Olympian Mansion – Nostalgic Upgrades
Type: Private home
Location: Conduit Road
Client: Family of 4
With original elements kept intact from the 60s by the previous owner, including a classic basket weave parquet floor, spacious balcony, and iron casement window, we fell in love with this colonial building immediately. For this project, we went through meticulous discussions on design, maintenance, and cost with the client. In the end, we decided that the nostalgic feeling of this home could be retained – but its story should be recreated using modern materials, lighting, and furniture.
We loved the home’s original teak flooring, but light-coloured strip oak flooring that results in brightness for modern day living was a better choice for this deep house with small windows. With lighter-toned flooring and white walls in place, we then introduced a full-height glassblock wall at the entrance foyer. A popular architectural element in the 80s, the wall is set at the centre of the main space to delineate the living room from the dining space; it diffuses soft light into the foyer and sets the ambience of a cosy home. We also enlarged the full-height sliding window in the living room to open up the space and connect it with the large balcony. It’s in here, in their makeshift urban garden, that our clients love to enjoy some quiet time over wine and cheese.
In the living room, instead of concealing an awkward deep beam that cuts across it, we embraced the beam instead by playing it up with a reflective ceiling to heighten the entire space. A retro teakwood sideboard storing the owner’s cutlery collection and childhood toys anchors the space. A retractable mid-century modern table with dining chairs is where many scrumptious meals prepared according to family recipes are shared and enjoyed.
The bedroom quarters is all about privacy. The children each have their own reading areas next to their beds, as well as ample desk and storage space in their favourite colour palettes. A semi-enclosed study room was created along the corridor in case a late-night conference call might be necessary.
The master bedroom is clearly defined by a closet area, the bed, and the reading nook cut out by a deep beam. We softened the beam with a continuous light trough on both sides that links up to the long wall with subtle and geometrical paneling. In this room, sinking into the beautifully crafted leather lounge chairs on a soft bespoke rug, surrounded by dimmed lighting from the floor lamp while listening to oldies is a perfect, relaxing way to end the day.
In this space, it’s stories and treasures from the past, shared into the present, that makes this place a home.