As a happily married couple in Singapore proud of your “East meets West” partnership, you may want your interior design to reflect your Singaporean/British relationship. After all, it’s how you are living your lives together. Sometimes dinner is fish and chips and other nights it is barbequed stingray, both popular street foods in their respective countries.
There’s nothing quite like walking down the street, hand in hand, to grab a bit of dinner from the local hawker centre before returning home to your rented flat. This is what you want to bring into your interior design in the home you are looking to buy. However, there are some things you need to consider before actually shopping around for your home. Why don’t we start there before looking at impressive ways to blend Eastern and Western décor?
A Few Preliminary Points to Consider Before Home Hunting
The one thing that many home buyers aren’t aware of is how an in principle approval from their bank can speed up the process immensely. You don’t always need to contact a bank, however, as there are sites like the Property Guru that will walk you through an IPA and will also put you in touch with major lenders in Singapore. An “in-principle approval” or IPA will tell you how much money you have to work with. Based on your current financial situation and your credit history, the lender will tell you what they are willing to lend on a mortgage loan. You will also be apprised of the terms of the loan which is good as well. If the monthly repayments are too steep to comfortably cover, you might want to consider a smaller loan.
With that said, there may also be restrictions on the kinds of residential properties you can buy as a non-native permanent resident of Singapore. While married couples with one Singaporean citizen have more opportunities open to them, there may be some kinds of landed properties you may not qualify for. In most cases, your Singaporean spouse would be the qualification, but that isn’t always a given. The best thing to do would be to contact the Singapore Land Authority to see if government approval is needed in your case. It very well may not be required, but you won’t know until you ask!
Now you know how much money you have to work with when putting an offer in for that apartment, condo, or private residential property you have your sights on. You also come armed with the legal requirements for permanent residents to buy property in Singapore, so the process can be much faster than you had anticipated. Now that you’ve chosen your home and are in the process of closing the deal, it really is time to begin planning your home décor!
1. A Delicately Lovely Chinoiserie Mural
These are styled after Chinese art and are typically hand-painted plum blossoms, which are one of the most popular flowers in the East. You have likely seen one or more chinoiseries in Asian restaurants you’ve eaten in. Sometimes referred to as hand-painted Chinese wallpaper, they are quite popular among the upper echelon of Asian society.
2. Neutral Tones With a Surprise Pop of Colour
Most Western homes tend to be painted in neutral colours. While there will always be those who thrive on busy décor with bold colours, that is not the norm. The same pretty much holds true in Asian décor as well. However, there is one colour that is quite popular in Chinese/Asian culture, and that would be red, which signifies happiness. With that in mind, consider a living room done in a variety of neutral shades except for that one pop of colour. Maybe you would consider a large, round coffee table with the top being a bright, shiny red. With that being the only bold colour in the room, it is sure to pop.
3. A Touch of the Opulent West
In a room panelled with wood and a simple tiled floor, you might want to incorporate opulent glass light fixtures and furniture detailed with buttons. These are not things you would commonly see in Singaporean décor, but in the West, they speak of affluence. Blending the simplicity of the East with the opulence of the West is the perfect juxtaposition of cultures.
4. Balance and Feng Shui
In the West, we call it “balance” but in the East, this balance of placement is known as “Feng Shui.” For those who are not familiar with this ancient Chinese system of spatial arrangements, it’s all about bringing particular energy into the room. It would be interesting to use a Feng Shui approach to combining Eastern and Western décor. What would the energy be in the meeting of two very diverse cultures?
With a bit of creativity and a lot of thought, you can create the perfect blend of the two cultures that are already working well together in a happy marriage. You’ve already proven that the two can coexist to form a unified whole, so let that be the place to start and your décor will simply be amazing.