The Chic Home: Clever ideas for a compact space

The cosy living and dining area is finished in whitewashed faux brick wall panels.
The cosy living and dining area is finished in whitewashed faux brick wall panels.PHOTO: BRIAN FOONG

Mr Aiken Chia - actor, host and partner at Night Owl Cinematics - moved into his three-room resale Housing Board flat in early February.

The 700 sq ft flat, which the 32-year-old shares with his retired mother, had an $80,000 two-month renovation helmed by interior design studio Rezt & Relax.

Clad mostly in warm neutrals and monochromatic shades, it feels much more spacious than its actual square footage suggests, thanks to clever design decisions by interior designer Shuwen See.

Located to the side of the entrance, Mr Chia's bedroom is elevated on a platform and separated from the living room by black-framed accordion glass doors and curtains. It can open up to provide extra space for the living room.

"We wanted my room to be convertible and connected to the living room when it is not partitioned off by the door and curtains," says Mr Chia.

"We get the sense of a bigger living room where friends and family can sit comfortably on the step, and a sense of a transitional space."


The 700 sq ft flat had an $80,000 two-month renovation. PHOTOS: BRIAN FOONG

He removed a bathroom wall so his mother could have a larger room. With the size of the original bathroom reduced, the sink has been moved outside to the wet area of the pantry-cum-yard.

His array of smart home technology also appears when needed and disappears when it is not, leaving spaces clean and uncluttered.


Aiken’s bedroom, raised on a platform, opens out onto the living room when more space is needed for a gathering. PHOTO: BRIAN FOONG

These include a kitchen hob that pops in and out of the counter according to the cook's needs, a retractable laundry system and a pop-up ironing board which is integrated into the wardrobe.

These clever details add up to a practical home that looks and feels good.

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