How a designer brought masculine chic to his 4-room HDB home

PHOTO: Qanvast

If there's someone who knows a thing or two about turning an empty apartment into a stylish retreat, it's Charlotte's Carpentry director James Lim.

Be it an Insta-worthy contemporary abode or an industrial-inspired couple's nest, James and his firm has helped many a client achieve their dream home. However, it was not only until earlier this year that the seasoned designer finally got the chance to work on an abode that he can call his own.

To get the lowdown on his renovation journey, we spoke to James himself about his ideas and how they were brought to life in his 4-room HDB flat at Bukit Batok.

ABOUT HIMSELF AND HIS FAMILY

Photo: Qanvast

James (J): As you may already know, I am the founder of Charlotte's Carpentry. I've been in the home renovation line since 2009, and I share this house with my family, which consists of my wife and my young son. We also have a domestic helper staying with us.

ABOUT HIS HOME'S NEW LOOK

J: About the look of the house, I'd say that it's modern contemporary with a few classic elements thrown in to give it a touch of elegance.

To be entirely honest, I didn't put that much thought into the aesthetics, it was pretty much a combination of things that I like, such as marble textures and dark colours. The ideas kind of popped into my head when I was browsing magazines and websites for inspiration. I usually take a more tailored approach when designing homes (for my clients), but since this is my own home, it was just easier to execute the concept off the top of my head.

Photo: Qanvast

ABOUT HIS MUST-HAVES

J: Both my wife and I wanted the house's design to be simple and cosy, and that's because we wish to have a comfortable place to return to after work. Also, it had to be easy to maintain. Even though we have a helper, there's still plenty of tidying to do around the house, so the easier it is to clean up, the better.

ON CHANGED MADE TO HIS HOME

J: Most of the changes in the house were mostly focused on enhancing its looks and functionality. Even though it was a completely new HDB flat, there was plenty that had to be done to transform the different areas into liveable spaces. The work we did throughout the house included tiling, installing new flooring, wiring, and building new storage solutions, just to name a few.

Photo: Qanvast

 

For the kitchen, we decided to make it an open-concept space together with the dining area, just to make the entire house look bigger. We also didn't have to tear down any walls, because we opted for an open design when we first purchased the flat - that really saved us some effort!

As for the rest of the work done in the kitchen, it mainly involved building up new cabinetry to make it easier to store our knick-knacks. We also made sure to include some decorative accents, like panelling and vertical lines, to draw the eye upwards and so that we wouldn't have to live with plain, bland cabinets. [laughs]

Photo: Qanvast

 

Similar to the kitchen, we also made sure to include some subtle decorative accents in the master bedroom to give the surroundings more detail. But in terms of colour, we decided to use a light shade of powder pink, instead of sticking to just dark blue-green, to tone down the masculine feel.

Functionality-wise, we also added a window-side counter; my wife uses it as her dressing area and work corner. The counter's design was kept simple so that it fits in with the rest of the clean lines in the room.

Photo: Qanvast

We didn't do any work on the common bathroom, but for the master bathroom, we gave it a new look by overlaying the walls and floors with a classy combination of tan and black tiles. We also installed a new undermount basin with a storage cabinet beneath and created a wall niche in the shower, which make it easier to store our toiletries.

TO SUM IT UP

J: For new homeowners who're interested in getting a similar look, the most important thing to do is to maintain colour balance. Sure, consistency is one way that you can use to convey an overall feel or a sense of coherence between different rooms at home, but be sure to break things up with varying shades so that it doesn't look too uniform or boring.

This article was first published in Qanvast.

Purchase this article for republication.

VIDEOS YOU SHOULD WATCH

  • #Joeyjios: We try bubble tea mala hotpot and bubble tea toast

    Full story: http://www.asiaone.com/food/we-try-bubble-tea-mala-hotpot-and-bubble-tea-toast-guess-which-ones-got-us-hooked Mala and bubble milk tea within the same hotpot? What about bubble tea on toast? Who even comes up with these ideas?! This week on #Joeyjios, we give these dubious food creations a taste-test to see if they're worth your time, money and calories. #bubbletea #bbt #boba --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Thirstdays: Where we talk weird dates and wild fantasies

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/entertainment/thirstdays-where-we-talk-weird-dates-and-wild-fantasies Ooo, it's been a hot week and the thirst is real at AsiaOne. Join Le En and Bryan as they chat about weird dates, constant 'cravings', and Beyonce's thigh gap! And they are quenching that thirst with a cup of root beer float to celebrate the return of a certain fast food restaurant. Thirstdays is a fortnightly AsiaOne #entertainment series where our hosts Le En and Bryan give you a peek into their personal lives while they satisfy their thirst over a drink, have a no-holds-barred chat, and do fun things. #gossip #confessions #realness --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Don't Say Cannot Ep4: He beats people up, but for the country

    Full story: http://www.asiaone.com/singapore/dont-say-cannot-delinquent-national-wrestler He used to beat people up, simply because he had "too much energy" to expend. Now, he still beats people up - but for the country. Meet 24-year-old #Singapore national wrestler Toh Xin Ran. Seeing the number of medals that he has been awarded and the respectful manner in which he now interacts with his wrestling coach, it is hard to imagine that Xin Ran used to be a troubled kid in his younger days. #wrestling #sportsman --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • #Joeyjios: Taste-testing The Alley Luxe and CHICHA San Chen

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/food/alley-luxe-and-chicha-san-chen-opens-week-heres-what-try A Michelin-standard bubble tea for $4.70? A drink that looks like the Northern Lights? This week, #Joeyjios her colleague Le En to check out two new bubble tea (BBT) stores that are opening along Orchard Road. Which will they prefer? Watch to find out. #Thedeerishere #TheAlley #Chichasanchen #Boba --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Office Tea Episode 5: Bosses and Things

    It’s been a few weeks - let’s find out if the higher-ups of AsiaOne have any regrets about hiring Le En. Efforts were made to make nice, charity is involved and work is never-ending still. Follow and subscribe so you won't miss a single episode of our new series, Office Tea! To catch more of her antics, follow her @goofy_feline! --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • #Joeyjios: DIY your way into mum's heart this Mother's Day

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/women/joeyjios-diy-your-way-mums-heart-mothers-day Mother’s Day is this Sunday! Have you gotten mum a gift yet? This week on #Joeyjios, Joey tries her hand at DIY projects that’s thoughtful, useful and inexpensive. #Mothersday #DIY --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Don't Say Cannot Ep3: He 'sees' the world with the help of tech

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/singapore/dont-say-cannot-he-may-be-blind-he-can-text-faster-you Edwin Khoo, 43, surprises friends with the speed at which he types on his phone. The reason? He's been blind since birth. But #technology has been the game-changer for Edwin in navigating the world around him despite his #disability, allowing him to #travel and even host his own online #podcast. --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Office Tea Episode 4: The Dress Code

    It’s in the employee handbook - but does ANYONE actually read and follow the dress code? Are calves too scandalous? Le En puts on Athleisure and tries to get away with it! Follow and subscribe so you won't miss a single episode of our new series, Office Tea! To catch more of her antics, follow her @goofy_feline! --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • Caryn Cheng finds the best deals at IMM's Greater Savings Home and Furnishing Sale

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/singapore/5-couples-share-most-expensive-items-they-have-ever-bought-their-home AsiaOne challenges Caryn Cheng to find the best deals at the upcoming #IMM Greater Savings Home and Furnishing #Sale. IMM's Greater Savings Home & Furnishing Sale will start May 13 to 19. With 20 per cent off storewide at Best Denki and discounts of up to 50 per cent at stores such as INKAGU Outlet by Picket & Rail, Linen Gallery Outlet and Red Apple from May 17 to 19, this epic sale is not to be missed. Address: 2 Jurong East Street 21, Singapore 609601 Opening hours: 10am to 10pm #brandedcontent --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com
  • #Joeyjios: I try a ballet-inspired workout despite my two left feet

    Full story: https://www.asiaone.com/singapore/joeyjios-i-try-ballet-inspired-workout-despite-my-two-left-feet Tendu, Arabesque and Grand Pliés? This week on #Joeyjios, I found out that these are in fact, not edible food dishes, but dance moves in ballet.  Watch as former professional ballerinas and co-founders of #BalletBody, Lisha Chin and Alison Carroll, take me through a snippet of their hour-long ballet-inspired workout while I try my best to keep up.  #Ballet #Barre #Fitness --- Read more: http://www.asiaone.com/ FOLLOW us on - Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asiaonecom - Twitter: https://twitter.com/asiaonecom - Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/asiaonecom/ EMAIL: For story leads, business enquiries, contact asiaone@mm2entertainment.com

SERVICES