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HDB Executive Maisonette (EM) Transforms Into A Minimalist Home

Under $50K Home Renovation: Minimalist HBD Designs in 2021

Maelyn Lagman

Maelyn Lagman

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Update as of 11 May 2021: A previous version of this article did not clearly convey that the home renovation project is customised to the first level of the maisonette only. The article has since been updated.

Disclaimer: The cost of each home renovation may vary depending on the scope of works, area size, and other factors. Typical home renovations for the whole house may cost more than $50,000 and is subject to the quote given by the Interior Designer.

A 1,572 square-foot HDB Executive Maisonette (EM) overlooking Little Guilin in Bukit Batok is a minimalist’s dream home renovation come true. All under a $50,000 budget.

By hacking all the existing walls that separated the living and kitchen areas, the first level of the flat now boasts a vast, open space that lends new meaning to its generous size-one of the key reasons why EMs are still highly coveted by home buyers today. They are typically 1,500 square-feet and can be found in prime locations like the mature estate of Bukit Batok.

Though the government has stopped producing such HDB flats, replaced by the Executive Condominium (EC) scheme, many still dream of owning one-much like Mr and Mrs Gee, the new homeowners of the Bukit Batok home. Their son, Marcus, designed the initial concept for their home renovation and he spoke to Ohmyhome on how in-house Senior Interior Designer Demi Goh brought his vision to life.

HDB executive maisonette gets a make-over from our senior interior designer

“This is not really my house,” Marcus explained. “My parents just entrusted [it] to me to design.” As an inherently visual person with a background in graphic design, the Art Director at Ogilvy Singapore was able to visually translate his vision for Demi. He revealed he had already done a rough layout of the place and put together mood boards even before engaging her as an interior designer for his parents’ home renovation.

Pro Tip: That is not the case with all home renovation projects at Ohmyhome. An Ohmyhome Renovations journey will typically start with our interior designer meeting up with the client for a run-through of the floor plan, as well as a discussion on their ideas and future plans before the ID drafts a concept design. But just how Marcus designed a layout of his vision, you can do the same. It all depends on you.

Why renovate the maisonette?

If you’re going to be staying inside a home for an extended period of time (thanks to the pandemic), it might as well be a space where you feel comfortable and like staying in. Unfortunately, some homes, upon purchase, might not reflect your style or taste. The Gee family shared the sentiment:

“We decided to renovate because the previous design wasn’t really what we wanted,” Marcus said. “It felt old, closed up, and the colours were all over the place.”

50k-home-renovation-hdb-executive-maisonette-em-transforms-minimalist-home
Before the renovation: Walls were separating what is now an open living and kitchen space.

It is highly possible for older resale flats, such as the Bukit Batok maisonette, to have existing tiles that are “worn out” and look “old school and traditional”. Though some might want to keep that kind of look, others might not.

“Again, it depends on the owner,” Demi said. “Some might keep it if they want certain areas of the home to retain their old school vibe and let it blend in with the new furniture added to the space.

50k-home-renovation-hdb-executive-maisonette-em-transforms-minimalist-home
Older resale flats may be worn out and look old school, which might not be attractive to all buyers.

“Everyone has different tastes and preferences, so these are the things you may want to consider when you set your lifestyle within your space.”

Fortunately for the Gee family, Marcus could be trusted with overseeing the home renovation from start to finish. “We wanted our home space to reflect our taste and style,” he explained. “We wanted to make it more spacious.”

The concept behind the home renovation

When asked about the concept behind the design, Marcus admitted, “I didn’t really know what the theme was, but I had a vision in mind.

“I wanted to make the room look bigger and the floors to be concrete, with a lot of different wood textures here and there.”

50k-home-renovation-hdb-executive-maisonette-em-transforms-minimalist-home
The 3D rendering of the 1,572 square-foot EM by Ohmyhome Senior Interior Designer Demi Goh.

However, a design background can only go so far, and when the time came for the project’s actual visualisation, he was in dire need of an expert. That was where Demi entered the scene.

How an interior designer’s 3D render can help you visualise your home space

Marcus said, “When I sent Demi the layout and how I envisioned the space to be, including picture references, she managed to do a 3D rendering of it.”

Three-dimensional visualisation of home space is incredibly potent for interior designers as it effectively communicates their design ideas in a realistic presentation. By offering a 3D rendering during the home renovation process, interior designers shift the control to the clients’ hands and enable them to alter or transform the design to their liking.

50k-home-renovation-hdb-executive-maisonette-em-transforms-minimalist-home
When an interior designer creates a 3D rendering of your future home space, you can ask them to alter any aspect of it to your liking.

“Because I can’t really do [3D rendering], it’s where Demi came in and helped me. She took all the material choices or what I had saved in the mood board and interpreted it to my home’s space. She did the design from there.

“It helped us visualise the space better,” he continued. “And my parents also really liked it, so we went ahead with it.”

Under Demi’s skilled hands, the new home bloomed with understated elegance, brought to life with a touch of concrete and dark walnut wood reflective of its Minimal Zen inspiration.

An introduction to the minimal zen design style

The interior design of the Bukit Batok maisonette combines minimalism with the Asian zen design style, which uses natural light, organic materials, calming colours, and clean lines.

With plenty of floor space and a visually balanced interior, the design style invokes a “relaxing and contemplative” feeling.

Calming colours

50k-home-renovation-hdb-executive-maisonette-em-transforms-minimalist-home
Use neutral colours like grey or white to invoke a relaxing feeling in your home space.

For this particular home renovation project, Demi incorporated a calming colour palette, intermixing white and soft neutral tones, even grey, for furniture pieces like sofas. The black accents and dark walnut wood carpentry also add depth to the living space without distracting from the calmness that the light neutrals exude.

Natural light

50k-home-renovation-hdb-executive-maisonette-em-transforms-minimalist-home
The interior design of the Bukit Batok maisonette uses natural light, organic materials, calming colours, and clean lines.

A key attraction of this particular EM is the balcony, where expansive windows open up to a view of Bukit Batok Town Park. It allows natural light to flow into the living space during the day, providing enough warmth in the room and on the concrete floors, usually colder than wood. In this house, though, the living room’s concrete flooring is offset by the balcony’s wood flooring planks.

Clean lines

50k-home-renovation-hdb-executive-maisonette-em-transforms-minimalist-home
Sleek, straight lines feature in the design for this home renovation project, rooted in its Minimalist inspiration.

In true Minimal Zen style, the home features clean lines. Squares, rectangles, and circles appear throughout the space and add sophisticated simplicity, offering a calm vibe throughout the living and kitchen areas.

Was the home renovation to the Gee family’s satisfaction?

Home renovations are rarely simple, but working with a professional interior designer ready to help you when needed makes a world of difference.

“There weren’t really a lot of problems, just small stuff here and there,” Marcus said of the whole process. “Like the floor would be uneven or the walls were not properly done. But when I spot it, I would take a picture and send it to Demi, and she would get back to me as soon as possible and fixed it pretty quickly.

50k-home-renovation-hdb-executive-maisonette-em-transforms-minimalist-home
Problems were solved as quickly as two to three days after Marcus informed Demi.

“Her responses were always quick, so even with small problems, I don’t feel hesitant or intimidated to text her.”

In fact, problems were solved as quickly as two to three days after Marcus informed Demi. And though the timeline was tight, Marcus was impressed as “the guys managed to finish everything on time.”

In summing up the whole renovation journey with Demi, he said, “I was really happy with everything. I would recommend Demi to my loved ones.” And even for the Build-To-Order (BTO) marital home he’s waiting for, he said he would engage Ohmyhome Renovations under Demi’s tutelage.

Ohmyhome Renovations is here to turn your vision into reality

Engage our experienced team of interior designers and contractors for a well-executed home renovation project.

Call us at 6886 9009 now! Or get a free quote by filling out this form.

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