This 4-Room HDB Flat Is The Very Definition Of An Urban Sanctuary


Step into this 4-room Punggol HDB flat and you would feel instant calm. Spacious and open, the home is filled with vibrant plants large and small. “This is a small apartment for a couple who loves nature and are experimental indoor gardeners,” says interior designer Cynthia Liau.

Cynthia, who is the director of The Inside Job, explains, “The unit overlooks vast stretches of greenery. However, because the flat doesn’t have a balcony, the owners decided to explore indoor gardening to extend greenery indoors.” Along the windows, which let in bright light, are plants neatly lined on low shelves.

Aside from catering to the couple’s love of plants, she also took the time to understand their other needs and requirements. The couple wanted an understated ambience with minimal built-in furnishings and a streamlined ceiling. At the same time, all mechanical and electronic devices and accessories have to be concealed so as not to distract from the garden theme. They also wished for flexible spaces, where work and dining could be done in one place.

One of the first things Cynthia did was to open up one bedroom, thereafter converting it into a dining area. This resulted in a larger common space and more natural light than before. The entire wall here is filled with a custom storage unit with cabinets and open shelves. These cabinets are designed for storing documents and books for work, as well as objects of art that the couple have found on their travels.

They also preferred natural and matte finishes. And they were particular about not having synthetic-looking finishes. Of note, dark flooring grounds the space to create an earthy, back-to-nature feel. The light wood laminates of the custom storage unit blend in with the wood dining table, turning it into a relaxing, cafe-like setting. It is an idyllic spot for hosting large dinner parties with friends and family. Next, Cynthia complements the wood finishes with black ones, as seen in the dining chairs and patterned feature wall in the living area. With their choice of luxuriant plants, the owners have made working, socialising and relaxing surrounded by nature right in their own home a dream come true.

Collaboration is essential to crafting this personalised abode. “The owners were very involved from the beginning until the end of the project. They consulted us on the furnishings to be displayed to create the desired outcome,” Cynthia shares. “It is very rewarding to see that they truly love and enjoy the spaces we have created for them.”

This was adapted from an article originally written by Rossara Jamil published in the August 2018 issue of SquareRooms. Photo credits: The Inside Job