The Chic Home: Five-room HDB flat blends luxe elements for timeless appeal

The square layout and high floor with unobstructed views ticked all the right boxes for these homeowners.
The square layout and high floor with unobstructed views ticked all the right boxes for these homeowners.PHOTO: SPH MAGAZINES, ART DIRECTION: KRISTY QUAH
A cosy lounge featuring brass-trimmed open shelves and a suspended ledge and is where Sharon reads and Rafeal has his morning coffee.
A cosy lounge featuring brass-trimmed open shelves and a suspended ledge and is where Sharon reads and Rafeal has his morning coffee.PHOTO: SPH MAGAZINES, ART DIRECTION: KRISTY QUAH

SINGAPORE - Two business consultancy owners, who want to be known only as Sharon and Rafeal, embarked on the renovation of their five-room Housing Board flat in Kim Tian Road with clear ideas in mind.

"We wanted a home with unique touches that would give it a personality. And it had to be practical and not just about aesthetics," says Sharon.

Rafeal adds: "We also wanted to integrate elements of luxury that would age well - something timeless, but not boring."

The couple, who are in their 40s and specialise in space management consulting, adopted a detail-oriented approach. The 1,206 sq ft flat is designed so everything has its place - right down to the height of the shelves to accommodate a specific toiletry brand.

Mr Austen Chan, a partner at design collective P5 Bespoke who oversaw the renovation, also combed through the couple's previous home with them to help them make informed decisions for their new abode.

The entire Kim Tian Road apartment was overhauled, including the reconfiguration of the layout, demolition, plumbing, electrical work, masonry and glazing works.

The renovation, which took 4½ months, involved building "bespoke cabinetry that focused on simple lines and symmetry and the fusion of natural stone, wood and an aesthetic blend of metallic profiles", says Mr Roger Khoo, director of P5 Design Venture, P5 Bespoke's parent company.

The design team also used soft cove lighting and signature pieces to create an enchanting ambience, he adds.

The home owners declined to reveal the cost of the renovation.

Mr Chan, who notes that the design is inspired by "sophisticated luxury", says: "There is a strong focus on entertaining and dining with friends and family."

A small bar to the right of the main door is an invitation for guests to help themselves. The suspended open shelf for bottles is where the brass element - used elsewhere in the home to tie the look together - makes its first appearance. It complements the rest of the material palette - which includes timber, marble and quartz - and possesses a muted subtlety that will age well.

The bar as well as the dining island and dry kitchen define the entertainment zone, which also features a print of a couple underwater by American artist Eric Zener, known for photo-realistic prints featuring figures around or in water.


The bar as well as the dining island and dry kitchen define the entertainment zone. PHOTOS: SPH MAGAZINES, ART DIRECTION: KRISTY QUAH

The spacious living area, which offers an unobstructed view of Keppel Harbour and the Singapore Strait, is divided into two zones.

One side has an L-shaped sofa, a wall-mounted television console and two screens for the couple to watch TV and play co-op console games. On the other side is a cosy lounge featuring brass-trimmed open shelves and a suspended ledge and is where Sharon reads and Rafeal has his morning coffee.

After the couple moved in in September 2019, it has also become the "cat corner" - it is where their cat Moxie soaks up the sun in the afternoon.


A walk-in wardrobe within the master bedroom has been enlarged by moving the wall that separates it from the adjacent common bathroom. PHOTOS: SPH MAGAZINES, ART DIRECTION: KRISTY QUAH

One of the three bedrooms, including the corridor leading to it, is now a study. Another is a walk-in wardrobe within the master bedroom, which has also been enlarged by moving the wall that separates it from the adjacent common bathroom.

The collaborative approach is something Mr Chan firmly believes in. "A collaborative approach allows us to develop a deeper understanding of the client's aspirations and lifestyle to create a bespoke space and experience," he says.

  • This article first appeared in the August 2021 issue of Home & Decor, which is published by SPH Magazines.

  • Get the October and latest issue of Home & Decor now at all newsstands or download the digital edition of Home & Decor from the App Store, Magzter or Google Play. Also, see more inspiring homes at Home & Decor website.