5 Must-Have Upgrades To Increase The Value Of Your Flat

Are you spending your renovation in the right areas? (via dollarsandsense.sg)

Moving in to a new home can be both exciting and troubling at the same time, especially when there are multiple factors to decide on before you spend your hard earned money into the home renovation.

Before you hit the panic button, watch this video to find out more about the 5 key areas of your house that you can renovate to make your place comfortable to live in, and at the same time to retain its value or even increase the value of your home by more than what you spent on it.

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Housing Options for Newlyweds who are Waiting for Their BTO

Just married and waiting for your home to be ready? Here are some housing options you can consider (via houzz.com.sg)

By Amanda Jayne, via houzz.com.sg

SINGAPORE — It can take upwards of three years for a build-to-order (BTO) flat from Housing Development Board (HDB) to be ready. Some projects can take just two years; others, nearly six. For newlyweds, this can prove to be quite a trying situation. It is a frustrating process (trust me, I know), and while a proposed date of completion is usually offered, it is rarely accurate. Here are some housing options you can consider while playing the waiting game.

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12 Things You Can Do With Your HDB Kitchen

Who says you have to put up with a boring, utilitarian cookspace when you live in a flat? These creative kitchen designs show otherwise | houzz.com

Who says you have to put up with a boring, utilitarian cookspace when you live in a flat? These creative kitchen designs show otherwise | houzz.com

By Chiquit Torrente, via houzz.com.sg

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.


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5 Designer Ideas for Your HDB’s Exposed Beam

Hacked a wall to create an open-concept space in your flat? Or there's a structural support running through it? Here are clever ways to deal -- Houzz.com

Hacked a wall to create an open-concept space in your flat? Or there’s a structural support running through it? Here are clever ways to deal — Houzz.com

High-rise public housing, or HDBs as we commonly call them (as they are built by the Housing & Development Board), are designed to maximise space while keeping construction costs affordable. So there are sometimes-unsightly structural members hanging lower than the maximum floor-to-ceiling height of 2.6 metres. Often, too, HDB dwellers merge two rooms into one bigger space, hacking down a non-load-bearing wall and exposing the load-bearing beam above it.

According to HDB’s renovation guidelines, while the demolition of non-load-bearing walls is allowed, beams are untouchable.

Some designers may recommend false ceilings to conceal the beam, but with HDB you can only drop so low (2.4 metres is the minimum floor-to-ceiling height allowed). And, as you can see, the beams hang lower than that already.

Here are five ways you can work around this architectural dilemma.


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Big Ideas for Compact Kitchens

by Sara Emslie | houzz.com

Even the smallest of kitchen spaces needs to deliver big when it comes to form and function. No matter how awkwardly shaped or compact your cooking space, design tricks can help make even tiny corners work hard and look good too. These kitchens offer ideas for getting more from less and giving a high-function space a clean, uncluttered appearance.


Use open storage as display.
If your tiny kitchen is part of a larger open-plan space, consider an island with built-in open shelves. This will add storage and display space and help separate food prep, cooking and clean-up areas from those for other living functions.

Use attractive tableware, accessories and cookbooks to create a pleasing display.


Store high (and seamlessly).
A clever way to add storage in a tiny kitchen is to position it high up the wall. Installing storage above seating, such as a built-in bench, can be a particularly smart use of space.

For a clean, contemporary feel, fit the cupboards with push latches, removing the need for a door handle and creating a seamless finish that gives the impression of more space. A ladder stored away — perhaps inside a bench seat — can be used to access high cupboards.


Custom build a pantry cupboard.
Well-planned storage makes efficient use of space and can help keep your kitchen organized. Consider a custom all-in-one pantry cupboard if you’re designing a kitchen from scratch. Install custom storage baskets for shelves and rail bars and baskets for cupboard doors to make the most of the space inside.

A cupboard pantry can be used to store everything from food to china and kitchen equipment. And when the doors are closed, it’s all neatly out of sight.


Integrate built-in appliances.
Shop around for appliances that will work in compact spaces and consider integrating them into your kitchen design. The framework needed for integrated designs eats up a little more lateral space, but the result will be a neater look.

Think laterally, too — dishwashers are available as pullout drawers and can be paired with a storage drawer with the same front for a fuss-free finish. Microwaves and ovens can be fitted into a bank of wall cupboards, freeing up counter space for other kitchen essentials.


Think industrial.
Utilitarian styling is ideal for making the most of a compact kitchen. It echoes the kitchens of days gone by, and its robust aesthetic says it means business, despite being a tiny space. Look for subway tiles, industrial factory lighting and Shaker-style units that combine beauty with utility.


Squeeze in an eating space.
Having a space for sitting and eating in a kitchen, no matter how small, doubles the room’s functionality, making it feel more substantial.

A compact breakfast bar, for example, can be both a dining area and an additional work surface for food preparation. To save space, choose bar stools that can be tucked under the counter when not in use. Try giving this tiny tabletop a separate visual identity with bold accessories, such as bright artwork and standout lighting.

A fold-out, wall-mounted table is another option for a small kitchen.


Highlight character with color.
Flashes of vivid color are ideal for adding a wow factor to a tiny space. It might be small, but it can still have presence.

Against a pure white background, neon shades really stand out, so use these to emphasize any design features that have character and style. Maximize the different sizes and configurations of drawer and cupboard fronts to create eye-catching color combinations and design appeal.

Stick to a restricted palette, though, and keep clutter stored so as not to overcrowd your little kitchen.


Go for top of the line.
Being small on space doesn’t mean a kitchen can’t be big on style. Adopt a high-end approach for fixtures and hardware in an otherwise minimal space to give a compact kitchen a designer look.

Smart handles, inset lighting, state-of-the-art integrated appliances, contemporary faucets and molded draining boards are all design features often found in larger, more expensive kitchen designs, but they can add a big style hit to a tiny kitchen too.

Source : http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/44811144/list/big-ideas-for-compact-kitchens

Strikingly Creative Apartment Remodel in Taipei


Archlin Studio sent us (Houzz) photos and information depicting an inspiring apartment remodel in Yangming National Park,Taipei, Taiwan. The apartment has an amazing view of picturesque Mt. Shamao from its windows but it was very heavily partitioned by either walls or columns that obstructed the line of sight to the windows from most parts of the house. “We knew right away that the biggest asset of the apartment is its natural surroundings and the mission is therefore to come up with a design that connects the natural space outside with the internal space and maximize the amount of point of sights from the house to the windows and in return maximizing the amount of natural light permeating through the apartment“, explained the designers.


To overcome the previously fragmented pockets of restrictive spaces, the studio removed the solid walls in the living area and built movable see-through bookcases between the study and the kitchen. The additions effectively define the spaces without closing off one from another. Similar strategies are implemented in the two bedrooms at the back of the apartment. Sliding timber veneer panels are used to substitute traditional solid doors between the two bedrooms to introduce flexibility in the configuration of the sleeping areas.
Low key color tones and natural interior materials such as timber veneer and natural stones combine to design an apartment that fits comfortably in its tranquil surrounds. Be sure to check out the before&after photos uploaded at the end of this post for a better understanding of the project!

























Source : http://freshome.com/2015/02/26/strikingly-creative-apartment-remodel-in-taipei-before-after-photos/


Getting a Roommate? Ideas for Making Shared Spaces More Comfortable


By Kate Burt | houzz.com

Here are tips and tricks for dividing your space so everyone gets the privacy they need.

One effect of the recent recession is the rise in live-in landlords. Perhaps you’re one of them, or are considering taking in a housemate. It’s something I did for years, and the experience taught me there’s a knack to planning an interior for adults leading separate lives but living together.

So how do you divvy up a modern home in style to make sure everyone has the space they need, as well as enough privacy? Both are key considerations for domestic comfort, so try these practical but beautiful ideas to help you and your new roommate live in stylish synchronicity.


Create zones.
In an age of open-plan living, it may not be immediately obvious how to accommodate a new person with their own timetable and social life. Clever zoning is key. Consider how you could rearrange your communal space so it will comfortably accommodate multiple activities and inhabitants working, resting, eating or cooking in harmony.

Look out for small-scale furniture if space is tight — lots of brands now have a dedicated range of compact or flexible pieces. And shop creatively — a small round metal garden table can easily double as an affordable dining or laptop spot for one. Comfy armchairs are good, too, since you may not always feel like sharing the sofa.


Split your space.
Room dividers can also help to create zones in larger rooms or open-plan spaces to allow different members of the household to do their own thing. These are especially useful if you each have friends over at the same time.


Boost living room storage.
With that spare room full of your stuff gone, you’ll need to create additional storage in the rest of your home. High-level floating shelving that stretches from wall to wall looks great — painted the same color as the walls, it creates an architectural detail. And it can stash heaps of books, magazine holders and good-looking storage boxes without compromising space.


Seek out a shelf nook.
Where else could you carve out space for more storage? Look beyond the obvious places to add bookshelves: the littlest room in the house can sometimes pack in a surprising amount of shelf space. This dinky-sized library looks cute, too.


Make your kitchen multifunctional.
Even a small change, such as adding a sofa to the kitchen, can create two distinct living areas so you and your housemate aren’t on top of each other.

Adding a TV to a little lounging nook is a good idea, too, if you’re not in an open-plan space. It removes the risk of fighting (or nurturing silent resentment) over the remote.


Create the ultimate bedroom.
If communal space is very limited, it could be worth moving out of the best room in the house and turning it into a luxurious, multi-use space for your housemate. Make it somewhere he or she will want to hang out. Consider how you could incorporate a TV (in the end of the bed, as here?), a desk, a lounging area and even an en-suite or kitchenette.


Include hardworking furniture.
There are plenty of ways to unlock more space in the smallest of rooms. Here, a headboard becomes a bedside table, storage unit and shelves in one, with space behind for a hanging rail.

When planning your new room or reconfiguring the rest of your home, factor in somewhere for your housemate’s bulkier items to live too. They’re bound to arrive with a suitcase, for example.


Find space for a desk.
Whether you or your housemate work from home or just need space to catch up with emails and admin on a laptop, stand-alone desk space means you don’t all need to be typing on the sofa, at the kitchen table or in bed.

An old-fashioned bureau that hides desk paraphernalia with a flip of its top can also be handy for work-life separation, especially if the bedroom is the only place for it.


Shelve your space.
You don’t need a huge home — or, indeed, a stand-alone desk — to make space for a little work perch. Tuck a desk-height shelf into dead space, and breathe life into a previously unloved corner.


Streamline your social lives.
You’re planning a big dinner party while, unknown to you, your housemate has pencilled in a romantic night at home with his or her partner. Such clashes can cause unnecessary discord. A stylish wall planner or blackboard will help everyone create the space to do their own thing.