Equipped with similar floor plans and interior fittings like doors and window frames, the newer HDB flats are as predictable as it gets. There are few exceptions that manage to break out of this mould. This brand new flat unit in Punggol, where there are countless BTO HDB flat estates, definitely stands apart from the pack. It is the starter home of Principal Designer Kobe Wong, his wife and their daughter and they approached it with a modern luxe style in mind.
“Even though it is essentially a home for a young family, my wife, who is an air stewardess, likes the hotel-inspired style while I was struck by the idea of a chic bachelor’s pad,” he says with a laugh. “We arrived at an agreement with modern luxury. Both our design preferences are translated into the choice of the sleek furnishings and the minimalistic but masculine colour scheme.”
With his expertise and a trained eye in interior design, Kobe had the upper hand in designing his flat as compared to most clueless homeowners. His deep insights in material selection served him well when it came to choosing tiles, laminates and even the vinyl flooring. These advantages are reflected in the results of a polished and well-thought-out design style from top to bottom. Best of all, his home – in which he spent $100,000 renovating – has become a living testimonial of his design work. He says of his “showflat”: “I get to bring potential clients here to show them my work and explain about the different finishes and materials.”
Starting with the original floorplan, his new plan for it involved pretty drastic measures. A good number of walls were hacked away and the three-bedroom flat is now a two-bedder. And while it is common practice to turn the kitchen into an open-concept area, he upped the game with an interesting entrance to connect the cooking space with the rest of communal zones. Structural eyesores like recessed walls and even piping were cleverly concealed as well.
The other design trait that differentiates it from other typical HDB units is the understated colour scheme. Dark tones that exude a sense of masculinity are well paired with warm and muted colours. “Being selective with colours enhances the entire design uniformity of the space”, he says.
Maintaining a sleek and cohesive design order in the bedroom, Kobe utilised a lavish treatment of carpentry works for the walk-in wardrobe and its connecting wardrobe on the other side. This affords the space with a generous amount of storage space and comes in handy for the family of three. With a good grasp on the space configuration, he has managed to incorporate not one, but two dressers into this expanded room. Sliding pocket doors are then used for both the entrance of the bedroom and the walk-in wardrobe. These soft-closing doors can be neatly tucked away within recesses next to the wardrobes.
Being bold and space-savvy has paid off in the transformation of this home. He is detailed even towards the inconspicuous areas like the service yard and the common bathroom. Kobe explains, “If you already did up 90 per cent of your home, why should you leave the last 10 per cent untouched?” With this rationale, he is thinking for the long term and is investing in the future value of his flat. It’s no wonder his service yard is one of the best-looking, if not most functional service area, by far. The bigger picture is of course, with all these tiny but tasteful details, it brings forth an HDB flat that reigns supreme.
This was adapted from an article originally written by Disa Tan published in the June 2018 issue of SquareRooms