6 Simple Yet Flattering Design Trends to Incorporate into your HDB Flats
In the interior design industry, design trends are ever-changing and constantly developing. However, as a homeowner, you can always choose from the many ideas and focus your plans to create an enduring, comfortable and inspired space.
With these 6 simple yet flattering design trends, learn how to incorporate them into your space to convey your personal style and identity right in the heart of your home. You can also look for more interior design ideas for your 3-room, 4-room or 5-room HDB flats in our articles.
If you’re a brand new homeowner looking for some radical and different design themes for your new home, here are 6 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 5-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: Beautiful 5-Room HDB Flats: 8 Unique Interior Designs For You
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. Take a look at this article for popular kitchen designs.
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.
4. Champion Sustainability
With climate change easily being the topic of concern today, we see more homeowners becoming ambassadors of sustainability. As a space where creativity flows, what better way to start championing sustainability than through our homes and going green?
When it comes to a sustainable home, you can always start by looking at sustainable products. For instance, instead of buying brand-new items, how about opting for second-hand items instead? Just like this bookshelf in the living room, check local thrift stores or buy resale items that fit the purpose of your desired furniture. By doing so, you are reducing the need for manufacturers to cut down a tree to fashion a brand-new bookcase or other available furniture in the market.
By also using second-hand items, you can transform them into a piece of furniture or decoration that fits your aesthetic. To do so, you could spray paint the bookshelf into the colour of your choice, add more shelves to store your souvenirs and photo frames or even break it down and use it in different areas of your home.
Besides turning old furniture into new, you can opt for eco-friendly furniture. As some materials are more environmentally friendly than others, ensure that your furniture or home accessories are plastic-free, recyclable, and even biodegradable. For example, instead of hardwood floors, choose bamboo floors instead as a sustainable and more stylish option. You could even use eco-friendly cookware and utensils made from bamboo in your kitchen as well.
Then, reuse your empty bottles and jars and turn them into storage for daily commodities such as salt, sugar and pepper. Add plants to complete the natural vibe and create splashes of colour to complement the overall wood theme.
There is always more than one way to practice and champion sustainability in your home. It’s time to get creative and use products constructed through recyclable and renewable materials.
5. Playing with Patterns
While a simple home may be ideal to some, it is always good to play with patterns – not only do they create an accent in your home, but they also help to bring in contrast to your interior design and add energy to the overall look.
With many patterns to choose from, you can allocate different patterns to each category of furniture to define the space. Just like this living room, the patterns are kept constant for certain pieces of furniture. For instance, you can keep all the floor decorations such as rugs and mats in floral patterns, even opting for the same colours such as dark brown or maroon and beige to complement the overall victorian feel.
Then, keep your sofa accessories such as cushions and pillows in Aztec patterns, while also opting for crochet patterns for the pillowcases. Leave bigger pieces of furniture such as your table cover and bookshelf in stripe patterns to keep their design simple.
If you’re a monochrome lover, you can also add flair to your bedroom with patterns. In your black and white themed bedroom, start by choosing a floral backdrop against the bed frame for a feminine touch. Choose a similar pattern for your bedsheets in a lighter colour such as grey — it is a simple yet very fitting colour to create contrast and it also sits well with the monochromatic look.
For your blinds, keep them in stripes of black for a different pattern, but ensure the colour is in the same shade as your bed frame or closet. Then, place a cotton wheat plant as extra decor on your side table. With the irregular patterns on the leaves, not only does this plant create more patterns in your bedroom, it stands out as a unique bedside decoration on its own.
Patterns can be found in almost every piece of furniture, from exteriors to covers and outlines. Mix and match the right patterns in your home and effortlessly add contrast to your living space.
6. A Mixture of Textures
While patterns are great to create contrast in your home, you can go a step further by adding a mixture of textures as well. They are the perfect way to add depth and dimension to any space, and most fitting for homeowners who want to create a home filled with vitality and exuberance.
In this safari-themed living room, you are encouraged to go as wild as possible. From zebra patterns on the rug, and wooden panelling on the walls to laminated floors, leather sofa and velvet pillows, the textures are literally everywhere that makes this space alive.
By creating a space that is abundant with textures, you can easily create a sanctuary that feels warm and welcoming. Throw in different shades of warm colours as well such as yellow, orange, brown, and green across the furniture to further accentuate the cosy character of this design and expand a room into a space rich with depth.
Conversely, textures can be added to minimalist-themed homes too. Just like this living room, you can add textures to create a unique visual appearance and switch up the overall feel of a space. For instance, place natural linens such as soft velvets for your sofa or cotton on your pillow. They are natural and soft to complement the minimalist look while being durable pieces of accessories. Find more living room interior design ideas in our article.
Then, keep your curtains in sheer material to invite natural light in, while opting for a canvas material for your pillows to keep them airy and light. The more rough textures there are, the more your space will feel intimate and grounded. However, if you’d prefer a more modern approach, you can add smoother surfaces such as glass and marble for your surfaces.
As different textures affect the overall vibe of a space differently, take into consideration the message you are trying to convey with your space – be it loud, soft, warm or sleek, the right textures can always help bring your space to life.
Despite the aforementioned trends, there are still many trends to discover and for you to add depth and layer furniture and decorations in your home.
Check out some of our other design style recommendations here:
Share this article on