Whether it’s bringing in one standout piece of furniture and some gorgeous soft furnishings to seal the deal in a particular room, or starting from scratch and carrying out a full renovation, sometimes it’s a better idea to call in the experts. We find out from these readers what interior design they had done to their homes and why.
Trang Pham, Australian
“We’ve been living in our Siglap-based four-bedroom property, which we own, for five years now. I chose Arete Culture to style my home having seen my friend’s place, which they had worked on; it was gorgeous, and I knew I wanted the same. We asked Arete to help with our living room, master bedroom and bathroom, dining area, patio and the girls’ bedroom. Most of these areas were completed last year, but the makeover of the girls’ bedroom and the outdoor patio has just been completed, and these two are currently my favourite areas.
In terms of style transformation, I would have to say I’m most impressed with my living room. We didn’t replace any furniture; instead, we added Arete’s stylish soft furnishings, including a rug, pillows, lamps and decorations. It’s amazing what a big difference these pieces have made to the room.
The original painted feature wall in the girls’ room did not initially turn out as planned; however, I was relieved how fuss free it was to change direction and have it painted again. In the end, and with everything pulled together, it’s really beautiful. My girls love their new room and have told me that it’s ‘like a palace!’
We’ve pretty much done the whole house now. I love keeping a beautiful home; so, when a new style is in and I need another home makeover, I’ll be sure to call on Caroline again. My husband knows that a home makeover is my preferred type of present. Caroline is great to work with, and she’s always upbeat and positive, which makes the project exciting and fun.”
Percelia Lee, Singaporean, Shane Pritchard, Australian, and daughter Sophie
“We bought our unit 18 months ago; it’s a four-bedroom, ground-floor condo in Bukit Timah, with a patio area. Without any existing furniture and a tired-looking apartment that needed major renovation, we had a blank canvas to work on, but it was too much of a task for us.
Elizabeth was great from the start; she recognised the potential the apartment had, and appreciated our need for a light, airy space and practical living.
She was also consultative, and had a real eye for detail. One of her suggestions was to demolish some walls, which helped to open up the space between the living and dining rooms and the kitchen. This made the combined area more functional, bright and social, and Elizabeth complemented it with subtle colours and modern furnishings, and kept it soft with beautiful fabrics.
The whole job took about five months from conceptualisation to moving in.
The television wall was the biggest challenge in terms of furnishing, as my husband and I had differing views. A big television in the living area looked irrelevant and obtrusive to me, so, to balance this with Shane’s wishes, Elizabeth designed and installed a timeless and subtle console. This blended in with the rest of the room and added some softness to an otherwise harsh-looking wall.
I had an idea of the colours I wanted to work with but it was a challenge visualising it. Elizabeth brought it all together with a colour palette, and merged it with various fabrics, patterns and textures. Her resource for high-quality furnishing and fabric was priceless. It completed our home!”
Daniel Wasik, British, and Kim Rafeedie, American
I bought this property two years ago; it’s a one-storey condo with three bedrooms and three bathrooms. I found out about Yellow Cabinet through a friend who had worked with them before and was delighted with their fast and flexible project design and management. They undertook a complete renovation of the master bedroom and kitchen area for me, as well as full painting and decoration of the house, new ceilings, lighting and patio flooring; they also removed the mezzanine from the second bedroom, created a console in the living room, added a brand new kitchen including worktop and work surfaces, and made a cinema room in the third bedroom.
My favourite part of this work has been the conversion of the third bedroom into a cinema room; I now have a 110-inch screen and projector to watch films and sports, while sitting on electric fully reclining leather chairs. The master bedroom renovation was slightly problematic, as we extended the area to increase space but had to maintain an outside drainage system. This was a design challenge and took a number of recommendations before landing on the best option. Next is my plan to redecorate the bathrooms with new floor-to-ceiling tiles to create that hotel bathroom look.
This is an article that first appeared in the November 2016 edition of Expat Living. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue!
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