Dream Home: Black, White, Themeless and Timeless
At a glance, you can see that Chien and her interior designer are more than just client and service provider. They have become genuine friends, bonding over a project that involved a ‘year-long conversation’ between the two of them. The result is a wonderfully successful combination of a minimalist sensibility and a quirky personality. Black and white, with splashes of red, a balloon for a lamp and a bookshelf that’s crooked, Chien’s flat defies description. See for yourself…
Name(s) of Homeowner(s): Jau Hsiao Chien
House Type: 5-room Resale HDB Flat
Size of Home: 1,200 sq ft
Cost of Renovation: $55,000
Duration of Renovation: 3 months
Interior Design Firm: Livinz Synthesis Pte Ltd
Name(s) of Designer(s): Irene Toh
The bold, black quirky bookshelf and TV console are the dual focal points in Chien’s uncluttered living hall
Chien with her friend and interior designer, Irene
HomeRenoGuru: Why did you engage the services of Livinz Synthesis for your home renovation?
Chien: After I bought my flat, I decided to just go with Irene because she has done my brother’s two places and she has done my parents’ one, and I trust her a lot. I did not shop around for any other ID, and I told Irene that. I also told her – you have to do a good job, and keep within my budget!
Chien loves the abundance of natural light that counter-balances the heaviness of the black features and fixtures
HomeRenoGuru: What was your brief to Irene?
Chien: What I wanted in mind for this flat is basically a black and white theme. I don’t like to be bound by themes, because I want something timeless.
HomeRenoGuru: How was the actual renovation process?
Chien: My mum just said – let Irene take her time. I said, okay… but of course Irene had planned a schedule, and everything fell into place nicely.
HomeRenoGuru: What do you love most about your home?
Chien: I love the natural light coming in. The natural light actually counter-balances the abundance of black, and that’s really, really good.
The disciplined black and white colour scheme extends to the loose and soft furnishings
For the living hall, Irene focused on the TV console and the quirky bookshelf, so that there are only two focal points. This keeps the space clean and uncluttered.
Chien loves her kitchen with its deep drawers
Oh, I love my kitchen! I have a lot of storage space, and I love the deep drawers that can hold all of my cookware as well as my tableware. It’s fantastic!
Pure white tiles were Chien’s one and only mandatory requirement for the common bathroom
The only thing I demanded for my common bathroom is pure white tiles, and they were so difficult to find, but we pressed on and tracked them down. And the best part was – they were 50% off at the time!
The master bedroom is distinguished by a whimsical suspended ‘balloon lamp’ and a red side table
A luxurious walk-in wardrobe cum study adjoins the master bedroom
What I love about my master bedroom suite is the master bedroom as well as the walk-in wardrobe cum study and of course my master bathroom. I love, love my featured black wall tiles. That was the first thing I told Irene that I must have – I die-die must have!
HomeRenoGuru: Do you have any general advice to share with homeowners contemplating a renovation?
Chien: I actually had a lot of advice from my friends who had done renovations. They say – budget, budget, budget! To me, budget is one thing, and the other thing is trust. But I think that the thinking behind every item, every detail of the renovation that you are going to do, is very important. And thinking and rethinking and rethinking is really, really important.
HomeRenoGuru: Would you confidently recommend Livinz Synthesis and your designer Irene Toh to other homeowners?
Chien: If you’re looking for a renovation company, I would recommend Livinz Synthesis, and my ID and friend Irene. Thank you!