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5 Ways to Update a Dated 3-room HDB Resale Flat

Got your hands on a 3-room HDB resale flat on the older side? Chances are, it’s dim, dingy and dated and in real need of a revamp. Here are a few ways to update the look, whether you’re contemplating a bright and airy Scandinavian design or a characterful industrial style.

1. White + Wood

Design: Key Concept
Renovation cost: $40K
Location: Aljunied Crescent

You can’t go wrong with a classic white and wood combination. It works to brighten up a dark home, without feeling too stark or sterile thanks to the wood tones.

If you don’t like having your bedroom door facing into the living room, conceal it within the design of your feature wall. This can help to create more visual continuity in your space, making a small area seem bigger. Bonus for privacy: Your guests won’t be stumbling into your bedroom “by accident”.

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2. Open plan for entertaining

Design: Rezt & Relax Interior

Designed for entertaining, this modern industrial home packs a punch in clever design features including a 2-metre long dining table, an unconventional kitchen, and a bedroom that opens up into the rest of the communal spaces.

Set on a raised platform that hides plenty of extra storage space, the bedroom is located behind bi-fold glass doors that open up into the living room to create a large entertaining hub for when guests come over.

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3. A blend of the old and the new

Design: subtlesato studio
Location: Bedok

Interesting textures abound in this 3-room HDB resale flat for a bachelor. Old-school ventilation bricks, Peranakan flower tiles and terrazzo flooring are juxtaposed alongside sleek lines, dark hues and modern furnishings to create a blend of the nostalgic with the newfangled.

One of the main structural changes to this flat was to combine the two bedrooms into one entity, but with an internal window between the two spaces to divide them into a sleeping area and walk-in closet space.

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4. Detailed transformation

Design: The Local Inn.terior
Location: Commonwealth

The ‘before’ and ‘after’ images of this 3-room HDB resale illustrate just how much transformation this apartment went through. For a start, the foyer area was opened up into the living room with a multipurpose shoe bench that can be used on both zones.

Another big change was in the kitchen, where the space was expanded for more spaciousness and then set on a raised platform. One of the bedrooms was also extended so that it now has its own private balcony.

Foyer + Living room



‘Before’ images courtesy of designer Vincent Tan

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5. Bohemian rhapsody

Design: Fuse Concept
Renovation cost: $55K
Location: Eunos Crescent

Home to a creative couple, this bohemian style 3-room flat feels just like a flea market, with a hodgepodge of textures, colours and detailing. In order for the furnishings and design elements to stand out, the foundation was kept simple with white walls and cement-like homogeneous floor tiles.

A precursor to the bold hues in the kitchen is the flashy pink neon sign just outside the entrance. Inside the cooking space, an orange Smeg fridge pops against dark green walls with dangling light bulbs lending extra interest. See-through sliding doors close off the private areas, with sheer curtains for privacy and an airy feel.

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