20 Ways That SG Homeowners Have Said ‘No’ to Basic Bathrooms
New year, new loo!
You know the look: white ceramic tiles, boring chrome fixtures, and a way-too-small space with squeezy wet and dry areas. It’s for this reason that bathrooms aren’t usually the most glamourous spaces in the majority of Singapore homes. But what if things could be different?
From almost seamless bed-and-bath suites to a pebble-surrounded shower, here are 20 examples showing how local HDB flat/condo/landed homeowners have said ‘no’ to having a basic bathroom – and by extension, what you too can do to give your loo a fresh look this year!
1. By adding an 8-bit Mario mushroom-themed feature wall…
View this project by Prozfile Design
Mosaic tiles offer a stylish and visually arresting way to decorate bathroom walls, floors, and other surfaces even when they’re squarish and white (think high-contrast monochrome). But incorporate your favourite characters – Mario mushroom or otherwise – and you’ll get a cutesy mural themed after your favourite 8-bit retro video game.
2. … Or incorporating a Minnie Mouse mosaic mural
View this project by Fifth Avenue Interior
Similar to the home above, what’s so eye-catching about this Rivervale Walk HDB flat is its custom mosaic mural. You can also clearly tell from the rest of this bespoke bathroom who the owners’ favourite Disney character is (no prizes for guessing), as seen by the abundance of themed accessories as well as monochrome-plus-red fixtures.
3. Creating a half-pink, half-terrazzo bathroom
View this project by Salt Studio
Pink and terrazzo are the two core décor elements that form the backbone of the millennial aesthetic – which is why it isn’t necessarily a bad idea to make them part of your new HDB flat/condo’s bathroom. The result, as this Ang Mo Kio home’s trendy en suite shows, is totally #goals!
4. Concealing a common bathroom’s entrance in plain sight
View this project by DB Studio
From the front, the entrance to this Bishan HDB flat’s common bathroom looks just like how it’s intended to: part of a row of floor-to-ceiling kitchen cabinets. But pull open the door closest to the wine fridge and it reveals a cleverly hidden W.C./shower that you wouldn’t have known existed a few seconds earlier.
5. Using rod mirrors to fill out an awkward window recess
View this project by IdeasXchange
Structures like bay windows and awkwardly positioned recesses are obstacles that you might have to deal with when renovating an older resale condo home, and it’s up to your designer (or you) to figure out what to do with them.
In this case, an elegant solution was found by installing a pair of his-and-her sinks plus hanging mirrors with supporting rods to maximise a deep window nook.
6. ‘Growing’ a (faux) garden for bathroom décor
View this project by Swiss Interior Design
While the idea of having an actual garden in a bathroom is quite farfetched (and not to mention, impractical), but with faux plants, it’s entirely possible to realise your fantasy of having a greenery-filled W.C./shower that looks and feels just like an off-the-grid loo in the wild.
7. Incorporating gold-veined marble lookalike tiles for a luxe touch
View this project by Brown Studio Interior Design
As good-looking as they are, installing real marble surfaces in your bathroom is a bad, bad idea. For one, they can get stained by liquids like shampoos or detergents, and you’ll end up with ugly patches instead of an elegant feature wall.
That said, you can always opt for lookalikes made from quartz or porcelain to get the look (sans the headache), like the owners of this Dawson Road HDB flat did.
8. Having a pebble drain for an indoor-outdoor vibe
View this project by Ovon Design
Pebble-filled drains are a more common sight in gardens or swimming pools than in HDB flats, but not because they’re exclusively outdoor features. They do work indoors, but only if you’re willing to put in the time and work to remove any accumulated soap/hair/gunk so that your indoor-outdoor shower still looks good years down the road.
9. Getting a custom mirror cabinet that matches the look
View this project by Ataz Haus Interior Design
Sticking to a consistent theme is one way to make your bathroom stand out, so apart from using the same hexagonal tiles throughout, the owners of this Northshore Drive HDB flat also chose to hang a custom mirror cabinet, which looks right at home with the rest of its surroundings.
10. Improving ventilation by having a jalousie window indoors
View this project by Habit
Having an extra window (or several) for your bathroom can help in keeping it well-ventilated, but if you only have space for one, consider having a jalousie (or if you prefer, louvred) window because they offer both privacy and controlled air flow. Plus, don’t they just remind you of old-school classroom windows?
11. Adding a mini manga library beside the W.C.
View this project by Ciseern
The bathroom probably isn’t the most hygienic place at home to have a manga library (or for the matter, a book collection of any sort), but we get how some of you might enjoy the guaranteed privacy as well as the lack of distractions. And if that’s the case, you’ll want to take a page from this Pasir Ris home’s cosy loo.
12. Maximising space by having a washing machine in the bathroom
View this project by Mr Shopper Studio
Although they’re a rare sight in Singapore, owing to the compact size of bathrooms in local homes, laundry-bathroom combos ARE a feasible idea. Just be sure to exercise caution and keep your laundry appliances (and also, electrical sockets) sufficiently far from any sources of water that might pose a danger to your safety.
13. Building an external his-and-her vanity, plus dressing area
View this project by IdeasXchange
One of the perks of having a large bedroom is the freedom to build a walk-in wardrobe, or if you prefer, section off part of it to create a changing area with a his-and-her vanity. What’s more by making such a layout change, you’ll also get an en suite with more room on the inside for your W.C. and shower.
14. Making the most of an extra-spacious HDB maisonette’s en suite
View this project by The Interior Lab
We all know how maisonettes are basically XL-sized HDB flats and with all that extra square footage, it’s possible to create a large, almost palatial en suite with wall-to-wall sliding glass doors that make the transition from bedroom to bathroom seem almost seamless.
Likewise, matching design elements, such as identical walls and flooring, contribute to the continuous flow between the two halves of this Bukit Batok home’s upper floor.
15. Creating a shower/walk-in wardrobe out of an existing en suite
View this project by Dyel Design
Utilising a wardrobe to section off a changing area isn’t exactly a fresh idea, but how this Tampines HDB flat does it differently is by doing away with partition walls and adding a mini shower/W.C. area into the mix. While the resulting en suite might look/feel utilitarian to some, it does serve the purposes of maximising every inch of available space and providing a private area for washing up.
16. Blurring the boundaries with foldable glass partitions
View this project by The Local INN.terior 新家室
For those who value personal privacy, the design of this Tampines flat’s en suite surely isn’t something that they’ll enjoy. But if you’re more daring, having an open-concept bathroom can prove to be the right choice as it creates more visual space, which can be beneficial to the overall look and feel of your personal spaces even if it isn’t actual square footage.
17. Adopting a semi-private layout for a more spacious vibe
View this project by MET Interior
To summarise, creating a semi-private layout for this en suite in a Yishun 3-Gen HDB flat meant doing away with its original entrance entirely, shifting its vanity outwards, and finally, constructing a privacy wall. But if you’re curious to find out more about the entire renovation process in detail, you can check it out right here.
18. Filling up an en suite with a bathtub (and mermaid tiles)
View this project by Juz Interior
Compact as they are, it’s still possible to fit a bathtub into an HDB flat’s en suite. In place of the usual shower + enclosure combo, you may want to consider having a standalone bathtub (such as a Japanese soaking tub, which is smaller) over a built-in one for easier installation and more flexibility in placement.
Also, don’t forget to include a tiled feature wall as a beautiful backdrop!
19. Getting a built-in bathtub for a comfortable after-work soak
View this project by Noble Interior Design
What makes this Novena condo’s bathroom different is none other than its built-in bathtub, and if you’re keen on getting one too, you’ll have to ahere to some basic rules and requirements.
But to summarise, apart from having sufficient space, you’ll also have to ensure the total weight of your new tub and its supporting structure falls within your home’s load bearing limit. So, take note!
20. Installing a standalone bathtub right outside the bathroom
View this project by Ovon Design
It’s totally daring, but what counts as this Tampines home’s en suite proves three things: one, that standalone bathtubs offer highly flexible placement, two, that you don’t always need partitions (not even a glass enclosure) to create a stylish bathroom, and three, your imagination is the limit when realising your ideal W.C./shower!
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