Uncovering the secrets behind the amazing makeover.
Renovating may not always be the most smooth-sailing experience, especially if you’re exploring styles that are far from the norm. And such was the case for this family of three.
“We had quite the collection of figurines from Precious Moments,” shared homeowner Eugene. “So, we needed something that doesn’t just house them but also display them. We deliberated on how best to do that and came up with the idea of creating an ark.”
More about the family
Eugene (E): I live with my wife and my 8-year-old son in this 3 + 1 bedder.
On the home’s concept
E: Because we had amassed quite the collection of figurines, we had to first figure out our storage. We combed through Qanvast to look at different designs, but they were two-dimensional (and that wasn't what we were looking for).
E: We met our interior designer, Winstar, through the recommendation of our relatives and found out that he attends the same church! Together, we tried to find a breakthrough for our storage – it went from a house-like structure, to a tree concept and finally to the ark that we have today. Naturally, the ark became the living room's centrepiece, so we tried to work in nautical features in other parts of the home where possible.
On changes made
E: We wanted to emulate the ark in 3D – that in itself was particularly challenging, requiring a lot of trial-and-error attempts as it had curved areas and a working “ramp” of sorts (where our TV is located).
E: To better increase its likeness, the entire structure is fashioned out of a combination of laminates, solid plywood and Italian stucco. Because it is huge and heavy, we sought to lower the “ramp” in a way that’s not hazardous. After hashing out the details with our interior designer and the carpenter, we managed to come up with a method that allows us to fold part of it into half and then slide the piece into the structure itself, reducing the protrusion.
E: Lastly, we worked in storage in the form of circular moulds (reminiscent of porthole windows) that have detachable glass fronts. This way, we can remove or insert the figurines with ease.
E: The kitchen saw some updates too. We didn’t fancy our countertop as it was a solid white. So, we switched it out for EDL Compact panels that feature a wood grain finish.
E: We included more groove lines as a nod back to the nautical elements of the home – because we use horizontal and vertical lines, it looks like how planks are laid out on a ship.
E: In contrast, our master bedroom gives off a very different feel. As we spend most of our time resting there, we wanted something more cosy.
E: We decided on a classic and comfortable Victorian room and outfitted the space with floral wallpaper, a small chandelier, loads of white and even updated the wardrobe to match (like moulding effects and classic handles). The built-ins were then anchored and linked by cornices that work to bring down the ceiling height.
E: During our research, we stumbled upon cabinets with open displays carved into them and we thought to use the design style for our study (though we did tweak the open displays to look a little more squarish and house-like).
E: In a similar vein to our ark, we get to keep the mess contained but also have easy access to the necessities.
E: My son’s room houses a miniature ship too – or rather an elevated bed – that was customised out of pine wood veneer sheets (lacquered and reinforced with durable metal bars). At the bottom, you’ll find a play area of sorts that can be converted into a secondary sleeping zone for relatives or friends who are staying over. Directly above that is my son’s usual sleeping area.
E: Since it is a children’s room, we had to prevent it from coming off as too “mature”. Aside from an added splash of colour, we used a special wallpaper to cover the ceiling. Once you turn off the lights or when it gets dark, you will be able to catch a glimpse of stars!
About working with Noble Interior Design and Winstar
E: We had actually met up with a few interior designers prior to meeting Winstar from Noble Interior Design. However, when we provided them with our ideas, most of them said it was nearly impossible to recreate our vision or proposed alternatives that weren’t in line with our wants.
E: In fact, when we first met him, we had not even gotten our keys, but he still took the time to understand our needs and requirements. Basically, he journeyed with us for a month before we started our renovation.
E: Personally, it felt like he went the extra mile – though there were many hiccups, he did his best to smooth things out by testing out various options, took in our feedback and readjusted accordingly.
To sum up
E: Because we required more carpentry work than the average home, I think that it was key for us to find an interior designer who is honest, someone who doesn't hide costs while delivering good quality of work.
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