The design team carefully considered and planned the furniture dimensions before anything was fabricated or purchased to ensure the right scale and proportion.

Like many homeowners, Teck Jin and Jolyn had reservations about getting a BTO flat.

“We were concerned that a BTO flat would be too small given the shrinking sizes of BTOs in recent years,” says Jolyn.

When the couple, both lawyers, got their flat in Clementi while studying for their bar exams, it was still a cause for celebration as their new home would be close to their parents’ homes.

Who: A couple in their 30s
Home: A 5-room BTO flat in Clementi
Size: 1,216 sq ft (112 sqm)
Interior Design: Home Philosophy

Home Philosophy interior designer

Next came the search for a suitable interior designer. The couple found that they had difficulty connecting with the interior designers recommended by their friends about the use of space and design.

So, they expanded their search and chanced upon Home Philosophy, founded by Rashi Tulshyan, on Instagram. Recognising the easy and smooth communication with the designers, they decided to work with Home Philosophy.

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Mid-Century Modern Interiors

While the couple were keen on the mid-century modern aesthetic, they also wanted a space that would reflect their lifestyle and individual personalities. They also enjoy hosting and wine. So, they were keen to avoid the typical television room layout.

Instead, they preferred having plenty of seating options for hosting and a bar area to be fitted somewhere close. An open kitchen concept with ample countertop space was also in the brief.

Standard 4-room BTO layout

“With the new BTOs that mostly come in the ‘standard’ layouts, we had to be creative and think of ways to design a space that would reflect the client’s needs, especially the living area since it would be the first thing you see when entering the home,” Melissa Wan, the lead interior designer and project manager, says.

Notably, the BTO unit had plenty of natural sunlight and wind, which would help create the bright and airy home they had envisioned.

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The floating bench along the living area windows is customised with drawers.

Arch window design

Instead of a television wall, the long window wall became the focal point. Arches frame the windows, while slim shelves by the sides bring a sense of symmetry.

Bay window bench

A floating bench stretches across the windows, adding more seating to the living area that is already occupied by ample sofas. Every element was measured carefully to ensure spatial flow, comfort and ease of movement.

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The wall tiles, similar to the ones used for the kitchen backsplash, add texture and visual interest to the open shelves.
The wall tiles, similar to the ones used for the kitchen backsplash, add texture and visual interest to the open shelves.

BTO Storage ideas

In addition to that, the interior design team also ensured a host of storage solutions. A bar area sits near the living area. Sliding doors hide the wine fridge and household shelter. A shoe storage unit is also placed in this area.

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The design team transformed the area with the household shelter into a practical corner with shoe storage, a bar area, and a wine fridge.
The interior design team transformed the area with the household shelter into a practical corner with shoe storage, a bar area, and a wine fridge.

Kitchen island dining table

The interior design team customised a dining table connected to the kitchen counter.

The design team customised a dining table with a sintered stone top to match the kitchen design.
The interior design team customised a dining table with a sintered stone top to match the kitchen design.

“We found spatial planning to be really important. While we kept carpentry minimal and only proposed what was necessary, we still had to be careful to make sure we got the sizes right to prevent the spaces from feeling too bulky or boxed-up,” Melissa shares.

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A compact bar area beside the wine fridge offers plenty of storage space. Custom wallpaper adds flair to the space.
A compact home bar area beside the wine fridge offers plenty of storage space. Custom wallpaper adds flair to the space.

Study room

They also converted the bedroom closest to the living area into a study. Walls were removed so that it would feel like a part of the main living space. Glass doors with arch details provide a sense of continuity.

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Converting a bedroom into a study and installing glass doors bring more natural light into the dining area.
Converting a bedroom into a study and installing glass doors bring more natural light into the dining area.

Neutral interior design

The overall palette of browns, neutrals, and olive greens softens and warms the ambience. Instead of a uniform wood finish, wood patterns in different hues inject variety and vibrancy into the home.

Dark blue is an accent colour that gives the kitchen an elegant and calm ambience.
Dark blue is an accent colour that gives the kitchen an elegant and calm ambience.

Decorative elements like the wall tiles and wallpaper appear in pockets of the home to tie the look together.

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Positioning the bed head under the windows promotes a better flow of movement in the master bedroom.
Positioning the master bedroom’s bed headboard under the windows promotes a better flow of movement in the master bedroom.

BTO Master bedroom design

Finding a unique look for the master bedroom was also a vital task. The interior design team accomplished it with light green paint on all walls. Of note, flat wall panels in black clad the bottom half of the walls. The combination brings a sense of calm and cosiness while remaining cohesive with the rest of the home.

“An arch nook at the side of the L-shaped wardrobe helps soften the look of the carpentry when you first step into the room,” Melissa says, adding that it also serves as a practical storage area for frequently used accessories.

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The L-shaped wardrobe is finished with matte laminates for an understated feel that stays consistent with the other design details.
The L-shaped wardrobe is finished with matte laminates for an understated feel that stays consistent with the other design details.
The same wallpaper seen in the bar area is used here as well. Lighting accentuates the arch design and provides practical lighting purposes.
The same wallpaper seen in the bar area is used here as well. Lighting accentuates the arch design and provides practical lighting purposes.

3 Month renovation

The couple worked closely with the interior design team over the 3-month project and were open to exploring creative ideas. They have since settled into their home after their move in January 2023.

The bathroom exudes luxury, thanks to the hexagon wall tiles, streamlined counter, and details on the customised drawers.
The bathroom exudes luxury, thanks to the hexagon wall tiles, streamlined counter, and details on the customised drawers.

When asked how living in their home has been like, Jolyn says, “It’s a sanctuary in the quiet moments and the perfect cosy, warm space for our loved ones and friends to gather whenever we host.”

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