When French expatriate couple Herve and Laetitia Barthe stepped into this terrace house at Serangoon Gardens, they knew instantly that it would be their home in Singapore for the next two years.
"This is the only house that had soul. We visited over 20 houses and while they looked good, there was nothing spectacular about them. We came to this house and felt it had something," says Mr Barthe, a flight instructor and deputy head of training at ATR Singapore Training Centre.
Click on thumbnails to view (Photos: BT)
The two-storey terrace home, originally built in 1955, was sold to an investor two-and-a-half years ago.
The investor hired Creative Mind Design to handle the renovation, from the design, budget, and to the architect and contractor selection.
"The brief was that it had to be a unique home, and that it had to be suitable for leasing," says Constance Tew, director of Creative Mind Design, who did the interiors.
She roped in architect Chin Kean Kok, design director at Envelope Architects, for the job.
Ms Tew approached property agents who said that homes in this area would be popular with expatriates.
"A home with three bedrooms, a guest room, and a helper's room would be what most tenants are looking for," says Ms Tew.
The 57-year-old house was still in good condition when renovations on the home began about 18 months ago.
"The house looked like a cottage and it would be a pity to tear it down. I decided to retain the original architecture, even though it would cost less to tear it down and rebuild a new house," says Mr Chin.