Mid Century @ Hougang

Resale HDB apartments are candidate for the greatest transformation. With their spacious lay-out and regular floorplan they can be updated to create a home with your own personality and up to date features.

Design areas: Living and Dining Room, Kitchen, Master Bedroom with En-Suite and Walk-in Wardrobe, Guest Rooms and Common Bathroom |  Project completed: 2020  |  Renovation budget: SGD145,000 – SGD155,000 |  Designer: Arjan Nijen Twilhaar

There is something wonderful getting your hands on a large resale executive flat. Their regular lay-out and spacious rooms make it a perfect apartment. This HDB flat is no exception. Its generous footprint with large living spaces and bedrooms was the perfect candidate to be the perfect for-ever-home.

To make this happen, some major changes had to be made to the original lay-out. The kitchen was expanded out, to accommodate more counterspace and a way to have an open kitchen with the option to close it off during heavy duty cooking. Other rooms were opened up for a more open plan living approach. 

The inspiration for the design originated with Mid Century Modern lines and subtle Singapore Heirloom touches. A Japanese undertone gives the apartment its clean and airy vibe and the use of blonde woods and cool stones. Some texture and pattern was introduced to reflect personality and subtle punches of colour.

Entering the home, a foyer was created by changing the approach into the kitchen. The foyer features a patterned tile and custom shoe storage with some close woven rattan detail. By not going all the way up, there is a space to put your keys and mail when entering the home. It is also place for a family heirloom chandelier that takes it pride in this space. 

The foyer enters into the dining space which has additional hidden storage added and links directly with the living room space. Terrazzo floors are white based with a light grey marble fleck for a bright and home. This is offset with tall skirting boards – this time around we used a clean chamfered edge profile to achieve a clean lined aesthetic. 

In the living room, a baywindow seat was created under the window and is a perfect place to sit and read but also to host multiple guests when entertaining. This space was the former balcony and was annexed to the living room and the floors leveled up. Pipes are all concealed for a clean and contemporary look. Flexible seating was custom made for the space, with a sofa-cum-daybed centering the space. 

The study room next to the living room was opened up and metal framed glass doors divide the space. This room – dubbed the Chill Out Room – is dominated by the wood beaded feature wall. It doubles as storage and the room is used to listen to music and house the home-owners collection of whiskey. Mid Century classic chairs add some Mod glam and create a space to sit down, listen to music and relax.

As always, the kitchen is the heart of the home. By extending its footprint, we added a pantry area, a breakfast nook with breakfast bar and large countertops. Keeping the full height storage to one side and only lower cabinets on the opposite wall, it opens up the space and allows the light to travel through the kitchen. The breakfast bar is topped with a live edge wood slab. Bifold glass windows allow for the space to be closed off, but remain open for most of the time. Next to the bar, there is a coffee nook and casual bar to serve drinks while entertaining. The kitchen floor is laid with a patterned terrazzo tile in blue and dark grey for some colour and pattern. For the kitchen cabinets, we designed a new profile shaker style door with a slim frame for that Mid Century vibe. Recessed handles add texture and detail without being too overpowering. The black framed glass doors divide the kitchen and yard area and tie in with the doors used for the Chill Out Room and glass dividers over the counter. Access of the wood slab was used as a shelf, adding some texture and personality to the space.

The entrance into the common bathroom was changed to make it more in line with modern living – entering the bathroom from the hallway instead of the kitchen. Some changes were made to the lay-out and WC positioning to accommodate this change. Patterned tiles are laid on the floor and for the walls we used a hard-pressed subway tile. The tonality of the tiles add some texture and dimension and at the base of the tiles, a row of standing subways change up the laying pattern. 

Hallways are always exciting features in a home, a place to showcase nice architraves and doors and other architectural details. Milk glass school lamps serve as the main light source, which is supported with some recessed lights to accentuate artwork. Some changes were made to the storage room to allow a walk-in wardrobe, but also to have the passage end into a wall – an ideal place for artwork. 

The apartment has two more guest bedrooms, one used as a study. This room was made a bit smaller to create a second store room for bulky items. But the star is undoubtedly the master suite. The large room was divided by a TV cabinet – that was placed in the middle of the room. It serves as a separation space for the dressing area and its entrance to the master bathroom and the walk-in wardrobe. The bedroom is kept simple and clean lined. A dark navy blue feature wall is paired with a silver blue wall colour. The curtain tracks are embedded in the ceiling, creating a unique finish for the S-track curtains. The wardrobe, with its panel doors is clad in a light wood finish and offset with dark handles. 

Finally, the master bathroom is kept monochrome, preferring to work on textures versus many colours. Plain white tiles with a stone finish are mixed with a white patterned tile. The random pattern mix reflect Peranakan design without the use of colours. A feature wall is laid in the shower and behind the vanity. On the floor, a textile print tile adds a bit of extra dimension and offers a nice contrast to the white stone tile. A teal blue vanity adds some colour – but keeps in tune with the overall colour choices. The lighting for this room was carefully planned – adding small spot lights to the niches for extra illumination of these spaces. Again the WC was slightly repositioned and updated to modern standards.

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