Navigating Wallpaper in a HDB Flat

Are there regulations around the type of wallpaper that can be used in a HDB flat?

Navigating Wallpaper in a HDB Flat

An HDB flat is a flat developed and built by Singapore’s housing authority, the Housing and Development Board (HDB). HDB buildings house more than 80% of the entire population of Singapore – and of this 80%, more than 90% of these residents actually own the home in which they live.

Naturally, HDB flats are an incredibly common topic among Singaporean interior design. Because the HDB regulates renovations and certain remodels require permits, there are often questions about which features of a HDB flat can be updated without risking a breach of contract.

HDB homes can be renovated at any time provided these renovations follow the relevant HDB guidelines. Certain renovations will need a permit, and some may be rejected. Even projects which do not require approval from the HDB must be undertaken by a registered contractor from the Directory of Renovation Contractor (DRC).

If you renovate without the appropriate permissions or you do not follow these guidelines, you are personally liable for any damages and fines that may apply. As the homeowner, you are also responsible for ensuring that your contractor complies with the HDB guidelines. (Don’t stress too hard – most contractors in Singapore will already be very familiar with HDB rules and can likely walk you through the required actions during the quote stage of your renovation).

Wallpaper is of little concern to the HDB. There are no specific rules regarding wallpaper HDB or its installation; this will be down to the discretion of the homeowner. If you are part of the 90% in HDB flats who own their own home, good news! Your wallpaper journey can begin immediately. If you’re one of the 10% of renters, you should check in with your landlord beforehand.

Wallpaper is a great idea to spruce up a home. Wallpaper can turn your very walls into an art feature, designed to captivate your guests and bring you happiness on the daily. There are endless options of HDB wallpaper designs and styles, giving you full creative control over the way you want your walls to look. Whether you decide to opt for a mural, a feature wall, a geometric design, florals or even wallpaper which emulates other materials (such as natural stone or timber), the end result will be the same: a gorgeous new look for your interior.

Wallpaper, especially quality wallpaper, is often more expensive than paint. Generally, wallpaper can cost anywhere between $40-$300 SGD for a 15m x 1m roll. Depending on whether you intend for this to be a DIY project or pay for professional installation, there could be additional costs here ($150-500). Prepping your walls for wallpaper will require sandpapering to ensure they are as smooth as possible, because bumps in the wall could warp the paper and ruin the natural effect.

However, wallpaper still has a number of benefits over wall laminate or painting. For one; installation can be much, much quicker. It will not leave behind any negative effects like an odor or stains, which paint has been known to do. Wallpaper is also more durable and has been known to last over 15 years, while paint requires semi-regular touch ups.

There is some apprehension around using wallpaper in humid climates like Singapore, but rest assured that wallpaper is adaptable enough to cope with seasonal changes and will still look good as new. Read on to find out where to buy the best wallpaper for HDB flats and the best design ideas for wallpaper Singapore.

Wallcovering Singapore: 7 of the most beautiful designs for wall paper Singapore

7. Mural

Murals like this one are reinventing the wallpaper demographic. High quality wallpaper like this is practically indistinguishable from paint, and the price certainly beats the cost it would take to commission an artist’s design. This royal tropical garden wallpaper is available here from the refined wallpaper shop Muros Wallpapers for $52.48 SGD per square metre.

6. Contemporary

Modern wallpaper trends are seeing an affinity with repeated geometric patterns and dark colour schemes. A style like this lends well to a feature wall, as it will add to the space without dominating your other interior design aspects. You can purchase a similar wallpaper style to the one pictured above here.

5. Kids

If there’s one thing kids love, its having their room feel like an adventure space. Something like this gorgeous mural, also by Muros Wallpapers, is a beautiful way to encourage your kids creativity and foster their interests.

4. Artistic

A creative design like this one from Light in the Box is a beautiful way to bring a little artistry into your home. Available here for $31.16, this mural has a gorgeous three dimensional design that is sure to catch the eye.

3. Pink Marble

Similar to the artistic designs, wallpaper with a pink marble look blurs the line between art feature and wall coating. Designs like this are sure to take center stage in your home, and will work best as the focal point of the room. You can purchase this stunning design here from Muros Wallpapers for $52.48 per square metre.

2. Blue Marble

A slightly more subtle option that will still give you the gorgeous marble look is this grey marble wallpaper from the acclaimed Korean store Wallhub sg. Wallhub has a vast range of wallpaper sg and is one of the industry giants, for their high quality at cheap prices. You can browse their marble range here or take a look at their extensive wallpaper catalogue here.

1. Vintage

A vintage look with bright colours and fun patterns will never go wrong in a HDB flat. Designs like this bring a sophisticated cheeriness into a home and the sheer range of styles/colours available guarantees that you will find something you love. This happy bohemian floral design can be purchased here from Living DNA.


Like what you just read? Similar articles below