Old place, new look

Old place, new look

This designer-homeowner chose a 30-year-old apartment for her first home, and turned it into something contemporary and trendy.

Who: A 38-year-old bachelorette

Home: Three-bedroom walk-up condominium unit in Bukit Batok

Size: 1,270sqf

Since Lisa Ng designs homes for a living, the homeowner and design director of Ansana knew exactly what she wanted for her own first home. "I actually did the space planning before I even made my offer for the place, so as to first make sure that I'd have what I needed!" she says. She bought this 30-year-old condominium unit from its first occupant. "It was still in its original condition; old but really well-maintained," shares the designer.

As she is fond of the material, Lisa designed her home to incorporate various wood tones throughout - a bold woodgrain laminate in the kitchen, a highly textured feature wall made of raw plywood in the dining area, and various free-form wood furniture. She also made some structural changes to suit her needs, including turning one of the three bedrooms into an art studio.

The talented designer tells us more about what she had in mind for her home.

Why did you choose this place?

I was looking for an old condominium unit that had never been renovated, as I wanted my own design. Also, a place with good cross-ventilation, and views of greenery. It also had to have a north-south facing so the apartment wouldn't get the heat from the sun.

Tell us about the ideas behind your home's design.

As it's an old place, I had no qualms about doing a major overhaul! The main feature wall (in the dining area) is made with just raw plywood, without any particular finish. Also, I didn't want to have too much built-in furniture, as I want to be able to buy things and move them around so that there's more styling involved.

What changes did you make to the space?

I shifted the door to the studio further away from the kitchen to make room for a pantry in the dining room. I created access to the common bathroom for the guest room, and also enlarged the master bedroom. In the living area, there used to be a balustrade at the edge of the raised floor, but I removed it and concealed the holes with a timber strip design.

Designer turns 30-year-old apartment into something contemporary and trendy

Why keep the old flooring in the living area?

I kept the tiles as it tells the story of the apartment. If you hack everything, there's no authenticity. Furthermore, it's not easy to find such tiles anymore. Also, it would have cost about $4,000 to redo it with quality Italian tiles. I would rather spend that on a holiday!

How do you use your space?

I have my own studio, so I can paint and make prints easily. I use the dining table a lot, to work, eat, check the mail… I always sit here (a seat in the corner near the studio); it's the best spot in the apartment because of the crossventilation, and views on both sides! The pantry is convenient for grabbing coffee, and when people come over, they can help themselves.

Where are your unique accessories and decor from?

The handles on the pantry drawers are from a flea market in Florence, while the blueand- white ones on the kitchen cabinets and the pink knobs on the wall-mounted console (by the entrance) are from Thailand. The glass lamp (over the console) is made of Murano glass - I handcarried it back from Venice. The giant pencils are from Barcelona, and I use them sometimes!

The authentic Peranakan tiles on the pantry backsplash are from an antique shop in Malacca. The plane above the dining table was a gift, and I dangled bulbs around it to turn the whole thing into a decorative light fixture. I paint and make prints, so my own artworks fill up the walls!

Where to go

Ansana, TEL: 6438-3343

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