House Tour: Step inside this eclectic 3-bedroom home with retro, quirky personal touches
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I’m a notorious feeder!” exclaims Jo Henson, the homeowner of this 1,500 sq ft three-bedroom resale apartment in Tampines. Jo, who lives here with her partner Merlyn Hor and their two dogs, loves to entertain and wanted a home that could accommodate their many interests.
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This includes having a balcony and guest room where friends can hang out, a design that incorporates the couple’s sports equipments seamlessly and — most importantly — a kitchen that fits all of Jo’s cooking requirements. To do this, they approached their interior designer and friend Gayle Leong from 3PSI.
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“There is no hard and fast rule to this home. It is an Instagram-worthy and chapalang (colloquial word for “a mixture of various elements”) design, made up of Jo’s many online purchases and affordable furniture from Ikea and Castlery. She is, however, a very organised person and requires lots of storage; this, and her love for entertaining, informed the layout of the apartment,” shares Gayle.
We chat with Jo.
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You described the house as an update of your previous home. How so?
We stuck to the grey-black palette we like, and brought over some items such as the study room ladder and the plantation doors that now sit in our balcony. We even added more plantation doors throughout the home; we love the look, they keep the sun out, and are easier to maintain than curtains.
We did play more with steel and our tile selection, though. I’d say this home is a collaboration of things we love and Gayle’s eye for space-planning. Her team of contractors is also great to work with.
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How would you describe the style of the home?
There is a retro touch to it, with the bamboo blinds, shaker-style cabinetry, wainscoted bedroom wall and the vintage-look tiles. However, the colour scheme veers toward a more masculine ambience.
There are also quirkier elements, such as the locker-style doors in the gym/guest room, skateboard-turned-shelf in the study, and various unique decoration.
Pictured: The jerry can bar was gifted to Jo by her brother.
Pictured: As Jo works from home, she kept the study room which the previous homeowner had created.
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Pictured: The guest room doubles as gym (left). The home also features many of Jo and Merlyn’s boards, from wakeboards to carverboards and skateboards (right).
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What were the main renovations done?
We gutted the whole apartment as it was almost 24 years old! The work, which totalled to $130,000, includes converting one bedroom into a walk-in-wardrobe with plenty of storage space, as well as taking some space from the store room to create a more spacious master bathroom.
Pictured: The wall panelling – which matches the shaker style kitchen – was a last-minute addition.
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You had quite a memorable experience when designing the kitchen.
Oh, it was a character-building experience (laughs). To save some money, Gayle suggested we purchase — instead of building from scratch — shaker-style kitchen cabinetry doors from Ikea. Unfortunately, Ikea Singapore only had 11 pieces, so we had our friends bring over the remaining 10 pieces we needed from both Ikea in Johor Bahru as well as Kuala Lumpur.
Then we realised the measurements were a bit off — luckily, our contractor made adjustments so they could fit his kitchen carcass and hinges. Our handmade brass handles, as well as US-bought kitchen mixer, also had trouble fitting in. It really took a lot of effort, and a number of kind and helpful people, to pull off this kitchen.