A Cosy Homebody Haven for Two with a Hotel-Inspired Wardrobe
Staying indoors is better when you've got a cosy home that's all yours.
The main passageway of Marcus and Tracy’s home before the renovation
Wanting to return to a comfortable environment after a long day of work is something that most working adults can relate to – and it’s also the reason why homeowners Marcus and Tracy wanted their 5-room flat at Bukit Batok to be a personal retreat.
“We’re homebodies in the sense that we don’t want to go anywhere after work,” says Marcus. “And home to us is a space where we can put our minds at ease and recharge for the next day.”
Interior Firm: Weiken.com
With this aim in mind, the pair sought out Weiken.com interior designer Jessie Tan to ensure their first home would satisfy their need for cosiness, useful functionality as well as a dark and relaxing environment.
“We were on the fence about the dark décor at first,” shares Tracy. “We wanted something that wasn’t monochrome and didn’t use too much black. Then we thought of using dark wood, but there wasn’t much inspiration for what we wanted, so we were feeling unsure about our ideas.”
Outside the kitchen, an island prep zone equipped with various storage built-ins doubles as a breakfast corner where Marcus and Tracy can start off their day with a fresh cuppa.
Fortunately, with the 3D mock-ups that Jessie provided, Marcus and Tracy were able to settle on the exact shades and surfaces to include around their home. “The 3D (mock-up) was very helpful in aiding us to visualise things because it gave us the ability to play around with different elements,” says Marcus. “That really helped us to refine our ideas.”
Décor aside, yet another consideration that Marcus and Tracy had was whether to have an open-concept kitchen or a closed one. Says Marcus, who’s the more frequent chef between the two, about his concerns: “Of course, there’s the issue of cooking smells going into places where you don’t want them to, and also how often we could clean up the house.”
The kitchen before (top) and after (bottom) the renovation.
Eventually, what became the tiebreaker was the couple’s desire to have enough room for family gatherings.
In order to have a joint communal space that combines the kitchen and living areas, Marcus and Tracy requested for the kitchen’s walls to be knocked down and for a sizeable preparation island/serving counter to be built in their place near a 6-seater dining table from Commune.
“I think that our gamble paid off because we can now fit a larger dining table and have extra prep space, plus it’s not like we’re going to cook Chinese tze char (stir-fry) so the cleaning isn’t so bad,” says Tracy.
Useful features, such as mirror walls, wall-to-wall closets, and a lighting scheme comprising of track and down lights, make the walk-in wardrobe a surprisingly practical space.
Similar to the rest of the house, plenty of thought was also put into the design of the walk-in wardrobe, which adjoins the master bedroom. “We enjoy going on staycations, and we were inspired by this hotel that we visited,” recounts Marcus. “It was very functional for its size, particularly the walk-in they had, and naturally we wanted that for our home as well.”
The new floor plan for Marcus and Tracy’s home
However, to accomplish this, the doorway for one of the smaller bedrooms first had to be ‘shifted’ deeper into the flat.
“Usually, to build a walk-in wardrobe, most designers would suggest knocking out the wall between the master bedroom and the adjacent room, but Jessie instead suggested that we seal up one of the entrances along the corridor and create an opening within our master bedroom,” Tracy explains. “Not only was this more cost-effective, but it also lets us save on our aircon bills because we won’t have to cool down two rooms worth of space.”
In exchange for a larger shower area in the master en suite, one of the trade-offs the couple had to make was a smaller dry area. “It’s a bit cramped where we hang our towels, but that’s fine because we get to shower comfortably,” says Marcus.
Nearly six months after their renovation, Marcus and Tracy are still looking forward to returning home each and every day – and it’s not just because their cosy flat has all the comforts they need, but also what it represents to them.
“This is the first home we’ve renovated, and although the process was easier than we feared, we had to plan our wedding at the same time, so we were definitely stretched thin,” Marcus says. “But overall, it was definitely a nice journey to start off our marriage, and that’s something we’ll remember for a long time.”
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