6 Design Ideas For Optimising Space In A 3-Room HDB
How you can design a snazzy yet comfortable home despite not having the luxury of space
According to Singapore’s Housing & Development Board (HDB), a 3-room flat often comprise a living room, dining room, two bedrooms and two toilets. It is also a compact space ranging from 646 to 732 square foot space. Indeed, this compact nature of HDBs may seem insufficient for homeowners to decorate their space and create a comfortable home. After all, there is a huge number of factors to consider, such as budget, lifestyle habits, and of course, the floor space and layout of a home.
But fret not; you can certainly chart up a comfortable and well-designed home without compromising on quality. When it comes to maximising space, tap into these 6 different ways to optimise space in your home, while curating a dream home design altogether. Looking for more HDB interior design trends? You can take a look at our other articles featuring design ideas such as Bohemian and Scandinavian for 4-room and 5-room HDB flats.
1. Choose Functional and Practical Furniture
Without a doubt, choosing the right furniture would greatly aid you in planning and maximising your space. However, there are still items that would naturally take up much space. For instance, your sofas, bed, and dining table, as well as any side furnishings like cupboards and countertops. To compensate for the lack of space and ensure other furniture can complement these bulky items, choose functional and practical furniture.
Take this living room interior design for example. With the television console and sofa occupying the majority of space, keep the coffee table small and easily removable with a small handle as well. You may also want to opt for a circular table for safety purposes. And if you’d like, add a potted plant for a little touch of greenery in your living room space.
In your kitchen, keeps things practical by reducing the number of cooking counters. Installing an island table in the middle of your kitchen provides you with ample walking space and a two-in-one function counter. Not only are you able to chop up vegetables on the island table, but you can also get even switch it up and turn it into an intimate dining space. Design-wise, be sure to also select dining chairs that complement the overall theme of your kitchen interior design.
Of course, selecting small or practical furniture may not be the easiest of decisions, especially if you’re eyeing a particular look for your home. However, such furniture goes a long way and would help you to maximise your home and ensure that you can live in a comfortable space.
One of the places around the home that often takes up the most space is the dining room. And so for this 3-room HDB at Alkaff Mansion, the homeowners decided to go for a small circular dining table rather than a traditional long rectangular one. Sure, this might mean that large dinner gatherings won’t be a thing…but at least there will be ample walking space on a daily basis.
In fact, being small and compact can have its advantages. Here, with the clever use of warm lights strategically placed above the dining table and its surroundings, the dining area transforms into a cosy, intimate space where the homeowners can enjoy a nice meal, or a coffee to start the day. To spruce it up a little, you can also place a small centrepiece on the table – such as a plant or ornamental piece – just to add that little je ne sais quoi.
2. Keep an Open Doorway
Sometimes, all we need is a little illusion in our home to create a whole new perception. A cool and easy trick to do this is to remove the door at certain entrances. Removing the door creates an illusion of a larger and more spacious area. The best part, it can be done in any part of your home, from your living room to the kitchen and even your study rooms.
If you have a narrow hallway, open up space by removing any doors between the living room and the dining room. Opt for simple but innovative designs such as this wooden doorway. For more privacy, you can choose to keep the bottom half opaque, while leaving the top half transparent and clean. Not only does it provide you with a glimpse into the dining room, but having an open doorway also invites more natural light into your home.
But don’t stop at angular doorways. Get creative and play around with the shape of the doorway to suit the theme or design of your space. For instance, if you have many angular pieces of furniture, opt for an arch to balance out the harsh lines. If you have a lower ceiling, choose a doorway of a higher height and broader width to create more space.
If you’d like to keep things more private, you may also opt to have a sliding door hidden behind the wall of your doorway instead of a conventional hinged door. Unsure of where to get a sliding door? Check out our article featuring Gate Door Window to solve all your door needs.
3. Consider using ‘hollow’ walls
Apart from having an open doorway in many areas of your home, you can also choose to create ‘hollow’ walls to segregate the space in your home. Similar to the function of an open doorway, hollow walls act as a see-through space to give you the illusion of more space. With lesser concrete, hollow walls also allow natural light to enter your home and create an airy and spacious atmosphere.
It’s time to remove concrete walls and have them replaced with see-through glass panels or windows within your home. With the sleek design of glass walls, it helps to create a sense of spaciousness while giving off a modern and appealing look. For that extra warmth and earthy touch, you can also choose to have the walls surrounded by wood material. And if you’re not short of space, add a small ledge to the wall to display your plants and teacups.
For those who are feeling more adventurous, you can opt for a slightly different twist to your design theme to further create the illusion of more space, just like this Japanese-themed living room.
Instead of placing a divider between the door entrance and the living room, the two areas are divided by a see-through wall feature. While acting as a divider between the living room and the rest of the home, the wall creates an impression of continuation of space, rather than hard segregation. With this design, you won’t feel completely shut off from the rest of your home, and you’re still able to define spaces through a unique design.
For your hollow walls, you can also get innovative and choose a design that best suits your home. From stunning stained glass partitions to dramatic oriental walls and neat panelled partitions, plan your spaces carefully and use these walls to define space accordingly.
4. Utilise Unused Space
While you’re busy choosing the right furniture and designing your doorways, don’t forget to tap onto ‘dead’ space – referring to unused space that would have otherwise been just left idle. For areas such as the dining room and the bedroom where homeowners often struggle to find space the most, there are usually hidden spaces on the walls and floors.
A wall can be so much more when used creatively. For instance, if you have a plain wall, transform it into an indented wall and add a shelf to display your potted plants and favourite house scents. Not only does this design allow you to utilise space, but you can also have a shelf without having to put a piece of bulky furniture in your dining room. It is also a cool and unique design that leaves you more space for your table and chairs.
It is also quite a common sight for many homeowners to mount their beds and leave the space below unattended. However, why not utilise that space and turn it into built-in storage? With a pull-out drawer feature, it is easy for you to keep unwanted items out of sight, yet provides you with more storage space. Having more space in other areas of the bedroom would also leave you with a neater and more organised cupboard.
Take a look around your home and get creative. It’s always easy to find unused spaces and turn them into beautiful spectacles of creative furniture or storage spaces.
5. Use Multi-Purpose Furniture
Moving away from the living room and bedroom, another space that can be renovated to look deceivingly spacious are your bathrooms. Granted, this is no easy feat as there isn’t much flexibility in adjusting the layout of bathrooms with fixed pipes and draining systems. That being said, there are still a few ways to maximise space and that is through your bathroom fixtures.
Your bathroom mirrors are a great way to start adding more space. For starters, consider adding a storage feature such as shelving or a small cabinet behind your vanity mirror. Depending on your preference, you can opt for a sliding mirror door or a swing door to hide the storage area. With this feature, you’ll be able to store all your toiletries, while leaving the countertop a clean space.
But don’t fret if your vanity mirror doesn’t allow you the option to add more storage space. You can always turn to your sink and integrate a small cabinet within. This not only hides any unsightly drainage pipe, but it gives you the freedom to add as many storage racks or stackable containers as you’d like within the cabinets.
To further maximise space and truly utilise all the space that’s available, add shelves alongside your bathroom mirror and sink cabinets which serve as additional space for more toiletries and even bathroom decor.
6. Optimising small spaces
While small apartments such as 3-room HDBs inherently pose challenges to the overall home’s design due to their limited floor space, it doesn’t mean that you have to settle for a theme that falls short of what you want for your home. With a few nifty tweaks here and there as well as being realistic about your expectations, you can still achieve a well-optimised design theme for your home that cleverly utilises the limited space you have.
While 3-room HDBs inherently pose potential challenges to the overall home’s design due to their limited space, don’t let them stop you from achieving your desired theme and dream space. By being realistic about your expectations and making a few nifty tweaks here and there, you can still achieve a well-optimised design theme for your home that cleverly utilises the limited space you have.
For other home design tips, check out some of our other articles here:
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