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Geylang 4-Room Resale Flat Gets a Touch of Mid-Century ‘Magic’

June 9, 2022
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See how heritage accents (think breezeblocks) give this abode a unique twist. Plus, don’t miss useful home cleaning tips from Magiclean to help keep your space spick and span!

While the mid-century modern look has been trending of late, for homeowners Gwen and JH, designing their charming 4-room resale flat in Geylang Serai was more than simply creating an ‘Insta-worthy’ space.

Geylang Serai by The Local INN.terior 新家室 featuring Magiclean x Qanvast: The Essential Cleaning Kit

“When I envisioned my home, I wanted it to be a space where every item tells a story,” says Gwen, who shares the flat with her husband and their two dogs. “I took charge of the aesthetic side of things, but JH was more concerned about the functionality of the home. Still, I think we managed to strike a balance!”

Keep scrolling to find out how they managed to transform their once ‘meh’ 9-year-old resale HDB flat into a quaint haven for two. Plus, check out useful home cleaning tips to help achieve a spotless home – even in intricate spaces!


About themselves and their home

Gwen (G): Hi, I’m Gwen and I work in the tech industry. My husband, JH, works in civil service.

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This home was about nine or ten years old when we got it and the previous owners kept to a very simple design that most BTOs have. To save some costs, we didn’t do much hacking, partly because the unit mostly had structural walls. Instead, we overlaid tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms.

When we were planning for our renovation, we definitely relied a lot on Qanvast! We came across a ‘first-wave’ of mid-century modern homes on the platform and really loved the style. We also liked that the projects showcased on Qanvast were local homes, which really helped us envision our home’s layout better.

On renovating their living room

G: I would describe our home’s design as mid-century modern with a Peranakan twist. I’ve loved all things Peranakan ever since I was little, so I wanted to incorporate some accents into our home, but not let them dominate the look. We also stuck to the main colour palette of green and burnt orange to bring a bit of warmth to the space.

Geylang Serai by The Local INN.terior 新家室 featuring Magiclean x Qanvast: The Essential Cleaning Kit

To keep their living room floors free of Shelby’s fur balls, Gwen uses the Magiclean Wiper Mop and Dry Sheets to trap pet fur (and dust!) easily. It can also swivel around furniture legs to pick up long hair. For cleaning up sticky stains, the Wet Sheets are the perfect quick fix.

Initially, we really wanted a balcony, so we got our ID to design some doors for us to partition the space. However, after much discussion, we realised that the doors would be mostly left open to allow for the breeze to come in. As such, we decided to partition the space with breezeblocks that we got from An Huat instead.

Geylang Serai by The Local INN.terior 新家室 featuring Magiclean x Qanvast: The Essential Cleaning Kit

Previously, Gwen had to lug a step stool out just to clean the pendant lights above the dining area. Now, she relies on her trusty Magiclean Handy Duster Extendable to keep these hard-to-reach areas dust-free. Plus, its absorption fibres ensure that there’s no fly-away dust when cleaning her trinkets.

JH: We went with a higher quality vinyl floor that could hold up to our dogs’ pawing. As our home has pretty high humidity, we also opted for paint with lower levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to keep any musty odours away.

WATCH: Take a tour around Gwen and JH’s mid-century modern home, complete with cleaning tips from Magiclean

On making over their kitchen

G: To adhere to the whole mid-century modern look, we opted for dark wood cabinets. For the countertop, we actually chose sintered stone because after doing some research, we found out that it’s more resistant than quartz.

Geylang Serai by The Local INN.terior 新家室 featuring Magiclean x Qanvast: The Essential Cleaning Kit

The kitchen pre-renovation (left) and post-renovation (right). In line with Gwen and JH’s vision of having an easy-to-maintain kitchen, getting tough grease stains off the countertop and induction stove is a breeze with the Magiclean Kitchen Cleaner Refreshing Lime.

Because we don’t cook often, we didn’t need the extra storage space from installing upper cabinets and opted for an induction stove that didn’t take too much space underneath. That allowed us to store bulkier items like pots and pans in the lower cabinets.

On revamping the study

G: For our study, we kept the design pretty minimal. To tie in with our earthy colour palette, we painted a burnt orange feature wall for our reading nook. We got some Billy bookcases from IKEA to hold all our trinkets and memorabilia that we got from overseas travels and handpainted the bookshelves for a mid-century modern feel.

Geylang Serai by The Local INN.terior 新家室 featuring Magiclean x Qanvast: The Essential Cleaning Kit

The study pre-renovation (left) and post-renovation (right).

On renovating their bathrooms and master bedroom

G: For the common bathroom, we opted for a simple design for our guests which is why we chose these mermaid tiles.

Geylang Serai by The Local INN.terior 新家室 featuring Magiclean x Qanvast: The Essential Cleaning Kit

The common bathroom pre-renovation (left) and post-renovation (right). The Magiclean Daily Care Toilet Foam Spray Refreshing Citrus helps to keep this all-white bathroom smelling fresh all day, and in pristine condition by removing tough stains while preventing the build-up of dirt.

Geylang Serai by The Local INN.terior 新家室 featuring Magiclean x Qanvast: The Essential Cleaning Kit

The master ensuite pre-renovation (left) and post-renovation (right). To maintain spotless grout lines that contrast perfectly with the master ensuite’s emerald tiles, Gwen uses the Magiclean Stain & Mold Remover to spritz and clear up mouldy areas in five minutes — without the need for scrubbing.

At the start, we wanted to opt for Peranakan tiles for our master en-suite. However, in order to reduce costs and keep to our renovation budget, we decided to forgo them and got these gorgeous emerald tiles from Hafary instead! I love them so much that we even had to delay our renovation because these tiles were out of stock.

Geylang Serai by The Local INN.terior 新家室 featuring Magiclean x Qanvast: The Essential Cleaning Kit

Scents can evoke the right ambience in a space. To create a calm yet refreshing vibe at home, Gwen and JH use the Magiclean Natural Essence Floor Cleaner Soothing Zen for cleaner floors with a hint of chamomile and fruity peach.

On finding their ID from Qanvast

G: We got in touch with our ID Teck Hou from The Local INN.terior because we saw his projects on Qanvast! As The Local INN.terior isn’t BCA-accredited, we thought that the $50,000 Qanvast Guarantee was really helpful as it gave us additional assurance.

The whole design process was very smooth, and we had a lot of fun during our renovation! Of course, we also did our due diligence as well by reading reviews of the interior firms online and doing up a mood board with ideas we had for our home.

Geylang Serai by The Local INN.terior 新家室

Meeting the IDs was a very important process for us. We wanted to meet them in person to see their ‘vibes’ and determine if we could work well with them. In fact, we met about thirteen interior designers before engaging Teck Hou. Although he was a bit more expensive, we eventually engaged him as we knew we could trust him.

Because we’re first-time homeowners, we wanted our ID to advise us on what’s doable or practical. When we first started out we were very idealistic and had a long wishlist — we wanted a Peranakan swing door and a lot more other fixtures in the house. But the more IDs we spoke to, we got a better sense of what can or cannot be done, which helped us set a realistic expectation of our renovation.

Geylang Serai by The Local INN.terior 新家室

After staying here for almost a year, we have little to no renovation regrets! If we have one piece of advice to fellow homeowners, it would be to keep in mind that renovation is an ongoing process. What you started out with might not be what you get in the end. Even after you move in, you’d be surprised how much your house might change as you go along!


Creating a home you love is more than just renovating a space

Building your dream home is a fun and rewarding experience, but so is keeping it in tip-top condition! In partnership with Magiclean, we’ve curated The Essential Cleaning Kit ($65.75, U.P. $77.35) — full of must-have cleaning products to maintain every part of your new home, or as a fun housewarming gift.

Geylang Serai by The Local INN.terior 新家室 featuring Magiclean x Qanvast: The Essential Cleaning Kit

The bundle also comes with a free handy cleaning guide, a collapsible crate to store your cleaning favourites, and cute stickers — delivered for free to your doorstep! It’s available exclusively on the Kao Official Shopee Store in limited quantities. Enjoy an extra $5 off^ (min spend of $50) with the promo code KAOOMCQV5.

^T&Cs apply. Valid from 8 to 31 June 2022, while stocks last.

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