The Chic Home: Designer’s resale flat in Tampines has plenty of space for young family

Clean lines and earthy colours make this living area feel warm and inviting. PHOTO: K STUDIO; ART DIRECTION: KRISTY QUAH
With the redesign, the odd angles are now design highlights of the home. PHOTO: K STUDIO; ART DIRECTION: KRISTY QUAH
The details of the cabinetry balance out the oddly angled beams, making the open living area feel cosy and intimate. PHOTO: K STUDIO; ART DIRECTION: KRISTY QUAH
The backsplash, composed of square tiles and black grouting, add a quaint charm to the open kitchen. PHOTO: K STUDIO; ART DIRECTION: KRISTY QUAH

SINGAPORE – With its angled spaces, this five-room, 1,400 sq ft resale Housing Board flat in Tampines is much larger than the typical five-room flats in Singapore.

Ms Shermaine Ong, founder of boutique interior design firm Mosh Interior, saw it as an exciting challenge.

“My husband, on the other hand, was a little deterred by all the angles. I teased him, ‘What are you afraid of? I’m the interior designer.’”

She and her husband – a former engineer who is now a professional baker – share the home with their two daughters aged seven and five, as well as their helper and dog.

The extensive renovation saw the original flat’s awkward angles turned into clever storage solutions and cosy, intimate nooks, while leaving the common areas airy and spacious for socialising.

Ms Ong says designing her family’s second home was easier than her first, because she “learnt from all the mistakes I made in my first home and applied those to address my family’s needs for this new home”.

Reconciling the spatial requirements with the flat’s existing ceiling beams was the biggest challenge in designing the home, she says.

Her husband requested a large dry kitchen with a baking station, so it had to extend beyond the space dictated by the beams.

Ms Ong redesigned the area so the dry kitchen, dining and living areas are one seamless open space.

The beam above the dining table makes the dining experience feel more intimate, as does the one above the daybed section of the L-shaped sofa in the living room.

Ms Ong removed and reconfigured most of the flat’s walls. The one between the parents’ and the kids’ bedrooms was shifted to create storage.

The wall between the living and dining area was knocked down, while the entrance to the playroom – formerly a common bedroom – was enlarged with double French doors to connect it to the common area.

The balcony area was brought indoors and turned into Ms Ong’s home office, as well as a cosy reading room with cushions, a bookshelf, storage and power points. A storage wall separates the living area from this space.

French doors open up into the playroom, which used to be another bedroom in the home’s layout. PHOTO: K STUDIO; ART DIRECTION: KRISTY QUAH

A highlight of the home is the custom carpentry, which provides hidden storage.

For instance, the storage space between the entryway and kitchen opens up to a laundry and ironing station that can be folded and slotted into the wall when not in use. The drawers in the dry kitchen have a tiered interior for snack and utensil organisation, while the white cabinets house an oven, fridge and an LG Styler that steams and dries clothing.

Home appliances are carefully concealed behind wall panels to create an uncluttered layout. PHOTO: K STUDIO; ART DIRECTION: KRISTY QUAH

The colour palette is dominated by white, muted grey and natural wood, while the finishes – large-format tiles, wood laminates, Silestone shower slabs and mosaic for the kitchen backsplash – were chosen for their ease of maintenance.

These are paired with French doors and shutters that lend a relaxed yet luxurious touch.

“We have a lot of doors here, 16 of them,” says Ms Ong. These allow the adults to manage the access of the children and the dog.

The renovation cost about $140,000 and the family moved into the home in August 2022.

  • This article first appeared in the February 2023 issue of Home & Decor, which is published by SPH Magazines.
  • Get the March and latest issue of Home & Decor now at all newsstands or download the digital edition of Home & Decor from the App Store, Magzter or Google Play. Also, see more inspiring homes at

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