Step Inside an Airy Abode at Newton Road with Bespoke Spaces
This spacious condominium home makes the case for sunny spaces (and a centrepiece sofa).
For homeowner Dalene, what makes a great dwelling, aside from the usual trappings of modern-day life, is a living space that visitors can feel welcome in – and it’s precisely why a sunny and spacious sitting area ranked highly on her list of renovation must-haves.
Interior Firm: Free Space Intent
“Entertaining (guests) is something that I do regularly, so I really wanted a living room that’s large enough,” shares the woman of the house, who recently moved back from Hong Kong with her husband and two sons. “It good to have a comfortable space that everyone can enjoy.”
Keep scrolling for a peek into Dalene’s freshly renovated home and to find out what makes it the perfect starting point for her new life in Singapore.
Dalene (D): My family and I are all Singaporeans, but we’re kind of like returnees in a way? We’ve been living in Hong Kong for some time, and it was only in December last year that we moved back. It’s the reason why we set up this apartment as our new home.
Front, homeowner Dalene and her sons. Rear, Free Space Intent designers, Leon (left) and Raymond (right)
On the overall aesthetic
D: I think what’s special about the (home’s) design is how we created it. Most people start out by thinking about the look first, before picking out their furniture, but we did things the other way round.
On changes made
D: What attracted me to this house in the first place was the layout – it’s spacious and there are no awkward corners. So, we definitely had to find ways to make full use of these qualities.
For the living room, it’s quite squarish so I found it quite easy to plan, space-wise. Plus, it’s big enough so my furniture choices aren’t limited to just small items. I also like how there’s a dry kitchen – that’s where I have my breakfast when the weather is bad.
I am still in the process of adding more greenery to the house, particularly for the balcony, even though there are already some planters around and it’s already sort of a garden/outdoor dining area.
And speaking about the balcony, this is the first time that I have had such a large one. Initially, the plan was to have more indoor space, but gradually I grew to like the idea of having a large deck that’s wide open – it’s another area where I can entertain guests, aside from the living room.
Meanwhile, the entrance to the master bedroom is located right next to the dry kitchen, so I asked for it to be concealed by a feature wall with wood slats.
Initially, there weren’t any plans to include any natural materials in the design, but that part of the plan changed because we were afraid that the living room’s feature wall would end up looking too cold.
Quite frankly, this (master) bedroom isn’t ideal in terms of storage, but it’s still a nice resting place with a calm, grey look. There was some brainstorming over how we could accommodate a larger wardrobe, but we just ended up customising it with all sorts of useful fittings.
Other than the master bedroom, there are two more rooms.
First is the children’s bedroom that my sons share – they’ve always wanted a bunk bed, but I didn’t want just any regular bunk, which is why we asked Leon, who is our interior designer, to custom-make one.
There are cabinets of various sizes at the head of the bed, where my sons can store their toys. There’s also a new seat that’s built on top of the existing bay window.
Then there’s the study/guest room. It was designed for my elder son’s use when he gets older and needs privacy.
Like the children’s bedroom, the cove bed here was built on top of an existing bay window seat to maximise space; it also come with three storage drawers that we use to keep books and other belongings.
In terms of changes, there weren’t as much for the master en suite and the Jack-and-Jill bathroom. Basically, we just replaced the basins as well as mirror cabinets with new ones, and added under-sink cabinets for the shared bathroom.
On working with Free Space Intent
D: It was very pleasant working with Leon and Free Space Intent. He pretty much managed the entire project, from the carpentry to furniture delivery, after I returned to Hong Kong after firming up the renovation plans in detail.
The apartment's wet kitchen
During the planning process, Leon was also aligned with our design preferences and he could tell exactly what we wanted, especially in terms of materials, which made it communicating with him fairly easy.
To sum up
D: I would say that it (the experience) exceeded my expectations. Half of the time when you speak to people about their renovation, the response is negative with a lot of anger and complaints.
Because of that when I first started renovating, I had very low expectations. But fortunately, Leon could be trusted to get the job done and I am glad the house turned out the way it is!
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