The Chic Home: Monochromatic facelift for 50-year-old flat

The Chic Home: Monochromatic facelift for 50-year-old flat

SINGAPORE – Last renovated about 30 years ago, this 47-year-old, three-room Housing Board flat in Marine Crescent looked its age when its eventual home owners first saw it.

The couple – who are in their mid-30s and late 20s, and who both work in the hotel industry – admitted that they stayed at the viewing for only five minutes because the flat was too run down.

When they finally purchased the 818 sq ft flat, they turned to local interior design firm Ovon Design’s creative director Raymond Soh and design assistant Simon Chin to overhaul it.

“Most of the non-load-bearing walls were demolished. The whole place was rewired and all the pipes, windows and doors were replaced. We also installed false ceilings to conceal wiring and house the recess lights,” says Mr Soh.

A wall separating the living room from the bedroom was hacked to enlarge the living room. With its concrete-slab look and shelves, the new feature wall stands out.

The wall between the living room and kitchen was also knocked down as the couplewanted an open-concept kitchen. The new layout combines the living room, dining area and kitchen into one seamless space- perfect for gatherings.

From the timber-look tiles laid in a herringbone pattern in the living room to the hexagonal tiles in the kitchen, the flooring finishes reinforce the spatial fluidity and help define each space in the absence of dividing walls.

The two bedrooms are now connected, with one converted into a walk-in wardrobe. During gatherings, the repositioned door allows the master suite, which includes the bedroom and walk-in wardrobe, to be closed off for privacy.

For flats of this era, the shower and toilet areas were located in separate spaces and accessible only from the kitchen. Bedrooms did not have attached bathrooms.

The shower and toilet areas were merged into one bathroom, which is accessible from both the master bedroom and kitchen.

After a 12-week renovation which cost $76,000, the couple moved into the home in November 2021.

  • This article first appeared in the April 2022 issue of Home & Decor, which is published by SPH Magazines. Get the May and latest issue of Home & Decor now at all newsstands or download the digital edition of Home & Decor from the App Store, Magzter or Google Play. Also, see more inspiring homes at