It may be hard to quantify, but ‘flow’ – or how easily you are able to move through your home – is a key interior quality that can most certainly be felt.
That said, when it comes to tackling an ill-conceived floor plan, poor flow isn’t the only challenge that you’ll have to deal with: wasted space and a lack of privacy are also common interior issues that demand attention too.
Fortunately, tackling these problems is pretty straightforward – you just need a new floor plan, and perhaps, some clever renovation ideas. But first, let’s get familiarised with the layout of 3-room, 4-room and 5-room HDB flats in recent developments!
Example 1: Bendemeer Light
Averaging between 60 to 65 square meters, 3-room flats in Singapore are built for cosy living, but if you need some extra space, why not try knocking out the exterior walls of the bedroom next to the main living area for an open-floor plan?
Likewise, inserting bright pops of colour, just like this good-looking contemporary home designed by The Scientist did, helps to bring out a vibrant, punchy look that is anything but boring.
Example 2: Teck Ghee Parkview (Ang Mo Kio)
Privacy, style and space are all essential qualities of a well-built home, but as the work Authors Interior and Styling did for this 3-room apartment at Ang Mo Kio proves, you don’t have to choose between them.
Possessing a layout that’s remarkably similar to its Bendemeer Light cousin above (only significant difference being the household shelter’s position), one of the bedrooms was likewise converted into an open-plan study post-renovation.
Meanwhile, fronting the main sleeping space is a wooden privacy screen that breaks the rigidity of the original layout with its sloping profile, on top of providing valuable storage solutions that are essential for keeping compact homes neat.
Example 1: Toa Payoh Crest
This couple’s nest belonging to Charlotte and Bryan is truly cosy minimalism at its best, but let’s not dwell on the looks (You can read their renovation story here!). Instead, let’s focus on what makes their 4-room flat’s floor plan work.
Good flow and a neat visual profile is achieved here, thanks to the simple practice of keeping key walkways clear. You can follow this rule by right-sizing your furniture so that there's sufficient clearance between different home zones.
Example 2: ParkVista (Buangkok)
Household shelters may be essential, but depending on your BTO flat's layout, these compulsory panic rooms will chew up precious living space.
So, what are your odds if demolishing them is out of the question? You do the next best (and right) thing: conceal them.
You can take the 'mirror' approach like DS2000 did with this ParkVista apartment, which helps to create the illusion of space, or...
Example 3: Whampoa Dew (Lorong Limau)
... try building a sleek facade, like what Chapter One did for this 4-room Lorong Limau apartment. Having a nifty corner nook also helps maximise space along the shelter's exterior, which in this case serves as the owners' shrine-of-sorts for personal memorabilia.
Example 1: SkyPeak @Bukit Batok
Coming in at 110 square meters or more, 5-room flats are among the largest BTO homes that you can get in Singapore, and it goes to show as you're free to fit a study, living room and dining space all in the same zone.
The owners of this spacious SkyPeak@Bukit Batok apartment, which was designed by Hall Interiors, chose to do exactly that by creating a large communal zone. Having a floor-to-ceiling bookcase in the reading nook also helps to emphasise the flat's size.
Example 2: Kebun Baru Court (Ang Mo Kio)
The open-look really isn't just for kitchens. In this monochrome-chic Kebun Baru BTO flat designed by The Scientist, the space backing the living/dining area was converted into a closed-off study, complete with its own glass enclosure.
Also, unlike the suggested layout from HDB as depicted in the floor plan above, the dining area was re-located to the same stretch of space that the study occupies.
The rationale for doing so? You get more sitting room in your main living space (by shifting it to a more central position), where you can kick back and relax after returning to your own sweet home.
All Floor Plan Credits: Housing Development Board
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