February 1, 2023
Tour An Outdated 1984 HDB Transformation: How A Couple Constructed A Uncooked But Playful Residence With A k Reno Funds – Property Weblog Singapore

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Open-concept dwelling may be very widespread in Singapore, for a wide range of causes. Crucial cause although? It might probably make even the smallest of areas really feel larger and brighter.

And when you’ve got a much bigger house, it actually lets you intensify the spaciousness of all of it.

Benedict wished to implement this of their residence, in addition to incorporate his spouse’s artistic concepts as effectively. However to take action, they needed to discover an HDB with an appropriate structure.

It’s fairly a tall order, however their persistence paid off once they discovered a 5-Room Mannequin ‘A’ Level Block constructed means again in 1984.

Sure, it’s fairly outdated however the squarish structure served its objective. Plus, the brilliant and ethereal ambiance of the unit because of the multitude of home windows labored out effectively with their eventual residence design.

Benedict tells us his standards for looking for their residence.

“In our seek for our new home, our 2 standards had been to be close to to my mother and father’ place – about strolling distance – and likewise we wished an open idea home that we might hack away the partitions.”

He mentioned he stayed in a degree block for all his life, so if he might get a degree block flat, it might be a bonus.

Once they first noticed the home, what attracted them was the structure. It was virtually an ideal sq. and there wasn’t any walkway within the rooms. It additionally had an enormous balcony overlooking a college and providing a very good view. Benedict mentioned that since faculties are infrequently changed, he is aware of his view won’t ever be obstructed by a newly-constructed high-rise within the space.

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“With the structure, the view, the space from my guardian’s, and likewise it being a degree block, we in a short time had been bought on it.”

Presently, he and his spouse are staying of their home they usually’re within the midst of cat-proofing their place so he can convey his household cat over to stick with them. Let’s be part of Benedict as he shares the journey and the results of their reno mission.

How The Renovation Journey Turned Out

Their preliminary funds for the renovation was $90k they usually put aside one other $40k for the furnishings and fixtures. Ultimately, he mentioned they spent much less on the renovation and extra on the furnishings and fixtures.

So what helped them keep inside their funds?

Benedict mentioned that there have been fairly a couple of issues they took on themselves, together with portray the partitions and making use of an epoxy coat on the ground. This helped them avoid wasting prices.

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Their residence design is definitely a fusion of his spouse and his personal aesthetic preferences. He at all times wished an industrial and brutalist sort of decor whereas his spouse likes wooden and crops. Even with such contrasting inclinations, they had been capable of finding some frequent grounds akin to having cement screed partitions and limewash paint for the partitions.

“I truly like the home extra, as in comparison with the design and magnificence I had in my head,” he mentioned. “There’s an imperfection in delicate areas that tells a narrative solely me and my spouse would know.”

The couple knew from the get-go that they wished to hack all of the rooms right into a single, massive personal room. Because the rooms are laid out back-to-back, it wasn’t troublesome for them to do.

“We wished a secret entrance to the rooms,” Benedict added.

Additionally they knew that they wished to mix the 2 bathrooms into one, with every of them having their very own bathroom bowl and sharing a bathe space with two particular person bathe units. Additionally they prolonged their bathroom room a bit extra to allow them to have a much bigger room for the bathe space.

The unique entrance to their residence was fairly cramped in order that they knocked down the storeroom to make it extra open and welcoming.

Let’s tour their residence and see how their reno journey turned out.

Dwelling Room

The lounge was what attracted them essentially the most once they first considered it, and upon seeing it, we are able to perceive why.

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“We didn’t do a lot as this was the centre of the home, it was a pleasant sq. house, the one modification was the extension of the bathroom so we have now an extended wall that we used for our projector display screen.”

As such although you possibly can really feel the expansiveness of the house, the comfortable furnishings, quirky throws and carpets actually assist to maintain the place really feel cosy.

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Eating Room

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It’s with the mixture of the eating room (and the balcony), that you simply actually really feel the sense of house. They selected to go along with a 6 seater eating desk (though you can match an 8 seater simply), and the naked furnishings right here assist to maintain it in a extra minimalist nature.

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As for the balcony, a taller bar desk and stools had been used in order that they might benefit from the views. The outside bamboo blinds right here additionally give a throwback to earlier occasions in Singapore, plus maintain the breezy nature throughout windier months of the 12 months.


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The kitchen was considerably modified from the unique situation, as they wished a special structure for it. “We knocked away the shop room, which opened up the kitchen, that allowed us to construct an island proper within the center,” Benedict shared.

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We love the graceful black countertop, and the black powder-coated racks above assist so as to add a contact of that industrialist look, whereas nonetheless being useful to retailer stuff for straightforward accessibility.


As for the bedrooms, they mixed 3 rooms into one. However Benedict shared that in actuality, it truly seems like 2 rooms with a door resulting in the walk-in as a substitute.

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“We truly wished a room that we are able to see finish to finish, however we came upon the column that would not be hacked was a bit bigger than we appreciated. We determined to construct a glass black wall and add a door. This allowed us an open idea walk-in closet, that we are able to regulate the humidity,” Benedict recounted.

The opposite profit? They had been in a position to save on having another aircon unit added to their open-concept walk-in wardrobe.

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As such, their open-concept walk-in wardrobe shaped a extremely visually fascinating a part of the house. Positive, it could be a problem to maintain it tidy, however they added a couple of parts that made it completely different.

He mentioned that the walk-in closet appears like a small popup retailer with two distinct sides – one for his spouse’s and the opposite for his personal garments. “It virtually appears like a multi-label popup for women and men.”

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From the peg board to hold up their luggage and equipment, to the garments rack, the outcome was a extremely character-filled house.

They did have worries about how it might end up although, particularly with the necessity for storage. “After we knocked away the storeroom, we had been nervous that we are going to not have sufficient space for storing, however as soon as we had the carpentry all in, we had been fairly positive this space might function the space for storing for all the home. We additionally prefer it as a result of its conspicuous and fairly tucked away by itself,” Benedict shared.


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In case you discovered their wardrobe intriguing, their toilet could have simply taken it to a brand new degree. Aside from the lego-like wall, the very first thing that you simply’d discover is the orange site visitors mirrors that they used above the his-and-hers sinks. We are able to’t vouch for a way helpful they’re (given the convex nature of it), however it definitely makes for a novel speaking level!

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Their toilet additionally was larger as they “hacked and mixed two bathrooms into one.”

They wished to have a much bigger bathroom, as they discovered that HDB bathrooms are usually fairly small. But it surely was a technical problem, as after knocking the partitions down, they needed to discover a method to conceal the pipes correctly.

Bringing The Imaginative and prescient To Actuality

We requested Benedict if the end result is just like what they envisioned earlier than the reno began.

“I might say the end result was related, although, there have been many commerce offs alongside the way in which,” he answered. “Structurally, it was how I imagined it to be.”

They ended up with a mixed bathroom and three rooms hacked and mixed into one room. Their residence resulted in having a communal space – dwelling and kitchen – and a non-public space, which accommodates their bed room, examine, and walk-in closet.

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The renovation contractor that helped them was Andrew Loh from Ingenious Design Options. They picked him as a result of Benedict mentioned Andrew was assured and that he might ship the home within the timeframe he wished. He additionally appreciated that their contractor was technically extra skilled.

“When he proposed to us how one can cover the aircon pipes, that was once we determined to go along with him. Not one of the IDs I met might suggest an answer that was passable,” recalled Benedict.

The couple had an fascinating course of with their furnishings sourcing. Whereas they had been very particular with their residence’s type, they picked their furnishings based mostly on what they actually appreciated to the purpose that they had already bought all their furnishings and had no place to retailer them because of the delays.

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“If the home adopted a method and design, then our furnishings undoubtedly went the wrong way.”

The one locally-sourced furnishings they’ve had been the mattress body, couch, recliner chair, and eating desk. All the pieces else was from Taobao.

We requested Benedict what he thinks is the perfect space of their residence earlier than and after the renovation.

He mentioned that earlier than the reno, it must be the balcony, because it was fairly massive and had a very nice view. After the renovation, although, it was a detailed combat between the walk-in closet and the bathroom.

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“I feel it’s fairly fascinating to have a mixed bathroom of this dimension in an HDB, and I actually just like the bathe space.”

Classes Discovered From A Profitable Reno Journey

Benedict mentioned that their reno journey took means longer than anticipated. If he had been to sum it up, it took a bit greater than 2 years from getting the keys to transferring in.

Their first ID actually didn’t do effectively within the mission administration of the home, and so after near 2 years, they determined to drag the plug and took on the renovation themselves.

Luckily, the couple was capable of finding their contractor who did many of the work in a timeframe that was acceptable to them. To high it off, they resumed proper after CNY, which was a difficult time to start out as many of the work was not in Singapore.

“I feel what actually helped us was once we began to turn out to be extra hands-on. On the finish of the day, a contractor or an ID takes care of a number of homes, so they won’t be as invested as you. You actually must be the one pushing and deciding issues.”

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They sourced some supplies in Taobao and went down to have a look at laminates and tiles on their very own. Benedict mentioned in addition they did among the renovations works themselves. Nonetheless, he admitted they had been fairly lucky to discover a contractor who’s technically skilled, and will shortly talk with them what can or can’t be achieved.

Benedict and his spouse additionally realized that much more prep work must be achieved when selecting IDs. He added that he feels just like the IDs out there now are extra like salespersons as a substitute of designers.

“In case you have a BTO, you need to be comparatively secure, as a result of a variety of their concepts and work processes are fairly cookie cutter. However in case you have a resale like mine, with intensive hacking, you actually need to get somebody who’s skilled.”

Benedict shares one ultimate bit of recommendation for individuals who are planning to go on their very own renovation journey.

“Reside in it for a bit and perceive the home earlier than planning the structure. There have been a couple of issues we came upon after staying in for some time. Like the place does the solar rise and set, how noisy is it to be close to a highway.”