Desmond & Lynn Chew
Before the renovation even took place, the first thing that Lynn and I both agreed on was to have a Scandinavian look for the place. We had went through many photos of homes with different styles, and what stood out to us (about the Scandinavian look) was how it emphasised the use of light hues and natural materials, which we really liked.
However, we were aware that there were certain elements that we couldn’t include because of the lack of space. For instance, it’s easy to bring out a ‘tall’ look in a home with high ceilings, but that’s hard to do in an HDB flat. We also weren’t really strict with applying Scandinavian decor principles and elements to the space, so long it looked well put together and matched our vision.
In general, there were a lot of things about the original flat that had to go. We opened up the kitchen, so there was plenty of hacking there. All of the walls were torn down, save for the one that’s next to the stove.
The same applies for the flooring in the living room, bathrooms and kitchen. Also, there was a partition between the master bedroom and the adjacent study that we tore down to expand the space. The only thing that we didn’t change was the bedroom’s parquet flooring, which we felt was still in relatively good condition.
We bought our furniture from various places. some were from local stores like King Living, Ethnicraft, and Blafink, others we brought back from our overseas trips.
For example, our dining set was purchased during a furniture exhibition at Singapore Expo, it’s a special, made-in-Germany piece that has a ceramic top, which is resistant to heat. However, the supplier mainly provides furniture to hotels, so they are kind of off-the-grid when it comes to regular consumers.
The living room’s standing lamp and the fish-shaped mobile that you see hanging above the kitchen are from Finland, which we visited after our renovation. Carrying them back by hand was hard!
Besides the furniture, we also needed to shop for big ticket items like electrical appliances. And to be frank, I underbudgeted for those items.
Other than that, the bathroom was also a challenge due to the amount of debris that had to be cleared, and also because we wanted a change in tile colours. Fortunately, Daphne was around to assist as she visited tile showrooms with us to give us a better idea of our options. We worked with Daphne of Meter Square. She has a good eye for what (idea) works and what doesn’t. She’s also very direct, yet tactful about her suggestions.
For example, at the start, we thought of closing off the kitchen with glass, but Daphne pointed out that it would look too clunky and that we would lose access to the kitchen counter from the walkway’s direction due the barrier. After some thought, we realised she was right, and we scrapped the idea.Thanks Daphne and Meter Square for giving us a house we love and making the entire process smooth and being a joy to work with.