When homeowner Sally stepped into her new 5-room BTO flat with her family for the very first time, she felt depressed. “Even when it was bare, the house felt really small and narrow,” she recalls. “It just wasn’t as large as what we thought, even though it would have been fairly spacious based on the 2D layouts that we saw.”
However, far from being disheartened, Sally quickly got to work with The Roomakers on creating an efficient layout that would allow her to maximise every inch of space that she had available, while keeping the overall look as uncluttered as much as possible.
Sally’s efforts eventually paid off, resulting in a dwelling that accommodates the needs, and not to mention, the hobbies of both her daughter and husband. “I feel much more comfortable living here after the renovation,” says the satisfied owner about her home’s current look. “Now, it feels right for its size.”
About her home’s new look
Sally (S): Going into the renovation, we didn’t really have a particular style in mind. We just wanted to make sure that things looked spacious. Also, because we stay on the 39th floor, which is the second highest level in our block, we wanted as much sunlight to enter as possible so that the house wouldn’t feel dark and cluttered.
On personal requirements
S: Because of how it would make the house feel more cramped, we chose not to have a false ceiling installed. Also, because my husband has multiple mountain bikes, we needed to have a space-efficient storage solution for them. We have plenty of books as well, so we needed a library, which we got instead of a regular study room.
About the various storage solutions in her home
S: The bicycle cabinet at the entryway is custom-made, and it’s larger than it seems. It currently holds three of my husband’s regular-sized bikes, and my daughter’s training bicycle. It also helps to ensure that the living room is clean as the bikes often accumulate dust and dirt after use.
For the library, we wanted as many bookshelves as possible, and we got the idea for the current design from a comics store, where you can stack multiple layers and roll them aside to access the books in the rear shelves. Creating the final product was a challenge for the carpenters as they had to find a way to ensure that the shelves would be able to hold the weight of all the books.
There’s also the display and storage cabinet in the centre of the living room, which serves two purposes. Firstly, to display my collection of Woodstock figurines, and secondly, to prevent my four-year daughter from getting access to our heavy exercise equipment, such as kettle weights and dumbbells.
On working with The Roomakers
S: We worked with Agnes from The Roomakers, and I have nothing negative to say about our experience. She listens well, doesn’t force her ideas on us, and was great at managing the entire project timeline as well as her sub-contractors, which made coordinating everything very easy.
In terms of communication, she provided my husband and I with regular updates through WhatsApp and was very proactive about our ad hoc requests for changes. Agnes also helped us to coordinate our deliveries with different companies, which was an additional service that wasn’t part of the contract.
About renovation challenges encountered
S: Overall, I would say that we didn’t encounter much difficulty. The only hiccup was that we made a mistake in orientating the TV console towards the windows, which resulted in reflective glares because of the sunlight. Fortunately, Agnes came up with a solution by getting a curtain contractor to install additional blackout blinds over the existing ones, which she did a great job with as it’s hard to tell that are two layers (of blinds).
Favourite spaces at home
S: I really like the cosy corner next to the living room’s dry pantry, it’s a personal spot that I love doing my work at, because of the constant breeze. On the other hand, my husband loves the library, he is an avid reader, and most of the books that we have at home belong to him.
Advice for new homeowners
S: It’s important to be upfront with your designers about what you need for your home, this prevents any assumptions or ambiguity. Also, don’t be pressured to say ‘yes’ to just about any idea that your designer proposes – it’s your house after all, and it’s where you will be staying in the future.