Tour A 4-Room HDB Flat That Was Transformed Into Luxurious Sanctuary


Home is where we relax and unwind; a sanctuary where we can escape to from the bustle of urban life. And one way to achieve this sense of peace and tranquillity is by eschewing loud colours and garish elements in the interior design and keeping to a minimalist yet impactful palette.

In this 4-room resale flat, design firm Minimo & Minimology wanted to create a home that is beautiful to live in, easy to maintain and yet tasteful in its use of colours and materials. They catered the flat’s design to its owners’ refined taste – two sisters staying together – and took inspiration from the minimalist movement and Japanese Zen philosophy. As such, everything in this newly renovated resale flat is well proportioned and streamlined, with no overbearing design element in sight.

As in any Japanese-inspired modern home, its materiality comes to the forefront of the interior design. In this particular home, wood veneer and natural marble are the two mainstays and are used liberally throughout the 1,130-square foot home. These organic materials, especially when coupled with the home’s use of neutral colours, resulting in a truly relaxing interior that evokes a sense of peace and tranquillity.

One of the main challenges in this home was to come up with a way to incorporate storage without weighing down the space. Since this is an old HDB flat, the designers were not allowed to hack down any walls to make more room. Instead, the design team incorporated storage into the interior design through carefully considered carpentry. This is best seen in the living room. The designers clad the entire stretch of wall with panels of wood veneer to form a clean and unfettered expanse. A closer look reveals that each panel is actually a casement door, and when swung open, reveals plenty of storage space and even hides the entrance into the bedrooms. Two of these veneer panels open up and slide into hidden pockets to reveal the television console.

This architectural design is a clever way of keeping the home in its clean and minimalist state. When all the panel doors are closed, the living room becomes a self-contained space that’s separate from the private quarters. The designers also came up with a clever way to elevate the living experience by carving out a circular cove light immediately behind the sofa. Subtle yet striking, this design element is a quiet focal point that doesn’t distract from the home’s minimalist ideals.

In line with the living room design, the kitchen is similarly sleek and refined. Because of its long and narrow layout, the designers went with a single galley configuration that maximises the square footage. All the cabinetry is clad in the same wood veneer as the one seen in the living room, continuing the design language throughout the home. The designers even managed to fit in a marble island counter in the middle of the kitchen, providing a flexible work surface for food preparation.

Because of the clever manipulation of the floor plan, the bedrooms in this flat feel as if they are tucked away from the rest of the home. Transitioning into the private space immediately puts you at ease as you step through the threshold of louvred wood panels. Minimology continued the pairing of wood and marble to great effect and concealed all storage for a sleek and seamless visage.

This was adapted from an article originally written by Redzman Rahmat published in the Novemebr 2018 issue of SquareRooms. Photo credits: Minimo & Minimology