November 28, 2022
November 28, 2022

Tour A Mid-Century Modern HDB Home In Cantonment Close That Doubles As A Private Dining Space

Home Tours

Tour A Mid-Century Modern HDB Home In Cantonment Close That Doubles As A Private Dining Space


5 min read

Private dining is a concept that may have been a little strange prior to the popularity of Airbnb, but if you’ve experienced one before, you’ll understand just why it’s been getting so in demand (you might even have to book a year in advance for some places). 

After all, there’s nothing better than an exclusive dining experience in the cosy comforts of a home. 

This is what Isaac will be sharing with us this week – more specifically, how he turned part of his home into a private dining space (@kai_dining).

He said it was just before CNY, late Jan 2022, when he moved into his place, so it’s relatively new. “Really loved the outcome of the renovation, and still loving it,” he added.

Most of the time, there are only two occupants at his place in Cantonment Close – Isaac and his pet cat, which he picked up at a local shelter.

Here’s a closer look at his home. 

Mapping Out The Renovation Journey

When Isaac first saw the terracotta-ish floor tiles in the original apartment, he knew he wanted to keep them. It eventually became central to his home’s theme with the idea of giving a charming but sophisticated look at the same time.

“I think this was achieved from the use of olive green against the dark wood and clean lines,” he said, “to give a homely and uplifted feel altogether.”

We asked what style of decor he was actually going for, he replied that he was looking for something organic. 

Stone and wood are what he considers as hard surfaces, so he played with the use of throws and rugs to soften the edges a little. He also shopped around, both online and in brick-and-mortar furnishing stores, to pick out what he wanted while considering the choice of colours as well.

Here’s a visual tour of his place after the reno:

Living and Dining Area

As soon as you enter the living room, you’ll be greeted by the warm characteristics of a mid-century modern home. 

There’s also an abundance of wood in the furnishings – an effective approach to bringing nature indoors. The variation in wood colour from the living to the dining creates a subtle separation between the two areas.

And if you’ll notice, Isaac’s decision to keep the original floor tiles helps to keep some link to the heritage of the apartment. 

Dry and Wet Kitchen

We believe the best view of the house is when you’re seated on the bench facing the dry kitchen. This is where you can take in the clean lines, muted colours, and all things mid-century – perfect for a private dining setting. 

It’s part of the attraction of dining in someone else’s home – that cosy homely feel isn’t something most restaurants can pull off. That intimacy that you get through interactions with the chef is one of the natural attractions of dining in a private home setting. 

Even if the wet kitchen is hidden behind the dry one, it still exudes the same simplistic vibe, with closed cabinetry that seeks to keep things clean.

Master Bedroom

The bedroom continues to align with the central theme of the house – with its minimal decorations and clean and structured lines.


His bathroom is another place where you’ll see the mid-century modern theme well implemented. With the woody textures and the grey stone countertop, it’s easy to appreciate the simplistic yet stylish and elegant design.


Putting Them All Together

For Isaac, he had a 3-month deadline, which his ID, Hansel Studio was able to achieve. The renovation works started in mid-November, and he was able to enjoy his new home in late January in time for Chinese New Year. 

Furniture plays a crucial part in his home design since it must also create a good impression on diners. Some of the furniture shops he bought from include Island Living, Castlery, Crate and Barrel, Muji, Noden, and Copan.

Did you notice the bench from one of the photos above? It actually is a ship wood bench scavenged from sea-faring boats. Aside from being comfortable to sit on, this particular piece of furnishing has a lustre and world-weary attraction that’s hard to describe.

He also created a small zen room with tatami mats, which acts as a chill room with handmade Tibetan singing bowls.

Since Isaac was aiming to do private dining at home, he decked out his kitchen to have almost everything he would have wanted in a restaurant kitchen.

And then there’s his washing machine. “I’m quite happy with my Ariston washing machine, which delivers what I need in a washer without the higher price tags of brands such as Bosch.”

His home has an easy corner with some poufs and rugs for casual sitting – and this is what he considers the best part of his place. It’s also next to his bookshelves, where he finds himself often winding down the day by picking a book to browse or read.

Lessons Learned From A Successful Reno Journey

For Isaac, the goal he was trying to achieve for his home also spawned a challenge to overcome. “After taking on private dining at my home, I discovered I need to locate a space for a dishwasher!”

He learned that home renovation can be a long-drawn process, if not carefully managed. One needs to be flexible when there are bumps on the journey. When we asked him if there were any particular mistakes he experienced and vowed not to repeat them again, he replied on a very positive note.

“I won’t call them mistakes, but moving to a new house made me consider how many things in life are essentials and which ones are not.”