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East Meets West in ‘Scandi-Fengshui’ Clementi HDB Maisonette

December 15, 2021
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Calming Scandinavian design elements and age-old Fengshui traditions meet in this one-of-a-kind family home for four.

When Goh and his family enlisted the help of local design firm Noble Interior Design to revamp their second home – an extra-spacious 138 sqm HDB maisonette in Clementi – earlier this year, they were clear about letting Fengshui dictate certain aspects of its new look.

Clementi HDB Maisonette

“It (Fengshui) is something that’s very important to us,” says Goh. “So, we consulted an expert to give us advice on things like colours, and even the number of items to be placed in certain parts of the house. It was only after we got his input that we started renovating.”

Clementi Street 13 by Noble Interior Design

At the same time, Goh also wanted Scandinavian interior design elements, like neutral colours and wood accents, to be incorporated within his new home. Read on to find out how these seemingly conflicting themes were combined to create a cohesive overall look that’s not at all jarring!


About himself and his home

Clementi Street 13 by Noble Interior Design

The floorplan of Goh’s home, pre-renovation

Goh (G): I live here with my wife and two kids. We previously stayed in a small 3-room flat in the West, but after we realised that the kids needed more space to run around, we started looking for a bigger house. We eventually bought and renovated this maisonette in Clementi, which we’ve been living in since August this year.

Clementi Street 13 by Noble Interior Design

This house is about 36 years old, so I decided to have all the walls and flooring hacked and rebuilt with a new layout and design that I liked. We also had the whole house rewired – not just because of the wear and tear, but also because the existing lighting points weren’t located where I wanted them to be.

Clementi Street 13 by Noble Interior Design

The floorplan of Goh’s home, post-renovation

For the home’s look, I just wanted it to be clean and simple. And after scrolling through Pinterest, I found out that I really liked homes with the Scandinavian look, especially those with wood accents that make the entire house feel warmer and look more natural.

On the living room’s makeover

Clementi Street 13 by Noble Interior Design
Clementi Street 13 by Noble Interior Design

G: One of the main layout changes happened here. We tore down the wall between the balcony and living room to merge them together and make the entire area look more spacious. We also built a skylight where the balcony’s original ceiling used to be; I like it because the glass panes allow more natural light to enter the house.

Clementi Street 13 by Noble Interior Design

Also, all the design choices we made here – from the accent colours to the layout – were based on Fengshui principles. For instance, the green plants don’t just provide a nice contrast to the white-and-wood tones, but we also believe that they attract more positive energy into our house.

Clementi Street 13 by Noble Interior Design

Furniture-wise, we decided to use more freestanding pieces over built-ins. This allows me to play around with the layout whenever I want, and it also gives me less hassle in the future, since I don’t need to call a contractor to hack any fixtures away whenever I feel like changing the look of the space.

About renovating the dining area

Clementi Street 13 by Noble Interior Design
Clementi Street 13 by Noble Interior Design

G: In general, I only wanted two things for the dining area: for it to be clean, and to have white chairs. I chose these crossback chairs from IKEA simply because they looked nice, although they do actually bring a rustic farmhouse feel to the space.

To match the look, I also got these gold-burnished hanging lights, which I saw on Pinterest. The number of bulbs and their hue were specified by our Fengshui master. Additionally, we chose a circular dining table over a typical rectangular one, because it’s a more common sight in Chinese households.

Clementi Street 13 by Noble Interior Design

Like the living room, we wanted to maximise the amount of natural light streaming in, so we opted for sheer curtains. These were fitted on a circular curtain rod, which we prefer over curtain tracks as they’re simpler in design and much easier to use.

About the kitchen’s makeover

Clementi HDB Maisonette

The kitchen, pre-renovation.

Clementi Street 13 by Noble Interior Design

G: My colleague was renovating her own house around the same time, so we ended up discussing certain things like kitchen cabinet designs. One thing that we agreed on was that shaker-style cabinets look much better than the regular plain ones because they’re classic, so I chose them for my kitchen.

Clementi Street 13 by Noble Interior Design

For the flooring, we chose to go with grey tiles. I thought tiles would be a better choice here since they’re more durable, and the shade of grey that they come in, was something that my Fengshui master chose. Design-wise, I guess it helps to create some contrast between the cabinets and the floor.

We also have a small bathroom here in the kitchen. Compared to the bathroom on the second floor, there wasn’t much renovation work done here. The only thing I requested was for it to have the same grey tiles as the kitchen flooring to make the transition between both spaces smoother.

Clementi Street 13 by Noble Interior Design

About the master bedroom’s renovation

Clementi Street 13 by Noble Interior Design
Clementi Street 13 by Noble Interior Design

G: Initially, we considered tearing down the wall separating the master bedroom from the stairway to let more light in. But since that would pose a structural issue, we asked for a half-wall with a window to be built instead. We also installed blinds at the staircase-facing window to give us privacy.

Clementi HDB Maisonette

The master bedroom, pre-renovation

Like the living room, we opted for freestanding furniture over built-ins, and kept the decor simple so that we’d have fewer things to clean. The one exception to this is the large built-in wardrobe, which is customised to give us more storage space.

Clementi Street 13 by Noble Interior Design

About merging the master en suite and second-floor common bathroom

Clementi HDB Maisonette

G: I’ve always liked the idea of having a big bathroom, so I decided to combine both bathrooms on the second floor to create one big one. The master bathroom was turned into a ‘dry area’, with his-and-her sinks and built-in storage, whereas the original common bathroom became a ‘wet area’ with the WC and shower.

Clementi HDB Maisonette

The second-floor common bathroom before the renovation.

Clementi Street 13 by Noble Interior Design

Although the bathroom still has a mostly white-and-wood theme like the rest of the house, we decided to incorporate a few other design elements. Features like the terrazzo-look flooring and black fittings were things that caught my eye on Pinterest, so they were added to our bathroom to make it more visually interesting.

Clementi Street 13 by Noble Interior Design

We also have a few recessed shelves, particularly in the ‘wet area’ – it’s mainly where the toiletries and my wife’s makeup products go. I liked these shelves as they’re functional while also helping the area look neat and seamless.

There are a lot of natural elements here too, like plants and rattan. We initially wanted to have plants in our bedroom, but according to our Fengshui master, they produce energy that interferes with our sleep, so we decided to put them in the bathroom instead.

To sum up

Clementi Street 13 by Noble Interior Design

G: This is actually the second time that I have worked with Noble Interior Design. They renovated my previous house as well, and I was impressed by their workmanship back then – so much so that I decided to hire their services again.

Overall, this renovation was a relatively smooth-sailing experience. Even with the challenges posed by COVID-19, there were no significant delays and the renovation was completed over 3 months, which is a reasonable timeframe considering the situation. The house is simple and neat, and now my kids can grow in a space where there’s plenty of room for them to run around!


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