The Monocot Studio

The Monocot Studio takes joyous pride carefully curated aesthetics improvised across its numerous projects. Regardless of scale or program, consistency of style is best framed in the identity of MONOCOT – characterised as a typology of botany species which has floral petals that bloom in multiple of threes. The Studio believes in design not as an unexplainable abstract, but as an aesthetic inspiration derived from the consistency of natural order, proportion and practicality, practiced in the craving of intimate spaces to love and live in.

The Monocot Studio

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Q&A with Mikael Teh, The Monocot Studio: Making good design makes me happy

Q&A with Mikael Teh, The Monocot Studio: Making good design makes me happy

Word has it you’ve juggled 40 projects at a go before, making you incredibly prolific. Just how do you do it?  I am extremely lucky to have my dream job. Making good design just makes me happy, as does the ability to apply things that I have learnt throughout my travels into my own projects. The beauty of my job is also that all I need is a laptop and I literally can work anywhere and wherever I go. I get excited whenever I start working on a new project. Even till now, my brain will start thinking and designing before the potential client appoints us. You’ve said before that you favour the use of plywood in your projects. What is it about the material that keeps you reaching for it constantly?  I really love the utilitarian nature of it. Its imperfection too — every piece is different and unique, giving it character. It feels like it has more soul as compared to other materials. To us, plywood is almost like natural timber and stone, but at a fraction of…

The Monocot Studio renovates a small apartment in Mackenzie 88 to be multi-functional

The Monocot Studio renovates a small apartment in Mackenzie 88 to be multi-functional

OCTOBER SPECIAL | Small apartment interior design series, story 1 of 3 There is something outrageous about paying a high six-figure sum for an apartment and then needing to do an extreme makeover for it. This was the challenging situation the owner of this apartment in Mackenzie 88, near Little India, found himself in. Compounding it was its size of only 44sqm, that meant an abundance of creativity was required to figure out a solution to suit his lifestyle. Fortunately, he found a willing ally in The Monocot Studio, which has no shortage of small condo design ideas.  The keyword in the brief was multi-functional. As a full-time, home-based tutor, the owner not only has students come over during the day, but has aspirations to be a yoga instructor eventually too. The one-bedroom-plus-study unit also had to have pockets of spaces for him to relax and unwind, while also preparing for the tuition sessions he offers.  “Being trained as an architect, I focus very much on the spatial experience and how to enhance it,” explains Mikael Teh, Principal of Monocot,…

Plywood forms the design foundation of this HDB flat in Telok Blangah Heights by The Monocot Studio

Plywood forms the design foundation of this HDB flat in Telok Blangah Heights by The Monocot Studio

When The Monocot Studio did not immediately respond to their email about renovating their home, the owners of a HDB flat in Telok Blangah Heights personally went down to their office to look them up. So keen were they on Monocot’s style that they even signed off on the first proposed design.  “It never happens,” says Kim Han, who worked on the project with Mikael Teh, Principal of the firm.  “They basically came to us and told us to design ‘something Monocot’,” adds Teh.  This is precisely what has been done. Favouring the generous use of plywood accented by stainless steel and pops of colour, the studio’s direction is a creative combination of these elements. All have been used in the four-room, 81sqm apartment, lived in by a couple who are also art collectors.  Had the previous owners visited, they would not have recognised their former home. At Teh’s suggestion, the apartment was almost completely overhauled, save for the flooring in the living room and bedrooms. Two of the bedrooms were combined into one to create the master suite, while…