Nordic design in Asia: Bella Koh is drawn to organic forms and natural materials

Design Stories had the honor to meet Asian creatives who opened the doors to their homes and showcased some of their most beloved design items from Scandinavia and the rest of Europe. In this home story, we caught up with Bella Koh, founder of the lifestyle brand Slowhouse.

Bella Koh furnished her living room with two tables – Fly and Lato – by the Danish brand &Tradition. The glass jug is by HAY.

FOUNDER OF THE lifestyle brand Slowhouse, Bella Koh is a Singapore-based content creator, food lover, yoga enthusiast and mom who embraces the philosophy of slow living. She founded Slowhouse as a channel for everyday beauty and natural lifestyle, and on Instagram, she shares her playful approach to motherhood, pets, fashion and healthy lifestyle to an ever-growing audience.

Design Stories had the pleasure to chat with Bella, who showcased to us her four favorite pieces from Nordic and European brands.

&Tradition Fly SC5 coffee table
Designed by Space Copenhagen, the Fly SC5 coffee table has an oak wood frame with a light grey, honed marble top.

&Tradition: Fly coffee table

“When I first moved to this apartment three years ago, I did not own a coffee table. I wanted to slowly search for a piece that felt well fitted in the space. I’m personally very drawn to organic forms and natural materials, so it made sense for me to purchase the Fly coffee table by &Tradition when I came across it one day on Finnish Design Shop.

“The height and the beveled corners of the Fly coffee table are great for a home with kids.”

I went with the light grey marble finish as I felt it best matches the overall vibe of my home as well as the grey walls of the living room. A great pairing against most of the white furniture in the space, too! The height of the table and the beveled corners are also great for a home with kids. My daughter loves to do her drawings on it while it also serves me well as a feature piece.”

&Tradition’s Fly SC5 coffee table >

Menu JWDA table lamp, light concrete
The JWDA table lamp by Menu provides warm light for the kitchen of Bella and her cat Yogi.
Menu JWDA table lamp, light concrete
The JWDA lamp, designed by Jonas Wagell, was inspired by the ambiance of traditional oil lamps.

Menu: JWDA table lamp

“I fell instantly in love with the JWDA lamp when I first came across it years ago! It’s an unpretentious and simple sculptural piece. Unlike the usual rounded lamps, its elegant silhouette is a good balance in contrast to the raw concrete base. A charming piece with a reasonable price point!

The beauty of the JWDA lamp is that it fits well into any space. Previously I used it as a side lamp in my bedroom and now as a working light in my kitchen. The brightness of the lamp is sufficient for me to function well in the kitchen while cooking at night. A bonus is that it comes with a dimming function.

You know a good design when you see variations of it in different finishes and they all look equally beautiful. There is definitely something right about this archetype. It’s indeed an iconic piece, and that’s why I own two pieces of it!”

Menu’s JWDA table lamp >

&Tradition Lato LN9 coffee table, white - Cream Diva marble
Bella was introduced to &Tradition’s Lato table in a collaboration project.
&Tradition Lato LN9 coffee table, white - Cream Diva marble
Designed by Luca Nichetto, the Lato coffee table features a marble base with a steel top. The interior oils on the table are by Bella’s own Slowhouse brand.

&Tradition: Lato coffee table

“I came across the Lato coffee table during a Slowhouse collaboration project. With my fondness for organically shaped objects, this piece was a rare gem found in the design market. Its appealing curvaceous form appears sculptural yet humble in its material and color options.

“The Lato coffee table is placed in the living room to style and elevate my lush pot of plants by the windows.”

My piece has an ivory-white steel finish top with a cream-colored marble base. It appears almost fluid and blends seamlessly well with my collection of white furniture items. As a content creator, this piece works very well as a styling prop! It’s durable and versatile to use as well.

At the moment, it is placed in the living room to style and elevate my lush pot of plants by the windows. Sometimes, I use it as a side table for my wine glasses or coffee whenever I’m lounging or meditating after a long day. Definitely a piece worth investing in!”

&Tradition’s Lato LN9 coffee table >

Flos Toio floor lamp, white
Bella and her cat Como pose in the dining room with the Toio floor lamp by Flos.
Flos Toio floor lamp, white
Inspired by industrial warehouse aesthetics, the Toio lamp was designed by Italian brothers Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni in 1962.

Flos: Toio floor lamp

“Unlike ceiling downlights, standing lamps help to bounce off the glow onto the ceiling. They are also the perfect option to be switched on at night for an ambiance mood.

My Toio lamp by Flos was purchased almost 10 years ago. It’s another simple and modest collection that fits well with any interior aesthetic – both my current and previous home. Its playful touch of industrial look sometimes almost disappears among the other elements of the house and my tall houseplants. Not forgetting that my piece is in white, too!

It is a simple, charming object that lives well together with you in your home, creating a harmonious living environment within the space.”

Flos’ Toio floor lamp >

HAY Palissade dining bench, olive
According to Bella, the Palissade patio set by HAY is perfectly suited also for warm environments, such as sunny Singapore.

Can you tell us how the objects are fitted in your home?
“Form and function are the basic principles that I follow. A well-designed object needs to be both aesthetically pleasing and functional. Thus, I believe in investing in iconic pieces that last with me for years to come.

Take, for instance, the Palissade outdoor furniture from HAY, which I purchased during the pandemic lockdown. It’s an iconic collection that I can place both out and even indoors if I move in the future. The neighbors in my estate love relaxing on it as it's cooling when seated on, even in a sunny city like Singapore! It is also easy to maneuver and proportionally well designed for lounging.

Most of the furniture that I purchase is commonly either designed by a European designer with a Scandinavian aesthetic or vice versa. Which, interestingly, always means a modern organic form. As noticed in my collection, I prefer rounded objects as it brings out the softness of a space, which can really affect one’s mood.”

“I believe in investing in iconic pieces that last with me for years to come.”

If you would have to pick one meaningful object for our readers to add to their home, what would it be?
“It would be Fredericia’s J39 Mogensen chair, designed by Børge Mogensen. Nothing makes a home more comfortable than a well-designed chair. I have a couple of great thinking chairs that allow me to sit for hours and do amazing stuff!”

Lastly, how would you describe your perfect home?
“A perfect home is a space where you can spend hours and not feel mentally drained. It’s a safe place for one to feel at peace with yourself and a space that makes you feel instantly calm when entered. To me, that’s the perfect home.”

See also:

Bella Koh on Instagram >
New arrivals at Finnish Design Shop >

Text: Melissa Tsang Images: Khoo Guo Jie

Previous story
Next story

Get cosy with up to 40% off furniture, lighting and more at our grand Autumn Sale!

Save today

For the love of design

Design Stories is Finnish Design Shop's own online magazine, that takes you to beautiful Nordic homes, introduces new products and beloved icons – and much more!

Go to the Design Stories front page

Shop Nordic design

Design Stories is provided by Finnish Design Shop, the world’s largest online store specialized in Nordic design.

Discover our selection

Buy & sell authentic vintage is a curated online marketplace for pre-owned design maintained by Finnish Design Shop.

Find treasures at Franckly