When Mr Ramdzan Minhat hired interior design firm M3 Studio to give the flat a makeover in November 2014, he wanted a Mediterranean theme.

He used Mediterranean tiles for the kitchen backsplash and tiles with bolder patterns and colours for the walls of the two toilets, each of which has a dry and wet area.

He says: "We have two entrances, so that two persons can use them at the same time. There's also a stool in the toilet where my elderly parents can sit while they shower."

He describes his home as a "halfway house" for family members who are in need.

His parents stayed with him for about seven years after his mother had a knee operation, before moving back to their own flat.

Now, his 53-year-old sister, who is currently waiting for her new flat, has moved in with her two children.

Together with Mr Ramdzan Minhat, 51, his wife, three children and a maid, nine people live in this jumbo executive flat at Woodlands Avenue 1.

In the early 1990s, HDB converted hundreds of unsold new flats in Woodlands and Yishun into jumbo flats by knocking down the walls of two adjoining flats.

A total of 395 jumbo executive apartments in Yishun and 90 units of seven-room HDB flats in Woodlands were offered to the public back then.

Flat owner Mr Ramdzan Minhat designed his own rattan furniture for his jumbo executive flatat Woodlands Avenue (Photo: TNP

Mr Ramdzan's home is made up of a four-room unit and a three-room unit. It has a combined space of about 1,700 sqf with four bedrooms and three halls – the living, dining and family rooms.

Mr Ramdzan, who runs a jewellery business, says: "The family hall is like the games centre, where the kids play with their PlayStation and Wii.

"It is also my work area because I work from home most of the time."

Mr Ramdzan bought the resale flat about 16 years ago for $433,000, a drop from its previous market value of about $600,000.

He had cashed out from the sale of his first home – a four-room flat at Woodlands Avenue 9 – before the property market crashed.

A similar jumbo unit now goes for $699,000, based on listings on STProperty.

Mr Ramdzan, who has always like big spaces, says the flat was already combined into a jumbo unit when he bought it.

And all that extra space is perfect for entertaining guests and accommodating his extended family.

Mr Ramdzan, who has five siblings, says: "We do a lot of entertaining. We host our family and friends at least twice a month. There's easily eight to ten of them, excluding us."

During Hari Raya Aidilfitri, the number of guests can easily swell to 30.

Every week, the extended family also gathers for religious or Arabic language classes at his home.



Mr Ramdzan even designed his own furniture and got a manufacturer to make them to his liking.

His favourites are the rattan furniture in the living room and the 'smoking corner' along the corridor, which is part of the flat.

He says: "It is sturdy and the look is classic. I can always refurbish it and change the fabric. It is also easy to clean. I just use a blower to blow away the dust."

When he moved in about 15 years ago, he and his children got their hands dirty decorating the feature walls of the dining and living rooms.

He says: "We used our hands and fingers to make prints and marks."

He has also brought back many souvenirs from his overseas work trips, such as an old leather suitcase from Germany and a piece of driftwood from Batam that cost close to $1,000. He displays it in the family room.

He says: "Our home is like a retreat."

Written by Chai Hung Yin for The New Paper