Author: Evangeline Leong
In response to the spatial needs of the homeowners versus the limited space they actually have, William Chan of Spacedge Designs envisioned this four-room HDB (public housing development) flat to contain an art gallery-inspired "Wonder Box," which houses parts of the home. His design was awarded the President's Design Award, Design of the Year, in 2012 for its innovative use of space.

Houzz at a Glance

  • Who lives here: A married couple in their 40s. Dean, an engineer, and his wife who works in the Banking & Finance industry.
  • Location: 4-room HDB flat in Singapore
  • Size: 90 square metres; 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

The focal point of the flat, the Wonder Box, is located in the middle, like a central service core. Aside from the TV console, it houses the bomb shelter, the air-conditioner ledge, two bathrooms, the kitchen and storage space for the owners.

"The idea of placing everything inside a box is wonderful! It's like Doraemon's pocket. You can find anything you want!," says interior designer William Chan.

To build the nine-metre-long, 2.4-metre-wide, and 1.9-metre-high box, Chan had the original walls for the three bedrooms hacked open. Sliding panels clad in glossy laminate make up the body of the box. Lights were added below it to visually lift the Wonder Box above the ground, creating a sense of lightness and making it look like it's floating.

When the TV is not in use, it can be simply concealed by closing one of the doors of the box. A clutter-free and minimalist look indeed!

Instead of conventional doors, Chan swapped them for screens on a single track for an open-concept layout. Regardless of the part of the house they are in, the owners can decide how they would like to use each space, how much privacy they would need, and the brightness of the rooms.

This bedroom doubles as a study. Here, a customised bookshelf separates the sleeping area from the study area. While the side that faces the study holds books and collectibles, the opposite side of the bookshelf is actually a bedhead.

Chan decided that all areas of the home should have the same type of flooring, which would essentially create a more unified and seamless look throughout the space. Thankfully, the original cement screed flooring of the flat was a perfect fit for the design aesthetics of the home.

Unlike most apartment kitchens, this kitchen does not follow a linear layout. Instead, Chan designed the stove and sink to sit within an island, to ensure that everything is within reach. For storage, the island and the cabinets beside it neatly hide away kitchen equipment and pantry items.

For a touch of the whimsical and fun in the bathroom, Chan choose bright red mosaic tiles for the vanity and he designed a platform at the entrance of the bathroom – to give the illusion of climbing into a box. How's that for making an entrance?

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