SquareRooms Home Search 2017 Winner: Mid-Century Flair Reigns Supreme At This HDB Apartment


The first thing that will strike anyone entering Cyn Chua and Derrick Chan’s home is its evocative colour palette. Dressed in mid-tone blues and greens and accented with black, the mood of the home is at once sophisticated and edgy. It is a far cry from typical Build-To-Order units that prize bright and airy interiors.

The home’s unconventional but appealing look was what made it stand out from the rest of the Home Search entries. Despite its strong mid-century modern vibe – complete with plenty of copper and brass accents complemented by dark wood finishes – the couple reveals that they did not have a particular theme in mind when planning the renovation of their 990-square foot home, on which they spent approximately $70,000 renovating. Their brief was simple: to incorporate different elements that they liked into the space.

The original kitchen entrance was sealed up to form an enclosed entryway lined with glossy checkerboard floor tiles. A new kitchen entrance was then opened up at a perpendicular wall. While this meant that some of the cooking space would be sacrificed, the homeowners did not mind citing that they hardly cook at home. Outfitted with black cabinetry, fittings and appliances, the cooking zone carries over the home’s sophisticated vibe. No detail has been spared for this utilitarian space ­– even the walls of the service yard and accompanying pipes were painted over in black. The black theme is further enhanced by brass and copper hardware and strips of copper trimming that line the cabinet’s circumference.

Also giving the HDB dwelling its distinctive look is the home office’s glass walls. A request made by Derrick, the feature allows the communal zones to feel more spacious. This room has been simply furnished with loose furniture from BoConcept. Coupled with the blue colour scheme, the space is a conducive one for Derrick to take late night calls for work. The couple explains that choosing loose furniture was a strategic decision, as it would allow them to modify the room in the future when the need arises. Next to this room, the living room is a classy scene with its leather Chesterfield, wood-effect panelled wall, French mouldings, and floor-length drapery.

The reason why the walk-in wardrobe does not open up from the sleeping zone is that the wall separating the master bedroom and the adjacent room is part of the building’s structure. But that seemed to work out well for the couple as their actual bedroom can be used as a sanctuary purely for rest, while the walk-in wardrobe works as a dressing room.

With its unique colour palette, tasteful furnishings and material choices, and clever reconfiguration, Cyn and Derrick’s home proves that HDB homes do not need to adhere to a certain style. All it takes is a little imagination and courage to make unconventional choices.

This was adapted from an article originally published in the December 2017 issue of SquareRooms. Photo credits: The Scientist.

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