We love looking at renovations, home makeovers and interior styling projects. This month, we check out an apartment at the Quinterra, a 17-storey condo on Holland Road. The building is 10 years old, but the apartment hadn’t been previously renovated, and had been a rental since it was new.
The buyers were previously in a two-bedder on the East Coast. Ideally they would have liked to have stayed in the area but couldn’t find what they were looking for. They needed a larger place, specifically one with a good-sized outdoor area or balcony for entertaining.
The apartment they found at the Quinterra had a living space that was connected to the balcony, so it made a lovely open area big enough to host friends and family. They then hired the interior design team at EightyTwo to help with their renovation needs and interior styling.
Design Brief & Challenges
As part of the renovation, the new owners tore down the kitchen wall to make the living space even bigger and more open-plan. They wanted to pair classic elements with modern pieces. The husband is from Hong Kong and was keen to use wainscoting – decorative panelling – to create a classic look. The wife is from Singapore and prefers a more contemporary look; she wanted to incorporate modern furniture into the styling.
The only real structural challenge was the master bedroom washroom. They wanted the bathtub to be replaced by two sinks, which meant that the original layout of the toilet and wash basin had to be changed. In order to accommodate the shower area and toilet, part of the wall had to be torn down – and they had quite a bit of trouble getting approval for removing that wall.
The Client’s Story
“The most fun thing about the project was probably being involved with the entire design process. Many homeowners when they engage interior design firms leave the designers with a lot of freedom. But we are quite decisive – we know specifically what we want. Even on the first meeting with the team at EightyTwo, I showed them pictures of terrazzo tiles and told them we needed to fit them somewhere in the house. I said I didn’t care how, so long as they went somewhere!
“Also, my husband is an audiophile and we had a lot of discussion on how to fit all the audio equipment in the house. After a lot of back-and-forth discussion, we came to an agreement with the designer to put together something we’re now super happy about.
“We’re very pleased and happy with the result. It took almost six months for the entire renovation, and since we travel heavily for work, we really appreciated that our designer provided an update every day. He knows that I’m meticulous about the smallest things and changes, but he made sure to keep me in the loop for everything.
“For example, I really wanted all black hardware for the toilet and all gold hardware for handles. They weren’t available in Singapore but he found a way to source them for me; I’m very happy with that. There are firms who try to find ways to get you to compromise for their benefit, because they want less work, but our designer never tried to do that to me and I’m very happy with the entire process. Our apartment is 99 percent what we envisioned.”
- “We decided not to replace the air-conditioning initially, even though it was quite old; but we soon started to have problems, and we’ve had to replace it after all. Air-conditioners are very important, so if your budget allows you should change them while you’re renovating.”
- “Asian cooking tends to involve lots of oil and smoke, so there is a thought that you should always have a closed kitchen. But the open kitchen design is fantastic – you have so much space, and it’s really how you manage the cooking.”
- Lighting: Sol Luminaire
- Paint: Gush
- Furniture: Grafunkt (“highly recommended!”)
- Restaurant: Pepper Castle (“this place in Holland Village serves the best Indian food I’ve ever had; having said that, we tend to go to Dempsey more than Holland V as it’s dog-friendly”)
A Word from the EightyTwo Team
“We enjoyed the project very much, especially since the owners are also very enthusiastic and involved in the design process. The project had four main components:
- A wainscotting feature wall with customised framed photos and art.
- The use of a consistent blue colour (the owner’s favourite).
- An open kitchen, with a terrazzo design.
- A master bathroom with a one-tile look, and colours to complement the cabinets.”
The team at EightyTwo say that it’s always good to ensure that a design fits the owners’ particular lifestyle and preferences. I agree; it’s a bit scary letting someone create a home (or business venue) for you; designers need to be able to work with you and listen to you as well as guide and suggest.
Aside from projects like this apartment, the EightyTwo team have done some cool restaurants and commercial spaces too. Have a look at their website for inspiration!