House tour: From cluttered to modern and practical, this apartment has its fresh start!

It helps when the client happens to be a friend who trusts you to design her home. “My friend left most of the design choices to me. That gave me plenty of room, literally, to play around with ideas. She co-owns the flat with her brother and sister-in-law, and the three wanted a modern space that suits their lifestyle – they enjoy having guests over and love entertaining,” says creative director Melvin Tan, a Singaporean who’s been running his own interior design agency, Hello Embryo, based in Jakarta, for the past five years.

The result is an easy, relaxing style – renovated and furnished for RM255,000 – that’s designed to let in as much natural light as possible. “It’s a top floor unit, so it makes sense to create a bright, airy interior filled with dashes of green,” says Melvin.

A formerly dim and cluttered abode gets a new lease on life with a breezy interior.