle elegance. The sofa cost $3,060. The cushions are covered in Designers Guild fabrics, which match the footstools and the turquoise stripe on the ottoman.  Accent cushions in Designers Guild fabrics and The Shophouse silks (including inners) range from $53 to $137. The heavy brown banister on the central staircase was removed to create a modern look. The dark brown steps have been whitewashed to coordinate with the pale wood of the floor.

The Shophouse (After) 

5. The living room’s high ceiling posed a problem when it came to changing light bulbs. Jane stumbled across the idea of using a metal lighting rail at The Shophouse store in Gillman Village, and asked her contractor to install something similar. It adds a touch of industrial chic to the room, and the lights are now low enough to be reached from a stepladder.
 

The Shophouse (After)6. A feature wall in a shade of passion fruit completes the injection of colour into the living space. Porters Paint, which Lois gets from Australia, has a unique textured effect that works well in the Glascows’ loft-style apartment. It’s more expensive than traditional flat paints, but looks great. “Prior to the refurbishment, our children would wander off to their respective bedrooms in the evening. Now they join us in the living room instead,” says Jane.

The Shophouse (After) 

7. The dining chairs have each received a custom-designed white cover with tie-backs. The dining room looks much brighter and the covers are easy to slip on and off for washing. The turquoise accessories create a nice link between the living and the dining room spaces.

The Shophouse (After) 

8. Now that Jane’s wingback chair has been reupholstered in a hot pink silk that she bought from the Tabitha Fair, it pops against the backdrop of black wallpaper. It also ties in nicely with the living room colours.

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