Find Out How A Cramped Maisonette Was Transformed Into An Open And Light-Filled Home

For this close-knit tribe, family time matters. However, the cramped condition of their apartment didn’t provide a conducive setting for bonding. Its compact layout was exacerbated by built-in cabinets that blocked the flow of light and sight – further cramping their style. In order to create an environment that encourages interaction and togetherness, the owners sought the help of Billy Chew from Fuse Concept.

“From the start, the homeowners clearly articulated the changes that they wished to see: an open-plan interior that feels spacious and airy,” says the interior designer. To ensure it reflects this aesthetic, Billy had to make major tweaks to its original layout. The foyer, for instance, was once hindered by structural walls. By taking down the utility room and kitchen walls, the entryway no longer feels claustrophobic.

With most of the kitchen walls removed, there is sufficient floor area for an island. In fact, this is one of the changes that the homeowners hope to see. Having this utilitarian unit in place of confining partitions, the residents are able to communicate with one another easily – no matter if one’s busy with food prep, enjoying a quick bite at the island, or unwinding at the chill-out zone right outside the kitchen. Within proximity, an additional tier of cabinets built along the top of the kitchen unit encourages this room to remain neat and orderly. The storage compartments at the higher tier also allow the homeowner to store bulky items that are less frequently used.

Likewise, the colour palette picked for the interior aids in the illusion of openness. “We mainly used shades of grey to create a soothing ambience and complemented the hues with white to evoke a sense of spaciousness,” explains Billy. “Wood is also utilised to inject warmth, while black detailing puts emphasis on architectural details.” As a whole, the selection of neutral tones truly complements the mid-century modern look that they family wants for their newly spruced up space.

Laid across the entire ground floor, homogeneous floor tiles in a classic chevron pattern stay on theme with the old world inspired style of the house. Its pointed design helps draw the eyes in towards the span of the first level’s open area, while visually connecting three different zones within the confines.

By the foot of the staircase, a petite pocket of space furnished with inviting stools and plush throw cushions is dedicated for chilling out. Pass the stairs, the main living area is demarcated simply but effectively by a floor cover in a distinctive design. This room is additionally grounded by an eclectic assortment of furniture and furnishings that seem to meld harmoniously as one. In an attempt to add architectural interest and personality here, the interior expert designed the feature wall with wainscoting details that take reference from the midcentury era.

The mid-century design’s emphasis focus on simple forms and function is apparent as well in the collection of beautifully minimal light fixtures that are interspersed throughout the abode. Billy clarifies that although they serve a practical purpose, they are also specifically chosen to add interest as art pieces – minus the hefty price tag.

As the saying goes, a family that eats together stays together. Billy points out that the idea to go for an alfresco style dining area came from the kinfolks themselves. By repositioning it out into the balcony and replacing the ceiling with a skylight, the team manages to simulate a semi-outdoor experience – making mealtimes all the more meaningful. What’s more, the homeowners are able to enjoy their spread without having to worry about the elements.

Now that it has been transformed into an open concept space made cosy with a midcentury modern style, this maisonette that the tribe holds key to provides the perfect backdrop for them to chat, cosy up and create endless memories together.

This was adapted from an article originally written by Fidz Azmin published in the August 2018 issue of SquareRooms. Photo credits: Fuse Concept