A layout that optimises natural lighting and ventilation, and the eschewing of ornamentation, accounts for the understated style of this family home.
WHO A couple in their late 40s and their two children
HOME Four- bedroom, two- storey, semi- detached house in Siglap
“This is a Goldilocks house – not too big, not too small, but just right for us,” smiles Susanne Schaefer, who lives here with her husband, Adrian Cheng, and their two kids.
Home to them is a two-storey, semi-detached house, and while many landed-property homeowners choose to add at least another floor, the couple were happy to keep it at two storeys.
The home, renovated for around $700,000 by JQ Ong of The Association, has a design that’s based on the idea of enhancing and optimising, rather than expansion and enlargement. As Susanne was after a look that is “simple, clean and kept to an absolute minimum”, JQ ensured that both the exterior and interiors were uncomplicated and understated, rather than flashy. There was no need for premium materials, he says, and instead focused on the more important aspect of layout and flow.
The designer also focused on natural ventilation – JQ altered the structure and created two air wells within the house, to allow light and airflow into the darker areas, such as the staircase and bathrooms. For the main bedrooms, he was sensitive to the issue of having two-way ventilation, by ensuring there are at least two windows, for breezier environments. The home’s layout was also reconfigured such that the bedrooms were swopped over to the opposite side to house, away from the views of neighbours, adds the designer.
Located at the back near the entrance to the kitchen, the open-concept living and dining area opens out to the side garden to allow greenery and nature in, allowing the family to gather and relax in comfort and style. As for the minimalistchic aesthetics of the home, concrete screed, patterned tiles and parquet were used throughout. Susanne shares that they actually moved here from a bigger, rented space, but now see this one as their permanent home!
WHERE TO GO
The Association, TEL: 6280-1220
LEFT On the ground floor, the open living area enjoys plenty of fresh air, a result of the designer’s careful reworking of the structure to optimise natural ventilation and lighting.
TOP RIGHT Part of the open living area, an island counter defines the dry kitchen area.
RIGHT Two air wells were incorporated into the house, to promote ventilation and allow more light into the darker areas, such as the staircase and the bathrooms. OPPOSITE The front of the house has a minimalist look, finished with a concrete screed facade without large windows for more privacy.
ABOVE Susanne says that the family home has been furnished with pieces brought over from their previous home. Various furnishings with a wide range of looks, from vintage- to industrial-style, give the home its character.
TOP One zone segues into another, in the open-concept living area. The sliding doors, when left open, allow the blurring of boundaries between the space and the side garden.
RIGHT The staircase area and second-floor landing is bright and airy, thanks to the added air well. OPPOSITE Also benefiting from the air well is the powder room on the ground floor. It has a semi-openconcept, giving the experience of being outdoors while in a private realm.