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This Tampines Executive HDB Flat Looks Like A Japanese Hipster Cafe After A $120K Reno

12 May 2023 | BY

This executive HDB in Tampines was transformed into a Japanese hipster café with a budget of $120,000, and the results are amazing.

japanese cafe - cover image

Singaporeans are high-key obsessed with cafes, and this obsession is something that has bled into every aspect of their lives – including the interior design of their personal refuges. One home that can make us believe that it’s a Japanese hipster cafe is this 1,614sqft executive apartment designed by Authors Interior & Styling.

japanese cafe hdb - $120K renoImage credit: Authors Interior & Styling

Equipped with a budget of $120,000, the homeowners gave the design firm the opportunity to transform the apartment into one that would not look out of place on the streets of Tokyo’s hipster enclave, Shimokitazawa

Here’s a peek into the house post-renovation:

Wooden furniture & carpentry everywhere

japanese cafe hdb - wooden furnitureImage credit: Authors Interior & Styling

One principle of Japanese interior design is the prevalent use of wood throughout the space, and this project stuck to that ethos steadfastly. The main dining area sports a dining table and chair in warm walnut tones, and there’s a custom-made bench in a matching shade occupying the space next to the table.

japanese cafe hdb - tableImage credit: Authors Interior & Styling

Another feature that stood out to us was the use of windows inside the house. One of the bedrooms was converted into a studio for the homeowner’s tailoring passions. Wooden windows were installed on the surrounding walls, making it look like the outside has been brought in. It also lets in a lot more natural light stream through the house, giving the illusions of a bigger space.

japanese cafe hdb - windowsImage credit: Authors Interior & Styling

japanese cafe hdb - windowsImage credit: Authors Interior & Styling

The mixed use of clear and reeded glass makes the living room blend into the balcony while still maintaining a small separation. Furthermore, the use of the same laminate of surfaces around the home from the window frames and sliding doors to the chimney hood and floating shelves of the kitchen, give the home a seamless look.

An open-concept kitchen that looks like a cafe

japanese cafe hdb - kitchenImage credit: Authors Interior & Styling

Open-concept kitchens are not new, but what makes this home’s kitchen stand out is the seamless blend of where the kitchen ends and where the dining area begins. The long island counter spills over to become the dining room’s bench, and we can already picture the homeowners beginning their day in the kitchen making a matcha latte.

japanese cafe hdb - kitchenImage credit: Authors Interior & Styling

The drawers and cabinets all sport a calm, muted shade of green that follows the same earthy elements present throughout the house. A series of track lights also help illuminate the space properly.

Guest bathroom with mirrors for memorable selfies

japanese cafe hdb - bathroomImage credit: Authors Interior & Styling

The one thing that all chic cafes have in common is a bathroom that makes for great, Instagram-worthy selfies. This home in Tampines is no exception.

Before you enter the bathroom itself, there is a little corner for the homeowners and their guests to wash their hands and check themselves out in the curved mirror. 

japanese cafe hdb - bathroomImage credit: Authors Interior & Styling

But there’s fun to be had inside as well. A cute sink sits at one corner of the bathroom with a triangular vanity for space-efficiency purposes. The carpentry frames the mirror – and all faces that step into the frame – whilst the singular wall lamp gently lights up the cosy space.

The details like the zellige tiles, mismatched mosaic tiles, and hollow wall bricks at the top are immaculate and add to the charm of the bathroom.

Tampines executive flat that looks like a Japanese hipster cafe

japanese cafe hdb - bedroomImage credit: Authors Interior & Styling

It’s not often that a homeowner goes to an interior designer with a request to transform their house to look like a cafe. However, Singaporeans take cafe culture seriously, and there’s always the subconscious desire to fill our surroundings with things that feel comfortable to us. If you would like to make your home look the same, give Authors Interior & Styling a shout.

Check out other home transformations:

Cover image adapted from: Authors Interior & Styling

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