Once a gloomy 20-year-old resale, this apartment is now fully refreshed for a family of five.
With pleasing features, such as a soaring five meters tall ceiling and a spacious living area, it would seem that a simple refresh was all that’s needed to turn Rith and Salinah’s three-bedder condominium at Glendale Park into the elegant and efficient family home it is now.
However, in reality it took much more to achieve the entire transformation – just ask Schemacraft designer Jasmine who helmed the 14-week makeover. “There was an extensive reconfiguration (of the layout) in various parts of the house, including the original kitchen entrance and master en suite,” she shares.
To find out what exactly went on behind the scenes, we sat down with Rith and Salinah as well as Jasmine for a quick chat!
Rith (R): We’re a family of five, consisting of myself, my wife, and our three kids – they are all of different ages – 4, 11, 16 (years old).
So, that’s preschool, primary and secondary. And because of that, a challenge that we faced was finding ways to accommodate all of their growing needs.
About the home’s new look
Salinah (S): Style-wise, I wanted a modern-contemporary look with some classic elements and we stuck to white and blue for the colours, so we’d feel calm and relaxed when we step indoors.
In our previous house, we had chosen very bright colours that were too glaring; that’s something we made sure to fix this time! [laughs].
R: We’re fairly homely people, plus my wife enjoys cooking – because of that, the kitchen was an important part of the renovation.
With three kids around, we also needed the house to be easy to maintain and to have plenty of storage solutions – that was the main criteria we brought up to Jasmine during our discussions. In a way, it was the guiding principle behind the overall design too.
On changes made to the house
Jasmine (J): We completely transformed all three of the bedrooms, the two bathrooms and the kitchen during the renovation. The only feature that was left unchanged at the end was the living room’s (original) marble floor.
For the living room, the initial plan was to maximise the tall ceiling by building in a loft that would serve as a study area, but the condominium’s management didn’t approve the idea, so it had to be scrapped.
The dining area is located right next to the living room; there was originally an entrance here leading into the kitchen, but it was sealed up so that we could have the space to build a long shaker-style storage cabinet.
Aside from the master bedroom, there are also another two rooms which the children share.
Rith and Salinah’s eldest son has his own room, which was relatively easy to design. There was sufficient space to fit a side table, plus storage for his books and clothes. And even though there isn’t much embellishment, it works well enough as a personal space for rest and study.
On the other hand, for the daughters’ bedroom, the challenge was to find a way to fit in a study area for two as well as a queen-sized bed.
We worked around the space limitation by flushing all of the storage cabinets against the front and installing a pair of foldaway tables to ensure a sufficiently-wide walkway.
In the master bedroom, there were also new storage fixtures built in, including a TV console and wall of cabinets on the side.
Although Rith and Salinah prefer not to work in their personal space, there’s a compact foldable table beside the console that they can use as a convenient writing surface.
The master en suite was revamped to make it less cramped. The original bath tub was swapped for a shower area, which is also easier to maintain. However, to accomplish this, we had to re-orientate the bathroom’s layout to achieve its current configuration.
About renovation challenges
R: In terms of execution of renovation works, I don’t think there was much of a challenge, because if there was, Jasmine certainly didn’t trouble us with it.
The real headache probably lay with dealing with the irregular shape of the house, granted that it doesn’t have a conventional layout. For instance, there’s still an awkward corner in the kitchen, even though you won’t notice it until you open the cabinet doors.
On working with Schemacraft
R: We went to five interior designers in total, and Schemacraft was neither the cheapest nor most expensive option. But what convinced us was the rapport that we had with Jasmine.
She managed to pinpoint what we were looking out in a home, even though I am pretty sure we were just rambling. [laughs] Basically, she just listened.
To sum up…
R: Because we were involved in the entire process, we knew what we wanted for our new home, so I guess we’re fairly happy with the end product. Of course, if you look closely, there are some imperfections, but that’s part and parcel of the experience – nothing is 100% perfect.
S: Overall, I am very happy! This house is exactly what we wanted, and it's really a place we can call home.
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