Styling a Home with Geraldine Toh and Vincent Lim

Would you complete your living room walls with a cheery pop of yellow, or embellish your hallway with a large floral mural? That’s exactly what Geraldine Toh and her husband, Vincent Lim, have done in their first home. Their penchant for quirky accents doesn’t just stop there — they also have subway tiles, terrazzo backsplashes, wallpaper with a crane motif, a brick veneer, and many boho patterned rugs all over their home. Layered together, their home, popular on Instagram as “The Ochre Home”, is a rich medley of textures and patterns.

Armed with styling expertise, Geraldine believes “the character of homes doesn’t come about from renovation, but largely from the styling of furniture and furnishings.” We speak to her to learn her tips and tricks for styling a visually interesting, liveable home.

Geraldine and Vincent cosied up in bed with their Sheltie duo June and Luna. Image c/o Geraldine and Vincent.

A floral mural handpainted by Geraldine peeks through their bedroom door. Image c/o Geraldine and Vincent.

Geraldine, walk us through your home design process.

As with most homeowners, we were fervent Pinterest explorers. We saved images of homes and interior moods we liked when we started the brainstorming process two years ago. The images all gravitated towards a similar look — natural-looking bright spaces, dark wood, with accents of colours.

We actually didn’t know exactly what that interior style was until we were introduced to the term ‘mid-century modern’, which pretty much summed up most of what we looked for. The style deviated slightly in certain areas of the house — the kitchen and bathrooms took on a more industrial and eclectic vibe — which we thought was completely normal and part of any designing process. It’s now a mishmash of several influences.

Moving on from the mood board, we itemised the furniture and key furnishings for each space to ensure they were cohesive before committing to the purchase. We already had some art and photography pieces in mind that we wanted to have in the house prior to even getting our space, so we moulded the design and colour scheme around these art pieces. It was important to us that the home design would look timeless and embody elements that reflected us.

Spot the difference! The living room and bedroom have completely transformed. Image c/o Geraldine and Vincent.

The open space lets light fill every corner of the living area, including their signature ochre doorway. Image c/o Geraldine and Vincent.

We love how colourful and bright your home looks! Tell us about your signature yellow square in your entryway.

Thank you so much! As lovers of nature, we generally like a warm, earthy colour scheme of white, brown, orange, yellow, black, and anything in between. Since most of the house is white and brown, we wanted to use yellow as a pop of colour and to create visual focus. Having it at an angled wall by the main door creates a more interesting shape, and exudes an element of fun!

Using bright colours may be daunting — it may lose its novelty in the long run, or may not cohere with the rest of the space. We made it a point to include hints of yellow in other areas of the house through soft furnishings such as cushions, rugs, and other brass gold detailing, so that the use of yellow would look more intentional and the square wouldn’t look out of place.

We know you avoided excessive built-in fixtures. How do you think that has affected your space?

Having fewer built-in fixtures has made our home feel even more spacious! Even though we ended up getting more furniture pieces to make up for less storage, they were all individually unique, and didn’t look as imposing and rigid as conventional box-style built-ins. Do not underestimate the illusion of space that furniture elevated on legs can create as well, such as sideboards and benches, compared to built-in cabinets and settees that sit directly on the floor.

A mix and match of furniture pieces makes their space distinctive. Image c/o Geraldine and Vincent.

Geraldine and Vincent opted for more standalone pieces, like this shelving unit in their work room. Image c/o Geraldine and Vincent.

What are your final four takeaways you have for new homeowners?

  1. With so many interior trends and dos and don’ts out there nowadays, take each trend with a pinch of salt. Make decisions for your house even if they are unconventional, as long as they make sense to you — what you like doesn’t always need a name.
  2. The character of a home doesn’t come from renovation, but largely from the styling of furniture and furnishings. Dedicate time, effort, and money into your furnishings!
  3. Creating a home is an organic process. Don’t rush into buying excessive amounts of decorative items upon moving in because you want your home to look 100% immediately. Enjoy the process of collecting items, making memories, and making changes along the way to suit your new lifestyle, which makes the home a lot more authentic than simply picture perfect.
  4. Styling and organising go hand-in-hand — keep your clutter in check and you’re halfway there!

From the flooring to furnishings, every detail tells a unique story about Geraldine and Vincent's journey creating their home. Image c/o Geraldine and Vincent.

Follow Geraldine and Vincent's home design journey on Instagram.

Shop this feature

Olive Green Duvet in French Linen