The central point of A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf is that every woman needs a space to call her own, and in this modern era, many now not only have their own rooms, but also their own homes. In this three-part series, three women share how they created abodes that reflect their personalities.
Jo Soh, deputy director of the Industry Development Office at DesignSingapore Council, has been living in her three-room HDB flat for the past six years. Her home is “very much” a reflection of her personality and interests, which is industrial-meets- vintage-kitsch.
But that doesn’t mean practicality is out of the equation. In fact, it is exactly because it is also a primary consideration that she has an industrial kitchen “direct from Geylang”. And all the walls are painted white so that the place can always go back to being a blank canvas, and every piece of furniture in the house was brought in only when she was sure of its usefulness.
“The approach I had when it came to living here wasn’t to buy everything at one go and move in. Instead, it was to live with what I had first, before deciding on the pieces to buy as I discovered my usage of the space,” explains Jo, who’s in her 40s.
“The fundamental pieces are kept as neutral as possible, but because I love kitsch items, which are usually colourful, there are also pops of colour everywhere,” she says.
The design philosophy of her living space? It was simply to be a place that is a safe haven and that lifts her mood.
“When I first moved in, the windows were tinted, which I understand was practical because it helped to keep the heat out, but this also gave a heavy effect. I introduced as much natural light as possible because I wanted to go for a lit-up, lifting effect. The visitors to my home say it best: It is cosy and fun, but also has a lot of joy in it because of the vintage pieces I collect,” she shares.