We all say that our homes should be designed in a way that caters to our daily needs, and there is no better example of that than this three-bedroom condominium unit located in River Valley Road. Home to a family of three who relocated to Singapore from Jakarta, the apartment’s renovation had to take into account specific design considerations and modifications that would make every day living easier for the couple’s handicapped son. But as they had inherited the apartment from their parents, the 20-year-old unit originally featured an outdated layout, one that was definitely not suitable for the new family’s needs. That was where The Monocot Studio came into the picture, after the local interior design firm was referred to the client by a friend.
The design team hacked away the pre-existing tiles in the living room, and laid them over with marble tiles. When asked about the material choice, designer Mikael Teh explained, “The original home was very dark with almost no natural light flowing through, and as the homeowners requested for a bright space, we chose white marble tiles as light has the ability to bounce off the smooth surface of the material, in turn making to space appear bigger and brighter.”
Similarly, the kitchen also saw the tearing down of its exterior walls to create an open concept floor plan between the communal zones. A space where the female homeowner spends a lot of time in whenever she cooks, the kitchen’s countertops and backsplash were constructed using solid surface, resulting in a sturdy and durable surface that’s able to keep up with its regular usage. Meanwhile, the upper and lower cabinetry was splashed in off-white and baby blue laminates respectively, with the mixture of colours preventing the space from feeling too overwhelming. To better serve its purpose, a bar counter was also installed within the cooking zone. Not only does it allow the family to have quick and casual meals over, the counter also encompasses double-sided storage drawers for their snacks and other food items.
Moving on to the private chambers, the en-suite bathroom saw the need for major renovation works to make it user-friendly for the occupants. Originally outfitted with a bathtub that served no purpose for the new family, the design team had it removed to free up more space in the bathroom. In addition, the prior location of the WC was across the room, which would have essentially blocked the new entryway. As such, the WC was aligned with the new sink, allowing for an expanded shower zone.
Sharing the same area, what was originally the master bedroom has since been converted into an oversized junior bedroom for the son. With its predominantly baby blue colour scheme and light woodgrained tones that exude a calming yet homey ambience, the other striking design element of the space is the towering structure that mimics that of a wooden barn house. Mikael explains, “We didn’t want the son to feel overwhelmed by the big space, so we designed the structure to act as his personal corner where he can feel safe in”. For consistency purposes, the wardrobe that sits next to the bed set also features a house-shaped design, creating what Mikael calls “a small village” within the space. Meanwhile, see-through pullout drawers were installed beneath the bed set, serving as a landing spot for the son’s toys and other physiotherapy equipment.
Putting down roots after relocating from one country to another is never easy, much less so when there’s someone in the family with physical difficulties. But with the help of a well-thought-out layout, carefully curated material choices and sensible planning, any space can be converted into a functional yet aesthetically pleasing home that’s second to none.
This was adapted from an article originally published in the April 2018 issue of SquareRooms. Photo credits: The Monocot Studio