Smart reconfiguration of an old resale flat

Layout tweaks and light colours mean a better flow and an updated minimalistic aesthetic for this 42-year-old resale flat.

  • Smart reconfiguration of an old resale flat

Home Type: 4-room HDB flat

Floor Area: 979sqft

Text by Disa Tan

As far as the condition of decades-old resale flats go, this unit in a mature estate was certainly not in good shape and called for a fresh overhaul. Enter Leon Leong, Chief Designer from OVON, who was commissioned by the homeowners to modernise it with a breezy and minimalistic aesthetic.

kitchen and dining island

Leon says: “The homeowners, who both hold managerial positions, enjoy hosting and cooking for their guests. As such, they prefer a clean and airy looking home, and a space-efficient layout.” The designer therefore did not hold back in gutting this resale flat, and replaced almost everything from the flooring to the walls and custom carpentry.

resale flat

Significant tweaks have been made to carve out an improved floor plan that allows the gregarious homeowners to enjoy an open-plan layout that’s ready for company. One such area is the shared living and dining space, which has been enlarged by demolishing the previous wall and putting up a new one that sits further back.  

dining detail

As a visual point of demarcation from the living zone, Leon laid strip tiles of varying widths on the wall in the dining area to create a staggered effect. A full-height mirror has been installed to further amplify the sense of space.  


The walkway leading to the two common bedrooms in this resale flat has been widened as well. Leon says: “We shifted the entrances of the two facing bedrooms further back and managed to work in an appropriately-sized study.”

resale flat

Large-format Italian porcelain tiles from Hafary have been liberally used as flooring, and these dark tile tones usher warmth into the otherwise whitewashed living area. For extra storage and seating, a bay window settee with integrated storage has been installed. The settee is decked in vertical laminate strips that bring visual depth, particularly against this white setting.   

resale flat

Concerted efforts have been made to mask the unsightly structural beams around the resale flat by turning them into sleek overhead lighting fixtures with a slanted design detail.


While keeping in theme with the minimalistic look, Leon did not neglect the homeowners’ pride and joy – their travel keepsakes and music memorabilia. He installed display cubicles to house their collectibles in neat order next to the shoe cabinetry. 

white kitchen in resale flat

Hacking away the entire kitchen wall was quite a major gamble, but it paid off in expanding the common bathroom, master bedroom and its ensuite bathroom. Even though this expansion reduced the size of the kitchen slightly, Leon maximised the space well with new wet and dry zones and equipped it with ample and organised storage.

cast iron kitchenware

For example, at the front of the kitchen, a collection of cast iron cookware and kitchen appliances are artfully displayed in glass-encased cabinets.

white kitchen in resale flat

Glass sliding doors separate the wet and dry kitchen zones and this not only draws in daylight and improves circulation, but the homeowners can now also interact with their guests while cooking.

white kitchen with curves

The elongated kitchen is outfitted with quartz countertops bearing curved edges. These rounded design details bring a contemporary touch that is anything but plain in this minimalistic setting. 

common bathroom

At the end of the kitchen lies the common bathroom. Leon says: “I moved the vanity sink out of the bathroom to separate the wet zone from this dry area.” The sink counter has been topped with a similar curved quartz surface to instil design cohesiveness.

With the sink now situated outside at the kitchen, the common bathroom has more room to accommodate the shower and WC amenities.

resale flat master bedroom

An all-white colour scheme ushers a crisp and calm feel to the master bedroom. Using white laminates with anti-fingerprint features, Leon designed a wardrobe with display shelves so the lady of the house can admire her favourite bags.

bag display in room

The master bathroom has a sumptuously dark aesthetic. This departure from the all-white palette in the master bedroom immediately soothes one’s senses. It was pivotal to enlarge this space, as Leon wanted to fit in an extended vanity counter to add to its luxurious appeal.

resale flat master toilet


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