This Space-Savvy Home in Upper Serangoon Will Surprise You
Having accumulated years of experience in planning residential spaces, coming up with ideas for their home at Upper Serangoon View proved to be a cinch for designer couple Roy and Cadine, who run local interior design firm Prozfile together.
“To be honest, there wasn’t much of a surprise,” says Roy about his first impression of the space.
“Before buying the house, both Cadine and I had a good look at the floor plan and we sort of had a ‘picture’ in our heads of how things would look like. Our only need was plenty of storage because of how much stuff we own between our three children and ourselves.”
With this sole requirement in mind, Cadine and Roy then set about transforming their compact 1,000 square feet apartment by building in several bespoke storage solutions – which not only align with the couple’s desire to “keep things as well-organised as possible”, but also add to its (quite literally) hidden appeal.
“If you take a look at the entryway, you’ll notice a row of storage cabinets, and right where the structure begins is a concealed door that leads to the kitchen,” says Cadine. “It’s so well-hidden that the most common question we’ve had from visitors is ‘Where’s the kitchen?'!”
“Essentially, this house is full of surprises,” she adds. “And that’s great because they make the space unique and truly ours.”
Qanvast (Q): How would you describe the overall décor style of your home?
Cadine (C): I would say that it is very modern-Manhattan inspired. Something sophisticated, yet comfortable – that was what we were going for.
Also, I am a rather ‘loud’ person so to speak, and I love the contrast that you get when you pair something big, bold, and exciting with more toned-down elements – which is why we have a bright orange sofa and dark brown hues in the living room.
Q: Other than the storage wall/kitchen entrance along the entryway, are there any other hidden surprises in the house?
Roy (R): There’s the living room’s feature wall. Like the one (storage solution) at the entrance, it opens up to reveal several compartments.
Also, because of the lights installed between the units, it looks less like a row of storage cabinets, and more like a design feature. The only constraint is the 20cm depth, which is a bit shallow. However, I still like the entire idea as it doesn’t chew up too much walkway space, and also because it lets us stack almost everything in it, from milk powder tins to shoe boxes.
Q: So, what was it like designing a home that doesn’t belong to a client?
C: I felt it was a very interesting experience! Mostly because we (Roy and I) rarely have the opportunity to work on the same project from start to end.
R: In a way, we were each other's clients! (laughs)
Q: That must have made for a rather unique working experience, did the both of you encounter any differences in opinion?
C: Yes, we did. Being designers, Roy and I each had our own views and ideas, so we split the work and ended up becoming responsible for different parts of the house. Of course, we’d still ask each other for opinions and advice from time to time.
Roy worked on the entire living area, feature wall and all. Meanwhile, I came up with the idea for the entryway compartments. I also chose to work on the kitchen because I wanted a space that I would be happy cooking in, not a hot and stuffy one!
Q: What did you like most about each other’s work?
R: Everything she did!
C: (Laughs out loud) I think what he did for the (master) bedroom is pretty clever! Or more specifically, the cabinetry at the front of the space. Roy came up with the idea of building the TV display and wardrobe as a single structure.
Before building in the structure, we had a partition wall between the master bedroom and the adjacent room torn down, so you could say that it is a new ‘wall’ itself.
R: Just to add on – you must be wondering why the TV is hung so high, and it’s really just a lazy man’s solution (chuckles).
We used to have our TV placed at ‘table level’ in our old home, and we found ourselves gradually sliding downwards into our bed and past the TV’s viewing angle as the night went on – that was the reason for this idea. Of course, if we could hang it (the TV) on the ceiling that would be the best!
Q: Other than its functionality, what else do you like most about the house?
C: I like how the layout maximises the entire length of the main living area while keeping its narrowness in mind. You don’t feel boxed-in even though there’s a long dining table, cabinet walls, and a generous sofa occupying the space.
R: I would say the amount of thought put into it. Considering how often we share ways to make full use of a space to homeowners in our role as designers, we absolutely had to make our own home work with the right ideas.