Unique use of darker colours creates spacious and sophisticated bachelor den

Home: A three-room HDB flat in Towner Road

Who: A bachelor in his late 30s

Size: 750sqf

A dark colour palette sets this cosy three-room HDB flat apart from most small spaces, which usually utilise lighter colours to look more spacious.

Homeowner Patrick Lai is the director of interior design firm Meter Square so, naturally, he turned to May Chang, his friend and design director of the company, for design help. Patrick handles the business matters of the firm, while May is mostly responsible for the creative direction of the company's projects.

Besides his preference for darker hues and wood, transforming the 30-year-old home was easy, as Patrick gave May free creative rein.

She says that she usually does a lot of research and planning when designing homes but, because she knows the owner so well, the process this time was more free and easy!

This is what they did to create a sophisticated and spacious den for Patrick.

Taking down walls

One of the biggest changes involved removing the wall separating the guest bedroom and the living room, and replacing it with industrial-chic bi-fold doors. When the room is unoccupied, Patrick leaves the doors open, making the living room appear larger.

Personalised storage spaces

Many customised storage units were built into the home, such as the wall of cabinets behind the honey-tone wood laminate in the foyer.

The custom made dining table also has storage units built within the table support. These hidden spaces allow Patrick to stow away his clutter.

There is a storeroom along the short passagway bridging the living room and the kitchen, and to hide it from plain view, May disguised its doorway with wall-to-wall wood-tone laminates in a lighter colour tone.

Slide and hide

Space-saving sliding doors were used extensively throughout the home. The kitchen toilet's door, for example, was replaced with such a door. When in an open position (to the left of the toilet doorway), the door conceals an open shelf of cleaning products (which faces the kitchen).

"I prefer sliding doors because traditional swinging doors take up more space when they open and close," said Patrick. However, May notes that sliding doors might not be suitable for bedrooms if homeowners are particular about noise.

With small spaces, you should utilise more creative ways of storing your things, instead of making use of stand-alone shelves and cabinets, as they take up more space. "For a start, try to integrate storage into existing structures," May recommends.

Where to go: Meter Square, Tel: 6256-2586

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