This HDB Flat Unit Engages An Eclectic Mix Of Styles For A Distinctive Boutique Hotel-inspired Look


This renovated resale HDB flat has an interesting story to tell, probably of the many travel adventures held by its homeowners – a married couple and their two teenage kids. They conveyed their desire to recreate the look of the boutique hotels they’ve had the pleasure of visiting to Director Cynthia Liau from The Inside Job, who took charge of the overhaul. Cynthia explains, “The clients are frequent travellers who wanted a design that reminds them of all the quirky boutique hotels they’ve stayed before.”

The design brief was, therefore, to establish a design harmony of different eclectic styles. “This project takes on the challenge of blending different design languages successfully,” says Cynthia, “This allows them to flow seamlessly from one zone to another, all in a seemingly hospitable setting.”

For starters, they changed the floor plan of the original kitchen to accommodate a dry kitchen. “The original kitchen was larger,” says Cynthia. “We knocked away the boundary walls, pushed the kitchen walls backwards and created a dry kitchen for the homeowners’ entertainment needs.” Fronting the new dry kitchen is an island counter which serves as a perfect gathering point for friends and family.

With its striking asymmetrical form and a strong black-and-gold colour palette, this island counter naturally attracts guests with its alluring form and function. A black marble surface tops the counter and is embellished by gold chamfered recessed edges which carve out leg room for the bar stools. “The asymmetrical design accommodates the bar stools,” remarks Cynthia, “The shape of the counter essentially stands out on its own like an artistic accent of the house.”

While this reconfigured dry kitchen makes a bold style statement, the living and dining zones evoke a restful ambience for a balanced contrast.  A light colour palette of warm neutrals fills the two connecting areas and this clean-lined backdrop allows the island unit to truly shine as the centrepiece of the home.

Textured wallpaper was employed as the main feature wall treatment for the living area, which is nestled within a cosy nook of the floor plan. To plush up the entire zone, a built-in settee was put into place next to the window and is aligned with the low-lying TV console and sofa for a seamless touch. This inviting setting can accommodate a good amount of guests, especially when the crowd spills over from the kitchen island counter.

It’s another world in the wet kitchen which is dressed in a luxurious ensemble of blue and white hues. To evoke a light-filled and spacious effect in this enclosed area, the light-coloured and lustrous combination of glazed wall tiles and quartz countertops works well against the cabinetry in a matte blue finish. The tiny detail of cup pull handles in a metallic finish adds in additional lustre and a sleek finishing touch.

As one heads towards the private zones, there is a change of flooring treatments which marks a transition of design styles. The master bedroom is a sanctuary in the true sense of the word with its neutral colour scheme and a sleek built-in wardrobe. While this space takes on a more muted palette, the children’s bedrooms sport a brighter look with the inclusion of coloured feature walls. The rooms are kept tidy and minimal with built-in cabinets and recessed lighting that add a warm glow when needed.

This was adapted from an article originally written by Disa Tan published in the March 2019 issue of SquareRooms. Photo credits: The Inside Job