MINIMALIST PURSUITS //
The Music Of Minimalism
Meet the Homeowner:
Genell Lee, 27
Occupation: Piano teacher
Take a peek at her minimalist home:
Type of property: 4-room
Renovation budget: $55,000
Total space: 94 sqm
There’s a sense of calm when you enter Genell’s 4-room Scandinavian home she shares with her husband. It must be what Genell’s piano students feel when they step inside the flat and see all the wondrous space and light around them. No misplaced furniture, no unnecessary fixtures—everything in this home has a purpose. In this interview, Genell tells us her experience of having a home-based piano studio and how it has helped her profession, and most of all, how a minimalist home has sparked joy within her and her husband.
Tell me more about yourself, and how minimalism has recently helped shape your career and life.
I recently opened a home-based piano studio, and it was one of the best decisions I made in my career. Shortly after our home renovation with The Minimalist Society, I began accepting students living around Punggol for piano lessons.
A minimalist environment has provided me with not only physical, but also mental space to engage in what I love doing, i.e., making music and teaching music.
As a musician, practicing on the piano is a daily affair. To maximise the benefits of each practice session, I have to free myself from distractions and be “in the zone”. The clean space that I have has given me the breathing space to focus and keep going when encountering tough passages.
It felt as if the environment worked for me. With the increasing number of new students, comes a greater need to be more organised. The lessons I learnt from furnishing my new minimalistic home gave me good training and habits in my administrative work. Over time, I found it easier to declutter and organise my thoughts. I found myself developing a second nature to have clear goals, think ahead, and keep things simple.
In my new home, it feels (as if) every day I wake up to a blank canvas, knowing that I can start the day new and afresh.
What do you think about minimalism, and its growing influence on many people as design and lifestyle?
Decluttering is like a detoxification process. Our mind is like our stomachs, it needs to detox to prevent toxins from accumulating.
What was your inspiration when you were setting up your home?
MUJI. I bought my first MUJI product when I was 16 and fell in love with it ever since. If my husband has to drop me off at a place, it has to be MUJI.
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Why did you choose The Minimalist Society?
Their portfolio corresponds to my ideal home design.
How did the ID help make your dream home possible?
They were efficient in managing the project. Ideas were also communicated clearly throughout, hence outcome was in line with my expectations.
Were there any challenges you encountered when you were setting up your home?
The use of space was pretty tricky. We wanted to keep many more things. Good thing we didn’t! they were actually unnecessary.
How was the overall experience for the renovation process?
It was good and smooth.
Enumerate your favourite spaces and rooms at home, and kindly state what makes each of them special.
Piano studio. It’s my workplace, and I spend more time in there than in my bedroom sleeping.
What is/are your favourite furniture pieces inside your home?
A mobile trolley desk which works as a laptop table/reading table/storage space/extended table when we have too many dishes for steamboat.
Where do you shop for furniture pieces and accessories within Singapore?
Ikea, Comfort Furniture, Star Living.
What is/are your favourite decorative pieces or accents inside your home?
The coffee machine corner. It has a welcoming effect to the house.
What are the DIY projects that we can find inside your home?
The cosy corner in the piano studio.
What are your favourite things to do around your home?
Cook and watch Netflix.
What makes your house special?
I guess it sparks joy.
Any renovation tips for our readers?
Do a mental walkthrough from the time you wake up till you go to bed. This will minimise missing out on the small details your new home needs (e.g. the need to place a power socket where your hair dryer is). They are small but important factors that can affect your daily routine.
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.