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5 Design Tips for Your HDB or Condo Apartment1

5 Design Tips for Your HDB or Condo Apartment


Undoubtedly, designing your new HDB or condo apartment is an exciting endeavour. But after visiting countless websites and flipping through the many pages of interior design magazines, you may find yourself feeling more confused and indecisive. Who should you listen to? What is right for you?

Fret not! Instead of getting yourself carried away by the tides of interior design choices, let’s go back to the starting point and look at basic things that can make a difference in the overall look and feel of your home.

To simplify things, we’ve put together 5 handy design tips for your condo or HDB flat.

1. Pick the Right Colours

One of the first design decisions you need to make is wall colours. It’s important because it sets the mood for the rest of the interior design. Consider these questions: is it a room for sleeping, playing, or working? Is it a communal or private space? Do you want it to be welcoming or reflective? Questions like these can help you arrive at the right choice.

Consider giving each of your rooms a distinct look. Start with the one colour you want to use in the room, and then play with the colour palette to match it with other colours. If you have a dark colour on a wall, make sure the other walls are treated with a lighter hue to avoid overloading the room.

Quick tip #1: If you have selected mostly neutral tones, throw in a multi-coloured item such as a painting, rug or throw blanket to brighten up the area.

Mixing and matching the palette may bring pleasant surprises to your design.

2. Let There Be Light

Make the best use of the natural sunlight to improve the lighting in your rooms. Before placing any furniture, observe how much natural light enters the room, and at what time and where. This will help us decide where to put the sofa or TV to optimise reading or relaxation.

When planning the artificial lighting, you should take into account the room’s function. For instance, general lighting is for everyday use, while task lighting is more suitable for working or specific activities. On the other hand, ambient lighting such as table and floor lamps gives a softer mood.

Quick tip #2: To extend the use of natural sunlight, place mirrors strategically to reflect light. They also give an illusion of a bigger space.

Having suitable lighting sets the right mood for the right purpose.

3. Divide Your Space with Furniture

Many new apartments in Singapore adopt an open-concept layout. This means that the kitchen and possibly other areas (if you have a studio apartment) are no longer separated by walls.

Depending on your preference, this may be good or bad news to you. Regardless, you can still create different “zones” by using your furniture to designate each space. For example, a kitchen island can offer not just more counter space but separate the kitchen from the living room. You can also use the back of your sofa as a visual divider between the living and dining space.

Quick tip #3: Screens and room dividers are fun design embellishments that can visually demarcate an area while upping your design ante. These classic decors can easily be moved around to reshape the space according to your needs.

A kitchen island can also be used to visually demarcate the kitchen from the living room.

4. Make Use of Carpentry

Some of us may be stuck with rooms with curved or awkward corners that refuse to accommodate any store-bought furniture neatly. Here’s where custom carpentry comes in. Custom built-ins fit into any given space, leaving no exposed corners or recesses while optimising your square footage.

Besides framing your house seamlessly, it also creates the bespoke look and fulfils the design theme that you are going for. In Singapore’s space-starved apartments, a well-planned carpentry work can save you plenty of space by squeezing out stealthy storage areas you never know to exist!

Quick tip #4: Make use of carpentry to build multi-functional furniture that doubles as storage. For example, you can install shelf compartments under the kitchen island or pull-out drawers under the bed to store infrequently used items.

Love the look of wood? Carpentry can help you achieve your desired theme.

5. Don’t Forget the Decor

A home will look complete with decorative items. Think about including artworks such as paintings or prints that match the colours and feel of the space. Nature is always a good thing to have in a space, so be generous with house plants, flora and even mirrors that reflect sunlight. Don’t forget details like cushions and candles because they can do wonders in making your home feel warm and welcoming.

Quick tip #5: When embellishing your home, remember not to get too carried away. A few decorative items are lovely, but squeezing 5 paintings in a small room will make it look cluttered and overwhelming.

Adding a handful of decorative items can make a huge difference to a room.

Can’t wait to roll up your sleeve and start designing your home? Call us at (65) 6778 6866 for a chat or email us at enquiry@starryhomestead.com.

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Before And After HDB Makeover You Won’t Want To Miss


If you, like us, form part of the majority who dwell in an HDB flat, then there’s a chance that one of these magazine-worthy interiors belongs to your next-door neighbor or someone who stays in the same block as you. We never tire of transformation stories of the humble HDB apartment – mainly because most of us can relate to the situation, no matter if you’re staying in a timeworn resale flat or waiting anxiously for your first BTO apartment. Here, let us present to you dramatic before-and-after makeovers of flats from around our little sunny island that prove you can live big in a small space.

Area: Bukit Panjang Ring Road
The original condition of this resale flat may not be horrific to begin with, but it just didn’t suit the vibe of its hip young owners. Those antiquated tiles, surfaces and woodwork just had to go. A renovation was definitely in order for the couple.

Entry way
Talk about bad first impressions. The unsightly wall partition that stood beyond the home’s main door simply didn’t cut it. Now in its place is a super functional and versatile partition that also doubles as a showcase and storage piece. If you haven’t already noticed, check out the new front gate that exudes effortless old school vibe without looking passé.


Communal room
Pure white walls breathe new life into this revamped communal zone, while pale wood tone floors and wooden accent pieces ground its all-white look. There are reminders of Singapore’s yesteryears stylistically placed and interspersed within the apartment – and thankfully, no hints left of the interior’s old state.

Tight, cramped and dated cooking space – begone! The light and airy colour palette continues into the kitchen where it works its magic by making this area appear larger.

Common bathroom
We’d probably lose the urge to use the lavatory if it was still in the original condition. Fast forward to post-renovation and what we see now is what we like: a black-and-white bath space that may be simple but exudes minimal chic vibes.

Master bathroom
Black, white and grey hues make a winning combination in the bath space that once sported faded blue and yellowed tiles.

Area: Jalan Rumah Tinggi
The ‘60s was a cool era, but this flat sadly wasn’t. In fact, it exemplified everything we do not want in a home: a claustrophobic and narrow layout, tiny window openings, and loose pieces of mismatched furniture that look like they don’t belong into any sort of décor style at all.
Before: Living room

After: Living room
Atmospheric and brimming with rockstar attitude, this living quarters is barely recognizable from its former self. The daring use of dark tones that sheath the space only serves to inject it with an aura of enigma. What’s more, the stunning red brick wall offers textural appeal and brings about warmth into the apartment.

Dining room
From hawker center style plastic chairs to top-notch bar counter with an edgy vibe, the new dining area even boasts a handsome wall of display shelves that further augment the zone’s bar-like ambience.

The removal of a wall partition at the entrance of this kitchen made a massive impact. The result? A much more spacious cooking space that enables the owner to easily maneuver around the area.

From a bedroom that reeked of the past to a sleeping sanctuary that’s current, cool and on trend – this space has positively improved by leaps and bounds.

With its old-fashioned tiles and fittings, the previous bathroom truly looked like it belonged in the past – and there it should remain. The new space is covered with textured finishes that give it tons of character – making users overlook the cramped quarters and simply enjoy its ambience.

Area: Tampines
This resale flat located in the East lacked style and was terribly outdated, and it didn’t suit its young homeowners at all. To make matters worse, the wooden furniture and fittings made the tiny flat feel smaller than let on. What the home dwellers needed was a fresh start in this timeworn apartment.

Before: Living room

After: Living room
Inspired by Scandinavian homes, the living room is now brighter, breezier and perfectly built for the young couple. Who knew you could include so much in a single room? A feature worth noting is the wall partition that is used to mount the television on one side, and works as a seating and storage space on the other. We love how it effectively delineates two zones – the entry way and the living room – and also provides privacy to those unwinding on the sofa or chilling on the mini golf course.

A far cry from the days spent in a dull and inspiring cooking space, the revamped kitchen enjoys a sense of spaciousness with spanking new white and pale wood cabinet fronts combined with a sandy toned counter top. Notice the contrasting dark blue accent? We love how this unexpected jolt of colour adds a youthful vibe into this part of the home.

No more struggling to find space to hang towels or to stash away toiletries, the current bathroom is fully equipped with concealed storage, drawer compartments, towel rails, as well as handy nooks to keep the area free of chaos.

Minimal, clutter-free and completely Zen, this master suite allows the love birds to focus solely on getting their well-deserved R&R.

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