3-Room Flat Near Coney Island is Now Chic Pink Home for One
As tiny as it is, this bachelorette’s pad is big on features and character.
In most homes, the focal point – like a feature wall, painting, or bookshelf – tends to be inside. For Joyce, however, it's something outside her home – specifically, the view overlooking Coney Island.
“I wanted a home that complements the greenery outside,” says Joyce, who moved into her 3-room resale HDB flat in Punggol in April last year. “To make the view stand out, I decided that softer, earthier tones were the way to go.”
The view of Coney Island from Joyce’s home.
Other interior features that Joyce also wanted include a study, a walk-in wardrobe, as well as a bathtub – all of which were successfully fitted into the 65 sqm confines of her home. Keep reading to see how its unique layout gave Joyce the space to include everything she wanted!
About herself and her home
Joyce (J): Hi, I'm Joyce, and welcome to my home! I’m currently living here by myself – so you can call this my bachelorette pad (laughs). During the house-hunting process, I came across this unit, and after seeing the view, I fell in love with it almost immediately.
Joyce’s home, pre-renovation
This home previously belonged to a family who loved dark colours. There were black and purple walls, black kitchen cabinets, and dark parquet flooring. That look wasn’t something I wanted as I felt it didn’t really do the view justice.
And because of that, I knew the house had to undergo a major overhaul. At first, I thought of going with a Bohemian or Scandinavian look, but after looking through Pinterest and watching some interior design shows, I realised I was focusing more on how the various styles were making me feel, rather than the elements that make up the look.
So, I told David, my interior designer from Happe Design Atelier, that I preferred something simple and cosy, with softer and more natural colours. He went ahead with an understated mix of pink and earthy tones, which makes the greenery outside really pop.
WATCH: Happe Design Atelier designer David and homeowner Joyce takes us through the apartment's renovation process
About the living and dining room makeover
J: Because it’s a 3-room flat, my home is pretty small, so I wanted it to look as spacious as possible. I didn’t want a lot of built-ins, especially in the communal areas, as it clutters up the space. I went with freestanding furniture instead, which gives me the flexibility to play around with the layout whenever I want.
In terms of design, I prefer curves over hard lines as I think they look softer and more natural. I relayed this to David, and he suggested building this rounded entryway to create the look I wanted. And to match it, I got a bunch of rounded furniture pieces like the sofa, mirror, and dining table.
On giving the kitchen a makeover
J: The kitchen has a similar colour scheme to the communal areas. To keep the look seamless, I opted to have the fridge placed further into the kitchen.
I know most people tend to have their fridges nearer to the kitchen entrance, so that they can grab whatever they need quickly – but since the space is so small, it doesn’t really matter to me.
Most of the storage built-ins in the kitchen have pull-out drawers, I prefer them over cabinets with hinged doors because I think they’re more useful – it’s easier to keep them organised and they have a larger storage capacity. There are also a couple of open shelves that double up as display areas.
About turning an internal passageway into a walk-in wardrobe
The layout of Joyce’s home, pre-renovation
J: During the planning process, I told David that I wanted a walk-in wardrobe as well as a study. But because the flat is quite small, most of the interior designers I met with mentioned that I’d have to give up one or the other. Only David came up with the idea of turning the corridor into a walk-in wardrobe, which I thought was really unique!
The layout of Joyce’s home, post-renovation
To do this, he hacked away the partition walls of the junior bedroom and built storage units in their place. He initially suggested outfitting the space with open built-ins, but I didn’t want that because I’m not a tidy person (laughs).
Like the kitchen, there are lots of pull-out drawers, along with an extended cabinet for my dresses. There’s also a display area which can be lit up – I use this space to store smaller items like perfume bottles and jewellery.
On renovating the study and master bedroom
J: Since David managed to fit in a walk-in wardrobe, I was now free to turn the junior bedroom into a study. With the original doorway along the walkway torn down, we created a newer, smaller one by knocking down the wall between the study and the master bedroom.
You’ll notice that this room has much more built-ins compared to the rest of the house. I deliberately asked for plenty of storage options here as I foresee myself spending plenty of time in this room. Everything from the drawers spanning the entire rear wall to the window side desk has ample space for my belongings. Meanwhile, the clean lines keep the entire look sleek.
For the bedroom’s design, I kept things simple by opting for loose furniture. But to add a little bit of character, David proposed a panelled headboard as well as bevelled display shelves at the side.
On creating the wet and dry bathrooms
Interior Firm: Happe Design Atelier
J: It was actually David’s suggestion to have wet and dry bathrooms. When I mentioned to him that I wanted a bathtub, he recommended installing it in a space of its own to avoid overcrowding and clutter.
The bathtub was installed in the original en suite, which is now the wet bathroom. As much as I love the pinkish, sandy colours around the home, I thought it was best to add some contrast here. So, I chose a dark grey scheme with walls coated in textured paint to give them a stony feel.
What was previously the common bathroom was turned into the dry bathroom – or the powder room, as I call it. This is where you’ll find the WC, as well as the sink, mirror, and cabinets that houses my makeup and skincare products.
To sum up
J: I’ve been living here for about 4-5 months now, and I honestly can’t be happier. Some of my friends had visited before COVID-19 restrictions were in place, and they were all amazed by the space – I think it’s because it’s not your typical home in terms of colour, layout, and decor.
Working with David was really enjoyable. I was amazed by how quickly he understood what I wanted – all I told him in my brief were my basic requirements. And he got all that from the first meeting! The current look was exactly what he suggested in his first proposal, with only some changes in colour.
Also, he’s practical and open to suggestions. He’d tell me if something I suggested wouldn’t work, which I appreciated because some IDs would just agree to it without thinking of the practical requirements.
Overall, I’d say this was a great collaboration. I don’t really speak “ID” or know the jargon used in renovation that well, but David really understood my vision and brought it to life. I’m really thankful for all his help!
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