It’s no plain Jane.
Homeowner Jenny has always been drawn to white, but she didn’t want things to look flat. “It has a classic and timeless appeal,” said Jenny. “However, the colour can come off a little one-note. To prevent it from going down that route, my husband and I decided to play around with a myriad of textures.”
We sat down with her to peel back the layers and find out how they, together with their designer from Yang’s Inspiration, created this 5-room HDB at Bukit Batok!
More about herself
Jenny (J): I live together with my husband and our pet dog in this 5-room flat!
On her home’s concept
J: I had done plenty of research online – taking inspiration from the likes of Pinterest, Tumblr and Facebook posts – so I had an inkling of what kind of style I preferred. I really wanted to keep things looking timeless but not too monotonous, with plenty of storage space for my collection of clothes, handbags and make up.
On changes made
J: We chose to use white for most parts of the home to give it that enduring air. To prevent it from looking too cookie-cutter, we jazzed it up with various textures. Take our living room for instance – we integrated picture frame moulds and a raised platform that houses our study area.
J: While we initially wanted to raise a glass room, it will be harder to remove in the future (if we wanted to tweak the space). Our interior designer Ivan persuaded us to go with a raised platform instead. This way, we get to be part of the action when we have our friends or family over as this area is no longer enclosed! The extensive work station that he worked in allows us to work side by side too.
J: Our ceiling was inspired by my old home in Thailand (I was from there). My husband was the one who came up with the idea – he then drew it up, updated it with an additional cove layer and told our interior designer, who built on the idea.
J: The dining area had this lone wall and we thought to introduce some texture to the space but we didn't want just the typical feature wall. So, we attempted to do something different by using this tufted cushion that’s usually featured in most bedrooms (like the headboard).
J: Because it’s placed on the wall, it also doubles as a convenient backrest for our bench – my friends enjoy taking #OOTDs with it as the backdrop too when they come over!
J: While we kept most of our built-ins consistent, we did make a few concessions in the kitchen. At first, we considered going for a different colour palette but decided against it in the end – we had dark grey countertops at our old condominium and it was quite the hassle to clean as we couldn’t see the grime much. This led us to choose the current cream colour work tops that you see in our kitchen, which complements our white cabinetry.
J: The walls surrounding the household shelter got an update too. It was originally clad in orange tiles and I thought “This has to go”. So, when we were selecting our tiles for the floor as well as our bathroom, I coincidentally spotted this particular brick-like pattern and fell in love with it.
J: Like I mentioned earlier, because we got a dog, we couldn’t really go for parquet or vinyl flooring since it’s not as pet-friendly. The wooden ceramic floor tiles that we chose for the bedroom and wardrobe gave us the warm effect while still being easy-to-clean because of its rougher surface.
J: And to keep things looking consistent, we employed the same picture frame moulding here – who knows, we just might fill it in with photos and keepsakes in the future.
J: Our walk-in wardrobe was the biggest change we made. To achieve the expansive space, we joined two bedrooms together. Initially, we wanted the wardrobe to span the entire space, but we couldn’t do that because of the window. Instead I changed out that part of it for a settee area, one that’s filled with additional storage compartments!
J: My friends were the ones who advised me to use glass doors (I would have went with an open concept wardrobe otherwise). I felt like it was a wise move to make since I get to minimise the accumulation of dust while preventing the space from looking too plain.
J: Most bathrooms are slanted at an angle for the water to drain through when you wash them. Unfortunately for us, we had to get the interior designer to fashion a curb for us as there wasn’t a pre-existing one. But other than the minor hiccup, we did the minimal here. Just overlaying of the wall tiles and installing the flooring.
On working with Ivan and Yang’s Inspiration
J: When I was embarking on the renovation, I didn’t have much to go off on – my friends have not received the keys to their own places yet. I tried my hand at looking for interior designers but what they had in mind didn’t coincide with my own vision. Rather, they proposed different ideas than building on my own. Ivan, on the other hand, did. He was also renovating his own house at the time, which I got to see and that pretty much sealed the deal for me.
J: How did he build on my ideas? Take our shoe cabinet for instance. It was standing alone so he proposed that we extend it with a glass, lined with gold, to anchor it and make it look less plain. He even worked in a pull-out ironing board (concealed in one of our cupboards) in our walk-in wardrobe!
To sum up
J: Though renovations can be relatively stress-free and speedy (like mine), I think that it's still important to start looking at ideas to get a better picture of your likes and dislikes.
J: Also, while 3D drawings may look great, it may not always be the best representation of the end space. The end product may look slightly different due to lighting and other external factors. That’s why you should always try to use similar elements to make the home a little more cohesive.
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