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A Bachelorette Brought Tropical Vibes to Her U-Shaped Flat

October 21, 2020

So lush and cosy, it’s hard to believe that this used to be a dated 10-year-old resale unit.

It goes without saying that every homeowner has a personalised checklist when home-hunting. And it’s the same for Magesh, who wanted her house to be “close to her work location, accessible (because I don’t drive), but not too old”.

Which is why she felt fortunate to find a 3-room resale unit in Dover that fit her requirements to a tee. “I quite like the neighbourhood as well. It’s much quieter, not as busy as Yishun and other mature estates,” shares Magesh.

Dover Crescent by i-Chapter

Interior Firm: i-Chapter

Though, as a first-time homeowner, she felt that she needed help renovating the 10-year-old apartment. To that end, Magesh sought out i-Chapter’s Eddie, whose expertise was instrumental in modernising the space!

About herself

Magesh (M): Hi, I’m Magesh. I work in HR for a local healthcare organisation. This is my first home!

About the home’s concept

M: When I got this place, I found myself Googling to see where I can take it design-wise. I preferred a modern look with a few statement furniture pieces and minimal built-ins. It’s a very popular look, but I didn’t know how to pull it off myself. Since I’m fairly clueless about the technical aspects, I sought help from Eddie [laughs].

singapore hdb flat dover crescent renovation

The home’s layout, pre-renovation. Red circles indicate where walls have been knocked away. Blue circle indicates where the door has been sealed up.

singapore hdb flat dover crescent renovation

The home’s layout, post-renovation.

On changes made to the living room

M: Because I wanted to have the flexibility to pick my own furniture, I tore down the original carpentry work. My living room is much smaller in size too – so most of the furniture in the space are standalones. I bought an armchair from Elements Concept, and the coffee table plus TV console from Mountain Teak.

Seeing that a normal 3-seater is too large, I also had my sofa custom-made at Blafink to fit. Despite how tropical it looks, I have to say it wasn’t an intentional design choice [laughs]. I just wanted to play up the cosy atmosphere with wooden furniture. I suppose the effect is doubled because of my vinyl floor – it looks like dark wood, I know – and plants I have scattered about.

Dover Crescent by i-Chapter

For Magesh, plants are a must-have. “I don’t think they’re that hard to take care of,” shares the homeowner. “I just need to water them once a week and check in occasionally to make sure they’re not infected.”

I didn’t want to have bare walls either. That’s why I introduced a pop of colour at my dining area to break down the monotonous nature of the room. I had some pictures printed and framed as well.

Dover Crescent by i-Chapter

The track lights help to highlight the newly mounted prints.

On changes made to the kitchen

M: The kitchen used to be laid out in an L-shape, and that made it feel really cramped. In order to ‘straighten’ it out, I hacked off the partition separating the service yard. If given the choice, I would want to do away with the beams as well. Unfortunately for me, I can’t because of the piping in them.

Dover Crescent by i-Chapter

Magesh opted for teal cabinets because it’s her favourite: “I wanted to have the colour pop up somewhere in the home.”

I was toying between having smaller marble tiles and larger slabs for the backsplash. I decided on the latter because it’s easier to clean – there are less grooves, and looks more expensive than it is.

Dover Crescent by i-Chapter

Seeing as I couldn’t get a fully open kitchen within this layout for a bar counter, I settled for a breakfast counter instead. Eddie thought it’d be useful to include a power point, and I have to say that he’s right. I find myself using it to charge my phone quite frequently [laughs].

Dover Crescent by i-Chapter

Magesh had an additional partition built up to hide her bulky fridge (behind the household shelter).

On changes made to the bedroom

M: I extended the master by hacking down the wall to the adjoining room. I did think about including sliding doors to close off the sleeping area, but I quite liked the openness and spaciousness – it gives me more room to exercise.

Dover Crescent by i-Chapter

Magesh also had lights installed within the steps to make the space even more inviting and restful.

I’ve always wanted to have a platform bed and I finally got it. I find that it blends nicely into the space where a four-legged frame wouldn’t. Plus, maintenance is much easier too – there’s no need to clean underneath it.

Most importantly, it looks much cosier this way.

Dover Crescent by i-Chapter

Because Magesh “doesn’t have the tidiest wardrobe”, she felt that it’d be better to use a tinted glass for more coverage.

The area where my vanity sits tends to get a bit dark. So, Eddie suggested that we build lights into the mirror for additional illumination.

Dover Crescent by i-Chapter

Interior Firm: i-Chapter

I tend to read while in bed, so I had lights installed within my headboard. Rather than climbing out to flick the main lights on, I find that this is a much more convenient solution.

On changes made to the bathrooms

M: Both bathrooms were in the original condition and weren’t in the best condition. As a matter of fact, the white HDB tiles were discoloured. So, I thought, why not give them a refresh since I had to change up the toilet and sink as well?

singapore hdb flat dover crescent renovation

The en suite (left) and the common bathroom (right).

I was a bit concerned about my tile choices here. While this might not be my forever home, I’m certainly planning on staying here a couple of years. That’s why I wanted the new ones to be less slippery and more forgiving.

On working with i-Chapter

M: Like most homeowners, I requested for a quote via Qanvast. From there, I met the 5 shortlisted ID firms. Of course, I did some research on my end as well to find out more about the firms. i-Chapter had good reviews, and an established portfolio so that really won me over.

In terms of personal experience, Eddie made me feel the most comfortable. He understood that it’s my first time renovating, so he was quite accommodating and forthcoming. He’d never forcefully pushed for his own design ideas, but rather worked to improve my own.
The little tweaks that he chose to make such as the inclusion of the track lights and the power points proved to be very useful for me too!

Eddie also took care of the more alien aspects, such as the electrical wiring, of the renovation. It was honestly a huge relief for me.

Dover Crescent by i-Chapter

His advice and suggestions were also pretty useful. He’ll talk me through the pros and cons of each material. And that made me feel like I was making more informed decisions. Although, I’ve come to reconsider certain materials like my teal laminate cabinets – it’s hard to keep fingerprints off them [laughs].

I’ve read some nightmare stories about the renovating process, so I’d say that I’m extremely lucky to have found such a responsible ID.

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