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This Extra-Roomy Flat Feels Way Larger Than 90 Square Metres

January 29, 2020

One thing that the owners definitely wanted to keep from their first renovation was the surprisingly spacious and unique layout.

If you were to step into Miaw’s 4-room flat at St George’s Lane just after it was renovated in 2000, and then back 19 years later after its second makeover, you’d notice that its layout remains mostly unchanged. And why would it? Especially since it’s the secret to making her 90 square metres home look bigger than it actually is.

St George's Lane by Metamorph Design

Interior Firm: Metamorph Design

“You see how there are three rooms? The walls (between them) were all taken down, so we could walk around the whole house freely,” Miaw explains. “The master bedroom became our walk-in wardrobe, the middle room became our sleeping area, and the last one is now our living space.”

Needless to say, we were curious about the backstory of Miaw’s space-maximising floor plan and what it looked like in real life, so we sat down for a chat with her. Read on for the full interview!

About herself and her home

Miaw (M): It’s just me, my husband, and our pet dog, Hunter, living here. We’re both in our late 40s and Hunter is 15. Home is where both of us spend the most time in, so it has to be very comfortable. We bought this place in 2000 and moved in after it was refurbished, so it’s about 19 years after that we decided to renovate again.

St George's Lane renovation HDB

The dining area before (left) and after (right) Miaw’s second renovation. The original storeroom beside the kitchen entrance was removed to make for a bigger doorway.

Actually, we have had plans for our second renovation a long time back. When we first moved in, it (the renovation) was quite simple, nothing fancy, it wasn’t a gut renovation like this one. After that, my mother moved out to a unit downstairs, and we took the opportunity to redo the entire place because we’ve been living in this flat forever.

St George's Lane renovation HDB

The floor plan for Miaw’s home.

We worked with Kavin, he’s our designer from Metamorph Design and also the husband of one of my secondary school friends. Actually, he did put in a lot of thought into coming up with new ideas for the layout, but you know when you’ve lived in a place for a long time, what’s familiar to you is what’s best.

About her home’s new look

M: We were very comfortable with how the old layout worked, but we wanted to a bit of a change, and that’s why we sealed up the TV room with the feature wall. It used to be open throughout, which meant that I could walk from one end (of the house) to another.

We did it just because we wanted to switch things up, and even though there’s a new sliding door partition – that was my husband’s idea because one of his hobbies is watching TV and he wants his private time.

St George's Lane by Metamorph Design

The TV feature wall design features laminated wood panels along with thin steel shelves that are mounted into horizontal grooves.

St George's Lane by Metamorph Design

The new storeroom is right beside the living room and dining area; it isn’t a very deep or wide recess, but it’s quite long. Previously, it was a cosy corner where I had my bookshelf and reading chair, but other than that it wasn’t very useful, which is why we are quite happy with this idea because it makes better use of the space.

St George's Lane by Metamorph Design

The dining area has a long 2.4 metres table – that was also my husband’s idea; it was quite troublesome to move in because it wouldn’t fit in the lift. The wall art and mirror are both from IKEA, but the sewing machine has a bit of a story to it; it’s an antique model that someone threw away and we bought it from a parking attendant for $50, so that was a good find.

St George's Lane by Metamorph Design

My husband does the cooking, as for me, I just want to make sure that there are plenty of drawers to hide everything away. I do like the galley layout because it complements the entire look, which is all about long stretches of spaces.

Initially, I had plans to have an all-white kitchen, but it looked too stark in 3D, hence I didn’t want to take the risk. The countertops are Silestone quartz and the dark grey and woodgrain laminates are from Lamitak.

St George's Lane renovation HDB

Also, one thing that we might have to re-do in the kitchen is the nook for the washing machine and dryer. I may have requested a change in the measurements, but I forgot about the aircon and water pipes at the back, so the recess isn’t as deep as it should be.

St George's Lane by Metamorph Design

There isn’t much of a change of the master bedroom, it’s just the bed that’s new. But we did put up a wall between the living area and the bedroom, which is also the living area’s TV feature wall.

For the bedroom walls, we chose the same off-white that’s used for the areas outside, I believe the shade is called Sail White from Nippon, but the actual paint itself is from Gush. We’ve been using this colour forever, it’s very clean and comfortable to look at, but it doesn’t feel sterile.

St George's Lane by Metamorph Design

Going past that, there’s the passageway that leads into the walk-in wardrobe and the master bathroom. The opening has been there since we renovated 19 years ago; the new additions are the display cabinet for my husband’s collectibles and the wardrobes.

We kept the measurements for the wardrobes roughly the same as before, so there’s no worry about them taking too much space (along the walkway). This time round, they are about 10 centimetres deeper because I needed the space to fit my baskets and also the aircon ducts at the back.

St George's Lane by Metamorph Design

At the end of the space is the bathroom vanity, it was originally together with the toilet and shower, but we shifted it out when we first moved in.

We’ve always used a glass door for the bathroom entrance, but back then it was frosted; it’s transparent now, because that puts the focus on the black trimming. No, we don’t have any privacy concerns, because the space is entirely ours.

To sum up

St George's Lane by Metamorph Design

M: Our renovation took over 6 months, but that was no fault of Kavin or Metamorph mostly because it was due to indecisiveness on me and my husband’s part. I also took a month off because I really needed a break after completing the renovation for my mom’s new home, which was taking place at the same time.

Overall, the workmanship on everything, from the carpentry to the plumbing, is really good; I really don’t think that we’ll be doing any more renovation work, at least for the next 30 years.

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