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Jurong Point Block HDB Flat is Now Couple’s Soothing Getaway

Besides a refreshed interior, this couple’s 5-room flat now has solutions to once awkward spaces.

While most young couples would choose a brand-new BTO flat as their first home, for Hafiz and Suhailah, the process of creating one instead begun with a hunt for the right resale HDB flat.

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“There were some considerations that we had (when building our first home),” shares Suhailah. “Like for instance, we wished to move in as soon as possible and we wanted a flat with more space.”

Eventually, the couple, who are in their thirties, found a suitable 5-room, 120 square metres point block unit in Jurong East, but almost everything in it – from the bathrooms to the kitchen – first had to be revamped.

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The kitchen’s exterior prior to the renovation.

Jurong East Street 21 by Anhans Interior Design
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“It was actually quite hard for us to picture how the final result would look like because some of the original (built-in and furniture) placements were in odd positions,” says Hafiz. “Also, there was a very deep storage recess inside of the kitchen which we had to figure out what to do with.”

Keep scrolling to see how Hafiz and Suhailah tackled these issues with the help of Anhans Interior Design to create a picture perfect home for two!


About themselves and their home

Suhailah (S): It’s just Hafiz and I living here. We chose this 5-room resale flat in Jurong not only because it suits our requirements but also because it’s close to my parents’ home. Having plenty of natural light indoors wasn’t one of our requirements, but it’s definitely a bonus.

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There was another resale flat in the neighbourhood that we had considered purchasing. It’s just a block away from ours, but we didn’t choose it because it was a bit too big.

Although a larger unit was one of our home hunting requirements, finding an HDB flat that’s the right size was important to us too – big enough for our current needs and future plans, but compact enough so that cleaning won’t be a headache.

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The flat’s floor plan, post-renovation.

I also enjoy doing a bit of DIY decorating and that’s reflected in our choice of furniture. Hafiz and I have similar taste (in décor), so there’s plenty of rattan furniture and other special pieces throughout the house that we chose ourselves.

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The kids’ room features unique pieces sourced locally and overseas, including a mini chair from Russia, a play cooking set from Indonesia, and a rattan-fronted cabinet from local furniture store Second Charm. (Photo credit: Hafiz and Suhailah)

About the living area’s makeover

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The living room prior to the renovation.

Hafiz (H): We’re the third owners of this flat, and to be honest, it was quite old-school in the sense that the layout wasn’t optimised for modern living, so we had our work cut out for us. The living room wasn’t a communal space previously as the previous occupants used it as a storage area.

Also, if you take a closer look, you’ll see that the top of the living room’s windows terminates at a sharp corner. We couldn’t change it because it’s part of the flat’s structure, but we placed curtains overhead so that this part (of the windows) looks less conspicuous. Now, the area is a nice spot where I can do some light reading in the morning.

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S: Our living room has a white-and-wood look that’s fairly popular these days; we tried to spice things up and giving it a bit more personality by adding cushions, throws and plush surfaces. Aesthetically, the rattan furniture helps too because it introduces various patterns and a natural texture to the space.

Ultimately, I think what we had in mind was a space that’s as comfortable and looks as interesting as possible, yet still minimalist at its core.

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On renovating the kitchen and dining area

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The dining area, mid-renovation.

H: If you take a look at the photos, you’ll see that we added an island and built-in dining table just right outside the kitchen. But before that, the previous owners had their sofa placed where these two fixtures are, along with a painting mounted on the wall fronting the kitchen. So, basically, this part of the house was their living area.

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The dining area’s rattan lights were sourced by the owners. “We bought and fixed them up ourselves just to get a feel of it, and I think the final result isn’t too bad,” says Hafiz.

In a way, our current layout makes more sense because it has a more natural flow, similar to that of a BTO flat’s.

The only difference is the amount of extra space that we have between the entrance and the dining area – it comes in handy when my wife repaints recycled vases. There’s this trend called ‘trash to terracotta’ which she enjoys, and it involves upcycling old pottery into faux terracotta pieces.

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The inside of the kitchen before the renovation.

The reason why we have the island outside is because my wife likes to bake as well. The kitchen is really small on the inside, and we barely have enough space for one counter.

The kitchen’s entrance was also narrower before the renovation because the previous owners had extended their counter into the area where the doorway is. Coupled with the fact that the cooking area has an odd shape that isn’t squarish, we really had to put some thought into space planning.

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At last, we ended up with a more compact set-up that features a shorter counter as well as a combination of drawers, cabinets with pocket doors and lift-open storage compartments that can be opened even in a tight space.

The trade-off is that we have less space for food preparation and storage in this part of the kitchen, but that’s okay because we wouldn’t have wanted everything concentrated in this spot anyway.

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The storage area and common bathroom, pre-renovation.

On the other side of the kitchen is the recess which is one of the challenges of renovating this house; the previous owners had a storeroom built there for their dried goods. Even though we kept the recess, we had the storeroom replaced with built-in cabinets and dedicated niches to house our oven and fridge.

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“It looks like there’s only one tall cabinet on the right of the fridge, but there’s actually six rows of drawer units inside for my kitchen supplies,” shares Suhailah.

On the common bathroom’s renovation

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The common bathroom before (left) and during (right) the renovation.

S: The common bathroom is located in the same area as the kitchen. I didn’t want everything to be totally whitewashed, so there are some vintage accents in the form of copper tapware and shower fittings.

The renovation here was fairly straightforward, the only minor challenge that we faced was with the sink. Due to the size of the bathroom, it was a challenge to find a sink that was the right fit. We visited several shops and had to measure whatever options available down to the centimetre just to find the right one.

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Instead of the usual cabinets, sleek shelves made from marble lookalikes were installed to serve as storage solutions in the common bathroom.

On the study’s new look

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H: This is a 5-room flat, so we have three regular-sized bedrooms along with a smaller one that’s right next to our living area.

Some homeowners prefer to make this space part of their living room, but we kept it as it is. It’s now a multipurpose room – we have our prayer sessions here, and it’s also a home library. The arched rattan cabinet at the side is actually a bookshelf that we got from a local furniture store called Second Charm.

About renovating the master bedroom

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S: Because it’s squarish, the master bedroom was a lot easier to design, but we did have to find a layout that would allow us to accommodate a wardrobe within the same space.

In the end, we decided to have the wardrobe flushed to the side of the room as it would allow us to have a king-sized bed. Our interior designer Schubert suggested building a simple extended vanity as well.

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The dresser during (left) and after (right) the renovation.

The vanity’s design is fairly simple but it’s very functional – we chose a grey laminate that would match the look of the en suite, plus there’s a pair of recessed lights built into the vanity’s structure as well; one around the mirror for ambient lighting and another beside the bed, which functions as a reading lamp at night.

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Both the master bedroom’s bed frame and side tables were also custom-made at Second Charm. “They were great at advising us on (furniture) sizes and what would look good for our rooms,” says Hafiz.

About the en suite’s renovation

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The master en suite before (left) and after (right) the renovation.

H: The master en suite has more of a resort vibe to it because we didn’t want two bathrooms with the same design. It’s more relaxing here, especially with the natural elements like wood and marble-look tiles that take you out of the concrete jungle.

We also chose an opaque glass door to give it more of a ‘hotel’ feel. The benefit is that we get a nice-looking door that blends into the look of our bedroom yet gives us the privacy that we need.

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To sum up

H: Something that I’ve learnt from this renovation is that planning a house strategically really helps in cleaning and maintaining it.

This is a 5-room flat and there’s only two of us living here, so there’s definitely enough space for clutter to accumulate. Although we’re conscious about what we fill our home with, it’s good that there are enough storage solutions around the house to help us keep it organised.

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S: Yes, I also think that having a larger home has its pros and cons, but the benefits definitely outweigh the downsides. Whether it’s baking or painting, there’s enough room for me to do the things I love. In this current climate where we’re all basically at home every hour of the day, that’s really important.


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