Updated: Sep 3, 2021
The most straightforward designs are often the best – but simple does not mean simplistic in this Bukit Batok home.
IT professionals Gordon and Meilian purchased this three-bedroom apartment from the previous owner about two years ago. Located opposite Bukit Batok Nature Park and a stone’s throw away from Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, it is the perfect location for these nature lovers.
Their brief to Eloycois Er, principal designer of Erstudio, was to give them a bright and airy interior that was both modern and luxurious. “We believe that less is more and wanted to keep it simple,” says Gordon. They also prefer natural materials such as wood and stone with hints of grains and patterns reflecting their love for nature.
AT A GLANCE
Who lives here: A couple and their two young children Type of home: A 3-bedroom condominium in Bukit Batok Size of home: 1,378 sq ft
With two very active young children and no helper, ease of maintenance was also an important factor.
There were also fengshui requirements. Most, such as placing a fountain of wealth on the balcony and ensuring that the light clusters were not of a certain number, did not have any major implications on the design proposal.
However, there were more stringent, location- related criteria and even the height of the kitchen hob that Eloycois had to incorporate into the design.
The family of four moved into their new home in January 2019 after a three-month renovation costing over $80,000. Interestingly enough, as with his other projects, Eloycois started the interior design by first mapping out the positions of the air-conditioning units.
“I look for suitable locations for the air-conditioners first to run the trunking so everything is seamlessly integrated,” he explains. Of course, he has built up an extensive design library and fine-tuned an arsenal of good detailing over the years, but every home still presents a challenge. “It allows me to create something new,” he says.
The walls of the existing kitchen were hacked to create an open-concept kitchen- cum-dining area. As Gordon and Meilian wanted a kitchen island and a large dining table, Eloycois combined the two into a peninsula – less common than island countertops – that connects to the kitchen counter at one end and extends outwards to form the dining table at the other.
Having this means one has to walk around it to get to the kitchen from the entrance hallway. However, the enlarged horizontal surface area offers greater functionality for the family. “This is where most of the action takes place – from getting homework done to building Lego sets. It is also the de facto spot for photo taking when we have friends over,” shares Gordon.
A well- articulated palette of materials makes the interior stand out. The meeting point of the peninsula and the kitchen counter is expressed through a collage of different materials, including quartz, marble and laminate.
The living room design was kept simple with clean lines and neutral colour and material palettes, so it wouldn’t distract from the view of the lush greenery framed by the full-height glass doors leading to the balcony.
The feature wall, on the other hand, is clad with wood laminate and a white marble veneer to pull off a minimalist look while providing storage and display shelving.
“The colour scheme, right down to the curtains, was carefully thought out to achieve a delicate balance between dark and light colours,” Eloycois points out.
With some reconfiguration and the removal of the old bathtub, the master bathroom is now more spacious and user-friendly.
Then he went with a hotel concept for the master bedroom, where a simple headboard and some furniture brought over from the family’s previous home come together in an elegant scheme with a soothing ambience.
While the couple continues searching for the perfect pair of bedside tables, Eloycois has detailed the wardrobe door such that it is split into two panels so the upper panel can still be opened even with the bedside table in place.