Open Kitchen

What to consider before having an open kitchen at home

The spacious look of an open kitchen is easy to fall in love with. It gives you more visual space and offers the sights and smells of a delicious home-cooked meal. Open kitchens have gained popularity with new home owners, and HDB has some new BTO flats designed with an open kitchen layout for those who love the idea.

If you are one of those who want to hop onto the open kitchen bandwagon, we have put together some considerations on some things you should take note of before deciding to have an open kitchen or not.

Remember, before you hack down that wall, make sure you get the necessary approval(s) from relevant authorities first.

 

Why you would want an open kitchen:

  • Your home instantly feels more spacious with more light and air streaming in.
  • It is easier to host your guests. No more awkward lulls at the parties – whatever you need to grab is just a few steps away.
  • You are a multi-tasker. With an open kitchen, you can watch TV, read the papers and prepare meals all at the same spot.
  • With potentially less furniture, you can do something different with the space. Your very own barista counter where you could whip up fragrant coffee brews, perhaps?

A separate kitchen might be better if you:

  • Have a habit of keeping windows and the service yard door closed. Without good ventilation, the smells of cooking up a storm would always linger.
  • Find it hard to keep table tops clean and tidy. The trouble with having everything out in the open is that clutter cannot be hidden from plain sight.
  • Prefer not to have an integrated theme with the rest of your home. For a harmonious look and feel, you might need to find a theme that works for both your kitchen and living room spaces.
  • Feel that you would need to make compromises when the novelty of an open kitchen wears off. It is always wise to plan ahead and think about your family’s overall needs in the long run, as customised furniture and built-in appliances can be costly.

 

Eyeing a new BTO flat soon? Some flat layouts may have an open kitchen concept already built-in. But do not worry if it’s not for you – you can always opt for a kitchen partition wall if you like to keep things separate. Feel free to contact our interior designers with the contact form below and we’ll get back to you shortly

Wall Renovation

Wall Issues for Older Interiors

Before renovating your new home, the thought of being able to move in at soonest is exciting. However, during the handovers, clients are commonly facing disappointment with their designers for certain finishes which they’d set an expectation on.  One common argument between the client & the designers are the finishes of the newly painted walls.

Some house owners may have encountered problems in their houses like uneven surfacing noticed of walls, or even patches or lines of wet paint brush strokes left on the new painted coats, and they only noticed this upon the completion of renovation. This is a common problem for resale home owners, as some neglect the fact to pre-check the existing wall conditions together with their appointed designers, while some are just keen to save some costs for their pockets, with an expectation on the designers to do some touch up for them.

Such finishing seen on walls can become a real eyesore, worse, some may even result in gaps against electrical casings. Wet paint brush strokes & patches can be rectified with plastering, for gaps against casings for some cases, touch up with cement to thicken the wall may be required. This is why it is important to look out for such problems before your renovation commences as you can notify your contractor or interior designer early so they can solve the problem for you during your renovation period.

If you neglect to look out for these problems during the pre-renovation inspection and only come across them after the handover process has been completed, your contractor or interior design will not be liable to fix these problems & they won’t be able to assist you in being punctual for the renovation promised timeline.  The cost of plastering varies on your interior’s size and the process of plastering is time consuming. Plastering for walls & ceiling of a HDB 4-room flat may take up to a week subjective to the weather.

Should you require professional advice on how to better style or take care of your walls, fill up the contact form below and our professional team will get back to your shortly!

 

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HDB Renovation

Planning for renovation for a HDB

Before starting renovation work on your house, there are some things that you should look out for. For example, the beams and columns in your house, or what we call the structural supports of the interior unit. It is highly recommended that you do some research about the regulations by the relevant authorities before starting your renovation work as some beams and columns in the unit are not allowed to be hacked away, altered or modified unless properly authorized by professional engineers and then accepted by the relevant authorities.

It is also highly recommended that you check if the existing walls in your house are too old. The older the condition of the interior, the more brittle the foundation may get. This can make it harder to hack a section of the wall as bigger pieces on the sides of the wall may come off together in the hacking process. However, repairs will be done for such situations with proposed alternatives suitable for the interior structures, subjective to its conditions.

It is also highly recommended that you check if the area that needs to be worked on affects any existing power supply. Many people usually neglect this step and start their renovation work. Hacking walls with power sockets in the way can damage it and rewiring work would then be needed for the affected areas.

You should also plan water points for your appliances that require water supply such as your washing machine, fridge or water dispenser. Planning out your preferred location of cable and wiring points are also high recommended as you do not want to build your perfect house, only to realise that the nearest power point is too far away from the couch, your bed and other key locations of your house that could require a nearby power outlet.

Another important thing that you should take note of before starting the renovation process is to get your toilets up and running. Even though you are not living there yet, you may consider providing the contractors working on your home some conveniences of time to save them the time and effort of having to walk to the nearest public toilet, which indirectly causes reduction in time they can spend working on your house.

It is also highly recommended that you only work with HDB-approved contractors or interior designers that is registered to carry out HDB renovation work if your new house is a HDB unit. The reason for this is simple, any work done must comply with guidelines stipulated by HDB. Otherwise, HDB will consider them to be unauthorized and may demand that the unit be reinstated to its original condition with immediate effect.

Moving into a brand-new place is exciting and you may want to start buying new furniture way ahead of time. However, it is important to remember to schedule your home delivery items like furniture or major appliances to arrive when your renovation is almost finished. If the furniture arrives too early, there is a risk of it getting damaged or stolen.

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The different things to take note of during renovation

What to expect in a renovation for a resale flat in Singapore

Buying a new house for the first time is an exciting thing. However, most first-time house owners are generally clueless about how the renovation process works for resale flats. Here’s a common generic flow on how usually renovation takes place for revamping of a resale flat.

Demolition

First of all, demolition works will take place. demolition work consists of completely or partly dismantling structures using pre-planned and controlled methods. This often combines the structural demolition of load bearing elements with the stripping of internal fixtures and fittings, services and non‐load bearing elements.

Foundation Works

Next up, window works will happen if a change of window is necessary. This should happen before tiling starts. The next step in the renovation process is electrical works where your contractor or an electrician will come and wire your entire house and make sure the electricity is working fine. Plumbing work should happen after electrical work has been completed as water pipes must run below electrical casings to prevent any water leakage which will potentially cause a fire hazard.

This is followed by the running of gas pipes. This is to ensure that you have an option for heating, hot water and cooking. Gas pipe installation will take place only if the unit itself is eligible for gas pipe installation by City Gas. So before you do your renovation, do give City Gas a call to check if your renovating unit is eligible for this service!

One optional option for you to consider will be the plastering work. Plaster gives your walls a smooth finish, thus the newly painted coats in your home upon handover will be in a smooth finish with the edges of the walls straightened. If you choose not to go for this option save some costs, the wall condition of your current interior may be having lines and patches left from the painters engaged by the previous owner.

Next in the process will be ceiling work. The walls and ceilings of a house are some of its most important structural elements, but also offer considerable scope for creativity. There is a variety of ways that ceilings and walls may be finished, and there are different combinations of materials that can be used to achieve these finishes. A false drop-down ceiling with lighting installed inside can also be constructed according to your personal preference.

Post Foundation Works and Designs

Tiling work is the next upcoming work after ceiling work. Tiles can be used to form the wall and floor coverings and can range from simple square tiles to complex designs or mosaics. Tiles are usually made of ceramic, typically glazed for internal uses and unglazed for floorings. Thinner tiles can be used on walls rather than on floors, as our floors require more durable surfaces that will resist impacts.

Painting work of the walls should happen after tiling work has finished and carpentry work should follow after. This includes installing any built-in cabinets, platforms, shelves, drawers or wardrobes into the rooms. Next in line in the renovation process, countertop work will take place. You can customise your countertops with popular options like granite, marble, laminate, quartz and even solid surfaces. For those who are keen to keep your stove area easier to maintain, a designed glass backing will be installed after the countertop work has been completed. We would also prefer the last step to the renovation process to be the door work, so as to prevent any unnecessary scratches made to the new fabrication.

After all the steps in the entire renovation process are done, the last step you should undertake would be to clean your new house as it will be filled with wood chips from the carpentry, dust and other particles that could possibly be bad for your health.  After that is done, you are ready to enjoy the new place you now call your home.

 

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Renovation Journey with Lisa

We’ve heard the phrase: “less is more.” many times in our lives. Such concept has slowly integrated into the realm of interior design as well. Instead of a fanciful luxurious home, many of us prefer to live in a functional and uncluttered home. Well, simplicity does not necessary mean unimaginative and boring. In this article, we’ll explore the minimalistic designs mainly in the living room and bedroom.

Living Room

The interior design of a living room is of prime importance because this is where the family come together for bonding after a tiring day of work. Since the theme was set as modern and minimalistic, we’ll expect earth tone and monochrome colours. Paired with appropriate lightings, the interior space of the above living room looks effortlessly stylish and chic at one glance.

Minimalistic interior design often involves the concept of having open spaces. As such, space planning is crucial. To make use of a limited space efficiently, the shoe cabinet is integrated together with the TV feature wall. A sliding mirror is installed for 2 main purposes. 1) To enlarge the space visually 2) For convenience sake – allow the owners to check on themselves before leaving the house. There is a sette space hidden behind the sliding mirror which saves space. Next to the shoe cabinet, open shelves are built accordingly to owners’ height preferences which can be used to display items that hold sentimental value for the owners. Accessories such as carpet and even the choice of the plant used next to the TV console were selected with caution so that they will fit into the colour scheme of the home. The secret to a well-designed home is to pay full attention to every detail.

Bedroom

Bright lightings are used in the bedroom as well which gives people an impression of cleanliness and orderliness. We can see a wooden partition built right next to the door, the divider splits the entrance and bed area thus, ensuring privacy. To add a more stylish vibe, display spaces are designed on the partition. Collectibles or photo frames could be used as an element of decoration. Thus, making the space more personalized and more homely for the owners. Such spaces (as seen on the open shelves in the living room as well) were created as we believe that a home should tell the story of the owners and an exhibition of what they love.

An open wardrobe is ideal for the bedroom as a conventional wardrobe we see in furniture shops tend to make a limited space look more cluttered. The use of wood tones on walls, ceilings and on the open wardrobe makes the space seems more cozy. We also note that the room is completed with simple furnishings and accessories are kept to a minimal. Despite the simplicity, the elegance of the space is not compromised. Hence, adhering to the idea of “less is more.”

Dresser area is set up for daily makeup/skincare routine for the lady of the house. Tinted mirrors were used  to add a more romantic ambience and to soften the strong overall look produced by the dark laminated bed head finish. The mirrors enlarge the space visually which is important as space constraints were a problem when designing the room. Bright lightings were used to tackle space constraints as the illusion of a larger space can be produced by brighter lightings reflected off the surfaces of walls.

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Minimalist with storage

Theme: Luxury & Contemporary

We’ve seen so many photos of beautiful homes on the internet and i believe all of us yearn to have such well-designed home. Yet, many of us had no idea where to kick start the interior design and renovation. Here is a little story of Lisa’s renovation journey.

Living Room

At one glance

The living room is where the family and the guests gather at. The importance of the interior design of the living room need not be further emphasized. To kick start the interior design, theming and the colour scheme are crucial. The owners yearned for a luxury, contemporary and classy themed home. The colour scheme of the home is in earth tone – mostly brown, grey and beige. Basic colours such as black and white are also used. Such colours symbolise elegance, security, warmth and have a calming effect. In addition, such colour schemes fit the theme flawlessly. Materials like marble and wood are used to produce an effect of extravagance.

The incorporation of marble into designs has always been a timeless classic since the olden days. Thus, you will never go wrong with marble.

The feature wall of the television is made of marble which gives a polished look for the entire home instantly and effortlessly. Apart from the chic design, the look is completed with an open shelf at the bottom which acts as a console for open display of TV appliances. Remarkably, with the feature wall, electrical wires of the TV are well hidden. We no longer have to tolerate the messiness these wires caused anymore.

Kitchen

An open concept kitchen is always a good idea for contemporary themed homes. As the kitchen and dining table are connected to the living room, matching materials would be ideal. Thus, the island of the kitchen and the feature wall of the dining area are covered with marble laminated finish. In addition, the use blue chairs at the dining area give a more vibrant and energetic look. Overall, the impeccable use of the colours and materials made the space appear more spacious and further highlighted the elegance of the home.

Master Bedroom

The overall look for the master bedroom is more minimalistic with a hint of elegance. A walk-in wardrobe gives an underlying luxurious feel and i believe many of us – especially ladies long for a space like this. Thus, as requested by the owners,  2 bedrooms were combined into one to achieve the walk-in wardrobe. An island is place in the middle of the walk-in wardrobe for storage of accessories and folded clothes.

The sleeping area is defined with a raised platform covered with vinyl flooring finish. The ceiling cove light is connected to the bed head which gives a more stylish vibe to the overall appearance.

Kids Bedroom

It is pretty unusual to see a contemporary themed kids bedroom as most kids bedroom are designed in a more lively and colourful way. However, such design has an advantage in years to come when the kids mature. To add a more cheerful vibe, adorable and colourful paintings are used. There is a raised bed for a kid and the other sleep on a pull-out bed which saves space.

A study table is essential for every child. Brighter colours such as blue and yellow are used which make the study environment more conducive. On the right side of the table, there is an open shelf in the sunken-in area to maximize storage space. The black chalk wall on the right adds a fun vibe to the study area. Lights are installed right under the blue and yellow shelves so that table lamps are not needed which prevents the situation of having messy wires. Remarkably, the table size can fit at least 3-4 people at a go thus, the children can invite their project/study mates over.

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