This Home Studio is an Elemental, Sentimental Space

Parable Studio breathes new life into an architectural gem that is now a jewellery designer’s atelier


Founder Emily Tan of fine jewellery atelier Calla Lily tells me that when customers come into her home studio, they find it hard to leave. It’s easy to understand why — located in a pre-war apartment block in the gentrified but ever charming Tiong Bahru enclave in Singapore, the space is as uplifting as it is cosy and comfortable.  

Singapore-based Parable Studio are behind the design, which is dominated by a bold textural palette. Terrazzo flooring, graphic floor tiles, plush sunset-pink carpeting, and timber and rattan screens are grounded by walls of forest green, accented with opulent light pendants and washed with natural light from a trio of skylights. The entrance itself on the first storey makes an impactful first impression, with a spatial tableau of original geometric-patterned gate, fluted glass doors, rattan transom window, gilded door handle and chandelier of glass baubles.  

‘Emily wanted a humane and inspiring jeweller’s home studio that relates to her patrons while optimising the original space. Her personality and creative persona also had to be communicated in an elegant way. We referenced her favourite colours, love for Art Deco and gem obsession through colours and detailing,’ shares Ken Yuktasevi, Parable Studio’s founder and creative director.    

The spacious interior had good bones, which had been masked with partitions and poor illumination. Yuktasevi opened up the interior such that it is now filled with light and provides a continuous view from entrance to rear. Architectural idiosyncrasies such as concrete breezeblocks, light wells and angled slit windows are retained and integrated into the new scheme, while mirrors and high-gloss ceilings reflect light, and ample plants create a bucolic ambience. 

The abundant natural light means that designing jewellery or inspecting gems can be done in any part of the space. Multifunctionality is enabled with moveable elements such as a curtain and the timber and rattan screen around the main office. The sequencing of space is carefully orchestrated to gently define zones and create an unintimidating experience; for example, double arches and a change in material shape a foyer where customers can take their time to remove shoes before entering the living room.

Everywhere, there are places to linger, look and touch: a jewellery gallery lining the corridor, brass tones in dialogue with expressive marble veins and original ornamental window grilles hung like artwork on the wall. Even the bathroom is memorable, with its fascinating composition of pattern and texture.

Designing jewellery involves meticulous attention to detail and a strong understanding of gemstones and how they combine to create a cohesive, inspiring piece of wearable art. The design of each space follows the same approach. ‘We feel that the elements we brought together in this project are not new in themselves. In fact, they’re inspired by the past. However, we used them to challenge a softer and bespoke approach to interior architecture as a highly thought-through art piece in itself,’ Yuktasevi affirms.  

Text / Jingmei Luo 
Images / Marcus Lim