Clean, sleek and contemporary

Clean, sleek and contemporary

Feel like living in a new home? Rather than raze one's home to the ground, one normally builds extensions or renovates the interiors for a dramatically different look.

However, the Chan family decided to tear down their house to make way for a new one.

"Demolishing a house that was in good running orderr may seem like a mad idea!"grins Mrs Chan. "Like most owners, we originally planned to move to another bungalow and rent or sell the old one. Or buy a piece of land and build from scratch. To demolish a house we had lived in for 15 years seemed wasteful and was quite painful due to sentimental reasons."

Despite head-scratching queries from friends, the Chans decided to tear down their Roman/Greek-style villa to build a brand new house on the premises.

"The main reason is we love living in this area. None of us wanted to move. So the whole family agreed we would remain here as the neighbourhood is great and all amenities are a stone's throw away.

But tastes changed. And mistakes were made.

"Over time, we were not content with the design and size. We began adding extensions here and there. In the end, we over-renovated and the house didn't look nice anymore. The design did not gel and we got fed-up with all the extensions protruding everywhere." recalls Mrs Chan. "Basically we became sien (bored) with it!"

Adds her husband, "We thought of moving into a nice gated community but the prices were skyhigh so we opted to stay put. Our two grown-up daughters also loved staying here. Real estate agents were convinced we were mad as one homebuyer offered us RM4 million (S$1.6 million) and we turned him down."

"The new house took 12 months to finish which is quite a record. The old house was 6,000 sq ft (557 sq m) and the new one is 10,000 sq ft (929 sq m)," says Mr Chan.

"Our feng shui master said we must move into the new house before Chinese New Year this year or wait another year till 2013. We didn't want to wait another year so we paid overtime for the workers to toil day and night. Fortunately, we also found interior designer Lee Hui Ching in August who delivered on time in January 2012 so we could move in before the Year of Water Dragon arrived."

Which explains the swimming pool sitting directly atop the master bedroom!

"Friends ask if I feel weird sleeping right below the pool and do I stare at the ceiling scrutinising for cracks and leaks?" laughs Mrs Chan.

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