Hotel-inspired HDB Flat

As frequent travellers of the world, the owners of a five-bedroom HDB flat in Choa Chu Kang invited CAD Associates on board to realise their hotel-like concept for the home. Inspired on their globe-spanning adventures. The couple wanted to replicate the comfort and sophistication found in five-star hotels on their travels in their humble HDB flat.

Anne Chua, who heads the CAD Associates team as Creative Director, prides herself in the understanding of her client’s personality and needs. To realise their dreams, Anne and the team dug deep and returned to the drawing boards to premiere a design that would represent the worldly travellers and, like the Seven Wonders of the World, be unique like no other.

Based on the needs of the homeowners and design specifications of the five-bedroom flat, the team worked towards optimising a place where comfort comes as second nature. Colours were specifically chosen for visual purity. Stretching across the living hall, veneer was selected to customise the television console and shoe cabinet for its gentle grains and soft colours. Geometric contours were also considered as a break away from the angular design of the house. The unusual television console, which doubles up as a settee would not have been possible without curves, adding a smooth reflexive touch against the straight lines in the room.

A practical design approach with beautiful craftsmanship

In the HDB flat, everything is conceptualised with dual purpose in mind. The floor-to-height shoe cabinet in the foyer has pigeonholes that are used for showcasing proud objects of mention and fancy vials of expensive liquour. Similarly, above the floating bar table, a glass-encased counter is utilised as wine storage, ousting the chunky vertical wine cabinet for an ornate display. Another hint at the dual-purposed functions thought of by the design team is the world map wallpaper plastered across the living hall. Not only does it add flavour to the sterile white walls, it encapsulates the feeling of wanderlust and acts as a reminder of a world that is begging to be explored by the adventurous couple.

Smart space planning

The classy and unique outlook does not stop short at the foyer. As an elaboration of the homeowners’ preference for luxury, the television console in the living hall features a showy gold and black bordering that sparkles and appeals to the homeowner’s fondness of Versace, the Italian luxury fashion brand that specialises in flashy prints and affluent designs. The final product is a close-to-perfect rendition that captures the spirit and essence of the iconic fashion-forward luxury brand and parades the upmarket taste of the homeowner.

What the HDB flat lacks in is a full dining area due to the expansion of the kitchen into the foyer. While the dining space is reduced, it does not suffer in personality. Anne strongly believes that the dining culture is evolving, “young couples in Singapore rarely spend time around the dining table, since design is suited to daily needs, the dining table is no longer considered a necessity”. Staying one step ahead of trends and movements, a floating bar table for three was constructed to the structural pillars takes the place of a rigid dining table. Over festive seasons or larger dinner parties, a portable table extension can be added to receive large groups of guests.

Flat surfaces in the design scheme for easy maintenance

Throughout the five-bedroom HDB flat, the owners got everything they asked for as the home was optimised for a dust-free environment with the installation of glass encasements and folding interior fixtures. In the bedroom, bedside tables can be propped up and folded back in to relieve the owners of frequent dusting and cleaning. The hidden feature is also a favourite of the owners for its ability to camouflage within the headboard and comes as a surprise to visitors of the home.

Another telling indicator of the design team’s originality and problem-solving approach is in the placement of washing machine in the common bathroom. Anne identified the trend of Singaporeans hand washing delicates in the common bath before sending them to the washing machine in the service yard. From a functional standpoint, the placement of the washing machine in the common bathroom is an efficient and cleaner alternative to doing the washing in two separate zones. A wall divides the dry from the wet shower area in the bathroom establishing a clear zone where water and electric do not mix. A cabinet was installed above the washing machine for the storage of laundry products and fresh towels.

Through the design of the five-bedroom HDB flat for their globe-trotting clients, CAD Associates’ crystal clear approach of putting their client’s lifestyle into consideration signals their dedication to their craft. The design team’s originality in their designs paired with simple yet ingenious solutions to common problems only strengthens their ability to provide on-the-nose designs to all of their clients.

Photography by Michael Dur, Best Arts Photography


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