I have a 5-room HDB flat with columns that can’t be removed and are an eyesore - are there any better layout ideas?

I have a 5-room HDB flat with columns that can’t be removed and are an eyesore - are there any better layout ideas?
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Dear StackedHomes,

I plan to renovate my five-room HDB apartment but have no clue how to make the house spacious and functional.

It's a combination of two three-room to one five-room apartment.

It's a mirror image and HDB has converted the kitchen to master bedroom.

I purchased the access area highlighted in blue and re-position the entrance to my house at the blue box.

I find it challenging to design the master bedroom because it's rectangular in shape and the bathroom eats into the bedroom space.

The columns cannot be removed and they are an eyesore.

The kitchen is too small for an island and I plan to hack the wall to include an island.

I wish to retain all three bedrooms because they are all occupied.

I would appreciate it if you can give me ideas how to better utilise the apartment.

Thank you.


That's quite a good-sized unit you have there, and great that you managed to purchase the access area as that does help in giving you a little more flexibility about the space. 

We are assuming here that you've already purchased and repositioned the entrance (as you've shown). From what we know, this is a case-by-case basis with HDB and is by no means a guaranteed thing. 

Here are a few different layouts you can consider if you wish to retain all three bedrooms: 

1. Making use of the pillars

Assuming you were able to repurpose the main door as such, we've reconfigured the space so that you can make use of the space between the pillars as an in-built TV console.

This will make the pillars less of an eye-sore, and working them in as part of the TV console will make it feel more inclusive and seamless. If you couple that with a really nice and slim TV, decorative items on the console, and well-positioned lights, this can actually form the highlight of the space instead.

Modern televisions today are typically quite minimalist looking at the back too, so I wouldn't worry too much about how it would look from the study area.

Alternatively, you could do with a projector screen here, which you can stow away when not in use.

We've also moved the dining set next to the living and as you've asked for an open kitchen layout, the L-shaped kitchen counter can also double up as a breakfast counter/alternative dining space as well.

2. More communal living space

If you prefer a more conventional layout with more storage spaces, and to allow the space to feel bigger. You could look at using the first pillar to form part of the long console that greets you as you come in. By doing this, it allows you to incorporate more built-in storage, as well as segregates the different spaces and provides for a walk-in area of sorts.

3. Reconfigured bedroom

Another alternative to do is to reduce the space of one of the common bedrooms. By doing so you'd probably only be able to squeeze in a single bed comfortably, but this allows for a much wider dining area and walkways.

It's a small move, but it really lets you widen up the space available quite significantly. If you and your family spend a lot of time in the communal spaces, this could be a sensible layout.

4. Relocate bedrooms

The last and the most drastic move of all, you could look to relocating the bedrooms and living and dining spaces. There are several advantages to this. First, this allows you to completely eliminate the load-bearing columns that you feel are unsightly. By keeping both rooms next to each other, it gives you a longer entranceway which can also still be used to build more storage spaces here.

The living communal spaces are now smaller, but if you've noticed you now have four separate bedrooms. If you've no need for that, one bedroom can definitely be configured to be a private study/office area as well. The one closest to the entrance can be redone with glass walls instead if you'd like the space to feel more open and brighter.

You may not feel the space difference as much too, because the living and dining are now set out in a parallel format.

ALSO READ: 8 different 5-room HDB layout ideas to make the most use of space

This article was first published in Stackedhomes.

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