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Swapping rooms in this duplex penthouse apartment

EHKA Studio overhauled the functionality of this two-storey penthouse apartment and now, the living room is on the upper floor while the bedrooms are on the lower floor.

Home Type: Duplex penthouse

Floor Area: 90sqm

Text by Redzman Rahmat

When we buy a home, whether brand new or from the resale market, the function of each room is typically already laid out. This is where the living room should be and this is where you place the bedroom. But sometimes, redefining the functionality of the available rooms can lead to a more efficient use of space for your lifestyle and daily usage.

In this duplex penthouse, the homeowners wanted to invert the use of space over the two storeys. They wanted the living room on the upper level, next to the balcony. Conversely, they wanted to move the master bedroom and kids’ rooms to the larger lower floor, for convenience and ease of access. With help and guidance from architectural firm EHKA Studio, they reconfigured this entire layout into a home that actually works for the family.

penthouse apartment

Upon stepping into the apartment, you’ll find the kid’s room located directly next to the main entrance. Getting to the living room however, requires you to walk through the home and climb the stairs to the second floor. This relatively long trek to reach the communal spaces was unusual, and EHKA Studio wanted to improve on the experience.

To that end, the designers created a long display cabinet that leads the way to the stairs and up to the living room. This cabinet is made up of narrow ledges that form a blocky, asymmetrical design. Each ledge is wide enough to hold personal mementos such as photographs and decorative ornaments, essentially turning the corridor into a gallery of sorts.


The living room itself is a picture of warmth and cosiness. As with the rest of the apartment, EHKA Studio used a backdrop of white with black accents to create the ideal background for the homeowners to personalise with loose furniture and soft furnishing.

Another challenge that cropped up was the fact that the newly relocated bedroom would prevent natural light from entering the lower level. To rectify this, the designers separated the bedroom into two dedicated spaces: the sleeping zone and a play zone. The play zone extends onto the terrace, becoming an open ‘outdoor’ area that even the parents can enjoy. This open space also acts as the funnel that brings light and air into the rest of the home. The designers also created sliding doors that can cordon off the space if necessary.

EHKA Studio

See other great house transformations here


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