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Couple's Arcade-Inspired 4-Room Flat in Queenstown is One of a Kind

Strong interior design game indeed.

They say that your home is a reflection of your personality. For Vincent’s clients, that came in the form of introducing pops of colour and eclectic influences into their 4-room resale flat in Queenstown to reflect their love of gaming.

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“Their main requirement was for the house to be bright and airy, but at the same time, they also wanted a few pops of colour here and there,” says Vincent, a designer from The Local INN.terior. “After some discussion, we decided to go with an arcade-inspired look, since arcades tend to be fun and colourful, with lots of personality.”

With its quirky tile choices, a gaming room, and even a unique feature wall with a meticulously-created ‘Off Air’ screen design, it’s safe to say that this home is chock full of personality, and then some. Keep reading as Vincent tells us more about the home and its transformation!


About the homeowners and their home

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The post-renovation floorplan of the home, hand-drawn by Vincent

Vincent (V): This house is a 4-room flat belonging to a young couple. Both of them love gaming, and even though they’re both busy with work – one of them works in IT while the other has an office job – they wanted a place to relax and play their games when they’re off from work.

So, as it’s just the two of them, they were keen on turning one of the junior bedrooms into an entertainment room.

WATCH: Designer Vincent talks about renovating the home

On making over the living room

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V: Since we wanted the living room to be bright and airy, we mainly used a white colour theme, with black carpentry for contrast. However, we also wanted some variety, so we experimented with a few ways to incorporate more style and colour.

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One of those ways is this navy blue feature wall next to the entrance. Why I chose this particular colour is because it’s darker and contrasts the black-and-white theme very nicely. The homeowners use it to show off their Harry Potter memorabilia, since they’re big fans and the story is quite meaningful to them.

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There’s also the tiny mosaic tiles in the balcony, which stretches all the way down the corridor. They don’t just add a quirky touch to the space, but also introduce some variety into the look, which keeps the space interesting.

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Eclectic influences aside, I personally really like the TV feature wall. If you look closely at the photo, you can see that it’s built on top of the existing wall.

The reason why I did this was because I wanted to try to conceal the kitchen cabinets behind. Without it, the kitchen cabinets would be quite obvious when you’re sitting on the sofa – it’s quite ugly.

So, I purposely made this feature wall wider than the actual wall to keep the cabinets hidden from the homeowners whenever they’re watching TV.

About the kitchen

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V: Previously, the kitchen was enclosed, but as the house is pretty small – and because the homeowners aren’t heavy cookers – we decided to hack the walls between the kitchen and service yard, as well as the one between the kitchen and living room, to create an open-concept kitchen.

This way, we could brighten the area with the natural light coming in from the living room. This was important as most of the carpentry is dark, so we wanted to balance that with natural light and make the space feel a bit bigger.

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Other than that, the kitchen layout didn’t really change much. Given the structure of the house, I didn’t really have the freedom to experiment with the layout, so instead, I played around with different materials – like tiles and quartz – to create variety while keeping to the black-and-white theme.

On creating the entertainment room

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V: Like I mentioned earlier, the homeowners really love gaming, so they were quite keen on creating their own entertainment room.

The main colour here is the same navy blue shade I used for the feature wall in the living room. My reasoning for this was that entertainment rooms and arcades tend to be darker to let the decor and lighting stand out – and this way, there’s some form of uniformity across the house.

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To emphasise the retro arcade theme, the homeowners bought an actual arcade gaming machine for the room.

To be honest, the idea for this ‘Off Air’ screen design came to me while I was drunk (laughs). I immediately knew that it was ‘The One’, because it not only had the pops of colour my clients wanted, but it also added this nostalgic touch that fits in well with the retro arcade theme.

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Planning and creating the design was a challenge for both myself and my tilers. We had to source for different tiles, get the colours right, and also be meticulous about the measurements to ensure that everything fits together.

I think it took us about 3 or 4 days to put everything together. We had to take the measurements of the entire wall and draw out the design first to get a feel of the proportions. Then, from there, we highlighted every single bit that needed to have a curved edge before grinding the tiles to create it.

It was challenging for sure. But I knew that my tilers could do it – and in the end, I think the result is quite cool.

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Mosaic tile design extends from the balcony into the corridor

As entertainment rooms tend to get noisy, we decided to separate it from the communal area using a set of folding doors.

The reason why we made this a semi-open-concept room instead of a regular enclosed room was because we wanted to open up the space and let in as much natural light as possible – so even though the navy walls are dark, the space itself will still remain bright overall.

About the master bedroom and walk-in wardrobe

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V: For the master bedroom, the homeowners just wanted to keep things simple and cosy, with ample storage options. So, we eventually decided to create a platform bed, with darker colours.

Overall, the room has a more industrial look compared to the communal areas, to create a more relaxing vibe for the homeowners.

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As the master bedroom is quite small, we turned the adjacent junior bedroom into the homeowners’ walk-in wardrobe.

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One of the most noticeable features in this room was the ledge by the window, which is part of the existing house structure. Since we couldn’t hack it away, we thought that the best way to make full use of it was to turn it into a bay window table, which can be used as a reading nook or relaxation corner.

About designing the master and common bathrooms

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V: Each bathroom has a very different vibe. For the common bathroom, we wanted it to match the fun, lively atmosphere that the living and entertainment room have. It’s also the bathroom that guests will use when they’re there, so we went with a cheerful, colourful theme, with terrazzo floors and yellow and orange wall tiles.

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In contrast, the master ensuite has a darker, more subdued look. It’s meant to feel cosier and more luxurious, like the bedroom outside.

Here, we chose textured tiles to add some organic feel to the space. They’re bigger than your average tiles – if I remember correctly, they’re 90cm by 90cm in size. The reason for this was because I wanted to minimise the grout lines, and it looks more premium – which fits into the luxurious vibe I was going for.

To sum up

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V: Overall, I think this was one of the most interesting houses I’ve worked on. It’s cool how each room in this house gives off a different vibe, but when you view the house as a whole, they still gel together very well.

And obviously, I’ve never done anything like this ‘Off Air’ design before – even the homeowners were shocked when I brought it up to them (laughs). But they were very open to the idea, which I’m really thankful for. In the end, the result was better than I ever expected!


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