How should one design a home to meet the demands of both its human and four-legged residents? Hansel Studio’s proposal is one that’s utterly delightful.
23 June 2023
Home Type: 4-room HDB flat
Floor Area: 990sqft
Text by Janice Seow
The needs of the four-legged residents living in this resale flat are just as important as those of their two-legged owner. The home is cheery and comfortable and, importantly, pet-inclusive, as per the brief set out by the client.
“The client is the proud owner of a young Shetland sheepdog and a senior Chinchilla, and a top priority set out in the brief was for a dog-centric home,” says the design team from Hansel Studio.
All the tiles in the home had to be non-slip, and scratch resistant as the pup likes to scratch the floor before laying down for a nap. The home had to be made as open as possible to allow the pup to roam freely, and the living room sufficiently spacious for when the pup’s friends come for playdates. A designated dog bath was also required.
To start with, the unit that the client purchased came in its original layout. The previous owner had not done any renovation for years and the flat had arched doorways in the kitchen, hallway and master bedroom.
The designers kept the kitchen’s original longish layout, and the storeroom, but removed the arches and converted the doorways back to rectangular ones. Curves do appear, but mainly on carpentry and other features for a touch of playfulness.
The existing flooring was replaced with matte and textured floor tiles that would offer some friction without being too abrasive against the pup’s paw pads. To allow the owner to be able to keep an eye on the pup while at work, a portion of the wall between the study and living room was replaced with a glass window.
Noting the client’s fondness for “quirky colours”, the designers opted for burnt orange accents as a highlight to enliven the space, but set it against a grounding palette of muted tones and woodgrain textures.
To ensure that there would be sufficient space in the living area when the pup’s fur friends come around, most of the furniture pieces are modular and can be moved around. However, the designers did build in a bespoke cabinet with an integrated settee to house not just the client’s shoes, but a custom storage space for the pup’s bow ties, bandanas and other paraphernalia.
In the pet-friendly kitchen, a bespoke bath corner has been built to meet the grooming needs of the owner’s pup. It comes with a shower niche to house the toiletries, and a hansgrohe DogShower hand shower was selected for its massage effect. In the designers’ words, it “makes the pup feel like its back is being stroked while bathing”.
The original master bedroom and adjacent room have been combined to create a new and larger master bedroom that’s separated by an elegant sliding door for privacy. The former is now a generous walk-in wardrobe (with a reading corner) leading to the en-suite bathroom.
The client wanted the master bathroom to have separate wet and dry areas which was a challenge due to space constraints of the original bathroom layout and the position of the door.
“What we did was reposition the master bathroom entrance to be in front of the WC, and shifted the vanity basin out of the bathroom. As a result, we were able to fit in a shower screen to segregate the wet area,” says Hansel Studio.
Both in the master bathroom and common bathroom (now a powder room, below), terrazzo-patterned tiles are used to inject a touch of playfulness to the spaces.
Photography by Mesa Haus
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