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Young Family Upgrades From Tiny BTO to Massive Jumbo Flat in Marsiling

With tons of space at their disposal, they’ve since turned it into a soothing urban oasis fit for play and other activities!

While BTO flats are an affordable housing option, space can often be an issue – especially for a growing family.

Homeowner Faidzil and his wife relate to this sentiment all too well. “We were previously staying in a 4-room BTO flat, which was about 92 sqm,” he says. “But after our two children came along, we found that the house was just too small for all four of us, so we thought it was a good time to search for a bigger home.”

Marsiling Jumbo flat renovation
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View this project by Puromuro Studio

Wanting to be nearer to his wife’s parents, Faidzil and his family began their search in Marsiling, where they kept an eye out for bigger units such as executive apartments. It wasn’t long before they came across this massive 170 sqm jumbo flat – which, in a twist of fate, was located in the same block as his parents-in-law’s home.

Keep reading to see how they renovated their home to make full use of the space!

About the homeowners and the home

Marsiling Jumbo flat floorplan
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The floorplan of Faidzil’s home, pre-renovation

Faidzil (F): In our previous home, the kids could only play with their toys in the living room due to space constraints, which made it quite messy.

These same constraints also prevented my wife and I from pursuing hobbies like gardening and cooking – so this time around, we were keen on getting a house big enough to accommodate all of these lifestyles.

Marsiling Jumbo flat open-concept
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Design-wise, we were mainly interested in keeping the look clean. Our goal was to have a warm, relaxing place we can come home to after a long day, and we thought that having too many pops of colour can be overwhelming.

After looking around on social media and lifestyle magazines, we agreed to go with a white-and-wood look, as it’s simple yet cosy.

WATCH: Homeowner Faidzil talks about renovating his massive jumbo flat in Marsiling

About finding an interior designer

Marsiling Jumbo flat glass door
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F: We initially wanted to engage the contractor that renovated our previous home again. But considering the house’s size and age, there was a lot of work that needed to be done, so the contractor was a little apprehensive to take this project on.

And because we needed some help to plan the space, we eventually decided to search for an interior designer instead.

We started out by searching for firms and their portfolios, and then looking at reviews on Qanvast and Google to see what it was like working with them. We narrowed our choices down to ten firms – which I know is a lot, but necessary as we wanted to make sure that we’d end up working with the right people.

Marsiling Jumbo flat Renovation
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This was how we heard of Ashley and PuroMuro Studio. After speaking with her for a while, we felt that she ticked all the right boxes – not only did she have a good portfolio, she also made us feel comfortable bouncing our ideas off her while also giving her own professional input.

Talking with her felt more like a partnership instead of a one-way street. It was a straightforward decision to engage her for our renovation.

About the entryway and garden

Marsiling Jumbo flat garden
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F: Having a bigger house allowed us to pursue gardening as a hobby. While we did have some interest in it previously, our old home just didn’t have the space needed for it; so after moving here, we decided to make use of the extra space to finally take gardening more seriously.

Marsiling Jumbo flat entryway
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Since our home came with a long entryway leading into the home, we thought that it’d be a good place to keep our plants. Not only is it full of natural light, it also gives off a soothing, inviting vibe to anyone entering the home. In fact, I find it very therapeutic to spend time watering them, especially after a long day at work.

Also, we wanted the space to have a retro touch, which is why you see these kopitiam-style tiles on the floor.

About the living room and kitchen

Marsiling Jumbo flat living room
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F: We didn’t actually do much in the living room. Other than the bay window seating at the side, we mostly stuck to loose furnishings for two reasons. Firstly, it was to minimise the amount of carpentry and keep costs low, and secondly, it also gives us the flexibility to play around with the layout and furniture whenever we like.

Marsiling Jumbo flat old kitchen
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Previously, the kitchen was separated by a wall, but we decided to hack it and merge the spaces together to create a big communal area. It not only makes the house feel more spacious, but also gives our kids the space to run around.

Also, it leaves more space for countertops. In our old home, my wife often found herself running out of space because of the food prep, so this time, we wanted to maximise what we now have.

Marsiling Jumbo flat structural wall
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However, there was one structural wall here that we couldn’t hack – which, if left alone, will look very awkward in the open concept space. So, after some discussion, we thought of incorporating it into the design by creating a kitchen island around it.

Originally, my wife and I were fine with doing a regular kitchen island, but Ashley suggested going with an asymmetrical shape for something more unique. I think it turned out very nicely, as it looks like a feature you’d find in a cafe.

Marsiling Jumbo flat kitchen island
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It’s where we do our food prep whenever we’re cooking something, and it’s also where we come together as a family to have our meals. On festive seasons like Hari Raya gatherings, our relatives just naturally congregate around it to chat and enjoy the food prepared by my wife and mother-in-law. It’s truly the centrepiece of our home.

About the master bedroom

Marsiling Road by Puromuro Studio
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F: The fluted panel feature wall in the living room is actually a concealed door leading into the master bedroom, which adds to the design while also creating a sense of privacy.

Marsiling Jumbo flat master bedroom
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Marsiling Jumbo flat walk-in wardrobe
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One of our main requirements in our new home was to have a walk-in wardrobe. Previously, our master bedroom consisted of both the bed and wardrobe – and because we go to work at different times, we couldn’t get ready without disturbing each other.

So, Ashley created a walk-in wardrobe that’s separated from the main sleeping area. The arched doorways on either side of the bed allows the both of us to easily access the wardrobe, without crossing over to each other’s side.

And fortunately, the room is quite big, so we didn’t have to sacrifice a junior bedroom just to create space for the wardrobe.

Marsiling Jumbo flat Renovation
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The adjacent junior bedroom has since been turned into a study. It’s mainly a work area for myself and my wife, but it’s also an additional play area for the kids. Whatever that is too messy for the communal space – like their paints and art and craft materials – is used here, which lets us contain the mess as much as possible.

Initially, these swivel glass doors were mainly chosen for the design and their ability to let light pass through to the kitchen. But after a few months here, we also came to appreciate how they easily let us keep an eye on our kids from either room.

About the bathrooms

F: We didn’t realise that there were three bathrooms until we bought the house. It was a nice feature to have, since we won’t have to fight for the bathroom when we’re getting ready to go out.

Marsiling Jumbo flat guest bathroom
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Design-wise, we kept the look somewhat similar. Our guest bathroom was largely inspired by the ones we saw on Pinterest, as well as a hotel we stayed at during a trip to Malaysia.

We liked the idea of keeping the space clean with raw grey tiles, while including these black-and-white floor tiles for variety. I like to call them the ‘Squid Game’ tiles, for obvious reasons (laughs).

Marsiling Jumbo flat kids' bathroom
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The second bathroom is the one our kids use. We used the same grey tiles as the other bathroom, but for a fun touch, we decided to do a half-tile pattern, with small-scale square tiles similar to the ones found in the kitchen.

Marsiling Jumbo flat master bathroom
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For the master bathroom, my wife was the one who made most of the decisions. Since she really likes the colour green, she chose to include it here in the form of the green subway tiles in the shower area.

To sum up

Marsiling Jumbo flat kitchen
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F: We’ve been living here since September last year, and we’ve been really loving it. It not only suits our lifestyles better, but there’s also so much more space for the kids to play in. They can freely build their Lego sets; sometimes, they even take out their bicycles and ride it around the house (laughs).

I’m very thankful to Ashley for helping us out. Something I really appreciated about her is her ability to work on the ball and give us good ideas when we came across something unexpected – like the structural wall in the kitchen, for instance.

Marsiling Jumbo flat Renovation
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She also listened and paid attention to any ideas that my wife or I had. To us, this was an important quality as we met a few IDs that were more interested in doing the design their way – which I feel is not ideal as I wanted my house to turn out the way I envisioned it, not how they envisioned it.

At the end of the day, the house is yours, and you want it to turn out the way you wanted it to. That’s why I feel that finding the right ID is important – and while this does take time and effort, it will be worth it.

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