The Chic Home: Newlyweds add personal touch to 5-room HDB flat

The newlyweds designed their 1,206 sq ft, five-room resale flat in Bukit Panjang themselves. PHOTO: FINBARR FALLON

SINGAPORE - Mr Daryl Yang and Ms Candise Tee envisioned their matrimonial home as a tranquil sanctuary. It also had to be spacious and flexible, as the sociable couple often host friends and family.

The newlyweds, who are in their 30s, designed their 1,206 sq ft, five-room Housing Board resale flat in Bukit Panjang themselves - with input from Ms Tee's brother, an architect.

The couple coordinated the renovations, which took about three months, in two countries. They declined to reveal how much it cost. Mr Yang, who works in the building maintenance sector, was in Singapore, while Ms Tee, a freelance make-up artist, was in Malaysia with her parents due to the pandemic.

The couple, who moved into the home in March 2021, went for a natural palette comprising creamy off-white and beige colours with clean lines and restrained geometries.

As the blue glass facade of the residential block oppositereflects blue light into the flat, the warm colour scheme, accompanied by woven blinds and appropriate lighting, mitigate the undesirable effects.

The original Muji-style concept, involving mainly whites and light oak, evolved. The layering of dark walnut laminates, light oak flooring, ceiling fans with a beech finish and walnut furniture enriches the colour scheme, while also making it easier to mix and match future pieces.

The original kitchen was split into one wet and one dry kitchen. PHOTO: FINBARR FALLON

Complementing this look are natural materials that include rustic solid teak stumps used as a lamp stand and a vanity stool, a pair of polished granite coffee tables designed by Ms Tee's brother, and travertine-like bathroom tiles.

Instead of buying everything brand new, the couple combined new carpentry and furniture with pre-loved pieces from various sources.

An old mirror with a rusty, well-worn wood-and-metal frame from vintage furniture shop Hock Siong by the main entrance is a conversation starter and Instagram spot for visitors. A 60-year-old timber bench with vintage joinery sitting in the guest room was purchased viaonline marketplace Carousell andreupholstered. The armchairs in the living room used to grace an office reception area.

And while most home owners frown on cracks and dents, Mr Yang and Ms Tee adopt a "wabi-sabi" (Japanese for the acceptance of imperfection) approach.

The herringbone floor and cylindrical bedside table, along with different shades of cream and ivory make for a picture perfect master bedroom. PHOTO: FINBARR FALLON

The flat was extensively reconfigured, including shifting the main corridor by 60cm. This corridor leads to the master bedroomand is flanked bytwo other bedrooms on one side; and the household shelter, common bathroom and master bathroom on the other.

The relocated corridor allows for the addition of display niches to conceal the shelter, with space for extra storage. Both the common and master bathrooms are bigger now. The shift also created an alcove in the master bedroom for a study corner and a small recess beside the bedroom door that serves as an open wardrobe.

By moving the door, the bedroom adjacent to the master bedroom became a walk-in wardrobe within the master suite.

The symmetrical walk-in wardrobe and the dressing that spans across two walls. PHOTO: FINBARR FALLON

The concrete walls ofthe third bedroom behind the living area were replaced by glass. It serves as a multipurpose room that is an extension of the living area. With the curtains drawn, it can be used as a guest bedroom or converted into a child's room.

The dual-facing sofa hosts adults on the front, watching television, while others can sit and supervise the children in the glass room at the back. PHOTO: FINBARR FALLON
  • This article first appeared in the October 2021 issue of Home & Decor, which is published by SPH Magazines. Get the December 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 the Home & Decor website.

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