Tickled pink

Open the door to a home that is both enchanting and unique in its colour choices and mix of styles.

Pink-and-green isn’t a common colour pairing in clothing, let alone a home’s interiors. Such hues would grace the inside of a hip yogurt shop, not a place of residence – yet this refreshing palette graces this apartment of industrial designer Dennis Han, who chose these unconventional shades for the five-room BTO HDB flat he shares with his wife, Carol. Many people assume that pink was her choice, but it’s actually all Dennis’ doing.

He proclaims: “Who says men can’t like pink?”

This rosy shade may be viewed as a feminine colour, but in Victorian and Edwardian times, boys were actually dressed in pink while girls wore blue! It is the perfect springtime colour to lift a room, and unexpectedly works well with the sombre shade of turquoise (“some of our friends call it vintage blackboard!”) that grounds the frothy shade. Dennis chose to clad the entire dining wall in pink mosaic rather than paint it, to add dimension.

“I associate words such as ‘holiday’ and ‘happiness’ with dining, and this pink says it all,” he offers. Carol left most of the design in his good hands and trusted his choices. “I had eight years of design research and ideas stored up, and knew exactly where to get what I wanted,” he says.

Fresh & fearless

Because red is complementary to green (they lie opposite each other) on the colour wheel, and pink is a tint of red, the combination of pink and green works to create a strong colour contrast. Dennis uses turquoise curtains and a path of artificial turf by the windows to visually connect the turquoise living space with the pink dining room. Unexpected shots of lemon yellow and tomato red in the lighting and furniture add to the energy in the space. There is a certain magic and charm in his juxtapositions of not just colours, but styles and materials: think rubber lampshades, angular powder-coated metal, blonde wood and blown glass.

The Alice in Wonderland-esque colours continue in the master bedroom with the same dark turquoise walls, and an addition of an acid-green wall facing the bed. But because most of this wall is dominated by the built-in wardrobe, the bright shade does not overpower. Dennis chose plenty of blonde wood furnishings here (the custom-made bed, wardrobe doors, side table and lamps) as they match the green palette.

Making it lovely

The homeowner’s touch is evident throughout the home in not just the interior design but also the artwork, customised furniture and quirky terrariums. He lives and breathes design, and is known in the design world as Daniel Loves Objects (the name of his design firm). He fashions lighting fixtures and furniture that are highly interactive and conceptual, such as a 1.8m-tall lamp with a gilded, articulated mannequin for the stand. These remain as concepts {meaning they have not been commercially produced). He is also the artist behind most of the posters in the home, using the rabbit motif in different ways. His sense of playfulness is apparent in the terrariums he makes, where figurines of King Kong and Tin Tin share the glassy confines with mossy plants.

Dennis cites French brothers and design duo Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec as his design heroes and inspiration. Like them, he believes in pushing the envelope. Pairing frou-frou pink with staid green certainly does that – and the result is complex and beguiling.