Tidplus Design
Tidplus Design

Tidplus Design x Melissa C Koh Renovation Journey

As you guys already know, we had the utmost pleasure of working with Melissa and James on their newest home, which is a 4 bedder Resale Condo. We sat down and had a chat with Melissa on her overall renovation journey with us. Read on to find out what went down!

(M: Melissa Celestine Koh (Left), K: Kai [Design Director (Right)])

1. How did you chance upon Tidplus Design?

M: I happened to be scrolling Instagram where I chanced upon Tidplus Design Instagram page and felt that the aesthetics were similar to mine. I reached out to them and that is where everything began!

2. What was the vision and theme you had for your home?

M: When I first saw my floorplan, for my vision, I knew that I really wanted a big open space, especially in the living and dining area because the given space was the most generous.

As for the theme, I did not have a specific one in mind but I do know that I wanted something very muted, clean, and overall, a modern feel. We also kept the original marble flooring so that a touch of elegance and luxe would still be present in the home.

3. How did you design the space to support Melissa’s vision?

K: A few of Melissa’s requirement was – firstly, to make the space bright and airy. Secondly, it was to have a lot of storage space for her kids’ needs and also in her walk-in wardrobe. Our space planning then commenced with that in mind – we relocated the dry kitchen outside in the living room space and also the dining area was shifted to the balcony. We had also placed the study area in the living room area; however, it is segregated by a cupboard to provide a clear definition and also for extra storage!

4. Were there any unexpected and shocking discoveries during the renovation process?

K: When we first took over the space, we realised that there was a big bay window in the kitchen, right in the area where Melissa wanted to place the dishwasher and washing machine. With that discovery, all of our plans had to be set aside and we had to replan to see how we could fit all those items into her wet kitchen space. There were a lot of windows in the wet kitchen and it was difficult finding suitable wall space to place the items. This was the biggest challenge for Tidplus Design.

5. What is your favourite part of the entire home?

M: For me, it is a struggle to decide as many parts are my favourite. However, if I had to choose, it would be the master bathroom because it is the space where I spent most of my quiet alone time doing skincare and taking a long shower/bath. The area is perfect as it is quite big and also a lot bigger than what I used to have in my previous home, so I really appreciate the space. As for James, he likes the living and dining areas for their open concept. In his own classic choice of words, he just says it’s nice!

6. As the designer, which part of the home was your favourite to design?

K: I really enjoyed designing the walkway entrance from the dry kitchen to the wet kitchen where we actually design a space for extra storage and decorations. My second favourite would have to be the master bathroom. We actually converted a portion of Melissa’s previous walk-in wardrobe into the current master bedroom space whereby we squeezed in the water closet and shower screen. I am quite pleased with the final outcome and also like how it has a touch of luxe in the space.

7. How did the design process go for the walk-in wardrobe?

M: The walk-in wardrobe was definitely my biggest headache during the space planning process as I just had so many things that I wanted to fit in! I actually thought that no space would be enough to fit all of my items. However, we really managed to maximise the space by having ceiling to floor wardrobe space for the built-in carpentries.

K: Melissa also sacrificed a little of the entrance space of the walk-in wardrobe and used the area to place her shoes. We also did not implement false ceilings so that really saved us some space as well.

8. What was your thought process when designing the two bathrooms?

K: We played with textures and tried to keep the colour coordinated between the two spaces. Keep in mind that the master bathroom should have a luxe theme and the common one should have more of a general tonality to it. For the common toilet, we added additional colours like pale blue and also chose wooden tiles so that overall, it blended well and had a more fun vibe. We would say it is more towards the modern farmhouse theme.

9. How are your kids liking the bathroom facilities?

M: My boys really enjoy the bathroom facilities and they spend a long time in the bathtub. It is like their mini swimming pool; they have their floats and toys in there.

10. How do you balance the aesthetics and functions of both the wet and dry areas of the kitchen?

K: We really tried to incorporate the fridge into the wet kitchen because most of the time when you are cooking, you tend to use it often. However, because of the space constraint, we decided to bring it out into the dry kitchen instead so that in the wet kitchen, space will be maximised with the basic appliances that she do needs. We also try to convert as many cupboards as we can for her to store as much as she can, making use of whatever wall space we could find.

11. How did Tidplus Design fulfil your needs for your kitchen space?

M: The kitchen is definitely one of the more challenging spaces during the entire renovation process, especially in terms of space planning. This is because as compared to the other parts of the home, the kitchen is definitely smaller and given that I wanted both a wet and dry kitchen, I had to split the two. However, I am happy that I did as my previous experience for my first home was an open concept kitchen and we did not segregate the two areas. It did not work out well for us as the fumes when we cook would spread around the entire house. This time around, separating the dry and wet kitchen space with a barn door is a really good idea as I can style two places differently, and it gives me a lot more tabletop room. More tabletop space allows me to place my many kitchen appliances and it is definitely something I need!

12. What made you decide on an arched wall for the balcony?

M: Halfway through the renovation, I thought that the entire house looked a bit too angular and I felt that adding an arch would give a soft touch to the space. After the arch was done, even without the furniture in place, I had already fallen in love because it kind of separated the dining and the living room space but still gave it an open concept look.

13. How was your experience with Tidplus Design throughout this journey?

M: I really enjoyed working with Tidplus Design, especially with Kai, because I believe that communication is really important and I think that Kai really understands all my needs. We were on the same page in terms of space planning and also aesthetics. Even small little things such as the selection of my wall paint colour, the door, to all the knobs, I could always approach Kai for advice and asked for her thoughts when I am overwhelmed. 

14. How long did your entire renovation process take?

M: We started out in October 2021 and about 6-7 months later, the home was ready for us to move in. It took a while because of all the hiccups along the way, even now, it is not a hundred percent ready as I am still waiting for some furniture such as my rugs and mirrors.

If you are staying in a condo, be prepared for the strict condo management team, in my case, they only allowed Tidplus Design to do noisy work in the first week of every month. There were also all the festivities that dragged the renovation works, such as Chinese New Year, which meant lesser workers and materials were available in a short period of time.

K: Yes, especially if you are staying in a condo, there are shorter working hours available compared to other property types. Adding onto what Melissa said about noisy works, this added to our timeline and made the renovation take longer than it was supposed to. Thankfully, Melissa was very accommodating.

15. Any advice for new homeowners?

M: I think it is all about managing your expectations. Initially, I thought that my home would be ready by Christmas but after understanding the situation, I decided to just be flexible and take my time for this entire renovation.

I would also think it is very important to sit down with your designer at the start, as what we have done, to properly plan out the space. One of the more impressionable meetings was when we discussed to have built-in carpentries for our study space. James then measures out all the appliances we had, such as the length of his tripods or even the printer, to make sure they fit. Thankfully he did! At the end, when you see the electronics fit perfectly in the stipulated space, it felt really good. We also prepared PowerPoint slides or mood boards to help Kai further understand what we were looking for.

K: I would suggest for homeowners to at least have an idea of the style and colour scheme that they like. It would also be good to already have an idea of how the rooms will be allocated to individual family members and also the equipment they want to place in the home so that we can do proper space planning for them.

If you want to renovate your condo like what Melissa did, make sure to speak to your MCST or get the renovation form to understand the guidelines of the property.

Lastly, no matter how beautiful your house has been designed, a little styling goes a long way. It can help achieve the final look that you want to have.