The Victorian aesthetic is given a fresh, modern update in this monochrome HDB flat by D’ Initial Concept.
9 December 2019
Home Type: 4-room HDB BTO flat
Floor Area: 1,001sqft
Text by Angela Low
On the surface, this young couple’s first marital home at Bukit Batok looks like a simple modern flat , but a closer look at the details of its interior design reveals its Victorian influences. Having fallen in love with the charming look of Victorian-style trimmings, the homeowners decided to incorporate them into their abode.
With the help of the designers at D’ Initial Concept, they came up with a hybrid design concept that melds clean, modern lines with the regality of 19th century European interiors. While the latter often requires a larger budget, the designers managed to pare it down and tailor the style to the contemporary needs of the homeowners. The result is a clean-cut flat with subtle English-inspired accents, unified by a classic, monochrome palette.
As space is a constraint in this BTO flat, the designers kept the communal spaces open. The only form of segregation exists between the kitchen and dining area, which are separated by glass bi-fold doors for the functional purpose of keeping cooking fumes out of the living room. Glass was also chosen to maintain a sense of spaciousness in the common areas, while allowing plenty of natural light to stream into the kitchen.
The traditional, shaker-style cabinets, offset by brass handles and a white backsplash clad in subway tiles, have been painted black to give off a sleeker, more contemporary look. A pantry was also installed by the dining table, doubling as a mini dry kitchen with few cabinets, a small counter, and a compartment for the oven. It makes full use of a seemingly insignificant space, maximising the footprint of the house while keeping the walkways unobstructed.
The centrepiece of the common area is the fish tank, which has been built into the massive white cabinets that stretch all the way to the main entrance of the house. The entire storage unit was a challenge for D’ Initial Concept. Not only must the fish tank—a modern-looking feature—blend in harmoniously with the Victorian-style cabinets, the designers had to incorporate ventilation grilles into the structure without compromising on the elegance of the design.
The full-height storage unit had to house a shoe cabinet and conceal the entrance to the household shelter as well, all of which the designers pulled off with finesse, producing a masterpiece that epitomises the marriage of form and function. For the living room, the designers went with a black TV feature wall with white trimming, which serves to frame the mounted TV as well. A matching black console with white doors further emphasises the contrasting hues, creating a striking visual focal point that doesn’t overpower the room.
The bathroom follows the same monochrome colour scheme, yet features a more adventurous use of textures and patterns. For instance, its walls are overlaid with marble-like hexagonal tiles, which lends a subtle layer of sophistication. Yet, they are juxtaposed with black-and-white, mismatched floor tiles – a combination of geometric and Peranakan-style motifs – that make for a bold, eclectic highlight.
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