Find Out How This 5-Room HDB Flat Got Its New Hotel-Inspired Look


The trend of transforming run-of-the-mill public housing into classy upscale units appears to be catching and it is prominent in this seemingly ordinary BTO flat unit. With the renovation undertaken by Mesh Werk Studio, the home was transformed into a picture of modern luxury. “The homeowners specified for a hotel-inspired style,” reveals the team. That transpired a clean-lined colour palette for the flat unit which is also interjected by a striking ensemble of dark woodgrained textures and metallic surfaces.

Like yin and yang, the woodgrained tones and metallic accents offer a well-balanced juxtaposition of warm and cool style elements. It anchors the main communal zones and offers a distinctive look for each room without losing the visual connection.

Another thing that sets the unit apart is the reconfiguration of the kitchen. “The homeowners wanted an island unit and a flexible semi-open concept for their cooking space,” the team explains. To achieve that, they took to hacking away the boundary walls of the kitchen and also extended its floor area. Bi-fold doors in glass now stand between this area and the rest of the communal zones. The absence of solid walls brings in natural light and creates a showroom-worthy kitchen. It also shines the spotlight on the star of the kitchen – the freestanding island unit. This centrepiece is outlined by contemporary curves, gold trimmings and a light-coloured matte laminated finish. These sleek design details bring forth a kitchen that is brimming with sophistication.

When the bi-fold doors are open, the boundaries between the kitchen and shared living-dining zones become blurred and this creates one big expansive area for the homeowners to dine, rest and entertain. The designers then relocated the dining area and it is now positioned next to the cleverly-concealed bomb shelter. They explain that this location carves out a free-flowing floor plan; one that offers more room for the homeowners’ toddler son to run around.

A cohesive balance was struck for the design details in the living area. The designers lined wood-effect laminate strips onto the TV feature wall and matched it with matte gold laminates. It is then fronted by a grey TV console with matte gold trimmings. The facing wall, which now serves as both a decorative backdrop for the sofa and a functional storage wall, is now clad with wood-effect laminated cabinetry and outlined by matte gold trimmings.

Heading into the bedrooms, one of the common rooms has been converted into the walk-in wardrobe. The designers teamed vinyl flooring and laminates with similar wood-effect patterns, resulting in a design continuity that establishes a warm yet spacious effect for a walk-in en suite. To break up the monotony, the additions of a standalone vanity with tapered legs in a brass finish add a touch of glamour to the space.

Another space that went through quite an extensive overhaul is the master bathroom. The designers replaced the existing sink counter with an extended built-in unit bearing a matching material palette of neutral-coloured laminates. The curvature of the counter also echoes the organic form of the kitchen island. Most importantly, it combats the constraint of the corner space much more efficiently than a regular rectangular unit would.

Besides sleek aesthetics, storage and practicality are very much embedded into this ordinary HDB flat. This ups the ante of living well for the homeowners, where the Mesh Werk Studio designers have seamlessly integrated creature comforts with better liveability.

This was adapted from an article originally written by Disa Tan published in the March 2019 issue of SquareRooms. Photo credits: Mesh Werk Studio 

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