Aesthetics may play an important role in establishing an appealing home but looks alone do not make it liveable. Good space planning is therefore an integral process of the renovation. This was what went down for the conceptualisation of this ordinary 4-room HDB flat with an interesting space configuration. Instead of leaving the original floor plan as the usual series of rooms, Design Director Terence Neo from Eightytwo had bigger plans for the 920-square foot home.
“The biggest challenge was to convert the living area, which was very narrow, into something suitable for the homeowners’ lifestyles,” he says. “We convinced them to combine the guestroom and the living room to create a bigger living area. It was a leap of faith on their part, but I think they certainly didn’t regret their decision!”
To materialise such a living area with a seamless spatial flow, the wall between the living area and guestroom was knocked down. A glass showcase framed in powder coated mild steel now stands between the two zones and provides a clear form of demarcation that lets in light and air. What is left of the guestroom is now split into two zones: a study and a workshop. While it would have been far simpler to have the study and workshop on the same floorplate, Terence had a door built to separate the two.
Of this unique set-up, he explains: “The male homeowner is into model crafting and his private workshop ensures he can work on his models in peace, while preventing their cat from entering and meddling with his tools when they are not around.”
Another unconventional setup is the dining counter. Rather than a proper table, this high-rise tabletop is versatile enough to also work as a bar counter and additional kitchen countertop. Adding to its functionality is an overhead bar rack made of powder coated mild steel. The black outlines of the rack pair well with the elongated counter to create a sleek, streamlined effect.
To fit in the dining counter, the entrance of the kitchen was widened. Terence reveals: “We extended it from 1m to 2.6m.” A bigger entrance means the kitchen is no longer enclosed and is visible from the communal zones. It was therefore important to establish design uniformity for the cooking zone and the adjoining dining area. For that, he applied the same compact panel finish for both the kitchen and dining countertops.
The remaining two bedrooms underwent quite a transformation as well – the master bedroom and common bedroom were integrated as one. Terence had the second bedroom’s entrance sealed and the boundary wall hacked away to create a seamless sleeping space and an en-suite walk-in wardrobe. One noteworthy aspect within the walk-in wardrobe is the String storage system, a modular shelving unit that the homeowners specifically requested for. He adds: “ The homeowners had already set their sights on either full black or black with oak for the String storage system – a decision we were absolutely onboard with— and we worked the wardrobe design around it.”
This explains the open-concept wardrobe which aligns harmoniously with the String system. While it is outfitted in a simple contrast of black and white, the sleek monochromatic colour palette and clean-cut design lines set a strong visual impact.
Monochromes are prominent in the two bathrooms and the classic black-and-white colour scheme is reflected not just on the surfaces, but also on the sanitary fittings. A similar treatment of ceramic tiles for the kitchen’s backsplash is utilised for the shower stall as well. These matching materials instil a cohesive design order that links up all the areas of the home. A touch of luxe has also been implemented with the choice of solid surface countertops with faux marble veining.
With these bespoke touches and a thoughtful sense of space planning, Terence has created a home that is comfortable, savvy and spacious. His strong sense of design and dedication to detail and functionality has resulted in a home that shines with beauty and practicality.
This was adapted from an article originally written by Disa Tan published in the March 2018 issue of SquareRooms. Photo credits: Eightytwo