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Transforming A BTO Flat Into A Modern Regency Home With English Charm & Clever Spatial Planning

12 June 2024 | BY

A 6m-long set of French doors splits the living area of this modern English-style HDB renovation into a cosy work and coffee nook.

modern english bto - cover

When homeowners Jessica and Gladwin set out on their BTO journey, they envisioned a home done up in an elegant English-style renovation with touches of luxe. That was the moodboard they presented to ID firm Four By Eight Design Studio, which was brought to life in a 10-week-long, $95K transformation of their Tampines BTO flat.

$12,000 sliding French doors to segregate living areas

modern english bto - french doors coffee nookImage credit: @fourbyeightdesign

One of the most striking features in their home is the 6m-long set of French doors which runs along the length of the living and dining area. 

modern english bto - coffee nookImage credit: @fourbyeightdesign

The black doors, with large glass panels and an antique gold set of specially curated handles, close off a coffee nook on one end, and a work room on the other. They were a pricey investment, adding approximately $12,000 to the renovation budget, but allow the family to reconfigure the space with ease.

modern english bto - living roomImage credit: @fourbyeightdesign

Shut, they create a secondary partition for a cosy living room situation, without blocking off any of the natural light that floods the home. The homeowners love movie nights at home, recreating the Gold Class experience with a specially curated reclining sofa and Bose sound system. 

modern english bto - french doors work areaImage credit: @fourbyeightdesign

Previously a third bedroom, the homeowners had the walls knocked down for a WFH setup. Jessica enjoys being snugly shut off from distractions when she gets to work, so the French doors provide that distinct segregation of space; the couple also love having friends over for mahjong sessions━opening up the sliding doors creates a bigger area for entertaining.

Sophisticated dark green & marble kitchen

modern english bto - kitchenImage credit: @fourbyeightdesign

With so much natural light in the house, Jessica and Gladwin went for a dark forest green shade from Benjamin Moore across the main living area, extending this to the open concept kitchen. 

modern english bto - kitchen backsplash counterImage credit: @fourbyeightdesign

It’s offset by a white marble-esque backsplash and sintered stone counters, lent elegance by the veins of grey running through them.

modern english bto - kitchen lit upImage credit: @fourbyeightdesign

Gold finishings in the form of IKEA knobs and an arched kitchen faucet, plus warm strip lighting, transform the kitchen into a moody, welcoming space by night. 

modern english bto - kitchen islandImage credit: @fourbyeightdesign

While most of the surfaces are smooth, including the black, extendable IKEA table and Taobao chairs, the wood slat base of the kitchen island and rattan elements provide visual contrast that break up the monotony of the space. 

This same principle can be seen too in the trio of hanging pendants above the circular dining table━you have the smooth darkened glass globes of assorted ovals enveloping perforated cylinders of light within.

Panelled false wall to conceal bomb shelter

modern english bto - panelled false wallImage credit: @fourbyeightdesign

Another pricey investment was the false wall that was erected along the wall perpendicular to their fridge. Costing $3,000 to put up, you’ll never know that the panels conceal a push-to-open door by which you can access the unit’s bomb shelter. 

A similar concealed door can be found by the main entrance of the house, hiding the DB box and providing extra storage space for daily knick knacks such as keys and shoes.

Luxe wallpapered toilet with touches of gold

modern english bto - common bathroom vanityImage credit: @fourbyeightdesign

The couple loves the luxe feel of hotel toilets, and you can see this in the bathrooms they’ve added to their home. First is the common toilet, which is extra glammed-up with its lush foliage wallpaper, a rustic touch added through staggered brick bond tiles painted over in the same soothing forest green.

A pair of wall sconce lights flank a long oval mirror, hanging over a gold-edged above counter basin.

modern english bto - common showerImage credit: @fourbyeightdesign

Instead of dark green, they went with large, textured black tiles in the guest shower, with brushed gold fixtures for a subtle touch of style.

Walk-in master wardrobe with full-length mirror

modern english bto - master bedroom walk in wardrobeImage credit: @fourbyeightdesign

Straight across from the TV wall of the living room are a set of double doors that open into the master bedroom. When the doors are open, a hallway of sorts is formed by the walk-in wardrobe of the master suite. 

Adding on to the illusion of space is a full-length mirror with recessed lighting behind. This is at once a vanity for Jessica, with cove shelving for her bags, and a space-enhancing feature when the room’s doors have been left open.

modern english bto - master bedroom bedsideImage credit: @fourbyeightdesign

Unlike the rest of the home, done up in moody dark green, the master bedroom stands in sharp contrast, with soft white finishings, elegant wainscotting, and a cushioned neutral headboard on the bed—which still fits in with their English-style home renovation. 

Soft, diffused lighting in the form of wall-mounted bedside lamps with fabric shades, adding to the cosiness of the room. 

High-tech master toilet mirror with glossy dark grey marble walls

modern english bto - master bathroom vanityImage credit: @fourbyeightdesign

Upping the ante from the guest bathroom is this BTO’s master bathroom; its touch-enabled high-tech mirror is just one highlight. It plays music, is anti-fog, has light controls, and even has an LED clock within. 

This Taobao purchase only set their budget back by just over $100, with a hanging alabaster-like lamp adding glamour points to the final look. 

modern english bto - master bathroom showerImage credit: @fourbyeightdesign

Glossy grey marble from Hup Kiong is another luxe touch in this bathroom, offsetting yet another brushed gold shower fixture with piano design keys.

$95K modern English Tampines BTO 

modern english bto - tv feature wallImage credit: @fourbyeightdesign

Japandi, Scandi, even Muji-style interiors have been trending of late, but this modern English-style home renovation proves that some designs never go out of fashion. 

Find more luxe HDB transformations at the following links:

 Cover image adapted from: @fourbyeightdesign

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