While their home renovation implemented lots of aesthetically pleasing features and vintage touches, Nadiah and Ridzwan also planned ahead for a future with their baby girl, opting for a modular and highly functional home design.
A social media manager and a design manager, Nadiah and Ridzwan (@ourgreennook) first moved into their 3-room BTO flat when it was just the two of them. Early last year, their baby girl joined the squad, now affectionately described as the light of their lives.
Having a baby definitely shook things up at home, requiring plenty of changes around the house. The vintage-inspired home, designed by The Local INN.terior with Peranakan touches, took on a very functional note while still retaining its old-school charm and urban jungle vibes.
A nursery now takes up the dining room, the dinner table instead shifted next to the TV—a change that was always part of the plan for these innovative parents. The couple opted for a smaller flat to ensure they wouldn’t struggle financially even if one of them were to lose their job in the future, and they always intended to make use of the limited square footage as best as they could.
Anticipating these changes to the dining area with the arrival of their baby girl, they renovated the flat to be highly modular, so it could adapt to their changing needs over the years. In a similar vein, the shower in the bathroom didn’t have a shower screen from the get-go, having foreseen that they would need the open space to bathe their future kids.
Beyond its modularity, this flat is also all-around convenient, equipped with smart technology to ease their daily lives. The air-conditioning, reading lights and kitchen appliances are interconnected, meaning the homeowners can easily control their abode via voice commands. Parenting is hard enough, so these small things certainly help to ease the struggle!
We checked in with Nadiah and Ridzwan to find out how their home has changed since having a baby, and how they have adapted the space to grow with their lovely family.
How did you originally come up with the look for your home?
We’ve always loved all things old-timey and nostalgic. My husband’s favourite colour is green and we both love reading so we knew we had to have a bookcase. Honestly, our first moodboard differed greatly from what we have now. We’re glad that we were able to hone our vision along the way because we can’t imagine our home looking like anything else.
How did you plan the layout while anticipating your child?
Since we foresaw there might be additions to the family, we left room for flexibility and bought very minimal furniture to accommodate any future changes.
We knocked down the second bedroom so that the space could be modular. Before it became a nursery, it was a dining room and home office during the circuit breaker. A lot of people advised us against this at first because they think a child needs a separate room but our arrangement works well for us!
What was your approach to designing your child’s space, especially in a modular apartment?
We wanted something that works with the minimal space that we have. We surveyed so many parents in our circles and only bought things or sourced second-hand items that they said were absolutely crucial. We ended up getting a baby bathtub that folds away and a crib that grows with the child.
Considering how compact the flat is, do you feel like you have enough space for your family?
I think we do have enough space for the three of us right now but it would be hard to accommodate a helper or any future children in the space we have now.
Looking at how much has changed in your dining area turned nursery, do you feel like your home has had to adapt a lot since you first renovated it?
It definitely looks less like a showroom now and more like a toyshop exploded in it. Our bookshelf used to be carefully curated but now there are children’s toys and biscuits on it. But there is beauty and charm to be found in that too.
You mention on your Instagram that sometimes the home is just in a messy state and you have to come to terms with that as a parent. Can you share a little bit more about that?
Marie Kondo recently said she gave up trying to clean up after her children. So did we, lol.
Not having as clean and tidy a space as I would like to have does get to me. I feel a bit more anxious and slightly more stressed, but I’m trying to only focus on things within my control this year.
There is no point in clearing toys off the floor for the thousandth time that day when you are a sleep-deprived parent. I’m trying to embrace the mess but it does take some getting used to.
You incorporated some smart tech into your home when you first renovated— how has this helped since having a child?
We absolutely love having a smart home and it has helped us tremendously while having a child. If we’re out and she’s asleep and we’re trying to continue her nap, we can remotely switch on the air-con, dim the lights and play white noise so that everything is conducive.
Any plans to update your home, or maybe even move house again?
I think we will definitely have to move because we’d like more kids! But we’ll be so sad to say goodbye to this home because it’s given us so many beautiful memories.
Other than the size and space, it’ll be a challenge to balance practicality, our love for all things vintage, a tight budget and a toddler in tow once we make that move. But we’ll be sure to document all these on our home account!
This post was adapted from an article originally published in IdealHomes 2023.