If homemaker San has anything to say about moving to a smaller home, it is that downsizing does not have to be a dirty word – and that is because shifting from her previous dwelling (a two-storey landed property) to a cosier 180 sqm condominium apartment at Duo Residences has led to improvements in both her daily life and family ties.
“In the past, even though there was a (larger) living space, we would all return to our own bedrooms after dinner,” says San, who shares her current home with her husband, two daughters, and a domestic helper. “But now, we get to interact with each other more often as the entire house is smaller, but more connected.”
Likewise, an expanded layout and extra storage solutions created by The Orange Cube proved to be game-changers for San and her family. “These days, I find that it’s a lot easier to manage the house,” she says. But what exactly did these upgrades consist of? We had a quick chat with San to find out.
About her home’s new look
San (S): Personally, I don’t like homes that are very dark, and that’s why the entire house has a beigey, off-white look to it. At the same time, even though the bulk of the renovation works involved building new carpentry, I didn’t want too many woody textures in the house.
I also requested for my designer, Chris, who is from The Orange Cube, to create a luxurious look, but not one that is over-the-top or too loud.
On her renovation requirements
S: Our main renovation requirement was to create more space in the bedrooms – and that involved getting rid some of the existing walls and cabinetry. One of the things we did was to combine the master bedroom and an adjacent bedroom, which has been converted into a study-cum-walk-in-wardrobe.
Also, because we were prepared to sink our roots here, I didn’t mind spending on quality materials and fittings that are more durable as well.
For example, in the wet kitchen, I wanted the existing solid surface counters to be swapped for quartz tops because they are heat and scratch-resistant. I also asked for the new kitchen cabinets to be built all the way to the top so that they would require less cleaning.
On renovation works done
S: Aside from connecting the master bedroom and study/walk-in wardrobe, the renovation was also heavily focused on making enlarging my both of my daughters’ bedrooms.
For my younger daughter’s bedroom, the entrance and wardrobe were pushed outwards towards the exterior walkway to create more space. This was done by getting rid of a cabinet along the passage, which gave us the extra room we needed. We also sacrificed some of the study/walk-in wardrobe’s space to give the front shelves (facing the bed) more depth.
About renovation challenges encountered
S: In the process of renovating my older daughter’s bedroom, we took notice of a very thick ‘beam’ above the sleeping area, which felt quite oppressive because of how much overhead space it took up.
After calling the contractors in to take a look at it, I later learnt that said ‘beam’ was actually a concealment box for the room’s air-con pipes and ceiling wiring. Fortunately, Chris and her team were able to shrink the box by repositioning its contents, and after dropping the ceiling a little, this eyesore is no longer noticeable.
About getting to know The Orange Cube
S: I got to know about The Orange Cube from Qanvast while doing my research online. Among the five firms that were recommended to me, I ended up taking a liking to them because their style and design ideas were a good fit.
However, what convinced me was my first meeting with Chris. As she was able to explain her suggestions, Chris came across as confident and experienced, which was quite reassuring to us. Chris was also able to come up with a layout that made sense to us and she was able to give us a preliminary proposal very quickly.
On working with The Orange Cube
S: Working with Chris and The Orange Cube turned out to be much better than how I thought it would go.
Due to a previous (poor) renovation experience, I didn’t dare to expect much at the start, and even my daughters were doubtful that the revamp would be completed in the promised 8 weeks. However, The Orange Cube finished the work in just 6 weeks. We were so ahead of schedule that I was confident that I could go on a worry-free holiday before the renovation was completed.
And throughout my trip, Chris would provide with regular updates through WhatsApp. I didn’t have to chase her much either, and the final workmanship was up to expectations. Her team of contractors are also self-starters and if I needed something to be rectified, it would get done after having a word with the site manager.
About her favourite space at home
S: It’s hard for me to pick one, because everything looks great and functions well to me. There’s just too many things I like!
For example, I feel that my elder daughter’s bedroom is very well put-together. The colour scheme feels cosy, but it’s elegant at the same time. And not to mention, the marble feature wall in living room; it was pricey, but the cost is worth it because of how the entire space looks classier now. The hideaway area in the dry kitchen, that I use to store my toaster and coffee maker, is also a nice touch.