Find Out How This HDB Flat Was Transformed Into A Cosy Home For A Family Of 6


If you were a family of six occupying an apartment, you’d probably have to come up with creative ways to renovate your space so that everyone living in it will be comfortable. For this family living in a 5-room Executive HDB flat in Toh Guan Road, it was all about cleverly carving out spaces for each individual occupant so that the parents and teenaged children are comfortable and happy.

Sized at a generous 1,500 square feet, the unit’s floor plan originally included a sectioned off study area next to the living area. It also has an odd-shaped kitchen and service balcony. The one thing that made this humble abode special is that as a top-floor unit, it sports a 3.2m-high ceiling, allowing the interior designer Derrick Lim from D’Marvel Scale to come up with a couple of ingenious solutions to accommodate the family. Other than some space maximising requests, the homeowners had a straightforward brief for a Scandinavian-themed home that sports the use of pastel colours to create a welcoming and soothing space where all members can relax and gather with their friends and family.

The first thing that the designer suggested to meet the request for accommodating three teenaged boys in one bedroom was to construct two loft beds. Working with a carpenter, Derrick took advantage of the high ceilings to create one bunk bed and another loft bed with a study area below. To open up some space to house the boys’ wardrobe, the design team also moved parts of a wall further into the adjacent daughter’s bedroom to make way for a built-in wardrobe.

Besides the youngsters’ rooms, another major renovation work done in the home was the hacking away of a wall that previously contained a study. With the removal of the non-load bearing wall, the living room was expanded, which perfectly meets the brief of creating a large space to entertain friends and family. In fact, the new living room is so spacious that the inhabitants often host movie nights with their extended family thanks to an elaborate home entertainment setup. To accommodate a projector with the option to tuck away the rolled up screen, Derrick designed a full-height TV console with a niche at the top to hide the projector when not in use.

Part of the homeowners’ brief included the request for a dry kitchen in which the lady of the house can indulge in her favourite pastime – baking. Derrick explains, “The family wanted separate kitchens for heavy cooking and baking. The lady of the house, in particular, wanted to bake while interacting with guests and other family members at the same time.”

Anchoring this area is a U-shaped kitchen counter topped with quartz. The side that faces the communal zones has been constructed to offer a dual purpose. On one side are shelves for keeping baking essentials handy, while the other serves as a secondary dining area.

The wet kitchen, which is accessible through sliding barn doors, has also been slightly modified to better serve the users. The entrance connecting the kitchen to the common bathroom was sealed up so that the space could be converted into a laundry area.

Another spatial modification done in the apartment is in the master bedroom. As the room comes with an attached en suite, Derrick proposed having the entrance to the bathroom moved to another side so that space can be freed up for a built-in wardrobe. For a seamless finish, the door to the en-suite bathroom was built into the side of the wardrobe unit. One need only slide it open to reveal the bathing area.

While the layout modifications are minor, the results of the tweaks create a highly liveable home that boasts a seamless flow from one space to another. Couple this with the use of a visually pleasing colour palette matched with light wood tones, this HDB home is a refreshing sanctuary to retreat to after a day at work or school.

This was adapted from an article originally published in the July 2019 issue of SquareRooms. Photo credits: D’Marvel Scale