8 Best Real HDB Bomb Shelter Disguises To Hide That Ugly Metal Door

8 November 2023 | BY

These creative ways to conceal that ugly metal bomb shelter door prove that you don’t have to sacrifice style for functionality.

A new home is a blank canvas that presents opportunities for homeowners to get creative with their dream interior. But, one element in many HDB flats that proves challenging to get around is the eyesore that is the bomb shelter.

Fortunately, there are many tried-and-tested ways to conceal that unsightly metal door and protruding ventilation cover. Here are 8 ingenious bomb shelter disguises as seen in real Singapore homes to inspire your upcoming HDB renovation.

1. Full-length mirrored wall

mirrored wallImage credit:

Nothing gives your home the illusion of more space, like a full-length mirror wall, which is why it makes complete sense to incorporate this element in the foyer – where most HDB bomb shelters are located.

mirrored wallImage credit:

Beyond the reflection of light and space, a mirrored wall also eliminates the need for other full-length mirrors around the house and brings you the added convenience of last-minute outfit checks before you head out.

2. Hidden shoe storage

Hidden shoe storageImage credit: Le Interior Affairs

Think of home foyers, and the next thing you’ll envision is a shoe cabinet or rack. Given that most bomb shelters are positioned near the entrance of the home, a concealed shoe storage solution makes a great deal of sense. 

This practical solution cleverly maximises both form and function in your living area, removing the clutter around the entrance and hiding what would otherwise be an atrocity. If executed right, you’ll have a seamless accent wall that blends right into the theme of your home without obvious signs of an access point.

hidden shoe storageImage credit: Le Interior Affairs

One pro tip is to opt for a tic-tac door mechanism, allowing the entire wall and door panel to be flushed, removing the need for any obvious handles.

3. Accent pegboard wall

pegboard wallImage credit: Project Guru

If you’re looking for ways to add some functionality to your home, disguising your HDB’s bomb shelter door with a huge accent pegboard is an extremely creative and practical fix.

As pegboards are versatile and customisable, this addition presents homeowners with more opportunities to display their collection of decorative items – all with the freedom to switch up the placement or remove the extensions if necessary.

pegboard wallImage credit: @thepeggyboard

Brands like PeggyBoard have all sorts of pegboard accessories, from cubby hole benches to bicycle hangers to book racks and photo frames to create a foyer that’s 100% unique to your personality.

4. Cafe-style chalkboard wall

chalkboard wallImage credit: DISTINCTidENTITY

A chalkboard wall will not only flawlessly conceal the door but also give homeowners a scribble zone – superb for families with growing children. Beyond its fun appeal, a chalkboard wall provides a practical way of leaving messages, jotting down reminders, or serving as a central hub for daily schedules and to-do lists.

chalkboard wall
Image credit: DISTINCTidENTITY

5. Themed statement door

From an ornately carved Game of Thrones-themed door to one that resembles the entryway to Harry Potter’s Room of Requirement, there’s no limit when it comes to themed statement doors that can be used to disguise that ugly metal bomb shelter door.

vault door

With themed statement doors, you can really show off your passion and character and transform what was once a blank space into an area that is more visually captivating and personalised.

vault door

Maxi Lim’s weathered faux vault door proves that your bomb shelter can be transformed into a place of wonder and mystery. But if you’re looking for something less elaborate and more affordable, opt for cheaper decals and artwork for doors, which cost less than $20 on Shopee.

6. Japanese shoji screen storage wall

Japanese shoji screen storage wallImage credit: The Real Design

Otakus and diehard fans of Japanese decor will love this particular use of Japanese shoji screen doors to conceal storage cabinets and the entryway to your bomb storage.

These traditional sliding screens with wooden borders and translucent paper panels add a touch of Japanese culture to your home’s aesthetics, making it ideal for Japandi and wabi-sabi interiors.

7. Victorian-themed feature wall

Victorian-themed feature wallImage credit: Fifth Avenue Interior

On the other hand, those who prefer a more classic and elegant feature wall should take notes from these homeowners who have disguised the bomb shelter door of their Raffles Hotel-inspired HDB with Victorian wainscotting. 

Victorian-themed feature wallImage credit: Fifth Avenue Interior

Although the Victorian-themed feature wall does make the door to the bomb shelter look a little more obvious, the overall look is quite seamless as the wainscoting does help to disguise the frame of the doorway.

8. Speakeasy-inspired vending machine

vending machineImage credit: Vincent

Never in our wildest dreams would we have pictured a vending machine inside an HDB flat, but this creative addition goes to show that a vending machine bomb shelter door is just what any eclectic home needs.

vending machineImage credit: Vincent

The bomb shelter door was made to look like a vending machine with an external cover painted orange and filled with classic soda glass bottles as part of the display. Its brightness and funkiness make it a great match for retro or vintage-inspired homes and more quirky and eccentric interior designs such as Avant Basic.

Real HDB bomb shelter disguises

Instead of resigning yourself to a beautiful home marred by the sight of an ugly bomb shelter door, try one of these bomb shelter disguises – it just might make the bomb shelter your favourite little nook in the house.

Read more about making the most of your HDB space:

Cover image adapted from: The Real Design, Vincent,

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