Friday, Nov 23, 2012
SINGAPORE - When Mr Patrick Tan, 41, a research manager, decided to update his 15-year-old home, he wanted storage solutions that would keep clutter out of sight.
He had new built-in wardrobes fixed, gave his walls a fresh coat of paint and polished his floors.
After adding some plants to his living space and a centrepiece armchair, his home was renewed.
To make your home look instantly transformed, you need to change things that cover a bigger area, such as wall colour, says Mr Nelson Leow, a director at U-Home Interior Design.
"If you simply change a small portion of the home, such as buying a new sofa set or TV console, there is no impact and the place will still look old," he adds.
"Painting a small portion of your walls will also have little impact, compared to painting the entire home."
If you feel lost, consult an interior designer who can help you to redesign your home.
Says Mr Tan Kim Da, creative chief at Chew Interior Design: "When a client comes to see us, the first thing we do is to assess their personal needs, for instance, how many people are staying in the home, to help us propose how the space can be used more effectively.
"They need to tell us what are their most important needs and what are the inadequacies in their current home."
Fresh new hues
If you are tired of the same colour scheme, so go for a change of colours, says Mr Leow.
For instance, paint your walls in brighter and more contemporary hues if they currently feature neutral or darker tones.
Painting a feature wall in a bold shade and hanging up a picture can also add an interesting contrast to the home, adds Mr Tan.
There is no need to limit yourself to a paint job.
Get creative with a wide range of wall coverings to create the feel you want.
The space factor
One common woe of homeowners is the lack of storage space.
So declutter by throwing away what can be discarded first, then reorganise your home to optimise the use of space.
"You may need to change the layout of your home so that there's more space for extra storage solutions," says Mr Leow.
Consider installing built-in cabinets that reach the ceiling for extra storage space.
According to Mr Tan, you can customise the compartments according to how you want to organise your items.
"For example, set aside an area for ties or create a see-through drawer so you can view all your accessories at a glance."
Employ other clever storage ideas such as designing a feature wall that hides storage space behind it, building a storage compartment under your beds, and using one room as a walk-in wardrobe if few people occupy the home.
To create an illusion of space, add a big mirror to an entire wall or to cabinet doors, and use lighter, brighter colours for walls.
After living in a place for some years, sur faces of your cabinets, walls and flooring may start to look tired.
If the tiles of the walls and flooring in the kitchen and bathroom (both of which endure the heaviest usage) are in good condition, consider overlaying instead of hacking them, to save time and cost, says Mr Leow.
As the kitchen top near the sink is often one of the first things to give way, you can easily replace it without touching the cabinets beneath.
With doors of cabinets that also suffer wear-and-tear from frequent usage, you can also install new ones without replacing the cabinet structure, which is often still in good condition.
"These do not require major work and you can save up to 40 per cent this way," he adds.
Play with light
To create a space that feels warm and inviting, adequate lighting is key.
Mr Tan advises changing the lighting in your home every five to 10 years to ensure that the lights and hidden wiring are in good working condition.
Fixing an eye-catching lighting centrepiece either in the living or dining room will make an immediate difference.
"These are prominent areas that you and your guests will see immediately upon entering the home," says Mr Leow.
While putting solar film on your windows will significantly reduce heat and glare, painting the walls in "cool" colours such as green, will also make your room feel and look inviting in our hot and humid weather, he adds.
Update your furniture
One of the easiest ways to refresh your home is to replace your furniture or add new ones.
A carpet, for instance, will instantly hide old or chipped flooring and present a new look.
As the living room is where one spends the most time and entertains guests, focus on this space, says Mr Leow.
Besides getting a new TV console, sofa set, lights and even curtains, he suggests changing the layout of the furniture and choosing items in fresh colours that match new walls.
Martin Koh | 86666 944 | R020968Z
Sherry Tang | 9844 4400 | R020241C
Senior Sales Director
DTZ Debenham Tie Leung (SEA) Pte Ltd (L3006301G)
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