Can you spot this 20-year-old Bishan flat's secret bathroom?

Can you spot this 20-year-old Bishan flat's secret bathroom?
PHOTO: Qanvast

It goes without saying that a resale apartment - one that hasn't been renovated in 20 years - would be in dire need of a total makeover.

However, that wasn't the only reason why Ken Pua, the owner of this 5-room Bishan flat, sought out the help of Hue Concept Interior Design. His goal: to create a tidy, well-designed home that would make efficient use of available space (all 1,300 square feet of it, to be precise).

To find out more about his Renovation Journey (and the hidden bathroom that he created along the way), we sat down for a quick chat with Ken himself.

ABOUT HIMSELF

Ken (K): Hello, I am Ken and I share this home with my mom and my niece. Previously, I lived in a 3-room flat, so this house is an upgrade for me. I was also actually looking for a condo, but I ended up buying this flat because it was the best option in terms of location and convenience.

Photo: Qanvast

ABOUT THE HOUSE'S CONCEPT

K: For the renovation, I was going for a tidy, clear-cut design with a modern look. Meaning to say, I wanted a home that is simple and spacious. The house's size lent itself well to my plans, which made building storage fixtures easy.

Photo: Qanvast

ON WHAT'S NEW IN THE HOUSE

K: When I first viewed the flat, it was your typical family home without much renovation work done.

As for what's new, starting from the kitchen, it was transformed into an open-concept space and there's a new island installed. I like doing my work and having my breakfast there. Sometimes, it also serves as a cosy corner where I can have a chat with my friends.

The living room has a new feature wall and a stretch of display cabinets that allows us to stow away our belongings; it really helps to keep the house tidy because of how much it can store.

Photo: Qanvast

ON MAJOR RENOVATION WORKS DONE

K: Plenty of hacking had to be done to replace the surfaces in both the kitchen and toilets. Like I said, the house hasn't been renovated for a long time, which made these works necessary. The air-con trunking and electrical wiring also had to be changed due to their age.

The flooring in the bedrooms was originally parquet, but because it was poorly-maintained, I had it overlaid with vinyl at Hue Concept's recommendation.

Photo: Qanvast

ABOUT THE BEDROOM'S HIDDEN BATHROOM

K: Another highlight about the house is the concealed toilet that I have in my bedroom. I was the one who brought up the concept of using the closet to hide the entrance to the en suite - most people don't like to sleep with a toilet in plain sight, which is why I believe that this is an idea worth trying.

Photo: Qanvast

ABOUT THE FIXTURES AND FURNISHINGS

K: The cabinets in the living room have lights on the inside, and they can be operated via a remote control. Initially, I told the electrician that I didn't need the remote, but he threw it in as part of the wiring service.

For furniture, I don't have much around because I wanted as much walking space as possible. The pieces that I chose are similar to what was originally shown in the 3D artwork that Hue Concept created.

The dining table is from Nook and Cranny, while the sofa is from my previous home. I also got some pieces, like my study table, from Carousell. It may seem like the items sold there are all second-hand, but there are first-hand sellers on the platform too.

Photo: Qanvast

ON WORKING WITH HUE CONCEPT

K: Among the five design firms that were recommended by Qanvast, Hue Concept's pricing and proposal were the best fit for my needs.

Also, Lucas, the Hue Concept designer who I worked with, was very timely in his responses, even though he was handling a number of projects. He sent me photos of the renovation's progress very frequently; this made giving consistent feedback a lot easier and prevented defect works from piling on at the end of the renovation.

Photo: Qanvast

ADVICE FOR A SUCCESSFUL RENOVATION

K: Overall, this renovation experience was a hectic one because of the cleaning and coordination that I had to do. I was so stressed that I lost 5kg! [laughs]

However, I learnt some lessons along the way, most important of which is to follow up closely with any problems. Rectify any issues as soon as possible, don't wait till the end when it's too late. Also, if it needs to last, don't be afraid to spend a bit more a particular part or area of your home.

This article was first published in Qanvast.

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