Thursday, July 5, 2007

Tiong Bahru Pre War Conserved Flats

Tiong Bahru Pre War Ground Floor

Home & Decor Magazine (June 2007 Edition)

Media professional FenFei's new home is chock-full of personality. The pre-war abode in Tiong Bahru estate has bits of history mixed in with film and travel memorabilia, not to mention a neighbourhood visitor in the form of an insistent cat.
"I used to live in a similar type of home before I got married, and I like how the pre-war houses have this raw and minimal type of design," Fenfei narrates. The bare, industrial feel is also a good canvas for her colourful furnishings, which include art film posters, retro furniture and quirky accessories.
Fenfei and her husband moved in just a few months ago, after a three-month renovation by interior designer Kelvin Giam of Intent. "We were shopping for a designer because my previous designer had become too expensive," Fenfei laughs. The search ended with a copy of Home & Decor and one appointment. "Kelvin's project was featured in one issue. We liked his work, so we gave him a call. We decided to work with him as we established an instant connection in our first meeting."

Paying homage to the 1930s housing estate, Kelvin's interior renovation incorporated a clear visual differentiation between the old and the new. The original, load-bearing walls were given a smooth finish, while the new walls have rough surfaces. The coarsely finished walls with their curved windows and arched doorways are reminiscent of adobe homes in the Spanish Mission style of architecture, but a glossy white coating keeps it looking industrial. Textured floors demarcate some spaces like the kitchen, dining and living area from the hallway to the bedrooms, so there are fewer walls and hence more light and ventilation to go around. Interior windows were cut into the walls too, making the cavernous house brighter despite the brick, cement screed and bare concrete finishes. The finishing and lighting fixtures are mostly from Fenfei's previous house and her existing collection. "I asked Kelvin to keep it spare because we were bringing in lot of our of things."

Feifei says there is a lot of room for growth in the 1,100 sqft residence - a spare bedroom should the in-laws choose to move in and a study area that can be turned into another bedroom "when we decide to have children" are already in place. With the fun vintage pieces and the subway station look, it's easy to imagine children having a blast growing up in and running around this house. Of course, the stark white walls would be a convenient and tempting canvas for a child's crayon doodles, but they would simply add even more character to Fenfei's home.

Interior Design Services by Kelvin Giam of Intent
(HP : 9022-0690)

To own a home in the Tiong Bahru Estate, please contact Alvin Yeo at or Call (+65) 9100-0001

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