If you’re the type of person who enjoys the frequent company of friends and family, it’s only natural that you would want your home to be an airy, warm and welcoming space where entertaining is made easy. With local interior design firm Distinct Identity at the helm of the renovation, this concept was precisely what the owners of this four-bedroom HDB maisonette located in Whampoa wanted for their new home.
On a whole, the walls were kept plain, but the existing floor tiles on the entire first level were laid over with vinyl strips that resemble the look of wood, effectively adding some warmth into the home. Against the clean and crisp backdrop, the designers and homeowners then had to figure out a layout that would allow the homeowners to utilise every single nook and cranny of their new home.
This then gave rise to the open-concept kitchen, achieved through the tearing down of unessential walls. As it overlooks the living and dining spaces, it would ensure that the owners would be able to easily interact with their guests even if they are cooking in the kitchen. Meanwhile, the designers utilised a consistent colour scheme – white marble-lookalike quartz on the countertops and backsplash, and white laminated cabinets – for a cohesive overall aesthetic.
Opposite the kitchen and adjacent to the home’s main entryway, the designers managed to carve out another dedicated lounging space. Termed the “tea room”, it is a space used for mingling when the owners are in-between handling chores in the kitchen. While the area is mostly open and spacious, there was an awkward columned structure at the front of the room, which felt bulky and unsightly. As demolishing it was not an option, mirrors were wrapped around it to hide and redirect the attention away from it.
The living room was kept clean and airy through a simple design treatment, with the exception of a hand-painted cream-coloured accent wall. As the living area is situated right beside the dining zone, the designers opted against building up a feature wall in order to keep the transition subtle. Similarly, the dining area was kept straightforward and simple. However, there was one requirement the family had, which was to have a substantially-sized dining space that could accommodate more people during parties. This was achieved with an extendable dining table from Commune, and a mix of dining chairs and a bench, offering a more flexible seating arrangement when there are guests around.
The dining area also houses a couple of unusual features. One of which is the skylight that creates a more spacious and airy atmosphere by allowing large amounts of natural light to filter through the space. Next up are the wooden bi-fold windows. Unsure if curtains or blinds would fit into the space, the homeowners opted for these adjustable louvred windows that not only offer privacy when closed but also imbues a colonial look into the interior.
Unlike the ground floor, the second level’s original parquet flooring was retained but the designers stained it darker to give it a fresh new look. Meanwhile, the owners’ private living chambers exude tranquillity and comfort, all thanks to a simple yet cohesive design treatment of white and walnut tones. For storage of clothes and accessories, there was plenty of newly customised wardrobe storage space installed. Meanwhile, their en suite bathroom features a neutral palette through the use of marble-lookalike and stone-textured tiles for the walls and floor respectively, resulting in a spacious and modern ambience.
As for the common bath, the owners requested the designers to carve out a dry vanity area separate from the shower as they wanted the flexibility of accommodating multiple users within one space. This was then achieved by fitting out the existing corridor with his-and-hers bathroom sinks, with dark wood laminates matching the existing parquet flooring. Separated by a sliding door, the shower zone is chock-full of unique design details. This can be seen on the white chevron wall tiles as well as the decorative tiles on the floor. Wooden tiles were used on the floor of the wet shower to prevent the overall space from feeling too clinical.
This family home proves that a cosy and well-loved home need not be one that is lavish and over-the-top. All it takes is a carefully curated material palette, a well-thought-out layout and clever modifications to result in a space that encapsulates the idea of comfortable living while anticipating the needs of every occupant.
This was adapted from an article originally published in the January 2019 issue of SquareRooms. Photo credits: Distinct Identity