Shi Chang and Calynn aspired for a space that exudes a homey and comforting ambience. After getting the keys to their four-room BTO flat in Upper Serangoon View, the couple immediately embarked on a renovation journey to realise that dream.
"Both of us have many ideas and concepts in our minds. I wanted an industrial look while Calynn wanted something earthy and Zen. We basically wanted a little bit of everything," says Shi Chang.
Good thing they have Shawn Haw of Rezt & Relax to merge these ideas, bring the concept to life, and turn their flat into a home that's beaming with warmth and cosiness. Wooden carpentry throughout the flat is responsible for that welcoming appeal while metal furnishings such as the black factory door provide the industrial touch.
"The couple wanted something unique and interesting for their house. During discussion, I realised that they love the industrial concept yet they want the home to feel cosy as it is a place for them to relax," explains Shawn.
Take a look at Shi Chang and Calynn's cosy rustic industrial home:
The couple opted for an open plan concept for their living and dining areas. The light grey sofa from Crate & Barrel was bought even before they completed the renovation of the house. "I had my eyes set on it. When I first sat on it, I knew that was it. It's very comfortable," says Shi Chang.
The wall behind it mimics the hue of the plush seat-or the other way around. Nevertheless, it achieves the goal of creating a relaxing, calming feel for this area of the home.
The focal point of the living room, however, is the 2-in-1 feature wall-cum-TV console. "The concept came to us when the renovation works started to take place. We decided to go with it as we have not seen this anywhere in Singapore," explains Calynn.
Shawn furthers that the feature wall was the most challenging part of the project as they had to ensure it is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. It holds some of the couple's memorable knickknacks, including the ceramic figurines Shi Chang used when he asked Calynn to spend the rest of her life with him.
The false ceiling and cove lighting, which run through the living room, further define this area and exude an R&R vibe.
Dining Room and entryway
A wooden shelf featuring vertical mosaic tiles welcomes visitors to this home. This also serves as a divider between the entryway and the dining area. It includes a built-in dining bench, which also boasts of storage underneath!
Completing the look of the dining room are the dining table from Star Furniture, Eames-style chairs, and the metal pendant lights. The floor-to-ceiling wooden shelf and the cosy glow coming from the hanging light fixtures contribute to the warmth of this area.
Hallway and study
The same textured wood pattern found in the dining room extends to the hallway leading to the bedroom and bathroom - it feels like you are stepping into a cabin in the woods! One won't even notice the bomb shelter because it was skillfully concealed behind the carpentry.
"We initially wanted to hide the bomb shelter door. We even had the idea of removing it totally knowing very well that it cannot be done. We then suggested building a feature wall to hide it. Our ID went all out to cover the entire hallway!" says Shi Chang.
Shawn and his team worked on every little detail of this wooden stretch in the hallway, ensuring that the joining lines design of the laminate would bring out the industrial and cosy concept that the couple wanted. The framed animal paintings were bought by the couple when they went on cruises.
A sliding black factory door serves as the entrance and exit to the study, where Shi Chang would spend most of his time. "We hacked away the walls to the third room to incorporate a sliding glass door to make the living room look bigger and more spacious. At the same time, the door serves to differentiate the two areas when needed," explains Calynn.
The desk is parked right next to the window of the study-and Shi Chang wouldn't have it any other way. "I spend quite a lot time on my computer and I like to look out into the streets as well. My desk allows me to do both."
Master bedroom + walk-in wardrobe
For their bedroom, Shi Chang and Calynn went for a custom-built bed with storage underneath. A grey textured wallpaper from The Wall Story runs from the headboard all the way up to the ceiling and directs your eyes to the second TV feature wall of this home.
"It's a feature wall with a hidden TV console. The walkway between that and our bed is just enough for one person to walk through at any point. Adding in a TV console would take up most of that remaining space. Shawn came up with a great idea of building the console in the wall," Shi Chang says.
Next to the couple's bedroom is a walk-in wardrobe that features a pole system and a full length mirror. "We created this space with the idea that it could be transformed back to a kid's room in the future. The door is shifted to within the master bedroom and all the shelves and racks are removable," Calynn shares.
Although the galley-style kitchen employs a more contemporary look and feel, the weathered-looking wooden cabinets maintain the rustic ambience. The Evorich flooring even complements the warmth of the wood in the cooking area. Black countertop and backsplash also accentuate the warm atmosphere of this space.
Type of property: 4 Room HDB BTO
Total space: 92 sqm
Interior designer: Rezt & Relax
Budget: $70,000 (renovation, furniture, and appliances)
Time to complete works: 3 months
Shi Chang and Calynn's tips for homeowners
1. Look for the right interior designer. If you are looking to engage an ID or contractor, it is important to make sure that the designer understands what you want. There should be chemistry between the two parties.
2. Have lots of patience. Take your time and source for designs and ideas. Never settle for the first design that you come across. If we were to do it again, we would definitely create a file or a scrapbook with all the design cutouts.
3. Talk to your ID/contractor. They know best if certain concepts work or if they are doable. Telling them your ideas and describing everything to them in details sometimes inspire them, too.