A one-of-a-kind, Japanese meets industrial HDB flat

AP Concept marries Japanese minimalism with rustic industrialism to create novel ways of living in this HDB flat.

  • A one-of-a-kind, Japanese meets industrial HDB flat

Home Type: 5-room BTO flat

Floor Area: 1,400sqft

Text by Angela Low

It started out as a cookie-cutter BTO flat. But in the hands of AP Concept, this five-room unit has transformed into a one-of-a-kind abode that combines two contrasting styles – Japanese minimalism and rustic industrialism.

It captures the couple’s distinct preferences – the husband, a Bosnian native and coffee lover with a penchant for rugged, utilitarian designs; and the wife, a tea lover who gravitates towards Muji-inspired interiors. Home to a family of three, it is an unexpected marriage of light and dark, subtle and dramatic.

Japanese minimalism HDB flat AP Concept

To make way for an open-concept kitchen, living and dining space, much of the flat had to be deconstructed and rebuilt. As the couple didn’t need a television, the designer adopted an unconventional layout for the communal area by creating a raised L-shaped platform. Not only is this a space-smart solution, it also creates a snug feel – especially when paired with light wood finishes and warm LED lighting.


Designed as a relaxation corner, this Japanese-themed platform houses a tatami-styled dining area, a lounge and a study desk that can be tucked away against the wall. Between the window and the raised platform is a compact and low-maintenance indoor garden of artificial grass and a water feature that enhances the home’s soothing ambience. A feature wall along the raised platform also hides floor-to-ceiling storage compartments.

industrial kitchen AP Concept

The kitchen is where the husband spends a lot of his time. It’s a masculine space with black tinted glass, rustic wood-look laminates and brick walls that conceal the entrance to the laundry yard. From the handsome colour scheme to the rough textures, it serves to enhance its industrial look while visually setting itself apart from the rest of the open-plan unit. Furthermore, the kitchen island-cum-breakfast bar doubles as a semi-partition and provides additional seating.

industrial kitchen AP Concept

The husband’s other favourite space is the gym, which explains its industrial theme, complete with red brick wallpaper, black wood finishes, and a statement-making industrial-style fan to keep cool when exercising. It can be used as a guest room as well, when the man of the house isn’t using it to exercise. A space-saving and multifunctional unit was incorporated to house storage compartments, a Murphy bed and a built-in table.


The master bedroom sports the same Japanese aesthetic as the living area. It’s a fitting choice, considering that relaxation is of paramount concern in the bedroom too. Light wood finishes dominate the interior, from the side table to the walls and even the ceiling, creating a cocoon-like effect. It also features a bay window seat that has the added function of a large side table with nifty hidden storage.

Japanese minimalism AP Concept

Within the same room, the designer managed to carve out space for a walk-in closet as well. The vanity table – paired with a large mirror to compensate for the tight footprint – is flanked by two wardrobes with plenty of storage space.

walk-in wardrobe

In the master bathroom, the colour palette takes another 180-degree turn and features black soft stone panels – which lends a more natural, luxury appearance, as compared to wall tiles.

dark bathroom

A black water closet and rose gold fixtures further add to the look of luxury. As for the bathtub feature wall, custom-made wall tiles with gold aluminium strips in varying lengths were installed for added visual depth.

HDB bathroom

AP Concept

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