Project: Sweet Time – A Taipei Home
Interior Design: A Lentil Design
Location: Minsheng Community, Songshan District, Taiwan
Square meters: 82.6
Age of the house: 50 years
Photographer: Blake Wang
Materials: Oak veneers, painted wooden boards, pine set boards, painted black iron, painted perforated plates, environmentally friendly ICI paint, ultra-wear-resistant wooden floors, formaldehyde (minimal use)
Text an photos provided by A Lentil Design
The Minsheng Community, characterized by its greenery, gentle breezes, singing birds, and leisurely pace of life, were the reasons why the male and female owners of this house decided to start their family here. The house features an attractive pink ceiling decorated by its previous owner, and decorations that remain avant-garde looking despite them being designed over two decades ago. However, because the house has a low ceiling, strong colors imbue the house with a sense of stress. Therefore, the designer had a discussion with the owners to identify their preferences and needs before transforming the 45-year-old house into a fresh and refreshing space.
Originally, the house contained two bedrooms, two living rooms, and a bathroom. Because the owners wished to improve the functionalities of the existing space, the designer divided the bathroom into two bathrooms and converted the master bedroom dressing room into a space for the owners’ daughter. The number of bedrooms, living rooms, and bathrooms thus becomes three, two, and two, respectively. Because the owners are also firm believers of feng shui, the designer consulted a feng shui master when designing the Taipei home, who suggested that a screen be in place in front of the front door to create a smooth, s-shaped “flow” and to avoid people standing by the front door to see the back door. The designer then designed a space that incorporated the feng shui master’s suggestions and the owners’ needs.
The barn doors on the two sides of the living room accentuate the overall space. The female owner wanted a barn cabinet where she can store miscellaneous things. Therefore, the designer spent a great deal of effort to find barn cabinet materials that matched her preferred color. To prevent dark colors from making the space look “overly heavy,” light-colored veneer was utilized as the covers of the barn doors, evoking a sense of freshness, elegance, and character. The overall space is lightly colored. However, to prevent it from being monotonous, an indigo sofa and various objects were introduced to add a sense of variety.
The study room and kitchen are where the family spends most of its time: It is common to see the father cooking in the kitchen, the mother sitting by the kitchen table reading a book or using her cellphone, and the daughter drawing in the study room waiting for her meals. Everyone has their own favorite spots and can see and be with each other at all times. The father enjoys preparing meals in the kitchen for visiting relatives and friends. The installation of a glass window allows him to see and interact with his family, creating a sense of company when he is alone in the kitchen.
This family often travels abroad, and all of them have their ideas about how to decorate spaces. The male owner spends a lot of time in boutique hotels and is attentive to detail; the female owner loves to collect home design information and manages the overall atmosphere of the house; and the daughter is an artistic aficionado who designs all the paintings found in the house. Therefore, the family often communicates their ideas with the designer on site, challenging the designer’s ability to improvise and satisfy the clients’ preferences while maintaining the overall balance.
Every weekend, the family’s relatives and friends gather at the Taipei home. The grownups have relaxing conversations while sipping red wine, whereas the children watch cartoons in the living room or play hide and seek. The children sometimes close the study room glass door, offering them their own little space. The public space is the core that ties the family together. After seeing the transformation, the owners cannot wait to invite their friends and relatives to come over. “Everyone loves this warm and relaxing space, which has become a regular gathering place for our friends and relatives,” said the owners. This is also the reason why they usually stay home.