One clever design trick brightens up this HDB home

Studio Wills + Architects made use of a series of diagonal patterns to create a sense of lightness in this 4-room HDB flat

One clever design trick brightens up this HDB home

There are plenty of space-enhancing tips and tricks that both homeowners and designers use to make our small homes look bigger. We knock down walls, buy look-through furniture, and install mirrors everywhere. For more of these tried-and-tested methods, here are 8 ways to make your home feel big.

But every once in a while, we come across a home that makes us re-think the way we approach interior design. In this resale flat, William Ng of Studio Wills + Architects made use of light and shadow – both real and illusionary – to not only introduce visual interest, but also to create a sense of lightness and spaciousness.

About the home

Situated in the middle of the neighbourhood, this 4-room HDB flat (1,162 sqft) is closely surrounded on all sides by high-rise flats. Despite the poor light and the lack of a view, the homeowners bought this unit for its close proximity to the bus and MRT station.

After the makeover by William, the whole place has been transformed into this light-filled space. The only original element restored to its former beauty is the flooring made of broken marble, which also provides the basis of the white and grey palette used in the design.

edStudio-Wills_Untitled-#8_Photograph-01 Entering the home

Living and study areas

The original outdoor balcony has been converted to become part of the living room. On one side, a study nook is carved out of the space, while on the opposite wall, a similar space is set aside for a piano. Both the desk and the piano can be easily concealed by large sliding panels. Illusionary rays of light are evoked with the diagonal placements of the laminate finishing.

edStudio-Wills_Untitled-#8_Photograph-02 Living room

edStudio-Wills_Untitled-#8_Photograph-03 The living room and the study nook

edStudio-Wills_Untitled-#8_Photograph-04 Study nook

edStudio-Wills_Untitled-#8_Photograph-05 The study nook can be neatly hidden away

Dining room and kitchen

Besides not having any windows, the dining room was enclosed on both sides by a bedroom and the kitchen. The area was opened up by hacking away the boundary walls of the kitchen.

A set of pocket sliding glass door was introduced to enclose the kitchen when the homeowners wanted to do heavy cooking. Counters topped with Frosty Carrina from Caserstone provide sufficient workspace while maintaining the overall white and grey palette. Its white base and light grey veins complement the existing broken marble flooring.

edStudio-Wills_Untitled-#8_Photograph-06 Dining room

edStudio-Wills_Untitled-#8_Photograph-07 Kitchen

edStudio-Wills_Untitled-#8_Photograph-08Looking out of the kitchen into the living and dining

edStudio-Wills_Untitled-#8_Photograph-09The view of the dining room from the kitchen

The bedrooms

The same design feature of illusionary light rays is seen in the private areas of the home, bringing in a sense of light and brightening the space.


edStudio-Wills_Untitled-#8_Photograph-11Bed and wardrobe in the bedroom

edStudio-Wills_Untitled-#8_Photograph-12Wardrobe in the master bedroom

edStudio-Wills_Untitled-#8_Photograph-13Master bedroom


 Photography by Beton Brut



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