How this couple worked in a flexi space for their 5-room HDB

The layout tweaks leave them with plenty of room to expand!

Homes are our personal sanctuaries, something we retreat to. And for this couple, creating a welcoming space was paramount.

"The couple decided to make this flat their forever home because it's situated away from the hustle and bustle," said Neu Konceptz designer Jack who was tasked with the revamp. "Though they enjoyed the quiet, the space really needed a refresh as it was very cluttered and narrow."

Just what kind of work went into this 30-year-old flat to make it the fashionable home it is today? Read on to find out how Jack updated it!

ABOUT THE HOMEOWNERS AND THE HOME'S CONCEPT

Jack (J): Both the homeowners wanted a very cosy space, preferably with loads of green and organic elements.

J: With both of them in their mid-30s, they also wanted to create a home that was planned with the future in mind. So, we had to change up the layout a fair bit in order to make provisions for that too.

ON CHANGES MADE

J: It was a huge overhaul, we kept nothing from the old home. The previous tenant stayed for over 20 years - the flat was quite cluttered, small and clad in terrazzo tiles, which were removed to re-orient the entire space.

PHOTO: Qanvast

J: Space planning was especially integral for this project. We converted on the bedrooms to a dining area. This way, the living area looks lengthened and much larger. We did leave the beaming in place intentionally so that they have the option of turning it back into an extra room if they have kids in the future.

J: To add to the spacious effect and conceal the bedroom doors, we clad the living room wall with veneer strips and let it run from the living to the dining area. As the material tends to look a little more perfect, we get a really clean and seamless look.

J: In addition, we combined the existing dining area with the existing master bedroom to enlarge it. This way, they managed to get a much bigger space for their wardrobe needs on top of getting more legroom.

J: Of course, the couple wanted to include some wooden elements in the master bedroom. However, they didn't want the predictable. So, we started toying around and eventually landed on an asymmetrical design for the extended headboard area. Like other materials, wood can come off as monotonous but we circumvented that by embedding mirrors.

PHOTO: Qanvast

J: The wardrobe itself features a recessed handle to make it easy to open. The exposed wood also serves as a callback to the wooden headboard.

J: For the most part, the furnishings in the master are loose pieces. This gives them the added flexibility to adjust according to their preferences. It also adds to the relaxed air as things feel less rigid and fixed.

J: Storage was never the main concern in the kitchen. Rather it was the space, or the lack of it. Any changes made here was to increase its efficiency as a whole. To do that, we decided against an island, made the countertop space sleek, used handle-less cabinetry, chose a hardy (but easy to maintain) glass as the backsplash and sacrificed a tiny portion of the cabinetry to install lights under the built-ins.

PHOTO: Qanvast

J: As the couple would occasionally chill and relax, we decided to turn the plain walkway into a foyer/lounge area of sorts. Though we primarily used white for this revamp, we decided on a darker green and a complementary grey to really amp up the restful atmosphere.

J: Because we wanted to demarcate this area from the busy communal space, we changed out the homogenous tiles (that was used in other areas of the home) for wood-like options that were laid in a herringbone pattern and included a black bi-fold door to contrast.

PHOTO: Qanvast

J: The bathroom underwent a facelift too. Much like the kitchen, we embedded lights into it, making the space feel more cosy. The wooden laminates used in the making of the vanity lends it the organic touch, which ties in to the overall design!

TO SUM UP

J: Though the clients themselves knew that they have an expansive space, it wasn't quite maximised to its full potential (especially in the case of the living and dining area). Hence, there was a need to tweak the flat's layout. But one should always consider their needs - not just their current preferences, but also any and all future requirements - before embarking on it. This way, your home will be built in a more versatile fashion.

J: The entire project was a collaborative effort. They had a clear understanding of their needs and wants, which led to them actively participating and contributing in the selection of materials and soft furnishings too.

This article was first published in Qanvast.