A home for a semi-retired couple incorporates lighting and materiality to deliver a warm and refined look throughout.
10 March 2020
Home Type: 3-bedroom resale condominium unit
Floor Area: 1,900sqft
Text by Olha Romaniuk
When the homeowners of a resale three-bedroom condominium at Ridgewood Close reached out to SPIRE to undertake a refresh of their home, they were looking for a solution that could suit their outgoing and semi-retired lifestyle. This meant that the design had to strike a balance between timelessness and warmth, generating conducive spaces for personal comfort as well as for entertaining guests.
Time was of the essence for the renovation; and designer Des Phua had to work closely with the homeowners to ensure that the final vision met the couple’s expectations. To meet a demanding timeframe, Des retained the apartment’s layout with the only spatial change comprising a demolition of a wall between the yard and the kitchen, to make the latter appear bigger and more spacious. Within the rest of the home, Des implemented subtle yet effective interventions, allowing light and materiality to transform the interior spaces.
To bring the desired warmth into the apartment, Des selected earthy and neutral materials that were used consistently throughout all the rooms to allow a seamless transition from one space to another. White and light oak laminates took central stage in the public spaces, visually merging the kitchen and the living areas together.
In the kitchen, jumbo quartz slab was used as a worktop and as wall finishes to give a gentle contrast to the white laminates of the cabinetry. Des used the same gamut of finishes in the master bedroom and small common bedrooms for the children. The tones and textures of the finishes add to the feeling of warmth throughout.
Lighting also became the key aspect of the renovation. Unobtrusively integrated into the design of each room, lighting solutions helped to enhance the soothing feel of the public and private spaces of the apartment. In the living room and both of the common bedrooms, cove lighting subtly highlight the key areas of the room, framing the main focal points within each of the spaces. “We very deliberately added cove lighting features within several rooms to give the house a more welcoming and softer feel,” comments Des on the importance of efficient light usage within the project.
The design of the master bedroom, benefitting from its soaring height and tall windows opening up to the impressive view outside, had to be thought of carefully as to strike a balance between the delicate proportions of the space. The headboard of the bed was conceived as a connective extension from one side of the room to another, as to create an uninterrupted linear cove light feature behind which lends softness to the space. Cabinetry was built in simple and kept low to the ground to strike a balance of space against the ceiling and the windows.
Even bathrooms were thought of holistically, extending the warm look of the rest of the apartment via cabinetry and shelving finishes. To add a bit of visual interest, Des encased shower enclosures with black aluminium frames, complementing the mirror finishes and darker wall tiles.
Not sparing attention to this mindful restraint and meticulous approach to design, even within the smallest spaces of the apartment paid off for Des and the homeowners in the end. The outcome is a seamless, warm and modern residence, without crossing the boundary into boring.
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