How do you make an already impressive three-bedroom penthouse unit with a high ceiling all the more spectacular? You give it your own personal touch, of course. That was the driving force behind the owners’ decision to renovate this top floor apartment. Along with their young daughter, the family had started off their living arrangements in the unit under the pre-existing layout and design but decided that it was time to change the whole look and reconfigure the layout into something that would better suit their own needs and lifestyle. With designer JD Tan Jian Da from local interior design firm Fuse Concept signed on to oversee the renovation, plans were then put in motion to transform their dream home into a reality.
Before embarking on the renovation process, the general consensus between homeowner and designer was that the overall look of the home should be bright and open, fitted with modern conveniences and that it should incorporate vibrant colour palettes and more natural textures. This then paved the way for overlaying of a high-end resilient vinyl flooring from local surface manufacturer Evorich in the communal areas.
Over in the living area, a towering full-height solid plywood cabinet fully maximises the room’s double volume, offering both display and storage for the family’s collection of books and knick-knacks collected from their travels. For convenience, a custom-made mild steel sliding ladder with heavy duty caster wheels offer easy access to stored items on the higher shelves.
Next to the living area, the dining zone is characterised by a series of mirrored panels. “They were actually an existing fixture, but we refreshed them with black stone frames,” JD notes. Situated at a central location of the home, the panels are able to enhance the depth of the unit, as well as offer different forms of perspective in the space.
Behind the dining furniture, a glass sliding door separates the eating zone from the kitchen, enabling the owners to close or open up the space when required. Within the kitchen, striking Harrogate Victorian black and white floor tiles catch the eye, imbuing the space with a classic elegance that contrasts the rest of the kitchen fixtures. Meanwhile, Shaker-style cabinets provide storage for kitchenware, where the neutral grey laminates on the exterior complement the yellow hues of the open niches. Upon closer inspection, one can easily discern that the cabinet door handles were not of traditional design. “These knobs were actually handpicked by the owners during their travels, and we wanted to use different designs for each door so that every single piece could be appreciated,” JD explains.
When it came to the owners’ private quarters, there was much that needed to be done to transform the space into a personal haven. First up, by removing a long bath at the corner of the room which they never used, the owners were given a larger boudoir. Next, the original built-in bay window settee was also removed, better outlining the contour of the windows and at the same time. Finally, a newly customised wardrobe makes use of dark wood laminates, striking a balance against the bright yellow back wall while tying in nicely with both the wood flooring and bed frame.
The master bath adjoining to the sleeping zone also underwent a major overhaul. In addition to the removal of the long bath, the area was brightened up by the removal of partition walls. Existing bathroom fixtures were also relocated. Now, the new space boasts a single shower unit next to the water closet and a his-and-hers vanity on the opposite wall.
Because the home comes with its own private roof terrace, the stairwell leading up to it was another major overhaul in the home. Originally, the stairs were outdoors and exposed to the elements, and the owners wanted to bring it indoors. To achieve this, a glass ceiling was installed over the stairwell, which also serves as a medium over which natural light is brought into the dining area and passageway.
Up on the roof, a large sheltered patio offers recreational space for the family’s outdoor gatherings. On the floor, synthetic grass lends a refreshing look to the space, and is further complemented by homogeneous tiles in a stone-textured finish that act as steps leading to the patio. Meanwhile, the patio utilises rustic wooden tiles to demarcate the area from its grassy surroundings as well as to complement the existing slatted panels on the roof.
When all’s said and done, the 10-week project was a personally satisfying one for JD, who praised the owners’ receptiveness to new ideas, which allowed the designer and to create a true one-of-a-kind home that caters to his client’s personal tastes.
This was adapted from an article originally published in the December 2018 issue of SquareRooms. Photo credits: Fuse Concept