Let there be light

Let there be light

Breaking up the grid of a 35-year-old mass-produced terrace house was a turning point for owners Josephine and Alan Tan.

By tearing down walls and putting up glass divides, the once sombre house is now a sunbathed, cosy residence.

IMAGINE four adults having to share a single bathroom. That was what the Tan family did for over 20 years at their terrace home in East Coast.

A house full of light

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    Imagine four adults having to share a single bathroom. That was what the Tan family did for over 20 years at their terrace home in East Coast.

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    "It was a nightmare each morning, when everyone had to use the bathroom at the same time," says homeowner Josephine Tan. Not any more.

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    A few years ago, Mrs Tan and her businessman husband, Alan, finally decided that it was time to give their 35-year-old home an upgrade. The timing could not have been more perfect.

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    From a family of four, it has now grown to six. Elder son, Marcus, got married in 2010 and his wife Priscilla moved in with the family. They have an eight-month-old baby named Russell.

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    And from having to squeeze into a two-storey home, now, each family member has a room of their own, that comes with very generously sized bathrooms.

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    Their architect, Goh Chioh Hui of Studiogoto, kept the home's structure but added an additional storey, extending its length at the same time.

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    With only windows at the front and back, and walls on the sides, terrace homes, like this one, tend to be dark.

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    Now, Mrs Tan raves about how she no longer needs to have lights on during the day, after Mr Goh made it his mission to get more light in.

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    Where he could, he knocked down concrete walls on the ground floor, such as in the kitchen, which he replaced with glass panels.

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    The kitchen opens up to an informal dining area. The family members usually gather at the island table for their meals.

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    To let in light and breeze into this dining area, floor-to-ceiling glass doors were put in.

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    Mr Goh also moved the staircase from its old location in the centre of the dining area to the side. This opened up more living space. From a small dining area, Mr Goh created a larger dining space and also built a powder room.

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    While some owners want to have as many rooms as possible, the Tans kept it to just what they needed.

"It was a nightmare each morning, when everyone had to use the bathroom at the same time," says homeowner Josephine Tan. Not any more.

A few years ago, Mrs Tan and her businessman husband, Alan, finally decided that it was time to give their 35-year-old home an upgrade. The timing could not have been more perfect.

From a family of four, it has now grown to six. Elder son, Marcus, got married in 2010 and his wife Priscilla moved in with the family. They have an eight-month-old baby named Russell.

And from having to squeeze into a two-storey home, now, each family member has a room of their own, that comes with very generously sized bathrooms.

Their architect, Goh Chioh Hui of Studiogoto, kept the home's structure but added an additional storey, extending its length at the same time.

"Homes like theirs were mass produced in the past, with few design elements. People bought them based on the number of rooms they needed," says Mr Goh.

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