Transforming My Tiny HDB Room Into A Cosy Minimalist Sanctuary In Just 3 Days

19 June 2024 | BY

Sometimes, you need a room makeover for a change of pace. Here’s how a bedroom reno revamped this tiny HDB room in a mere 3 days.

bedroom reno - cover

Renovations aren’t restricted to full home makeovers, unlike what some people think. It’s all about personal space improvement, and you can’t get more personal than the room you sleep in. For young adults with no prospects of moving out in the immediate future, a bedroom reno is a great way to take charge of improving your personal space.

This is especially true for Darren Jong, a 26-year-old student who spends a lot of time in his room. Because of how constrained the space in his room was, he decided to take the plunge and renovate his bedroom. What’s more—he did it with minimal fuss and transformed his tiny HDB room in only 3 days, spending a total of $3.9K.

Wanted to create a more conducive & cosy living environment

Image adapted from: @darrenjong

Darren felt like his room wasn’t living up to its potential. Originally the house’s study, it was cramped and dominated by space-hogging built-in cabinets, leaving no space for a proper chair. As a result, he was forced to sit on the bed in his room, causing back aches. 

The first step of his bedroom reno was to hire contractors to remove the in-built cabinets so that his room could have a more efficient layout. “The whole idea was to utilise whatever space my tiny room has to offer after removing the built-ins.” Darren shares. “I needed enough room for my bed, a proper desk, a larger wardrobe, ample storage areas and an area to exercise.”

Hiring contractors to paint & rewire room for $1.6K

Image adapted from: @darrenjong

He didn’t stop at only removing just the cabinets, however. He also gave the walls a fresh coat as well as rewired the electrical sockets in the room for better functionality. The final touches were to remove the grills on his windows and install aesthetic cove lighting, enveloping the room in warm light.

Additionally, he opted out of installing curtains as he enjoyed having natural light illuminate the room. The room looks unrecognisable— and we never would have guessed from how much better it looks that the contractors’ services only took 2 days and amounted to $1.6K total.

Bought a loft bed & floor sofa to maximise space

Image adapted from: @darrenjong

The bulk of the total reno cost was from the major furniture pieces he bought. The centrepiece of the room makeover was the IKEA SMASTAD loft bed ($800), which he modelled the rest of the room after. 

“If you have a mini room like mine, a loft bed is essential as it frees up a tremendous amount of space,” Darren said in a lemon8 post. The loft bed allows for vertical allocation of space, which is crucial for smaller rooms.

Another item bought from IKEA was the custom floor-to-ceiling wardrobe ($1.5K) which gave him more storage space than he had before—a sore spot for him with his previous built-in cupboard.

He’s also able to accommodate friends who want to sleep over with additions like a sofa bed ($100) from Hipvan which folds neatly into a floor sofa. Multi-functional furniture minimises their presence when stowed, maximising the room’s living space.

Transforming his childhood bedroom into a cosy minimalist sanctuary

Darren’s friends who do come over never fail to mention how much his room has changed, with many being inspired to renovate their bedrooms as well.

By revamping the layout of his room during the renovation, Darren’s room has become less cramped, allowing for more space for Darren to work and exercise. “(The room is) way cosier now and conducive.” Darren adds. He even admits that he’s less apprehensive about spending the entire day in his room because of how comfortable it is.

While he is happy with the final product, Darren admits that there are areas where he could have spent less. “I probably could’ve saved on the costs of painting. As it’s only white and not a lot of area to cover, I could’ve done it myself,” he lamented. “Apart from that, I could’ve found a cheaper alternative for the wardrobe if not for the convenience IKEA provides.”

The total cost of the renovation was $3.9K, which is frankly a small price to pay for the comfort and functionality that Darren has now gained. Young adults looking to improve their living situation before buying a home can try out a room makeover, while also gaining valuable experience for future BTO renovations.

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Cover image adapted from: @darrenjong

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