To proceed with your renovation plans during the MCO period, opt for contactless consultations, and move your meetings online.
This 3-storey Home Makes the Case for Neutral Style
With lockdown restrictions and case numbers changing by the day, figuring out how to move forward with your home renovation can be tricky during this COVID-19 pandemic. Luckily being this far into the pandemic has also given many interior design firms as well as homeowners a chance to adapt to the changing times as well as to understand the expectations when it comes to renovating a home.
This 3-storey semi-detached house in Puchong, renovated by Josh Thompson Interiors, is one example of how interior designers have adapted amidst the pandemic. The project began in early 2020, during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and ended in November 2020.
According to the project lead, Joshua Lai, the design process with his client was conducted entirely via several online meetings. “We got the deal in April 2020 just when MCO started, so the whole design planning was conducted virtually during MCO. Meanwhile, the site work took 5 months to complete (end July - Nov 2020) despite several government restrictions in place.”
We had a chat with Joshua to know more about the process involved in transforming an empty 3,800 sq ft residence into his client’s dream home.
Qanvast: Tell us about this home and your client request for this project
Joshua (J): This 3,800 square foot 3-storey semi-detached property is owned by a career-driven woman in her mid-30s who works as a marketing director. She bought this property as her second home because it is located close to her hometown in Seremban, hence her family could visit and stay at her home on weekends.
She requested us to create a warm and inviting home with a neutral colour scheme and a variety of textures (especially wood) to add dimension to the space.
Q: What changes were made to the home to achieve this look?
J: The overall design is very simple, but with plenty of small details. For instance, as soon as you enter the house, you'll notice a horizontal wood grain on the curve panel. The horizontal lines on the wooden curve panel are intended to guide you towards the living space.
Next to the built-in wooden TV panel, there’s a small storage space under the staircase, which most homeowners usually convert into a storeroom. Instead, we opted to turn the spare room into a guest room.
We added LED strip lights in the dining area to draw attention to this area, which is where we want to emphasise the home's distinctive lines and design features. If you notice, behind the dining area there’s a wooden panel with vertical lines. We replaced the traditional door with this wooden panel to create a “hidden” door effect.
We also placed a pendant light in the shape of an upside-down ‘T' to complement the overall design.
Q: Did you incorporate any clever solutions to maximize space?
J: The homeowner loves to collect objects from her trips. To do so without clutter, we incorporated plenty of built-in storage space into her home. For instance, there’s a huge built-in compartment behind the wooden door panel in the dining area, for the homeowner to store all her collectables.
Although the homeowner doesn’t dine at the dining table frequently, we retained the dining area as it is a perfect multifunctional space for her and her family. We added four chairs and a simple dining table to make the room feel cosy enough for an intimate gathering.
We also turned her master bathroom entrance wall into a floor-to-ceiling wardrobe. Incorporating plenty of built-in storage and wardrobe allows her to keep all her clothes and colourful accessories in storage while maintaining the room’s overall clean and uncluttered look. It also allows us to utilise all the space available whilst maintaining a spacious feel to the home.
Q: What was the colour combination chosen for this project?
J: The client wanted white to be the core colour palette for her home. Besides white, she only approved the use of a rose gold chrome finish. That’s the only other ‘colour’ that she accepted for this home renovation project!
To keep things interesting, we played around with different textures instead of colours. For example, the paint that was used in the study area is a grey hue with a cement texture. We also added plenty of wood elements around the house.
Q: Did you encounter any design challenges?
J: The homeowner initially requested a clean and simple design with lots of white colours. However, throughout the design process, she felt that the 3D rendering looked too simple and suggested wood elements be incorporated into the overall design. However, the wooden elements overpowered other elements of her initial design request. In this case, we had to find a balance between the colour that she likes (white) and wood texture.
We were taken aback when she requested for her bedroom to be made entirely of wood. It was a risky request, but we followed through and somehow the result was fantastic! Her master bedroom gives a feeling that you are either living in a small cottage in a European country or Japan.
Q: Were there any last-minute changes made during the renovation process?
J: There are a few. Initially, she wanted to create a patio with a gazebo right outside the veranda. But she changed her mind and opted to include grass and pebbles to create a very clean design, similar to the rest of the house. We’re happy with the result even though it was a last-minute request!
The same goes for the choice of tiles for the bathroom. Initially, we wanted to install kit kat tiles in her bathroom. But she said she wanted consistency for the entire house, and if her kitchen featured grid tiles, she wanted the same tile pattern for her bathroom as well. Hence we decided to come up with another grid design; a mosaic with marble grain for her bathroom while maintaining the same grid tiles in the kitchen.
Q: What are your thoughts on the final result of this project?
J: Yes, my client and I are both very happy with the result and I enjoyed working with her! I appreciate her responsiveness in giving answers. Even when it comes to deciding things that involve a bigger cost or budget, she would decide and respond quickly - usually within a day or a few hours. This makes our job and the whole renovation process easier.
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