“We wanted the coastal beach villa vibes,” Huiqing and Dylan say of their stylish 5-room BTO flat in Punggol Northshore (@northshoreloft). The look fits, especially since the view outside their window offers a glimpse of the sea.
Nailing the Coastal Look
The overall style of the home is chic yet easy, with a common area that is bright and inviting. To achieve the look, and to help bring elements of nature into their home, the couple used lots of wood, rattan and fabric in light, earthy tones—as seen in the coffee table with fluted sides, beige sofa, and the pair of rattan chairs flanking an impressive 1.8 metre tall oil painting of the sea.
The same aesthetic extends into the dining/ kitchen area, where a generously sized dining table, wishbone chairs with woven seats, and hanging rattan lamps effortlessly add to the modern coastal vibe.
Besides the white and light brown colour palette, curves also consistently feature throughout the flat. It was not just an aesthetic consideration, but also a practical one as the couple has two young children aged 2 and 4. “Our children are very active and they like to run around. Having curved edges in the walls, cabinets and tables makes it safer for them, and gives us peace of mind that that they won’t run into sharp corners,” they explain.
Maintaining a Clean and Minimal Look
With young children at home, maintaining a clean and neat look requires effort and discipline.
“It is important to set ground rules for the kids. We told them they cannot eat anywhere else except the dining table. This applies to our guests too,” Huiqing laughs. The couple also reminds their children not to draw on the walls and doors, and to put away their toys after playing: “It doesn’t happen all the time, but sometimes when they’re in a good mood they will do it.”
Keeping it budget-friendly
While they are now a family of four, Huiqing and Dylan recall buying the flat as a young couple: “A BTO flat was more affordable for us. We felt that it was a good option for us to start our home ownership journey so that we do not overstretch our finances in buying our first home.” More specifically, the couple wanted a flat where they could pay off their monthly loan instalments using only their CPF contributions. They managed to do just that, and no cash outlay is needed to service their current mortgage.
To help keep their furnishing budget in check, the couple was intentional in looking out for good home furnishing deals. “Our wall art, dining table and coffee table were all from Taobao,” they share. “By sourcing for furniture and decorations from online marketplaces, which tend to be cheaper, we could reallocate more budget to other areas such as doing up our Shaker-style cabinets, herringbone flooring and curtains.”
When asked for advice to share with those who might be looking to renovate, the couple said that home owners should be prepared for hiccups and some regrets, no matter how much research or preparation work was done prior. Personally, they wished they had built in more drawers, even though the original design intent was to keep things minimalistic. “Just take it as a lesson learnt and move on, don’t be too hard on yourself!” Huiqing says.
By Chevonne Law
Photos by Nicholas Yau