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This 32-Year-Old Yishun Flat Gets the Rustic-Chic Look Right

Before getting its current look, this refined Yishun flat was, in the words of its owner, “really dated”.

“When I first got the house, everything was different,” says teacher Mas, who shares her newly-renovated 120 sqm home with her parents, niece, and nephew. “I think the property is about 32 years old; it definitely needed a revamp, especially the kitchen, which I recall had green-and-orange cabinets originally.”

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At Mas’s request, local design firm Voila not only redid the kitchen entirely, but also updated the rest of the space with a charming, farmhouse-inspired look. Read on for our interview with Mas as she tells us about what went on behind the scenes!

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On her must-haves

Mas (M): Although the flat is a 5-room, there were only 3 bedrooms available, which is why one of my main requests for Voila was to convert the living room’s rear balcony into a fourth bedroom.

Also, because of the kitchen’s condition, I asked for it to be completely gutted. I needed the space to be both durable and easy to clean as my mother does a lot of cooking. For the backsplash and counter, I chose a quartz-on-quartz look to give the space a modern touch. To match these fittings, I had simple, grey cabinets done as they would draw less attention.

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On finding inspiration for her home’s new look

M: While I was researching about interior design online, I found some YouTube videos about farmhouse-style homes, I really liked how airy and easy on the eye they were.
However, I asked Voila to modernise the look with contemporary features, mostly because I wanted a home that could stand the test of time – something that I wouldn’t be sick of in the future.

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On getting to know Voila

M: I got to know about Voila through Qanvast, they were among the 5 design firms that were recommended to me.

Part of the reason why I chose to work with them was because my designer, Jason, was able to propose and create a larger bedroom at the living room’s balcony. Other designers that I spoke to mostly stuck to the existing boundaries of the balcony in their plans, and that would have been too tight to live in.

On working with Voila

M: Jason was very direct during our discussions and I appreciated that very much. Instead of mincing his words, Jason would tell me upfront whether my decor choices would work or wouldn’t – that was something which was very clear to me from the moment we met to discuss my moodboard ideas.

Jason is also very responsive. I didn’t have to touch base with him in order to check on my home’s progress as he would always send regular updates. I could trust him to manage the project, which made things easier on my part.

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About the renovation process

M: Other than building a new bedroom and revamping the kitchen, Voila also installed new vinyl flooring in the living room. Initially, I wanted the vinyl to run through all the bedrooms, but I ended up scrapping this idea because the existing parquet floor was still in surprisingly good condition.

Another thing that was changed was my original plan to have all-white walls in the living room, which I realised would look too plain. Jason later suggested creating a brick-like pattern using moulds and that helped to add some texture to the space.

About challenges encountered

M: I think there was only one hiccup. I have 2 pet cats and I requested for customised grilles to prevent them from falling out of the window.

However, the initial set that arrived had both horizontal and vertical bars, which made me feel claustrophobic. Fortunately, Jason was able to secure a new set with only horizontal bars that are now installed in every room.

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On the best thing about her renovation experience

M: It was really nice seeing my home come to life step-by-step, especially how it went from a 3D drawing to an actual house that I can live comfortably in. The only thing that I would change is heeding the advice of my designer on the position of the washing machine, so that the kitchen would look even nicer! [laughs]

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