Top 10 Dramatic HDB Renovations in Singapore!

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This article was submitted by a Guest Contributor. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the Guest Contributor.

In our previous article on BTOs and Resale HDB flats, we discussed skyrocketing housing prices in Singapore.

Instead of upgrading to a bigger flat or purchasing private property, many home owners are instead putting money into renovations to transform their living space. It is not uncommon to hear of newlyweds forking out close to $100k on renovations for their BTOs.

In this article, we look at some of the most dramatic HDB renovations in Singapore!

1: Post-Apocalyptic Home

Source: https://cnalifestyle.channelnewsasia.com/living/singapore-home-renovation-tips-hdb-bto-interior-design-bomb-shelter-276466


This dramatic renovation was inspired by a “post-apocalyptic industrial” look with “environmentally-conscious”  furniture, reflecting the owners backgrounds in science and engineering.

The post-apocalyptic theme can be seen throughout with a dining table made from steel rebar, a sofa made with industrial wooden pallets and cushions in rugged denim, complete with a coffee table made of authentic stainless steel chemical drums.

Additionally, features such a stainless steel front door and grey concrete walls result in a home that resembles an air raid shelter or doomsday bunker. Storage in the dining area consist of shipping hooks for daily items and PVC pipes for shoes.

The theme continues in the bedrooms, where the master bedroom is done up in concrete and an open-concept wardrobe system made from cast-iron pipes. 

2: Bali, Singapore?

Source: https://cnalifestyle.channelnewsasia.com/entertainment/singapore-hdb-renovation-tips-bali-resort-theme-259086

With the Covid-19 pandemic, leisure travel and holidays seems like a thing of the distant past. Well, not for this couple who turned their BTO flat into a Bali resort home.

The homeowners went to Bali to source for furnishing and home décor inspiration. As a result, their home is complete with warm woods and greenery to create a bright, breezy and rustic vibe.

The couple kept the living area simple with a three-seater sofa and clean-lined wooden furniture. Their dining table is also unique, with the couple opting for a suar wood bar table with matching stools facing the 36-story high unobstructed view.

A well-equipped home gym is also installed in what was the common room adjacent to the dining area. The glass walls and mirrors give it a professional gym look while making the space seem bigger and brighter.

The entrance to their master bedroom is grand and luxurious with the use of wooden French doors accented by a pair of oriental lion head brass knockers.

The bathroom is covered in cream wall tiles and floor tiles that resemble wooden planks. The shower area is demarcated with white pebbles that further accentuates the luxurious resort feel.

3: Gaming on the Web 3.0?

Source: https://mustsharenews.com/botanical-gaming-room-spiders/

Inspired by his love for nature and gaming, Mr Lee decided to start a 100% DIY project to redesign his gaming room, all done at a cost of only $2,000.

This was achieved by using a mix of upcycled and new materials. Mr Lee also used a 3D modelling software to map his room. 

An artificial plant feature wall that holds the gaming computer and 4 acrylic tanks form the main feature. The artificial plants were upcycled from his wedding decorations. 

Most dramatic of all is the dedicated space where Mr Lee’s spiders spin their intricate webs. One of his spiders, named Coffee, occupies a space right above the office desk.

While we may not all have pet spiders to share a newly renovated space with us, we can take some inspiration from this economical makeover that adds a lush greenery to your space.

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4: Japanese Zen

Source: https://cnalifestyle.channelnewsasia.com/entertainment/singapore-home-renovation-tips-hdb-bto-shoji-screen-248616

This recently married couple decided to bring Japan to Singapore when their travel plans were derailed due to the pandemic. Bringing Zen into their home, the owners wanted their home to be a quiet space to unwind after a long day.

To bring in more light and airiness into the living room, the former study room was torn down to create a larger living room. A raised blonde wood platform and a matching built-in study facing the window was built near the entrance of the flat to make more efficient use of the space.

A key design element involves shoji screens. The screens create the look of a traditional Japanese latticed wooden screen door but also offers a practical solution in segregating indoor spaces. 

All items selected for the home exudes a minimalistic aesthetic with subdued color palettes.

5: Thinking Outside the Box

Source: https://cnalifestyle.channelnewsasia.com/entertainment/singapore-home-renovation-tips-hdb-bto-condo-studio-apartment-271126

What would you do if you owned a tiny 460 sq ft home? That’s right, you should start thinking outside the box.

Upon getting the keys to her new studio apartment, Ms. Jocelyn embarked on her journey to create additional storage space via creative means. 

The apartment’s Zen-meets-Scandinavian minimalistic vibe is characterized by white walls, tiles and panel frames alongside its standout blonde wood furnishing.

The elevated terraced wood platforms stand out as the main stars of the show. This multi-functional zone serves as Jocelyn’s dining area, home office, little café corner, wardrobe, storeroom as well as her bedroom.

Being a semi-fixed feature space (with movable elements), this allows for immense flexibility and versatility.

Overall, this minimalistic apartment can be said to be the epitome of compactness and creative organization. 

6: Green Open Concept    

Source: https://www.asiaone.com/lifestyle/hdb-asked-if-we-are-doing-something-illegal-couple-knocked-down-walls-their-yishun-flat

From a minimalistic Japan chic concept, the home owners decided to switch things up completely and transform their apartment into a spacious greenhouse look. 

A five-room flat is already pretty spacious, but the couple decided to go ahead to knock down nearly all internal walls, leaving only 1 bedroom intact as their sleeping quarters.

The apartment now presents three open-concept spaces – the dining room that doubles as the couple’ workspace, an entertainment room, and finally their master bedroom.

To save even more space, the owners went ahead and did without sofas. In the words of the owner, “everyone can sit everywhere”.

Their entertainment area features six collapsible tables planted right in the centre of the room, which can be easily stowed away.

7: Magical Library

Source: https://www.asiaone.com/lifestyle/hdb-maisonette-hougang-has-55m-tall-library-and-cafe-vibes

Be prepared to be teleported into a different world as you step into this executive maisonette in Lorong Ah Soo.

Featuring a unique 5.5m tall, curved-nook-turned-home-library, this is every bookworm’s dream come true.

Beyond the gorgeous library space, this maisonette has so much more to offer. In the dining area, the walls are coated with a cement screed treatment, and contrasted with raw bricks as the kitchen’s backsplash.

Stepping into the living room, one is greeted by a chill industrial vibe, with black metallic frames as accents, and cement block walls as the feature.

From purchasing the kitchen’s island cooker hood from Courts, to the bathroom’s black fittings and accessories from Lazada, this industrial-aesthetic is more affordable than you may have initially thought.

Food for thought for money-savvy people looking for a similar aesthetic!

8: Luxury Boutique Hotel

Source: https://mothership.sg/2021/02/tiong-bahru-hdb-renovation/

This home exudes a fun luxury boutique hotel vibe, with marble finishings, pops of gold, a dramatic ceiling and creative use of tiles. 

Sophisticated pops of colour, alongside statement furniture pieces helps this home pop. The palm leaves wallpaper adds to the luxury boutique hotel aesthetic

The use of lush patterned rugs in the bedroom adds to the sophisticated luxury feel, alongside the continuation of leafy imagery.

Honestly, with a home like this – who needs staycations?

9: Fengshui meets Minimalism

Dennis Chew, our local Love 972 DJ, Executive Maisonette flat boasts an open concept, allowing natural light to fill the space.

Source: https://www.todayonline.com/8days/sceneandheard/celebrities/dennis-chew-designed-his-new-hdb-maisonette-bedroom-look-hotel-room

Fengshui drives the interior design of the flat and placement of furniture in the house, with bronze coins and elephant figurines in certain corners of the house to boost fortune and health. 

Instead of a traditional sofa, the living room has bench seats and a cute bear beanbag. In fact, there are no armchairs or sofas in the entire house. 

A custom artwork of the late PM Lee Kuan Yew, together with Dennis’ alter ego Aunty Lucy, forms the statement piece at the staircase landing.

The minimalistic themes carry into the upstairs bedrooms. The rooms even have ambient mood lighting to add some fun to the space.

10. Modern Retro

Source: https://cnalifestyle.channelnewsasia.com/living/singapore-home-renovation-tips-hdb-bto-interior-design-art-deco-280126

Instead of the currently trendy minimalistic style, the owner of this three-room BTO flat, Hui, went for a early 20th century art deco style, incorporating her personal collection of artwork and vintage memorabilia.

The living room features both a modern armchair in red as well as a rattan settee, a common sight in many Singaporean homes in the 1960s and 70s.

The focal point of the apartment is the dining corner that features a dark green wall peppered with framed prints.

A round, white pedestal dining table is complemented by a built-in cushion bench, and plexiglass stools provides additional seating.

The master bathroom features a contrast of colours for a bold and playful vibe. From the dark grey floor tiles, to the eye-popping blue wall tiles behind the sink and the strategically-placed orange towel with geometric circles which mirrors the wall tiles, this fun and playful bathroom complements this art deco home perfectly. 

Which of these 10 homes did you like the most? Comment below!

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