Industrial Meets Luxury At This HDB Flat Unit Where Utilitarian Style Has Been Achieved With Much Finesse


The industrial look can be more than just concrete walls or exposed piping; it can appear as refined attested by the seamless integration of the industrial and luxury styles in this HDB flat unit.

Celebrating the humble materials of this pared back style with a sophisticated approach are Renee Lim and Jeffrey Lee, the co-founders of Rockin Spaces. The design duo reveals more of the design brief: “The male homeowner prefers a luxurious theme while his wife favours an industrial-meets-minimalist aesthetic. They also specified for an open-plan living space where they could entertain.”

To bear the design hallmark of the industrial style’s spacious aesthetic, the designers had to rethink the current configuration of the flat unit. Expanding the communal zones became the solution and the boundary walls for one of the bedrooms and the kitchen were then hacked away. This fresh new layout presents a larger dining space fit for entertaining while the open-concept kitchen has a fluid flow of interaction with the other communal zones.

Breaking the boundaries of space through hacking works doesn’t only apply to the floor plan; Renee and Jeffrey have meticulously put together an out-of-the-box design approach for the surface pairing of walls, floors, cabinetry and the ceiling. This interplay between industrial and luxury accents is well reflected within each zone of the home and sets off a harmonious yet distinct design identity.

One of the design highlights fall on the open-concept cookspace, where the designers skilfully paired different surfaces to great style impact. They say, “For the countertops, we used a honed granite surface for a more casual industrial style take as opposed to using polished granite which is more luxurious.” The industrial aesthetic is carried over towards the backsplash where the wall surface is painted with a cement paint effect and then overlaid with a see-through layer of glass for easy maintenance.

A cement aesthetic has been applied across the walls on the other side where the designers have taken a page from award-winning architect Tadao Ando’s iconic concrete design. However, instead of real concrete, they chose to work with the special paint effect bearing the look of cement.  They explain, “This special effect paint was chosen because it has a better colour consistency and to avoid cracks in the future. We were inspired by Ando’s concrete design as his design embodies minimalism and raw textures, which aligns with the female homeowner’s style preference of minimalist and industrial themes.”

For a touch of class, the cookspace is clad in marble-effect tile flooring. This hardwearing flooring sports hexagonal forms with marble veining which introduce opulence to the kitchen without the heavy maintenance of actual marble flooring.

Vinyl flooring in a greyish-white hue takes over the living and dining zones and affords the shared space with a warm and cosy ambience. This moody backdrop sets the stage for the sleek and luxurious finishes to take prominence. The designers utilised several laminate and mirror finishes conveying a design language of understated sophistication. It is best exemplified by the tinted mirror feature wall in the living zone which brings an expanse of light and space to elevate the visual expanse of the area.

A strong visual demarcation of laminate finishes in wood and marble patterns anchors the dining zone. By using two distinct finishes to line the wall and ceiling respectively, this cocoons this area as a more formal-looking dining room. By putting extra thought into embellishing different areas of the home with striking design accents, Renee and Jeffrey have put together a living space with well-appointed and practical style touches bearing the industrial style’s hard edge.

This was adapted from an article originally written by Disa Tan published in the September 2019 issue of SquareRooms. Photo credits: Rockin Spaces