House tour: A home combining a Japanese izakaya and ryokan

“Almost everything” in this home is bought or made in Japan,” says Melvin Yap. His home might be located in a typical high-rise building, but step inside and you’re instantly transported to a traditional inn in Japan.

Eric Chua of Sync Interior gave the cookie-cutter apartment a radical makeover, with a look inspired by traditional Japanese interiors that’s based on the homeowner’s love of Japanese culture and style.

Besides making structural alterations to open up the home, the designer created customised built-in structures and furniture to bring out the theme. Light oak tones, platforms, and shoji paper screens are some of the distinctive elements he included. Also, as the Japanese aesthetic is grounded on simple, functional beauty, the home’s overall design minimises the use of conventional furniture, or having defined spaces and fixed-purpose rooms.

Melvyn’s drinking corner in the living area, where he frequently entertains friends, is his favourite part of the home. It features a customised table with a retractable system that allows it to blend into the platform. His love for sake is exhibited here too.