Going into the renovation, homeowners Cindy and her husband knew they did not want a cookie-cutter HDB design but instead, a darker, contemporary interior with an unexpected layout. Their search for an interior designer led them to interior firm, ARK-hitecture, who was able to help the couple realise their vision.
We sit down for a chat with Cindy to find out more about her renovation.
On her renovation requirements
Cindy (C): I knew the look I was aiming for and that I didn't want a home layout that looked like a typical BTO because I didn't want it to feel just just another HDB flat.
Genereally, I got my ideas and inspiration from Pinterest and ARK-hitecture was able to improvise on these ideas, advising us what could or could not be done.
I also knew that I wanted to combine two rooms for our master bedroom as the original one was too small for us.
On practical advice from her designer
C: Initially we wanted cement screed flooring in the kitchen but our designer advised against it. He told us that that type of flooring would trap a lot of dust and get oily easily. On a whole, it would definitely be very difficult to maintain. Therefore, we decided to get floor tiles instead.
Her biggest bargain
C: Our 56-inch TV. It usually costs around $3000 to $4000, but I got it on promotion so I only paid $2199 - about half the price!
Her biggest splurge
C: The amount paid to hang the TV on the wall. To have it hanging like this cost three times more than what I would have paid if I just placed it on top of the console. However, I didn’t want to leave the TV standing on the console because I think this feature elevates the home's interior look and style.
On a unique feature
C: The accent tiles from the main door to the bedrooms. Initially, the plan was to use the same tiles across the entire living space. However, our designer suggested incorporating an accent tile to visually demarcate the living area and create that distinction between spaces.
On shopping for items on Taobao
C: I bought quite a number of items from Taobao. When shopping, I would first read the reviews before deciding to make any purchase. So far, so good. My advice would be to buy mid-range items from Taobao, since that has worked out well for me; don't buy anything that is too cheap.