Downsizing provides an opportunity to be creative with storage and furniture-hunting. LYNN TAN gleans tips from designer Mike Tan.
Wallpaper that resembles tiles makes for an interesting feature wall at the entrance and in the dining area.
With just a rattan chair and a coffee table over a turf carpet, the balcony offers a cost-effective solution to creating a simple and cosy relaxation corner.
WHO LIVES HERE
A couple in their 40’s HOME A three-bedroom executive condominium in Edgedale Plains SIZE 950sqf
Veronica spends a lot of time with her husband and two sons in the dining and living rooms.
OPPOSITE BELOW LEFT
A quirky hook provides a simple solution that takes advantage of wall space to provide extra hanging storage.
OPPOSITE BELOW RIGHT
The wall beside the dining area was extended to create more room. Mike and the homeowners searched for a long time for the perfect dining table to suit the look and space.
"A built-in bed frame in younger son Colin’s room incorporates storage, maximising the usable space in an extremely small room."
Homeowners Darius Tng and Veronica Chong decided to move from their executive flat in the east because they were very impressed with the Edgedale Plains showflat. They also loved the fact that it was within walking distance of the nearest LRT station. “There were only small units left when we came to view the development, but because we liked it very much, we decided to buy it anyway,” says Veronica.
It was no mean feat for a family of four to relocate from an approximately 1,400sqf flat to a 950sqf apartment. They took the opportunity to declutter. “I figured that if I had not used something for the past six years, I could probably do without it,” Veronica rationalises.
Nevertheless, storage remained an issue, so the couple turned to Darius’ childhood friend and interior designer, Mike Tan from Egg3. Having grown up together with Darius, as well as having designed quite a few of the couple’s previous homes, Mike knew their tastes well. Darius and Veronica left everything in his hands, from the design to the site coordination and supervision. He even took them shopping for furniture and lights.
“As the apartment is rather small, I had to devise ways to incorporate more storage spaces,” Mike explains. He came up with some creative ways of creating extra storage in various areas within the apartment. One example is the kitchen. In addition to the household shelter and kitchen toilet that are also used for storage, a floor-to-ceiling builtin cabinet was erected next to the household shelter to house cooking ingredients.
The original layout and most of the existing finishes were retained, so the bulk of the renovation costs went into built-in carpentry and furniture. “It was challenging because we needed to find furniture that not only tied in with the design concept, it also had to be able to fit comfortably into the limited size of the various rooms,” Mike elaborates.
At the end of the day, simplicity rules, and this home demonstrates how, with some strategic design intervention and appropriate styling, a small apartment can become a cosy home for the family.
A ceiling ledge in elder son Sean’s room is a clever way of concealing the beam and providing additional storage.
The timeless design of the home is one that will never go out of style.
photography VERONICA TAY art direction NONIE CHEN