Lived INN #1: Joanne and Fai


Meet Joanne and Fai, aka electronic duo Semut Semut, formerly of short-lived jingle-jangle quartet, Specific Islander. Part time musicians, fashion enthusiasts and experimental home cooks, the pair live in a comfortable resale 4-room together with bunnies Wilhelmina (as pictured) and Cecil (shoot was done before he was adopted). 

Having eyed their dream couch for a long time, they bought the cushy Ligne Roset ploum immediately after signing the sale deed to their ideal home by the Kallang River (aka big longkang), which eventually became the core centrepiece of the flat. A stucco textured application, specifically requested for, and subsequently added for the background feature wall to frame the prized sofa that sits perfectly in the middle of the living room.

Bathed in the cosy warm glow emanating from the hanging PH5, the window framed composition of the dining room is in immediate line of sight when one enters the apartment. Lined with an ensemble of plants, and thresholds between spaces decorated with the odd hand-sewn quilt, the comfortable atmosphere beckons the visitor into the home with its inviting magnetism. Adjacent to the cushy rattan papasan is yet another collected item – the extendable Conde House dining table – a common space-saving staple for the shared living/dining space, to accommodate 2 or more, when required.

Also as collectors of fine things, the apartment is a colourful eclectic mix of things that are handcrafted, designer and gifted.
As fashion enthusiasts, Jo and Fai required plenty of space to house their ever-growing collection of clothing and accessories. Making the decision to dedicate one room solely to such collection, the walk-in-wardrobe was smartly fashioned out of a reconfigured floor plan by connecting two separate rooms – via a mini hallway – into one. Adjoined to their master bedroom, the oversized wardrobe is plenty spacious. Furnished with a modular hanging system, wire baskets and the essential large mirror, the space also big enough to double as a yoga studio and HIIT gym for two.

From the varied tile selection and colour schemes, to neutral wood, whites and steel, the look transforms from room to room, each having their own different vibe for their respective function. The overall home design echoes a subtle measure of frivolity that was inspired by the aesthetic characteristics of the Memphis Group. It is in the master bathroom where it is further emphasised in a bolder, in-your face form. An apt reflection of their own personal style, the clashing colours of the two-toned composition is fun and playful with an eccentric edge. Floor sprinkled in grey terrazzo and cabinets covered with plastic-like laminate to give it a deliberate, dated 80’s look.

The artistic sensibility is slightly cheesy, definitely campy, and much like the couple’s disposition – sometimes things don’t always have to be taken too seriously.

The eccentricity of the space, appropriately expressed by the mismatched dining chairs and the humongous googly eyes of the fridge (who has yet to be named, actually).

On off days and weekends, Fai is usually in the kitchen, cookin’ up something good. Generally made up of minimal clean lines and unused appliances tucked neatly in the corner, with the exception of the chaotic (organised) mess of kitchen tools hung on the DIY wire mesh rig, working comfortably with the effective set-up, with everything conveniently within arm’s reach of the preparation area.

Though some spots may still seem unfinished, some bits left unpacked, stacked and unstowed, the couple have been taking their time to collect the right pieces, to slowly fill the gaps, living with little make shift solutions for the moment, however, still remarkably charming with its own personal touch that makes it feel, lived in.

Photos by Valerie Wang