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Achieving an understated elegance in a small flat

Joey Khu ID balances the use of darker hues in this compact unit with mirrors, seamless design features and sleek lines to maintain a spacious feel.

Home Type: 4-room HDB BTO flat

Floor Area: 850sqft

Text by Angela Low

Calling this small flat home is a bachelor, with his parents, who gravitates towards the design of boutique hotels. With the help of Joey Khu, the founder of Joey Khu ID, the new digs is given a fresh makeover with a light yet masculine palette to achieve a cosy yet sleek and sophisticated vibe.

living room in small flat by Joey Khu ID

A soothing ambience is created in the living and dining area through the use of muted tones, from the neutral matte homogeneous floor tiles to the greyish fabric-textured laminates for the walls. Steering clear of busy patterns and colours, the designer opted to spruce up the communal spaces with a vintage Scandinavian dining table and chairs from Denmark. Besides adding warmth to the room, these accent pieces bring understated elegance into the home.

living room in small flat by Joey Khu ID (2)

“I selected a gentle colour scheme in a masculine burnt ash, and blurred the lines between the rugs, walls and ceiling. In doing so, and by playing on subtle variations in colour, I created a sense of unity throughout the home, while also visually enhancing the height of each room,” explains Joey, who injected colour into the TV area with a tan leather sofa, a statement-making brass-gold side table and a chic painting.

dining space and kitchen in small flat by Joey Khu ID

Beside the entrance of the small flat is a tinted glass door with metal handles that leads to the kitchen. While it keeps the cooking area enclosed, the glass door creates a sense of flow into the living and dining room. Inside, the cramped kitchen adopts a light colour scheme to stave off any feeling of claustrophobia. The backsplash is clad in EDL compact laminates with a textured cement pattern, which matches the understated greyish brown cabinets. Silestone countertops in white also adds a layer of contrast and texture.

styling in small flat by Joey Khu ID

The lack of space in this small flat is combated by the introduction of mirrors, particularly in tight spaces such as the corridor that leads to the master bedroom. Visually widening and brightening up the passageway, the colossal timber-framed, tea-tinted mirror also doubles as a custom-designed, hidden door to the store room. In the living room, a smaller round mirror from Hay hangs above the slender shoe cabinet.

master bedroom in small flat by Joey Khu ID (2)

At the end of the passageway is the master bedroom, which has a study desk integrated into the wardrobe. This space-efficient feature turns a single space into a multifunctional one, maximising the existing footprint without making major structural changes. Simple details such as vertical grooves on the doors of the closet create depth and subtle visual interest as well.

master bedroom in small flat by Joey Khu ID

Dark panels and built-in cabinetry in the master bedroom not only give off the appearance of a sophisticated boutique hotel, they also “create the impression of a larger bedroom by drawing the eye horizontally across the space,” says Joey. Here, the TV console provides extra storage and hidden compartments for the homeowners’ books and clothes.

master bathroom in small flat by Joey Khu ID

The master bedroom also comes with an en-suite bathroom. The floor and walls have been overlaid with homogeneous tiles that resemble natural stone for a look of luxury. To make full use of the vanity counter, the designer also installed a wall-hung water closet. Above, two mirrors with a foldable, wall-mounted addition provide the illusion of space.

Using features such as concealed storage, open shelving, custom-made furniture and seamless door frames, Joey managed to create a spacious abode that feels fresh and modern.

Joey Khu ID

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