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What You Can Do with that ‘Unhackable’ Structural Beam in Your HDB Ceiling

Structural beams are there for an important reason—they provide structure and make sure your home doesn’t collapse. But hey, that doesn’t mean we have to like it. For many of us living in HDB flats, particularly the newer ones, there is a chance that your home has one sticking out in your ceiling.

For some, the structural beam came along with your home; for others, it could have been a result of your decision to knock down a wall to open up the space. Whichever the case, there isn’t much you can do about it because HDB stipulates that you can’t hack it away. What else can you do then? We listed some ways to make the structural beam in your ceiling less of an eyesore:


Build a false ceiling

A false ceiling built almost level with the beam is one way to make that ceiling structure less obvious. Note that your false ceiling needs to have at least a 2.4m height clearance, so there isn’t a way to completely level it with the beam. Still, it’s enough to make it less of a distraction.

Design: ID Emboss


Turn it into an architectural piece

Here’s a mantra to adopt with structural beams: if you can’t beat it, go with it. What the designers did here was to create a curvaceous entryway with it, then painting it a flamboyant purple so that it stands out as a vivid visual statement.

Design: Free Space Intent


Build cabinets in front of it

Building cabinets right in front of the beam kill two birds with one stone: you get to hide the structure and you get extra storage. In this apartment, the cabinets in front of the structural beam mirror the ones above the feature wall, creating a beautiful symmetry and balance in this living space. We like that the cabinets came with vents too, which act like a design element but also provide natural ventilation for the things stored inside.

Design: AO Studios


Conceal it with curtains

An easy way to hide the structural beam is to use curtains. This works to separate two different spaces too. For instance, in this flat, curtains divide the en-suite bathroom from the bedroom.

Design: Arkhilite


Paint it a different colour

In this apartment, the ceiling beams were painted brown to mimic wood, creating an “exposed wooden beams” look that was characteristic of the farmhouse style the home was going for.

Design: Distinct Identity


Clad it with wood

Instead of paint, consider cladding your structural beams with woodgrain laminates like in this flat. They mirror the rest of the woodgrain surfaces in this soothing, Zen-inspired space, providing a cohesive feel.

Design: Ascenders Design Studio


Use it to hold your glass divider

Constructing glass dividers right underneath your beam helps to make the ceiling structure seem less obvious, while still ensuring that your space stays bright and open.

Design: UNO Interior


Camouflage it with trunking

If you’re going for the grungy, industrial look, you might want to consider using your beam as a backdrop for your exposed trunking design. Plus, it diverts attention away from the ceiling structure sticking out from your ceiling.

Design: Space Sense Studio


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