More to clean, but also more to enjoy

Mrs Indra Rajen, 49, and her son Suneet Rajendraprasad, 12, pictured in their jumbo flat.
Mrs Indra Rajen, 49, and her son Suneet Rajendraprasad, 12, pictured in their jumbo flat. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Secondary school teacher Indra Rajen's home is so spacious that she can play badminton with her son in one of the family's two living rooms.

"When my children were younger, they could even cycle around the house," the 49-year-old says.

She is married to a lawyer and the couple have a daughter, 14, and a son, 12.

The couple bought the 1,948 sq ft resale HDB flat in Yishun for $485,000 in 2000 just after they got married. Renovations cost them about $60,000 and took slightly more than a year to complete.

Mrs Indra Rajen and her son Suneet Rajendraprasad demonstrating how they play badminton in their jumbo flat. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Asked why they chose such a big house, she says she and her husband grew up in big families in big homes and were accustomed to space. Her mother also lives in a jumbo flat in Yishun, with one of her brothers.

"We originally wanted a new house," she says.

"But my husband and I visited some showrooms and felt very restricted in the small space. So when we came across this resale flat, we decided to get it."

Besides re-tiling the floors, they also knocked down the walls of two rooms to expand the living and dining area.

She also converted the storeroom into a laundry and vanity area.

Now, the home has two living rooms, a dining area, a reading area with a fountain, three bathrooms and three bedrooms.

The jumbo flat is good for hosting gatherings and celebrating special occasions such as birthdays, where there can be 25 to 30 people.

"There is an area for the buffet spread and space for people to sit together and watch TV or just relax. It's a privilege and a convenience."

She is also able to host overseas relatives or friends when they visit Singapore.

The only downside to having a bigger house?

"It's just the cleaning, really - especially as I get older. A thorough sweep takes 45 minutes to an hour. My husband and children do help out.

"Maintenance is not easy, but other than that, I am happy with a big house. I enjoy the space."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 24, 2017, with the headline 'More to clean, but also more to enjoy'. Subscribe