After four years, your new home is finally completed. Are you happy?
I am very pleased as it features all the design elements that I envisioned. We bought this property when I was 38 years old and are very attached to it. It took us two years to decide if we wanted to knock it down and rebuild from scratch. Compared to the old house, this has a lot more useable space. We had a garage built underground, three separate living spaces and a garden in the middle of the home. All bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms, so you can say that they are self-contained.
Apart from the space, what else has the new home afforded you?
Privacy. The multiple living spaces — karaoke in the basement, two halls, a large dining area, a rooftop garden — enables my family to do his or her own thing without invading the privacy of the other. For example, I’d be hosting dinner for 20 friends in my dining room and my kids can have a party in the living room at the adjacent wing. Our guests wouldn’t have to meet and we are free to run our own programmes.
What is your design mantra?
This house was built for my kids so you see a modern and clean aesthetic. When they have their own families, I want them to know that they can always come back here, should they so wish. The space is large enough to accommodate them especially since it has been designed such that they can be under the same roof and yet have their own privacy.
What is your favourite feature?
The floor-to-ceiling glass doors throughout the first level. It floods the living spaces with lots of natural light and allows us to see the greenery of our surroundings. It gives us a sense of calm.
Designing a home is a constant work-in-progress. Don’t rush to furnish or decorate your home. Take your time and only get something when you feel for it not because you want to fill a gap. To me, no home can be complete at once. I love to decorate my home with things from my travels. It serves as a nice reminder of my experiences.
Describe your home in three words.
Liveable, practical and relaxed.
Click on the gallery to take a closer look into Jean Yip’s family home.