Some of us go into renovation planning without a set theme, and instead with just a mood board of our favourite design inspirations. This was exactly how Cher and her husband approached their 4-room BTO reno back in 2017.
The result: a minimalist space with modern sensibilities and wabi-sabi vibes. Here’s what their BTO looks like 1 month after their $80,000 renovation:
Self-designed terrazzo entryway
Textures like the terrazzo at the entryway alongside the cement screed featured in the home.
Starting with the foyer, we were greeted with a terrazzo-style mosaic flooring. This was a rather involved process, with Cher having to select the tiles for the mosaic and even got the chance to break a tile to add to the mosaic.
The entryway is one of the few areas that we see pops of colour in the otherwise monochromatic home, and this helps create a focal point for guests when entering. It also doubles as a “semi-outdoor” area where shoes can be taken off.
We imagine that being able to pinpoint on the mosaic which tiles she broke, just as she did during our visit, would serve as a great conversation starter for when friends and family visit.
Hacked a bedroom to create a large open-concept living & dining space
One of Cher’s key considerations when working with her interior designer was making sure that the home was designed with her and her husband’s lifestyle in mind. Being self-described “homebodies” with a pet and a penchant for hosting friends and family, this meant plenty of space and comfort.
The common area is large, having accommodated up to 10 visitors at one point. The neutral palette, cement screed, lime washed walls and translucent curtains letting the soft glow of daylight also play into the wabi-sabi aesthetic and make the home incredibly relaxing to be in.
Cher shared at one point about the liberal use of Taobao as a place to buy furniture. This was partly to do with the cheaper prices and, as in the case of the sofa, partly so that she could get the exact layout and dimensions she wanted.
In fact, Cher managed to enjoy plenty of savings with the lime washed walls, having opted to spend $450 on materials to do it herself as opposed to $6,000 as quoted by the vendors she looked for.
Custom shelving in the dining room
This home was originally a 4-room BTO, and as a result, one of the bedrooms had their walls hacked to create the dining area. The couple installed plenty of lighting here, all of which are amber lights as they enjoyed the warmth, but with different arrays for different moods depending on the occasion.
Cher mentioned that they had thought about expanding the family in the future, so the air-conditioning was retained in its original position in case they ever decide to build back the bedroom.
The dining area is also home to a custom full-length open-shelf console which proudly displays the many of the trinkets that Cher and her husband have collected over the years. Of note were the vinyl collection as well as the cheeky rendition of Pinnocchio, which she acquired about 5-6 years ago. In fact, the entire shelf was very much designed with these two items in mind.
A more inconspicuous but interesting feature in this BTO this large dog flap for their dog Stormi to make its way in and out of their office study area.
Cher comes from a family of dog lovers; between her husband and her own family members, they have 6 dogs in total. Thus when planning the home, it was important to have dog-centric considerations for those family gatherings.
Contemporary yet minimal kitchen
Cher always dreamed of having a dedicated place for her morning routine, so the kitchen was designed to facilitate that. The dark wood counter, designed in a similar style as the adjacent accent shelf in the dining room allowed her to have room for her coffee maker, giving her a place to whip up her morning cuppa. The kitchen island, besides being an area to entertain guests at, also lets Cher enjoy the quiet hours of the morning, toast and coffee in hand.
Cher going about her morning routine.
The kitchen’s design is more contemporary, with acrylic barstools and a mid-century modern lamp.
The kitchen also leads to a service yard, where they built a pet bath area, allowing them to clean and groom their pet on their own. It also doubles as a place for the heavy-duty cleaning of other items as well.
Dark elegant common bathroom
Even the common Bathroom was surprisingly aesthetically pleasing, with dark fibreglass walls that gave it a natural texture whilst being able to have the slab-style look that the couple wanted. The couple used plenty of recessed strip lighting for their home, largely as a means to avoid the harshness of direct light.
The resin sink, whilst consistent with the overall style of the bathroom, was unfortunately one of the regrets that Cher had with the home; she had not expected how maintenance-intensive it was, as well as the fact that it was easily scratched.
Gorgeous minimalist master suite with a free-standing tub
The master suite is absolutely gorgeous, and in fact the reason why we reached out to Cher to feature her home in the first place. With the neutral palette, the tastefully minimalist microcement walls and the speckled stone sink giving wabi-sabi vibes, this master suite is highly serene and almost looks like something out of a swanky hotel.
For the bedroom, Cher adopted a simple, low-maintenance approach. The bed decking was minimalist, designed to not have bulky sides and is elevated, so that it was easy to clean the underside of the bed. It, along with lights and ceiling fan, are also all from Taobao.
The wide windows keep the area well-lit, with vanity counter storage that allows her to do her make-up whilst enjoying an unblocked view of the surroundings.
Image credit: @apt37a
In fact, Cher mentions that she wakes up to the wonderful scene of light streaming in during the golden hour every morning.
There were other alterations that were done to the master bedroom, such as shrinking the office study area to give the bedroom more space, as well as the creation of a length of wardrobes facing the door to enhance privacy.
It is also interesting to note that the curved features in the house, such as the section above the master bedroom door, actually conceal the plumbing and other trunking in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
Cher confided in originally wanting to incorporate more curves and arches in the home, but eventually decided to not overdo it as she saw it as a seasonal design element.
Finally, the half-wall panelling on the back and sides of the bed housed the power sockets, allowing the couple to have a place to charge their devices as they slept.
An $80K 4-room BTO reno in Eunos
Cher shared that pre-Covid, the original budget was $60,000, but it spiked to $80,000 once the pandemic ended and they restarted the project. It was through strict budgeting with the interior designer that allowed her to keep within her budget. The savings from DIY work and getting furniture from cheaper sources helped avoid unnecessary spending as well.
Homeowners looking for a minimalist home, or are simply looking for tips for planning their BTO can definitely have a look at Cher’s serene and minimalist home for reference.
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