Couple Turns Bukit Batok 5-Room BTO Flat into ‘5-Star Hotel’
Marble-clad surfaces, gold accents, soft lighting – this ‘hotel’ has it all!
Staycations offer a respite from the daily grind, but they don’t last forever. So, when married couple Chevron and Jon renovated their 5-room BTO flat in Bukit Batok, they decided to make their home their permanent escape.
“Jon and I often go on staycations to take a break,” says Chevron, who works long hours as a banker. “There was just something so comforting about the hotels (we visited) that takes our minds off work. When we got this house, we wanted to replicate the modern-luxe look that most hotels have.”
Since getting the keys to their flat in a Sales-of-Balance exercise in 2016, Chevron and Jon have transformed it into their very own ‘5-star hotel’, complete with features like floor-to-ceiling mirrors, classy fittings, and a marble kitchen island for a luxe look.
To find out more about their home makeover – which had a generous budget of $130,000 – we got Chevron to give us a rundown of the entire renovation process from start to finish.
About herself and her home
Chevron (C): Both of us are bankers with busy schedules. A typical day for us involves going to work early in the morning and coming home late at night. Because we’re so busy, we want a home that we can really relax in on our days off.
We did consider a Scandinavian theme since the look was trending around the time we secured our unit, but I felt like the trend would pass. On the other hand, hotels have had the modern-luxe look for years – and yet, we’ve never gotten sick of it. It’s a timeless look that won’t really go out of trend.
While sourcing for interior designers, we came across Mr Shopper Studio’s portfolio, which featured a lot of modern-luxe, hotel-like homes. So naturally, we knew that we had to work with them. In fact, we booked them in early March 2020 – way before our BTO was even ready! (laughs)
On renovating the living and dining room
C: In most HDB flats, you can immediately see the sofa after walking into the living room. We didn’t want that for our home; instead, we wanted an entryway that provides a ‘lead up’ into the living room, and we did this by requesting for a built-in shoe cabinet that serves as a privacy wall.
The floor plan of Chevron and Jon’s home, pre-renovation
The floor plan of Chevron and Jon’s home, post-renovation
Directly behind this privacy wall is the dining area, which is right next to the sofa. We could have placed our dining table all the way at the back of the living room, but we chose to have it in this nook instead because it brings a cosy vibe to the surroundings that reminds us of a café.
To match the look of our dining area, we also got fluted panels for our living room’s TV feature wall; they have a rich dark brown hue, which is a common design element in the hotels we’ve visited.
One thing that people don’t notice about our feature wall is that it’s a large storage fixture, the edges of the cabinet doors blend in well with the fluted design. We love this detail because it gives the entire structure a seamless look.
We also wanted a few art pieces to amp up the luxe vibe even more, so we set up a display area behind the sofa. The accessories and art pieces were all chosen by Rachael, our interior designer from Mr Shopper Studio, and she really made took care of all the little details that make our home look like a hotel.
On the kitchen’s makeover
C: We wanted our kitchen to be spacious and open, which is why Rachael had all the kitchen walls hacked away so it can be merged with the communal areas.
At the start, we were concerned about having sufficient storage space in the kitchen, but Rachael had a solution for us. She designed several discreet cabinets that are installed around the entire space – for instance, the fluted panels are storage units for our appliances. And even though you can’t see them, there are shelves behind our kitchen island as well!
Speaking of the kitchen island, we asked for one because we like having a café-like, communal area where people can gather around and chit-chat.
It’s also a casual workspace for us; there are a couple of power points which allow us to sit here and use our laptops throughout the day. Finally, to complete the look, we bought these skinny bar stools which are a common sight in cafés.
About renovating the common and master bathrooms
The flat’s common bathroom.
C: We wanted different vibes for our bathrooms. For the common bathroom, we chose to give it a monochrome look. There’s a black tinted glass door and shower enclosure, along with white wall tiles and bathroom fittings to create contrast. We also wanted the wall tiles to be laid in a chevron pattern to give our common bathroom a more modern look.
The master bathroom’s vanity.
As for the master bathroom, we made it fancier. Instead of using the same black fittings in the common bathroom, we went with more glamourous ones. We also chose to use a semicircle mirror, since it’s more unique and it really adds to the visual appeal of the space.
However, the most interesting part of our master bathroom is its secret entrance. From the outside, the entrance looks just like a regular full-height mirror, but it’s really a sliding door. It’s a magical feature – almost like the wardrobe in Narnia. (laughs)
On renovating the master bedroom
“I really like the look of high-end boutique shops,” says Chevron. “So, we replicated it for our walk-in wardrobe with tinted glass wardrobes, a back-lit mirror and a bespoke vanity."
C: As we wanted a walk-in wardrobe, we combined the original master bedroom with a smaller one next door to create an overall larger space. And since our walk-in wardrobe requires extra square footage for storage, it now takes up the larger half of our current master bedroom.
Initially, we wanted a regular bed, but Rachel suggested getting a platform bed instead since it would give us more storage space. And she did a really great job of making it fit with the surroundings – the back lights as well as the white-and-grey details really make it look like it belongs in a suite!
To sum up
C: This home is a dream come true for us, and I’m glad that we hired Mr Shopper Studio and Rachael to handle our renovation. We clicked well with her – she knew what we wanted and was able to quickly conceptualise a modern-luxe look that suits our taste.
Rachael was also very detail-oriented and went to great lengths to ensure that all the pieces would fall into place. Basically, she took care of everything and made sure that this renovation would be a fuss-free experience from start to finish.
So, if you were to ask me if forking out $130,000 for our renovation was worth it, I’d say yes because it was a really good investment – much better than buying a car in my opinion!
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