Cosy Wood Tones And Industrial Elements Define This Stylish 5-Room HDB Apartment


From floors to doors, wood tones are a common feature throughout homes around the world, and for good reason.

Near-infinite variations in texture and undertones allow this flexible shade of natural brown to be easily adapted to different spaces and decor styles – from dark, cosy bed chambers to tropical-inspired living rooms. However, creating an outstanding wood-clad interior takes no small amount of skill and inspiration.

“Although the homeowners wanted an easy-to-maintain interior filled primarily with wood tones, it is key that the right balance was struck to create a sustained visual interest throughout the entire apartment,” says Ryan Liu, the project manager of interior design firm Z L Construction.

Setting about accomplishing the homeowners’ vision of a cosy abode with Scandinavian-minimalist appeal, Ryan went to work by first installing an eye-catching herringbone floor within the living room. Light timber-lookalike tiles brighten up the apartment’s look, while their distinctive V-shaped arrangement forms a unique symmetry that enables the floor to star as the home’s signature architectural feature.

At the owners’ request, both the entryway and balcony, which flank the living room, were also modified to achieve an overall expanded space. “Making over both areas really opened up the surroundings as they previously ate into the living room’s territory,” says Ryan.

Where there was a cumbersome storeroom occupying the apartment’s entryway prior to the renovation, there is now a pair of streamlined storage structures. Adjoining each other at a right angle, a shoe cabinet doubles up as a feature display with a column of perfectly flushed shelves. Whereas its counterpart, a full height wardrobe and its monolithic concrete-effect doors, keep the space grounded.

On the opposite end, Ryan expanded the living room by merging it with the apartment’s balcony. “The owners did not see the point of having a balcony and much preferred having the extra space,” Ryan explains. “As another advantage, bringing down the balcony’s exterior walls also allowed more daylight to be let into the nearby dining area.”

Sharing the same space and overlooking a custom-made Suar wood dining table with a distinctive swirled grain is the apartment’s open-concept kitchen, which beckons with its collection of striking monochrome graphic tiles, near-seamless fittings and glossy finishes.

“While you might be unable to tell from the finished product, some design compromises had to be made to achieve the kitchen’s current look,” Ryan shares. “For instance, the backsplash was originally meant to be outfitted with octagonal mosaic tiles, which were out of stock, so we substituted them with muted blue subway tiles from Hafary that turned out to be a standout feature.”

Taking on a more serene quality is the master bedroom that conjoins a walk-in wardrobe. In order to link both spaces together via a common corridor, Ryan shifted the boudoir’s original entrance outwards and installed a less intrusive sliding door. “Without it, the flow of traffic between the two rooms would be hindered by the swing radius of a regular hinged door,” explains Ryan.

Meanwhile, a pair of sizeable wood-textured closets – installed along each side of a central passageway – forms a complementary contrast with the walk-in wardrobe’s lighter vinyl floor tiles that sport a similar woodgrained pattern. The final addition to the space, a customised vanity, comes equipped with power sockets and drawer slots to store the owners’ collection of hair styling tools.

“This was a tiring but satisfying experience,” is Ryan’s summary of the entire project. “It took plenty of coordination to implement the customised features that the owners wished for, but I am sure that they are satisfied with the overall result.”

This was adapted from an article originally published in the September 2017 issue of SquareRooms.  Photo credits: Z L Construction