This Cookie-Cutter HDB Unit Was Transformed With Bold Configurations and Statement Materials

Not everyone is open to bold ideas, especially when it comes to their humble abode, but this married couple certainly set a different tone with their new marital home which is brimming with character. Designer Caine Cheong from Ideasxchange, who worked with the couple on their renovation, said: “The homeowners weren’t looking for anything that was run of the mill, so we were on the same page to create something unconventional.”

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Among some of the couple’s unusual design requirements were a grand reading room style for their living area, an NYC loft-like kitchen and a combined wardrobe-bathroom ensuite for their bedroom. To materialise these ideas into a cohesive style that doesn’t compromise everyday ease, Caine had to plan the layout carefully.

In the kitchen, he hacked away the boundary walls between the dining area and service yard. That opened up the communal zones exponentially to amplify the expanse of space and light. This bright and free-flowing configuration also allowed Caine to explore a darker palette with confidence without overwhelming the final look.

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Black laminates in a matt finish now line the open-concept kitchen as well as the dining room wall. Of the material’s chic, dark tone, Caine remarks: “There’s a velvety touch to this laminate which is almost like suede, and it brings a premium touch to elevate interiors.” Pairing this sleek finish with the rose gold-hued kitchen backsplash, the dark, masculine tone draws out a perfectly brilliant contrast against the soft metallic palette.

While most homeowners would go for overhead closed shelving for practical reasons, this couple wanted industrial-style open shelving to store and showcase their kitchen essentials. Caine fulfilled their wish with mild steel racks which have been artfully arranged on the kitchen wall. These open and airy storage compartments provide an edgy, loft-like aesthetic and let the rose gold mosaic tiles shine as an outstanding centrepiece in the kitchen.

In the living area, wood-effect laminates take precedence as wall coverings and cabinetry finishes. These rich and grainy textures evoke the moody opulence of a reading room and offer welcoming respite for the homeowners to unwind after a long day. Though there is a lavish use of woody textures, the living area maintains its spacious visage thanks to the fluid, open-concept layout which bathes the space in good lighting.

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Living out the five-star hotel experience right in their own bedroom, the homeowners enjoy the luxuries of an upsized space complete with a connecting bathroom-wardrobe ensuite. Caine says: “We merged a common bedroom with the master bedroom to cater for these amenities.”

No doubt the design highlight of the bedroom, the glamourous ensuite features his and hers sinks and a spacious walk-in wardrobe. These boutique hotel-like touches occupy almost half of the enlarged room and are separated by a glass enclosure. On the other side where the sleeping quarters lie, an intimate ambience was conceived through a dark grainy palette of wood-effect laminates and monochromatic colours.

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Through Caine’s restrained eye in mixing the right materials with just the right amount of unique detail, he has put together a distinctively classy yet characterful living space. From cookie-cutter home to a fully customised abode, this flat unit has certainly raised the bar of HDB living.

This post was adapted from an article originally published in the November 2020 issue of SquareRooms.