As more and more homeowners discover the joy of cooking while entertaining, or appreciate the versatility of an open-plan space with a nice kitchen, it’s becoming common to hack down the cookie-cutter internal walls during HDB flat renovations. But what if you can’t hack walls, or don’t have the budget to splash out on a major renovation?
You may not get an open-concept show kitchen in an open-plan home that looks more New York loft than Sengkang flat, but you can still have a kitchen you won’t mind spending hours cooking (and chatting-while-eating) in. From the basic kitchen layouts to the bold makeovers, here are 12 ideas you can carry out in your cookspace.
1. Galley kitchen
Ah, the standard HDB kitchen that’s a room set apart from the living and dining area (or hall, as your mum calls it). Long and narrow, with floor-to-ceiling tiles, this kitchen has two worktops facing each other – one for food prep, the other for cooking. This sleek, handleless version takes the basics to a higher level with bold black details for contrast, wooden countertops for warmth, and kitchen accessories that provide pops of colour.
2. L-shape kitchen
Another standard – mostly for older flats – is the L-shape configuration. Give it character by filling up the wall with open shelving against subway tiles.
3. U-shape kitchen
This one even enjoys a generous amount of sunlight because it’s been opened up to incorporate the service yard.
4. Single-wall kitchen
This kitchen pushes all the elements to one wall, while the other was free to be hacked partially open and have a built-in dining nook.
5. Breakfast bar
This one is another benefit of hacking part of the wall open…
… while this one shows that you don’t have to do that to squeeze in a compact dining nook.
6. Open shelving
If you’re not the type to need enclosed cabinets, open shelving lets you enjoy a brighter kitchen. You can even use what you have – in this case, potted herbs and plants – to decorate those shelves.
This design is quite major as it involves hacking a wall open and building the island. But look at how big the kitchen looks as it spills out to the living and dining area.
… no space for an island? No problem! A kitchen trolley can double as an island in a smaller space.
8. Pull-out pantry
Just because it’s a space-starved kitchen doesn’t mean you can’t have a super-organised, well-stocked pantry.
In this case, dark and rustic, with charcoal-hued ‘bricks’ and weathered ‘wood plank’ cabinets, brightened by a swathe of mint countertop.
10. Floral backsplash
We’re still on the theme of personality here, and this one has loads courtesy of its bold floral backsplash.
A whole block of it, as an entire wall of cabinets clad in a fresh blue hue.
12. A bar extension
And Bruce Lee, because who doesn’t need a Bruce Lee pop art piece watching over them. Drink water, my friend.