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Tag : hdb renovation

5 Ways to Make Your Home Workspace Comfortable and Productive

5 Tips For Creating a Comfortable & Productive Work From Home Space

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Get up, get coffee and claim a spot to work for the day before your spouse, siblings or children could do so – does this daily routine sound familiar to you these days?

With many of us working from home amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, creating a home office may start to sound like a reality for most of us. In fact, experts have speculated that many employees may choose to continue to work from home at least some of the time even after the pandemic is under control.

The good news is it isn’t hard to create a home workspace, and it doesn’t take as much space or effort as you might think. Here are 5 tips on creating a comfortable and productive workspace in your home.

1. Design According to Your Profession

When designing your workspace, consider the type of work you do. This will determine the types of furniture, equipment and storage space needed to ensure work efficiency.

Ask yourself: are you creating websites, building spreadsheets, handling administrative tasks or managing business calls? If you’re a designer, you might want a big desktop monitor. Or if you’re running an e-commerce business, you might need more storage space for packaging materials and even inventory.

Tailoring your home office to your professional needs can enhance your efficiency and comfort.

2. Designate a Productive Work Zone

It may be fun to move from spot to spot at home to battle boredom, but that will set your productivity back because you’ll get distracted by non-work stuff. Establishing a dedicated work area can help you concentrate and get into your “work zone”.

Thus, it is best to find a spot in your home that you enjoy spending time in – and stick to it! Consider also the type of environment you operate well in. Do you need total privacy, a little background noise, or easy access to the kitchen for coffee refills?

While transforming a spare room into a home office is an optimal choice, not all of us have the luxury of space to do so. If you don’t, get creative. Can you carve out a desk space in the living room? Or get a writing bureau that opens up when you are working and closes when you are done so that you can still get an organised, uncluttered look in a shared space?

Writing bureaus offer an elegant and organised solution for space-starved homes.

3. Think Comfort First

While functionality is important, you should also take care of your mental and emotional needs. As you will be spending a lot of time in the workspace, it should be a place where you feel comfortable in.

The first thing you need to do is to invest in a quality chair with proper lumbar support. This is because the way you sit impacts how you feel physically and mentally. When you are not sitting in an ergonomically correct position, it can result in back and shoulder problems, and aches can sap your motivation – and productivity – fast. For the table, make sure that its height is suitable for you.

Consider also painting your workspace a soothing colour. If that’s not an option, how about brightening your space with an art piece or a desk plant? Visual variety comes in handy when your eyes need a break from the screen. Even adding a pleasant smell makes a difference. Essential oils such as Peppermint offers energy boost while rosemary helps in concentration.

Soothing colours such as blue and green are known to improve productivity.

4. Keep it Organised

Avoid piling too much stuff on your desk as junk can clutter your mind and prevent you from setting a focused mindset for work. When your desk alone isn’t enough to keep everything in place, consider clearing some shelf space to store papers, folders and other essential items. Using a rolling file cart for storage can also keep your office mobile and flexible; when your work is done, you simply roll it into a closet or a corner.

Also, knowing where to find the most frequently used items can improve efficiency. When everything has its own place, your workspace feels more purposeful and in control.

Too much work stuff? Declutter by building storage space to stow away non-essential items.

5. Keep it Bright & Airy

Your workspace should have proper air circulation, temperature control and good lighting. Keeping the room ventilated with a fan or air conditioning is essential, especially for Singapore’s hot and humid climate.

Good lighting prevents you from getting eye strain and improves your mood. That might mean investing in a desk lamp that can be adjusted to direct light where you need it. However, avoid lamps that are too bright because that will tire your eyes out easily or dim lighting as it tends to make you feel sleepy. If you use a computer, opt for white light because yellow light will sting your eyes when you stare at the screen for too long.

Table lamps with white light are good lighting additions for your workspace.

A well-designed workspace can improve concentration. In fact, working from home can increase productivity as long as you can work out a way to handle temptations and distractions. For more information about creating a home office, please contact us at tel. no. 6778 6866.

5 Design Tips for Your HDB or Condo Apartment1

5 Design Tips for Your HDB or Condo Apartment

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Undoubtedly, designing your new HDB or condo apartment is an exciting endeavour. But after visiting countless websites and flipping through the many pages of interior design magazines, you may find yourself feeling more confused and indecisive. Who should you listen to? What is right for you?

Fret not! Instead of getting yourself carried away by the tides of interior design choices, let’s go back to the starting point and look at basic things that can make a difference in the overall look and feel of your home.

To simplify things, we’ve put together 5 handy design tips for your condo or HDB flat.

1. Pick the Right Colours

One of the first design decisions you need to make is wall colours. It’s important because it sets the mood for the rest of the interior design. Consider these questions: is it a room for sleeping, playing, or working? Is it a communal or private space? Do you want it to be welcoming or reflective? Questions like these can help you arrive at the right choice.

Consider giving each of your rooms a distinct look. Start with the one colour you want to use in the room, and then play with the colour palette to match it with other colours. If you have a dark colour on a wall, make sure the other walls are treated with a lighter hue to avoid overloading the room.

Quick tip #1: If you have selected mostly neutral tones, throw in a multi-coloured item such as a painting, rug or throw blanket to brighten up the area.

Mixing and matching the palette may bring pleasant surprises to your design.

2. Let There Be Light

Make the best use of the natural sunlight to improve the lighting in your rooms. Before placing any furniture, observe how much natural light enters the room, and at what time and where. This will help us decide where to put the sofa or TV to optimise reading or relaxation.

When planning the artificial lighting, you should take into account the room’s function. For instance, general lighting is for everyday use, while task lighting is more suitable for working or specific activities. On the other hand, ambient lighting such as table and floor lamps gives a softer mood.

Quick tip #2: To extend the use of natural sunlight, place mirrors strategically to reflect light. They also give an illusion of a bigger space.

Having suitable lighting sets the right mood for the right purpose.

3. Divide Your Space with Furniture

Many new apartments in Singapore adopt an open-concept layout. This means that the kitchen and possibly other areas (if you have a studio apartment) are no longer separated by walls.

Depending on your preference, this may be good or bad news to you. Regardless, you can still create different “zones” by using your furniture to designate each space. For example, a kitchen island can offer not just more counter space but separate the kitchen from the living room. You can also use the back of your sofa as a visual divider between the living and dining space.

Quick tip #3: Screens and room dividers are fun design embellishments that can visually demarcate an area while upping your design ante. These classic decors can easily be moved around to reshape the space according to your needs.

A kitchen island can also be used to visually demarcate the kitchen from the living room.

4. Make Use of Carpentry

Some of us may be stuck with rooms with curved or awkward corners that refuse to accommodate any store-bought furniture neatly. Here’s where custom carpentry comes in. Custom built-ins fit into any given space, leaving no exposed corners or recesses while optimising your square footage.

Besides framing your house seamlessly, it also creates the bespoke look and fulfils the design theme that you are going for. In Singapore’s space-starved apartments, a well-planned carpentry work can save you plenty of space by squeezing out stealthy storage areas you never know to exist!

Quick tip #4: Make use of carpentry to build multi-functional furniture that doubles as storage. For example, you can install shelf compartments under the kitchen island or pull-out drawers under the bed to store infrequently used items.

Love the look of wood? Carpentry can help you achieve your desired theme.

5. Don’t Forget the Decor

A home will look complete with decorative items. Think about including artworks such as paintings or prints that match the colours and feel of the space. Nature is always a good thing to have in a space, so be generous with house plants, flora and even mirrors that reflect sunlight. Don’t forget details like cushions and candles because they can do wonders in making your home feel warm and welcoming.

Quick tip #5: When embellishing your home, remember not to get too carried away. A few decorative items are lovely, but squeezing 5 paintings in a small room will make it look cluttered and overwhelming.

Adding a handful of decorative items can make a huge difference to a room.

Can’t wait to roll up your sleeve and start designing your home? Call us at (65) 6778 6866 for a chat or email us at enquiry@starryhomestead.com.

Ways That Interior Design Can Affect Your Lives

6 Ways Interior Design Can Improve Your Life

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6 Ways Your HDB or Condo Interior Design Can Improve Your Life

Have you ever wondered whether the way you design your HDB flat or condo has an impact on your life? The answer is a resounding YES!

The design choices you make have an effect on your subconscious and can improve your quality of life and prevent your home from dragging you down into an emotional tailspin. This is because the environment around us affects our mood, productivity and attitude, so at the very least, the right design can offer feelings of relaxation and peacefulness, which help create positive energy and harmony in relationships.

So how can interior design change your life? Let’s look at 6 positive impacts your home can have on you.

1. Organising Your Life

A well-designed home brings order to your life. When your environment is in disorder, the abundance of things surrounding you weigh you down, and your mental health takes a hit. What clutters your home clutters your mind, interfering with your ability to think and even to relax. By including plenty of storage space in your interior design, you make your home a no-stress zone, freeing the burden on your mind and lowering those stress hormones that cause you sleepless nights.

Even though the size of HDB flats and condos in Singapore is shrinking over the years, creative storage solutions such as custom built-ins can do wonders in bringing you an orderly home.

Make the best use of creative storage solution to bring order to your life.

2. Creating a Relaxing & Safe Environment

Whenever we talk about interior design, we usually think only about the aesthetic aspect. Most people simply focus on this one piece of the puzzle and fail to look at the whole picture.

Sure, a beautiful home can certainly impress our friends and family, but what’s equally important is that it can also make us feel safe and comfortable. Like the cavemen of the Neolithic Age who needed the protection of a cave from the wild beasts, we need a home that can give us the same sense of security. As we go out into the world, we are often faced with daily challenges and even hostility. When we return home, a comforting space can nurture our wellbeing and soothe our soul.

Good interior design can make you feel safe and secure in your environment.

3. Increasing Creativity & Productivity

Good interior design is also known to boost productivity and creativity. Your environment plays a pivotal role in influencing how you think and behave. If your creative flow is blocked, or you find yourself in a productivity slump, changing your home decoration can give you that extra boost for you to reach new heights.

You can start with simple things. Bringing in nature like plants and flowers can rejuvenate your energy, while a new wall colour, such as soothing blue or green, may spark new ideas. Comfortable and ergonomically-designed furniture is also shown to help people relax their bodies so that they can think clearly and reduce the number of mistakes made throughout the day.

Nature like plants has shown to improve productivity and creativity.

4. Making the Space Functional

Ask not what you can do for your home, but what your home can do for you! When done properly, your interior design can enhance your lifestyle and allow you to live the life that you always wanted.

For instance, if you enjoy having company in your home, furnishing your home with a large dining table or designating areas for games and general socialising would definitely make you more popular among your friends!

Is entertaining friends at home a big part of your life? Make your home work for you!

5. Improving your Emotions and Moods

Have you heard of colour psychology? Colour affects your moods and emotions. For example, warmer shades such as yellow and orange are relaxing and inspire creativity, while blue and green evoke a sense of calm.

How the space is lit also influences your sentiment. The best lighting source is the sun, so the number and size of the windows in the room can affect your level of happiness and anxiety. Of course, in Singapore, most of us probably can’t change the windows in our condo or HDB flat, but you can ensure your home has sufficient lighting by supplementing natural light with different artificial lights.

A ray of natural sunlight can create spikes in your happiness index!

6. Making a Statement

Your home is inherently an extension of you – a place where you manifest your identity and desires with tangible materials. So why not use it as a form of self-expression?

With the help of an interior designer, you can paint a self-portrait of your personal environment. Whether the statement you make is bold, peaceful, futuristic or minimalistic, let it be uniquely yours!

Are you bold, calm or sophisticated? Express yourself in your home’s interior design!

As you can see, the whole point of interior design is more than simply building a gorgeous home. With a little extra thought, it can also improve your life and enjoyment of spaces. If you want to know more about how to improve your home, call us at (65) 6778 6866 or email enquiry@starryhomestead.com.

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5 Things You Should Know Before Carrying Out Your HDB Renovation in Singapore

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Getting the key to their HDB flat is a significant milestone in the lives of many Singaporeans. This means that they are now homeowners with a place they can finally call their own. And like most proud homeowners, the next step is likely to carry out their HDB renovation to suit their taste and comfort.

If you are among one of the newly crowned homeowners, this is an article for you to read before you embark in your HDB interior design journey. Now, you may be thinking why bother with the details when you can leave them to the appointed interior design firm to sort them out? Well, although interior design (ID) firms can deck up your home to your liking, as the homeowner, you are ultimately responsible in ensuring that the renovation guidelines laid out by HDB are complied with.

Here is the 5 less exciting but crucial information you should know before you start your renovation journey in Singapore.

1. Make sure your ID professional is listed in the Directory of Renovation Contractor (DRC)

HDB only allows DRC-listed ID contractors to carry out HDB renovation. This is to ensure that the work carried out is conducted safely and does not damage the HDB property. To be listed in the directory, these ID professionals have to complete the training course stipulated by the HDB and have the necessary experience and a good track record. If you use an unapproved contractor, you may end up with a fine of up to $5,000 plus other penalties. Most reputable ID firms would be listed in DRC, but do check before you sign the dotted line.

2. Get HDB’s written approval before tearing down the walls

Any demolition and hacking of walls – whether partially or entirely – requires HDB prior written approval. I repeat, written, not verbal. This is for HDB to ensure that the hacking does not affect the structural integrity of the building nor compromise the safety of the public. Like before, there may be legal consequences for you as the homeowner if you do not comply with the rule.

3. Display your Notice of Renovation during the renovation period

Your appointed ID firm or contractor must get a permit from the HDB before carrying out any HDB renovation. Once the permit is obtained, the Notice of Renovation must be prominently displayed at the entrance of the flat before and throughout the approved renovation period. If your renovation involves noisy work such as hacking of walls or tiles, a written notice to your immediate neighbours must also be given at least 3 days in advance.

4. Renovation must be done within the approved period and time

HDB also limits the timings for carrying out HDB renovation. For general renovations, they can only be done between 9 am to 6 pm on weekdays and Saturdays, and no work is allowed on Sundays and public holidays. If the renovation involves noisy and excessive drilling works like knocking down walls or removing wall or floor finishes, work can only be done on weekdays between 9 am and 5 pm (no work to be carried out on weekends and public holidays). If your unit is a Build-To-Order (BTO) flat, your renovation needs to be completed within 3 months. For existing units, work must be completed within 1 month from the date of the permit.

5. Contractors must use only HDB approved materials

To ensure a cleaner environment and more uniform finishes, the HDB mandates that only HDB approved materials such as pre-packed cement screed for the floor and pre-packed plaster for the walls are allowed. As pre-packed screed is pre-mixed in a standard ratio at the factory, it requires minimal on-site preparation and higher consistency in the finished work. It also reduces the overall time needed to complete the renovation.

By following these guidelines, you can be assured that your renovation is completed legally and following HDB’s requirements. For more information on HDB renovation, contact any of our interior designers for a little chat!

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6 Essential Steps of HDB Renovation

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Getting your HDB flat may be exciting, but the idea of going through the process of renovation may be daunting for some people, especially first-timers. Fortunately, hiring an experienced interior designer can alleviate some of the stress because the person can help manage your entire renovation process. However, to stay on top of your HDB renovation, you should be aware of the steps involved in completing it so as to ensure that the result is exactly what you have envisioned.

Here are the 6 essential steps of the HDB renovation process that will lead you to achieving your dream home.

1st Meeting: Design and Planning

This is probably one of the most crucial meetings because it lets your interior designer (ID) have an idea of the space he will be working with, your lifestyle, preference and taste as well as your spatial needs. It’s also the best time to exchange your ideas and have an in-depth discussion with your ID on your flat’s layout and design concept. The ID would share some design and materials that can be used in the renovation.

Do remember to bring up the important topic of budget. By stating your budget, it gives your ID a clearer picture of what can be worked with and be included in the overall design plan.

2nd Meeting: Quotation and Layout

It is worthwhile to look into the details so that you don’t miss anything out. One way is to sit down with the ID and go through the proposed quotation. During the meeting, both parties can weed out items that are deemed unnecessary or add in new things that were missed out earlier. At this point, you should also discuss the proposed layout and the overall interior design concept. The best outcome of the meeting is to confirm a design concept and be ready to sign the renovation contract.

3rd Meeting: Selecting Materials

During the third meeting, your ID will guide you in your material selection. At this point, you will be introduced to the materials needed for renovation such as tiles and laminate and fixtures like lighting and other accessories. Love the look of marble and chandelier? If you have not budgeted for them, ask your ID for alternatives that can make your home look just as good.

At the same time, you and your ID can use this opportunity to discuss the details of the design concept so that a 3D rendering of the finished apartment can be prepared. Rendering usually takes about 2 weeks, so plan your schedule accordingly. Additionally, all documents needed for the application of permits from HDB for works like demolition or construction of walls should be prepared in this meeting.

4th Meeting: Tying Up Loose Ends

At this point, you are almost ready to start the renovation. But first, it’s probably a good idea to tie up loose ends and finalise the details, including going through the 3D rendering and making any final changes, if any. Once everything is concluded, you can then decide on the renovation period.

Site Inspection

Site inspection is essential, particularly for Build-To-Order (BTO) flat owners. When you get your key to your new flat, you’ll be given a Defect Feedback Form, and you’ll need to submit your defect list within 7 days of your key collection. The other reason to do defect checks before the renovation is that HDB does not cover rectifications during or after your own renovation works. During your site inspection, you can also confirm with your ID that the necessary HDB permits are obtained or in the process of applying.

Starting the Renovation

Are you ready? On your mark, get set, go!

Now, it’s time for you to relax and let the ID and his/her team transform your flat into your dream home.

If you wish to discuss your HDB interior design with us, call us at 6778 6866 or get your free quote now drop us an email at enquiry@starryhomestead.com.

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House Everything? Episode 8: Modern Style: Less is More

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As the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end”. So does House Everything?, which has featured Starry Homestead’s interior design team for eight awesome weeks in this Channel 8 reality show. While it is sad to say goodbye to the series, let’s ignore the emptiness we’ll feel inside without it and saviour one more episode! In this finale, we encounter the most challenging task ever – overhauling the cluttered and messy living room of a family of five!

The Scenario

Meet Angeline and Malcolm, a married couple living with three kids aged 17, 13 and 3. Like any typical dual-income family, their busy lifestyle left them with scarcely any time to tidy up their home of 18 years. As a result, the living room was cluttered with mountains of clothes, toys, books, memorabilia and other personal items, all of which were piled up high – unorganised and unsorted – in the living room.

Also, the room had only a small window in the corner, which provided limited natural lighting. Added to that, the owners had chosen the wrong type of lighting fixture, which offered insufficient lighting and could only illuminate the room partially.

Having lived in chaos for years, the family of 5 finally gets an overhauled and uncluttered home.

The Challenge

The team’s challenge is to turn the messy living room into a comfortable and cosy sanctuary that the family can call home. It should be a place where they can dine together, relax after a long day and where the children can enjoy their playtime.

The Solution

Interior designer Steven has chosen the Modern style of interior design because he has felt that a simple, modern home is exactly what a busy couple like Angeline and Malcolm needs. The design concept employs a clean, crisp linear style and basic colour palette to minimise clutter. It also plays with a sense of simplicity in the decorating elements and in the choice of furniture.

With white and grey as the primary colours and the generous use of natural materials such as wood, the room exudes a cosy vibe. Wood is used extensively at the entrance, extending from the floor to the ceiling so that one feels welcomed by the warmth upon entering the home. It is also a way to designate areas for different functionalities within the same space. Angeline’s piano is placed here as the design centrepiece in this area.

Wood is a timeless and versatile material that is perfect for the Modern style.

Moving to the living room, one feels comfortable immediately because of the linear, uncluttered design and the light, breezy colours. Wall-to-wall custom-built storage cabinets with movable shelves are incorporated so that the family members can adjust the height of the shelves for different storing needs. The cabinet interior has a grid design etched with open display shelves, which keeps the structure from looking too plain. The TV wall feature also incorporates top hung cabinet with length that is longer than the column space so as to redefine the structure of the space. The corner is deliberately cleared out so that the kids have space to play in the living room.

A partition with storage space is constructed behind the piano to provide the family with more means to stow away their things. Built with a see-through glass at the eye level, the partition also offers them some privacy for their bedrooms while allowing visibility of the main door. And to complete the design, a dining set with colours and wood pattern that match the rest of the living room is selected.

To brighten up the room, a range of lighting fixtures is installed for different functionalities, including general lighting, task and accent lightings and pendant lighting in the dining area. Much time is spent in getting the right colour temperature for the lighting. For example, the L-shaped cove lighting illuminates the space indirectly so that it can replicate daylight, and it comes with an independent switch for the owners to adjust the level of brightness to achieve the desired mood in the room at night. The right colour temperature is also crucial for the downlights and the spotlights in the walkway because wood tends to reflect yellow lighting, and thus creating a different effect on the overall ambience. Moreover, with young kids in the home, a brighter and whiter lighting is more appropriate for reading and studying.

The Modern style: Less is more.

The Bonus

As Malcolm is an avid collector of comic figurines, a display shelf is specially added to the TV console to showcase his collection of figurines.

Malcolm’s impressive collection of figurines proudly displayed.

For more information about the Modern style of interior design, please contact the designer of this episode, Steven at tel. no. 6778 6866.

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House Everything? Episode 7: A Man’s Personality Defines His Space

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How does the room of an air steward who is away from home half of the time AND busy cramping for ACCA exams look like? In episode 7 of House Everything? we meet with the homeowner, Xavier, to help him organise his life through a customised interior design solution that suits his situation.

The Scenario

Xavier’s bedroom served two purposes – a place for him to rest and to study for his Association of Chartered Certified (ACCA) course. While the bedroom had an average size square footage, it was cramped with oversized furniture, such as a king-sized bed and two wardrobes, leaving him with hardly any room left for other usages. The unusual layout of the room, which included an oval-shaped wall at the windows, also limited space usability.

The bedroom also did not have any proper curtains. To screen the sunlight, Xavier hung makeshift curtains made from rags, which were unsightly and ineffective. Additionally, old and worn electrical cables were haphazardly strewn across the room, creating a safety hazard to the owner.

A refreshing start after years of living in chaos.

The Challenge

The team is tasked to design a bedroom that not only offers Xavier a comfortable place to rest, but also to study for his exams. He has also requested to have an exercise area where he could do sit-ups while watching TV.

The Solution

Having considered the various needs and preferences of the owner, interior designer Darren has decided on the design concept of Modern Industrial style. A simplified version of the Industrial interior design, Modern Industrial design juxtaposes the raw with the refined as well as the sleek and modern with the vintage and classic. After getting to know Xavier, Darren has felt that this bolder, statement-making style of interior decoration would suit his personality perfectly.

A striking design for a bold personality.

Firstly, Darren has repositioned the bed from the previous location which faced the window to the corner of the room. By doing so, Xavier would not be bothered by the sunlight that streams into the room. The new headboard is erected to differentiate the study and sleeping area as well as to partially block the light, thus making sleep more comfortable. At the same time, Darren has chosen dusty green – a more adventurous colour – for the sleeping area.

The design uses different types of wood to bring out the warmth in the place. Metal, in the form of lighting, is also used to create a contrast between the warm and cool elements. Generous amount storage room, such as bookshelves at the head of the bed and stowaways underneath the platform bed, is tailor-made to maximise floor space.

Using the bed frame as a divider, a space designated as the study cum workout area is carved out at the end of the bed. A customised large study desk and cabinet fit the odd-shaped space perfectly. The semi-circle windows beside and behind the study desk provide a natural source of lighting for the area. Dark brown curtains also offer privacy to the owner as and when required.

To complete the Modern Industrial look, a rough-hewn wood door is added as a design element, which also helps to conceal the bathroom entirely.

Finally, a designated area for study and workout!

The Bonus

Xavier has requested to have a place for him to do his workouts. As the study area also doubles as the exercise area, the team has mounted a sit-up bar under the study desk to serve as leverage for his sit-ups.

For more information about the Modern Industrial style of interior design, please contact the designer of this episode, Darren at tel. no. 6778 6866.

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House Everything? Episode 6: The Understated Elegance of Light French Style

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How would you design a new home for a family of music lovers? Find out more in this episode of House Everything?, Channel 8’s reality TV show about decluttering and home renovation. In this episode, we are introduced to a family of three comprising a retired couple and their daughter.

The Scenario

While the living room was relatively clean and neat, the father’s passion for audio and stereo equipment, PCs and laptops resulted in a significant portion of the space being taken up to store these items. Coupled with their habit of hoarding used cardboard boxes, the family had barely any space left for relaxation in the cluttered room.

Additionally, the odd arrangement of the furniture made daily activities difficult, and a tall shelf placed at the window blocked natural light from entering the room.

Out with the old, in with the new!

The Challenge

The challenge for the team is to transform the living room into an area for the family to relax and enjoy watching TV and listening to music. It should also be a place for the daughter to play the piano and for the granddaughter to play in.

The Solution

After taking into consideration the taste and interest of the family, Designer Jayne Pang has decided on the design concept of Light French style. The concept features a clean yet elegant design that is often associated with exquisite taste and sophistication. Jayne has felt that a classic interior design style would suit the family since they enjoy the finer things in life, such as music and reading. And because their living room is rather small, she has wanted a minimalist look so as not to clutter the interior any further.

The primary colour is reserved white, chosen for its lightness which makes the room look more spacious. Splashes of bolder colours are added through furniture such as the sofa and artwork. On one side of the wall, customised cabinets are built to provide storage and as a design element. Cornices are added to the walls and cabinet doors with matching door knobs from Italy to bring out the light French style. To brighten up the space, general, task and accent lightings are used in accordance with the functionality and style.

Smaller furniture such as a L-shaped ribbon sofa, a box functional square coffee table and an antique writing bureau are selected to fit the tiny space. The team has also constructed a low partition wall which forms a recess area behind the sofa for the family to place decorative items and travel memorabilia. To complete the look, a faux brick accent wall is created.

Another key design feature created by the team is the bi-fold door which portrays in a form of artwork. Inspired by the nostalgic floor tiles, the colours of the artwork are created by special wall paint to match those of the tiles. The artwork is used to extend the wall design visually.

The Light French style of interior decor exudes an effortlessly chic vibe.

The Bonus

The piano is one of the largest furnishing items in the living room and an essential part of the owners’ life. Jayne has repositioned the piano to a prominent place in the living room to accentuate the owners’ interest in music and to use it as a centrepiece for the interior. A niche is created to become a new home for the piano and the storage cabinet helps to enhance its design.

By designating an area for the piano, the family can now enjoy more music for the soul.

For more information about the Light French style of interior design, please contact the designer of this episode, Jayne Pang at tel. no. 6778 6866.

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House Everything? Episode 5: House With Awkward Corners

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It’s time to celebrate another episode of House Everything?. This reality TV show on Channel 8 features Starry Homestead as the interior design team that helps to transform the participants’ home interior from a cluttered space to a lovely home.

In this episode, we visit a family of four that has called their HDB flat home for the past 21 years and help them deal with the accumulated clutter in their living room.

The Scenario

As two members of the family shared a love for shoes, the most apparent chaos in the home was the overflowing shoe racks at the entrance. Moreover, each family member owned multiple pair of shoes. As a result, there was insufficient storage space for all the footwear.

While the living room was rather spacious, it had an irregular-shaped layout with several awkward corners and strange angles. Shaped like a heart, its two L-shaped wings led out to the window in the living room and to the kitchen respectively. This made the placement of furniture challenging, such as the inability to align the sofa and the TV in a parallel way. Also, the dining area was comparatively darker as the only natural light was from the window in the living room area, which could not illuminate the deeper part of the room.

From old to new – same apartment with a completely different vibe!

 

The Challenge

The team is tasked with the challenge of providing a comfortable living room for the family. At the same time, there should be plenty of storage space to accommodate the many pairs of shoes and the various keepsakes, personal items and decorative memorabilia that the family has accumulated over the years.

The Solution

The design concept for this project is known as the Mid-century Modern style, which incorporates some prominent trends from the 50s to the 70s to create fun, cheerful and highly textured home decors. The interior design also focuses on organic and geometric forms and functionality.

Interior designer Rayson has noticed that the owners had collected many vintage decorative items, and thus, he has decided that the retro design concept would suit them well. However, through his experience, he has realised that some people may be reluctant to accept a full Mid-century Modern style, and so, he has incorporated elements of modern design into the concept.

Colours such as olive green, mustard yellow and cream white offer a warm and welcoming feel to the room.

The overall vibe is somewhat retro and nostalgic with touches of soft colours and matt finishing. Colourful 3-D wall design is included to create a textured look. A brown sofa and brown dining chairs are also carefully selected to match the overall design.

To fully utilise the odd-shaped space, curved cabinets are tailor-made to tackle the irregular corners. The wall-to-wall built-ins are designed not just to provide plenty of storage space for the family, but are also used as aesthetic narratives for the design concept. Included in these cabinets are racks for storing shoes which can conceal the unsightly bomb shelter door at the same time.

Goodbye, untidiness! Hello, hidden shoe racks!

For more stowaway space, customised settee cum storage is also built under the window. To increase the illumination of the room, a large semi-circle mirror is mounted on the wall of the dining area, allowing it to reflect light and brighten the space.

Organic curves are iconic design elements of the Mid-century Modern style. Here in the living room, Rayson has cleverly incorporated them into the built-in cabinets by carving out a perfect circle in the centre to display decorative items. The built-in TV console also has a top shelf for the family to showcase the vintage keepsakes passed down from the owners’ parents.

Colours such as olive green, mustard yellow and cream white offer a warm and welcoming feel to the room.

 

The Bonus

The bonus for this episode is the refurbished dining table, which blends in nicely with the overall design concept. Rather than throwing it away, the team decided to repaint the table legs and put it to good use again.

Say no to wastage by refurbishing furniture that is still useful.

For more information about the Mid-century Modern style, please contact the designer of this episode, Rayson at tel. no. 6778 6866.

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House Everything? Episode 4: Antique Kitchen From The ’80s

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Welcome to another episode of House Everything?, Singapore’s latest reality TV show on Channel 8 about tidying up and overhauling participants’ living space. This episode features one of the most essential areas in our home – the kitchen. Everyone wants a beautiful and functional kitchen, but maintaining it often requires some effort. Can our team turn a messy kitchen from the ’80s into a modern sanctuary?

The Scenario

Unlike most kitchens, the kitchen we are tackling in this episode is used for two functions – cooking and sewing. As a seamstress, the owner of the flat had carved out a workspace for herself in the kitchen, which significantly reduced the area for cooking. Furthermore, the sewing area was piled with fabrics and other sewing materials used for dressmaking.

At the same time, the cooking area had many large usable and unusable electrical appliances such as oven, toaster and microwave. The kitchen cabinets were also cramped with empty snack containers, baking and cooking utensils and an extensive collection of recipes written by the owner at the time when she was conducting cooking classes. Overall, the space was untidy with not enough storage space.

An untidy kitchen for cooking and sewing.

 

The Challenge

Our interior designer, Thomas, is tasked with the challenge of creating a space that can incorporate all three purposes of cooking, sewing and laundry. At the same time, there should be sufficient room to store all the kitchen utensils as well as sewing materials. The owners have also requested for a multi-functional table that can double up as a work counter and a dining table.

The Solution

Thomas decided on the European country style as the interior design concept as it eludes a rustic, cosy and warm feel in the home. To strengthen the countryside look, intricate details such as raised borders on all cabinet doors and cross braces are included. Even the drawer and cabinet handles are carefully chosen to serve the theme. The primary palettes are lively and comfy-looking colours, specifically light grey and light wood accented with a touch of blue that matches the colours of the sewing machine and the refrigerator. Lighting is also added to brighten up the entire kitchen.

At the centre of the design is the multi-purpose island that separates the sewing and cooking areas. The island can be used as counter space for sewing work as well as a dining table for the family. The creative use of colours is also effectively employed here to demarcate the two areas visually.

A kitchen island that serves all purposes.

To store the baking and cooking utensils, food, condiments and other items, both sides of the kitchen walls are lined with plenty of upper and lower cabinets. Thomas wanted to keep the refrigerator and the washing machines in their original locations, but to maximise the space, additional cabinets and shelves are built above them. However, he repositioned the washbasin to face the window instead of the kitchen, and partitioned it off for a neater look. The choice of the backsplash – tiles with a pattern that resembles fabric patchwork – adds an interesting design element.

The fabric patchwork pattern of the backsplash tiles is one of the focal points of the design.

The sewing area is also decked with lots of storage space, including underneath the kitchen island where the owner can keep all her sewing materials. The standalone sewing machine table is also restored with similar wood colour to match the overall design concept.

A lovely workspace that inspires more lovely dresses!

 

The Bonus

Thomas has also prepared a little surprise for the owners – a built-in ironing board that can be folded and stowed away. Not only is it space-saving, but it is also neatly hidden in the cabinet when not used.

For more information about the European Country kitchen interior design, please contact the designer of this episode, Thomas Tan at tel. no. 6778 6866.

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