From salmon pink walls to pear-shaped mirrors, this Tampines home is equal parts quirky and comfy!
When it comes to home aesthetics, artistic couple Daniel and Felicia wanted something more fun and vibrant.
“Both of us are, by nature, quite creative, so we wanted our home to reflect that,” explains Felicia. “To us, that meant splashes of colour, eclectic influences, and statement pieces around the house.”
Knowing that resale flats cost much more to renovate, one would think that renovation costs would shoot through the roof. But surprise – that’s not the case here, as the renovations for this contemporary-eclectic 4-room resale flat in Tampines cost just – wait for it – $37,000.
“We didn’t want any built-ins as we wanted something more fluid, so that really worked for us in terms of budget,” says Daniel. “But other than that, we realised that painting is a cheap way to liven up the place, so we opted for bright, vibrant colours to achieve the look we wanted.”
And achieve the look they most definitely have. To find out more about how they brought their quirky, colourful home to life, we sat down and had a chat with them.
About themselves and their home
Daniel (D): It's just me and my wife Felicia living here, although we plan to have kids in the near future. Both of us are fashionistas, and we both used to work in the creative industry, so by nature, we’re both quite artistic. We see our home as an extension of our personality, which is why we wanted our home to give off the creative vibe as well.
Felicia (F): We knew that we wanted something different from the usual Scandinavian styles you see in most HDBs. Both of us are avid travellers, and while we were overseas, we found ourselves drawn towards the creative way people decorated their homes - they tend to use statement furniture and different textures in their homes, which isn’t that common in Singapore.
We also found a lot of inspiration on Pinterest, where we find ourselves really liking the Spanish and Mediterranean-type homes. There were splashes of colour, lots of statement pieces, eclectic designs… they really looked like cheerful, playful homes that you’d remember being in.
D: But while we wanted a creative space, we also wanted to keep things affordable, since this is our first place as a couple. We didn’t foresee any major layout changes, and because we wanted to move things around as and when we liked, we didn’t want a lot of built-ins too. So that’s why we emphasised on the colours of the home, since it’s a more affordable way to liven up the place.
About the living and dining room makeover
F: While scrolling through Pinterest, we found ourselves going back to colours like salmon pink, yellow, and turquoise green. At the same time, we wanted to balance it out with lots of wood elements to keep the house warm and cosy, so that’s why everything from our floor to the TV console are made with dark wood.
D: We also chose to have a “feature wall” of sorts that shows off an assortment of artwork. We didn’t have any set arrangement or aesthetic in mind, we just picked whatever spoke to us. We have our framed honeymoon pictures, posters that add more colour to the home, and being Christian, we also have phrases put up that remind us of our faith.
On top of that, we also have statement pieces like our pear-shaped mirror to incorporate some shapes into the room. Nothing too crazy in the pieces we’ve picked out, of course – it’s just our way to add some personality to the home.
About the kitchen’s makeover
F: We painted our kitchen in the same bright colours we have in the communal areas. We opted for gold handles and taps elements to provide some contrast to these colours and to give off a warm, luxe vibe.
We chose to paint only one wall, as a feature wall in salmon pink, leaving the other walls in white. To draw extra attention to the area, we created a pointed backsplash that reminds of the white mountains we saw during our travels. We made sure to use tiles here, because as much as we wanted this backsplash to stand out, we also wanted it to be easily maintained.
D: The kitchen cabinets and drawer arrangements were largely decided by James, our interior designer from Charlotte’s Carpentry. Initially, we thought about having multiple drawers as storage solutions for our kitchen, but he suggested adding deep cabinets instead because they’d allow us to store bulky cooking appliances more easily.
About the bathrooms’ new look
D: During our travels, we found ourselves drawn to bathrooms that stand out, yet are chill and comfortable. So when we were brainstorming for interior ideas, we told James that we wanted our bathrooms to be the featured areas of our home.
One thing we really like about the hotel bathrooms we’ve seen is how they divide wet and dry areas very clearly, and that’s something we wanted as well. We also asked to keep the pipes exposed because we felt they’d look better that way; the previous owners had all of them boxed up, which made the bathroom feel really cramped.
F: The main thing that we didn’t want was for our bathrooms to look like your average HDB bathroom. We wanted them to be unique spaces, with statement pieces that give off a unique vibe. For the common bathroom, we went for a ‘cafe bathroom’ style that’s more like a fun, quirky mess, while the master bathroom was meant to be a more relaxing space for us, with darker colours and grey marble tiles.
Having a unique bathroom was so important for us that we went out to source for the tiles manually. Thankfully, Daniel has a close friend that owns a business working with tiles. He found premium Italian tiles for us, which we bought at competitive prices.
To sum up
F: James has been great to work with! He was very efficient, responsive, and detailed about everything. He’d run through our moodboard with us, and would give us a realistic perspective by telling us what would work and what wouldn’t.
We were initially very hesitant about proposing the designs we wanted, because we thought we might throw him off with how colourful it is. And to his credit, he was very honest with us and admitted that he’d never done a style like this before – he even asked us if we were trying to win some award (laughs). But he was very patient and accommodating, and also game to try new things, which we’re very grateful for.
D: Yes, overall, the whole renovation process was pretty smooth-sailing. It took place during the Circuit Breaker period, so we expected delays along the way. But all in all, everything was done within 2 months, which was way faster than we expected. And quality-wise, everything has been top-notch – we’ve been staying here for 9 months now, and everything is still working as it should. James is still very responsive to whatever questions we have for him, even now! We really have no regrets going with him – I’d definitely recommend him to friends and family.
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