The Home-Building Journey: A Contemporary Home with Antiques Decoration

The Home-Building Journey: A Contemporary Home with Antiques Decoration

We are humbled to receive some referrals from our past clients that referred us to friends or relatives they know. One of our clients introduced us to his mom, Teresita. She lived in a landed house previously, but now has moved to a 3-bedroom condo at Maplewoods, Bukit Timah. Due to the collectibles that she wants to bring over, the unit needs some renovation to accommodate her current needs.

Color scheme for master bathroom
Color scheme for kitchen

We started with brain-storming some color schemes for the house with the help of her daughter. The overall idea is to have a feminine and calm feel to suit Teresita’s personality and also because her sister is staying with her. On top of the aesthetic requirements, the house also needs to be elderly friendly so wheelchairs-size walkways and grab bars are installed for future use.

Before (Open kitchen)
After (Closed kitchen)

The first and foremost aspect was to work out the kitchen configuration. Closed kitchens are generally preferred over open kitchens due to the fact that Teresita’s helper cooks on a daily basis. In this case, the oil and smell will be reduced significantly and will not create an odor in the living room, which causes disruption, especially when you have guests around. We also added a ducting system to drag greasy air from the kitchen out of the yard window.

Before (Bathroom with Bathtub)
After (Bathroom with Shower and Settee)

Another major aspect that we looked at was the primary bathroom that used to have a bathtub. However, it did not suit Teresita’s lifestyle and considering in the future she may need a settee during bath time, the entire piece was replaced with a shower area with settee instead.

Before (multi purpose room)
After (study and store room)

We paid a visit to her rented house to see the furniture and decorations they already owned. The purpose was to get an overview of what they were acquainted with and how the antique furniture, paintings, and other collectables would fit into the new house, not forgetting taking the measurement of each individual item to make sure the new space can accommodate them. On this note, Teresita needs an additional store room to keep her existing miscellaneous items that are non-displayable.


After modifying existing multi function room to a study and store room

The corridor is now decorated with artworks, making the house have a gallery vibe that showcases Teresita’s precious collectibles.

Let us show you how each of the areas has been transformed.

First impressions matter. The entrance corridor used to have a wide display shelf allowing a potential mess if not curated properly. The new design is to keep all the cabinets in a soft look (thanks to LAMITAK for their beautiful laminate surfaces that we use in the entire house) and reduce the space for display to limit the potential clutter. The entrance is also emphasized with a portal-look in a darker laminate to simulate a gate to enter the common spaces in the house.

After – 3D Visual
Final Look of Entrance Corridor

In the kitchen area, the open kitchen concept has been transformed to a closed concept to suit the daily lifestyle of the homeowner. The old peninsula has been changed to a slimmer bottom cabinet that can fit inside the enclosed kitchen space. We started shortlisting a few sets of tiles for Teresita to choose. It was during covid period, since the client is quite cautious about the covid protocols and consequences, the materials were delivered to the house and then the client selected the materials.

Before (Open Kitchen)
After (Closed kitchen) – 3D Visual

Although there was a little hiccup in the selection, due to the first choice being out of stock, Teresita agreed to settle on the second option, both are from HAFARY. Completing the look is SEASONSTONE sintered table top.

Proposed Tiles
Selected with Order of Preference

Final Look of Finished Kitchen

Just outside the kitchen area, there is a functional dry pantry area where Teresita and her sister can make their morning coffee and keep all of the dry goods and ingredients for cooking. The space was functioned as a Distribution Box (DB) area and the new DB is moved nearer to the entrance door where we keep all of the switches, intercom and other utility items in the same compartment, hidden from sight.

After – 3D Visual
Final Look of Dry Pantry

We like to keep things minimal. By minimal, we mean not putting unnecessary built-ins where they are not needed. But for this house, there are many collectibles that need a place to be displayed, from small figurines to crystals, from plates to paintings, to religious ceremonial objects that are required in the regular praying activity. In the living area, A contemporary altar is attached with a TV console unit and display shelves, creating a seamless look using one laminate finish.

After – 3D Visual
Final Look of Living Area
Final Look of Wide-angled Entrance, Dining Area, Living Area and Kitchen

Moving on to the Master Room, the configuration of space is pretty much the same as the existing condition of the house. However, we proposed a much brighter tone and less bulky built-ins. The slim TV console unit occupies the wall and ends at the door line which makes it look seamless visually. The line continues to the wardrobe and dresser area. There used to be a walk-in wardrobe with an open concept row of clothes. It is now transformed to a more open and airy wardrobe area with an enclosed cabinet to store the clothes. The additional touch or mirror on the dresser and full height mirror on the cabinet door lengthens and adds on to the volume of space.


After – 3D Visual

Final Look of Master Bedroom

We have also undergone some design work in the master bathroom, particularly on the shower area and the feature wall tiles. As described earlier, the bathtub installed in the bathroom before the renovation was not quite elderly-friendly. Teresita wanted something comfortable that she could use without fearing getting injured while using the bathroom. And for a feminine touch: subtle and soft-colored tiles, but for a less boring look: Bold pattern!

Proposed Tiles
Selected with Order of Preference

There were a few options for the settee shape initially, but we like to have less dead space, hence we go for the straight design. The preference and focus were primarily on keeping the seating space in the shower area. This will also provide more comfortable seating space in the shower area by getting rid of odd dead spaces.

Rounded edge settee
Selected with straight cut
(yes, we are also sad to see the beautiful marble go!)
After – 3D Visual

Final Look of Master Bathroom

For the guest bedroom, the ultimate goal was to make this room flexible so not only it can receive guests whenever necessary, but also to be presentable when the room is used for other functions. Another important consideration was keeping an eye on Teresita’s old furniture that has potential to be placed in this room. To avoid an unbalanced situation between the old furniture and the new house, we were constantly overlooking and evaluating the old furniture that would soon be a part of the new house. The goal was to keep everything matched and well-balanced.

Proposed Laminate To Match Existing Upholstery

For instance, we matched the existing armchair, which will go inside the guest bedroom and reading room, to the carpentry display shelves in this flexible guest room. This way, we could maintain the color scheme and keep the elements coordinated.


A few options for consideration of the niches’ finishes

We incorporated a Murphy bed in this room to allow the bed to be hidden when not in use. (Thanks to: SG Murphy Bed!)

Final Look of Guest Bedroom: when in use as bedroom and for other function

Glimpses of video on the project showcasing the renovation & design works done

It took about 5 months for the whole renovation starting from the planning phase until the project was completed.

When our client was convinced to make this their long term home and to create the kind of home that they have always dreamt of. We decided to design and style it in a rich personality and character. This house displays a range of collectibles of the homeowner that are close to her heart, including preserving paintings from her late father-in-law. A minimal and contemporary touch is introduced to balance and complement the antique and decorative pieces to blend-in well in with the interior space. Conversely, a bold and fancy art tile is used to elevate an otherwise boring and plain bathroom wall.

Do you like what you see?

We can do more than just sharing ideas, we actually make ideas come true! Why not get in touch with us about your home improvement project?