The homeowner has been living in this four-room HDB flat since 2004.
She decided to do a major renovation as the 40-year-old HDB flat was starting to show its age and timed it with HDB’s Home Improvement Programme.
Renovation during HDB Home Improvement Programme (HIP)
Interior design firm, Ovon Design, came highly-recommended by her brother and a good friend, whose homes were also designed by the home-grown practice.
“There was actually no need to look any further for an interior designer, but just to satisfy myself, I scouted around for a bit and still ended up deciding to engage them,” she shares.
Who Lives here: Homeowner and dog
Home: A four-room HDB flat at Serangoon North Avenue 1
Size: 1,254 sq ft
Interior Designer: Ovon Design Pte Ltd
Creative director, Raymond Soh, and interior architect, Max, approached the project by understanding the client’s lifestyle and preferences. As she lives with her SPCA rescue dog, they only require one bedroom, so a decision had to be made about what to do with the remaining two bedrooms.
“Rather than keeping the rooms intact and underutilised, we proposed that she combine two bedrooms into one large master bedroom and open up the third bedroom as part of the living area,” says Max.
The homeowner did contemplate having a spare bedroom for when her parents come to visit, but as this occurs only occasionally, she decided that the space that is freed up would be better served in some other way.
Buy HDB Corridor
The HDB flat was fully hacked and completely overhauled, starting with part of the common area that she had purchased from HDB.
This usually comprises an elongated corridor space leading directly to the main entrance of the flat, but in this case, it also includes a fairly sizeable area beside the existing corridor.
Home pottery studio
As an avid potter, she requested Raymond and Max to design the space as a pottery nook, which can also double up as a relaxation corner or for additional storage.
With the additional areas enclosed as part of her apartment, the new main entrance was pushed outwards and the existing two-step staircase in front of the former main entrance now leads to the dining area instead. The elevated floor level helps to reinforce a sense of arrival into the home proper.
Living & Dining Room
The homeowner spends most of her time at home in the dining and living areas. As such, the interior designers allocated a generous floor area to the two spaces, enlarging them by opening up one bedroom to become part of the living room.
By reconfiguring the layout, the two bedrooms-turned-master bedroom no longer open into the dining and living areas, which creates better spatial definition and enhances the privacy for the master bedroom.
Simple neutral colour palette
The neutral colour palette in the living and dining area sets the tone for the rest of the home. “I wanted a simple and plain interior with a consistent colour palette, partly so that I do not have to make too many choices,” she candidly admits.
She also prefers matte over glossy finishes, which explains the selection of laminates and floor tiles.
The home reflects the homeowner’s preference for a consistently neutral colour scheme and matte finishes.
Long kitchen layout
All the built-in cabinets, drawers and counter top are located on one side of the long and spacious kitchen. This layout is efficient and keeps everything clean and neat.
No detail was too minute for Raymond and Max, who elevated the front load washing
machine to make loading laundry easier.
The navy blue subway tiles on the backsplash were inspired by her love for the ocean and diving.
Together with a subtle, yet contrasting mustard backing for the drawers, these introduce a touch of accent colours to the predominantly monochromatic colour palette.
Trackless sliding door
On the opposite side of the kitchen wall lies the entrance to the new master bedroom.
Juxtaposed against the long expanse of white wall is a navy blue, floor-to-ceiling sliding door with soft closure mechanism that takes on an almost art gallery-like quality.
The absence of any visible floor and ceiling tracks offers a sleek alternative to the ubiquitous sliding door.
Timber flooring gives the master bedroom a warm and cosy ambience.
Combined 2 bedrooms
By combining two existing bedrooms, interior designers Raymond and Max were able to incorporate a walk-in wardrobe that is connected to the existing attached bathroom within the new master suite.
Timber-look floor tiles inject a sense of warmth that complement a restful space.
$100,000 Renovation cost
The renovation took 12 weeks to complete due to a shortage of workers as a result of the backlog of projects post-pandemic. The cost came in at just under $100,000 and she moved back in November 2022.
“As this project entailed a lot of elements that required customisation, we had to ensure that we had a thorough understanding of the client’s brief and needs coupled with a careful study of the existing plan to see how we can enhance the spatial planning and make it more efficient,” Max explains.
Raymond adds: “It would not have been possible without the client’s open-minded approach towards exploring various design and customisation options.”