Contemporising a Charming Classic Home is a place of memories, and some of us wish that our cherished place will never change. As with all things however, houses age and dilapidate over time: waterproofing starts to fail, plumbing, sanitary and electrical infrastructure need to be replaced, and floor and wall finishes need to be periodically refreshed to keep up with the times. For some, this is a good excuse to do a complete demolishment of the house and undergo a whole rebuilding process, but for other homeowners who felt attached to their home, a light-handed approach might be more appropriate where new design elements are integrated into their beloved home. Ming Architects recently completed one such renovation works at a house located in Swettenham Road, a prestigious good class bungalow located just behind the lush acres of Dempsey Hill. The success of the project lay in achieving a perfect balance between the classical style of the original bungalow together with introduction of contemporary design elements. Lead architect Tan Cher Ming weighs in with key considerations for homeowners looking for a similarly upscale makeover for their homes: Originally built in the early 1990s, the 2-decade old house recently completed its major makeover in 2016. Tip 1: Celebrate your heritage by reinvigorating the existing features of your estate. Seize the occasion to redo the electrical wiring and sanitary plumbing, revamp floor and wall finishes, use modern lighting techniques such as concealed LED cove lights and light fittings to accentuate the house’s impressive classical architecture and highlight its best features. Tip 2: Cherish your heirloom piecesand restore them as accents for your new home. The grand crystal chandelier as well as all the existing pendant Alabaster lamps underwent a complete restoration with polishing of the crystals and stone, and replating of the gold finish. Many of the timber doors were restored and re-used as well. Tip 3: Define your colour and material paletteto create a consistent look throughout the house. Materials such as black-stained walnut, white Italian Carrara marble and polished gold accents lend the spaces both elegance and class, and serve to unify both the classical and modern elements of the design. Modern materials such as stainless steel and low-e glass were utilized as well to suit the owner’s functional requirements. Tip 4: Invest in technological upgradeby using energy saving appliances and embedding smart automated system into your everyday living. For a large bungalow consider using exclusively LED lights, VRV air-conditioning system as well as a good home automation system that can control your lighting, blinds/curtains, air-conditioning from anywhere within the house or even remotely from your smart phone. Here, Ming Architects also has integrated classy technological features to suit the client’s lifestyle, including as a custom temperature-controlled wine cellar, glass lift shaft, and a home theatre room. Tip 5: Dream of spaces to you to enjoy!For the homeowner who enjoys outdoor entertainment, Ming Architects has created a perfect get together venue at the poolside pavilion that comes fully equipped with air-conditioning, a bar fridge, digital TV and a state-of-the-art karaoke system.