Turning a DBSS flat into a lifelong home

Bespoke features designed by d’Phenomenal transform this formerly nondescript DBSS flat into a forever home.

  • Turning a DBSS flat into a lifelong home

Home Type: 5-room HDB DBSS flat

Floor Area: 1,173sqft

Text by Isabelle Tow

After 15 years, the Chans decided it was time to give their DBSS flat a revamp. When the family first moved in, their home had been simply furnished, with the owners sticking to the basic finishes that had been provided by HDB. After more than a decade, they decided to make their flat their lifelong home, envisioning cosy interiors with practical features that each family member can enjoy.

DBSS flat

Through a recommendation of a friend, the Chans got in touch with d’Phenomenal, whom they eventually hired for their original design ideas. Over several conversations with designers Kelly Chin and Kef Tan from the team, the family solidified their brief – a warm, earthy colour scheme shared across the home with plenty of storage space. They also requested for an open-concept kitchen.


Guests are met with a dark grey feature wall along the left of the entryway into the home. Clad in slate textured and bleached wood laminates, this curved L-shaped feature hides the household shelter and provides several display niches, including one for the family altar.

DBSS flat

Closest to the entrance, the kitchen is the first space one beholds. Formerly enclosed, the walls were hacked to achieve the open-concept layout that the owners desired. To further brighten the space, the wall separating the yard was also demolished, so that more natural light can reach the kitchen. A U-shaped layout maximises the surface area of the worktop, and top-hung cabinets ensure plenty of storage space as well. The sink was relocated closer to walkway leading to the bedrooms for convenient access, so that washing can take place both inside and outside the kitchen.

DBSS flat kitchen

A key highlight of the kitchen would be the extendable dining table. Although the family comprises just four members, they occasionally host extended family and friends in their home. Therefore, they made a request for a versatile peninsula table that not only extends to host larger parties when needed, but also shrinks down to a compact size for everyday meals. The designers went above and beyond in meeting this demand, delivering an extendable table that can be detached and used as a freestanding piece – furthermore, the table provides electricity supply through its built-in power sockets.

DBSS flat kitchen

The most prominent feature in the living room would arguably be the television console. Located in the centre of space, the console cum space divider is a 3 by 1.7-metre oblong structure that supports the television screen facing the sofa, with built-in storage at the back to hold books and stationery for the study area on the other side. As the structure has some bulk (a thickness of around 55cm), the ends were curved for a sleeker profile and to prevent possible injury from sharp edges since it is placed beside the walkway. The curved sides also hold additional storage compartments.

open concept study

After 10 weeks of waiting, the family were delighted when they returned and saw how their home had been beautifully transformed.


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