A simple layout tweak by design firm 19EightyThree made this family’s 5-room Bukit Panjang flat a lot more liveable.
Having stayed in this 5-room Bukit Panjang flat with his wife since 2006, Jeffery was certain that their home needed a second renovation when it hit the 14-year-old mark last year. By that point, he realised “things [had] gotten really old” in their 111 sqm house, plus it also lacked the family-friendliness of a future-proof dwelling.
“The main issue was the [home’s] layout,” says Jeffery. “The original layout wasn’t ideal in the sense that our furniture choices and placements were restricted to it. For example, our previous dining area could only fit a four-seater dining table. At first, it didn’t really bother my wife and I when we moved in, but because our family has grown, the layout was no longer suitable for us.”
To transform their home into a living space that’s suitable for a family of four, Jeffery enlisted the help of 19EightyThree designer Ben Teo, who created a new look as well as an optimised floor plan for the flat. Read on for a before-and-after look at the entire renovation process!
About himself and his home
Jeffery (J): My wife and I live in this flat with our two kids – aged 4 and 8 years old. We’ve actually renovated the house once before in 2006, and two of the bedrooms were merged to create a larger master bedroom for us. But now that our children have grown up, we wanted to return to a three-bedroom layout so that they can have their own spaces.
Aesthetically, we wanted the new look of our house to be modern and cosy; we also wanted Ben and 19EightyThree to make it as spacious and as comfortable as possible – those were the main goals that we had going into this renovation.
About the living room’s new layout
J: I’d say that building the new TV feature wall is the most impactful change that 19EightyThree made to the living room’s layout.
Previously, we had our TV placed against the living room wall where the two white armchairs are, but that wasn’t ideal. If we had kept that arrangement, our sofa would have to be centred to the TV and that would leave us with too little space at the back of the living room for a six-seater dining table.
Instead with the new layout, the living area now has a better flow because there aren’t any obstructions, and we’re also able to have a larger dining table, which makes it easier to host friends and family.
The feature wall creates a mini foyer area at the entrance as well, so 19EightyThree maximised the back of the structure by outfitting it with shoe cabinets and display shelves. The light switches for the living room are built into the side of the TV feature wall too.
On renovating the dining area
J: Before approaching 19EightyThree, I had spoken to a couple of different interior designers to source for dining area ideas, but Ben was the only one who came up with an interesting proposal. Originally, I wanted to cover up the household shelter beside the dining area with a mirror wall, and Ben suggested the idea of having a textured wall instead.
I also got to learn from one of the project managers that this feature wasn’t easy to build. To create the right visual effect, each of the flutes had to be of a different width and thickness – this is so that the shadow lines created by the overhead lights would be distinct.
On the kitchen’s new look
J: For the kitchen, it’s kept pretty much the same layout-wise; the space is fairly long, but it’s narrow so we chose to have built-ins on only one side of the space. There was also a tall storage unit in the original design of the house, but we got rid of that to make space for a longer countertop as well as a larger fridge and a wine chiller.
We kept to using ceramic floor tiles in the new design of the kitchen as well – that was a practical consideration because we do cook fairly often and tiles are easier to maintain compare to other flooring options.
About changes made to the common bathroom
J: The common bathroom is located inside the kitchen, and although we didn’t renovate it previously, we wanted to do everything up nicely this time round because this is the bathroom that our kids use.
The bathroom’s entrance was moved deeper into the kitchen – this was done to create sufficient depth for the new sink vanity, which was moved to the side of the space. In addition to that, we requested 19EightyThree to install a wall-mounted WC and a rain shower that I had bought online from INOVO as upgrades to the previous fixtures.
About the walk-in wardrobe and master bedroom’s makeover
J: With the master bedroom’s renovation, we were able to accomplish two things; one, we could keep our walk-in wardrobe, and two, it wouldn’t look as awkward in the space as it did before.
Prior to the renovation, the wardrobes were located right at the other end of the entrance, but now, they’re built into the side of the corridor leading into the master bedroom. With this change, we’re also now able to get a full view of the outside, unlike previously, where half of the bedroom’s windows were covered up the wardrobes.
For the sleeping area itself, we wanted it to be a calming space, so we chose an all-black colour scheme. And like the dining area’s feature wall, 19EightyThree introduced some subtle accents into the bedroom with the headboard’s design – if you look closely, you’ll see that it’s a textured panel with tiny edges on its surface.
About the master en suite’s renovation
J: Looks-wise, the master en suite matches the common bathroom closely, but there are some differences in the choice of fittings and built-ins. For example, we have a mirror cabinet in this bathroom because my wife and I need storage for our facial products.
Additionally, we requested for a recessed sink because that would give us enough countertop space on the sides to place our toiletries. The rain shower that’s installed in the en suite is also less fancy as compared to the common bathroom’s – it’s just a simple overhead fixture that comes with a mixer.
To sum up
J: I think our renovation was a very pleasant experience. Based on what my friends and family have told me, they often had to personally oversee aspects of their renovation to ensure that the final result was what they wanted.
But in our case, 19EightyThree was able to take care of every detail. We could tell Ben about the problems that we faced, and he’d come up with solutions for them. I’m also very happy with Clover Space, who are the project managers that 19EightyThree worked with; they were very meticulous and even took the initiative to fix minor details, such as the alignment of the living room’s air-con and overhead lighting strips.
Overall, we’re very pleased with our home, it looks much better and it’s also a lot tidier, especially our living room; it feels more like a relaxation area now, and not like the ‘storeroom’ it used to be! [laughs]
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