This resale flat undergoes a massive transformation to meet a young couple’s work needs, hobbies and personal preferences.
17 December 2019
Home Type: 5-room resale HDB flat
Floor Area: 1,500sqft
Text by Rossara Jamil
How can you avoid a cookie-cutter HDB home? Not only does it require a bold imagination, it also calls for a certain synergy between the designer and client. Homeowners Xin Yi and Kendrick took their time to find the right interior designer for their home before they decided on Zhuo Jinhai, Yeep Mei Yi and Shirley Ng from Design Zage. “Before we met them, we had already met five or six interior designers. After that, we visited a few more to weigh our options,” says Kendrick. “Some of the designers we met were pushy. But with Jinhai, Mei Yi and Shirley, we were tossing ideas around, so we were very pleased.”
Kendrick, who is an accountant, loves having the latest technology. So the brief included having smart tech systems that could be controlled using smartphones. Xin Yi, a makeup artist, had ideas of her own too. Part of the brief included having a Hollywood-style studio for her work. The couple also wished for the home to look nothing like a typical HDB flat and loved the idea of having a vertical garden. “We wanted a modern resort feel, much like what you would find in Bali resorts,” Xin Yi shares.
The 1,500-square-foot resale unit came with four bedrooms, offering plenty of room to explore ideas. To achieve the homeowners’ vision, the designers removed almost all the walls in the flat, including the one separating the kitchen, and reconfigured the layout. “After we knocked down the kitchen wall, the whole place really opened up. We shared a video on Instagram, and our friends were saying that it looked much bigger than before,” Kendrick recalls.
From this clean slate, the designers drew out a brand new layout for the unit. In the living area, an entire wall hides the doors to the common bathroom, master bedroom and makeup studio. With this being a 28-year-old unit without a household shelter, the owners were able to remove the storeroom. It’s now part of the master bedroom’s internal passageway and features a roomy wardrobe. The reconfigured layout also included expanding the balcony by taking over a section of floor space that was previously part of a study. This new and longer balcony can be accessed from the living area and makeup studio via sliding glass doors.
The designers used a palette of warm and cool colours, and patterns to create a richly textured home. For instance, timber-look wallpaper clads the balcony’s ceiling and adds warmth the area. Terrazzo tiles, dark concrete-looking laminates and mirror panels play off the laminates and wallpaper in woodgrains. Vertical lines on the wall behind the sofa add another layer of visual texture. In addition to recessed lighting, cluster pendants in the dining area and Hollywood-style lighting in the makeup studio give this home a touch of glamour.
Along the balcony, artificial plants cover the columns and wall. “We were inspired by the green walls at the Hooga store we visited, and decided to do it ourselves to create a garden feel. It took us several weekends to finish it!” Xin Yi says, adding that this is her favourite part of the home. The couple also sourced for furnishings from local stores and online platforms.
As the makeup studio is beside the living area, it can be opened up to create a larger living space when the couple entertains guests. The designers also created a sizable dining area anchored by a 2.2-metre suar wood dining table. Next to it, a sleek marble-look quartz island fronts the kitchen, serving as a bar where the couple’s favourite drinks are stored overhead.
With the storeroom gone, the designers created customised storage solutions in the living area, makeup studio, bedrooms, kitchen and study to meet the owners’ storage needs. They also provided other customised solutions, including a television console with a pull-out section. “Kendrick is a huge movie addict, so he wanted a projector screen. Instead of going for something conventional, we opted for an ultra-short throw projector. It can project images within a short distance, and the pull-out section of the console is designed to accommodate this,” says Xin Yi.
Other thoughtful details include a top-hung dish rack cabinet that’s cladded with a mirror panel so the dishes cannot be seen from the living area. “It’s all thanks to Jinhai, Mei Yi and Shirley’s planning,” Kendrick says. “We felt a huge sense of satisfaction after seeing the whole space when it was completed.”
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