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Bella Koh aka @Catslavery Spills Her Interior Design Secrets

You know - and love - Bella Koh's Instagram feed for its clean, crisp and bright interior shots. So what happens when she makes plans to move to a new home? The design whiz and member of the Female Collective gives us a few hints of what her new space will look like and what you should - and shouldn't do - when designing your own pad.

bella koh catslavery

Bella Koh has a beautiful home. You see it all the time on her Instagram feed, whether it’s the marble-topped kitchen counter featuring the photogenic meals she whips up, or the wooden dining table she often takes stylish outfit snaps at.

So when we spotted renovation works happening on her Instagram Stories, our curiosity was instantly piqued. Two burning questions surfaced: Why was Koh moving out, and what would her new place look like?

Last month, I started googling on why kids prefer to jump rather than walk after I observed Alessandra jumping more than she is walking. Quite interestingly, a child who loves to jump uses their six sense of vestibular and proprioceptive systems. Upon further googling, I discovered that she is a sensory seeker who craves or seeks certain sensory input. Sensory input can come through touch, sight, hearing, taste, smell or through movements. While vestibular input has to do with balance and movement of the inner ear. So movement that involves the head in many different positions is considered vestibular. Proprioception is sensory input from the large muscle groups (legs and arms) and the spine. Which explains why she craves that heavy work, deep muscle, head tilting movement. And climbing and jumping gives them the input they crave. Recently, she has been practicing on the bed doing a sort of standing board jump motion. Sweeping arms to back before jumping with both legs, aiming to land on the pillow seated. With the kind of sensory activities she requires, I really can’t be more thankful for this trampoline right in the garden of our new home! No wonder she adores this activity most! #slowlife #slowliving #toddleractivities #sensory #play #alessandrayeung

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Koh says the move was prompted by certain practical considerations. “We didn’t plan a playroom for our daughter, Alessandra, in the old house, and the environment wasn’t child-friendly. The new place has a communal garden with plenty of greenery and even a trampoline. I also miss waking up to chirping birds and the calming sounds of cicadas in the afternoon.”

Said new home base – a black-and-white colonial house in Bukit Timah with four bedrooms and three bathrooms – was a clear winner in Koh’s and her husband’s eyes. “We were taken by the spacious living and dining rooms, ample natural lighting and huge rooms,” she reveals.

While the Bukit Timah home design is being kept under wraps for now (no photos unfortunately!), fans of Koh’s #thecatkitchen series of snapshots and videos will be relieved to know that her current home, a Tiong Bahru shophouse apartment, will still be around and used mainly for Koh’s work.

Read on to find out more about Koh’s approach to interior design, the trends that are exciting her most now and her top tips for designing your home: