A Change of Heart: Falling in Love with a Small Apartment

PG Home Stories Richa one-bedroom condo in River Valley
Richa Chanana is a 36-year-old HR Professional. Find her on Instagram @richa.chanana

“I never would have thought that I’d stay in a one-bedroom apartment,” Richa Chanana admitted. The 36-year-old HR professional had been raised in her parent’s landed house back in India, and was used to a spacious living space replete with gardens and a driveway.

So, when her work in Singapore became permanent, she was determined to find a place that had at least two bedrooms, so that she could enjoy a spacious living area and continue having her family and friends over comfortably. What she didn’t expect was to fall in love with an apartment which had just one-bedroom.

PG Home Stories Richa one-bedroom condo in River Valley

Settling For A Short-Term, Small Space

Richa first moved to Singapore in July 2018. As it was a short term work project, she wasn’t too particular when searching for a rental apartment, as long as it was fully furnished, central and near her workplace.

“I’m not a fan of small spaces,” Richa admitted. “It feels like living in a hotel or a serviced apartment, and it doesn’t feel like home. But if it’s for a short stay, that’s fine.”

Indeed, she decided on her first rental apartment, a one-bedroom condominium in River Valley, within a week.

READ: 12 Seriously Cheap SG Freehold Condos Under 600k For Singles And Couples

“I’ve never spent too much time in the River Valley apartment,” Richa recalled. “It was a place for me to come back and rest after work. I remember that even on weekends, I would spend the whole day in a nearby cafe reading.”

PG Home Stories Richa one-bedroom condo in River Valley

In Search For A Bigger Space But...

Midway into her Singapore project, Richa was offered to stay for the long-term instead. It was then that she knew she needed to rent a bigger place, one that she could call home.

“I needed a place that felt a little like home, a place I could have the opportunity to do up the way I like. Especially because I was not used to coming back in the evening to an empty house, having lived with my family all my life.” Richa explained. “That was the reason I spent most of the time during my initial few months in Singapore outside of the old apartment. So it was important to find a place which I would want to come back to and be by myself. It had to feel good.”

Plus, Richa loves hosting family and friends, so she definitely needed a bigger space to do that and make sure everyone felt comfortable.

Determined to find a larger apartment, Richa spent hours every day on the PropertyGuru app with the “two-bedroom plus” filter checked, looking through potential homes diligently.

Browse through all one-bedroom apartments in Singapore

Almost ten viewings later, Richa realised that all the two-bedroom apartments she viewed felt no bigger than her previous River Valley apartment.

“When I went for viewings, the bedrooms were really tiny and it felt like the walls were closing in on me,” Richa recounted. “I think the builders tried to make the most out of a small space by adding rooms, so everything just felt too cramped.”

By a stroke of luck, Richa stumbled upon The Scotts Tower along Scotts Road and adored its environment. She then quickly searched for available units in the building and started to view them one by one.

“I love the high ceiling and tall bay windows here,” Richa smiled. “The natural lighting and the open feel really appealed to me.”

PG Home Stories Richa master bedroom in her one-bedroom condo in River Valley

As the layout of each apartment is so unique, it was only when she saw the sixth unit here, Richa knew she had found her perfect space. While it had only one bedroom, the unit was still more spacious and had a great layout compared to all the two-bedroom apartments she had viewed earlier. The loft in the living area which can double up as a guest bedroom added a different character to the whole space.

Richa was also drawn to the unit’s clean and modern interiors, a space which could be brought to life with her own creativity, a process that she thoroughly enjoys.

Feeling Right At Home In The City Centre

Aside from the layout and interiors of the unit, the central location of The Scotts Tower also ticked Richa’s many boxes. “I am very particular about the details and had a long checklist,” Richa explained.

READ: 10 Upcoming Freehold Condos In Singapore Near The City

“It’s very convenient here,” she said. “Orchard is just down the road, I can catch up with friends or I can just walk down to Shaw House next door for an impromptu movie plan anytime of the day. Apart from a few people, food and movies are an integral part of my life, so the location definitely helps.

Hosting her friends is also a breeze. “My good friends stay nearby, so it will be perfect for me, now I can meet them more often and invite them over anytime I want!”

Ever since she moved in two months ago, Richa’s friends and colleagues have been looking forward to seeing her new 700 square feet apartment as she seems to love it here and can’t stop talking about it.

“They keep asking when can they visit,” Richa laughed. “But I told them to wait a bit, otherwise they would have no place to sit or put their drinks! I have got the basic furniture in, but the place is still a work in progress!”

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Till then, Richa would enjoy a relaxing weekend afternoon reading on her couch, where she can also watch some television or just look out of her balcony.

PG Home Stories Richa living room in her one-bedroom condo in River Valley

And during rainy days, Richa would perch herself on the tall bay windows in her bedroom.

“I enjoy sipping a cup of hot coffee right here,” Richa smiled. “I can watch the rain come down and listen to the pitter-patter all day.”

“I never thought I’d feel at home in a small apartment, but I am beginning to enjoy being here by myself and then stepping out into the busy world around the corner when I have had too much of myself!”

Read more stories of people and their home journeys, ofind a home on PropertyGuru. 

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