Extraordinary HDB Designs

By Sylvia Ong / Qanvast | October 3, 2016 8:30 AM SGT
There is a natural tendency to expect less when it comes to the furnishing of HDB flats. The familiar “simple and minimal” design does not evoke feelings of a warm welcome. Some young homeowners whose properties are featured here decided to buck the trend.
“Today’s homeowners have lots of ideas about how their home should look like. They are also very knowledgeable about the kinds of materials that are being used,” says Wayne Tan, 37, project director of Fineline Design Pte Ltd and an interior designer for 10 years now.
“They know that the way to make contemporary style approachable comes down to details: For example, matte finishes with wooden grains that you can actually feel, marble tiles with visible veins, distressed furniture with fading colours and chips. What we used to think were probably old and ugly are now deemed ‘full of character’,” says Tan.
Old is gold
This eclectic four-room HDB flat exemplifies the theory that you do not need expensive furniture to make your home look good. A rich, layered effect is achieved by combining flea market finds, upcycled furniture designs from various time periods, and a diverse collection of accessories and artwork. A few pieces of the furniture show some wear and tear. All this adds character.
A study in contrast
It takes courage to bare it all. This industrial-themed HDB flat in Punggol Central is all about juxtaposing the raw with the refined, the vintage with the sleek and modern. The industrial look offers plenty of room for creating drama. Case in point: The leather tufted sofa contrasts with the reclaimed wooden panels and the mismatched vintage chairs around the dining table.
Better with beams
There is a difference when it comes to decorative ceiling beams like these and the unsightly, random structural ones that we can’t hack off. Exposed roof beams, like the ones in this Telok Blangah HDB flat, break the monotony of the plain and squarish layout by adding a warm and rustic note to the place.
Stow and show
Cabinets are more than just for storing; they are for showing off too. The shapes and lines of these built-in pieces give a coordinated theme, and their washed-out, reclaimed look contributes to the living room’s warmth.
Sylvia Ong is a writer at Qanvast.com, a renovation and interior design platform
This article appeared in The Edge Property Pullout, Issue 748 (Oct 3, 2016) of The Edge Singapore.