Casually seated on the couch in their modern mid-century bohemian-styled apartment, Jolene and Yi Peng glance around in awe of how they have managed to bring to life the place they now call home.
From pristine marble flooring to vibrant art pieces on the wall and even a slatted accent wall that leads to their bedroom, the couples’ home is full of personality. Much like the duo themselves, the place exudes charm, creativity and a zest for life.
While their masterpiece of a home is likely to be the envy of many homeowners, it was not a simple journey. Their house hunting story actually began a long time ago.
A Run of Bad Luck
Nine years into their relationship, Jolene and Yi Peng, who are in their early 30s, decided to apply for a Built-to-Order (BTO) flat. They were largely confident of securing a unit.
“We actually went to the site to take a look to see where our future home will be,” Jolene, who works as a Marketing Manager in the medical industry, recalls.
Alas, they were unsuccessful on their first try. And on the next nine attempts.
Realising luck was not on their side, the couple opted for a resale flat instead. In hindsight, they should have gone for a resale option from the get-go. From location to flat type and size, there were just so many more homes to choose from. .
“For a BTO, you can only look at it on paper and choose, so it may or may not turn out as well as you think,” Jolene remarks. In contrast, you can arrange for physical viewings to inspect resale flats for sale so you can be assured that there will be no surprises.
For Yi Peng, who works in the finance industry, his top priority was for the new house to be close to his mother’s place in Sengkang, especially after his father passed away years ago. For Jolene, convenience such as having a mall and MRT within walking distance, was vital.
With these factors in mind, the couple used ProperyGuru’s search filters to explore the plethora of choices within Sengkang. After that, they were easily able to narrow their search down to 10 units for viewing and consideration, with the help of their aunt who is a property agent.
A Complete Transformation
As their plan for the home’s look and feel was to reflect their personalities and style—they didn’t want a “cookie-cutter” home— Jolene and Yi Peng agreed on a “total redo” of their chosen unit. This meant that after location, their next priority during house visits was the apartment’s layout and floor plan.
While some lament that the house-hunting journey is stressful and overwhelming, it was the opposite for Jolene.
“It was super fun! I considered our lifestyle and habits, and started envisioning all the things I could do with the space to create our dream home” says Jolene, who also shares snaps of their home and mini home projects on her Instagram account, which serves as a tribute and reminder to the month when they got the keys to their first home.
In the end, all that was left of the original place was the marble flooring, which they ended up polishing.
Creating A Space that Inspires
After six months of renovation work, Jolene and Yi Peng were delighted with the finished product and moved into their new home. However, there was still a spare room they had no plans for.
It was a timely decision to turn it into a home office late last year, right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Now, it is Jolene and Yi Peng’s favourite part of their home that they spend the most time in every day.
When planning the design of their home office, it was less about a utilitarian set-up and instead geared towards creating a space that would motivate and inspire them.
Their home office was creatively put together, featuring a gallery wall that was meticulously created by Jolene, along with a daybed which Yi Peng exclaims is “perfect for naps or enjoying a book”. Jolene also took it upon herself to set up a mini library corner for her bookworm husband to house his extensive collection of books.
“It’s important to live in an inspiring space. A space where you feel creative and have room to expand and grow,” adds Jolene.
Since the completion of their home office set-up, the couple has gone on to accomplish milestones in their career and aim to keep pushing the boundaries. Yi Peng, who loves coding, has since completed his Masters in Machine Learning at Singapore Management University (SMU) and is working hard to pursue a career in the field.
Meanwhile, Jolene has started her own medical and well-being content site After Clinic Hours right from their creative home office during the circuit breaker period.
With each other’s support in their dream home, Yi Peng is confident they will be able to handle whatever challenges life throws at them, and sail to new horizons.
“The future is uncertain right now, but with my wife and this home, I’m well-positioned,” he says.
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