Prioritising plenty of space for their kids to run and play in the house, the Teos upgraded to an executive maisonette in a friendly, quiet neighbourhood.
Previously staying in a 4-room BTO flat, Mr and Mrs Teo (@teohomies) felt that their kids needed more space to play, the size of the apartment making the family feel rather cramped. Once they decided it was time to find a larger unit, they were still torn between an executive apartment and an executive maisonette, weighing the pros and cons of each space.
It was only when they consulted the kids and found out the little ones wanted stairs in the house that they settled on finding an executive maisonette. Even then, it took multiple viewings before they settled on their current home.
Conveniently located in a mature estate in the west of Singapore, it boasts lots of amenities nearby, a communal neighbourhood spirit and a tranquil ambience away from the main road.
As for the design of the new house, the couple engaged Luova Project Services to change things up from their old BTO flat. “Our previous home had a darker theme. We find that with kids, we now prefer something brighter and more cheerful. We took inspiration from Pinterest and decided on a milky white theme with some pink accents.”
Diving a little deeper into the Teos’ renovation journey and family life, we caught up with the couple to find out more.
During the planning stages, how did you come up with the right layout for your family?
We decided to hack away the study room at level one to brighten up the space and also to help with ventilation in the house.
One thing that’s always been on our wishlist is an open kitchen, but the layout of our previous home didn’t allow that. We had some concerns with the open kitchen for our current house too since we have toddlers, but one of the designers we spoke to actually told us that we shouldn’t let the kids restrict our design as they will grow up soon.
We are glad that we went ahead with it; it actually helps us to monitor the kids when we are cooking in the kitchen while they play in the dining area. The kids also love to sit around the island and watch us prepare their meals!
Did you have to forgo any furniture items or make special design tweaks to adapt the space for your kids?
Our living area is quite spacious and we could have easily placed a coffee table in front of the sofa. However, we decided not to as we wanted to have more space for the kids to play or run around.
How did you design the kids’ room? Did you plan the space to be future-proof?
We minimised the number of built-in elements in the bedrooms as the kids will not be co-sleeping when they are older. Hence, we went for loose furniture instead. As for the wallpaper, we chose something that is gender-neutral so that it’s acceptable no matter who takes over the room.
Did you make any special arrangements to maximise storage space in the house?
The house only came with a very small storeroom under the stairs, which wouldn’t be big enough for the family in the long run. Retrieving things from the storeroom would not have been easy either as we would have had to shift the sofa every time. Therefore, we requested a floor-to-ceiling cabinet behind our dining table to maximise our storage space and make it more accessible.
Looking back now, what were some of the biggest challenges with your renovation?
The biggest challenge was keeping the renovation cost within our budget. We were told that renovating an executive maisonette would cost us around $100k but we managed to keep it to $50k.
Has your home changed much since you first renovated it?
We decided to keep the existing tiles on the ground floor during the renovation. However, a month into living there, we realised that the tiles were really cold for the kids as they usually lie on the floor to play. We then engaged Evorich to overlay our living area with vinyl. The vinyl also added visual warmth to the living area!
How do you go about cleaning and tidying with kids around?
The kids will usually bring down the toys to play in the living area, which can get really messy. We usually ask them to keep whatever they don’t want to play with before getting new toys.
Anything you’d do differently if you could renovate all over again?
Given more time and a larger budget, we would have renovated the bathrooms as well.
Any plans to change up your home again in the future, maybe when your kids are older?
As this will not be our forever home, we don’t intend to do anything major in the future. However, we do look forward to sprucing up the individual bedrooms when they are ready to sleep separately.
This post was adapted from an article originally published in IdealHomes 2023.