A family returned to Singapore after spending 12 years in China and the Housing Board maisonette they settled on was intended as a welcome-home gift to the missus.
While the owner and their sons, aged 21 and 19, were house-hunting, they chanced upon a unit in the neighbourhood that was undergoing renovations.
The friendly home owner showed them around and the serendipitous encounter led them to engage home-grown interior design company Imagine SK66 to design their unit.
Over the next three months, father and sons worked closely with interior designer Tammy Tay to transform the 1,668 sq ft apartment in Pasir Ris into their family home. The family moved in in April last year.
It was a surprise for the missus, who did not see the place until it was completed. "I am touched my boys went to such great lengths and did all this for me," says the housewife.
The trio's brief to Ms Tay was to make the interior look and feel as roomy as possible. They also wanted a black and brown palette.
"I incorporated some white colours and elements into the design to create a more spacious appearance," says Ms Tay, the third-generation designer in family business SK66 Carpentry, founded by her grandfather 50 years ago.
The built-in carpentry in the home was undertaken by SK66 Carpentry.
With the kitchen being an important part of the home, due to the younger son's love of cooking, they decided to remove the walls of a bedroom between the main entrance and kitchen, so that the kitchen area would be enlarged.
"They wanted to combine the two spaces into one large, open-concept kitchen so it looks bigger, but I advised them against it. In anticipation of the heavy-duty cooking they may do, it is better to have separate wet and dry kitchens," says Ms Tay.
A sliding glass door between the dry and wet kitchens was added so that the grease and smoke from cooking can be contained.
The wet kitchen opens onto a terrace with a beautiful view of Tampines River and the park connector. With some plastering of the walls and a set of table and high stools, Ms Tay created another simple, yet cosy, chill-out space for the family.
The terrace is also linked to the living room and the latter's palette of blacks, greys, whites and browns was what father and sons wanted.
The white walls and a pop of colour from a red armchair lighten the scheme and prevent the dark colours from being overpowering.
On the upper floor, the common bathroom was extended into the hall to accommodate a new vanity, storage shelves and a cabinet that the two sons share.
Glossy white subway tiles on the walls and in the shower area, together with a white vanity top, balance the dark grey flooring and black mirror frame.
The master bedroom shares the same lovely view as the terrace. Its dark colours evoke relaxation and a sense of quietness.
With some clever space planning, Ms Tay managed to carve out sufficient space to fit in a set of wardrobes, a dressing table and other storage spaces.
While the overall interior design style may seem more masculine initially, in over a year, the missus has lovingly added her own touches to the apartment. With photos and other family memorabilia adorning the home, it is evident that the family members have settled in nicely since their return to Singapore.
• This article first appeared in the June 2019 issue of Home & Decor, which is published by SPH Magazines.
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