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A Minimalist Apartment with an Urban Jungle

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  • Couple Living with Kids
  • 3 br
  • HDB (Resale)
  • ~1,000 sqft
  • Minimalist
  • Hi I’m a 28-years old furniture buyer with a design background. I stay with my 31-year old husband who works as a doctor in a public hospital. We have two furry kids - Nori and Mochi who were adopted from a cat rescuer. We don’t have any human kids because it’s much easier to take care of cats lol. 
  • For the house interior planning we actually did up a whole presentation with specific details on each room according to the floor plan because we want to be in control of the design.   This is our floor plan for your reference:
  • Our main gate is the first thing you will see when you arrive at our place and I consider that as a feature because many delivery personnels have praised our door design saying that it is very sleek and ‘cool’ heh. We chose this design only because it looks damn cool (ok i’m jk), it’s mainly for cat proofing because I am super afraid that my kids will one day be sick of my forceful hugs that they will escape.
  • For the entryway it’s the only place that’s slanted or rather angled so you can actually see the entire place from the door. We have the mirrored shoe cabinet on the side to make the space look bigger and to hide all the shoes inside. We also use this cabinet to hide our DB box and some daily essentials such as masks and stuff. The shoe cabinet doors have two push magnet mechanisms so you can imagine the amount of times we have to wipe our fingerprints off the door. But it’s totally worth it la.
  • So starting from the dining side we chose something simple and we paired the table with two chairs and one bench. The bench reduces the space needed for the seating and also takes away the visual clutter. We purposely mismatched the table and chair color to give it a contrast. Honestly we don’t really dine here as we very much prefer to sit and eat at the coffee table so that we can watch shows (young home owners will understand this). Recently we have been watching doctor shows such as Good Doctor from Netflix and House from Amazon Prime because of my husband, and I had to stop in between to ask him to explain the terms to me because they are so chim??
  • In the living room we only have the essentials because the space is quite small. We have a three-seater sofa, a coffee table and built-in TV console. For the sofa and coffee table we purposely chose elevated design because we want to take the visual weight off the floor space so that everything looks light and spacious.
  • Beside the TV console we have a small stool - the Butterfly Stool by designer Sori Yanagi which I actually did a short paper on his biography when I was still studying Product Design in Polytechnic. So it’s actually quite a memorable item for me. I see it as an accent piece in the living area. This stool for us to sit while we put on our shoes and also for baggage placement when we have guests over. It’s one of my favourite pieces in the house :)
  • Here we have the balcony which is the highlight of our place, because many of our friends who came over were quite surprised that a HDB can have such a big balcony space haha. We managed to place another three-seater outdoor sofa diagonally from the living room sofa so that we have more seating space for guests to interact. Also because there’s nothing to see at the back of the balcony and we hide it with the closed zip track for privacy. 
  • Our balcony houses our beloved plants and what happened from a few plants became like a jungle because my husband suddenly went crazy over plants shortly after we moved in. We had evolved from a small plant rack to a DIY greenhouse cabinet to store our more expensive plants. And this is the place he will first go to whenever he comes home from work so you can imagine my pain being jealous over these plants >:(
  • Our study room is the feature of the house as we had purposely removed half of the wall to showcase our creation. It serves as a design feature of the place. The decision to hack down half a wall for this room is so that we can be fully aware of the happenings around the house and also to keep an eye on our kids. 
  • In the study we have a built-in study table which comprises a simple long plank as we want more leg space. Plus let’s face it, the drawers underneath the study tables are only convenient rubbish bins for you to chuck random things and the bottom plank always warps until cmi LOL. (Or is it only me?)
  • As our place is a DBSS flat, we have bay windows in all the rooms which we can’t remove due to the structure of the place. So we had to think of something to make use of them. We decided to extend out the study bay window to make it a day bed with extra drawer storage underneath to store things. On the sides we extended out to create more shelvings for storage. This space reminds me of Japanese tatami. 
  • On the feature wall shelves we have some nice design books and random decoration to make it look nice. Most of the books here are my design books because medical books are mostly not aesthetic. #truth
  • For the cat room, we installed a metal gate for air circulation because we keep the kids in their room when we are away, which explains the baby monitor we have in the room, it’s for us to keep an eye on them. 
  • In the cat room which was supposed to be a guest room, we kept the room simple and only did up the framing for the bay window for the feature. We have a cat condo and sofa bed for people to sit on while they play with mochi and nori. We also have a drawer chest and mirror (supposed to be my vanity area) but now is just an extra storage space for us to store extra clothes. 
  • Heading towards the master bedroom, we have a full height black wardrobe to store our clothes and a standing mirror for us to check ourselves out when we pick our outfit. 
  • We also have only the essentials - a queen bed with two bedside tables. In this master bedroom we have two bay windows instead of one which can be nice for the open and airy look but it can get quite warm in the day as the sun shines on these two sides. :(
  • But the view is the best here - I like to sit here and watch the sunset on some days.
  • In our master toilet, we have this huge vanity mirror to open up the visual space and some simple carpentry for basic storage. There’s a bay window in this toilet as well and we decided to place some extra plants here since it’s quite empty. We managed to squeeze in a bathtub here and it’s nice to soak in the bath with the warm LED strip light. It just makes me feel relaxed like a Japanese onsen place.
  • Similar to the master toilet, our common toilet design is kept consistent using the same design and colors. A funny story about the toilet bowl - we basically walked down the whole Balestier street to compare prices and designs because we only wanted a clean silhouette for the toilet bowl. I feel that it makes a lot of difference, same for the drainage hole cover design which is a story for another day lol.
  • Lastly, our kitchen. We also did quite a bit of work for the kitchen - firstly hacking down half a wall to open up the kitchen as we wanted more interaction with the guests. Secondly we swapped the stove and sink area so that we can still watch the tv while doing the dishes (I know, smart right) 
  • We opted for an oak colored kompacplus countertop to match with black cabinets to keep to our color palette. It’s also because we want the stains to not show up easily. It also makes the entire kitchen look more atas LOL. 
  • Our bomb shelter is in our kitchen which I think is a good placement. We didn’t do much to it except for repainting the door and redoing the ventilation hole so it blends well with the kitchen.
  • Our service yard is quite small so we can only put a washing machine here. We also have a laundry rack stored beside the washing machine so that we can bring it out to the balcony to hang the laundry once they are done. The kids always run in and sit on this particular stool which I really don’t know why. Oh, I almost forgot about the flooring. We went to a few places to search for this specific floor tile design as it is unique and complements the space. I mean it also hides the stains and dirts because out of sight out of mind right HAHA. We’re very happy how it turned out!  In conclusion we try to keep all our space clean and minimalistic so that it’s easier to clean and kill cockroaches if we ever see one. (So far we only spotted one baby cockroach from the toilet sink hole). We’re satisfied with the outcome even though our renovation was delayed to six months. I would highly recommend everyone to come up with your own design because it’s fun and you will feel more sense of ownership of your own place :)
  • 20 January 2023
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