This Minimalist BTO Flat Was Inspired by Local Void Decks


The circuit breaker may have interrupted the renovation process, but a nimble client and design team made sure that the owners got their dream home on time.

Though an undeniably common experience for first-time homeowners, the apprehension when designing and renovating one’s own home is hardly ever mentioned. Despite their creative licenses as advertising professionals, the married couple residing in this BTO flat remained undecided between an industrial and a Scandinavian aesthetic for their first home. With such a tricky situation on their hands, it was crucial to find a reliable design consultant for advice. Thankfully, designer Ka from Blend by ImC stepped up to meet the homeowners’ expectations.

Noting their aversion to wood textures, a key element in the Scandinavian look, Ka nudged the couple to embrace the alternative option for their 1,011 sq ft home. An industrial aesthetic would also better complement their desired features highlighted in the moodboard they provided, including a hole-in-the-wall design, reminiscent of those found in some HDB void decks.

squarerooms blend by imc interior home design renovation makeover 4 room bto hdb flat minimalist dark grey wall feature hole

This feature was incorporated into a false wall that now separates the entrance from the dining space, creating both a privacy screen and a more clearly delineated entrance foyer with this masterstroke. The structure was built using plywood and finished with cement screed for that raw industrial vibe. For greater functionality, the narrow side of the false wall was kept exposed and sectioned into open niches for the couple to showcase their favourite keepsakes.

As their dining area enjoys a wealth of natural light due to its large windows, the couple wanted to make the most of this space. Using wood-look tiles to segregate the overall area into two distinct zones, an indoor “balcony” was carved out below the windows, a space that now accommodates a mini indoor garden as well as casual lounging. The designer also fitted it out with a long plywood plank, reinforced with mild steel legs, to act as a bench for work, gardening and even daydreaming.

squarerooms blend by imc interior home design renovation makeover 4 room bto hdb flat minimalist dark grey wood dining area room

Originally the third bedroom in the apartment, the present living area had its walls hacked to make way for a shared space. The homeowners initially thought that they would require a conventional TV console, but after finding their relative lack of AV equipment, Ka realised that a less bulky one would do the trick. The resulting console is as bare-bones as it gets: wall-mounted shelves finished with wood-look laminates and contrasted with a centrally-fitted black box with wire mesh detailing.

In the kitchen, a dusky charcoal tone was chosen for the cabinetry, complemented by a dark grey backsplash and countertop. These pared-down backdrop tones allow bold kitchen appliances, accessories and even lush family meals to really pop.

squarerooms blend by imc interior home design renovation makeover 4 room bto hdb flat minimalist dark grey kitchen

Last but certainly not least, the bedroom incorporates a luscious feature wall that invokes a soothing ambience for a good night’s rest. A custom colour was mixed on-site to achieve the deep blue-grey tone that complements both the flooring and dark cabinetry finish. The handles on the wardrobe doors were adjusted to a comfortable height for the missus, who has a petite frame.

squarerooms blend by imc interior home design renovation makeover 4 room bto hdb flat minimalist dark grey bedroom master suite black blue

The renovation was already underway when the announcement of circuit breaker measures forced it to cease. After receiving official approval to resume works later in June, the owners, along with Ka and the contractors, communicated through a combination of Zoom calls, WhatsApp texts and site visits to pick up where they had left off. Despite the interruption, the couple was able to move into their new home this August, after a cumulative 11-week-long renovation period.

This post was adapted from an article originally published in the January 2021 issue of SquareRooms.