Arche Design Co. introduces the Scandinavian farmhouse aesthetic to a HDB flat in northeast Singapore

Arche Design Co. introduces the Scandinavian farmhouse aesthetic to a HDB flat in northeast Singapore

Arche Design Co. introduces the Scandinavian farmhouse aesthetic to a HDB flat in northeast Singapore

The request for a neutral palette is a common one in residential design. For this five-room HDB apartment in northeast Singapore by Arche Design Co., it was especially pertinent since one of its owners is an influencer. This means her home has to be a stage for her to video and photograph the products she endorses, while also doubling as a personal sanctuary and retreat from the outside world. 

According to Edward Seet, Principal Designer of Arche, the owner did not have a specific ask around how the neutral palette should play out, except that she likes wood tones. “She said she can vibe better with this theme,” he explains. As a result, they settled on the Scandinavian farmhouse aesthetic and had it unfold across the entire 110sqm. 

Since it was a resale flat, Seet had to have the space entirely gutted and remodelled to suit the new direction. Among the highlights are a seamless connection between the kitchen, dining and living rooms, as well as a corner and room specifically for the owner to do her shoots. 

HDB flat in northeast Singapore by Arche Design Co., living room
The 110sqm HDB flat is designed to the theme of the Scandinavian farmhouse.

Light and spacious  

The biggest difference from the original design was the demolition of an L-shaped wall that divided the kitchen from the living room. This led to the apartment having a sense of space, and allowing the installation of a small island with a sink in the kitchen. Beside it stands a table that comfortably sits four.

To maximise the floor area, he also used the technique of installing built-in carpentry end-to-end along several sides of the apartment. These encompass walls at the entrance and kitchen, and by the windows. In ensuring a coherent appearance, he selected colours of ivory, oak and elm.

HDB flat in northeast Singapore by Arche Design Co., kitchen
The open concept in the communal areas means there is space for an island in the kitchen and a dining table for four.

Seet also took pains to wrap the beams running across the ceiling in an elm-toned laminate, mimicking rafters in a farmhouse or barn. He explains, “If we left them alone, they would look quite jarring compared to the rest of the house, since they are chunky and bulky. We thought doing this would make them look different and enable us to embrace this limitation that we faced.”

Ideal to live and work 

Zero in on the details of the apartment and there are many to be experienced. Just inside the main door is what appears to be a solid wall with a ribbed cladding but in fact conceals the bomb shelter. At the entrance, white hexagonal tiles in an organic layout demarcate the area beyond which footwear is discouraged. 

Sit beneath a recessed arch and remove a pair of shoes, before tucking them neatly under the deliberately elevated seat. Seet points out that the arch was designed as a counterpoint to the hard edges as well as to give the space a feminine touch. 

HDB flat in northeast Singapore by Arche Design Co., entrance
Storage for items, including shoes, were provided just inside the main door. The arch forms a counterpoint to the hard edges in the rest of the flat.

Just beyond is a corner with a full-length mirror, which the female owner uses to do her shoots. The composition is probably perfect because the backdrop that is reflected forms a pretty picture. 

Immediately behind her is the L-shaped sofa, and beyond are the windows, lined first with a seat and then a bar counter with high-stools. Completing the leisurely lifestyle feel is a coffee maker atop a rattan-weave sideboard. 

HDB flat in northeast Singapore by Arche Design Co., living room
The living room includes a corner with a full-length mirror, which the female owner uses to do her shoots.
HDB flat in northeast Singapore by Arche Design Co., coffee machine and sideboard
Completing the leisurely lifestyle feel is a coffee maker atop a rattan-weave sideboard. 

Underfoot, where the hexagon tiles end, the flooring continues in a light oak vinyl, applied over the original and combined with the fittings and furnishings to give off a soothing, coherent palette. This flows into the kitchen too, where interesting details like the herringbone tile layout as the backsplash of the hob draw the eye. 

Definitely Insta-worthy

The rest of the apartment is made up of two rooms, one for each of the owners, as well as the master bedroom. Of note is the bathroom, which also adopts the end-to-end approach for the countertop and sink. Dangling down in the right corner is a pendant light that is an alternative to the ceiling downlights. 

HDB flat in northeast Singapore by Arche Design Co., bathroom
The bathroom adopts the end-to-end approach for the countertop and sink.

While Seet did not have to give any inputs on the loose furniture around the apartment, he acknowledges that the owners have adhered well to the original theme and done justice to his design. 

He admits that he has not had much contact with the homeowners since he handed the project over to them. Yet, this does not faze him. “I guess they should be living quite comfortably, at least from the content I am seeing on Instagram,” he laughs. 

That, we say, is his stamp of endorsement right there and given her sphere of influence, Seet and Arche Design Co. can probably expect more business coming their way soon. 

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