A versatile home that’s no longer boxed in

In this flat, spaces feel larger and are more versatile thanks to nifty space alterations and clever storage ideas.

  • A versatile home that’s no longer boxed in

Text by Luo Jingmei

Entering Alvin Richard Chan and Danli Lok’s four-room flat, there is an unusual sense of spaciousness not typically encountered in HDB units.

A plywood timber cabinet spanning the eight-metre-long living and dining area accentuates this effect. On this wall the couple stores and displays everything from sentimental objects to everyday tools and crockery.

plywood shelf

“This shelf helps to shape the character of the flat while defining the living area,” says Joy Loo, co-founder of WAFF, the interior design studio engaged to improve the unit’s original space. Programmatically the clients requested for a communal zone shared between living, work and dining, and an open kitchen and one bedroom.

dining area in plywood

“Being homebodies and enjoying the bulk of their time working from home and hosting guests, they preferred to have a less rigid built-up space. Instead, they wanted a plan that’s versatile with sufficient storage and display spaces,” says Joy. Alvin is a hobbyist who also wanted a room for crafting miniature figurines.

versatile kitchen with island

Joy altered the original layout by removing a bedroom between the living room and kitchen. It is now the dining space, connected freely to the living and an open kitchen. A utility room at the back of the original kitchen became Alvin’s hobby room while the original kitchen is now the yard. Joy also demolished the wall between another two bedrooms in the rear to create one large bedroom.

versatile kitchen with island

Simple materials such as laminate for cabinetry door panels and stainless steel in the kitchen match the raw materiality of the plywood shelf in the living and dining, as well as the cement flooring. The latter is a neutral backdrop to flaunt the trowel detailing and wood grain of the plywood, while laminate and stainless steel are easy to maintain, Joy highlights.


A moveable island counter in the kitchen adds storage and counter space for meal preparation, and lets the couple be flexible with its placement within the communal area.     

versatile bedroom with wardrobe divider

This employment of nifty space-saving and storage tricks continues into the bedroom where a mid-height wardrobe stands in the centre of one side of the room. “I liked the idea of how the island wardrobe splits up the room [and the space around it] giving the room a more spacious look. The 1.4 metre height also creates a sense of privacy when one looks in through the bedroom door,” says Danli.

view of bedroom

The owners are very happy with how versatile the space is and how easily they can style it with their own personal touch. For Joy, the project reflects the importance of embracing the space constraints and bringing out the best of individual projects. This allows for existing elements and new ideas to combine, bringing about new values, purpose and functionality.


We think you may also like Life around an open window


Like what you just read? Similar articles below