When Vivienne Shen bought a shophouse in Singapore in 2020, she shared her renovation journey via her Instagram account, @thehomeodyssey. With almost 13,000 followers, Vivienne has been featured in many publications including Harper's Bazaar Singapore.
She recently added our Lagos Bed and Organic Natural Latex Mattress to her home so we caught up with her to find out more about her renovation, design inspiration and what inspires her purchasing decisions.
Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and how @thehomeodyssey came to be?
My name is Vivienne Shen. My full time job is an energy trader and I run @thehomeodyssey on the side, an Instagram account to record my interior design journey as an amateur. I started @thehomeodyssey in 2018, after I self designed and decorated my first apartment and wanted to share my journey with more people. In 2020, my husband and I bought a shophouse, a heritage type of property in Singapore. We did a total makeover of the house to transform it from a dark themed house into a holiday vibe oasis, while keeping the original charm of the old house. The design and renovation journey was shared on @thehomeodyssey and it seems that many people found it interesting!
Your home has been featured in the likes of Harper's Bazaar Singapore, how long have you been in your home and what are some of your favourite things about it?
We moved into the shophouse in late 2020 after spending five months renovating it in the middle of the pandemic. My favourite part of the house, besides the open space and the high ceiling, is that it has a courtyard in the middle of the house, where we created a Mediterranean style garden with a wish fountain, lush monstera and two palm trees. The indoor garden brings a breezy and relaxing vibe to the living and dining space of the house. It also reminds us of our fondest memories of past trips to Italy, including one where we had our wedding and honeymoon.
What influences your interior style?
My taste in interiors has evolved a lot over the years. My eyes were constantly educated by the places I travelled to, the cultures I was immersed in, the materials I touched and the people I found inspiring. I'm always intrigued by a space that displays a variety of aesthetic eras and textures. Therefore I have collected antique and vintage furniture and decorative pieces from various cultures and eras, from Han dynasty pots from China to a 13th Century French chair. My house is a melting pot of influences.
I was first attracted by Totem Road's simple and elegant design.
The furniture embraces the charm of natural material, it is raw yet refined. The designs are also versatile enough to fit with any interior style.
I was then impressed by Totem Road's philosophy and efforts in achieving sustainability. I'd be very happy to see more brands being conscious about their footprint and making products that can be used and loved beyond a single lifetime.
I was very impressed that all packaging of the bed and the mattress was done with fully recyclable and biodegradable material. The delivery, assembly and removal were all done very efficiently and professionally.
We design with longevity in mind, what are your biggest considerations when adding a new piece of furniture to your home?
When I add a new piece of furniture to my home I want to be able to keep that piece for a long time, to pass to the next generation even. Not only because it's a great waste changing furniture whenever we move homes, but I also love the fact that a lot of our quality furniture will carry a specific memory in our lives.