The HDB flat is iconic in Singapore, with 80% of all residents living in this form of public housing. Being highly affordable and ownership exclusive for residents, an HDB lifestyle is close to heart for all Singaporeans. Yet, one trend that has been observed is that newer HDBs have smaller floor space than their predecessors. This poses many issues to HDB flat owners as they try to squeeze in all furniture and appliances needed while retaining an attractive design.
To help give you some inspiration, we have complied a list of residential interior design suggestions to help you creatively manage your space.
Increase Your Visual Space
The way we perceive a space is an interesting phenomenon. Depending on it aesthetics, we might perceive it to be larger than or smaller than its actual floor space. As such, despite having the same items within the space, with a smart visual design, your space can feel much less stuffy or congested.
The first design variable that can be utilised to increase visually perceived space would be colours. Colour theory informs us that careful selection of colours respective to their position, can alter our perceptions. Generally, lighter and cooler colours make your space appear larger. Conversely, darker colours make them appear closer and smaller to your eye.
This can be explained by the amount of light reflected off these surfaces. Lighter colours reflect more light and thus their surfaces appear much larger to our eyes. Meanwhile darker colours absorb more light, thus making a space feel more compact and enclosed.
As a rule of thumb, if you desire to make your space feel bigger, then you can always rely on white. In particular, when used in compact spaces, each surface appears to be further than they actually are. Alternative colours to white include taupe, light gray and pale yellow.
In much the same way that lighter colours reflect more light and thus make your space appear bigger, having more light entering your space also achieves the same effect. As such, should your space be highly compacted, consider introducing full length windows. This not only introduces a high amount of natural light, but also serves to allow your eyes an escape from the space.
To further amplify the effect of your full length windows, consider matching them with mirrors. Since mirrors match the visual distance of all objects reflected, it effectively multiplies the visual width of your room by two times.
Colour and light can be combined to effectively manipulate the visual appearance of your space. More so than just increasing or decreasing visual space, they can also alter the focus of your eyes or direct your attention.
A good example would be to have light shining on your lightly coloured floor, ceiling and opposite walls while your side walls have a dark colour. In this arrangement, your space appears taller but narrower, thus focusing a person’s attention up the middle of the room.
Raising your Objects off the Ground
An additional tip would be to have space between your floor and furniture. This can be done in two ways.
Firstly, you can purchase furniture that have longer legs, thus creating a visual space between the body and the floor. Common examples of these include bar stools and lofted beds.
A second way would be to use wall mounted tables or similar furniture. With the wall to support the mass, these furniture fixtures do not need to stand on the floor, thus opening up the bottom space.
Multi-Purpose & Minimalistic Furniture
Minimalistic furniture has grown in popularity amongst apartment owners. These furniture are characterised by minimal space consumption, good ergonomics and clear defined shapes. Examples of such include transparent armless chairs and round tables in dining areas. These take up much less actual and visual space than traditional long table kitchen setups.
Multi-purpose furniture is also constantly being seen at furniture brands such as IKEA. Rather than having to have individual furniture pieces to achieve different needs, these furniture can do it all. Increase your marginal utility by having chairs that double up as storage space or table sets that store multiple sizes of the same table within 1 space.
Hacking or Installing Glass Walls
A fantastic way to increase the overall visual space of your flat would be to remove opaque interior walls. This opens up your flat by connecting two spaces, thus effectively at least doubling the amount of visual distance you have at any one time.
Should you feel the need to still have a partition, we recommend installing a glass wall in the space combined with a shade. This arrangement allows light to stream through your home while having the option to pull down the shade and create privacy when needed.
As obvious as it may sound, if you are intent on increasing the visual space of your home, then it is high time to declutter it. Remove items that you no longer need, while also revaluating the importance of bulky or thick furniture in your home.
As for all remaining items, do organise all items smartly using segmented systems such as bookshelves or baskets. Such systems not only help to organise your items but also grant a slightly more rigid appearance.
Some homeowners fall into the trap of trying too hard to strip their space of all furnishings and details. As a result, the space ends up looking overly cold or uncomfortable. It is also possible that it becomes devoid of personality or little home comforts that make it charming.
Rely on Visual ID’s Expertise
Visual ID is a home interior design Singapore firm. If you want to revamp your home for your dream style, then we are here to help. Our team is highly experienced in working with homeowners towards their goals. We also offer precise and helpful advice on the feasibility of your plans and ensure that it is as equally good looking as it is functional.