3 Unique Design Styles For HDBs


If you’re looking to be unique and a little bit different from the trend, here are 3 unique designs of real HDB homes to spark that creativity

When it comes to interior design themes here in Singapore, some of the more popular and commonplace styles include the likes of Scandinavian, Minimalist, and Modern designs, characteristic for their functionality, clean look, and also relatively affordable price range. They are undoubtedly great design styles, and we’d dare say that quite a number of new homes in Singapore are similarly designed along the same vein. 

And of course, there are those to dare to be different.

If you’re a brand new homeowner looking for some radical and different design themes for your new home, here are 3 unique interior design styles of real HDB homes for you to fuel that creativity for an eccentric style of your own.

1. Going for an all-dark theme

While most interior design themes usually use light colours like white, light grey, and beige as a base for their overall mood, one way to switch things up would be to completely change the base palette to darker colours.

In this instance, you would want to go for darker, bolder colours as the main foundation. The easiest way would be ‘neutral’ colours like darker shades of grey or even black that can accompany a wider range of additional colours; else, you can go for something busier like blue, maroon, or even green, but bear in mind that these will create limitations on what you can or cannot choose for your furnishings and other home accessories

For this xx-room HDB flat in Pasir Ris, the homeowners worked with local-based interior design firm 5th Avenue Interior to come up with a dark, monochromatic home that exudes boldness and mystery. While still incorporating elements of the minimalist design – such as having uncomplicated, clean edges and uncluttered spaces – the interior deviates from the usual light hues of white and brown and instead adopts greyish tones in varying shades. What results is a home that comes across as being very sleek and modern, while being balanced with a sense of homeliness and welcome for its inhabitants.

If you plan on going for something with a similar effect, be sure to be extra careful about what you choose for the palette. Take this monochromatic home for instance: If you don’t balance out the darker tones with the lighter tones, you might just end up with a space that becomes somewhat claustrophobic, or very dark and foreboding – you wouldn’t want that for your home! As such, you can find places to introduce lighter shades of grey or even white, such as the curtains, feature wall, or possibly even the flooring.

Related read: 4 Unique 5-Room HDB Designs For A Truly Amazing Home


To inject some vibrancy and life into an otherwise monochromatic environment, you can also find opportunities to add pops of colour as a contrast. For example, earthy tones are a fantastic addition that also doesn’t come across as too jarring, so you can consider having wooden furniture pieces like a coffee table or TV console. Better yet, have a plant or two!

2. Play with illumination

That being said, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with going for a minimalist or Scandinavian style. They are popular for a reason, after all!

However, instead of adopting just another minimalist style, why not incorporate some elements of uniqueness? Doing so will allow your home to stand out from the pack, and generate some great conversations whenever you have guests over.

We all know that the typical minimalist design would involve quite a fair bit of white and/or light brown, as a means to bring about that sense of being uncluttered, clean, and open. One of the main concerns is that without some variation or contrast, your home might become too airy and ethereal, which in turn can be somewhat overwhelming or even bleak.

In addition to the usual incorporation of lively and earthy colours like brown or green, you can also play with lighting options, as a means to illuminate the space and create a sense of warmth and comfort to a ‘voidness’ of white. We recommend utilising yellowish/orangey warm lighting in your home rather than white lights and also having a variety of light fittings that can offer different effects in the various living spaces around the home.

Depending on your style, you don’t necessarily have to replicate this minimalist concept throughout all the rooms in your flat. The more private spaces like the bedrooms can have a life and character of their own, while still retaining some semblance of the overall home’s identity so that they won’t seem out of place. 

In this instance, having the bedroom incorporated with white and brown elements helps it to maintain a connection with the home’s main theme, while still adopting a distinct look of its own. Here, the homeowners decided to introduce textures like marbled surfaces and wood-panelled flooring, and this helps to elevate the space with a degree of opulence and exquisiteness. Remember how we talked about playing with lighting? Well, apart from just the ceiling lights, you can also play around with lighting options around the room, such as along the bed headboard, false ceiling, at the vanity mirror, bedside table, or even spotlights highlighting a particular area in the room.

3. Different colours for different moods

Other than the usual earthy tones, another popular option to integrate a majority-white theme with would be pastel or slightly muted colours. Depending on your choice of contrasting colours, you can inject a brand new identity to the otherwise ‘standard’ pairing of white and brown, and doing so can really elevate your home and make it stand out from the thousands of similar-looking minimalist/Scandinavian themes.

For this 5-room HDB in Sengkang, the homeowners decided to go for something a little unique, pairing the base white with a slightly muted cyan/turquoise mix. Instead of the warmth that the brown brings, having shades of blue creates a sense of coolness and calmness, almost like what you might get in a seaside estate like Santorini!

You might also notice the textured brick wall peeking out in the kitchen – again, introducing various textures here and there creates some vibrancy and character in an otherwise plain interior.

A somewhat obvious challenge that one will face in smaller HDB flats would be the space constraint. To get around, you might have to compromise in certain aspects and get creative with the space that you have, even if that means integrating the dining area with the kitchen itself. That being said, there are ways to circumvent these challenges, while still ensuring a great home for you to live in.

Other than just playing with colours to create different moods around the home, find opportunities to have unique twists to the ‘usual’ format of homes. Instead of a dining table as the centrepiece, why not flush it against a wall to create that cafe-like feel? Instead of chairs, why not a bench? Being innovative and flexible with your layout allows you to introduce a character to your living spaces, and this helps to provide a truly unique home to live in.

Check out some of our other design style recommendations here:

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