Knock Knock Studio brings out the potential of an odd-shaped flat, and on a modest budget too.
22 November 2022
Home Type: 4-room HDB flat
Floor Area: 1,001sqft
Text by Janice Seow
Instead of a typical squarish layout, this four-room flat in Depot Road came with lots of odd angles that had to be resolved during renovation. At the same time, the owners were not keen on doing a major rehaul of the space given that they did not plan to stay in this flat for long.
The primary task given to Jade Cham and Alice Yee of Knock Knock Studio was to transform the odd-shaped flat into a comfortable and space efficient home on a fairly modest budget of $70,000.
“The clients are a married couple who work hard at their jobs, and given that they are also homebodies, wanted their home to be a place they could relax after a hard day at the office. It had to be a true retreat as they didn’t want to have to spend extra on staycations,” says Jade.
The owners were keen on a bright and airy modern farmhouse vibe for their home. It also needed to have plenty of storage, and be easy to maintain given their busy schedules.
“When we first came in, the unit was very dark and also heavy on carpentry. It felt claustrophobic. Given that it did not have a typical floor plan, we felt it better to build the house in a way that would seal up the corner angles,” says Jade.
To optimise space, the designers made a conscientious effort to plan the storage in such a way that they could be utilised at all corners, while colours were carefully selected to refresh the interiors.
With the budget in mind, the designers kept most of the walls intact, with the biggest move being to remove the wall between the master bedroom and bedroom two to create an enlarged master suite. Everywhere else, cabinetry was used to shape the space to make it easier for the owners to rent out or sell the flat in five years time.
The living and dining space channels the modern farmhouse aesthetic with loose furniture that promote a sense of casualness and ease. A Shaker-style shoe cabinet at the foyer hides the household shelter and cornices also artfully conceal wires. Then there are the thoughtful solutions to organise and store things better, such as a cabinet with a bar handle for the owners to hang their umbrellas.
Further in, the kitchen and yard are now a single entity where, as Jade puts it “space is fully utilised, even the weird angles”.
In this odd-shaped flat, every aspect of kitchen usage and storage has been well thought out. “There is a corner basket for pots and pans, and two utensil compartments, one in an inner drawer, one under the stove. There’s a narrow sauce drawer beside the stove…,” lists Jade. The service yard too, has ample storage, as well as more kitchen prepping space at one side.
Tall units line up only on one side so it doesn’t feel claustrophobic. It helps too, that the sliding barn door with glass windows lets light through.
Little has been done to bedroom three, which is the couple’s gym. Rather, the biggest change to the private spaces has occurred in the master bedroom, which has merged with bedroom two.
With the enlarged room, the designers have created an odd-shaped wardrobe. “The casement doors allow the clients to access all the storage areas at one time. One side is for the wife, the other side for husband. Adjustable shelves allow for flexibility,” says Jade.
The wardrobe’s placement in relation to the bathroom and sleeping quarters has also been designed for maximum ease and convenience. This dressing area doubles as the couple’s workspace, and the wardrobe divider goes a long way to block out sound when the person using the space is having an online meeting.
The home’s odd-shape extends to the master bathroom, and the designers have built a vanity to fit the angled wall. In addition, the entrance has been shifted to address the sharp corners and for more direct access to the wardrobe area.
It is true that you don’t necessary need a big budget renovation to tackle a spatially challenged home. This odd-shaped flat is now an efficient and relaxed abode that just makes sense for the busy couple living in it.
Photography by Marcus Lim
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