Updated: Feb 27, 2020
Happy New Year to everyone ready this or been following the blog!
Trying to re-ignite interests in blogging (recalling my blogspot days 15 years ago) has not been easy, while trying to cramp more daily tasks alongside running my studio and an expanded family. Well, you don't get diamonds without any pressure.
The goal this year is to create new types of content that home owners actually want to see/ read and able to learn from and perhaps even to treat it as a discussion outlet for me, as running a studio can sometimes be a lonely affair.
In this first installation of The Making series, we go in depth and behind the scenes into work done, changes made, considerations taken and/ or even sacrifices made for budget-sake. Basically 75% of the work even before the first brick was laid.
This apartment is the latest and fifth block in an older development in Casa Tropicana. 1,500 square feet, 3 bedrooms with 3 baths, one occupant. I wouldn't even want to deny that it is easily a dream start in terms of freedom for spatial planning.
Works from home regularly
Spends a lot time cooking
Flexibility to host guests
To maintain owner current habit of sleeping on the floor
Storage for a huge and ever expending collection of books
So the overall goal is to take advantage of the single-occupant situation is to form one huge home, made up of many tiny micro-spaces. Opening up the first Bedroom brings more natural light into the unit, especially if that is the first thing you see and experience as you enter. Using that space as a library turns that area into a feature in itself.
Second Bedroom (turned into walk-in closet) is now combined with Master Bedroom for more privacy, with a new room door allocated. The extra "trapped" bathroom is turned into a sauna/ tub room next to the Master Bath, where due to the building structure, we were not allowed to combine the bathroom as well.
With flexibility also in mind, the island becomes quite an understated piece of sculpture in this home. Extra prep space when cooking, another option of workspace when at home and also a dining table for the occasional hosting. This multi-usage frees up tonnes of space and prevents clutter.
Platform in Master Bedroom offers another range of flexibility too. It fulfils the owner's criteria of sleeping on the "floor", while allowing 2 separate single-sized mattresses to be pulled out below them too. This makes up for the other potential guest bedrooms that was taken up to cater for main uses.
Colour tone of materials are kept to a minimum to ensure sleeker finish and outcome, even though mainly are timber finishes.
Existing floor tiles was removed to make way for solid Burmese Teak. All carpentry works in plywood were finished with other natural Veneer, or spray painted white for kitchen. Veneer is used as the joint line for each piece will be less obvious compared to laminate finish, considering there are large timber wall pieces.
Polished white Volakas marble is used to for all kitchen and island counter tops which compliments the white cabinets nicely.
We are not artists. We do not get hurt or offended if changes to our design proposals are required. We are service and solution providers. So we get as excited working on counter proposals as the first draft.
As pretty and feature-esque as the initial book shelves proposal is, cleanliness and maintenance is a perpetual household concern. Thus, sliding glass doors were added while still keeping the design concept.
Outcome and issues
Seeing the actual product being fabricated and design being built gives a huge sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. However, that is were the challenges are. Being able to overcome and solve these challenges are as important, if not more important, than drawing it up on the computer.
Keeping the solid Burmese teak flooring in top-top during renovation period was a big challenge, even though protection was laid. Any dents or scratches was easily visible. This is important this the surface outlook was the main reason this flooring was selected and not laminate or vinyl flooring, which is a lot more economical. (comparison between vinyl and laminate flooring)
White countertops for kitchen too was a big lesson for us, as frequent maintenance and care is required to prevent staining of the porous and natural stone. Currently, if you like how a white marble top looks but do not want the hassle or to put in the effort to maintain, engineered Quartz would be the way to go. Okite has particularly sleek selections on this front, which we have used for this project here.
Some say all problems would be solved with an unlimited budget. I don't think that is necessarily true, but it does help. Bigger budget allows for more lavish or luxurious finishes. Problem solving at through design and space planning is 80% of the magic.
Please feel free to comment and/or let me know what aspects of a project I should cover that would be helpful to you.
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