photos @460HOME

With two young children, Nur Jafer and Farid realised that their former four-room flat was no longer sufficient for the family of four. Nur, a homemaker, and Farid, a civil servant, wanted a home close to nature and schools.

They were smitten by this five-room resale flat right next to a park. The unit, however, was in bad shape, and the couple knew they would need to overhaul it.

Prepared with a mood board for the modern English farmhouse concept and sketches, they searched for an interior designer to guide them further. Nur’s main idea was to have a long island in the dining area, which was previously closed off from the main entrance.

Who Lives Here: A family of four
Home: A 5-room HDB resale flat in Bedok Reservoir
Size: 1,353 sq ft (125 sqm)
Interior Designer: 460home

Feng Shui Interior Design

“Three interior designers rejected my idea of putting an island near the entrance. Some say that having an island there is not good for fengshui. One of the interior designers proposed just a short two-seater island facing the door, which we do not like as we want our guests to face each other and look over to the lush greenery outside,” she explains.

The couple found an interior designer who agreed with the concept. Design consultant Aw Ying Hui from Tid Plus Design says, “Nur also provided us with a detailed 3D sketch with her requirements and measurements during our first meeting. It was decided that the main focal point of this apartment would be the island area and the kitchen as she enjoys baking and cooking daily.”

Farmhouse kitchen

The modern farmhouse concept appears most strongly in the kitchen, with its Shaker-style cabinets, open shelves, vintage-style handles, and shiplap-inspired wall tiles with a twist. The chimney hood stands out from the light palette, providing a focal point. The ovens are placed on one end of the L-shaped configuration to make the best use of space.

“Nur also wanted to have more functional compartments such as a custom-made chopping board storage, built-in ironing board, and also a built-in oven with a ventilation hole at the side to have better overall ventilation,” Ying Hui says.

The old HDB kitchen before renovation

The goal was to create an open-concept kitchen with a customised island that holds storage space and accommodates up to eight persons. Removing the walls has resulted in spaces flowing easily from one to another.

This sense of openness is enhanced with a light colour palette.

“I advised her to use Sail White for the walls as the off-white colour will give off a slightly softer look compared to normal white paint. Combined with the warm white lights she intended to use, that will give a cosier vibe and make the apartment more homely,” Ying Hui says.

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Wood Tiles

One of the first things they did was to strip away the old woodgrain flooring and replace them with tiles for the home.

The HDB living room before renovation

The couple picked tiles for their durability and longevity, opting for light wood-looking tiles. The dark wood console and ceramics add flair and an Asian touch. They also furnished the space with a roomy sofa.

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Kitchen island dining table

Walls used to enclose the dining area, keeping it out of sight from the main entrance. But that also meant there was insufficient room for Nur’s vision. Removing the walls has resulted in an open-plan home that connects the kitchen, dining and living areas, and balcony.

Dining area before the wall was hacked down and renovated

In addition to the kitchen island, there is room for a dry pantry area, a double-door refrigerator, and a sideboard for more storage. The black high bar stools, which hint at the mid-century modern style, contrast against the white kitchen island unit.

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English farmhouse interior

Transforming the 36-year-old unit into a chic modern English farmhouse concept took four months. Nur documented her home renovation journey on her Instagram account @460home, where she shares lunch box ideas, furniture finds, home styling ideas, and organisation tips.

Enjoying a hands-on approach to interior styling and decorating, Nur made most of the art pieces herself. Pieces that depict local architecture like the Sultan Mosque, National Gallery and The Fullerton Hotel were purchased from Poster Hub.

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HDB Balcony design

For apartment-dwelling plant lovers like Nur, a roomy balcony is a dream come true. All the stone wall tiles and flooring were removed and replaced with classic black and white square tiles.

The kopitiam table and stools give this space a local Singaporean flavour. Here, the family could spend quiet mornings tending to the houseplants.

The HDB balcony before renovation.

The home has evolved since the family’s move in April 2022, leaning towards a mid-century modern concept.

“I’m deeply influenced by Jeremiah Brent, Nate Berkus, Joanna Gaines, Lone Fox, and Studio McGee. Watching them design beautiful home makes me want to create our home with a mix of English Farmhouse and mid-century modern.”

She has also integrated local touches like the kopitiam table and teak sideboard. With these elements of Singapore and Asia, the home is a unique blend birthed from a keen eye for aesthetics.

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Farmhouse bedroom design

A significant change to the master bedroom was to orientate the furniture such that the bed is now beside the bathroom entrance and the wardrobe is opposite.

The HDB master bedroom before renovation.

This opens up the bedroom so that it is possible to have a customised king-size bed that is two metres long and a bench at the foot of the bed. The light palette is complemented by the pink terrazzo bathroom tiles, which are visible through the fluted glass door.

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Terrazzo bathroom tiles

For the common bathroom to be used by the children and guests, the intention was to have a bathtub and a shower area. Fitting these into the bathroom was a challenge due to the numerous pipes that are found in flats of this age.

Bathtub HDB design

They sourced a compact bathtub for the children and tweaked the bathroom door entrance to accommodate the bathtub. The terrazzo wall softens the look of the space and complements the sanitary ware.

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