An Yishun Family Home Given a Roomy, Child-Safe Makeover
When Keisha Teo first viewed her current resale flat at Yishun, she was unaware that it was actually a maisonette. “I bought this house mostly because it was close to my parents’ place,” says the homeowner and mother-of-one.
That said, finding uses for the extra space was not a problem for Keisha, after all, it was in line with her goal of creating a “spacious home to live in” with her husband and 2-year-old daughter. The next step then was to re-conceptualise the house’s layout to create an open floor plan, which she successfully did by engaging the help of Dyel Design.
To find out more about the entire process, we sat down with Keisha for a quick chat about her renovation journey.
About her home’s new look
Keisha (K): When planning the house’s new look, I had my baby daughter’s needs in mind, first and foremost. Almost everything is designed around her, which meant ensuring that the house should be clutter-free and safe for a 2-year-old.
Previously, I had wanted the house to be decorated in monochrome with black flooring and white walls all around. However, I scrapped the thought because it would be too dull, and the cleaning would have driven me nuts anyway.
On her renovation must-haves
K: Space. Plenty of it. On one hand, it would allow my daughter to roam around freely – she does her daily run around the house because of how spacious it is. And on the other hand, it would grant us the flexibility to modify the house’s layout depending on our future needs.
Another thing we wanted to do was to merge the existing master bedroom with a smaller one, which would give us a larger sleeping area and a walk-in wardrobe that are separated by a glass sliding door; there’s also a third bedroom that is now my daughter’s play room. Currently, we have no furniture there, so it’s really safe for her.
On how her home is child-friendly
K: We customised some of the storage fixtures to ensure that they are child-proof. For instance, instead of a regular hinged door, the TV cabinet has a mechanism that requires you to lift and slide the lid into a recess to open it – which would have been hard for a young child to access, except that my daughter has already figured it out. [laughs]
There’s also the store room beneath the stairs that we use to store heavy household items. Fortunately, my daughter is unable to access this part of the house because there’s a child-proof lock right at the top of the door that is currently too high for her to reach.
On working with Dyel Design
K: We worked with Simon of Dyel Design, and in many ways, he was very proactive during the brainstorming process. He would share ideas and provide feedback about those that I found on the Internet, telling me if they were cost-effective or not.
That said, there were times that I had to nudge Dyel Design to get things done more quickly, but I also think that was because I am quite the demanding client. I wanted things to be completed on schedule, so I checked in regularly with Dyel Design to find out about the progress and chased them if a particular area or task was not finished by a promised time.
On shopping for furniture
K: Because I bring my daughter to McDonalds often, I wanted a quartz table similar to those at some branches. Moreover, it’s easy to clean and isn’t fragile so I don’t have to worry about it much. I got mine from Cellini, which is where I got my sofa from as well.
Another thing that I got was a nice King-sized mattress that I share with my daughter. My bedframe, which has a roll out base, was specially customised by Blafink.
Favourite spaces at home, post-renovation
K: I like the balcony a lot. Dyel Design re-did the area with new decking and hacked away the existing window grilles, which were replaced with invisible ones. Although it’s quite windy here, we don’t have to clean the grilles much, because they are thinner and don’t accumulate as much dust.
I am also glad to have the kitchen island. It comes with a wine cabinet underneath, and I can just drop all my things on the island counter when I get back home. Plus, it also serves as an adjunct dining space, which is why I have my breakfast there almost every day.
Advice for new homeowners
K: One of the things that I learnt about – and I urge homeowners to take note of – is the importance of getting measurements right. All of the carpentry work that Dyel Design did for the house was based on careful measurements, and just a little miscalculation would have affected things greatly.
For instance, if you are thinking about placing your appliances within a recess, you need to ensure that there’s enough room around it, so that there’s enough clearance to both install and remove it.