Chic And Arty Details Define This HDB Apartment


Giving tastefully-done private homes a run for their money is this well-curated HDB flat unit situated in central Singapore. Walls of finesse reign here and this is drawn out by the exquisite pairing of colours and textures. The man behind this picture of perfection is designer Joey Khu who envisioned a modern luxe theme for this project. “The main inspiration was derived from designer hotels,” says the veteran designer who clearly has a strong eye for detail and colour.

Aware that a good source of daylight makes all the difference, Joey had a good grasp on the light path of the home as well as how to capitalise it. He hacked away the boundary wall enclosing the kitchen and put up a decorative screen comprising tinted mirrors. It is then integrated with a half-height counter which now fills the rest of the communal areas with more natural light.

The absence of walls along the kitchen perimeter also shows off the beauty of its Italian tile backsplash. Like a work of art, the creamy veining cuts through the darker muted tone like masterful strokes and this contrast creates a beguiling backdrop for the kitchen. Fronting the kitchen is a divider which sports tinted mirror strips. It creates a streamlined appeal with the alignment of the custom-designed dining table.

Decked in a quartz tabletop and with T-shaped metal legs, the dining table is the epitome of simple elegance. The clean touch of white on the tabletop is a great complement to the tubular lighting that protrudes through the false ceiling. This creates a dynamic effect which brings an element of surprise to the sea of flat, regular surfaces. “We were definitely going for something different there,” he explains. “As compared to a dangling pendant lamp, this tube lighting from Sol Luminaire works in a playful twist. “

Turning the attention towards the living area, a grand composition of tiles, laminates and neutral-coloured paint lines the walls. The multi-textured and coloured setting puts together a cosy yet chic ambience that is perfect for hosting friends and family. Statement pieces like the turquoise Magis Traffic armchair and the Yamagiwa Taliesin floor lamp add another layer of visual interest. Joey also lent his expertise in pairing the artworks with smaller accessories like the Tom Dixon copper cast shoe and other curio pieces to form a characterful and engaging living zone.

The three bedrooms have now been reconfigured into a library-lounge and a master bedroom with an attached walk-in wardrobe and study. “To fulfil the homeowners’ desire for a quiet space to contemplate and to unwind in, the library-lounge room is a perfect fit for these interests,” reveals Joey. To keep this room sleek yet inviting, he designed a full-height bookshelf with minimalist-looking storage compartments. Through streamlined touches of warm light peeking through the cabinetry, this design move bestows an intimate yet stylish ambience that is reminiscent of a hotel lounge area. “The positioning of the lighting for this area and other parts of the home was carefully considered to establish the right mood,” remarks Joey.

Pushing the envelope further is the master bedroom which is equipped with all the creature comforts of a hotel suite. A fully upholstered floor-to-ceiling headboard fills the sleeping boudoir with hotel decadence. Flanked by subtle touches of bedside lighting hidden within the laminate coverings, hitting the hay in this setting is true bliss. Even the ensuite bathroom bears a hint of an open-concept bathroom. A glass opening through its sliding door lets the light from the bedroom into the otherwise dark bathroom.

Under the skilled eye and rich expertise of Joey, the bland and predictable styles of public housing become a thing of the past. Effortlessly chic is now the new normal and with designers like him, one can expect greater things to emerge from HDB flats.

This was adapted from an article originally written by Disa Tan published in the July 2018 issue of SquareRooms. Photo credits: Joey Khu Interior Design

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