This Designer’s Tidy 4-Room Flat Hides Everything with Wood
She even has a vanity built into the wall of her bedroom!
Dusting, cleaning, wiping – frankly, a home requires a lot of maintenance to keep it in tip-top shape. But, how would you design a space if you’re hard-pressed for time? Homeowner and interior designer Angie decided that the best approach to this is to conceal everything with wood.
“I knock off at 8/9pm or even later at times,” shared Angie. “So, I don’t have much time to spend taking care of the home – that’s where all the cabinetry and storage comes into play as it keeps things neat.”
Interior Firm: The Interior Lab
To get the lowdown on how she conceptualised the design for her 4-room resale flat at Fernvale Road, we spoke to Angie herself to find out more about her creative process.
About herself and her family
Angie (A): Hi, I’m Angie. As you already know, I’m an interior designer at The Interior Lab, and I share this house with my husband.
More about the home’s concept
A: Personally, I have always been drawn to darker tones, it’s even reflected in how I dress in black most times (laughs). That’s why you see a lot of darker coloured elements and wood tones scattered throughout our home. Together, the whole house has a modern luxe feel that takes after those of boutique hotels – it’s really cosy too.
“Most of the revisions we made were to make cleanup easier on us, including the flooring,” said Angie. “We switched out the original parquet in the living room for tiles – these ones are from Italy, and they cost around $15 per sqm. It’s definitely a splurge, but if I chose any other tile, the house might not look as cohesive as it does now.”
I spent a solid year from conceptualising to the actual renovation for the flat. Honestly, it took a little longer than I expected, but I really thought things through and that allowed us to build a space that is a great fit for both our lifestyle needs.
About changes made
A: When you work nearly 12 hours a day, the space that you come back to becomes really important. That’s why, after much consideration, we decided to double our initial budget of $50k to $120k to get the right materials for the home.
The floating feature wall leaves a gap at the bottom. The open space can be used to stash items like shoes to keep them easily accessible.
A: At first glance, the house has this seamless look to it, and it’s achieved through concealing plus integrating wherever possible. Take our living room as an example – our feature wall is ‘joined’ to the shoe cabinet, an integrated shelf for our plants, and a sliding door that keeps our walkway hidden when closed.
The integrated shelves were her husband’s request. “He loves gardening and has a collection of indoor plants. We built this in, so he could have a space to store them,” shared the interior designer.
A: Sometimes, designing a home relies on gut feeling. And, installing a reflective surface in the dining area made the most sense to us – not only do the mirrors help to expand the space, it also helps to tie in the look together as it builds upon the illusion of repeated panels.
To ramp up the cosy atmosphere, the couple installed a false ceiling that hosts their downlights.
A: Any handles on the cabinetry means more time out of our day cleaning them, which was why we made our kitchen built-ins handleless. The Dekton surface continues this seamless look since we extended it from our countertops in an L-shape to cover the exposed kitchen wall.
“We decided to switch out the Italian tiles for homogenous ones to demarcate the kitchen from the living areas,” said Angie.
A: Our aim was to make the home look as neat as possible, and to save space while doing it. Instead of creating a separate vanity area, I decided to work it into the walls of our bedroom. It’s built at a standing height and comes outfitted with storage pockets for my perfume and other makeup essentials.
The panels make a reappearance in the master bedroom. It calls back to the living room, and ties the whole look together.
A: The en suite looks slightly different when you compare it to the rest of the home – it was one of the few places where we could explore other tile options, and to create contrast. The floor is clad in homogenous tiles that look like natural stone.
Because we didn’t want to close up the shower area with a door, we decided to work in a glass panel to keep the wet and dry areas separate as much as possible.
When asked why she used mainly black fittings and appliances in the home, Angie said that “they are less likely to discolour over time”.
About her creative process and advice to other homeowners
A: I was a design consultant before I became an interior designer, so I guess you could say that I’ve been in the industry for a long time. Having designed for many clients, I find that I’m more adept at editing the spaces so that they are fully optimised.
Angie also wanted a bigger table that’s 1.8m long but gave it up for a smaller table (1.6m) to ensure that the floor space “remains ergonomic”.
I did away with a few features that I wanted to include in this house like a kitchen island, for instance. Don’t get me wrong, it would have been a really useful addition for us – we could have installed a wine chiller, turned it into an entertaining space when we have guests over or just plainly use it for storage, but there just wasn’t enough room and, if we had insisted on it, it would have created other restrictions.
A: So really, I would advise homeowners to think about their home’s layout, think about the positioning of the living areas, and consult their interior designer before they build in features or buy furnishings.
The last thing you want to do is purchasing something that can’t be used or worse, build a permanent fixture that will be hard to amend.
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