When planning the design of one’s home, it’s common to look for inspiration from your everyday life. That’s exactly what Shahrina of @atinymodernluxe did with her 4-room Punggol BTO – the interior design of her home was inspired by her work at Changi Airport, in particular, its luxurious designer shops and restrooms. This inspo was what eventually gave birth to atinymodernluxe.
Shahrina and her husband managed to keep their renovation cost under $30,000 through keeping the remodelling work for the flat minimal. The result is a home that prioritises aesthetics and comfort.
Renovating a 1,000sqft 4-Room BTO in Punggol
Image credit: Shahrina
Measuring about 1,000sqft, this 4-room BTO is located at Punggol. When they first moved into this home, they prioritised the necessary renovation works to keep to their budget of $30,000. Shahrina shared that while the end goal was to build a Modern Luxe home, she and her husband didn’t rush into making it a reality.
Instead, they waited for a year before putting the finishing touches to the flat – marble and patterned wallpaper for feature walls and plush rugs.
Getting the luxe look on a budget
In conversation, Shahrina shared that she took inspiration from the luxurious furnishing of the lounge and shops in Changi Airport. For instance, marble and quartz detailing in designer shops like Louis Vuitton and Bottega Veneta, or the gold-rimmed mirrors of the posh restrooms.
Changi Airport’s interior that inspired Shahrina’s home renovation.
Image credit: Shahrina
The beauty and elegance of her workplace led her to the discovery of the Modern Luxe theme – an interior design style characterised by clean lines and geometric designs that exude modernity. At the same time, it often involves marble and gold elements, as well as a mix of stylish decor to make a home look classy and sophisticated.
Shahrina wanted to bring these elements into her 4-room BTO and enlisting the help of an interior designer at AtOneInterior was the first step Shahrina took to build her dream Modern Luxe home. Luckily, they knew an ID at AtOneInterior, an acquaintance of her husband’s.
This ID had also been in charge of the renovation of a few of her husband’s colleagues and from there, the couple heard good things about his work. With that track record in mind, Shahrina and her husband decided to put the fate of their dream home in his hands.
Besides, the couple wasn’t sure if a contractor would have been a right fit for them – the hassle of constantly overseeing the reno process was not something they looked forward to. Moreover, Shahrina also shared that they didn’t mind having an ID that gave them a second opinion – the professional advice would ensure that the design they chose was practical and feasible
Despite having to set aside the budget for an ID, the couple managed to keep their reno cost below $30,000 by prioritising necessities like wardrobes and kitchen carpentry. In fact, the total reno cost for the kitchen and dining area only came up to about $6,300.
Incorporating marble, natural stone, brass, and gold elements
When you think of luxury, marble and metallic elements might be one of the first things that pop up in your mind. They’ve long been associated with beauty and opulence, and can often be seen in furniture and architecture.
The living room is Shahrina’s favourite space in their home, where she and her husband often watch television and have meals in.
Stepping into Shahrina’s home, I was greeted by the gorgeous marble feature wall of the living room. The homeowner also let me in on the fact that it wasn’t real marble – but the custom wallpaper from MAY Wallpaper could’ve fooled me with how realistic it looked.
The Modern Luxe theme also introduced monochromatic and natural colours into the home. In fact, the neutral-toned marble wallpaper helped to subtly tie together these tones.
The marble and gold elements are reflected in the furnishing.
The decor and gold and brass detailing of the coffee table elevate the look of the living area, making it chic and elegant, yet cosy. Other metallic accents could be found in areas like the legs of the grey couch, dining chairs, and television console.
These small details are testament to the saying “a little goes a long way” – they accentuate the luxurious and sophisticated style of the home, as well as the clean lines that bring a modern touch.
Shahrina shared that with exposure to natural and artificial lights, the wallpaper had since faded and experienced slight discolouration. But as with the stains that come with natural marble, that was the beauty of it – the slight yellowish-pinkish tint it sports makes the marble feature wall appear more natural now.
The living room isn’t the last place you’re going to find marble in the house – the dining table sports a custom white-marble laminate that matches the airy, stylish aesthetic of the living area. Shahrina also chose a plain wall for a dark, tinted mirror as a feature piece to add to the luxe feel of the home.
Speaking with Shahrina, she shared that quartz was another natural stone that spoke out to her from the Modern Luxe aesthetic. In fact, she selected an muted-white quartz for her kitchen and island countertops, which cost a total of $1,700. To make the most use of the limited space at home, concealed storage drawers have also been built into the kitchen island.
With such an elegant and sophisticated dining area, Shahrina also spoke of hosting regular get-togethers and meals with friends and family at home.
The kitchen is furnished with cabinets that resemble black marble, which is contrasted with the bright white tiles of the backsplash. As we approached the counter, Shahrina demonstrated the different ambience that could be evoked with her dual lighting.
In conversation with Shahrina, she shares that while she and her husband would switch on a bright white light when cooking – for practical purposes – they typically opt for a more laid back mood with the warmer of the dual-tone lighting.\
The bathroom easily brings the quartz, marble, and metallic elements together. To switch things up, Shahrina selected 2 different kinds of marble tiles – one larger with sparse veins in the marbling, and another that’s smaller and reminiscent of mosaic tiles. The tiles in the mosaic arrangement come in different shades, adding texture and dimension to the shower area.
She let us in on the inspiration for her bathroom – the posh restrooms of Changi Airport’s Terminal 2. As someone who works at the “Best Airport in The World”, it was her dream to bring a piece of the luxurious airport back home.
Unlike the rest of the house, the tiles and carpentry of the bathroom hold a peachy tint, giving the space a warmer and more welcoming ambience. The brass and rose-gold accents of the wall hooks and toilet-roll holder add a modern touch to the design of the bathroom – it’s almost reminiscent of the fancy gold ones you’ll only find at restrooms of posh hotels.
Coupled with the apricot-hued quartz vanity counter a sink, the globe string lights and faceted mirror that sit above it transforms the vanity into somewhat of an eclectic corner.
Refreshing the look regularly for different vibes
How the home’s look has changed over the span of nearly 3 years, from 2019 to the present (top left to bottom right).
Image credit: Shahrina
Interestingly, Shahrina and her husband have found a way to switch up the look of their home every now and then, even while keeping to the Modern Luxe theme. According to Shahrina, all you need to do is play around with different textures and colour palettes, through changing small details like your rugs, cushion covers, and wallpaper.
When you first hear this tip, you might get sceptical. However, taking a look at how Shahrina’s home has evolved over time, it seems to have worked wonderfully for them.
Playing around with different wallpapers and decor
Following the aforementioned word of advice, Shahrina explained that refreshing her home’s look could be as simple as swapping out a flat, rectangular mat for a lush, fluffy rug. This easily transformed her home from a clean, modern abode to a more classy and refined one.
Before (left) and after (right) of the living room.
Image credit: Shahrina
While most homeowners would go for paint, the de facto wallcovering, Shahrina chose to use wallpaper for her feature walls. With wallpaper, you can easily change up the look of your home whenever you want, with a different wallpaper design. It’s not costly and Shahrina has proven that you can elevate the interior of your home with a different hue or texture.
In fact, if you take a look at the transformation of the living room above, a bright-red painted wall is loud and bold. On the stark contrast between their old and current tastes in wallcoverings, Shahrina told us that she and her husband chose to save on doing a more sophisticated wall at the point of renovation.
In her words, “Prioritise your needs and not your wants. You can always upgrade your wants after.”
It was only a year later that they decided to enlist the custom mural design service from MAY Wallpaper, where they ended up with an affordable, Chinese-imported wallpaper reminiscent of a natural marble slab.
This change evidently did wonders for the living room, enhancing its timeless charm with an off-white tint and its posh aesthetic. The workmanship was so detailed, it was hard to tell that the design was made up of strips of paper, instead of a seamless image.
Before (left) and after (right) transforming the room with a different wallpaper.
Image credit: Shahrina
Moving on to the leisure room, notice how it has been transformed from a loud room to a more laid back and soothing one – fitting of its name. From a dark forest-green feature wall to a faded design with repeated motifs, Shahrina has easily changed the ambience of the room with a wallpaper update.
The owners of the home also shared that they managed to save on post-reno furnishing by trying their hand at DIY-ing their wallpaper installation with Honpo Wallpaper. With the help of an installer, she managed to install the leisure room’s wallpaper. Now, she can furnish her home with new wallpaper without the cost and hassle of hiring someone else to do it.
These gold keyholders resemble proud stags, which contribute to the Modern Luxe theme.
Shahrina also thought to add a tropical touch to her Modern Luxe home, by decorating the house with floral murals and faux plants. From tall banana plants to birds of paradise, these faux plants are easy to maintain and add a pop of colour in this otherwise muted home.
The use of hanging plants and small potted plants in the bathroom serves to freshen its look.
On top of dry reeds and flowers, palm tree leaves that have been spray-painted are also used as decor throughout the house. Even the service area has a small tropical mural, applied onto the wall in the form of a vinyl sticker.
Compact closets and multi-purpose rooms for style and functionality
The beautiful wallpaper is not all there is to this flat’s leisure room – it’s meant for relaxation and storage, a 2-in-1 space.
A floor sofa is what greets you when you first enter the room. Laid out in a corner, the Japanese-style seating is close to the ground and cosy. It’s also light and compact, which means that Shahrina and her husband can easily manoeuvre it around the room as they like.
On the side of the room sits a bookshelf, a reading nook by the window, and bicycles that have been hung against the wall. Like the tatami, this reading nook is cosy and soft, with fluffy pillows laid out and waiting to be used.
As for the bicycles, they’ve been hung flush against the wall, lending as much space as possible to the rest of the room.
Another way to make your living space atas and stylish – go for leather. That’s what Shahrina and her husband went for when deciding on their walk-in wardrobe. Instead of a traditional built-in closet, they went with a galley-style walk-in wardrobe. In fact, this closet also has a tawny-brown leather finish that feels realistic to the touch – way to make your home more luxe.
With a lush rug covering the walkway between the closets, as well as a full-length mirror for daily fit checks, this walk-in wardrobe complements the style of the master bedroom and is highly practical.
The master bedroom also happens to be Shahrina’s husband’s favourite space at home, particularly the cosy platform bed that lays flush against the back of the wardrobe. After all, he played a key part in choosing that over a standard bed.
Shahrina’s husband’s favourite place to be at home is the master bedroom, wherein lies the platform bed that he chose.
Their platform bed sits on a slightly elevated platform, which has hidden storage compartments that’ve been cleverly incorporated into the bed. As for the mattress, it naturally has a lower profile than the average bed, increasing the perceived height of the room’s ceiling.
Coupled with a backlight that illuminates a dark, navy-blue feature wall, the already swanky platform bed allows the room to appear more spacious and grand.
A luxe 4-room BTO reno in Punggol under $30k
We all have that dream home that we envision ourselves living in – but the end product may not always meet our expectations. Well, there’s no need to lose sleep over your reno regrets – just take this couple’s advice.
Go simple for your renovation, you can always wait for later to spice up your home with aesthetic decor and statement pieces that define both you and your home’s desired style. It can be as simple as changing the colour of your curtains, playing around with neutral colours, or changing the theme of your feature walls.
For more gorgeous homes renos, check out:
- HDB resale in Hougang that uses Taoba for almost everything
- Japanese-inspired HDB terrace with a zen garden
- This 3-room HDB at Everton Park is a unique time capsule
Photography by: Nicole Ang