Connected Living

An open layout that links the kitchen, dining and living areas gave this home a better flow and made it more conducive to hosting.

With a love of hosting and entertaining, the couple residing in this four-room BTO flat envisioned their new home with a holistic, interconnected layout. Not only did they want a spacious dining area for gatherings but they also longed for an integrated study and living room.

Finding the standard HDB layout rather restrictive, they instead wanted to open up the existing space and start building from a blank canvas. The style of the home was inspired by their travels and love of minimalist and timeless design—particularly Danish and Japanese mid- century—as well as natural materials like wood, stone and clay.

They knew a lot of work needed to be done, including removing walls and default fixtures. Engaging the team at Threehaus Works for the extensive renovation, they used a natural mood board with lots of wooden textures as a starting point to bring their vision to life.

Opening up the home

The design process involved creating a single room that connects the kitchen, dining and living areas as one. To facilitate this, a wall between two of the bedrooms was hacked, combining them into a larger common space that serves as a living room and study corner.

The dining spot was relocated to the original living area, with an eight-seater dining table that gives the homeowners lots of room to host. A window settee behind it offers even more seating options with extra storage underneath.

It’s easy to flow from one space to another during gatherings—a meal at the dining table, games night on the couch in the living room or lounging around the kitchen island with drinks and nibbles. Every part of the house functions harmoniously, with a positive flow and a cohesive, soothing aesthetic.

Love is in the details

Accentuating the flat’s free-flowing layout is the natural look of the home, refined to the most minute of details. Dark wood accents and furnishings stand out against the muted backdrop, underscored by the thoughtfully selected cement screed flooring.

Another highlight is the recessed niche at the back of the dining area, the only fixed storage space in the otherwise flexible common space. It’s filled with memorabilia from the couple’s travels, as well as their personal art collections, which make for a curated backdrop during gatherings with friends and family.

A spacious kitchen layout

The kitchen was kept clean and airy, maximising functionality. The open concept makes it easy to move around, whether just for the homeowners or when guests pop by. Lattice detailing was incorporated within the carpentry as a subtle statement feature.

As the couple tries to cook or bake every weekend, they love that the large kitchen island gives them plenty of space for prep work. The lack of segregation within this space also means they can share the room and prepare meals together without bumping into each other.

Despite the usual advice to lay out major kitchen appliances in a triangle formation, the fridge, oven and sink were arranged next to each other in this kitchen. It may not be the most typical layout, but it works for these busy homeowners, allowing them to get things done in the kitchen and maximise the space without darting around too much.

One consideration the couple shares is that this open layout may not work for a larger family, as parents may have more items and would thus need additional storage space. The open kitchen also requires extra ventilation after cooking and the owners need to take care to keep the space clean and free of clutter at all times since the kitchen is in full view.

While the couple doesn’t mind these extra steps in exchange for the aesthetically pleasing space, they may be too troublesome for some homeowners.

Rest and retreat

Of course, not every part of the house is made for hosting. A study area in the corner of the living space offers privacy for when the homeowners need some peace and quiet to get work done.

The homeowners are also pleased that the less- visible areas like the bathrooms, laundry yard and bedroom were not neglected.

The bedroom in particular is secluded from the open areas and clearly demarcated as a private rest zone. As much as they enjoy having their loved ones over for a meal, retreating to this private space at the end of a long day is an essential ritual, ensuring rest and comfort for the generous hosts.