Moving to a smaller place from a bigger house isn't easy. And when you're talking about bringing over a truckload of furniture pieces and belongings from a 2 storey shop house into a studio apartment that's barely 600 sqft of total floor area, you know the headache is going to be a pretty painful one. And such is the case here...
Living room - after
Downsizing can be stressful, but the benefits are tremendous. This relocation serves to be the best time to get rid of the excess baggage (literally!) and pare down to the essentials. Working closely with the expatriate couple, we thought big about their functional and storage requirements - despite the small footprint of the house - and eventually decided which pieces stay and what goes. We were focusing on the quantity and quality of the owners' belongings that should be brought into the new house.
Floor plan - after
Floor plan - before
Many people think that if a house looks small, the best way is to try and make it look larger. Remember, it's 'look larger' - it's not any bigger no matter what you do. So instead of trying to create something that isn't even there, sometimes it's better to ride along with that 'small yet cosy' attribute. With that in mind, we adopted a casual approach towards the layout and seek to achieve a balance between circulation space and furniture placement. Space can look a tad tighter, but hey, it still works!
Living room - before
Living room - after
To expand the living room and accommodate a proper dining area, we had the floor overlaid with consistent dark wood boards throughout into the original balcony. Such a move integrates the total floor space as one whole, and seemingly brings the outdoors in. The newly carved out space allowed for an al-fresco dining area surrounded by greenery. The kitchen counter, converted from an existing oriental cabinet covered with a granite top, increases the amount of worktop in the tiny kitchenette and offers an alternative dining/ work spot as well. Well, you know how rainy Singapore can be!
Balcony - after
To fit in as much storage as possible, we looked up and we looked down the house. Storage inconspicuously lined up (and seemingly disappearing into the walls) never fails to excite us - and our clients. Bay windows and awkward corners became our best friends in this instance, offering plenty of avenues for keeping clutter away from view.
Bedroom - before
Bedroom - after
Essentially, this should be a house that's all about encompassing the owners' style as much as possible. Precious art pieces and artefacts collected over the years bring that human touch to the home. After all, a home is a place where you should be surrounded by the things you love. It is a quaint little nest that celebrates the owners' possessions and, as the female owner insisted from day one, one that does not look like a developer's showflat.