Many Singaporeans may prefer resale HDB flats over newer BTOs as these older units tend to be more spacious, with more squarish floor plans that are easier to design. Whether you’re moving into a resale or thinking of selling your apartment, get inspired by these beautiful three-room HDB resale flat renovations around the island:
An old resale HDB flat – dim, cluttered and rundown – undergoes an overhaul and the transformation is plain stunning. It’s not unlike most reno stories. Except the owner of this apartment in the heartland has gone all out to make a bold statement with strong colours and design touches. Renovated at an estimated cost of $55,000, the apartment is heavily influenced by bohemian and retro design elements – interpreted in fresh, contemporary ways by interior designer Jade Kwok of Fuse Concept.
Part of the original wall in the living room was also knocked down to open up and brighten the space. Large homogeneous tiles sweeping across the living and dining rooms visually enhance the space, making it look smart and spacious. Jade also introduced a cosy corner in the living room, a “personal” space in which a rattan chair is placed just next to the window. Light, sheer curtains add a breezy, restful ambience.
The flat’s charming eclecticism is a befitting style for the homeowner, who is a homebased artist and craftsperson. “We worked closely together to choose the shades and look, and it helped that she was very open to incorporating bold colours and elements,” says Jade.
A series of glass blocks embedded in the wall serves as a decorative element as well as to let in light.
Colours continue to make a splash in the kitchen, with walls in the same intense green and a Smeg fridge in whimsical orange taking centre stage.
Jade incorporated groovy lighting features in the kitchen, positioning an exposed panel of lights just above the sink, and track lights for the cooking area. Mosaic tiles for the flooring lend a decidedly retro feel.
The master bathroom is kept simple and smart with black and white tiles, and the long mirror lends depth to the space. “I used wired glass for the bathroom’s sliding door just to keep things a little different, since clear glass is already used for the bedroom’s,” explains Jade.
Walls in the master bedroom are painted in nautical blue for a cosy seaside sanctuary feel. A macrame piece hanging above the headboard acts as a piece of art.
The room next to the master bedroom is now the owner’s workspace, designed to be practical yet cosy – with wooden shelving and furniture, and potted plants.
Singer-songwriter Ling Kai and her husband, director Randy Ang, love their new home so much that they can hardly bear to leave it. An $80,000 renovation completed in March 2019 has turned their 43-year-old three-room resale flat in Marine Drive into their dream home.
They used to spend hours in cafes and restaurants. But now, their cushy couch and cosy bedroom are their choice relaxation spots instead.
“We’re happy with it. In fact, we rarely leave the flat,” Ling, 33, says with a laugh.
The couple wanted an open concept for their home, which they share with their dog, Charlie. They also wanted a home decorated in blue, grey and earthy tones and with variety of textures.
The designer, Danielle Teo of Rezt & Relax Interior, suggested that they remove a bedroom wall adjoining the living room and have the back of the wardrobe as the partition instead, to free up more space for the living room.
Blue kitchen cabinets were also custom-made to fit appliances such as a refrigerator and a microwave.
In April, they held a housewarming party for their neighbours. “Our neighbours were excited to see the flat and what we had done with it,” says Ling. While the renovation amounted to a sizeable cost, the couple feel it was a worthy investment. “For such an old flat to look and feel so new, we’re impressed,” Ling says.
The couple use the other room in their flat as their music studio.
For their bedroom, the couple went with a calming blue feature wall behind the bed.
Ling says, “If you can’t wait to get out of your house every day or you’re trying to maximise your time outside and minimise your time at home, then it’s not a home.”
Studio Myte, a multi-disciplinary design studio, was tasked to transform an ageing three-room flat in Marine Terrace into a modern home for a young married couple. To suit the couple’s lifestyle needs, the layout of the flat was entirely redesigned.
For instance, the flat had a relatively large kitchen for its size, which was deemed unnecessary so it was reduced to create more space for the adjacent dining area. As a result, an oversized 2.2m-long marble dining table and dry pantry can be accommodated.
A wooden ceiling gives a warm touch to the dining area, whilst a concealed door to the master bedroom neatens the overall look.
Although it was made smaller, the current kitchen is still perfectly functional.
As the homeowners like to host gatherings and have no immediate plans for the additional bedroom, the wall between it and the living room was removed and replaced with a folding glass door.
This doubled the size of the living room so that more people can fill the space. But it also gives them the flexibility of creating another room when needed.
Unsightly power outlets are hidden by the side tables in the master bedroom.
Located high above the pulsating streets of Chinatown, this three-room HDB resale flat is a serene and breezy haven. A mix of grey, white and black gives this home an understated, timeless look.
“I wanted to promote its cross ventilation and make the interiors linear,” says designer Francis Leong. “We pretty much ripped everything up and then focused on the quality of the space. The aim of the material selection is to ensure that the space looks good even after five or 10 years.”
Over a renovation period of about three months, the interiors took shape. Both the living area and kitchen were combined into one free-flowing space. A large island with a compact dining table takes centre stage.
“The intent was to make it the focus, and keep the rest toned down. The concept of the interiors is a raw look, but with grey tones,” he says. Mindful that storage space is limited, Francis incorporated a dining table with shelves.
One major design feature is the main wall that stretches from the main door towards the kitchen. In the living area, it hides storage space and holds the television flush against the wall. On the other side of the wall is a spacious bedroom connected to a walk-in wardrobe.
The homeowner also wanted the bathroom overhauled. Every detail has been considered with care. The showerhead and faucets are from Fima, and have been matched with dark-coloured accessories and hardware from Kawajun.
The all-white bedroom is clean and uncluttered with a wall-mounted television and minimalist furnishings.
“My home is very comfortable. It’s just like having the perfect dress, where you like the collar, the cut, the colour, and everything else,” the homeowners says.
In this unique three-room HDB resale apartment at Holland Avenue, total exposure is the name of the game – and it makes for a gritty statement in the form of raw textures and a stark monochromatic colour palette set against a bold blue on the floor and walls.
Topping off the interior intrigue is the owners’ quirky, individual expression. This is a highly personalised home, where industrial edge, boho chic and easy living meet, complete with pet cats.
With no built-in cabinetry and a scarcity of furniture to divert the eye, the environment is completely changed by colour and texture. “Painting the door blue helped reset the tone of the home,” the designers share.
The homeowners turned to the designers at Three-D Conceptwerke to create interiors that would reflect their character, while optimising function without compromising on form. For instance, a coat hanger adds a bit of flair to the study room, while being a useful piece of furniture for hanging bags.
The lower half of the living room walls are scrubbed in the same blue, and the distressed texture creates greater dimension and ties the space together. The cement-screed floor helps bring the bold colour down to earth and achieve a natural, timeless look.
Black is the dominant colour used to anchor the spaces, cladding exposed pipes, electrical units and the original bedroom and bathroom doors for visual consistency.
“Through our various discussions with them about their lifestyle, design needs and wants, we found that they love cooking healthy meals. As such, we created a large, open galley kitchen that allows them to easily prepare, cook and clean in a dedicated area,” say the designers.
The result is an all-in-one space comprising kitchen, laundry and dining areas where units are laid out in close proximity. Stainless steel stove and hood abut sink and shelves, which in turn sit alongside a stacked washing machine and dryer. Workbenches on trolleys follow the home chefs around.
“The close proximity of all necessary cooking appliances, utensils and food ingredients to the stove and sink plays to their preferred efficient, fuss-free style of living,” add the designers.
A bright red fire hose-reel box was added as a stylish way to conceal the refuse chute hopper, while also providing additional storage space.