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Dated HDB maisonette gets updated for modern living

Home to a small family unit, this maisonette has been completely transformed into a hip residence that defies typical housing typologies with each level serving different functions.

Home Type: 4-bedroom HDB executive maisonette

Floor Area: 1,500sqft

Text by Vanitha Pavapathi

Old properties usually come with dated interiors and architectural elements that may not be the most suitable for modern living. But because this unit is an expansive executive maisonette, it was hard for the homeowner to pass it up. All the resale unit needed was just a refresh.

Tasked to design a modern home for the small family unit who loves to entertain, but also to create pockets of quiet spaces, SPIRE divided the two levels to serve different functions. The first level houses the public spaces such as the foyer, kitchen, living area and guest bedroom. Meanwhile, private spaces on the upper floor houses the occupants’ bedrooms.

446 hougang ave 8 HDB maisonette entrance designed by SPIRE

One of the owner’s requests was pretty unique, in that he asked for asymmetrical design features to be included. The designers responded by curving one end of the archway that leads into the kitchen, which they admit was a challenge to construct. “We even sectioned the foyer with patterned floor tiles that were cut in different shapes and sizes, as opposed to vinyl flooring used throughout the first level,” say the designers.

446 hougang ave 8 HDB maisonette kitchen designed by SPIRE (2)

In order to create interiors conducive for entertaining, the wall between the kitchen and living area was demolished. The interconnected spaces result in an expanded gathering area, and a second point of entry into the kitchen and common bathroom. Tucked in the corner is the laundry area and additional storage, camouflaged with slatted door panels.

446 hougang ave 8 HDB maisonette living and dining designed by SPIRE

Unlike typical living rooms outfitted with sofa and television, such furniture and fittings are nowhere to be found here. Instead, a bespoke bar counter dress the space with upholstered bar stools to boot, which also replaced the need for a dedicated dining area. This setting allows the family to have engaging and meaningful conversations with relatives and friends, while enjoying the view outside through the wall-to-wall windows.

446 hougang ave 8 HDB maisonette entertainment room designed by SPIRE

When it came to personal entertainment, the design team took it to another level with a bedroom cum entertainment room, home office and mini gym on the second floor. “The owner needed space to indulge in his hobbies like playing guitar and online games anytime he wants, so it made sense to combine two bedrooms into one,” the design team explain. They also made sure to install soundproof windows as to not disturb the neighbours when the owner has a personal jam session.

446 hougang ave 8 HDB maisonette bedroom designed by SPIRE (2)

In this open-plan layout, the rest or sleeping area was purposely elevated to create a distinct separation from the entertainment space. A full-height wardrobe sits in the middle of the room to shield off the bathroom en suite from view and works great for the television to be mounted on.

446 hougang ave 8 HDB maisonette bedroom designed by SPIRE

While one room sports an upbeat vibe with a vibrant colour palette, asymmetrical ceiling design and curvilinear work desk, the other room on the same floor is a little more refined with a light colour palette and minimal furnishings. Furthering the clean and minimalist aesthetic are pivot doors in all bedrooms.

To appreciate the historic design this maisonette had to offer, the designers decided to retain the original staircase and painted it in a deep, dark brown for a modern touch. This is evident that old can be new again through creative adaption for modern living.


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