In this home, an unused attic space was gutted, refitted and transformed into a sprawling man cave and entertainment space, resulting in a statement-making loft apartment.
25 August 2017
Home Type: 3-bedroom condominium unit
Floor Area: 1,300 sqft
Text by Lookbox Living
Mr and Mrs Lee stayed in this private apartment for about five years, before fully exploring the full potential of their home. The well-travelled couple wanted to expand their living space and roped in designer Stanley Tan from De Style Interior for advice. But what initially started out as a few minor alterations to the living and dining rooms escalated into a full-fledged revamp of the entire house.
“We got more and more excited as we started making plans,” Mr Lee says, explaining their decision to go all out in renovating the home. “We might as well get it all done, since we were already getting started.” He also explains that Stanley was instrumental in the decision. During the initial tour of the apartment, the designer saw the potential behind the unused attic space. “After staying here for so long, we’ve always thought that there isn’t much we can do in this home, but Stanley opened our eyes to the possibilities,” says Mr Lee.
Structures were hacked away, stripped bare and refinished. A cement screed floor runs across the main living spaces. The look here is decidedly industrial, taking into account the couple’s worldliness and active lifestyle. “It all started with the decor ideas,” the owner elaborates. “We wanted a place that’s easy to take care of, since we don’t really want to spend so much time maintaining the place. So we decided to go for exposed beams, brick walls, concrete surfaces and metal piping. It’s a more forgiving look, isn’t it?”
The biggest changes to this home took place upstairs in the repurposed attic. What was once an unused space has now been converted into a “man cave” that overlooks the dining area.
De Style Interior used vinyl flooring because it provides that warm feeling underfoot and remains easy to maintain. The floor also pairs well with the exposed wooden rafters of the roof. To balance out the rawness of the industrial look, the designers added a lounge sofa, a shaggy rug and a beanbag, bringing some softness to the space.
This newly carved out “man cave” acts as an entertainment room, a cosy zone primed for laidback evenings.
Mr Lee is a budding audiophile and has amassed quite a collection of records. Before the renovations, his music room shared the same space as the dining area – a situation that isn’t ideal, especially when the music gets too loud. Now, this newly revamped space is decked out with high-end audio equipment, including a turntable and a speaker system that Mr Lee sourced himself. Completing the “man cave” is a full-screen projector that’s great for movie nights with friends. “We never thought this space could be so functional and useful. After all these years, the place looks completely different,” Mr Lee says appreciatively.
The couple’s newfound love for their home isn’t just limited to the mezzanine deck. Mr and Mrs lee also played a crucial part in the choice of furniture and fittings. In line with the ndustrial aesthetic of the home, the couple helped to pick out pieces like the black iron track lights and solid wood dining furniture. Especially of note is the azure blue sideboard sitting in the dining area. This, we find out, is the successful result of Mrs Lee’s first foray into DIY furniture customisation.
“We couldn’t find something that we liked so she decided to try her hand at DIY. We got the cabinets from IKEA and she spent a weekend sanding it down and giving it a new coat of paint. It’s her first attempt at furniture customisation, and I think it turned out very well.” This, Mr Lee lets on, might just be the start of the couple’s growing interest for design and decoration. “It was a very good experience and we enjoyed it. It was difficult at times, but we’re happy with how things turned out. We’re just shocked that the home we’ve been staying in for four years could look so different right now!”
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