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Inside a Restful HDB Home That’s Built Not for Two, But Four

For this homeowner and her husband, transitioning into family life also meant moving from a couple’s nest into a newer, more suitable house.

As a family grows, their space needs change too, and its why Christine made the conscious decision to make the move from a 4-room Sengkang BTO flat to a brand-new home: a more spacious 5-room HDB flat in the same neighbourhood – except that this time round, it’s built not just for two, but for her entire family of four.

renovation singapore Sengkang East
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View this project by Rockin Spaces

“It used to be just me and my husband back then, but because we now have kids, having sufficient space at home became a lot more important to us than before,” shares the mother of two boys, one an infant and the other a toddler.

“Compared to our previous home, this flat is not just larger, it’s also a better fit for us because of how its aesthetic and rooms are designed to suit the needs and habits of my family.”

Sengkang East Avenue by Rockin Spaces
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“Most family homes I have seen have bright colours because they’re more attractive to young kids, but I still prefer a neutral palette because it’s more restful,” says Christine. “It’s why most of the house is done up in grey, white and tans, with some wood tones for warmth.”

Naturally, future proofing was an integral part of Christine’s renovation plans, which she devised with the help of local interior design firm Rockin Spaces.

In particular, design decisions concerning key features of the flat – from its layout, to storage solutions, and even flooring – were made in such a way that the resulting space would be the ideal dwelling for Christine’s children to grow up in, and remain so, even in their adolescence.

renovation singapore Sengkang East
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The floor plan of Christine’s current home.

“In my previous home, we had modified the structure of the flat by demolishing some of the walls, that was how we added a walk-in wardrobe to the the master bedroom by merging it with a smaller room,” says Christine.

“But this time round, we decided to forego the hacking because we wanted to leave enough bedrooms for my children in the future where they’ll have their own beds, study tables, and wardrobes.”

Sengkang East Avenue by Rockin Spaces
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The study’s sliding partition doors were designed with reeded glass, which serve as a classy accent as well as a way to let natural light into the space.

Sengkang East Avenue by Rockin Spaces
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Likewise, in private spaces where personal comfort would have taken priority formerly, there is now a distinct focus on communal life.

“In our previous HDB flat, my husband had a personal mancave where he would store his LEGO collection, but for this home, we chose to have a shared study instead,” says Christine.

“When the partition doors are closed, this study is an area that lets us get some much-needed privacy for work, but when we need the space, we can simply open up the doors and the whole area becomes a part of a larger living room where we’re able to spend time together as a family.”

Sengkang East Avenue by Rockin Spaces
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Sengkang East Avenue by Rockin Spaces
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Similarly, Christine’s decision to shrink the kitchen’s footprint in favour of a larger dining space was partly driven by a focus on family bonding.

“With a larger dining area, we’re able to enjoy meals together, but the other big reason for having a smaller wet kitchen was easier maintenance,” shares Christine. “An open-concept kitchen is no doubt attractive, but it’s harder to maintain, especially if you cook frequently for a family because there’s just more space and less time to clean; it’s a lesson that I learnt the hard way at my previous home.”

Sengkang East Avenue by Rockin Spaces
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Sengkang East Avenue by Rockin Spaces
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“Finding the right accent tiles for the en suite wasn’t easy,” says Christine. “We wanted them to be in monochrome to match the rest of the bathroom; it took quite a lot of hunting before we were able to find the right ones at a shop called Lian Seng Hin.”

While the overall focus of the renovation was undoubtedly placed on their family’s present and future needs, that not to say there isn’t enough room in the house for Christine and her husband to bring their personal design ideas to life.

“I’m just happy that we were able to include a storage vanity at the front of our bed – it isn’t easy going from a walk-in wardrobe to a closet, so even if it's a little, the extra storage space helps," says Christine. "On a whole, compared to the rest of the house, this bedroom was definitely designed more with my husband and I in mind – but that’s only fair, because this is our home too!”

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