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This Bachelor Gave a Designer Free Rein Over His Flat’s Look

… and here’s how the renovation went!

When it comes to creating their ideal home, most owners would want to have a major say over the entire process. However, Jake, who’s a bachelor working in the IT line, took the less-trodden path by allowing his designer to have (almost) full say over his Yishun resale flat’s makeover.

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View this project by Swiss Interior Design

“I’m a first-time homeowner, and to be frank, I’m not very confident about visualising what’s best for me,” says Jake, when asked about his reasons for taking a hands-off approach to his home’s renovation as well as how he ended up approaching Swiss Interior Design for their assistance.

For an in-depth look at the (very spacious and efficient) results, keep scrolling!

About himself and the home

Jake (J): I moved into flat in November last year, together with my mother and 2-year-old dog. It’s a 20-year-old unit, so the interior definitely had to be updated.

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The home’s layout, pre-renovation. Red circle indicates where the storeroom had been levelled and transformed into a reading nook.

Although, I didn’t have an exact look in mind, I did have some specific requirements. For example, my home had to be spacious, simple, clean and had to include a home office to help save on rental costs – and Jason, who is my designer from Swiss Interior Design was able to help achieve that.

On changes made to the living room

J: I confess that I’m somewhat of a TV addict because I spend most of my time at home watching movies. Initially, I thought of getting a TV console, but Jason suggested a better way to display the TV by having a feature wall and a storage unit on the side for my Internet router, controllers and other electronics.

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“Jason helped me shop for accessories and décor as well,” shares Jake. “For example, he managed to find a clock that blends in well with the feature wall and art pieces around the house.”

Also, the feature wall was included for Fengshui reasons; it’s not the real deal, but the marble-effect texture that Jason proposed goes really well with the new vinyl flooring.

On changes made to the spare room

J: My only renovation request to Jason was to create a window between my the spare room, which would become my home office, and the living room. So, because of that, part of the partition wall had to be torn down to fit in a clear glass panel.

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The original wall separating the home office from the living room.

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The desk in the home office is customised for Jake’s use. It fits two desktops, keeps all the wiring hidden away, and has a special pull-out for the printer.

Since the home office overlooks into the living room, I had blinds installed for when I needed a more conducive environment to work in. There’s a cityscape printed on it, which matches the overall ‘urban’ vibe around the house.

For the work area, Jason came up with the idea of building in a row of cabinets at the back. It gives me plenty of storage space – I can even fit a ladder in there. Because of that, we were also able to do away with the storeroom that was originally attached to the home office and turn it into a reading nook.

On changes made to the kitchen

J: Jason had a rather unique idea to make the kitchen appear more interesting, and that was by having two rows of cabinets with different looks. The top-hung ones are clad in a granite-look laminate with strong white vein patterns, which create a strong contrast with the ones in the bottom row that have a simple woodgrain finish.

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Recessed lights were installed beneath the top-hung cabinets to keep the prep areas well-lit.

For consistency, Jason also stuck to a similar aesthetic for countertops, backsplash and the surrounding walls. I like it because it makes the entire kitchen look sleek and neat.

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The kitchen, pre-renovation.

One feature that I didn’t want for the kitchen was vinyl flooring – it’s because the kitchen is a wet area and vinyl can get slippery. Plus, having a tiled floor makes it easier to maintain the kitchen, both for cooking and pet-proofing reasons. I didn’t want a complicated pattern, so Jason brought me to Hafary, and we picked out these simple, rectangular tiles.

On changes made to the master bedroom

J: Out of all the areas, the master bedroom was the hardest to pin down in terms of looks, mostly because of the furniture layout. My Fengshui master had advised me to keep my feet positioned away from the doors, windows and en suite, so Jason had to find ways to accommodate these requirements.

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For example, he orientated the headboard cabinets in a way such that my head would not be too close to the en suite entrance, while ensuring that there would be sufficient storage space in the bedroom. There’s also an open niche that allows me to display and store my belongings in a convenient spot.

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The wardrobe in the master bedroom has motion-sensor lighting installed that allow Jake to find his clothes easily in the morning.

Finally, once again, because I’m a TV addict [laughs], a home entertainment set-up was a must for the bedroom, so Jason created an angled TV shelf that serves as a practical fixture as well as a point of visual interest.

On working with Swiss Interior Design

J: Being a first-time homeowner, I’m aware that renovating a flat requires quite a bit of legwork that I wasn’t particularly interested in doing myself. It’s why I sent in a quote request via Qanvast and met up with the shortlisted IDs.

I’m glad I was able to meet up with Jason in this way – not only was he able to work out a suitable budget with the right materials included, he was also very helpful in explaining the various ins-and-outs of the renovation process. On top of that, he went the extra mile to source for suitable furnishings and décor. Even the workmanship of the built-ins was great!

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Inside the junior master bedroom occupied by Jake’s mother.

It’s little things like this that let you know whether a designer truly cares about the final outcome. And without Jason’s help, I doubt that my renovation could have gone this smoothly because of my own lack of experience. Personally, I really feel that I’m lucky that I was able to find an interior designer who could accomplish so much on my behalf.

Now's a good time as any to get started on your renovation plans!

Many Singapore homeowners have had to put their renovations on hold due to COVID-19 BUT that doesn't mean you can't start planning for yours now.

Ironing out the kinks in your home makeover plan will enable it to proceed smoothly once circumstances improve, so if you’d like some professional help let us know and we'll link you up with local interior firms that offer virtual consultations!

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