Read All About How This Yishun HDB Home Was Transformed Into A Fresh And Timeless Picture Of Modern Elegance


While most young homeowners hanker after the trending industrial or Scandinavian styles that are becoming a common look in HDB flats, this newly-wedded pair went off the beaten track with a modern classic theme. However, these practical folks wanted their living space to carry an enduring quality – one that could take them through different life stages. With the renovation led by Alvin Ling and Katrin Ann from The Scientist, they reveal, “This young couple aspired for a bright and cheerful home which reflected on their age and personalities. It should not be limited by a certain design style or period, but rather a fusion of the important details that matter to them.”

A modern design sensibility sweeps over the living space decked in a clean-cut yet dreamy colour palette of whites and pastels. Keeping things light and airy, the designers teamed these pristine shades to perfection – so much so that it conjures a spacious-looking setting. The design duo also created a large open floor plan for the communal zones and an expanded configuration for the master bedroom. This would leave more room available for future amenities and the addition of new family members.

In the living zone, the floor area is free-flowing but does not feel bare with the installation of patterned tiles with distressed wood textures. Keeping the home neat and clutter-free are custom-built storage fixtures that boast dual-functionality. One serves as an elongated settee with pull-out drawers which are aligned neatly with the windows of the living zone, while the other conceals the entrance to the bomb shelter. For that classic touch of old-world glamour, the designers applied wall beading details onto the whitewashed walls. A similar aesthetic has been utilised as the decorative finish of the storage fixtures.

Crossing over to the open-concept kitchen, it is furnished with a well-equipped line-up of kitchen cabinetry and an island counter. Seeing how the homeowners enjoy hosting company, which sees them engaging in light cooking, the application of an island counter works well for their fuss-free and gregarious lifestyles. Against the kitchen cabinetry in grey laminate finishes, the island counter ushers in an accent colour of dusty pink which sets it apart as a centrepiece of the kitchen. It is indeed the heart of the home as it also functions as a dining spot and an entertainment hub where the hosts and their guests can mingle with minimal disruptions.

The uniformed order of grey cabinetry paired with engineered quartz countertops evokes timeless elegance. This modern classic style is punctuated by feathery stone-like veins on the tiled backsplash. The designers applied similar tilework for the other walls fronted by cabinetry and this cohesiveness creates a larger and lofty impression of space for the entire setting. They also paid meticulous attention to detail by concealing the piping next to the window with custom carpentry. They add, “We built cabinetry to cover the piping and it also doubles as additional kitchen storage. This three-tier design concept of the kitchen cabinetry creates a more balanced and sleeker feel.”

Venturing into the master bedroom, the choice of double leaf doors renders a grand entrance. It fits exceptionally well with the upsized floor plan of the space where the designers have merged a common bedroom with the master bedroom. A pristine white colour palette emerges with the gorgeous application of porcelain tiles for the flooring. The realistic marble-like veining of these tiles evokes a wider and grand expanse of space. Wall mouldings dress up the surface of the full-height wardrobes and these understated embellishments draw out classic glamour – much like it has breathed grandeur and a timeless appeal to the rest of this HDB apartment.

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