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Renovation Journey: Minimalist Comfort

September 21, 2016

At A Glance

  • Jason and Yumi, late 20s, designer and manager of a pole dance studio
  • Home to 2 adults
  • Location: Waterway Woodcress (BTO)
  • Area size: 93 sqm / 1,000 sqft
  • Renovation duration: 6 weeks
  • Cost of renovation: $46,000
  • Cost of furnishing and appliances: $30,000
  • Interior design firm: Third Avenue Studio
  • Interior designer: Kylie
Renovation Journey: Minimalist Comfort

If you are a true fan of the minimalist style, you'd love the minimalist paradise designed by the creative couple and Kylie, from Third Avenue Studio. This is a truly serene space you'd want to go home to everyday. Read more about their fuss-free renovation journey below.

Qanvast: Where do you search for Japanese-inspired home ideas?

Renovation Journey: Minimalist Comfort

Yumi (Y): Mainly online interior sites and Pinterest.

Jason (J): We also browsed at MUJI where they have campaigns where they style up spaces using their own furniture.

Qanvast: In your opinion, what are some characteristics of a Japanese-inspired home design?

Renovation Journey: Minimalist Comfort

Y: Keep the look as simple as possible. The Japanese are big on space-saving. Even when their homes are small, their homes look spacious that it really seems. Proportion is key. Don’t force things onto one place.

Qanvast: Why did you pick Kylie from Third Avenue Studio?

J: Out of the firms we spoke to, Third Avenue was the only one who understood our design concept. She was also around our age so it was easier to communicate with her.

Renovation Journey: Minimalist Comfort

Y: Kylie is a good listener. We told her we wanted to create a gap on the service yard partition and place a fan to help with the suction and cool the kitchen when we cook (see image below). She gave us what we wanted, unlike other firms who commented it was a bad idea or looked clueless. I have this in my previous home and I wanted to do the same for my new place.

Renovation Journey: Minimalist Comfort

J: Kylie had also proposed some great ideas like we wanted a white, wood and concrete theme but she discouraged us from using concrete as it is hard to maintain given the climate in Singapore.

Y: I really like the creative idea of making use of the space on kitchen wall (the pegboard near the entrance) and I can hang things, place some toys and shift the shelves around for flexible shelf spaces.

Qanvast: How was working with Kylie like?

Renovation Journey: Minimalist Comfort

Y: We were really chill over the renovation process and Kylie was quite awesome too. All of us tried to follow the schedule planned out. No major hiccups. She is also meticulous; she knew most of our furniture came from MUJI and she made an effort to find a colour closest to the furniture we bought so that the wardrobe laminate design doesn’t sticks out like a sore thumb.

Qanvast: Was it easy to look for furniture to fit the theme?

Y: Most of the items are from MUJI – the bookcase, sofa, storage, bed frame and mattresses, wall mirror, bean bag, side table etc. We made use of the interior consultation MUJI provides and they will recommend the items. It was a really good deal as we were members and some items we snagged were during the sale. If you’re interested to enlist their interior consultation services, you will need to make an appointment. In total, we spent around $10,000 in MUJI.

Renovation Journey: Minimalist Comfort

There were some miscellaneous items we bought from IKEA, like our hangers, and online – our quirky kitchen rug from Society 6, where they sell designers’ artworks and you can request to print on anything.

J: The most challenging part would be the pendant lightings for the dining area. After searching high and low in Singapore, we got ours from MUJI Japan. These lamps from MUJI Japan emit a soft glow to give that nice cosy ambience.

Renovation Journey: Minimalist Comfort

Y: Kylie also gave us some suggestions - the lightings and bedroom fan are from Verde Lighting and the bath fittings are from Living Phenomenon. Kylie will recommend the sizes on the items to get so that the design concept looks proportionate.

Qanvast: What would be your advice to homeowners?

Y: Having a mood board is a great idea. Rather than telling the designer you want this and that, it’s easier to show what you have in mind. This will also help to ensure the design stays consistent as after a while, everything starts to look similar.

J: Yes, plus not everyone can articulate certain visuals, and the designer may have a different interpretation to what you are saying.

Renovation Journey: Minimalist Comfort

Y: Also, you will need to trust your interior designer - many homeowners don’t understand designs and try to insist on what they want, but it’s best to let the professionals handle what they can. The designer will know what he/she is doing. We can relate to situations where clients want a lot of things but don’t know what they really want. (laughs)

J: And during the first meeting with your designer, bring along your a mood board and floor plans to better facilitate the discussion.

Renovation Journey: Minimalist Comfort

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