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8 Most Unique 3-Room HDB Renovations That Make These 700sqft Flats Look Way Bigger

5 July 2024 | BY

Here are some renovation ideas that will unlock the full potential of the space in your 3-room HDB flat.

3-room HDB - cover img

Ask any 3-room HDB homeowner in Singapore what they feel about their home, and most will probably comment on how small it is. While it’s definitely true that 3-room flats can feel cramped, there are ways to create the illusion of space through creative renovations.

For some space-saving inspiration, we’ve curated a list of 8 3-room HDB renovations that have unlocked the full potential of their space, making them feel bigger than they are.

1. Clean ScandiMulti-purpose raised platform

3-room HDB - scandi raised platformImage credit: Charlotte’s Carpentry

Adopting a Scandi aesthetic is an excellent way to make a 3-room HDB feel more spacious. In addition to its clean lines and bright airy interior, homes like these regularly utilise smart storage to minimise clutter. 

Creative options like the raised platform in this home save on even more space by utilising the home’s verticality, an oft-overlooked aspect of conserving space. 

3-room HDB - Scandi living roomImage credit: Charlotte’s Carpentry

The storage solution in the elevated platform essentially functions as a multifunctional piece of furniture, serving as both a lounge area as well as hidden shelving. The resulting uncluttered, minimalist layout creates an illusion of spaciousness with its pale colours, clean lines and airy ambience.

2. MinimalistKnocking rooms down to form an open-plan studio

3-room HDB - studio living roomImage credit: @thebareloft

Also utilising multifunctional furniture, this minimalist open-concept studio is a perfect example of a reno that maximises space in your home when you don’t have much of it in the first place. 

3-room HDB - studio living room 2Image credit: @thebareloft

The homeowners knocked down almost every wall in their 3-room flat, creating a clean, open-concept studio look that maximises the sense of space.

3-room HDB - bay seatingImage credit: @thebareloft

Additionally, the homeowners also creatively DIY-ed the fixtures in their home to maximise space, one example  being the low cabinets in the living room. They double as bay seating and dining chairs, taking away the need for a couch or a dedicated lounge area,  while also being an easily accessible storage space.

3. Rustic farmhouse━Creating a supersized living area

3-room HDB - vintage great roomImage credit: Comfort Home Interior

Much like the previous home, this vintage Kampong Kayu home creates the illusion of a more spacious interior by removing walls. The homeowners hacked down one of the bedrooms here, creating a supersized living area that spans 3 rooms.

3-room HDB - vintage archImage credit: Comfort Home Interior

The structural beams where the walls were hacked were then converted into a feature arch, adding a dramatic passageway between the spaces of the home. The exaggerated curves also lend a nostalgic touch to the home, with its bonafide vintage furniture.

4. Retro-inspiredTurned utility room into a “man cave”

3-room HDB - retro living room

Efficient use of space is key when designing a small home. This sentiment is best seen in this retro-inspired home in Everton Park, which cleverly uses alternative ways to make use of every inch of the apartment.

3-room HDB - retro home man cave

And when we say every inch, we mean it—even the utility room was converted into a man cave study that holds the homeowner couple’s wine fridge and coffee station. Using every space in the home to its fullest potential allows for more efficient usage of space, which ultimately results in a more spacious-looking home 

5. All-white━Monochromatic with a cosy balcony nook

3-room HDB - all white balconyImage credit: Three Haus Works

On the flipside, another way to make your home look more open without needing to hack too many walls is by visually connecting the home through internal windows. This all-white home takes the concept to the next level by transforming its access corridor into a cosy balcony nook, with scenic views of the neighbourhood below.

The balcony was originally the home’s access corridor, which the homeowners were able to purchase because the home is a corner 3-room unit. 

3-room HDB - all white living roomImage credit: Three Haus Works

The home utilises glass doors and internal windows to allow natural light to flood the interior. Letting in light makes the home feel more breathable, as less emphasis is placed on the fixtures of the home and more on the surrounding scenery.

3-room HDB - all white homeImage adapted from: Three Haus Works

In keeping colours to a minimal, with an abundance of white, the home is also made to feel bigger than it is. In addition to this, the home features extensive use of built-in cabinetry, concealing any messes without drawing attention to the storage solutions.

6. Picnic-core contemporary━Internal windows & use of lines

3-room HDB - picnic core living room 2Image credit: The Interior Lab

This next home is going to be eye-catching for hardcore picnic-goers—with an abundance of warm wood tones and an entire picnic bench in its living room, this home’s outdoorsy vibes are unmatched. Much like the previous home, this home also features the use of interior windows that really open up the space. 

However, this home instead uses glass panels to enclose its study area, allowing for more light to fill the living space and make the home feel just as expansive as the great outdoors.

3-room HDB - picnic core living roomImage credit: The Interior Lab

By laying the living area with parquet flooring that runs parallel to the pass-through kitchen window, bar counter, and picnic table, a visual illusion of space is created too.

7. Danish Hygge━Brighten the home with lighting

3-room HDB - hygge kitchen islandImage credit:

If it’s not possible to flood your home with natural light, an alternative would be to introduce ambient lighting fixtures to brighten  the space. This Danish Hygge-inspired home uses subdued cove lighting to light up the interior, expanding its depth and creating the illusion of space.

3-room HDB - hygge sliding doorImage credit:

On the other hand, bespoke fixtures like the dry pantry with an integrated coffee bar serve to minimise clutter and maximise use of every possible storage solution. Finally, the use of pocket doors and arched partitions ensure that every feature of the home occupies the least amount of space.

8. Minimalist industrial━Floating shelves to reduce floor clutter

3-room HDB - Industrial living roomA suspended tabletop takes away the need for table legs, reducing visual clutter in the lower half of the room.
Image credit: Ascend Design

Jet black pipes line the walls of this home, cementing its industrial aesthetic. Industrial homes lend themselves well to making the home look bigger thanks to their neat layouts and reliance on materials instead of ornamentation to decorate the home.

3-room HDB - industrial kitchenImage credit: Ascend Design

Features like the floating shelves in the kitchen take storage into the top half of the house, while the cage-like design allows unobstructed light flow, increasing storage capacities without sacrificing the sense of breeziness in the home.

8 most unique 3-room HDB renovations

Your home should be a sanctuary that doesn’t feel claustrophobic. Whether it be through creative use of storage solutions or incorporating internal windows into the space, there’s a wealth of ways to make your home look bigger than it is so you can have peace of mind when you lounge at home.

For more home design inspiration:

Cover image adapted from: Three Haus Works, Metre Architects

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