Loving The Kampung Spirit In The Heart Of Singapore: Space For Everyone

Family living in a condo in Orchard
Desley Khew, a 43-year-old Managing Consultant at a leadership development company wanted a home that was close to her sons’ school.

“My home is my escape.”

In fast-paced Singapore, time is a precious commodity, and Desley Khew is quite aware of it. Especially when it has to do with the time spent by her kids on daily commute. When her eldest son reached primary school age, moving into a house near the school became a priority. She sought out a location with a short commute for her son and somewhere spacious to accommodate her family of five — her husband, two sons, and her helper.

Family living in a condo in Orchard

Desley Khew with husband Ong Chuon-Ren, sons Riley (younger) and Christian (older) with domestic helper, Sheryl (far left).

Soon though, searching for her perfect home, moved away from being a necessity to a new-found hobby. She enjoyed browsing houses on PropertyGuru so much that she got herself in tune with property news and property listings! “I didn’t know much about the process and procedures at that time, so I learnt a lot during this house-hunting journey.”

Read: Resale HDB Checklist - all you need to know

As the journey continued, PropertyGuru led her to her current house, a condo in the Orchard neighbourhood. What attracted her most at that time was the big playground, mini football goals and the ‘kampung’ spirit. “I knew that my kids would enjoy playing with other kids. There are a lot of boys here.” Right now, her kids and their friends keep going in and out of each other’s homes, ringing doorbells to go out to play, with absolutely no planning involved.

Family living in a condo in Orchard

“We love this place for three reasons. It is perfect value for money and our house is spacious. But most importantly it is the 'kampung' feel of this community.”

All about the space

Once they found their dream home, they soon moved on to renovating the house. Knocking down the walls separating the kitchen and the living room gave more than enough space for the kids to run around. “My husband likes very simple, evergreen design.” The square footage also gives way to Desley’s husband’s walk-in closet, a study room with a guitar collection and a spacious helper’s room. “I wanted to make sure that our helper also had her own space.”

Family living in a condo in Orchard

Also read: How you can install a mezzanine floor without getting into trouble.

With a balcony extending from the living room, the house receives a lot of natural light and ventilation, making it a bright and airy family space. “For me, an escape is not a holiday, it is relaxing on the couch, chit-chatting with my family or watching the fishes swim in the aquarium”.

Family living in a condo in Orchard

“My boy went to a fish farm with the school where they could bring home fish that they scooped. That day I came home to a glass bowl of fish, with my husband trying to feed them with biscuits.” The family decided to keep the fishes as pets. It’s been years since then, but their collection has only grown.

Looking for the perfect house has been a journey for Desley and her family. However, by keeping everyone’s needs in mind, she managed to turn the house into a perfect home for her family of five. Desley’s husband sums it up perfectly, “Home is where your circle of activity should be.”

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