If you’ve been browsing Instagram looking for design inspiration to renovate your HDB flat, then you may have come across Nur Alfisyah Arzami’s blog. Going by the Instagram handle @Nurfish , her account features a well laid-out open concept home with a country-style kitchen, airy living and dining spaces, and a balcony filled with lush greenery.

The roomy HDB executive apartment located in the north-eastern part of Singapore is home to their family of four – Alfisyah, a corporate trainer in the IT industry, her civil servant husband Fairuz and their two children, eight-year-old Aalia and three-year-old Aadam.

But Alfisyah’s blog is more than just about her beautiful home; it also documents a rich life populated with family, friends and her interests in cooking, fitness and gardening.

Home is where the heart is

In Alfisyah’s view, everything in life starts from family. She believes that a positive relationship at home with her loved ones carries over to her relationships outside – such as with her co-workers and friends. She says, “If I have a good relationship with my family, I bring the energy over to the other people I interact with. So, to me everything starts from the home”.

That focus on family is evident from the warmth and support she enjoys from her extended family. Her mum, who lives a stone’s throw away from her, would pitch in to help with childcare when she gets too busy with work, while her dad enjoys driving her to different plant nurseries to help her look for new additions to her balcony garden. At home, her kitchen island has become the heart of the home. It is where her kids would congregate to do their homework, work on their art pieces, or simply to share about their day while she bakes or whips up their meals.

Parenting is a learning journey

When it comes to bringing up kids, Alfisyah takes a leaf out of her parents’ playbook – but she puts her own spin on it.

She says, “I parent my children the way I was brought up by my parents. However, it doesn’t always work because times have changed and the environment they grow up in now is different”.

She points out that when she was growing up, she had a strict upbringing. When there were differences with her parents, she would abide by their wishes. Her daughter Aalia however would speak her own mind, so as a parent, Alfisyah had to find other ways to get her point across.

For Alfisyah, parenting is a learning journey, and she acknowledges that she has had to adjust her parenting according to her kids’ personalities.

When doing chores together is no chore

Despite busy juggling kids, work and home in the day, Alfisyah and Fairuz still manages to carve out time together each evening after the kids have gone to bed.

“It is important to us that we spend time alone without our kids. While we do not deliberately arrange couple time, we would do things together. We watch TV together, do laundry together, sit in front of the TV and fold clothes together,” she laughs. After nine years of marriage, the twosome has settled into a comfortable couple rhythm – working out in their home gym, doing chores, or just sharing about the day’s happenings with each other – all in the context of their comfortably furnished flat.

As the saying goes, a woman’s home is her castle and for Alfisyah, that cannot be more true.