Stepping into this three-bedroom resale condominium unit is like stepping into an interior design mood board on Pinterest. “It was the abundance of light filtering through the generous full-length windows and the fact that it was near our parents’ place that sealed the deal on this unit for us,” say first-time homeowners Jade Ng and Anthony Chai, who also oversaw the renovation and styling process of the home themselves. What’s more, being a resale unit in a slightly older development, they were given a much larger space than they would have had if they had purchased a newly built condominium.
As the couple began forming their vision for their new home, they realised that while there wasn’t a specific theme, the concept they drew up was basically something that followed the design principles of Scandinavian, mid-century and colonial concepts. They also knew that they wanted certain materials in the home, like brass, wood and marble. Being very involved with the renovation process, Jade and Anthony started documenting their journey on Instagram. In addition to the positive feedback received from users who were interested in interior design, they also began giving advice to decor-focused homeowners on how to style their own homes. Realising that they had a knack and a passion for interior styling, they then decided to establish their very own interior design consultancy, houseofchais.
Layout-wise, their apartment was kept as-is, but the walls and pre-existing cabinets of the kitchen were hacked away to open up the zone. Additionally, two bedrooms were combined to create an expanded private chamber. Being on the top floor, the duo was even able to raise the false ceiling height up to 3.4m to allow more natural light to flood the space.
To accentuate the amount of light coming through the apartment, Jade and Anthony opted for a more neutral and muted palette and also incorporated plants to add a hint of freshness into the space. Another key feature of the home is that instead of fixing built-ins on the wall, the couple opted for loose furnishings that not only created a clean and minimalist look but also offered them the flexibility to change up the layout and orientation of the home as and when required.
With the walls and ceiling in a crisp white, the communal areas are grounded by an engineered wood flooring that was laid out in a herringbone pattern. “We initially wanted to have the wood planks chevron-laid, but it was difficult for the workers to get the alignment right, and the lines went off after laying almost half of the living room. In the end, we decided to remove everything and restart the process with different planks in a herringbone lay instead,” Jade explains.
Meanwhile, due to the raised ceiling, the size of the walls became much larger and there was much more empty space to fill. To counter this, the walls were dressed with framed artwork, hand-woven African rattan baskets, and wall shelves – in a variety of odd shapes – that inject character and visual interest into the space.
Over in the kitchen, there is an air of elegance and luxury thanks to its marble-tiled hexagonal-shaped backsplash that extends to the adjoining wall. Although the couple doesn’t cook that often, the cooking zone is fitted with plenty of head-wearing fixtures and fittings, which can be seen on the white quartz countertop as well as the Bosch appliances. “Sourcing for the appliances was quite a time-consuming process. We wanted them to be in white to match the rest of the kitchen, so we went around Singapore to different suppliers and were lucky enough to find this white gem,” Jade recalls.
At the furthest end of the home is the couple’s private quarters, which comprise the sleeping space, an en-suite bathroom and a walk-in wardrobe after two adjoining bedrooms were combined. Speaking of their decision to convert the original master bedroom into the walk-in wardrobe, and the smaller bedroom into the master bedroom, Anthony says, “It was to encourage a seamless flow between the various spaces. If the walk-in wardrobe was at the end, we would have to walk through the bedroom to get to our clothes before walking back past the bedroom again to get outside, and there was no point in doing so.”
Design-wise, the storage units were clad in mint blue laminates for a playful look, with its subtle green tint also tying into the evergreen atmosphere that runs throughout the entire home. Inspired by European interiors, the couple opted for a glass partition wall to separate the wardrobe and sleeping areas. Despite its clean and muted profile, the room was given a subtle visual backdrop – only discernible upon close inspection – through the hand-carved chevron-patterned stucco wall.
Although extensive renovation works and slight delays meant that it was a three-month wait before Jade and Anthony could start building their new life as husband and wife in their new home, the result was definitely worth the wait. Thanks to a solid design concept and the use of complementary materials and textures, the three-bedroom apartment is now transformed into a stylish and snug abode that is fully equipped to cater to all of its occupants’ needs.
This was adapted from an article originally published in the January 2019 issue of SquareRooms. Photos by Wong Weiliang