Bring up the term “bomb shelter” to any homeowner, and a few things will likely come to mind. The iconic heavy white door, thick walls, and circular ventilation sleeve have been a quintessential part of newer HDBs and BTOs since 1996.
Although the room’s purpose is to protect homeowners during an emergency, they do tend to be scorned by homeowners for looking clunky and out of place compared to the rest of their homes. If you want to give your bomb shelter a little more mileage, here are 6 HDB bomb shelter ideas to help get you inspired.
1. Reading nook
Image credit: Contemporist, BookBub
Although the idea of a personal reading room may sound like paradise to any bookworm, an HDB or BTO unit’s constraints make it too impractical to dedicate an entire room to books.
However, this conundrum can be solved by converting a bomb shelter into a reading nook. While this may sound unrealistic on paper, the bomb shelter’s thick walls and doors help to soundproof the room, allowing you to read in peace.
There’s also no need to worry about the glare from the sun due to the room’s lack of windows, and a simple standing fan or portable air-conditioning unit can take care of any ventilation issues.
To further spruce up the space, beanbags and storage ottomans can be used as space-saving seating options, while simple shelves allow you to tuck away your books for easy access neatly.
2. Hidden shoe storage or walk-in closet
Image credit: Le Interior Affairs
While a walk-in closet is often a staple in the mansions of the rich and famous, the space constraints of an HDB unit and the amount of money you have to fork out to transform a room or part of one means that not everyone is able to afford one.
But there’s still hope for us HDB dwellers. You can consider converting it into a mini walk-in wardrobe or shoe cabinet for all those guilty purchases you couldn’t cram into your bedroom.
Image credit: @dianaelizabeth_
To maximise your bomb shelter’s abundant vertical space, try installing hanger racks along the walls for clothing items while storing lesser-worn apparel or shoes in storage boxes below them.
Pro-tip: place a dehumidifier inside the room if you plan on storing leather items inside, as the humidity inside a bomb shelter could otherwise damage them over time.
3. Dry pantry
Image credit: Hardware Zone
For those who have bomb shelters near the kitchen, a great idea is to convert it into a quick and convenient pantry for dry or canned items to save some space in that kitchen.
Non-perishable food such as canned foods, biscuits, and dried goods can be easily sorted and stored in storage baskets, readily found in places like IKEA and Muji. Meanwhile, larger items, such as bags of rice or lesser-used kitchen appliances, can be neatly stored at the bottom of the shelf.
On the interior side of the magnetic bomb shelter door, you can stick magnetic hooks and baskets for miscellaneous items to save space. Meanwhile, the exterior side of the door can be used as a magnetic feature wall for you to cover with fridge magnets from all of your travels if, say, the space on the fridge has run out.
4. Mini office or studio
Image credit: @falloutstudy
We’re all too familiar with all of the online calls and Zoom meetings that come with WFH, but our home offices may not be the most call-friendly, especially if your house isn’t exactly the most call-friendly. That is why an excellent way to combat this is by making the most out of your bomb shelter by turning it into your very own mini-office.
Bomb shelters are the best suited for taking calls in peace as the doors and walls help to soundproof the room, which can come in handy if the rest of your house isn’t as conducive due to noise from your kids, pets, or anything external. Just remember to plan for ventilation!
Additionally, you can even take advantage of the sound-proofing features by using your bomb shelter as a studio to jam out to your favourite tunes or practise your instruments without worrying about making too much noise and disturbing your neighbours.
5. Sewing nook
Image credit: Laura Evangaline
Aspiring seamstresses will know just how much space your sewing hobby takes up. You have your machine, fabric stash and a never-ending pile of accessories from pins and bobbins.
Instead of tucking things away in an awkward corner of your house, try turning your bomb shelter into a sewing nook. Not only is the space compact enough to fit any home sewing setup snugly, but you can also neatly store excess materials within its confines through storage solutions.
Installing a simple storage shelf in the bomb shelter allows you to easily store and organise larger items, such as spare cloth, while wall-mounted hooks can hang tools such as scissors, stationery, and your collection of threads.
6. Collector’s Vault
Image credit: Image Creative Design
A lot of us love to collect memorabilia related to our favourite franchises and characters, but the lack of a dedicated space in an HDB unit to store and show off our collection may cut our inner geek dreams short.
One way to realise our dreams of owning a den for all of our loved collectibles is to turn the bomb shelter into a collector’s vault to house our collection. The compact size of a bomb shelter coupled with shelves and dedicated display boxes means a decent-sized collection is sufficient.
Moreover, the walls and floors of the bomb shelter can also be decorated with themed items like rugs and posters to help liven up these usually plain surfaces.
Innovative HDB bomb shelter ideas
While bomb shelters may not seem like much at first glance, you can get creative with how you make use of your HDB’s bomb shelter.
You’ll find that bomb shelters are surprisingly versatile and simple to decorate once you start thinking out of the box.
Read more about making the most of your HDB space:
- 6 innovative balconies in Singapore
- Extendable furniture from Taobao
- How to find HDBs with balconies in SG
Cover image adapted from: @falloutstudy, Hardware Zone, Contemporist
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