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Bright Idea: A Rustic Couple’s Nest with a Cheery Accent

It isn’t hard to tell what homeowners Jürgen Klaassen and Naya Ong had in mind for their resale apartment at Tampines.

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At first glance, one would be able to identify the key elements: natural wood layers and muted hues – mainstays of any cosy, rustic-inspired abode that the owners included in their brief to Crescendo Interior & Lifestyle.

“We were inclined to include these features because of our interest in nature and our wish to have a woody feel throughout the house,” says Naya.

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However, late into the renovation process, the couple came to the realisation that their home's palette looked a bit too bare.

“As you can see, most of the interior is either brownish or greyish, which really made the house look flat. But one day, Naya came up with the idea to add some colour – that’s how the yellow wall in the kitchen came to be,” Jürgen recounts. “It’s a daring choice, but the house looks livelier now, doesn’t it?”

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About ourselves:

Jürgen (J): Hello, I am Jürgen, and I am working as an IT architect.

Naya (N): Hi, I am Naya, and I work in Sales Support.

About renovation plans:

N: Initially, we wanted an industrial look for the house, but the more we looked at examples, the more we felt it wasn’t what we wanted. After that, we decided on the Scandinavian look because of its simple, natural appearance.

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Major works performed:

J: Because it’s a resale flat, the house didn’t have much going for it before the renovation, and it was quite run-down. I believe it’s about 20 years old, before we moved in.

We had all the flooring in the house hacked and replaced, from the bathroom to the kitchen; the old electrical wiring and windows were also removed. We basically took out everything.

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Favourite part of home:

N: For me, that would be the living room. I feel that it’s most cosy and comfortable there.

J: Although I don’t spend that much time there, the living area is also my favourite. It’s functional and it’s a special spot that I associate with the end of a workday.

The kitchen island is also a highlight for me. I initially had my doubts of something with its dimensions fitting neatly into the space, but now, we have a surface that we can use for prep work and to have meals comfortably.

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About working with Crescendo Interior & Lifestyle:

N: It was definitely a good and interesting experience working with Rick, our designer from Crescendo. We have learnt a lot from him, and we’re glad to have listened to his advice. One great thing about Rick is his knowledge on how to transform dead space into useful ones – such as our entryway, which now has storage and cosy seats.

J: I believe that workmanship is really important, and that you need the right people to get the job done properly. In that aspect, Rick’s work is pretty solid. Also, he was honest about the reliability of certain ‘cost-saving’ methods such as overlaying existing flooring with new tiles, which isn’t worth it, even though you get to save on hacking costs.

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Biggest challenges we faced:

J: There was nothing major really. It’s been more than 3 months since the renovation was completed, and there were no problems aside from a few minor (paint) cracks in the wall. And running into this issue is kind of expected, because that’s what happens when the paint is drying.

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To sum up…

J: I think this boils down to our personalities, both Naya and myself like to be detailed to the extent that we probably annoy Rick sometimes (laughs).

But that’s because we believe that even though the designer is responsible for the project, homeowners should check on things too, and that’s why I took my own notes and pictures to keep track of the progress. It’s a bit like keeping a journal, and I think it really helps a lot.

N: Also, I must say that I have found Qanvast to be a very useful service right from the start of this journey.

We had some questions at the beginning and were unsure of who to work with. Fortunately, Qanvast was there to help with its designer recommendation service, and through which we got to know about Crescendo.

Other than that, I feel that it’s important to plan properly in advance, have a decent budget, and of course, follow up closely with your designer as much as possible.

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