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An Opulent Baroque Home Designed From Scratch

May 15, 2017
BOOKMARK

Both with experience in the gaming industry, our tech lead Zhenjia and his wife Rini, were inspired by the intricate Baroque and Victorian interiors that pervaded their games.


Home Details

  • Size: 113 sqm / 1216 sqft
  • Location: Rivervale Crescent
  • Cost of Renovation: $58,000
  • Cost of Furnishing: $20,000

An Opulent Baroque Home Designed From Scratch

For almost a year, Zhenjia and Rini played interior designer, taking charge of their home's design and renovation project management. Stepping into their home, you'd be impressed with the amount of work done with the budget they had.

They show us their mood boards and share more...


On their home's distinct European style

An Opulent Baroque Home Designed From Scratch

Rini (R): I really like European design – especially Baroque, Victorian, Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles. However, I did not want my home too look too dated so we included some modern elements.

An Opulent Baroque Home Designed From Scratch

To achieve a European look, we did wall panelling. We also custom-made our French doors as it was not something which the contractor provided under his basic quotation.

An Opulent Baroque Home Designed From Scratch

For our corridor kitchen, I like the décor in the PAUL restaurants so we used that as our inspiration. We actually wanted to do a lacquer Victorian wall which is similar to the one at PAUL’s but it was too expensive so we scraped that idea.

An Opulent Baroque Home Designed From Scratch

Zhenjia (Z): We also wanted our home to have a ‘hotel suite’ feel so that staying in our home feels like staying in a hotel - for our kitchen and bathroom counters, we did granite tops with a pearly sheen. Coincidentally, many luxury hotels also include European elements in their design.

An Opulent Baroque Home Designed From Scratch

R: We also noticed that luxurious hotels like the Four Seasons often have flowers in their room so we took a leaf from their book and included flower arrangements around our home.

An Opulent Baroque Home Designed From Scratch

We also imported a Chesterfield sofa from the UK as we really like the distinctive leather colour of the sofa which looks different from the plain leather sofas in Singapore.


On finding their contractor

An Opulent Baroque Home Designed From Scratch

Z: We were actually quite lucky to have found our contractor as we were just walking around our estate and going from home to home to take a look at the renovation works going on when we happened to come across this particular home.

An Opulent Baroque Home Designed From Scratch

R: Since the homeowners were around, we asked them if we could take a look at the carpentry and after feeling the edge of the cabinets and assessing the workmanship, we found that it was really good. Our soon-to-be neighbours were very nice as they recommended their contractor to us. They even gave us recommendations on where we could purchase our furniture.


On conveying their ideas to the contractors

An Opulent Baroque Home Designed From Scratch

R: I used Photoshop to put together a mood board which collates images of European design to show to our contractor.

An Opulent Baroque Home Designed From Scratch

Z: I came up with a 3D model of the design so that our contractor could envision what we wanted. It also helped him with getting the calculations and measurements for the built-in carpentry right.


On working with contractors

An Opulent Baroque Home Designed From Scratch

R: When you work with a contractor, you assume the role of the interior designer so you have to show the contractor the design that he has to put together. You also have to make sure that you really do your research on everything from the pros and cons of the various renovation materials to the colour of paint that you want to use in the various rooms.

An Opulent Baroque Home Designed From Scratch

Z: If you do not have a design in mind and you do not want to personally manage the project, it’s better to find an interior designer. However, homeowners who enlist the services of an interior designer must not let them override the design they envision - the homeowner should always have the final say.

However, if homeowners know what designs they want and are comfortable managing the renovation, they can consider working with a contractor.


On things you should really look out for

An Opulent Baroque Home Designed From Scratch

Z: The paint colour as seen in the catalogue can look different when it is painted on the walls - we initially chose an orange off-white shade for one of the walls but after painting it, it looked more yellow. We should have been more careful and tried some of the paint out first before painting the entire wall with it.

An Opulent Baroque Home Designed From Scratch

It's important to know what's included in your HDB as some of the existing features like the standard off-white tiles can affect your home's design. Be prepared as there may be colour differences in the tiles of the common toilet and master bedroom toilet.


Lastly...

An Opulent Baroque Home Designed From Scratch

R: We're definitely pleased with how our home turned out. We felt a sense of satisfaction because we came up with all the designs and seeing the home was like witnessing our idea coming to life.


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