Choosing to incorporate their interests and love of colour into their home design, this couple opted for a unique look that yet stands the test of time.
After a couple of failed attempts at scoring a BTO flat, Marcus and Zoey (@habitamp) decided to try their luck at an SBF flat instead, finally getting a good ballot number for their lovely Tampines home.
Once they had the keys, they dove into the renovation with an adventurous, curious mindset, incorporating a coffee station for Marcus and a macrame corner for Zoey into the design.
“We’ve always wanted to design a place that reflects our personalities and hobbies,” shares the couple. “We saw this empty flat as a blank canvas for us to work on and explore our creative sides. We wanted to come home to a place that is warm and cosy, a place we can feel relaxed in.”
While they wanted a timeless design, they couldn’t quite settle for a run-of-the-mill aesthetic, choosing to incorporate some unique features instead.
“We added Peranakan designs to our kitchen and some bohemian elements to the rest of the home. Our toilets are also in bold shades of yellow and blue, which we absolutely adore!”
Coming to a consensus was easy for the couple. “It was not a difficult process because we were aligned with our vision and aesthetics.” Suffice it to say, designer Geraldine from GB Interior Design executed their vision with marvellous results.
We checked in with the two homeowners to get some extra insight into their renovation journey.
What was your top priority going into your renovation?
The budget was our main priority as we were fresh graduates. The design of our place was also a priority as we both have an eye for aesthetics. We definitely wanted an open kitchen as we enjoy hosting.
We figured it would enlarge the space, which is also why we removed the top-hung cabinets as we felt they would clutter the kitchen and make it feel small.
You had a clear vision for your home, but you chose to engage an interior designer anyway. What made you decide to go down this route?
As we were both working and unable to be on-site during working hours, we had to hire a designer to manage the project. Moreover, renovation costs were spiking during the pandemic and many contractors were charging at the rates of designers anyway.
We’re glad we went with an interior designer; while we brought the overall vision to the table, the designer was able to provide technical support and expert input.
Now that you’ve worked with a designer, do you have any tips for finding a great ID?
Look for designers who are willing to work within your budget and are not too pushy. Our designer was very mindful of our budget and respected our vision. She never once tried to sell us things we didn’t need.
For instance, we wanted to install lattice glass dividers, which would have set us back in terms of budget and layout. She could have earned more from us, but she considered our priorities and advised us not to install them. This was when we knew we found the right designer.
What was the toughest part of the renovation?
The greatest challenge was choosing our accent tiles. We wanted them to stand out yet not overwhelm the eye.
Any renovation regrets?
We regret not retiling our toilet floors due to budget constraints.
Do you have any tips for saving during a renovation?
We invested heavily in furniture instead of built-in carpentry. This will allow us to bring our items with us to our next home if we ever choose to move. It also gives us the option to play around with our layout and explore new possibilities within the home! It never gets boring.
And last but not least, do you have any advice for homeowners renovating for the first time?
Never reveal your real budget to your designer or contractor!
This post was adapted from an article originally published in IdealHomes 2022.