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Renovation Journey: Contemporary Calm

At a Glance

  • Sharon Chan, HR
  • Size: 102 sqm / 1,100 sqft
  • Location: Telok Blangah
  • Cost of Renovation: $80,000
  • Interior Design Firm: Bowerman
  • Interior Designer: Chee Yin

A picture of style, comfort and practicality.

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In the process of giving her 102 sqm flat a contemporary makeover, Sharon found herself working with local interior design firm Bowerman. She shares with us how the renovation went, the challenges she encountered along the way, as well as her fruitful experience working with Bowerman.

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Qanvast: First and foremost, what did you do to come up with the initial concept of your home?

S: Generally, I like spaces that are clean and practical, and during our first discussion the Bowerman designers told me that I could find similar examples on Pinterest for inspiration. As part of my research, I also took a look at Bowerman’s past projects on Qanvast to better understand their work.

For the second meet-up, Bowerman came up with some concept drawings based on what I wanted, and everything continued on from there.

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Qanvast: Could you tell us what working with Bowerman was like?

S: It was great working with them. The Bowerman designers were always punctual and professional, and they took the time to answer any renovation queries that I had. They would also work around budget constraints by proposing alternatives, on top of doing their best with whatever resources that were on hand.

The other plus going for them is their contractors, they were trustworthy, professional, and easy to work with.

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Qanvast: How did you feel upon seeing your home for the very first time?

S: I think it’s very comfortable now, I really like how it looks. My favourite space is the master bathroom. For its design, I pretty much left it to Chee Yin (Bowerman designer), who came up with the overall concept.

We had initially wanted to box up the overhead pipes so that the space would look neater, but the idea was dropped due to space constraints so we had the pipes painted instead to keep them camouflaged.

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Qanvast: Other than the master bathroom, what else do you find appealing about your home?

S: The living area is also one of my favourites, I like how cosy it is. Interestingly, the wall that separates the living space from the dining area was built-up, so they weren’t separate areas originally. The dining room’s feature wall is great too as it actually hides the apartment’s bomb shelter from plain sight.

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Qanvast: On the practical side of things, what did you want for your home?

S: Durability and ease of maintenance. There’s no point having something that looks good, but does not last. It’s why I chose vinyl for the flooring, parquet wasn’t an option because it gets scratched more easily.

Something I also learnt is that vinyl flooring these days isn’t ‘plastic-looking’. The Bowerman designers suggested a realistic wood-lookalike that is durable, I thought that it was pretty cool and so we went for that suggestion.

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Qanvast: What did you find most challenging about the renovation?

S: It took some time getting the final look of the (dining room’s) feature wall right.

At first, I decided against the initial design because it was quite costly and Bowerman proposed some alternatives. But half-way during the renovation, I realised that the original was better-looking so we chose it instead. There’s the kitchen too, which is quite small, so it was a challenge getting everything to fit inside.

Bowerman was also very accommodating when it came to some last minute changes to the living room’s design. If you were to take a closer look at the divider wall, you’d notice an overhead display shelf. That was installed at the tail end of the project, and after the structure had been erected and painted.

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Qanvast: What are some do’s and don’ts that you would like to share with homeowners who are planning to renovate?

S: Do’s-wise, I feel that it’s important to have some idea of what you want your new home to look like. As for don’ts, you shouldn’t stifle your designers’ creativity by being nit-picky. Give them some leeway and try to be open to their suggestions, that’s important because the process of renovation isn’t easy.

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