Today, a trip to IKEA has brought more clarity to my future home, a 2-room 45 sqm HDB flat that I can’t wait to get my hands on. Friends repeatedly hear me bemoan the too-ripe an age of 35 before singles could get a BTO in Singapore. Upon getting approval for the BTO, one still has to wait for 2–5 years before getting the keys to the personal abode. Imagine that, a single person will most likely be able to taste independence at an average age of 38 years old, assuming they don’t rent or buy a condo.
Lament aside, today I dream up my desired house again and describe it to my friends as we walk through the aisle of IKEA.
A home that I could call my own.
A home that I could imprint with the personality of me.
A home that I could finally gain full autonomy over.
IKEA, being a Swedish company, has furniture that is more Scandinavian inspired. A minimalist movement influencing the aesthetic sense of many people. Everything looks clean-cut and IKEA-ish. Nothing too bold, nothing too crazy to tantalise and stretch the definition of what a definition of a home could be.
But let me share with you the dream of my crazy home.
I have been grappling with the idea of minimalism as well. Maybe something sparse at home could inculcate me to be more zen-like. Maybe, perhaps. A thought that I loop through in my mind. Clean lines. Maybe it clears the clutter in my mind and my life.
I guess perspectives of life evolve as we grow and gain knowledge over ourselves. Very much, minimalism seems to be just a toy in my head that I quickly abandoned as a bored child. I want my home to shout ME. I want visitors to be enthralled by the nooks and crannies of my home. And to ask me about the awkward piece of Linux penguin sticking out like a sore thumb among my other collection.
The living room
Imagine this, as you first step into my home, you feel like an invitation to play. You see that the living room is painted a burgundy red, just enough red to make it not seems like a brothel.
Is this Asian, or is this Boho, you think to yourself? Is she going for passion, or is she a firm believer of red being an auspicious colour.
You transform from a cubicle warrior to an explorer with the most intense array of items in the living room.
What’s that corkboard full of cryptic notes? And the postcards that hang haphazardly on the twine. Is that a poster of a snail cat, whatever that monstrosity might be? It looks kind of cute actually, once you look at it for a while. Shelves of ornaments that boast of the cultural touches of different countries. Classy, she must be well-travelled, you thought to yourself. Or maybe she just shops online quite a lot. You look at the wooden sculpture of what seems to be a demi-god riding a mystical creature. And I will recount about the time I spend in Bali. And do you know I met with a motorcycle accident and ended up getting 14 stitches?
Your eyes focus in on seemingly the only comfort furniture in the living room.
“A sofa bed”, I say. “It’s mainly to host guests who will like to stayover. A coffee table and lots of cushions should make my guests comfortable most of the time. We could play games or simply talk through the night with a beer or coffee, guests’ choice of course. My guests could even sleep on the rug if that suits you better. There are enough cushions to make one comfy.”
You are still trying to wrap your head around the intense collections and a running water fountain. A faint smell of citrus aroma hinted ever so slightly from the scented candle house in glass lanterns. You walked behind a Chinese screen and are immediately greeted with a room, demarcated from the living room with purple walls. On the wall-mounted wooden shelves are small pots of green plants. Fluorescent light is installed onto the ceiling, giving a more serious tone as compared to the warmer industrial pendant lamp in the living room.
“Why a platform in this small space?” you may ask.
“It’s a symbolic move to get into the zone physically. It helps me to focus and symbolises stepping up to what I want to achieve each day. How are you liking my house so far?”, I inquire, almost as if your opinion might matter.
Make no mistake, it doesn’t hurt me even if you mention that my home is the craziest, over the tone, tacky and cluttered home ever.
Because this home is what I wanted. It’s a home that I work my adulthood towards.
We quickly grab a handful of nuts and seaweed from the kitchen. At least the kitchen takes after a modern outlook. Black countertop with golden handles and sink. A gold rim around the countertop accent the blackness of the kitchen. A fully functional kitchen with a good size fridge and a full-size oven. There are even a coffee grinder and coffee machine on the counter. An open wall mounted shelves showcase the various pots, pans, plates and bowls. A few wine glass hanging beneath the shelves.
At this point in time, I will be showing you my composting bin, brimming with the source of life. “These worms produce great compost for the edible plants I have along the corridor.”
You get it, I’m the vegetarian and leaning towards organic girl. Maybe a health freak. A food weighing scale to monitor my food intake or for the occasional baking.
The bathroom greets you with a full-on back to nature style. The wallpaper is of light tonal background with pictures of parrot spreading across it. A bathtub with a few scented candles along sitting on the side panel of it. An almost full-length mirror covers the wall on the side that the bathtub is flushed against. It might be a bit of an overkill, but you are guessing, some people definitely like looking at themselves. To each his/her own. There are some wick baskets for laundry just outside the bathroom. A small vanity with the pipes artfully hidden behind the cabinet.
At this point in time, you are wondering if I’m just sleeping on the floor since you don’t spot any other room. I lead you to my industrial bookshelves in the living room, fully equipped with a sliding ladder. In the middle of it, is a huge painting with 70’s art poster vibe.
But strangely enough, you see me pushing against the poster only to reveal a room behind it. Yes, and that’s my bedroom. A place where I could retreat to. A greyish tinge decorated the wall. As if it is dusk. The main item here is a low platform queen size bed The bed, stores item beneath it. So many hiding places, you think to yourself.
Over at the bed, headboard read, there is a painting of whale in a golden frame. Just enough colours for it to pop from the wall. A simple freestanding modernised ancient Chinese inspired cupboard is placed beside the bed unobtrusively.
At the end of your visit, you realise, you are not just being invited to my house. Indeed, you are given a sneak peek of the various chapters of my life through this physical manifestation, also known as my home.