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A modern contemporary home with emphasis on utilising natural light and allowing unblocked view.

A modern contemporary home with emphasis on utilising natural light and allowing unblocked view.

Latest interior design trends for a put-together home
By: Yip Wai Fong

AS the desire for wellness grows, people have looked to interior design for their homes to create a sanctuary where the occupants live better and happier.

“Interior design isn't just about aesthetics, it is about spatial choreography and space planning. Good designs are supposed to improve and elevate the quality of spaces, giving it better flow, functionality and purpose, and improving the lifestyle at every space,” shared interior design firm Nu Infinity co-founder Alex Lee.

With the passing of time, interior designers have conjured different styles showcasing innovation in spatial usages, cultural interpretation and in other many instances, the owner’s personality. For 2024, StarProperty spoke to Lee and IQI Concepts senior project designer Wong Joe Yeap to share their lists of top home design trends.

Modern contemporary

A modern contemporary home choreographs the interior space to allow for natural lighting and a view of the surrounding landscape. This emphasis gives every space an impression of the connection between the interior and exterior, blurring the boundaries between both spaces. In Lee’s The Annex project (main picture, above), the staircase design was kept light and transparent so that the structure does not block the view and the natural light, and still retains a look of grandeur with its use of dark wood, glass and metal.

Warm minimalism

Warm minimalism uses more textures and muted colors.

Warm minimalism uses more textures and muted colors.

A variation to traditional minimalism, Wong said that this style allows the home to exude a sense of warmth and homecoming through textures and muted colours.The designs are understated and almost always do not call attention to themselves, but instead allow for a sense of comfort and serenity as well as an inviting atmosphere.

Modern Mediterranean

Modern Mediterranean is highly trendy and brings out a feeling of youthfulness.

Modern Mediterranean is highly trendy and brings out a feeling of youthfulness.

Lee said this style is highly trendy, especially among new home owners and the young at heart. It uses textured paint, arches and curves to create a great impact in small homes. The colour palette of this concept toys around neutral and earthy tones that make it cosy and welcoming.

Modern colonial

Modern colonial results in a timeless sophisticated look.

Modern colonial results in a timeless sophisticated look.

Modern colonial interior design is a style that blends elements of colonial aesthetics with contemporary influences, resulting in a sophisticated look, Lee shared. This fusion of old-world charm and modern sensibilities creates interiors that feel both classic and up-to-date. To spice things up, carefully selected marble is placed at the heart of the home to create a spark of bold characteristics that reflects the home owners identity.

Dark Japandi

Dark Japandi is a reinterpretation of the Japandi style which brings out a sense of luxury.

Dark Japandi is a reinterpretation of the Japandi style which brings out a sense of luxury.

While the Japandi style is commonly known for its use of light oak wood and tone, Lee said the Dark Japandi is rapidly growing as the latest design trend. Retaining Japandi’s signature which is to balance the Japanese-inspired styles with Scandinavian elements, this design adds darker tones, wood grains and the slightly unconventional marble grain. However, the overall design is strongly geared for an organised and functional space and maintains many linear and symmetrical details. In Lee’s project Prestige (pic above), this new interpretation of Japandi gives off a sense of sophistication and quiet luxury, which contrasts a little with the harmony and simplicity of the traditional Japandi style.

Pet-friendly, natural light and energy-efficiency

A pet-friendly home includes designated spaces for pet activities.

A pet-friendly home includes designated spaces for pet activities.

Wong said that there has been an increase in homeowners requesting designs to accommodate for the comfort of their pets. This includes incorporating pet-friendly furniture, easy-to-clean materials, and designated spaces for pet activities. The design of space will take into account featuring builtin pet beds, feeding stations or nooks that accommodate the furry family members, ensuring they are seamlessly integrated into the overall design.

Going further, Wong also shared that in a home with a pet-friendly focus, the designer will have to ensure that the home remains stylish and functional for the owners while accommodating the needs and comfort of beloved pets.

The "skylight" feature is complemented by large windows to allow  the space to bask in natural light.

The "skylight" feature is complemented by large windows to allow the space to bask in natural light.

Another growing trend is for the home to have an opening at the ceiling or roof to allow the space to bask in natural sunlight. Calling it a skylight feature, Wong said installing it in utilitarian spaces like the laundry or wet kitchen creates an open and enjoyable atmosphere, as well as enhances visibility in the space through the infusion of natural light. It is often further complemented by the strategic placement of large windows, and glass folding doors.

Along with the request for infusing natural light, Wong also said that designers nowadays will often use LED lighting and solar panels, in accordance with homeowners’ growing awareness of energy efficiency. Through designs that optimise natural light and use energy-efficient features, Wong said the homes contribute to sustainability.

Pictures courtesy of Nu Infinity and IQI Concepts

Sidebar: Tips for trendy designs in small homes

While ample space accentuates the impact of a good design, good designs work for every type of space. Wong shared the following tips for homeowners with smaller units to spice up or promote a sense of openness with style.

Creating versatile spaces

Choose furniture that serves multiple functions, such as sofa beds, collapsible dining tables and nesting coffee tables. Opt for modular storage solutions that can be reconfigured to adapt to changing needs or have built-in furniture with hidden storage, under-bed storage and wall-mounted shelving, which combines functionality with aesthetics. The idea is to conceal clutter and preserve a clean and organised living space.

Use vertical design

Utilise vertical design elements such as tall shelves, hanging gardens and suspended lighting to maximise storage, functionality or create a centrepiece for attention. Wall-mounted shelves and cabinets can maximise storage without occupying valuable floor space while floor-to-ceiling windows allow natural light to flood the unit and promote spaciousness.

Sleek lighting trends

There are many ways lighting can be strategically used to enhance different areas and create a sense of openness, including the use of mirrors. Choose compact and visually lightweight light fixtures that provide ample illumination without overwhelming smaller rooms. Consider under-cabinet lighting to Illuminate surfaces and minimise shadows in kitchens or study areas or create depth and dimension by combining ambient, task and accent lighting.

Neutral colours and open plans

Stick to neutral colour palettes to visually expand the space and create a timeless and classic backdrop. Incorporating sleek finishes and minimal accents like patterns or texture to add character without overwhelming the space.

Most modern homes now incorporate an open plan design to create a more expansive and open ambience, making it particularly well-suited for smaller houses. Moreover, by giving an unobstructed view of the entire space, it makes the task of keeping a watchful eye on children easier for growing families.

For smaller homes, it is more imperative to incorporate smart design innovations to maximise space utilisation. Homes are not getting cheaper and will likely trend into smaller units but that does not mean forfeiting out on a better quality of life.

Interior design is about spatial choreography and space planning, said Lee.

Interior design is about spatial choreography and space planning, said Lee.


A pet-friendly home is becoming important for many, according to Wong.

A pet-friendly home is becoming important for many, according to Wong.


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