Jasmine: So it’s been two years since we moved in, so I thought we should probably photograph our first home for memories’ sake.
I didn’t take pictures at the start because I feel a house needs to be lived in and real. The public areas of our home are still works in progress (Andrew: So when will they stop being work-in-progress??), so I’m just showing the two bedrooms which I am (mostly) done with for now.
We were going for a whimsical fairytale theme. We didn’t have an interior designer as we thought it would be more fun and authentic to do it ourselves- I have seen pictures of ID-led home renovations and I find them too similar, over-designed and with way too many built-ins.
Our Master Bedroom
In architecture, there is a hierarchy of privacy where the most private rooms are accessed last or at the back of the house. However, our master bedroom door was right where this white branch mural used to be, opening onto the living room and very near the front gate. Hence, our first step was to move the doorway further from the front gate.
This then allowed us to build in a bank of full-height wardrobes. For a seamless feel, we opted to have floor-to-ceiling doors instead of splitting them up- this technology only became available a year before we moved in. Due to space constraints, we wall-mounted our Sony Bravia TV- which can swivel to face the bed or be pushed flat against the wall.
We fixed the crystals to the chandelier ourselves. (Andrew: Yes, Dearie actually personally conceptualised the design of this chandelier and well, I was just the labourer.) It casts some really nice, almost tree-like shadows on our walls.
We wanted it to be a relaxing sanctuary with hints of a woodlands feel, so we went with this Ikea wrought-iron bed, and lots of lilac.
We saved on a lot of things by sourcing them ourselves, but we wanted a quality mattress and bedsheets, because a good night’s sleep is essential! Thankfully, my uncle got us 40% staff discount off the King Koil mattress, and I usually buy 500-threadcount sheets when they’re on sale, which means a set could cost us just $60 instead of the usual $300. (Andrew: And because there was some credit card offer going on, I got our Ikea bedframe for only $69 dollars! Another great thing about this bed-frame, which Dearie isn’t too pleased about actually, is that it’s so convenient to just ‘hang’ stuff on it, like plastic bags, clothes etc. I’m all for functionality!)
To ensure a good night’s sleep, blackout blinds are the best but they are pricey to make, so we just chose a dark, opaque curtain, and a coordinating sheer one to further block out the light from the glass door of the bathroom. They are in chocolatey shades to balance the more feminine tones of lilac and white.
This is my dressing area. It is safe to assume that a bit of tidying up has been done. Haha. I just moved the carpet in last night, and I really love how it is the perfect size for the dressing area (whereas previously in the living room it looked abit lost), and makes it look like a jewel box. It’s hand-loomed from silk, so it’s both plush yet cool underfoot, unlike the chevron rug from Pier21, which feels kinda rough. A wonderful everyday luxury! I was concerned about having a Persian carpet in the house with a baby, much less putting it outside the bathroom where it might get wet, but in the last 18 months it has only been subject to one coffee stain. Carpets are made to withstand a lot more than bathwater and babies, so just go for it! [Andrew: I LOVE that corner now that there’s a carpet in there – it makes that corner have a hotel-like feel. I was even thinking of converting that corner into Dylan’s second play area – only issue is that the ventilation is not so good there.]
The coat rack is from my student days in Edinburgh, Scotland. It functions as a catch-all area with the dustbin, weighing scale and Andrew’s weights below. Ideas for improving this area are welcome!
When Andrew saw my dressing area, he immediately asked for one of his own… So we hung up a 1940s mirror that we found in New Zealand. The smaller mirror is actually a magnifying mirror and has some storage behind. [Andrew: Unfortunately, I hardly ever use it now because a man’s ‘dressing area’ needs to have a sink nearby and this one is nice, but impractical.]
Our toilet is quite small.
We were lucky enough to fit in a carved mirror as well as an oval sink and shower area. I’d love to add a pink mosaic backplash behind the mirror.
Bedframe: Ikea ($69 with Andrew’s credit card!)
Bedlinens: Intero bedsheets, quilt coverlet from Nex
Andrew’s bedside table, Jasmine’s dressing table and mirror, bathroom carved mirror: King & King Wong
Andrew’s boat lamp: Air
Chandelier: Random shop along Balestier
Wall mural and Jasmine’s “book” bedside table: Etsy, with her own books piled on top
Jasmine’s storage stool: Furniture Mall
Persian carpet: Arab Street
Coat rack: Edinburgh, Scotland
Vintage 1940s mirror: Auckland, New Zealand
Jasmine: We knew that this would be a children’s room when we moved in, and would have to grow with them, so we deliberately minimised built-in cabinetry and chose the gender-neutral mint green. I don’t really like to have too many built-ins but prefer to let the space evolve according to our needs, so when we moved in, it was essentially a bare room.
We opted for a striped wall and slowly bought the rest of the furniture, but still in keeping with the fairytale theme, albeit in a more exuberant color scheme. I trimmed the Roman blinds with turquoise washi tape and slipcovered the rocking chair with an apple-print fabric.
The iPad is not for Dylan to play with, though he tries reaching for it sometimes. It’s strictly used as a lullaby and white noise machine, heh.
Dylan’s changing station.
And the wardrobe with two sliding doors, which take up less space than fronted doors. If you look carefully, you can see the subtle glossy swirl finish on the wardrobe. The height chart was designed by Andrew’s boys and goes so well with the decor theme! [Andrew: This was a really great gift from my boys – so meaningful! It’s covered in plastic too, so that we can mark the various height mile-stones. I’ve still been trying really hard to get Dylan to stand by the height chart, so I can take a cute picture of him taking his height, but he just won’t stand still. No wonder they have to take his weight with him lying down in the clinic.]
Finally, Dylan’s bookshelves. We installed these before I learnt about Montessori and the principle of having toys easily accessible to the child. These shelves hold the children’s pop-up books I’ve collected over the years and other knick-knacks, such as his first gift of baby shoes, a wooden train set from my boss that her son used to play with, his jiu jiu’s beloved Le Petit Prince tile from Vietnam and toothboxes from his man yue cake. [Andrew: Not to forget – a picture of me as a kid, which had been displayed in my house for more than 20 years!]
I plan to have a children’s table and chairs below these shelves, or maybe a play kitchen set when he and his baby sister are older.
Crib, light pendant, diaper trolley and book ledges: Ikea
Painting: art market in Bali
Rocking chair and footstool: Mothercare, with custom slipcovers
Beanbag bear: Etsy
Mirrored dresser: King & King Wong