Make no mistake about it; small spaces require big planning. Even though the square footage of this penthouse unit doesn’t quite constitute as small and poky, the bedrooms and communal zones posed some serious space challenges for the Tay family. Says an initially concerned Mrs Tay: “We weren’t sure what we could do with the space. It was very small.”
The married couple and their two teenage children were actually moving out from their HDB flat unit – where the size of the rooms felt a lot more ample. They knew they had to rope in an expert to counter these space limitations and that was none other than veteran designer Adrian Heng. Having admired his works up close and personal at a colleague’s place where he helmed the renovation, Mrs Tay was confident the designer from SpaceOne ID could rise to the challenge.
For the shared living and dining areas, Adrian reconfigured the original layout by swopping both areas. The living zone is now situated near to the enclosed kitchen and front entrance, while the dining zone sits next to the outdoor terrace. This new arrangement is the best of all worlds as the family can enjoy a space-friendly communal zone to entertain, lounge and dine in. When the sliding doors to the terrace are open, the homeowners have the option of dining alfresco. Adrian also extended the new living area by putting up a false wall to better accommodate the custom-designed high back sofa. Louvred clear panels cast sideways on the wall let more daylight to flood into the otherwise dark stairwell.
Vertical storage, lots of it, is also imperative to make the most of the living and dining areas. Adrian worked that in by mounting an almost full-height entertainment cabinet and console but left the bottom open to show off more floor area. In anti-colour white to further enhance the visual expanse of space, the laminate cabinets are joined with suspended half-height cabinets which anchor the dining zone. The cabinets also serve as countertop space for decorative ornaments. The rest of the wall is clad with mirrors for a classy and spacious-looking take.
The bedrooms of today’s modern apartments and HDB BTO flats are notorious for their tiny stature and it is no different for this three-bedder home. Things got tricky in the junior master bedroom located at the lower storey as Adrian was required to fit in a workstation, wardrobe and a bed for the teenage son. One might expect the room to look like a tight squeeze with all these built-in amenities, but Adrian managed to glam it up into a cosy hotel-worthy suite with custom-designed soft furnishings.
Same goes for the upper-level master bedroom and common bedroom. The master bedroom is decked out in luxe touches in the form of high gloss woodgrain and faux leather laminate finishes shrouding the main feature wall. The leather bed frame is custom-made as well and it offers pull-out drawers at the base for additional storage compartments. For the teenage daughter’s bedroom, there was no room at all for even a work desk. Space-starved as the room might be, Adrian decided to distract the eye by choosing a beautiful Tiffany Blue wall tone. It worked like a charm and the occupant is so smitten with the gorgeous hue that she doesn’t mind the petite space that much.
From initially worried about being overwhelmed by the stunning results of their brand new family home, the Tays’ emotions and expectations took a 360-degree turn. It goes to show that the potential of small spaces shouldn’t be overlooked. All it took was a space-savvy designer like Adrian to tap into its full potential and now the homeowners get to enjoy a polished-looking and highly functional living space.
This was adapted from an article originally written by Disa Tan