Open-concept homes are becoming more and more ubiquitous in Singapore homes. In 2018, it was announced that new BTO flats would now come with open kitchens as homeowners desire more flexibility in designing your dream home.
Going wall-free not only gives the illusion of more space, it also lets you design a home that suits your family’s needs instead of feeling constrained by a set floor plan. To inspire you, here are several HDB flats and condominium apartments in Singapore that make the open-style theme work and how they achieved the look.
Zach Lim of Lush Interior Design was called upon to renovate this 3,500sqf four-bedroom condominium near Holland Road as the owners told him to – “white walls with no wall coverings, and a simple and timeless design”.
One of the standout features in the home is the open integrated dry kitchen and dining area.
Upon stepping into the open-concept living area, a palette of white, grey and wood tones creates a calming vibe, while black is introduced in the form of accent trimmings and furniture pieces.
Compressed wood chipboard panels installed over the bed in the master bedroom make for an unexpectedly interesting feature.
The monochromatic scheme in the bathroom, featuring stone-look tiles, is accented with wood tones in the built-in structures for a touch of warmth.
More than a third of the home is taken up by its 1,400sqf balcony, so the homeowners wanted the focal point of the home to be the beautiful vista around the expansive outdoor terrace. This is the couple’s favourite area and they enjoy the space especially in the evenings when it’s cooler.
Digital marketing expert and Great Women Of Our Time alumna Pat Law got her home after attending a mid-day bank auction for distressed properties near her office. She had been considering investing in a home to live in, and the price of a beat-up, third-storey apartment that caught her eye was reasonable at under $1 million for a 1,033sqf freehold property.
The aesthetic is textbook industrial chic – raw concrete walls and floors; and metal pipes – balanced with light-coloured wood finishings to provide warmth.
In order to achieve her dream home, her close friend Abigael Tay, from interior design consultancy Obllique, came on board. It took $100,000 worth of renovations and removing most of the walls in the four-bedroom apartment, but the space is now a stylish bachelorette pad, with generous, flowing spaces.
There are kitschy items she has been collecting for years, such as an overhead projector, a vintage KDK standing fan, an old-school 10-cent public payphone and a rusty Jacobs Cream Crackers tin.
Numerous walls around her home were also custom-made by her carpenter as giant wooden peg boards. The holes allow Law to put in pegs to serve as hooks for clothing or hats or install impromptu shelves to organise or display her stuff, such as the three vintage cameras in her living room.
The concrete taps in her bathroom were sourced from Melbourne so that they blend seamlessly with the walls.
The running theme in all of Suhaimi Lazim’s homes – he’s designed three and several friends’ places – is the openness of space.
“It’s a signature of mine. I don’t like clutter and prefer open plans with lots of light. This creates space, which is a luxury in Singapore,” says Suhaimi.
The 50-something homeowner is a partner in a law firm, but has been dabbling in interior design — under a design outfit called Rumah by Lieblingsg — for several years.
He now lives in a contemporary luxe apartment in Siglap with his family. To accommodate everyone’s needs while maintaining a bright and airy interior, Suhaimi rejigged the layout — resulting in one master bedroom with a spacious ensuite bathroom, as well as a convertible guest room for his mother-in-law.
The guest room features an accordion door and a Murphy bed, giving Suhaimi the option to free up the space when it is unoccupied.
His wife, Faridah Sidik, loves white kitchens. Here, printed tiles add visual interest. See more ways to decorate with tiles here!
Suhaimi finds odd-shaped apartments a good challenge. Using ottomans, instead of large pieces of furniture, is one way to provide seating without closing up a space.
Faridah wanted the home to have a luxurious ambience. He achieved this by using a plethora of stone-look tiles and laminates in shades of cream and grey.
Darker and brighter colours, such as the brown patina-look tiles in the bedroom and the mustard dining chairs, add depth and texture.
“The patina-look tiles were not something within my consideration at first, but I saw their potential. The metallic sheen is interesting compared to regular wood flooring, while the reddish tint can still add warmth to a room.
Another unique material I used is the TV console laminate, which depicts the cross section of different stones. It’s unusual, so creates visual impact,” he shares.
Once a typical five-room HDB apartment, this home in Redhill was completely reconfigured for a family of three. Kelvin from Space Sense Studio was tasked with creating a spacious, stylish space that retained plenty of functionality.
To achieve this, he proposed a cool, dark palette of mostly grey and black, combining natural textures with some futuristic detailing around the house.
The individual rooms within the house were carefully considered and reconfigured to suit the family’s lifestyle. The living area, for instance, was made larger by scaling back the kitchen’s floor space. This enabled them to have a wider area to relax and entertain friends in.
Most of the walls were also removed to make way for glass, visually opening up the home. The study, which sits just behind the living room, receives plenty of natural light which then passes through into the rest of the home.
For the structural walls that could not be removed, Kelvin clad them in bricks to soften the look and add visual interest to the monochrome palette of the apartment. The uneven lines of the bricks lend an organic element, preventing the home from looking too boxy or structured.
A series of layered walls at the dining area, made of steel painted deep black, is both a talking point for guests and concealment for plenty of storage space.
The colour palette continues into the kitchen, where steel accents and an angular cutout design for the cabinets add a futuristic element.
A sleek yet functional all-black sink area serves multiple points, including the common bathroom and the kitchen. Guests can also easily access the area from the dining room to wash their hands.
In the master bedroom, Kelvin opted for a customised floating-bed design to keep the look minimalist, and installed hidden compartments for power sockets. The wardrobe features the same angular cutout design as the kitchen cabinets, keeping the look uniform.
The palette of dark hues creates a relaxing, cocooned atmosphere, softened by the mood lighting. Here, the sink is also situated at the transitional area between bedroom and bathroom, freeing up precious bathroom space while allowing easier accessibility for washing up.
Home to nature-loving newlyweds, this resale flat in Ang Mo Kio was given a refreshing open-concept makeover so that the lush greenery outside could be easily appreciated from within.
Besides the open plan, the couple also intend to start a garden of indoor plants and envisioned a visually continuous foliage spilling from the tree canopies outside their second floor unit into their indoor jungle of potted plants.
The couple entrusted their home renovation to interior architects Lim Jing Feng and Tricia Lee of Asolidplan.
To connect the greenery outside with the inside, the home was designed to be as open a space as possible.
While this meant that all unnecessary walls were demolished, it doesn’t exactly mean that rooms and privacy are sacrificed.
Part of the living room can be converted into a second bedroom using sliding doors, and the guest room makes the total number of bedrooms to three.
The finishes of the home were kept understated so that the surrounding vegetation remains the focus.
White walls and parquet flooring treated with matte lacquer keep the interior ambience subdued.
The home has a unique double entrance configuration. The main entrance was relocated to the balcony, while the other leads to directly to the guest room.
From air plants to ferns, the couple’s curation of indoor plants creates visual interest, especially when juxtaposed against the background of trees.
Their unit is also spacious enough to have a dry and a wet kitchen. The dry kitchen sports concrete screed walls.
The owners moved in at the end of 2017 after a 10-week-long renovation.
Text: Melody Bay & Eliza H/Home & Decor