Pretty Pink Peonies

January 21, 2012 § 28 Comments

When asked the question, “Where is home?”, both MM and I would often have to sit down and scratch our heads. You see, for the most part of our adulthood, we have lived in six different countries and have had fifteen different residential addresses combined. Our current apartment in Singapore is the one location that we have held for the longest length of time as a married couple, and it is perhaps the most memorable because we brought Miss Maple ‘home’ with us to this very place. 

We felt it was necessary to make this temporary abode as comfortable as possible for the duration of our stay so that we can thorougly enjoy our time with Miss Maple in Singapore. But, it has taken us a while to figure out what to do with the apartment. Much of our decor is a mish-mash of old treasures, new finds, and DIY projects in various stages of (dis)repair. If anything, I would call our ‘home’ a massive work-in-progress. And, so, it came as a surprise when a kind reader wrote in requesting for more photos of our apartment! 

Well, the timing couldn’t have been better. The Christmas ornaments have come down and the Chinese New Year decorations are now in their place. Our ‘eco-chic’ Christmas theme has made way for ‘pretty pink peonies’—a fitting motif representing Chinese New Year, which is also known as the “Spring Festival”. With our apartment all done up, Miss Maple eagerly awaits your visit to our living space. We hope you enjoy the tour!

"Welcome! Come on in, everybody!"

Our living room and balcony (aka Miss Maple's indoor playground).

A makeshift console by the front entrance to drop off loose change, mail, and handbags. Teak stools (Salvation Army); ceramic ware (Daiso).

The balcony offers an alternative space for morning breakfast or an afternoon nap. Teak foldable chair (Salvation Army); cushion (Daiso); antique side table (donated by the in-laws).

A comfy reading corner and one of Miss Maple's many sleeping spots. Teak bench (garage sale find); studio light photography lamp (Funan Centre); ceramic plate (donated by the in-laws); ceramic pot (donated by the in-laws); pink cushion cover (Tangs).

The huge coffee table serves as Miss Maple's "den" and a hideaway for all her toys. Coffee table (Barang Barang, which we later reupholstered); shaggy rug (Arab Street); rubber wood TV console (Johor Bahru).

The coffee table not only holds books and magazines, but collectibles as well. Japanese glassware (Hock Siong & Co); ceramic horse (donated by the in-laws).

This chest of drawers neatly stores away our electronic gadgets, CDs, toolbox, and other odds-and-ends. Chest and mirror (inherited from a previous tenant, which we later re-painted); antique gold vase (donated by the in-laws); Peranakan porcelain (donated by the in-laws); tassels (Salvation Army).

Centrepiece. Artificial pussy willow stems and peony flowers (Salvation Army); red "hóngbāo" (collected from various local banks).

To our family, friends, and readers who will be celebrating Chinese New Year over reunion dinners this weekend and feasting on goodies all throughout the week, we wish you a happy and healthy year of the dragon. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Disclaimer: HAPPY.BARK.DAYS is an independent entity and was not paid to write this review by any of the commercial enterprises mentioned in the article.

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§ 28 Responses to Pretty Pink Peonies

  • barb19 says:

    Thank you for the tour of your beautiful apartment, it looks so clean and fresh! Miss Maple has a few of her own selective hide-outs I see!

  • totomameee says:

    Your apartment is surprisingly ‘Oriental’!! I love that antique side table. I miss the CNY atmosphere and my mom will sure buy a bunch of pussy willow stems for CNY too! How I wish I can go back for CNY. I think I has’t celebrated CNY for at least 3years 😦

    GOng Xi Fa CAI!

    • It’s funny how all the pieces came together to create a kind of Asiatic theme. I guess we were inspired by our geographic location! I know how you feel about missing home during the holidays…it’s the same for me when Christmas rolls around. Nevertheless, I hope you and your hubby and TOto got to celebrate CNY in your own special way. 😀

  • catchatcaren says:

    your home is just exquisite!!! I had to read this post 3 times because at first I thought it was photo shopped or that it was magazine photos…OMG it is just stunning!!!! And you KNOW I adore Miss Maple and her exquisite coloring!

  • Fluffy Tufts says:

    Maple is so pretty! And your home is gorgeous!!

  • Bassas Blog says:

    You have a beautiful apartment. Wonderful photos!

  • It’s really kind of you to invite us into your home like this. Thank you!

    The peonies and pussy willows in the vase are so pretty. I would never have known they weren’t real! I’m also pretty amazed at how petite Ms Maple is – from the picture of her on the chair.

    Happy Chinese New Year to all of you. We had crackers go off a few hours back. It’s pretty big here in Sydney and there’ll be dragons and lions and parades in Chinatown 🙂

  • Jean B says:

    Beautiful home, lovely photos – but the most precious of all, of course, is Miss Maple.
    Happy Chinese New Year to you.

  • What beautiful space you have created. I love the open and uncluttered feel to it along with all the vibrant colors. Thanks for sharing with us!

  • Anna says:

    Wonderful space! I dare not ever show mine now… I find it really hard to make our places “homes” when they are not officially ours… aka when we rent. I guess I just can’t justify spending too much beyond necessities on a place that we will eventually move from. So I simply make due… though I tend to collect and don’t mind clutter too much lol. One goal this year is to get more organized. I have started with the kitchen shelves. Maybe you will see a before and after of them.

    • I know what you mean! It is hard trying to make a place (that is technically someone else’s) your ‘own’. I’ve been holding back for years from investing too much into a temporary home, but this time around we decided to splurge a little since we’ll be here for a while…

  • raisingdaisy says:

    What a beautiful place you have!! I absolutely love it. Every angle looks like it should be in a home decor magazine. I also love how organized and neat everything is. Just beautiful!

    PS~ That first photo of Miss Maple made me melt – she’s the cutest little girl!

  • I don’t think I ever knew….what brought you to Singapore?

  • pansy says:

    thank you =) your home is gorgeous and i’m dying to see if i can spot similar chairs to put by the entrance. i love the your theme of dark wood with the white walls.

    the view is absolutely gorgeous too. i live in singapore and it’s very very very difficult to find a place with greenery right outside your balcony. so beautiful

    ps looking for a bedframe is proven harder than expected!

    • Yes… The white walls and dark balcony doors wowed us when we first viewed this apartment, so we decided to carry it through with the rest of the furniture. As for our beds, well, I’m not totally in love with them and I wish I could change the frames (I agree, nice ones are hard to find). But, I might just have to hold off until we find a place of our own!

      Good luck on you homemaking project. And thanks for checking us out 😀

  • The first thing I noticed about your home is all the white light, which is something I not only love because I like a lot of light in my home, but also I think it makes for great photography. I also love the bright pops of fuschia. I also really like how you have the minimal thing going, I hate clutter! But the way you arranged everything makes it look so nice and open, with just enough beautiful accents so it looks minimal but still pleasing to the eye.

    I haven’t lived in as many countries as you, besides the states, Germany and Japan, but I find myself constantly having to get rid of furniture and buying new. When living in the states, I am spoiled by the big homes and yards that I’m so used to. But also, you have to have bigger furniture. When I moved to Germany, I lived in a small 2 bedroom home, but did not buy any furniture because what we had was too much. Then when we moved to Japan, we moved into an even smaller home, which by Japanese standard is a big house, but this time we only took 50% of our furniture. Even with 50% of our furniture, the furniture itself was too big. My dining room table literally almost took up the whole room, lol.

  • bonnie says:

    I’ve moved to about 6 different apartments in 3 different countries in the past 4 years, so at the back o my mind, I always try to not clog up the place because I remember how much fun I have packing my things into boxes or unpacking them aftewards. But as a girl, it’s impossible to not buy and accumulate random things I like off the streets. It doens’t help when I really belief in the philosophy that you only have once to live and so don’t treat yourself badly and buy and enjoy whatever you like so long as you can afford it. So yes, everytime I end up moving, I realize I have a lot of clutter.

  • kim and kip says:

    I love your how you’ve decorated your home!
    Did you have certain pieces in mind before you looked for them?
    It seems so hard to find furniture that you have in mind within your budget

    • Oh, how I wish I could say that the look of our apartment was ‘planned’, but in reality all the pieces were ‘found’ unexpectantly. Some pieces required alteration with the paint colour or modification in terms of furniture layout and arrangement. The hardest part about our next move is figuring out what we’d like to keep!

  • Novroz says:

    Ah yes,Singapore must be amazing in during Chinese new year celebration. here in Indonesia,only China Town (or something like that) are crowded. It was really fun to see.

    Maple should wear a red dress for the occasion 😉

  • zhing says:

    oh how cuttttteee!!! she is our dream dog! we were gonna buy a toy poodle in orange until we found muu waiting to be adopted! 🙂

    what a cute place! i love how, despite having a dog, you home is soooo neat! *runs away and hides at the sight of our dog nest* quite literally! 🙂

  • Kas says:

    I LOVE your home — what beautiful decorations!!!

  • 47 says:

    I am suddenly inspired to do the same thing to my house. Look out world!

  • nalasdogdays says:

    Fantastic decor, really love the way you’ve furnished your place! And love the cute little furball too 🙂

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