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Nostalgia and contemporary living converge in this three-room flat

This resale flat has been designed by Happe Design Atelier as a warm and inviting dwelling that alludes to the history of its neighbourhood.

Home Type: 3-room HDB flat

Floor Area: 560sqft

Text by Janice Seow

In the old days, the area north of Stamford Road was called “Sio Po” in Hokkien, which means “Small Town”. It was a popular location with sea view residences.

Having purchased an old three-room flat in this neighbourhood, a couple sat down with Happe Design Atelier and through discussions, it was mutually agreed that the best response was to let the location and its history inform the design.

nostalgia Happe Design Atelier

“We came up with idea together to bring back the vibe and nostalgic feel of the place,” says designer Ean Chu. “However, it was not about mimicking the old house. Rather, our approach was a contemporary one, but with materials and textures inserted to instil luxury, and fixtures to bring in the retro,” he adds.

nostalgia Happe Design Atelier

To start with, Happe Design Atelier has removed almost all non-structural walls in this compact flat. It’s a decisive move that opens up the unit, and enables the spaces to be reprogrammed to better meet the needs of its occupants. “We created a larger master bedroom, a spacious dining and activity area, and a cosy family room in what was once the common bedroom,” says Ean. “In fact, the dining/activity area also serves as a home office and a workout spot for the couple,” he continues.

nostalgia Happe Design Atelier

Great care has been taken to build a balanced design where eloquent expressions of retro and nostalgia bring warmth and uniqueness to the contemporary interiors. This is done through the incorporation of patterned tile work, accent rattan details, furnishings, and touches of olive green (sofa and main door).

nostalgia Happe Design Atelier

Mood lighting and warm, timber tones also tie in well with the light and airy spaces to heighten the relaxed atmosphere. What’s more, unique details such as bronze mirror panels that subtly ‘enclose’ the sofa, and the banquet-style seating in the dining area foster a greater sense of intimacy.

nostalgia Happe Design Atelier

The retro-influenced galley kitchen meets a colonial-style yard to recreate the past – though both continue to maintain a contemporary approach with a fresh colour palette and clean, simple lines. The spaces are separated by fluted glass, white framed sliding doors to establish a clear distinction between them.

nostalgia Happe Design Atelier

Further in, the enlarged master bedroom now has the space for clear demarcation between the sleeping and wardrobe area, offering greater privacy. Maintaining a consistent design language, the custom bedhead and base is a combination of woodgrain surface and a semi-circular bronze mirror panel that lends warmth to the cool, pristine interior, while giving it a distinct identity.

nostalgia Happe Design Atelier

Fresh and contemporary, but with touches of nostalgia that allude to the history of its neighbourhood, the flat has been skilfully designed by Happe Design Atelier to be a welcoming and soulful home where comfort abounds.

nostalgia Happe Design Atelier

Happe Design Atelier

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