The Chic Home: Young family’s practical BTO unit focuses on function and flow

SINGAPORE – Quality manager Marcus Loh and his accountant wife Jamie Koh wanted their five-room Build-To-Order (BTO) home in Tampines to be light-filled, spacious and possess a clean, minimalist aesthetic.

As the couple – who are in their 30s, and have a three-year-old son and another baby on the way – host occasionally, but rarely do heavy cooking, they wanted an open-concept kitchen with an island counter and built-in storage. They also chose to retain most of the 1,216 sq ft HDB flat’s original layout, comprising three bedrooms and provision for a study.

The couple engaged home-grown firm By: Dan & Co on a friend’s recommendation.

the chic home: young family’s practical bto unit focuses on function and flow

The entryway features elegant built-in cabinetry. PHOTO: SPH MAGAZINES

Shoes, keys and items to be displayed all have designated places at the entrance foyer, within a custom-built shoe cabinet with an integrated niche.

The door and frame of the power distribution box beside the main entrance were replaced with a built-in cabinet that blends with the rest of the cabinetry.

To the left of the foyer, the household shelter door is concealed within a feature wall. This continues into a row of built-in cabinets that are cladded with the same laminate for consistency.

the chic home: young family’s practical bto unit focuses on function and flow

A workspace-cum-recreation room for home owner Marcus Loh. PHOTO: SPH MAGAZINES

Further along, the provisional space for a study has been enclosed to create a workspace-cum-recreation room for Mr Loh.

The absence of a feature wall in the living area was a deliberate move. To conceal the television cables, a partition wall was introduced with a rounded corner detail.

the chic home: young family’s practical bto unit focuses on function and flow

A partition wall with rounded corners hides cables in the living room. PHOTO: SPH MAGAZINES

This curved form softens the design and makes the home more child-friendly. It has also been applied to other parts of the home, such as the built-in carpentry, kitchen island and master bathroom.

The star of the kitchen is the island counter, which Mr Loh says is fabricated from a semi-circular piece of solid wood, with a quartz countertop.

the chic home: young family’s practical bto unit focuses on function and flow

The kitchen counter is a centrepiece of the home and a hit with guests. PHOTO: SPH MAGAZINES

The dining room is next to the kitchen island, with the table perpendicular to the counter in an efficient and practical layout.

The door frames for the bedrooms, which came with the flat, were also redone. Ms Koh says: “We intended to keep the corridor clean and free of any air-conditioner piping. With the headroom limitation and a four-inch pipe trunking beneath the air-conditioner unit, the original bedroom door frames would have been a nasty clash.”

In the master bedroom, a walk-in wardrobe – comprising his-and-hers closets – not only provides storage, but also serves to separate the sleeping and changing areas.

the chic home: young family’s practical bto unit focuses on function and flow

The wardrobe separates the sleeping and changing areas in the master bedroom. PHOTO: SPH MAGAZINES

The attached master bathroom has a frosted glass door that lets more diffused light into the adjacent walk-in wardrobe.

The couple wanted a fun and age-appropriate room for their son. To achieve this, two-colour tones were used for the walls. The decision to go with loose furniture rather than built-in cabinets was made in anticipation of the son outgrowing the furniture in a few years’ time, so the room can be easily redecorated.

the chic home: young family’s practical bto unit focuses on function and flow

A two-colour wall adds fun to the room of the owners’ three-year-old son. PHOTO: SPH MAGAZINES

The renovation cost around $69,000, excluding furniture and furnishings. It took about 10 weeks and the family moved into their new home in July 2023.

  • This article first appeared in Home & Decor Singapore. Go to homeanddecor.com.sg for more beautiful homes, space-saving ideas and interior inspiration.

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