These two graphic designers had a crystal clear vision for their home interiors—and it involved lots and lots of wood!
Born and raised in the east, Matt and Alee (@thewoodyhome) knew they wanted to try their hand at getting a BTO flat in Tampines and jumped into the ballot straight out of school. Both graphic designers by trade, they enjoy the creative process and decided to opt out of the standard BTO components.
“We were essentially left with a blank canvas,” shares Matt. “It was a good decision because we had full control over the creative decisions in terms of materials and art direction.”
Despite their design background, however, they weren’t quite confident to tackle an entire home renovation by themselves. “Being first-time homeowners, having the vision alone for the house wasn’t enough. We lacked the project management skills and interior knowledge.”
Having placed their home sweet home in the capable hands of Levonne and Chermaine from Ethereall, they now get to make the most of their woody abode, unwinding at the end of the day and practising art, yoga and gardening on relaxed weekends.
We asked Matt and Alee a couple of questions to uncover more about their earthy home design and their top renovation tips.
The woody look is the key to your home design. How did you choose this aesthetic?
We took inspiration from our travels and created several mood boards on Pinterest to kickstart the whole ideation. It was quite easy for us because we share the same vision in terms of interiors, and we had already started collecting ideas early on.
What are some of your favourite features in the home?
The custom-made study window frames, the two lamps in the entryway and the wired glass cabinets in our kitchen. Small details matter!
What made you decide to paint the front door green?
We didn’t like the reddish-brown shade of the default main door, so we decided to paint it over to add an eye-catching accent at the entrance. When our friends come over now, we just tell them to spot the green door at the corner.
What was the greatest challenge during your renovation?
Communication, expectations and the arrival of the pandemic. Having a good relationship with your interior designer and contractors is key to realising the final outcome.
It’s crucial to manage expectations for both parties as well. As for the pandemic, the closure of the border delayed our handover, so we had to sit back and play the waiting game.
Do you have any wallet-friendly renovation tips?
Start saving early. Source for second-hand furniture if you can—Hock Siong and Carousell will be your best friends. Have an initial budget and try to stick to it. Prioritise the must-haves when choosing furniture and fittings. Keep a sheet to track your expenditures as well!
And to round things off, what’s your advice for homeowners renovating for the first time?
Talk to people who have gone through the renovation process before as they’ll be able to give you first-hand tips that could be very useful for your own journey. Take your time to decide on the materials and finishes, don’t follow trends blindly because you may end up regretting certain decisions in the end.
It’s also perfectly fine to change your mind throughout the journey because building a home takes time, and it’s always a work in progress. Even though at times it could be really stressful and frustrating, try your best to enjoy the process and have fun!
This post was adapted from an article originally published in IdealHomes 2022.