MINIMALIST PURSUITS //
Livin' The Simple And Sweet Life
Meet the Homeowner:
Occupation: Accredited Tax Advisor
Interests: Healthy living – “looking out for value-for-calories delicacies and carrying out value-for-effort exercises.”
Here’s a look at his minimalist home:
Type of property: 3-bedroom condo
Location: Pasir Ris, “where the sun rises in Singapore”
Renovation budget: About $38,000
Total space: 904 sqf
Years/months lived in: 1 year
Tell us more about yourself:
Hi! My name is Benny E. Chwee, an affectionate son, brother, and uncle to my loved ones. Professionally, I am an Accredited Tax Advisor specialising in International Tax Law. When I am not at work, I exercise as much as I can, so I can enjoy eating for pleasure. My friends are often intrigued by my passion for Tax Law. Like Albert Einstein, they feel that tax is the hardest thing to understand on earth.
I have practiced Tax Law for close to a decade. I am humbled to have a track record of devising and implementing tax strategies with favourable outcomes in Singapore and beyond.
What do you think about minimalism, and its growing influence on many people as design and lifestyle?
To me, minimalism is a way of life. It involves getting to know your life goals and taking active steps to achieving them through the removal of unnecessary things. As the world gets smaller with advancement in technology, it is not surprising that minimalism is gaining popularity, as it gives focus, clarity, and purpose amidst all life’s distractions. It is an ideal that I am actively pursuing to lead a wholesome life.
How do you think minimalism could help your career and your life?
Essentially, having less is more. For example, having less clutter in my living space means more quality time with loved ones, as time required for household chores would be reduced. Similarly, having less possessions reduces the need for decision making, thus freeing up energy for more important things in life. In fact, minimalism is liberating for me. It frees me from desires and removes anxieties that are impediments to success. Minimalism brings about positive energies for me to attain my life goals in an effective and efficient fashion.
What was your inspiration when you were setting up your home?
Muji! We were intrigued by how simplicity and practicality could marry together to create a
cosy and functional living environment.
What were some of the reasons you chose The Minimalist Society?
First and foremost, we share the same design philosophy, which is very well articulated in their tagline: Simple Adds Life! It’s a classic case of birds of the same feather flocking together. Secondly, we love Team Minimalist’s systematic approach towards the whole renovation process, from design conceptualisation to space planning to material selection to the actual renovation. Last but not the least, we were impressed by their passion for what they do, which is clearly exhibited in their projects.
Enumerate your favourite spaces and rooms at home, and kindly state what makes each of them special.
Our favourite spaces have to be the living room and the study room, as we have dedicated spaces for each of our favourite activity, e.g., dining area for social gatherings, darting and screening area for entertainment, and study area. With the use of a glass panel to separate the living and study room, the entire area where all the dedicated spaces looks spacious, not cluttered. Finally, the combination of wood and warm lightings has created a cosy feel for all. No one could bear to leave after our housewarming party.
Were there any challenges you encountered when you were setting up your home?
Yes, we did too much research and got carried away by the many designs out there. Team Minimalist Society was very professional in guiding us in the right direction. They were open to our suggestions when we shared ideas, and were not afraid to voice out opposing views for our sake.
What is/are your favourite furniture pieces inside your home?
Our favourite furniture has to be the platform bed. With this elevated platform, we wake up to a splendid view of the lagoon, the epitome of resort living. The storage spaces that come with it were bonuses for us.
What is/are your favourite decorative pieces/accents inside your home?
Our wooden musical boxes in various animal forms add a tinge of cheekiness in the study
room, which is otherwise solemn and boring. Without fail, they bring smiles to faces, and that is
exactly why they are our favourite pieces.
Where do you shop for furniture pieces and accessories within Singapore?
Initially, we went around the whole of Singapore (including the various wholesalers at Sungei Kadut and the various furniture stores in Millenia Walk and Tan Boon Liat Building) in search for the ideal pieces. Eventually, we got the major pieces like sofa and dining set from Muji. Where else to go to for a Muji-inspired minimalistic home, right?
What are the DIY projects that we can find inside your home?
None. Simple adds life, remember?
What are your favourite things to do around your home?
We enjoy hosting family and friends in our humble abode. You would agree with me that a home is but a house without memories with loved ones.
What makes your house special?
Our home is filled with character. The design, layout, furniture and decor reflect our personalities and philosophy in life. It is uniquely us, I would say.
How did the ID help make your dream home possible?
The Minimalist Society listens. Through listening, they understood us, our needs and wants. This made the entire renovation process a breeze. In addition, they worked with a team of dedicated and experienced carpenters and electricians. They were friendly and generous with their renovation and housekeeping tips. We knew we were in good hands.
How was the overall experience for the renovation process?
Any renovation tips for our readers?
Stay focused. Though it may be good to take references from others, what they did may not be suitable for you, given the unique layout and size of your apartment. Do not allow these “noises” to cloud your judgments. When in doubt, speak with your interior designers who would be well positioned to advise you.
Minimalist Pursuits is a lifestyle section that takes an intimate look at our homeowners who live their lives to the fullest by practicing a minimalist lifestyle and finding joy in their spaces.
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The Minimalist Society is a brand that focuses deeply on purpose and social good for our society at large. We do so by crafting experiences that makes people’s lives simple through interior design. We have been featured extensively by renowned online portals, in print and on screen, such as The Straits Times, Business Insider, Lianhe Zaobao, The Business Times, Singapore Home and Decor, Lookbox Living, Houzz, Cromly, Qanvast, Vulcan Post, Yahoo and MM2 Entertainment Singapore. At Team Minimalist, simplicity is a goal, a work style, and a measuring stick. By leading a life of purpose, our home owners can embrace only on the things that will add to the mission of significance and ultimately living their best story.