Always wanted your HDB apartment to look a little more spacious? These gorgeous homes in Singapore demonstrate that it’s totally possible to enhance the size of your flat with some planning and foresight.
Find out how these homeowners achieved stylish, comfortable abodes that don’t feel cramped:
11 Clever Ways To Maximise Space In A Small Bedroom (As Seen In Actual Singapore Homes)
10 Unbelievable Home Makeovers In Singapore That You Have To See
8 Investment-Worthy Furniture Pieces For A Stylish HDB
Text: Isabelle Tow, Eliza H and Domenica Tan/Home & Decor
The previous owner of this four-room flat in Bedok removed all its non-structural walls and upgraded its bathroom fittings and windows before selling it.
When Keith Low, owner of interior design firm Woodworks Studio, and his wife Lin Na, found the property two years ago, they saw it as the perfect blank canvas. The couple even kept the existing window blinds and oven as they were in mint condition.
“There were parts of the flat without flooring. For instance, we removed the vinyl planks in the foyer, patched up the empty spots and laid on Moroccan-inspired patterned tile. We also erected a wall in the foyer for privacy and and added a cabinet for our craft materials on the other side,” shares Keith.
“We like the openness of the space, but still needed a bedroom. Therefore, I designed a double-sided bookshelf with a sliding glass door that separates it from the living room. It’s a great solution for our books, too,” shares Keith. Here are more examples of Singapore homes that incorporate sliding doors!
Lin Na and Keith are both into making decoupage, so they like to buy and hoard “rubbish” — like brochures and wrapping papers — for it. A lot of the collage-like art you see around the house are made by the couple.
The music corner features an orange, vintage-style Yamaha radio, books, vinyls, and a record player. The owners enjoy listening to Nina Simone and Amy Winehouse.
The creative couple is also a fan of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, as well as the vibrancy and bohemian nature of her art. “While Nordic bohemian style veers toward cool hues, we like warmer and spicier shades like those in Frida’s work,” says Keith.
For their colourful dining area, the couple opted for a variety of dining chair styles, including a bench that’s perfect for communal dining.
The mismatched-chic look is a key design feature throughout the rest of their home as well. “There is a balance of both clean and raw-style furniture throughout the home, such as the weathered 1920s European dining, the upholstered fabric sofa and shaker-style kitchen. Despite the “mess”, strong colour palette anchors this combination,” shares Keith.
Two wardrobes flank the Australian-made king-sized bed. To fit the bed frame from The Shophouse, they had Dreamworld customise the mattress. Customising certain key pieces of furniture can be a great way to optimise space in a small room, which may otherwise be wasted. Get more tips on customising furniture for your dream home here!
As the previous homeowner had expanded the master bathroom, all the couple had to do was tile it up. The couple spent $45,000 on transforming the resale unit into a vibrant home.
Once dingy with poor ventilation, this three-room resale HDB executive flat underwent a huge makeover that transformed it into a brighter and much bigger-looking space. Taking centre stage is the dining section, now seamlessly incorporated into the kitchen.
Liew Kok Fong, founder-architect of Studio Super Safari took into account the couple’s passion for cooking and entertaining when designing the home and came up with this dream dining space-cum-kitchen.
“Stretching to five metres, the table is the longest I have ever designed! The island counter is around two metres and the table is three,” says Kok Fong. The table also enhances the length of the seven-metre kitchen that stretches right into the wet kitchen.
Custom-made in solid white acrylic for a clean, modern look, the tabletop is mounted on mirror cabinets that add a “floating” effect and serves as extra storage space, too. It also doubles as a work counter if extra space is needed for kitchen prep work.
Benches occupy one side of the table, while individual custom coloured chairs on the other side add a bright burst of colour to the otherwise earthy-toned space.
Ambient lighting is also important in creating the right atmosphere for dining, hence the “down-and-up” lighting above the table. The stove is tucked away at the furthest corner just next to the windows in the wet kitchen, so fumes from any heavy cooking can escape easily.
The purple sofa adds a bold burst of colour and elegance to the predominantly warm, earthy-toned living room. The generously-sized cushioned seating also lends a touch of relaxed sophistication. Cleverly designed to “blend” with the wall, there’s even more storage space built in behind the TV.
Recessed shelving in the wall above the bed is an understated way to exhibit treasured knick-knacks. To minimise clutter, the bedside table is also carved into the wall. Timber-like tiles are a warm contrast to the whitewashed walls.
The parents’ room, a newly carved-out space, is next to the master bedroom. It’s fitted with windows that look out on the master bedroom’s sink and vanity/ makeup area to promote better ventilation. This part of the house is paved with assorted patterned tiles and has a bird’s eye view of Bishan Park.
The overall renovation cost $150,000 (excluding $50,000 for soft furnishings).
Homeowner Foo Mei Wan of this resale HDB flat in Sengkang loves to cook, but found that the previous kitchen space wasn’t very functional. “One thing led to another when we were planning to re-do the kitchen, and eventually we renovated the entire home,” she shares.
The owners incorporated this existing Commune dining set into their home that blends perfectly with the oak-toned interiors.
The renovation was a long overdue project. Mei Wan shared that over the years, they had only done minor carpentry work to complement the country-style resale HDB flat they had bought. “The flat had very nice marble flooring, and as the cabinetry was made with solid wood, our relatives advised us not to remove it because of the quality,” adds Mei Wan.
Eventually, it had to be done. And, as she is quite a “neat freak”, their brief to Hsia Pin included the need for extensive storage, a dedicated wardrobe space, a kitchen island — which has always been one of her dream features — as well as interiors that would complement existing furniture they wanted to retain.
The island, which stretches across the breadth of the living room, is where the homeowners enjoy breakfast and do their work, thanks to the legroom.
To keep the home looking sleek and clean, an oak woodtoned laminate was chosen as the main palette. Storage cabinetry, such as pull-out shoe racks, umbrella space, and even shallow display shelves for the homeowners’ collections of tea pots, ceramics, books and other knick knacks, were included.
Walk through and you’ll be surprised by pops of colour, too, thanks to artworks and a brightly-hued wall in the study. “I don’t like my home to look too busy so I chose to colour just one wall in each room. The one in the study is in my favourite blue,” says Mei Wan.
The husband requested for a cosy corner in the study, which is now complete with a standing lamp and beanbag seat.
Mirrored wardrobe doors create an illusion of space and reflect more natural light, while offering convenience and function when the couple get dressed.
The complete makeover set the homeowners back by $130,000, excluding furnishings and fittings, but they now enjoy a refreshing new space they can finally call their dream home.
Just like most farsighted homeowners, this young family wanted to ensure their new home, a 1,140sq ft three-bedroom apartment, would have sufficient storage space to hold possessions they would accumulate over time.
Tasked with the renovation, the main challenge facing Shermaine Wong, principal designer of Mow Interior, was creating adequate storage space without making the place looked cramped.
She achieved this by integrating storage units for separate purposes into a single monolithic unit. a perfect example is the living room’s full-height, TV console-cum-storage unit.
Utilising the full length of the wall, the left portion serves as the TV console, while the right conceals a shoe cabinet and more storage options. The graphite wood-look laminate casts a visual shadow over the unit, subduing its scale and presence in the mostly-white living room.
Shermaine installed a tinted mirror on the living room wall beside the dining table so the living space would look wider. Here are more genius ways to enlarge your living space with mirrors.
To fulfil the en suite master bedroom walk-in wardrobe on the couple’s wish list, one bedroom had to go. It has full-height cabinets on both walls – an open cabinet on one side, and a glass-doored one on the other – and the LED lights along the shelves make looking at and picking out clothing convenient.
As for the master bedroom, the full-height headboard adds a loftier feel, while the white volakas marble from Greece, used on the bedside tabletop, adds an understated touch of elegance. The renovation, excluding furnishings, cost $60,000.