Traditional Homemakers vs. Small Condo Kitchen 


Smaller kitchens are synonymous with modern-day condominiums. Many of which present with space barely enough for a small pantry. Completed in the year 2009, the relatively new development One Robin is no exception to this predicament. Enter our couple, Mr and Mrs Toh. The Tohs, as we learned from our talk with them, is a relatively traditional Chinese family, and in any traditional Chinese family, the kitchen is indeed the heart of the household. This family is no stranger to whipping up sumptuous meals within the confines of a kitchen, leaving pleasant aromas around the house that simply smells like home. Moreover, they were simply not going to settle for smaller kitchen space and therefore turned to their interior designer, Adrian from Sevenvine, for one last hail mary.

Related read: 6 Simple & Flattering HDB Interior Designs in Singapore

Distribution Box (DB) in the Kitchen? – A Recipe for disaster!

Amidst the already confined space of the resale unit’s kitchen, the Tohs braced themselves in bewilderment as they chanced that upon the wall, right smack in the centre of the kitchen, was where the DB box was situated. Resituating the DB box would require heavy electrical rewiring and remain only achievable in theory prior to any approval from a Professional Engineer (PE). This added an unnecessary layer of complexity to their already mountain of a problem ahead. Unphased, Adrian advised the couple and managed their expectations as he let his years of interior design and space planning take the wheel. When there is a will, there is a way, and looking at the outcome of the interior design, it is hard to believe that Adrian was able to get the job done and more!

Removing the Toilet for More Space – The icing on the cake!

The job of any interior designer would be to listen to what the homeowners want, and if possible lead them to an outcome that is beneficial and aligned with their living habits and needs.”

Going the extra mile, Adrian and the Tohs contemplated removing the toilet that was in the kitchen for that much-needed extra space. Devaluing the property was one of the biggest arguments in favour of leaving the toilet in place. However, weighing the pros and cons, the team agreed that removing the toilet was a considerable sacrifice for more space and therefore, better for the family’s mental wellness.

About Sevenvine

Adrian, the founder of Sevenvine, has been designing homes for the past two decades. He is meticulous and considerate towards the nitty-gritty details of what homeowners need and even considers things homeowners themselves have not thought about. He is someone who designs and thinks for you.  Building a home for families to retire in and call their home for a very long time is what Adrian takes the most pride in.

“Any interior design journey is an immense task of fear, financial management, and time loss, all in the name of designing a house around the lifestyles of a homeowner. Within a short 3 to 6 months timeframe, both the homeowners and interior designers alike embark on an emotional roller coaster, juggling between their daily routines and one of the biggest investments they will make in their life. As such, trust in the experience of your interior designer is very important.

A Kitchen Fit for a Masterchef!

The kitchen, post-renovation
The kitchen, post-renovation

The modern Scandinavian-themed interior design of the kitchen takes advantage of open spaces and exudes both simplicity and functionality. Natural light flows freely throughout the architectural masterpiece and everything unsightly is stowed away. Panelled doors conceal a helper’s room, while the finished design boasts a newly located distribution box and strenuously redone electrical wiring – even the washing machine and dryer are hidden away from sight!

With heavy cooking, ventilation is very important. And this is easily achieved by opening the rear door, leading up to the service yard. Right in the centre of the kitchen sits a kitchen island, the dream of any full-time homemaker. Coupled with a sink and even a flat-screen television incorporated into the wall, the family can watch their favourite cooking shows and follow the recipes at the same time!

The communal space after renovation
The communal space after renovation

The picturesque view beyond the windows flawlessly blends into the home’s interior space creating an open-concept feel. The door of the main entrance, separating the home and the private lift lobby, was intentionally built at an angle after consulting with a Fengshui master.

The overall living room design manifests the best in open spaces. Taking advantage of the full-length windows, drawing the curtains brightens up the interior leaving the space perfect for a family.

Mr Toh shares a few helpful tips for new homeowners when it comes to renovation:

  1. Be really clear about the details of what you are getting.

“Don’t be lazy,” cautions Mr Toh. He emphasizes the importance of getting all the information required and asking questions so that both the interior designer and the homeowners are on the same page. This is to prevent miscommunication and disappointment when the expectations of the design are misunderstood.

  1. It is ‘You’ who is staying in the house, not the interior designer.

Mr Toh also added, “Be firm in stating what you want,” when asked about the challenges he faced with the renovation as they worked together to find ways to make the space work better and bigger. However, do learn to manage your expectations when it comes to huge changes, not everything you plan for can be accomplished.

  1. A Good Interior Designer is easy on your pocket and saves time.

‘Adrian is like a good project manager. He coordinates the contractors and arranges communication between all parties to ensure everything is done on time. We would also like to thank Adrian for extending the contacts of his suppliers out to us, a time-saving and money-efficient tip that definitely eased the makeover process.’

Overall Experience

Mr and Mrs Toh spent about $240K on carpentry, wet works and plumbing, tiles, rewiring of electricity for the entire house, hacking, and adding invisible grills around the house for the safety of their 2-year-old child.

“The kitchen is really a showpiece of the entire house. We have more space and, overall, our home is well-designed,” says Mr Toh.

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