House tour: A sophisticated home inspired by varying shades of black

When a shadow is cast, you will see varying shades of black. The darkest part of the shadow is called umbra, whereas the lighter, greyer area is known as the penumbra. This play on light and darkness is central to this apartment designed by Kelvin Lim of Atelier Here. He started with the main element, black walls, before softening it with layers of off-black and grey marble, tiles, and soft furnishings. “I also alternated between dark and bright areas; when lighting is designed this way, it can visually stretch the space and help signify different zones,” he shares.

The home belongs to 30-something professionals Mr and Mrs Yuen, who requested a large communal space that they could eat, work, and entertain in. As a result, the space formerly occupied by a bedroom is now the living room. Black feature shelves, which conceal the television with a folding screen, separate the communal and private spaces of the home. “We wanted a contemporary design that is more serious and subdued, made up of furniture in simple forms, wood flooring, and touches of marble,” says Mrs Yuen.