A Couple’s New Home That’s Designed for a Clutter-Free Life
It’s hardly a surprise that newlyweds Asyraf and Hazie’s Sembawang Crescent home is “clean, simple and practical”. After all, that was the vision that they shared even before the start of their home’s renovation.
“I think it’s different from our parents’ houses, which have heavier décor as well as plenty of ornaments,” shares Asyraf. “As for our own home, we felt that it’s possible to make it look good without much ornamentation – that’s what our concept and approach is.”
About their home, pre-renovation
Hazie (H): I recall that the original floor tiles that came with the flat were white, so we kept them. However, those in the kitchen had a yellowish tinge, which we felt was unappealing; we ended up replacing them with the black, marble-patterned ones that you see now.
Similarly, the original wall skirting didn’t match the rest of the colour scheme, so we had those replaced as well.
On changes made during the renovation
Asyraf (A): Other than the kitchen, I think what changed most were the bedrooms. We combined the master bedroom with an adjacent one to create a more spacious sleeping area and walk-in wardrobe.
Our designer from DreamCreations, Christina, and her contractors did an excellent job sealing and hiding the second bedroom’s original entrance. Unless you’re someone who’s familiar with BTO layouts, you’d not know that there was originally a door there.
We also concealed the bomb shelter too, which I believe that most homeowners are already doing.
About their home, post-renovation
A: Right from the start, we knew wanted an open kitchen and that’s what we got with this renovation. We have seen houses with walled-off kitchens that look great, but they lacked a clear line of sight into the living areas which makes entertaining guests easier
Because of that, having an open kitchen in our house was less about following a trend or design principles, but more about practicality.
Our desire to have open spaces also translates to our master bedroom. The original was large enough to fit a regular wardrobe, but we wanted the freedom and space to navigate our bedroom with ease.
H: Asyraf is a rather large guy too, so this change really helps! [laughs]
About finding inspiration for their home
H: We got some inspiration from Qanvast as well as through social media, there were a few feature stories that we saw and found useful for our own experience.
A: To be honest, without these sources of inspiration, we could very well have ended up with something that’s similar to our parents’ homes. I guess that could have been a very likely outcome, especially after spending 20-odd years growing up in spaces that are chock-full of decor and ornaments, and not knowing what you want for your own home.
On the highlights of their home
A: If I had to name one, I think the statement wallpaper at the front of the living room is one of our home’s highlights. We didn’t plan to have it at the start because our plan was to paint the section in either white or grey to match the rest of the house, but Christina suggested that the wallpaper would be a nice inclusion.
Some of our guests have also commented on how nice the ‘wall tiles’ look, and we’d wait for a while before revealing that it’s actually wallpaper. [laughs]
H: I’d say the dining area’s full-length mirror is a highlight too, it certainly helps to make the house look larger. We had the option of installing one where the shoe cabinet is, but Christina advised against doing so because the overall effect would have been too overwhelming.
On choosing furniture, fittings and accessories
H: Colours-wise, we mostly stuck to the same theme again while shopping. I really like the wispy look of marble patterns, so we tried to incorporate that in the house in some ways, like for example the dining table, which we got from COURTS, and the bathroom’s wall.
A: For the furniture, we were quite adamant from the start that we didn’t want any built-in carpentry. The only exceptions are the row of cabinets in the walk-in wardrobe and the kitchen fittings.
We prefer loose items because if we ever get tired, it’s easy to swap them out. Personally, it also gives me peace of mind; if something is fixed in place, you just get the feeling that you’re going to be stuck with it forever.
About working with DreamCreations
A: We are new homeowners. Yes, it’s possible for us to do our research, but there’s no denying that we’re still naïve about what is needed for a renovation. In her capacity as a designer, Christina was always there to tell us what is pragmatic and provide advice on what we could invest a little more in.
For example, between the master en suite and the common bathroom, we couldn’t quite decide on how much to budget for the fittings, and Christina advised us to invest more in the one that we would be using more often – it’s these little pieces of knowledge that I feel inexperienced homeowners would really appreciate.
H: Christina was also very prompt with her communication that it got to a point where we decided to stop texting her at night or after working hours, just so that we wouldn’t trouble her to answer our messages! [laughs]
To sum it up…
A: Thankfully our renovation was a very smooth process, it wasn’t as time-consuming as we had heard from friends. Some of them had to go through multiple designers or make countless visits to different shops just to get the right fittings. Needless to say, we didn’t have to go through any of that! [laughs]
H: In fact, for our lights and bathroom fittings, we only dropped by a single store and bought everything in one trip. It’s not the best example of shopping for a house, so we don’t advise others to follow what we did. [laughs] But you know what they say, time is money, and we definitely saved plenty of it with Christina’s help.
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