Renovation Journey: A "Friends" Style Home
At a Glance
- Jeremy, 35, Business Development Manager, his wife Yi Ling, 35, HR Advisor, their young daughter and his mother-in-law
- Size: 125 sqm / 1345 sqft
- Location: Queen’s Close
- Cost of Renovation: $80,000
- Cost of Furnishing: $7,000
- Interior Design Firm: Ace Space Design
- Interior Designer: Nick Pang and Jaysie Low
“Measure twice and you only need to cut once. Measure once and you end up cutting twice”.
Adopting this principle, homeowner Jeremy was meticulous in planning his home renovation - his efforts ultimately rewarded at the end of fourteen weeks when his “Friends” style apartment came together.
We sat down for a chat with Jeremy and got him to share with us about the amazing transformation of his resale apartment.
Qanvast: What made Nick and Jaysie stand out from the other interior designers that you met?
Jeremy (J): Including Ace Space, we met five interior designer firms in total. After speaking to all these designers, we found that Ace Space’s design was the closest to what we had in mind.
Nick really impressed us with his ability to draw the designs by hand on the spot. He did it right in front of us as we were telling him what we want.
Qanvast: Can you share more about your design brief?
J: We told him we wanted a raw, industrial design; we wanted to cement screed but also lots of wood elements for that sense of comfort.
We also told him that we like the look of the homes in the “Friends” series and that we wanted to replicate that sort of New York style in our apartment.
Qanvast: Where did you get your furniture from?
J: We bought a lot of our furniture from Wiharjda. They have a lot of Balinese style pieces made out of solid wood which gives a very warm, homely feel. I also bought some of my furniture from shops like Hock Siong and IKEA.
Qanvast: What did you like best about working with Nick?
J: He’s not a yes-man. We didn’t want somebody who is a yes-man or a yes-designer. For example, Nick advised us against using cement screed in the kitchen.
He said that if we cook really often, the cement screed will get very oily and greasy, and in time to come, it will crack. We took his advice and chose to tile the kitchen instead.
Also, Nick was able to fully understand what we wanted and propose designs that suited our requirements. He and Jaysie were very prompt when it came to coming back to us with the changes that needed to be made.
Qanvast: Tell us about the thought that went into designing your daughter’s room?
J: Our daughter is eight years old and her tastes will evolve in time to come. With that in mind, we did not want her room to look too childish nor did we want it to be mature. Nick did a great job in coming up with a design that is a good mix of both. We feel that this design would still be suitable for her twenty years down the road.
Qanvast: Your feature wall looks really interesting. Tell us about it.
J: I had an idea of doing a feature wall where the brick would be on the outer area while the cement will be underneath it to give a broken cement kind of feel. After sharing this idea with Nick, he proposed reversing it so that the cement would be on top of the brick so that it exposes the brick inside, as though the cement was being torn off to expose the brick inside. I really like it as adds that New York vibe to the home.
Qanvast: We noticed that you have two dining areas.
J: One table is or our family to have meals while the other table is purely for guests. I have a rather huge extended family and we often hold gatherings so I wanted there to be enough space for everyone to dine together. On a normal day, it becomes a work space.
Qanvast: What is your favourite part about your home design?
J: It’s exactly how I wanted it to be. My home feels very cosy and that it’s a place where I can have some peace and serenity. The neighbourhood here is really nice and quiet too. I used to go out quite a bit but after moving into this place, I feel like spending more time at home.
Qanvast: What tips do you have for homeowners who are about to embark on their renovation?
J: Homeowners should come down as often as they can to check on the renovation progress to ensure that things are going the way that they intend. Be more hands on! Ultimately, this is their home and they will be the ones who will be staying in it, not the interior designers.
Qanvast: Any advice for new homeowners who are moving into resale apartments?
J: Change all the pipes and the electrical wiring. These are important aspects of the renovation, so don’t scrimp and save there.
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