Who: A couple and their young son
Home: Five-room HDB flat in Boon Tiong Road
Living in this tropical heat and humidity, homeowners who dispense with air-conditioning in their living room is a rarity, but Desmond Chua and Low Min Hue did just that. The couple, who have a five-year-old son, wanted natural ventilation in the living area of their five-room HDB flat.
"Being architects themselves, they knew exactly what they wanted for the interiors; a bright and breezy look designed with natural materials," explains Darren Low, principal designer of One Is To One, a design consultancy firm.
White and light beige tones, and clear glass, were used for a bright and spacious feel. Wood features provide contrast and earthy warmth, in the renovation that cost $90,000. The couple spent an additional $30,000 for furniture, electrical appliances, and accessories.
Another design priority was lots of storage space. Their brief to Darren was to create storage areas that are inconspicuous and "blend in" as part of the home's design.
This is what they achieved.
Half of the original kitchen wall was knocked down to create the dry kitchen. A glass sliding door is used to divide the dry and wet sections while letting in more light.
A louvred window, originally sitting above a 1m-tall parapet wall just behind the dining area was also removed. The wall was also lowered to bring in more light and ventilation, and to improve the visual connection between the kitchen and dining area.
"The owners like that the dry kitchen serves as an extension of the dining area, while also forming part of the larger living area visually," says Darren.
What looks like a wood veneer feature wall behind the TV console in the living room is also a roomy storage area for a vast collection of DVDs and CDs. The wooden panels nearest the entrance foyer hides a shelf for shoes.
Storage cabinets double as seating areas in some corners of the home, such as the bench behind the dining table, in the study, and the master bedroom.
Taking pride of place in the living room is a one-of-a-kind display showcase. The "shelves" are boxes crafted from plywood and finished with lacquer. They were custom-made to fit into the slots held together by a solid floor-to-ceiling metal frame.
"The owners wanted indoor planters and display areas that were flexible in terms of usage and arrangement. I adopted the idea from a bookshelf at a cafe in Beijing and refined the details and materials," Darren explains.
Contained in these boxes are plants that add to the "natural" vibe of the space. What the owners like best about this standout feature is that they can "rearrange" the plywood boxes and decorative pieces according to their needs and mood.
To link the master bedroom and study room, the designer created a door opening (with a pocket sliding door) on the corridor wall between the two rooms.
"This feature gives the owners the option of moving between the two rooms in complete privacy as the study room can be locked from outside the common corridor to become an extension of the master bedroom," he says.
Alternatively, the sliding door can be locked from the master bedroom's side when there are guests in the study, allowing privacy for both sides.
Where to go: One Is To One, www.oneistoone.com.sg
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