In a sea of cookie-cutter Scandinavian homes, this 5-room BTO flat stands out—it shows a lot of personality by parading the passions of its owners. In every corner of this 110-square-metre home, one will find lovely details that are very telling of what Toh Chen and Ying Tian love: swords for him, shoes for her, and sports for both of them.
"We are both huge collectors of shoes and swords. Thus, one of our main concerns was if our personal items would be able to fit into the house without it looking too cluttered," says Ying Tian. "But what bonds us are our complementing characters and crazy passion for sports. During the renovation, we incorporated sports elements into various parts of our house to reflect our personalities."
Here's a romantic detail to their current address: Their HDB flat is on the same plot of land where she and Toh Chen laid down to watch the stars when they were dating seven years ago. In May 2014, the couple tied the knot via a sports-themed wedding. They then moved to this home shortly after.
"The place was mainly designed by us as we know what we wanted even before searching for the right interior designer. Ivan from i-Chapter helped refine our ideas and came up with creative ways to design our home," she shares.
Take a tour of Toh Chen and Ying Tian's gorgeous Scandinavian home:
Originally brown, the front door was painted white to complement the Scandinavian theme of the house. Toh Chen is a huge The Lord of the Rings fan, hence the sign on the door. His bicycle is parked by the personalised mail and key holder.
Also by the entryway is the 9-ft.-tall shoe cabinet for the "shoe-aholic female owner". A proud collector of more than a hundred pairs of shoes, Ying Tian organised her shoes (she has more pairs that are not in the cabinet!) according to types—heels, flats, sports—and ensured that the shoe cabinet's grey doors match the kitchen and bar laminates.
A 360-degree rotating TV feature wall divides the living room into two areas. One side features a platform area next to a white brick wall—it serves as the couple's workout
The other part of the living room is where the L-shaped sofa and kidney-shaped table from Second Charm are parked. Behind the sofa is the 9-ft.-tall sword cabinet that displays Toh Chen's personal collection of The Lord of the Rings swords in all its glory.
Master's Bedroom + Walk-in Wardrobe
The master's bedroom is bigger than in most HDBs because the interior design firm hacked the second room to create a space for a walk-in wardrobe. The bedroom sports the same colour palette as the common areas, and the customised bedside table and study area are made from the same laminates used in the kitchen and shoe cabinet.
The wall behind the bed is painted in Nippon champagne gradient paint. i-Chapter creatively concealed the aircon trunking with a triangular feature wall that displays Toh Chen and Ying Tian's toys and travel mementos.
"Here, the colours were kept simple, with white and gold to enlarge the space visually. Our walk-in wardrobe has plenty of hidden storage behind a full-size mirror," says Ying Tian.
This room used to be Toh Chen and Ying Tian's sports room, where their exercise equipment and medals were kept. Before the couple's little bundle of joy, Stryder, arrived in November 2015, they had the same interior designer convert it into a nursery.
"i-Chapter designed a full height cabinet for proper storage of the baby items. Wall decors were sourced and DIY'd to make the place as lively as possible," says Ying Tian.
Kitchen and Dining Room
Toh Chen and Ying Tian have wet and dry kitchens separated by an aluminium door. There is a bar counter that marks as a divider between the kitchen and the dining area.
Type of property: 5-Room New BTO
Total space: 110 square metres
Renovation budget: $50,000 for renovation and $30,000 for the furniture pieces
Time to complete works: 3 months
Interior Designer: i-Chapter Pte Ltd
"We love how cosy the house is after the personal touches that reflect our characters," muses Ying Tian.
Toh Chen and Ying Tian's renovation tips:
1. Do your research. "Search for design ideas on Pinterest, magazines, websites, and showrooms even before searching for a contractor or interior designer."
2. Know what works for you. Not everything you see on magazines is practical and applicable to your home.
3. Stick to your budget. "It’s good to keep track of your expenses through a spreadsheet and jot down details like deposit paid, remaining balance, etc."
Get the Look: Scandinavian
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Photos by Samantha Echavez