A breezy HDB executive maisonette with colonial charm

By pairing Peranakan motifs with a black-and-white colour palette, Darwin Interior has created a home rich in character.

  • A breezy HDB executive maisonette with colonial charm

Home Type: HDB executive maisonette

Floor Area: 1,600sqft

Text by Disa Tan

Plenty of natural light streams into this HDB executive maisonette, making it a soothing sanctuary for the homeowners, a married couple with two children. What elevates their family home are colonial touches drawn out by a monochromatic colour scheme. It was all put together by the design team at Darwin Interior and the homeowners gave them full control of the design direction while listing out a few must-haves.

One of the primary objectives was, of course, to incorporate the colonial style, an apt look that fuses well with the maisonette’s bright and airy atmosphere. Echoing the chill-out vibes of a colonial bungalow’s verandah is the balcony decked with ubiquitous bamboo window blinds in black-and-white, and floor tiles sporting Peranakan motifs.

HDB executive maisonette

The team laid the kitchen with floor tiles bearing Peranakan motifs as well, establishing visual continuity from the balcony to this enclosed cookspace. The designers describe the selection of these decorative tiles as challenging, as the range is limited compared to more generic designs. They say: “Finding the right one to match the area, the carpentry works, and arranging it proportionally is not easy. Beside great workmanship from the tiler, the tiling of such decorative surfaces needs some form of aesthetic sense.”

With the floor tiles in bold patterns allowed to shine in this monochromatic space, the rest of the kitchen is outfitted with metallic finishes emerging from the Bertazzoni freestanding cooker and oven, and cabinet handles.

To better suit the homeowners’ lifestyle, the kitchen was redesigned as an enclosed space. Even then, the new setting looks spacious and well-organised with the designers incorporating shaker-style cabinets to house the main kitchen appliances.

In elegant black, the shaker-style cabinets pair well with ornate-looking handles in a gleaming finish. Adding a beautifully contrast are sintered stone countertops bearing a luxurious marble-inspired design.

HDB executive maisonette

The monochromatic colour scheme lends itself well to the stairway leading to the bedrooms on the second level of this HDB executive maisonette. Vinyl planks line the steps, bringing a contemporary touch to the colonial-inspired interior.

HDB executive maisonette

Upstairs, the designers relocated the entrance of the master bedroom. They say: “We had it repositioned so that the walk-in wardrobe comes before the bed, thereby creating a sense of the unexpected.” The sleeping area is now concealed behind the L-shaped wardrobe for extra privacy, and has a raised platform to hold a tatami-style mattress.

HDB executive maisonette

Another unexpected design detail lies in the corridor outside the bedrooms: an upstairs pantry. Having this pantry is a welcomed convenience for the homeowners to grab a beverage or a snack. “They no longer have to head downstairs to the kitchen just for a glass of water,” the designers add.

Practical as it is aesthetically-pleasing, the thoughtfully designed pantry features large format tiles in botanical prints. This captivating mural stands out vibrantly against the backdrop of black shaker-style cabinets, creating a focal point that has quickly become the preferred gathering spot for the entire family.

The shaker style extends its presence into the bathroom as a floating vanity. This design imparts a sense of airiness, effectively balancing the dark monochrome palette. It’s the meticulous attention to such subtle details by the designers at Darwin Interior that elevates the overall aesthetic of this home’s black-and-white setting.

Darwin Interior

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