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When it comes to big changes in a home renovation, it doesn’t get any bolder than this. We’re not just referring to how this Jalan Besar apartment went from a cookie-cutter condo to a modern chic contemporary abode, mind you. 

This 893 sqft two-storey condo is home to a couple that loves to entertain — and what better way to host gatherings than to have your own full-fledged bar at home? That’s exactly what Karen Tan, 39, a senior PR & social manager, and Lendl Chong, 47, an ICT consultant, had in mind when they totally flipped the floorplan of penthouse unit around to accommodate a stylish home bar that could very well pass off as the latest speakeasy in town. 

01 bar 1

That isn’t the only radical floorplan change in this space — there’s also a living room-turned-kitchen and a kitchen-turned-master-bedroom (more on that later).

The entire home transformation cost $130k, and the sum also covers white goods, furniture and a smart home system. Despite the massive scope of the overhaul, Lendl and Karen handled the five-month-long reno themselves from last July until November, liaising with their contractor and carpenters (they did, however, hire a freelance interior designer to do the drawings).

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Never mind that they had to move in midway during the works in October —  the lease on their rental apartment was up. “[The noise] is okay. It’s just that we had to clean the house every day, and it’ll get dirty again the next day,” Karen tells 8 Days

Still, they’re both happy with the final result, which reflects the homeowners' shared love for hosting gatherings, as well as their individual preferences.

For Karen, her penchant for arch design elements can be seen throughout the house, from the sublime archway at the foyer that greets guests as they enter (below), to the photo-worthy light feature installation upstairs.

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Lendl, who started brewing his own beer at home during the circuit breaker in 2020, incorporated a cool beer home brewing set-up in the apartment. 
01b beer fridges

“Now that we’re working from home, I try to make beer once a fortnight, especially if we frequently have friends coming over,” he quips.

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