The abundance of space in this HDB flat allows Aart Boxx Interior to experiment with secret doors, indoor balconies, and a reconfigured layout.
20 May 2020
Home Type: Jumbo HDB flat
Floor Area: 1,800sqft
Text by Angela Low
This jumbo flat, which comprises four bedrooms and two kitchens, is in no shortage of space for the couple who live here. The challenge, for Sam Peh, the senior designer of Aart Boxx Interior, was to incorporate the old furniture and artworks from their previous abode into the new flat, while still keeping the decor fresh. To achieve this, the designer had to demolish and reconstruct a number of walls, and rejig the existing layout.
The communal areas are dominated by warm wood tones and cosy, soft furnishings to evoke a sense of homeliness. Serving as a centrepiece and partial divider between the living and dining areas, the floor-to-ceiling cabinet and display unit introduces a subtle element of elegance. Clad in dark wood strips that help emphasise the height of the room, it is built around the ceiling beam and features a custom-made fish tank that’s visible from both sides of the divider.
Wrapping around the back of the giant sofa in the living room is an L-shaped credenza, which is packed with storage compartments, and includes a power socket for practical purposes. When it’s not used to showcase the homeowner’s objets d’art, it offers extra surface for guests to place their food and drinks. More storage lies behind a hidden door along the TV feature wall, which displays aluminium inlays of varying widths.
The dining area boasts a two-metre-long mirror with a black, wooden frame, which spans nearly the entire wall across the table. More than a grandiose statement piece, it works to visually double the footprint of the interior, while brightening up the space. It also matches the dark borders of the glass doors to the balcony. Juxtaposing the darker tones of the mirror frame and the fish tank cabinet are the light wood dining table and lights, both of which were bought from a boutique at Dempsey Road.
To further open up the interiors of this jumbo flat, designer Sam Peh of Aart Boxx Interior replaced the walls of the ‘balcony’ area with full-height glass windows, so light can flow freely between the rooms. Its clean, black borders also add a contemporary touch to the otherwise classic style of the flat. Interlocking floor tiles and a few small steps leading downwards into the space create the illusion of a balcony, despite still being indoors.
While the living areas follow a neutral colour scheme, the open-concept kitchen boasts an entirely different aesthetic with a fresher, more modern colour palette of white and dark blue. The only exception is the solid suar wood countertop that makes up the breakfast bar, separating the kitchen from the rest of the house. To cater to the husband’s love of watching shows whilst cooking, an LED TV screen is built into one of the kitchen cabinets. The space also features a hidden door that leads to the yard.
Most service yards in HDB flats are relegated to the tiniest corner at the back of the house, but not in this residence. Accessible through a concealed doorway in the kitchen, the laundry room is uncommonly spacious and airy. Arabesque floor tiles in monochrome tones run through the entire space, making a bold statement that complements the minimally decorated display nooks. The service yard is also linked to the guest room and the common bath.
Greyish hues take the lead in the common bathroom, where the designer played with trendy, contemporary motifs and mismatched patterns. Aside from the shower area, most of the floor and walls of the common bath are cladded in hexagonal tiles with eclectic prints. The sole contrast to the cool shades of the space is the warm wood finish of the vanity cabinet, on which a natural granite washbasin sits.
The overall aesthetic of the jumbo flat is a reflection of the varied tastes of Thomas, a Welsh native, and Firah, a Singaporean Malay, both of whom have a proclivity for the East-meets-West aesthetic.
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