From Sake Bars to Yacht Cabins, Singaporeans Refurbish No-frills Public Apartments | World news



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SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore’s public housing system is renowned for providing affordable housing in the land-scarce country, where private apartments can cost as much as S $ 1 million ($ 740,800).

Housing Development Board (HDB) apartments, in which 80% of Singapore’s 5.5 million people live, are generally utilitarian with strict rules governing ownership and resale.

But inside the generally staid and uniform towers, some owners let their creativity run wild.

Melvyn Yap, a consultant, spent around S $ 226,000 to renovate the aging house he shares with his mother to create the ambiance of a Japanese sake bar with a hydraulic table that opens from a corner living room covered with a tatami mat where he can sip sake.

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“If you get a place to live, with good neighbors, renovate it well, stay there, make it a home away from home rather than thinking about making money,” said Yap, who travels regularly to Japan. before the COVID-19 pandemic.

For decades Singaporeans have used their HDB apartments to earn extra money, either renting them out or selling them for a profit.

Boating enthusiast Wan Ismail bin Wan Nussin was not put off by the relatively small size of the 750-square-foot (69.7-square-meter) apartment, which he shares with his wife and four children.

He transformed the apartment to look like a luxury yacht cabin with paneled walls and ceilings resembling a terrace.

“With the confined space of a ship, a small area has to have multiple uses, and that’s how I applied the concept to a small shoebox-style apartment,” said Ismail, an architect at interior, where children sleep on a two-story “bunk” bunk. beds.

Maheswari Balan transformed the HDB she shares with her husband into an apocalyptic post-apocalyptic bunker with concrete walls and floors and a gun cabinet featuring archery gear.

“You want to come home to a place where you can be yourself, so be creative, be yourself, and go crazy with whatever house (design) you want,” Balan said.

(Written by Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore; edited by Ed Davies and Christian Schmollinger)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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