With open, social spaces made for conversation and gathering, this home by Studio Gin&G inspires its residents to hit pause on routine and enjoy life’s spontaneous moments.
27 September 2023
Home Type: 5-room HDB flat
Floor Area: 1,292sqft
Text by Janice Seow
Designing a home, even one as humble as an HDB flat, becomes an extraordinary process when led by the desire to imbue it with beauty and meaning. This project is a case in point.
Georgina Foo and Genevieve Ang, founders of Studio Gin&G, have designed this five-room flat in Commonwealth to suit a young married couple who loves to entertain. The direction sounds straightforward enough, but the solutions that have been put in place are delightfully elegant.
“’Pause Abode’ is a dwelling designed to house pockets of spaces that will cultivate moments of pause,” say the designers, who have sought to build a social house where its residents can escape the tedium of routine.
By removing the original wall of the wet kitchen, the previously separated living, dining and kitchen now form one generous social space. A supersized kitchen island measuring 2.7 metres now extends outward, doubling as additional workspace for the preparation and plating of meals, and a front row seat to all the cooking action.
Structural beams are a common feature in HDB flats. Undeterred, Studio Gin&G has approached this natural limitation not as a setback, but an opportunity to demonstrate creativity. “In this dwelling, we’ve introduced simple curves at the intersection of the exposed structural beam, intently expressing the structural element as a ceiling feature that subtly demarcates the living and the kitchen,” say the designers.
The living and dining space is designed to host a myriad of social activities. “Here, our clients can hold soccer watching parties in the living area, hearty potluck gatherings over the dining table and intimate wine sessions by the island bar – all at the same time,” the designers share.
A large wall feature in a deep timber tone takes up an entire side of the living area and imbues it with warmth. The initial intent was to hide the unsightly DB box located near the main door, but the desire to give the built up greater meaning – beyond that of a feature wall – led the designers to create something more.
“We designed it to have extra storage capacity to house a shoe closet and general storage, as well a display element, that serves as the backdrop to the daily living that unfolds in the living and dining space,” say the designers. “Being avid travelers, the homeowners would collect memorabilia from their trips and we desired to design a meaningful way for them to showcase and relive their memories from distant lands in their home, whilst sparking conversations between guests when they host and entertain.”
Against a light and bright palette, richness is expressed through the natural textures of the materials that have been selected for the space. Dark timber features bring definition to the lightly coloured interior and this is echoed in the choice of furniture and fixtures.
In the private quarters, the original master bedroom has merged with the second bedroom to achieve a generous master ensuite with a walk-in wardrobe and a vanity dresser that enjoys natural daylight.
HDB bathrooms are well-known for their small footprints, but the master bathroom here has been reconfigured to increase the efficiency of its original compact floor area, and now has added functionality of increased storage spaces concealed by mirrored panels, as well as a generous custom vanity.
There’s much to be said for a home that encourages one to press pause on routine, and Studio Gin&G has managed to bring this most elegantly into a standard HDB flat.
Shop the Look
Display wall feature in EDL laminate
Novalis timber vinyl flooring in living and dining area from Floorrich
Island and wet kitchen countertop, Infinity engineered surface, from KStone
Phoenix kitchen tapware and bathroom sanitary fixtures and accessories, from Bathworld
Custom basin vanity, Infinity engineered surface, from KStone
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