How to Get Rid of Those Annoyed Features in Your HDB

HDB such as those in Bukit Batok are affordable, comfortable and convenient. However, things immediately become less attractive when you start observing the general, cookie-cutter layout in newer builds of BTO units. Not to mention, there is the challenge of dealing with unattractive architecture and awkward structures too. We would like to show you the 5 most annoying features that you can probably find in your new HDB home and of course the possible ways to get rid of it.

1. Asymmetrical Walkway Entrances 
It is perfectly understandable if you are annoyed by these asymmetrical walkways in newer BTO flats. While they may seem just fine to the unpracticed eye, being framed on only one side creates a perceivable difference in depth along the corridor. Having said that, this may not be a bad problem to have. With a low structural beam above, keeping both sides flushed is likely to result in a corridor entrance that is as rigid-looking as it is narrow. The solution is by adding a touch of colour with a wall painting, or have a snug dining area at the far end of the corridor. In any case, fill up the space as best as you can without making it feel too confined.

2. Boxed-In Living Rooms 
Most of us would like to have a roomy area for rest and relaxation after all day work. Somehow, in smaller new-build HDBs, you will probably find a modest space after moving in. Both ends of your living room will either be filled up by furniture or a TV console, which leaves you with about a meter and a half of in-between space to play around with. Depending on where they are placed, the Consumer Unit and bomb shelter will worsen your living room problem. But that is not even the worst part. These structures cannot be mended, which means that you will have to live with them. The solution is that unless you absolutely need them, if not you should avoid building additional storage structures along the sides of your living room as they will smaller an already-compact space.

3. Walls That Are Way Too Short
There is nothing quite as frustrating as decorating around a short wall. On one hand, it is hard to make these structures look good, but on the other hand leaving them untouched is too much of a waste. You are most likely to find this problem in newer BTO flats where the front or rear, depending on orientation, wall is shorter than its opposite number. As a result of the difference in scale, it can be difficult to visually balance both ends of the living room. This shortcoming is even more visible if you have long furniture that exceed the length of the wall. And even if you succeed in right-sizing your living room seats, chances are it will look like you are squeezing too much into a tiny space. The solution is that it may be a bit heretical, but consider using the living room purely as a sitting area or study. This way, you would not have to worry about sofas that are all too long or underwhelming feature walls.

4. These Awkwardly-Positioned Niches
Mostly found at the rear walls of living rooms and bedrooms, they are in fact a ‘necessary evil’, according to Schemacraft’s Managing Director Martin Ngo. “The vertical ends of these recesses are support pillars, which are built along the perimeter of the building. As for the horizontal sections that run across the room, these are strengthening beams that prevent the concrete floor slabs (of upper floors) from sagging,” says Martin. Despite their importance, it does not change the fact that these recesses present an immovable obstacle when it comes to space-planning. On top of preventing furniture from being placed flushed against a wall, they also spoil the aesthetic appeal of otherwise smooth planes with an unsightly break. The solution is by painting the inside of these awkward recesses with an accent colour to create visual interest or maximize available space by building overhead shelves or displays within them.

5. Tiny, Zoned-Off Service Yards
These useful backrooms have shrunk in size across the years, and it is now harder to get the laundry done in them due to how tight they are. More importantly, their boxed-up design does the kitchen-yard space no favours as it makes the entire area seem even smaller than it actually is. The solution is to remove the sliding door entrance as well as windows provided that you are okay with cooking fumes stinking up your fresh laundry.

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