The Chic Home: Future-proofed flat in Tampines for three-generation household

A fireplace-shaped TV console and a giant porthole in the wall add a touch of whimsy to this spacious living-dining space.
A fireplace-shaped TV console and a giant porthole in the wall add a touch of whimsy to this spacious living-dining space.PHOTO: VERONICA TAY
The daughter's  bedroom features a peachy pink hue, rose gold accents and an arch over the trundle bed.
The daughter's  bedroom features a peachy pink hue, rose gold accents and an arch over the trundle bed.PHOTO: VERONICA TAY
 The space behind the walk-in wardrobe, which features his and hers sections, is just large enough to accomodate the master bed. The wallpaper adds visual contrast to the room.
 The space behind the walk-in wardrobe, which features his and hers sections, is just large enough to accomodate the master bed. The wallpaper adds visual contrast to the room.PHOTO: VERONICA TAY

SINGAPORE - One of the most challenging aspects of designing a multi-generational home is uniting the family's diverse needs. This 36-year-old Housing Board executive flat in Tampines is an excellent example.

The 1,593 sq ft flat belongs to corporate personal assistant Jennifer Yap, 51, and her husband, social worker Andrew Choo, 49. They live there with their 29-year old daughter Rachel Foo and five-year-old granddaughter Raeanne, a domestic helper and various pets, including a dog.

The family moved from a four-room HDB flat in Simei in search of more space to raise Raeanne, and fell in love with the Tampines unit for its location and layout.

The search for a suitable interior designer, however, was not as simple. After unsatisfactory meetings with five companies, Ms Yap turned to Instagram, where she found local interior design studio Wolf Woof, helmed by director Carmen Tang.

The result of the $117,000 renovation - which took 10 weeks and was delayed by last year's circuit breaker - is a whimsical, cosy home that reflects each family member's personality while factoring in their collective future needs.

Each family member was allowed to decide on the aesthetic of the space where he or she spends the most time. To create a cohesive look, Ms Tang used common design elements that include oblong and circular shapes, arches as well as geometric patterns in tiles, wallpapers and breeze blocks.

The heart of the home is the open kitchen with the quartz island counter top. This is where the family spends most of their time together.

"We hung out a lot at the kitchen island in our old place, so for this new place, we thought - why don't we make it cosier, like an informal dining room?" says Ms Yap, who also chose the kitchen's colour palette, featuring dark blue laminates, black-and-white patterned tiles and brushed-gold hardware.

When they have guests, they move to the dining room, which used to be the balcony but was brought indoors. The main living area's centrepiece is a flat-screen television mounted on a console designed to look like a fireplace.

The previous owner had enlarged the living room by knocking down the walls of a common bedroom. Ms Tang re-partitioned the space with glass doors and gypsum boards with a glass porthole, creating a new multi-purpose room for the family.

"The room serves as a guest bedroom, Raeanne's playroom and my mahjong room," says Ms Yap. "In the future, it will become Raeanne's bedroom."

Ms Tang has built a wardrobe in the room, while the custom arch niche was prepared to accommodate a bed. Raeanne currently sleeps in Ms Foo's bedroom, which sports a peachy pink and white palette with plenty of cosy textures and plants and rose gold accents. The common bathroom has a similar look.

Ms Yap's preferred dark colour scheme applies in the master bedroom and bathroom. There is a walk-in wardrobe and the sleeping area is minimal. Wallpaper from Jupiter 10 recalls the geometric detail in the kitchen, while patterned tiles in the bathroom tie in with the kitchen's aesthetic.


Black and white master bathroom with patterned tiles that recall the look of the kitchen. PHOTO: VERONICA TAY

The ceramic tile flooring is uniform throughout the home.

"This unit has a low ceiling, just 2.6m," Ms Tang says. "Uniform flooring draws the eyes to the expanse of the space. We also keep the built-in storage at a low height to keep the space airy."

The tiles were also chosen to accommodate the honorary elder of the family - Elfie, a 16-year-old chihuahua and silky terrier mix they adopted in 2019.


The ceramic tile flooring is uniform throughout the home. PHOTO: VERONICA TAY

"We joke that with Elfie in the house, we're actually a four-generation family," says Mr Choo.

• This article first appeared in the July 2021 issue of Home & Decor, which is published by SPH Magazines.

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