SINGAPORE - Moving from his former four-room Housing Board flat to a 1,432 sq ft three-bedroom unit on the ground floor of the condominium across the road in Punggol Walk made perfect sense for civil servant Ong Jinxiang.
With the move, the 38-year-old aquascape and plant lover could have a large aquarium and his own garden in a Private Enclosed Space (PES) without worrying about structural loading or space constraints.
He and his wife - construction company administrator Wu Liling, 39 - fell in love with the unit at first sight. They share the home with two daughters aged seven and four.
Mr Ong's cousin from local studio Lush Interior had designed the couple's previous home, so they had no qualms about leaving the design of their new home to Mr Don Wong, a designer from the same company.
Mr Ong had specific requirements for space management. "I wanted to ensure that there are no dead spaces within the home. One of the ways to achieve this is by using sliding instead of swing doors. I also put a lot of thought into the placement of switches and electrical points in relation to how the spaces will be used," he says.
Mr Wong addressed these requirements by incorporating built-in cabinets around the home.
The long kitchen cabinetry is finished in a shade of green that distinguishes the area from the rest of the interior. A cushioned settee, intended as a space to put on or remove shoes, is integrated into the built-in cabinets on the opposite side of the foyer.
The minimal, mostly white palette extends to the rest of the apartment. Timber accents with a green cushion are a nod to nature and a callback to the kitchen's green hue.
A wall separating the original kitchen from the living room and corridor was removed to make way for a new open kitchen with a peninsula island counter.
Part of the wall enclosing the kitchen toilet was also demolished to enlarge the area. Replacing the toilet is a small storeroom, a sink and some built-in cabinets.
The aquarium next to the living room is Mr Ong's pride and joy. In most homes, these pieces are installed against a wall, but this freestanding aquarium can be appreciated from multiple angles. Supporting the tank is a custom-made cabinet with a counter at one end where Mr Ong can work or have a drink. A metal display rack nearby houses beverages, plants and a terrarium.
The star of the living area is a 100-inch (2.5m) projection screen with a surround sound system which serves as a home cinema.
Mr Wong added a 1.2m loft for storage above the living area, leaving 2.4m of headroom below.
The living space opens to the PES, which has been transformed into a private garden that doubles as a scenic dining spot with a pool view and the sound of a waterfall.
Adding a loft bed to the master bedroom increases the usable floor space and provides privacy. The space below the loft is a roomy walk-in wardrobe. Even the steps leading up to the loft have been turned into extra storage.
Despite the pandemic, Mr Wong and his team completed the work in April last year after about 2 ½ months. The renovation cost between $80,000 and $90,000, excluding furnishings.
- This article first appeared in the July 2022 issue of Home & Decor, which is published by SPH Magazines.
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