SINGAPORE - Mr Anthony Huang and his partner, both in their 40s, were initially apprehensive about their 32-year-old three-storey townhouse in Joo Chiat Place. The previous owners had renovated the 2,238 sq ft property several times and the layout was less than ideal.
Mr Huang, a finance professional, says he and his partner described their goal to Mr Dan Chua, a senior designer at Rubiks Studio: an uncluttered home with clean lines and plenty of plants, where they can host family and friends.
The house is a corner unit in a row of townhouses, with a patio along the side.
The design team created a light-filled dining room fit for a casual brunch or lavish dinner party by adding full-height, foldable glass doors and opening up the adjacent wall with two arched openings and an arched doorway.
For spatial continuity, the terrace and floor levels of the first storey were consolidated into one uniform level and finished in grey Italian terrazzo tiles.
"The slide-and-fold doors enhance the versatility of the space and open to create a semi-outdoors, garden ambience," says Mr Chua.
The dining room is physically connected to the living area - where a custom mustard B&B Italia Camaleonda sofa is one of several standout items - by an arched doorway, while the other two arched openings create a visual connection between them.
Under the arches facing the dining room at the side of the building and the tall windows towards the front is a built-in L-shaped bench with a bay window. As Mr Huang is an early riser, it is one of his favourite spots.
Moving the dining room to the former patio created a dry kitchen for Mr Huang. The dry kitchen's island provides ample space for baking, and there is plenty of storage for baking equipment, ingredients and more. It also doubles as a dining counter. "I can bake in the dry kitchen and my partner can cook outside in the wet kitchen," he says.
With the old storeroom out of the way, the living room and dry kitchen have more space. Initially, the windows enveloping the stairway were tinted, stained glass-like panels. These were replaced with clear glass panels with slim frames that allow natural light to filter in, and the staircase has a new black metal balustrade.
The second floor houses two guest rooms and a bathroom, while the master suite occupies the top floor. By moving its entrance from the staircase landing into the master bedroom, the former common bathroom on the third floor is now en-suite. The former study is now an entertainment area within the master suite. The old platform bed and walk-in wardrobe were also removed.
Now, a Japanese aesthetic meets a minimalism inspired by British designer John Pawson in the main bedroom. The attached bathroom follows the same aesthetic with its grey terrazzo flooring and matte white wall tiles. The neutral-toned interior creates a calm atmosphere.
Even though they moved into the home in January 2021, after a nine-week renovation which they say cost about "half a million dollars", Mr Huang considers the house a work in progress. The big-ticket items and key pieces are in place, but he is still adding things. For him and his partner, though, this is the perfect home.
- This article first appeared in the February 2022 issue of Home & Decor, which is published by SPH Magazines. Get the April 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 the Home & Decor website.