A 645sqf apartment conjures up an image of cramped, uncomfortable shoebox living.

But for Chris Huang – private chef and runs an interior design business (Bowerman Interior Planner) – that’s plenty of space to cook, serve, work and rest in.

Far from being dreary or uninspiring, this sunny weekend retreat combines modern industrial decor – or what Chris dubs “rough luxe” – with a jolt of Chinois chic.  

The mismatched seats give the dining area a laid-back air. The “concrete screed” wall is actually a wallcovering! 

As privacy was not a concern, the walls of the bedroom were replaced with glass panels. The homeowner added both false horizontal and vertical beams to give the space a more symmetrical look 

Chris repurposed cabinets from a restaurant for his wardrobe, and added stained-wood shutter doors. They now take up the space previously occupied by the kitchen. 

The bathroom features granite and homogeneous tiles on the floor and walls. A laminate cupboard under the vanity provides unobtrusive storage space. 

Following the $40,000 renovation, the apartment – which is also a showflat for Chris’ interior design business – no longer bears much resemblance to a typical HDB unit.