In my first post, I described some limitations of this flat layout. So in this post I’ll describe some renovation ($$$) decisions I’ve made to address them.
1. Odd angle at the bottom of the living area. To achieve a more rectangular layout in the living+dining areas, a partition wall will be adde?d (see picture below), and my TV will be mounted on it. It will also have a built in “cubbyhole” to contain the router, media devices and such.
2. Narrow walkway thanks to location of storeroom. Am hacking away the entire storeroom and in its place build wall-to-ceiling storage cabinets which are flush against the wall and less deep. While the depth will be about half of the existing storeroom, in practical terms I won’t lose much space since the storeroom otherwise can’t be completely filled anyway, as you need some allowance to even get into the storeroom. I also feel that storage cabinets facilitate greater ease of access to stored items compared to this storeroom
3. Difficult to move in kitchen without sacrificing cabinets. The solution seems to be hacking the wall between kitchen and dining area, and build a bar/cabinet outwards into the dining area. Yes that transforms it into an “open concept” kitchen which I’m not too thrilled about since the main door faces the kitchen! Nonetheless this arrangement gives me more clearance to move in the kitchen area without compromising on kitchen storage and counter space. I suppose I’ll just need to make sure the kitchen looks good whenever any guests arrive then
More natural light!
One plus point of hacking the kitchen wall is that I will get even more natural light in via the kitchen windows. And since I was getting more natural light from the right side of the flat, why not get more natural light from the left side too?
So off with the wall and door of Bedroom 3, to be replaced with a glass door and a half-glass wall. Did I mention that my flat is on a high floor and has unblocked view all around? Hacking so many walls does leave fewer walls on which to hang stuff…. But it does contribute to the Japandi feel that I am going for.
Renovations indicated on the floor plan here
Ok now on to the issue that doesn’t seem to have a solution…
4. Common bathroom windows are in the yard. “Merging” the service yard with the kitchen is a common renovation step that most HDB flat owners take to enlarge their (small) kitchens. But this doesn’t seem to be an option available to me because it would not be good to have someone’s stink bomb seeping into the kitchen! As to the potential issue of someone peeking into common toilet from the ser ice yard (this scenario is possible should I have over-inquisitive guests of course_), the previous owner did this:
When I first entered the common bathroom, I couldn’t figure out why it was the only room that was so dark at mid-day.
As it turns out, the previous owner covered the common bathroom’s windows with a cabinet and placed a ventilation fan. I suppose that’s one way of addressing it, but I prefer letting in as much natural light as possible (Japandi theme remember?) so this cabinet arrangement will have to go.
So looks like no solution. The common bathroom’s window will be as it is in the service yard. And the service yard has to remain as a distinct service yard, enclosed and separate (via bifold door) from the kitchen.
On the plus side though, now with my kitchen “exposed” because the kitchen wall is getting hacked, keeping the service yard separate from the kitchen means that guests won’t have to view my laundry upon entering my place!!