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House Tour: Uncluttered and streamlined three-room HDB flat in Serangoon

Artistroom
Interior design firm Artistroom created a singular 3m-long white console that runs the length of the open-concept living room and kitchen. Photo: Artistroom
 

Placing a steam oven near a television set makes for an odd pairing. But for this three-room HDB flat in Serangoon, it works.

Interior design firm Artistroom created a singular 3m-long white console that runs the length of the open-concept living room and kitchen.

Mr Mark Chen, 33, the project consultant on the design team, looked at the home owner's needs and suggested this design to "suit her lifestyle and personality". 

He says: "She doesn't cook often and prefers to use a steam oven when she does. So there was no need for much countertop space. This open layout makes her home look bigger too."

The resale 73 sq m flat is owned by Ms Cindy Teo, a regional operations planner, who is single and in her 30s. 

It underwent a massive redesign including removing walls to open up the space.

Ms Teo says: "I wanted the interiors to be simple and easy to clean. For example, I didn't want hanging ceiling lights which I would have to clean regularly."

Artistroom
Interior design firm Artistroom created a singular 3m-long white console that runs the length of the open-concept living room and kitchen. Photo: Artistroom
 

To make the flat look bigger, larger Italian tiles measuring 75cm by 75cm were used. Regular tiles usually measure 60cm by 60cm.

During the design stage, both client and designer communicated via WhatsApp, with Mr Chen sending her pictures of tiles and furnishings for her approval. However, there were times when she was unsure of his suggestions.

For example, Mr Chen suggested using green translucent tiles as a feature for the wall above the stove. But Ms Teo felt they were "too old-school".

She says of the mosaic tiles: "I wanted something vintage and I wasn't sure this green would fit that look. But I decided to go with his choice."

Ms Teo rents out one of her rooms. She and the tenant have to share the one toilet in the flat, which is why Mr Chen installed two vanity counters there.

Ms Teo likes that feature, saying: "It's rush hour for the bathroom in the morning, so this was a good solution instead of us having to wait for our turn. We can also keep our things separate."

Artistroom
Two vanity counters. Photo: Artistroom
 

The home, which was completed last July, cost about $70,000 to design and renovate. The bulk of the costs went into reconfiguring the space, reworking the toilet and hacking the floor. The design also incorporated a storeroom, which the original layout did not have.

Ms Teo loves the way her home looks, given that she was not particularly impressed when she saw Mr Chen's initial plans.

"When I saw the 3-D renderings, I felt the designs were just all right. But after everything went into it, it turned out so well."


This article was published in 2015. Written by Natasha Ann Zachariah for The Straits Times.