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Create a Loft-Style Pad for Your HDB Flat

What exactly are loft-style pads? A common sight in the west, loft apartments are generally ‘converted’ from former industrial buildings.

Since most loft apartments are former warehouses or factories, high ceilings, open floor plans, large windows, exposed ductwork, cement-like flooring, and industrial lighting are significant traits that inject a unique and artistic feel into loft-style spaces. When interior designers design a loft apartment, the main idea is to place emphasis on its interesting structural elements.

Highly sought-after by bohemians and hipsters, many loft-style interiors are a potpourri of architectural cues and design concepts, adapted from New York city styled conversions with industrial touches or lofts in London hinting at Italian chic, to name a few.

If you’ve always been admiring those urban lofts you see on blogs and interior design magazines, then there’s no better time than now to create a loft-style pad for your HDB flat or condominium apartment, and inject some industrial detailing into your living space.
So if you love the loft-style look and urban lifestyle, here are some tips to help you bring them into your home. 

Expose Beams and Ductwork

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With the exception of conserved shophouses or bungalows, most of us staying in HDB flats and high rise apartments don’t have the luxury of large floor areas in land scarce Singapore. So if you’re transforming your home into a loft-style pad, then it’s important to leave some structures exposed to recreate the loft style.
If your flat does not have any exposed structures, you can install some faux beams, steel frames, or pipes across the ceiling and coat them with black or metallic finish for additional drama to give it an industrial character. Go a step further and amplify the mood with exaggerated wood grain furniture or accessories that exude a rustic look.

Leave Your Floor Bare

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Bare floors are a key feature in urban loft interiors. It gives the “Warehouse” look that every loft addict is aiming for. So when renovating your home, consider using cement screed for floors and leave it exposed. 

You should also talk to your renovation contractor or interior designer about applying a concrete sealer to preserve and enhance the appearance of your cement flooring. In addition, you can also define specific areas by using rugs and cushions. 

If you’re not a fan of concrete, hardwood floors are a great alternative. Choose recycled woods to make your loft-style pad look more authentic.

Use Neutral Colours

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Clean and timeless – Neutral colours such as grey, white and beige is key to bringing the urban loft feel into your home. Red brown brick walls and exposed structures with dark and metal finishes to create the look are also common in this style. But this doesn’t mean you can’t toy with vibrant colours. 

You could install some orange brick veneers on walls, put some colourful throw pillows on the couch, place a decorative rug at the doorway, add abstract artworks on the walls, or place some potted plants around the room – feel free to experiment and see what works well with the theme. 

Incorporate Wood and Metal

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We all know that industrial style involves the use of metal and wood, so it’s crucial to use items that are made of these materials when designing your loft-style pad. There are many stores out there offering wonderful pieces that will look great in loft-style apartments, so take your time to shop around and look for items that will match the theme.
Be adventurous. Decorate rooms using items with a touch of modernity or a combination of modern and classic to create a unique industrial look while adding some personalised style. Arrange them in a way that is not only pleasing but also makes it easy for you and your family to move around the room. 

Open Spaces

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Large open spaces are another defining characteristic of a loft-style interior. To keep spaces as open as possible, work closely with your interior designer to create an urban loft feel to your dwelling. 

Consider building an open kitchen and connect it with the living area. Use full height glass partitions to make the area appear spacious. If possible, remove a few room walls and replace them with retractable doors, a bookshelf or fabric screen to act as a room divider. However, make sure you check and find out the rules and regulations of renovating your HDB flat first before removing any walls or pillars. 

Open spaces also make your home look more sophisticated and relaxing. It is also a great way to encourage interactions and make good conversational topics with your guests. 

Simple Window Treatments

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The outside view is an important element in an urban-style loft, so it’s best to have simple window treatments that allow natural light into your home and at the same time, give you an unhindered view. 

To ward off the heat on sunny days, you can use sheer fabric or shades for coverings. If you have tall windows, you can consider using motorized blinds controlled with either a remote control or wall switch. If privacy and sunlight are not an issue, you may choose to not use any window coverings.