A Totally Transformed HDB Resale Flat Inspired By Cosy Scandinavian Homes

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Before design director of Minimo & Minimology, Elden Lim came into the picture, this resale flat unit was not the most exciting place to live in. “It looked like a standard BTO flat unit,” he reveals, “and the family who used to stay here has kids so practicality was more important than aesthetics.” To put it simply, the 5-year-old flat’s old style was as predictable as it gets. “Contractor style,” he reiterates with a chuckle.

Now it is definitely something out of the ordinary. As this is their first home together, the flat’s new owners naturally had far more ambitious design goals. The married couple in their mid-twenties loves cooking and entertaining and to embrace these interests, Elden altered much of the spatial configuration in the communal zones.

Describing the brand new space configuration, the interior designer says: “We mainly shifted the entrance of the kitchen next to the living area and added a sliding door and glass panels.” This repositioning pushes the cooking space closer to the living and dining area. More importantly, it establishes a fluid flow of space for the homeowners to move around, cook and entertain at ease. The positions of the living and dining areas were swapped as well. The new dining space is now bathed in daylight and creates a relaxed spot for after-meal conversations.

To carve out a modern Scandinavian style, Elden highlighted the warmth of wood with a sprawling feature wall bearing dark herringbone patterns. “It elongates the entire living and dining space”, he explains of this main focal point. It is paired with a long slab of Volakas marble mounted at the base which offers a luxurious shot of contrast. The rest of the design landscape is kept neutral with an overlay of vinyl flooring, and the walls and ceiling painted a fresh shade of white.

Besides the clean-cut backdrop, Elden maintained the home’s spacious flow by choosing not to install cove lighting in the ceilings. “It’s actually my signature style not to implement cove lighting at the ceiling but to apply warm lights in other areas”, he says. His explanation is it hampers the height of the ceilings and shrinks down the space visually. Therefore, warm lighting in the form of recessed lights can be found installed within carpentry works.

For the bedrooms, he adopted a hotel-worthy style for the master bedroom and en-suite bathroom. To work in the walk-in wardrobe, he had to execute some clever space-planning and eat into the space of the next common bedroom. “For the entire setup, I designed an 8-door wardrobe which is around 4.5m in length and has 90cm of walking space”, he says. “Within one of the wardrobes is also a dresser for the female homeowner and storage for her perfume bottles and accessories.”

No expense was spared for the en-suite bathroom which is decked in Volakas marble. It is not only dripping with hotel-style sophistication, the earth-coloured setting is an extension of the main modern Scandinavian scheme. Never missing a beat of the renovation, Elden’s steeled focus on design specifics definitely shows in the uniformed style treatment and its cohesive design flow.

This was adapted from an article originally written by Disa Tan published in the December 2017 issue of SquareRooms. Photo credits: Minimo & Minimology