This 3-room HDB Flat is both contemporary and nostalgic

Located in Bedok, this bachelor pad has been designed to incorporate both old and new elements for a unique look.

Project type: 3-room HDB Flat
Floor Area: 721 sqft

Home to a bachelor in his mid-30s, and his pet dog, this is a resale 3-room HDB flat in Bedok that’s been given a modern update by Benjamin Teoh of Satobent Interior Design.

Design concept

For an interesting look that mixes vintage nostalgic elements with a modern setting, old-school structures and materials were both preserved and added, complementing an urban colour palette comprising grey, blue and white shades. Trendy contemporary furniture pieces were selected as well.

In the living area, terrazzo flooring makes for a good conversation starter, and gives the space a textured depth. An eye-catching design feature that was added are the screens composed of geometric ventilation blocks.

Common in the architecture of old buildings in Singapore, they are used in this home to create partitions that allow for a semi-open look and feel.

Positioned strategically in the flat, they screen off the open kitchen, as well as the master bedroom. They also add a personalised, unique touch to the modern arrangement of the space.

Dining and Kitchen

A requirement of the homeowner was patterned tiles, so for the dining area and kitchen, Benjamin specially selected Peranakan-look tiles for its flooring.

Together with the ventilation block screen, concrete screed, white subway tiles (for the backsplash) and grooved panels (for the cabinetry) were also integrated into the kitchen’s design, for a highly textured space that is – at the same time – soothing to the eyes, thanks to its muted colour palette.

The flat has a long, narrow layout, the designer tells, with the unit’s bedrooms zoned to one side – typical of the old 3-room HDB flats.

To optimise the circulation flow and zoning of the space, as well as give the homeowner a bigger and more comfortable master bedroom, Benjamin made some minor structural changes.


The private area now occupies the footprint of two initial bedrooms and the storeroom. But rather than knock down all the walls in this area, the designer decided to create openings, including an internal window in the bedroom, that would create connections to the separate sleeping and dressing zones.

A combination of dark wood tones and a rich blue colour also gives the bedroom a sophisticated and cosy feel.

The designer’s consistency can be seen throughout the home, with the use of clean-lined built-in structures, a subtle palette with bold pops of colour, and recurring geometric forms.

Article written by Lousia Clare Lim.

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