Name: Jann and KP (designed by Studio SKLIM))
Size: 1,180 square feet
Years lived in: 4 months
This week's Unplggd tech tour is located in Singapore, submitted in unison by architect and the homeowner clients, showcasing an apartment with geometric balance and space, complemented by an architect spec'ed home theater system, beautifully integrated with the warm wood finish of the built-in media center.
Both Jann and I just wanted to do up our house, which we haven't had a chance to stay in despite owning it since 2005 due to a overseas posting, so that we can live in comfortably. We did not intend to spend an exorbitant amount on renovations so much so that it becomes more aesthetics than practicality. Just something simple, cool enough to be different from all the other apartments, but more importantly, one that suits our purpose: functionality.
It was "fortunate" that both of us have had experience in setting up a home from the overseas posting. The Dos and the Don'ts, etc. And we have tried as much as possible to ensure that the mistakes of the past do not resurface, but yet capitalising on the useful components and incorporating them into our new home, especially the kitchen layout, storage spaces from the built-in cabinets and wardrobe, etc.
Our Home's style: No particular style.
The inspiration for my home office/home theater: Home Theatre. Not so much of inspiration from the homeowners. More of the architect Kevin's ideas, concept, etc. We just intended to fully utilise that section of the wall to locate our TV and DVD player, although it wasn't where the authorities had wanted us to.
Favorite element in your space: We'd choose the little cosy spot in the living room, comprising the L-sofa, TV console with the rug and lamp. Nothing excessive, just a comfortable spot to unwind after a hard day's work.
Biggest challenge in designing my space: Quite a couple of challenges. First, government regulations over renovations in a public housing apartment. Second, coordinating with the designer and contractor for the final product, which included some compromises being made to please all parties. Third, the most difficult, but yet satisfying, involves communicating via email/MSN with the designer who is based in Beijing. But somehow, his ideas/concept was easily understood from the detailed sketches by him, and we were able to communicate these to the contractor (with additional inputs such as material and colours, etc) who managed to make them work.
What friends say about my space: All had good reviews of the place after seeing the place in person or from photos. Some liked the unique sloping element for the foyer/dry kitchen, while some loved the TV corner in the living room. Essentially, they felt that it was a totally different interior for a public housing which all Singaporeans are so used to seeing - the choice of materials and colours (tiles, cabinets), the dry/wet kitchen concept.
Area where there is room for improvement/future projects: Not that we can think of. This is limited by the size as well as the possibilities of two toddlers running all over the apartment.
Biggest indulgence with respect to my space: I'd say I spent an additional bit on the tiles. Not the original designer Italian tiles, but something very similar in colour and texture. We were simply hooked onto the dark brown feel originally proposed by Kevin.
Best advice about organizing or incorporating tech into the home: Decide on the actual appliances (size, model, etc), and if possible purchase them, before going about designing the console, locating the powerpoints, etc. Most irritating part would be locating the extra surround speakers due to the visible wires, so we decided to purchase one with just two speakers but yet with surround sound.
Home Tech Resources:
Tech Hardware: Samsung 46" LED TV, Philips HTS6600 Home Theatre system
Furniture: Living and Dining - Custom-made, L-shaped Sofa and Dining Table from Winter International
Bedroom - Custom-made
Accessories: Not applicable, but rugs and most small items were from IKEA.
Lighting: All from Premier Lighting