By Hong Xinying
12 April 2021
Built on its beautiful bones, this tasteful Good Class Bungalow is a charming exhibit for the couple’s terraced art and antique collections.
“It was totally by chance we stumbled upon this place – it was almost like a house was calling us,” said Elyn Wong. The founder of local women’s clothing label Stolen was immediately captivated by Good Class Bungalow in Bukit Timah, since her first visit with her husband, who is a doctor. “My husband used to pass by it every day on his way to work,” she said. “From the outside, you couldn’t see much of this house at all, which really piqued his curiosity and he decided to check it out.”
As well as the expansive lawn and views of lush green, this historic residence features many beautiful details such as intricate ironwork and arched corridors. It also had a sentimental appeal – to her husband, it reminded him of fond childhood memories of his grandparents’ home. Quips Wong: “And that immediately closed the deal for us; I guess we’re both romantically hopeless. “
The newlyweds face the tough task of moving into their new home and furnishing it in the midst of their wedding preparations last August; they kept making both efforts confidently. They work quickly, taking three months to select their favorite item from a collection of vintage furniture and antiques, while incorporating contemporary pieces to keep the overall look fresh and relevant.
The couple wanted to maximize the view of their lush garden, so they directed their furniture to face the soothing scenery. “We were surrounded by a lot of greenery, so we chose to have lots of warm wood furniture to complement it,” said Wong. “With lots of mirrors, we also try to attract more of the nature around us into our homes.”
Describing the aesthetic of his décor as “a juxtaposition between East and West, modern and ancient,” Wong clearly likes to incorporate cross-cultural influences that span centuries. It differs from the sleek look of its design to Steal; a game of contrast that fashion entrepreneurs love.
“For Stolen, I made a very contemporary piece with a clean silhouette and the brand felt aesthetically progressive,” said Wong. “But on the other hand, most of my life has been spent shopping for used goods, which I have been doing every week with my dad since I was six years old. I grew up loving old things and I’m still obsessed with them; and now my husband also clearly inherited that obsession from me. “
Wong’s husband requested a cigar room on the ground floor where he could enjoy a drink with his friends, but left most of the decorating decisions to him. “He’d rather enjoy the end result than make every little decision, and I have a pretty clear idea of what I want,” he shared. “Luckily we’re pretty aligned when it comes to aesthetics, so no big surprises!”
Prominent items in the pair’s collection include grandfather clocks obtained at auction in Germany as well as an antique cabinet filled with silver tableware and various antiques; the latter has sentimental value for the pair. Every item in the cabinet, be it a jade legacy with centuries of history or even the fragments of the Berlin Wall that Wong’s friends in Germany gave him, has a story to tell. “Every item here is irreplaceable. Maybe not all of them are very expensive, but all of them are valuable to us. “
The living room on the second floor is one of Wong’s favorite spots. This intimate space overlooks its lawn and has a display cabinet featuring vases and pottery collected over the years. “I love the expanse of wood in this area and how it blends the floor, walls and ceiling into infinitely warm lines,” he said. “As you walk from the first floor, you can see the outdoor greenery beautifully framed by wood. I am obsessed with this scene, especially when it rains; I can sit here and enjoy it all day long. “
As you walk from the first floor, you can see the outdoor greenery beautifully framed by wood. I am obsessed with this scene, especially when it rains; I can sit here and enjoy it all day long
– Elyn Wong, home owner and founder of women’s clothing label Stolen
The botanical plants grown from This Humid House complement the stylish interior of this couple. Wong often orders dining tables and specialty items from a local florist, who also makes custom arrangements for his bouquets and wedding decorations; It is not surprising to hear that the couple chose their handsome residence as the venue for their wedding celebration. “Either in my working capacity for Stolen or in my own private space, I love botanical settings that celebrate a sense of wildness,” he says. “So being able to find someone who has the same aesthetic to make all of my bouquets is pure joy.”
Even with an already impressive tablo in their home, the home-proud couple still feels that it’s a work in progress. “I feel like no house should stay the same for too long,” said Wong. “We travel, we change and we grow; our homes must reflect the different stages of our lives. It is the kind of space where we can see ourselves growing old. “
We travel, we change and we grow; our homes must reflect the different stages of our lives. It is the kind of space where we can see ourselves growing old
– Elyn Wong
This story was first published in the April issue of Tatler Homes Singapore; the problem is available with our compliments on Magzter until 31 May 2021.