Cover The attic is a cozy hideaway for the couple

Framework Design created a modern farmhouse for a family with room to gather and space to display their collections

Working with a client who has strong ideas about what their home should look like can either be a boon or bane but for Framework Design Studio, this worked out well as the final product became greater than the sum of its parts. The house in question is located in leafy Taman Tun Dr Ismail and a regular mid-terrace double story unit. Clocking in at a generous 2,500 sq ft, the house was pretty much in its original condition with minimum renovations although it was pretty rundown when the designers visited the site

“We were recommended to the client, who are a couple, by an existing client. During our first briefing, they explained that they would like to have a total refurbishment of the house and would like to be able to fit the furniture, art pieces and knick-knacks they had collected from their travels throughout the years in it,” recalls Joanne Low, studio manager and senior design at Framework Design Studio. 

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With this in mind, the designers visited the client’s existing home so that they could have an idea of how to incorporate their ideal concept and fit the existing pieces together. “The client had very strong ideas and specific tastes that they would like to implement as the concept for the house. Therefore, we worked very closely with the client and fine-tuned the ideas that they had in mind and turn it into the final product,” says Low.

For the refurbishment, the client requested a modern farmhouse concept. To suit this, the designers selected a lot of mosaic and subway wall and floor tiles. While this provided visual interest, the designers stuck just to white paint as the clients had a lot of colourful artwork and knick-knacks.

“We selected Murobond wall paint for the house as we wanted to keep it clean and simple with just white paint to let the art pieces stand out,” explains Low. “As for the kitchen, the client wanted a farmhouse theme with dark coloured cabinets so we proposed to have it spray painted in black to achieve the look.”

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Selected spaces were reconfigured to further the design concept, one being the kitchen. “Since the client wanted a spacious kitchen with an island to fit the rustic farmhouse theme. We decided to knock down the existing room, remove the existing column and install new beams, This gave us enough space to create a little nook area behind it with a glass canopy which allowed natural light to shine into the kitchen area,” she said. “Creating the glass canopy for the nook area makes the kitchen more complete as now there’s a little corner for the client to sit down to have breakfast or read.”

While deciding to knock down the column was a simple decision, actually doing it took more effort. “To tackle the column in the middle of the kitchen, we had to get advice from a structural engineer to check whether removing the column was possible. Once we were given the all-clear, we managed to remove the column and divert to load by installing more beams,” recalls Low. “We also had to organise it so that the kitchen ceiling would have less lighting wiring running across it. We did this in order for us to have a higher ceiling as the existing ceiling was quite low.

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Another addition the designers are proud of is the attic space that features a balcony: “When we exchanged ideas with the client, we discovered that they would like an attic and that they would like it to be like a hideaway for both of them. They also wanted it to be an entertainment cum study area with books and plenty of space area to display the knick-knacks that they collected throughout their travels all around the world.”  

Filling up the home was left mostly to the clients as they had a large eclectic collection of furniture although additional pieces were sourced from the Australian designer brand King. As for decorative objects, the clients had accumulated a large a collection over the years on their travels which now had plenty of display areas.The architectural lights were locally sourced but decorative lights were sourced by the designers from Taobao as finding lighting which fit the rustic farmhouse theme proved challenging.

The completed project sees the clients’ desired rustic farmhouse beautifully realised with some additional features conceptualised by the designers to complete the experience. With all the furniture, decorative objects and artwork in place, the house now feels like a warm welcoming home brimming with the clients’ character and taste.


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