Makeover Magic – Used by an avid cook, this kitchen was overflowing with clutter; it was time to redesign the space

In this series of blogposts, we feature six real-life spaces which underwent an extreme makeover as part of Mediacorp Channel 8’s new home makeover show House Everything. TAK, the parent company of Lamitak, proudly sponsored the laminates featured in these stunning transformations.

Choosing a light solid colour laminate, Dove, for the cabinets helps create a spacious feel in this contemporary farmhouse-style kitchen.

They say the kitchen is the heart of the home. For this four-room HDB flat in Ang Mo Kio, it is also the most hardworking space. Mother Mdm See Tho, now in her seventies, was and still is an avid cook and baker who taught cookery and baking at community centres. She is also fond of sewing, using her skills to supplement the family income, and had carved out a small corner in the kitchen for her sewing machine and supplies.

Daughter Evangel describes kitchen cupboards stuffed with cooking equipment and paraphernalia – her mother’s collection which outgrew the available storage spaces long ago. Evangel, whose family of five live with her mum, decided to nominate her kitchen for Mediacorp Channel 8’s House Everything show to help declutter the space and create more room for cooking, as well as a dining space the family can enjoy.

Before the renovation (Photo courtesy of Starry Homestead)

The wood-look Sbiadito Rovere Rapallo laminate and dark blue-green Brunswick laminate add pops of colour and texture to the mostly light-hued space.

For the makeover, Starry Homestead designer Thomas Tan had to devise a way to retain the dual function of the kitchen while multiplying the storage areas. “Evangel’s mother was neat but just had too many things, especially items used for sewing. This gave me the idea of creating a large table for her to lay out fabric, and storage for her small sewing accessories. To accommodate this table, I had to take very precise measurements to make sure it didn’t obstruct the ease of movement in the space,” he says.

From left: The pendant lamp above the ‘island’ countertop adds a cosy touch to the dining area. The Sbiadito Rovere Rapallo laminate adds a touch of warmth to the kitchen and prevents the space from looking monotonous.

The kitchen ‘island’, which is a feature Evangel always wanted, incorporates large open compartments for fabric. Thomas chose the dark blue-green Brunswick (SCX 1163D) laminate for this structure to go with the colour of the sewing machine. Top hung cabinets allow Mdm See Tho to store items she does not access frequently, and the transparency of the glass front cabinets makes sure she keeps smaller items neatly within. Thomas designed a shelf below this for stashing often-used sewing accessories. The light grey Dove (SCA 1137D) and wood-look Sbiadito Rovere Rapallo (WYA 5295E) laminate were Thomas’ choices for the rest of the cabinets. The pale grey of Dove was chosen as the owner didn’t want white cabinets, and the rustic wood-look laminate adds texture to the overall space as well.

This L-shaped counter had another handy function, that of zoning the kitchen into cooking and sewing areas. When the island is not used for sewing, the family can pull up some stools and use it as a dining area, or a space for conversation.

From left: The graphic pattern on the kitchen backsplash was chosen for its simplicity. Thomas carved out these storage nooks at the side of the cabinet for tall bottles.

In the cooking zone, Thomas moved the sink from its original location by the window. In its place, he built a large cabinet which now conveniently conceals the rubbish chute, and provides storage.

The designer left the fridge and washing machine in their original location, and built storage cabinets and shelves above. He also oriented the washbasin to face the window instead of out towards the kitchen, and partitioned it off for a neater look.

Design features such as the cross brace of this partition help create the modern farmhouse look.

The design theme of the kitchen was based on a European village or farmhouse look. Thomas explains that the motivation came from the design of the original kitchen, which was traditional but trendy at that time. Details such as the recessed panels on each cabinet door, cross braces, and drawer and cabinet handles, all serve to strengthen the theme. He even etched horizontal lines on the Brunswick laminate of the ‘island’ to create the look of long timber planks on its surface.

“This design is very good. It was very messy before but now it’s so neat!” exclaims Mdm See Tho. The successful makeover of their kitchen hasn’t just given the family a space to gather, Mdm See Tho can now entertain her many neighbours and friends too!

House Everything (家简尘除) airs on Mediacorp Channel 8 every Thursday at 8pm. Watch the episode here!

Read the other articles in the House Everything blogpost series here.

Follow Starry Homestead’s Facebook and Instagram to get regular updates about House Everything.

See the Lamitak laminates featured in this post at the Lamitak Studio at 114 Lavender Street, CT Hub 2 #01-61, Singapore 338729. For more information, contact the studio at 6592-5200 and; or drop by during the opening hours below:

Monday to Thursday: 10.30am–6.30pm
Friday: 11.30am–6.30pm
Saturday: 10.30am – 4.30pm
Sunday and Public Holidays: 12.30pm – 4.30pm
Click here for directions!

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