Reconfiguring An Old Bishan Resale Flat Into A Family Home
After a first renovation experience where things didn’t exactly turn out as planned, homeowners Michael and Elizabeth knew the importance of finding a designer who they could trust for their renovation.
Having purchased a resale flat, Michael and Elizabeth wanted to reconfigure the home's existing layout to create a airy, spacious abode for the household - two kids, three dogs and a helper. To bring their ideas to life, they entrusted the project to designers Zheng Yuan and Joel from Metamorph Design.
We sit down for a chat with the friendly couple who share more with us about their pleasant renovation journey with Metamorph Design.
Their thoughts going into the renovation
Elizabeth (E): We’ve worked with a designer previously for the renovation of our first home and the final design of the home wasn’t similar to what we had seen in the initial drawings. That’s why we knew that we had to show pictures to the designers this time round to ensure that they really understand what we wanted.
About finding a designer
E: Prior to meeting up with the various interior design firms, I went onto Pinterest to find pictures of designs that I like. During the initial meetups with the designers, we would then show these pictures to the designers and share with them our brief for our home so they could get a good understanding of what we wanted.
About choosing to work with Metamorph Design
E: Out of the five interior design firms we met, Metamorph Design was the only firm that would assign two designers to our project which I felt was a huge plus point in their favour. Ultimately, we chose them because we felt most comfortable with them. They also engaged us in a very thorough way and we felt that they were trustworthy.
Their renovation requirements
E: Specifically, we wanted a walk-in wardrobe and an open bookshelf to house my husband’s collection of CDs and books. We also needed space in the house to accommodate a huge fish tank. Overall, we wanted our home to be spacious and to have a lot of light.
Michael (M): We also wanted wooden floors instead of white flooring, like what we had in our previous home; our dogs shed and it's harder to see the fur against a wood surface.
On ideas brought to life
E: We showed our designers many Pinterest pictures of how we wanted our kitchen to look like and they were able to recommend similar designs that would complement our lifestyle. They were also able to advise us on the materials used, and even on to the littlest details like the kind of knobs that we should use.
On working with Metamorph Design
E: We had very detailed discussions with our designers and they were efficient at getting things done. They updated us on every single thing and if there was a mistake, they would acknowledge it and get it rectified. They were also really quick to respond to our queries and provide us with explanations if needed.
E: We also liked that they were very hands-on. My husband came down to the site quite frequently and he knew that they were around almost every day to make sure that the renovation was proceeding smoothly.
On planning the layout of their home
M: To us, the layout was the most important factor that we considered. Prior to the renovation, we knew we wanted an aquarium and a walk-in wardrobe, and where we wanted them to be. We also wanted our daughter and helper to have their own rooms. From there, we were thus able to tell Metamorph Design how we wanted our home's layout to be.
On their aquarium
E: In my old house, we had a balcony and Michael actually created a pond. He had a huge covered tank with frogs inside and fish at the bottom. When we moved here, we didn't have an outdoor space so he decided to bring the aquarium in and put plants on top.
M: The aquarium is from Green Chapter. They’re the ones who designed the aquariums at Night Safari - they’re the crème de la crème. It’s a dream for me! It’s a nightmare for her.
Their biggest splurge
M: We spent the most on the reconfiguration of the space. The old configuration was a little strange as there was an L-shaped room (where the storeroom door was) which was the biggest room in the house, but not the master bedroom.
There also wasn’t a window in the room where we wanted our helper to sleep so we had to push this wall back so that we could create a window for her room. Without this and the ventilation blocks, her room wouldn’t have any ventilation so these were necessary but expensive expenses.
Their biggest bargain
M: It would have to be this set of shelves (at the study area in front of the main door). We had a set of shelves from Comfort Design in our previous home that we decided to bring over. We then purchased more shelves from them and added it on to get this design.
This is definitely a bargain because it would have been very expensive if I got our interior designer to design something like this for us.
Their advice for other homeowners
E: You have to find an interior designer who you can trust and understands what you want. You also have to be very detailed with your designer during the initial stages to make sure that they understand what you want.
M: Know the layout that works best for you. Once you know your layout, it saves you a lot of time going back and forth during discussions with your interior designer.