Featured Homes

This Bukit Batok HDB Flat Looks Just Like The Muji Hotel In Tokyo With Its All-Wood Vibes

30 May 2023 | BY

Forget travelling to Japan; this family brought the Muji Hotel in Ginza’s aesthetics all the way from Tokyo to Bukit Batok.

muji hotel hdb

The Muji Hotel in Ginza, Tokyo might have described itself as “anti-gorgeous” and “anti-cheap,” but it’s clear as day that its interior design is anything but. After all, the chokehold that Muji’s minimalistic and wood-heavy aesthetic has on Singaporeans is a phenomenon that needs to be studied. Case in point, this Bukit Batok HDB flat that looks eerily similar to the Muji Hotel.

Designed by D5 Studio Image, this 5-room flat has all the trappings to make it feel like the residential wing of a Muji Hotel in Singapore. Here’s a closer look at our favourite parts of this Japanese-inspired home.

Cladding every surface in wood and natural hues

muji hotel hdb - living roomImage credit: D5 Studio Image

One of the signature elements of the Muji Hotel is how the walls, floors, ceilings, and surfaces are all clad in wood. This Bukit Batok flat did the same, with nary a corner spared from this dominance of oak.

muji hotelImage credit: Muji

What makes each wooden installation unique is the mixture of use between smooth wooden laminates and the fluted panels that are positioned in eye-catching spots. For example, the TV feature wall, corners of the room, balcony doors, dining table legs, and ceiling are all layered with fluted panels to add depth and visual interest to the home.

all wood living room and dining room and open concept kitchenImage credit: D5 Studio Image

muji hotel hdb - wall slats and fluted panelsThe entryway was given a curved shape with wall slats to make the space feel cohesive whilst maintaining privacy from the front door.
Image credit: D5 Studio Image

Turning the balcony into a zen nook to lounge

muji hotel hdb - balcony with tatami matImage credit: D5 Studio Image

One thing I’m sure most of us can appreciate is a cosy corner with the most zen vibes for us to relax and unwind anytime. This was something that D5 Studio Image did for this family by transforming the balcony into a space for calm thoughts.

muji hotel libraryThe Muji Hotel’s library nook.
Image credit: Muji

Of course, any balcony or reading nook can be a haven to retreat to at home. But what makes this Bukit Batok flat encapsulate the Muji and Japanese vibe is the use of tatami mats.

So no one is expected to pad every single floorboard with straw flooring, especially not in Singapore. This is why the interior designers only put the tatami mats in one section of the balcony. 

Installing a bathtub into the onsen-inspired bathroom

muji hotel hdb - bathroom with bathtub and onsenImage credit: D5 Studio Image

Just like sushi and Don Don Donki goods, Singaporeans are in love with the concept of onsens. Maybe it’s because most of us grew up bathing in a cramped shower with no bathtub, but the joy of being able to soak in an onsen tub is superior to jacuzzis. The interior designers for this Bukit Batok Flat decided to reconfigure the layout of the bathroom for the addition of an onsen-esque tub.

First off, the sink was moved to the walk-in wardrobe outside so there’s more room in the bathroom. The shower area was then closed off with another door and split into 2 parts: the bathtub by the wall, and a standing shower by the entrance. Niches were also built into the wall for soap and shampoo to stay without taking up extra space with a rack.

A walkway connecting the rooms & the perimeter of the house

muji hotel hdb - walkway with wall slatsImage credit: D5 Studio Image

This Bukit Batok flat has one unique design, which is its arrow-shaped floor plan. This means that inside the home there’s no real corridor or walkway that other HDB flats or a hotel might have. That was set to change during the renovation process.

The designers knocked down 2 bedrooms as part of the home’s reconfiguration, giving way for a larger living and communal space whilst enabling the building of a walkway along the perimeter of the home. 

muji hotel hdb - walkway into study roomImage credit: D5 Studio Image

This new walkway served not only as a connection between all the rooms of the house – it stretches from the balcony to the master bedroom – but storage cabinets were also put along the walls to make up for the lack of a store room.

The walkway also lets the family soak in the views from their windows as they’re traversing from room to room.

Transforming a resale HDB flat into a Muji Hotel dupe

muji hotel hdb living roomImage credit: D5 Studio Image

It might not be logistically feasible to relocate to Japan and live in a Muji-inspired house. But there’s always the option of bringing Muji into your home in Singapore just like this family did for their home in Bukit Batok. The minimalism and neutral palette of the home is definitely in line with the Japanese brand whilst still having a touch of Scandinavian elements.

Oh, they have a word for that style: Japandi.

Check out other similar Japanese-inspired homes:

Cover image credit: D5 Studio Image

Drop us your email so you won't miss the latest news.

More In...