25 Easy Interior Design Ideas for a Luxe HDB Kitchen
We all dream to have those television quality luxurious kitchen designs- those with the ever-clean, spacious countertops and gorgeous chrome appliances. However, in Singapore, kitchen spaces are more scaled down and limited. This is why we focus more on creating a multi-functional space than establishing a grand and sumptuous one. But this does not mean that you cannot achieve an exquisite kitchen despite space and budget constraints.
Having a pleasing kitchen is vital to keeping the inner master chef within you alive. Not only does it cater to the heavy cooking work, but it also ignites family bonding and creativity. Sprucing up this relatively smaller part of your flat needs thorough planning and smart choices of furniture and appliances. As a kitchen is one of the most critical and expensive rooms to revamp, you would want to make the most of your design decision.
To help you with your creative planning, here are 25 easy-to-achieve styles and layouts to inspire you when designing your BTO or beautifying your HDB flat. From themes to colours to configuration, behold the variety of amazing options.
Interior Design Theme
Adapting a theme for your kitchen does not require a major renovation or hacking of walls. With a few revamps of your furniture and decorative pieces, some colour scheming, and some decluttering, you can transcend cookie-cutter kitchen designs without hurting your budget.
1. Scandinavian Kitchen Interior Design
A Scandinavian theme for the kitchen? You might think that this clean style would not fit a busy Singaporean home, but marvelously, it does. In fact, Scandinavian kitchen aesthetics are loved not just by Singaporeans but also by a diverse group of people around the globe.
The Scandinavian theme is a hit in every interior design. It presents a blend of minimalism and texture, making your space cosy and inviting. This style is ideal for limited kitchen spaces because of the use of streamlined furniture, clean stencils, occasional greenery, and a touch of some subtle textures.
Scandinavian design is not limited to white walls, but it requires the proper utilisation of texture and accents to maintain an uncluttered look in your kitchen.
Scandinavian style is mostly white with minimal black accents, grey, cream, old rose, moss, and other muted tones. For a clean and simplistic look, paint your walls with a snowy shade or subtle tones of cream. Create an effortless variation with whitewashed wooden furniture and a well-polished tile or wood floor. Increase the appeal with monochromatic accessories and fresh potted greens.
Treat your sliding window with sheer curtains or white blinds to easily invite natural light into your flat's kitchen. Hang some pendant lights instead of installing one bulky light to keep a spacious configuration.
Furniture, Appliances, and Decorations
Create a light and airy feel to your kitchen with white marble countertops or whitewashed wooden kitchen counters. Go for handleless cabinets to make your kitchen look less occupied. To highlight your style, opt for a two-tone cabinet and hang a few decorative frames on your muted walls.
The Scandinavian style focuses on making the whole space fresh and tranquil. The first go-to technique for achieving this spacious style is the use of built-in furniture and the installation of bulky kitchen appliances as part of the overall design. For a smaller HDB kitchen, space planning for the furniture and appliances is a lot more challenging.
A basic yet overlooked tip for saving space is to go for compact and multi-purpose kitchen appliances instead of smaller pieces with individual functions. For a smaller Scandinavian kitchen, choose a slender single-door refrigerator rather than an enormous two-door variation. For a more inviting appeal, you can borrow some furniture from your living room, like a white open bookshelf, instead of filling your kitchen with fully closed cabinets. Add some flair with live greenery.
2. Contemporary Kitchen Interior Design
Imagine the appetising aroma of your recipe’s spices and the sound of the boiling water—a typical food preparation sensation. Cooking can be enjoyed this way if you carefully plan the look and configuration of your kitchen based on your food prep needs. If you want a no-fuss cooking experience, a contemporary kitchen design is something that you should check out.
A Contemporary HDB kitchen efficiently promotes beauty through functionality. This low-maintenance aesthetic is defined by the consistency of its features and colours.The flat-front cabinets, chrome tabletops and appliances, and the splash of bold accent colours are just some of the diverse styles you can create with a contemporary kitchen. With a dash of creativity and resourcefulness, you can easily create a limitless contemporary style.
While contemporary style features "what is currently in," its colour scheme does not limit itself to the black and neutrals that we often see when this style is talked about. A contemporary kitchen can highlight a clean, dark wood cabinet, an eye-popping yellow gloss countertop, a colourful backsplash, and other intricate varieties, which can be turned into a sleek, cohesive theme when properly combined. To revamp your HDB kitchen into a contemporary one without doing major hacking, try using wallpapers on walls that you want to accentuate.
Consider lighting as one of the focal points of a contemporary kitchen design. While Scandinavian design emphasises natural light, contemporary design incorporates darker shades and artificial light as part of the overall design. For a kitchen with a dark colour or chrome motif, brass fixtures with warm lights create depth and sophistication. Ceramic or boldly coloured pendants go really well with a contemporary minimalist kitchen.
Furniture, Appliances, and Decorations
As you strive to create a future-proof kitchen design, dark slender cabinets with less prominent handles are ahead of their time. Streamlined marble and sintered stone furniture pieces help highlight the elegance and simplicity of the place. Add some personal touches with colour pops and textures.
For an effortless cooking experience, try sprucing up your simple one-wall kitchen using a tall walnut cabinet. This can help create a notable variation in your design while giving you ample storage space without making you deal with two countertop configurations. Strategically arrange your condiments, utensils, and cooking essentials in more accessible areas while placing the medium-sized kitchen appliances in secured spaces in your cabinet or countertop.
3. Modern Kitchen Interior Design
One of the styles that is often tied up with a contemporary style is the modern theme. Although these two styles share something in common, they are two different terms when we talk about interior design. With the implementation of clean, crisp, and minimal lines, a neutral colour scheme, and a fusion of glass, metal, and other smooth materials, modern interior design focuses on functional aesthetics. This means that minimal accessories are used, and utilitarian furnishing is highlighted.
Whether you have a more spacious open-plan or a one-wall kitchen, a modern approach to your kitchen's style will make a huge impact on how spacious your kitchen will look. If you want to make the most of your limited kitchen space, this "form follows function" style is ideal for you.
As mentioned earlier, a modern style goes for a neutral colour palette. This includes white, black, grey, pewter, beige, ivory, et cetera. In a modern HDB kitchen, these subtle colours are everything but ordinary. Neutral colours are used to highlight the uncluttered kitchen space and are reflected by glass or chrome accents. A combination of light ivory walls and dark furniture creates a smart and organised appeal to your kitchen. Welcome accent colours for a more exciting theme.
Create a mesmerising kitchen with a mixture of warm light fixtures, long under cabinet LED, and the contrast of white pendant lights over a chrome kitchen island. You may also highlight the beauty of a dark, monochromatic kitchen with small, soft glow lights placed on a vertical line. To add a subtle accent, hang some geometric pendant lights in frames in strategic places in your kitchen.
Furniture, Appliances, and Decorations
For a modern kitchen, your furniture choice is not limited to brass and glass. You can mix a sleek minimalist buffet hutch with a floating wooden cabinet and a glossy steel cooker hood. You may incorporate matching floor cabinets and floating shelves, or you may pair up contrasting pieces. To add an accent colour without overpowering the neutral palette, opt for a muted green variation. It won't hurt if you add a little bit of texture to a monochromatic kitchen with a whitewashed cabinet or a marble top piece. Maintain the sophistication with a ceramic induction hob instead of using a steel hob.
Spruce up your kitchen island with tall bar stools and a hint of muted accent colour. If you want to maintain a two-toned palette, opt for slim-legged, neutral-toned chairs for the illusion of additional floor space.
4. Hampton Kitchen Interior Design
Hampton style presents a light and fresh coastal feel brought about by a refined mix of simplicity and textures. A Hampton-style kitchen not only lures visitors into looking at your kitchen but also invites bonding and life into that area.
Think soft blue and nature for a stunning Hampton style. The mixture of straight lines and natural patterns, marble, linen, and wood textures, open light, and fresh neutrals make this style distinctive. It is like living on a calm seaside island.
The Hampton style hallmarks are white, sand, and neutral shades, as well as fresh coastal colours like blue, navy, grey, green, and some touches of subtle yellow. Painting your walls white will depend on the ambiance you want to establish. You may choose from different tones of white, from the cooler shades (shades closer to blue or grey) to the warmer tones (shades with yellow or brown undertones). Think Decorators White by Benjamin Moore for a more relaxed appeal and Earthy Whites for a warmer feel. For accent colours, experiment with the darker Navy Blue and the lighter Duck Egg Blue. If you want an unconventional HDB kitchen, try smoky greens or neutral teal.
Pendant lights in classic frames are great for illuminating a Hampton-style HDB kitchen. Lantern-style and natural-looking fixtures with warm lights create an excellent focal point for a simple and fresh kitchen style. Create a sense of symmetry with woven-frame lights layered in three or four. Sconce lights are great for key corners.
Furniture, Appliances, and Decorations
For a Hampton-style kitchen, cabinets with a whitewashed wooden finish and marble tops are in. Clean, shaker-style cabinets provide a timeless feel to your space, while glass-front cabinets support the airy feel of your kitchen. Surround your kitchen counter with wooden bar stools or coastal-style chairs with sleek vertical lines or criss-cross details.
Exposed appliances and utensils are welcomed in Hampton style, as they add to the open, airy feel of your kitchen. To efficiently implement this concept, choose equally decorative and functional kitchen appliances. Those with coloured chrome finish add additional glamour to the place.
As for the decoration, the Hampton style focuses on built-in elements rather than replaceable decorations. Colours, for example, are incorporated into the walls and furniture themselves. Contrast is often achieved through wooden or tiled floors and simplistic furniture. Textures can be added with a tiled or wallpapered backsplash and woven items. As for plants, Hampton interior design focuses more on greens than florals.
5. Eclectic Kitchen Interior Design
While most kitchen styles listed above focus on clean, minimalist themes that spotlight function, we will be going down to a more exciting and complicated variety.
Eclectic style features a diverse range of colours, textures, and decorations, which are more challenging to pull off but will surely make your kitchen look personal and rewarding. Imagine an ultimate mash-up of music pieces that you do not expect to go well, but they do. Eclectic design expresses the freedom to mix patterns and decorations from various interior designs. If you see yourself mixing bold colours, lots of patterns, and other random decorations, if you are more of a maximalist—then you are creating an unmatched eclectic style.
For a stunning yet unconventional place to boast in your HDB flat, keep on reading and prepare to go all out for your style.
If you love to play with colour, the eclectic style absolutely presents unlimited colour and texture combinations based on your preferences. For a sophisticated retro feel, mixing up dark teal and yellow accents creates a rich and fascinating space while still maintaining the overall balance. Light neutral tones and colourful chrome pendant lights match well, especially if you incorporate a patterned backsplash. Grey and wood colours produce a smart and stylish space.
Take note, when you decide on your colour scheme, it is important to check if your combination will complement the whole theme while embracing a vast diversity of palettes. Create a cohesive link between your colour scheme and decorations.
Detailed glass jar pendants, linear pendants, and layered lights provide texture to your kitchen while keeping the area warm and inviting. Ribbed glass pendants, clustered bulbs, and tassel wall lights are also useful for enhancing an eclectic kitchen.
Furniture, Appliances, and Decorations
Going Eclectic? This is the right time to get your old decorations out of your storage box. Brag about your collections on open decorative shelves. Create a variation with Retro style appliances, patterned walls, and contemporary fixtures like a chrome hood. And yes, you can go for a colourful kitchen cabinet.
For a simple yet playful style, surround your wooden kitchen island with baby-coloured walls and an interesting rug. Display framed decor and intriguing wall arts. If you opt to update a minimalist kitchen to an eclectic one, try adding coloured or decorative curtains to your white window and adding some matching fabric cases to your chairs.
6. Industrial Kitchen Interior Design
Think raw and textured style; an Industrial kitchen displays an unfinished and warehouse-like aesthetic. Renowned for its spacious layout, this kind of style proposes painstaking beauty and functionality. While exposing raw materials like wood, metal, and pipes seems pretty daunting for an HDB renovation, an industrial style can still be achieved with minimal changes to your original design.
Be ready to give your kitchen a more spacious look with this unique style.
A timeless industrial design features natural wood colours like ebony, adding some white, grey, black, brown, bronze, silver, chrome, and a dash of neutral colours that boast a smart space. Most of its texture comes from exposed materials like bricks and ducts.
To achieve an industrial style without changing too many elements in your kitchen, you can utilise industrial features like lighting and accessories to nail the look. For an industrial kitchen, a brass linear pendant light with glass bulb frames is the perfect spotlight for your teak wood cabinetry. A multiple-piece linear light makes a significant difference in creating an industrial feel in a once non-industrial kitchen. Hang some different lengths of street-style lantern pendants for a layered look. Wire-caged pendants also provide depth and additional charm to a dark-coloured industrial kitchen. As for the windows, minimal treatment is encouraged to achieve a simplistic industrial ambiance.
Furniture, Appliances, and Decorations
Wooden and brassy furniture pieces are the stars of an industrial kitchen. Pair teak and dark wood cabinets with chrome appliances to maintain a smart look. Welcome DIY decorations and add some personal elements. Expose your appliances with an industrial display unit. If you do not have enough space in your kitchen, you can use your utensils and cookware as decorative accents. Simply install a hanging wooden or brass pendant shelf and strategically arrange lighter kitchen items. If you feel a little clever or resourceful, you can turn a practical metal shoe rack into a kitchen organiser to reduce the clutter of your kitchen accessories.
With bare floors, you can create the illusion of more open space while keeping a consistent look with dark coloured walls. If you cannot expose some parts of your kitchen, you may still create a low-key industrial kitchen with purposely attached pipes that double up as your primary lighting. Do not be afraid to add some greens and industrial accents to a spare open shelf to balance the neutral colours.
Interior Design Layout
Aside from the aesthetic appeal and the atmosphere your theme brings to your kitchen, there are more factors to consider when planning a kitchen design. One of the most important considerations is the layout.
A busy kitchen must accommodate not only your cooking needs but also ergonomics, or the efficient way of adjusting your space to your lifestyle. A functional kitchen space shall efficiently carry out its three main functions—cooking, cleaning, storing without one area hindering the other. For smaller kitchens, a proper layout and clever design can help you work at ease.
Take a look at these fantastic kitchen layouts to inspire you and grab some tips to effectively create a conducive kitchen space.
7. Open HDB Kitchen
Open kitchen configuration gives BTO homeowners the freedom to make the most out of their area without walls and other space constraints. Customising an open kitchen concept feels more limitless than the next configurations that we will mention later on. Still, it comes with creative challenges and several considerations that you'll hate to miss. To help you get those creative juices flowing, here are some open-concept kitchen ideas and tips that you can adopt.
An open kitchen can work with an L-shaped counter configuration, a one-wall layout, or a more spacious kitchen island configuration that extends to your living room or dining room. This means that the greasy kitchen odours will freely flow to these areas as well. Installing sliding or bi-fold tempered glass partitions allows you to invite adequate air into your kitchen while maintaining an open appearance. An alternative is the use of an exhaust hood and the strategic placement of your cooking appliances. Locate your hob near a wall with an easy-to-clean backsplash instead of putting it in a more central part of your kitchen where all the mess splatters. Consider getting an air purifier to keep your air clean and refreshing.
Because of its inviting openness and freedom of space, an open kitchen is the perfect place for your family and guests to gather for a hearty meal. If you have more room to play around with your kitchen space, create a configuration where your kitchen and dining room meet. With this, you can get rid of a spacious kitchen island and just go for a one-wall layout while you dine and entertain in a more spacious dining space.
Make the most out of your open kitchen with these simple options:
- Spare your kitchen island space for a decorative marble table to achieve a more intimate look.
- Spruce up your dining table with assorted coloured dining chairs to make the area look a little less empty.
- Use a lot of frames and greens to create a functional and inviting open kitchen and dining room fusion.
- Hang some layered pendants and use warm lights to make your kitchen look less unoccupied.
For an open-plan concept, a tall storage unit or display cabinet can double up as your kitchen's partition to other parts of the area. Ditch closed overhead cabinets that contribute to the emptiness of a bigger space and embrace more exposed and creative shelving. You have the option of cubby-hole top shelving or do-it-yourself slatted pendant shelves.
8. L-shaped HDB Kitchen
Remember the three kitchen functions: cooking, cleaning, and storing? An L-shaped kitchen efficiently supports these functions while still providing ease of movement.
An L-shaped kitchen configuration is one of the "classics" when it comes to kitchen designing. It is because of its versatility and efficiency in carrying out the tasks done in the kitchen, plus it amazingly fits maximum purpose into a smaller space.
As its name implies, a classic L-shaped kitchen features a long, straight configuration connected to a smaller one, forming a right angle. The longer partition usually caters to the main kitchen tasks like food prep, cooking, and storage, while the shorter one usually works for dishwashing and cleaning. Depending on the position of your counters, you may create a mini peninsula by tucking some bar stools underneath a slim table placed beside a free counter space. Instead of constructing a centre island, you could set up an additional small table.
One of the primary considerations in designing an L-shaped kitchen is maintaining a clean workflow. To make the most out of this ergonomic configuration, you should strategically place your items in places where they won't clutter the space. For a refrigerator, for example, ample space between your wall and counter is needed so you won't have to deal with the hassle of placing it nearer the door or in an open area where everyone can see its wires. Liven up your available wall space by adding a mixture of closed cabinets for additional storage and open shelves for some displays. Occupy the dead space with wall art and ornaments to make your kitchen more attractive.
For an extra touch of texture, you can go for mid-century glass inserts for your top space and opt for handled floor cabinets for a balanced look.
Closed cabinets are the champions of kitchen storage. They are designed to hide kitchen wiring and some parts of the sink that are not meant to be exposed. They also provide ease of access to kitchen appliances and utensils. Make the most out of filler cabinet space by creating a vertical pull-out drawer for your knife set and other utensils. You can also build a pull-out pantry for spices, condiments, and other kitchen essentials that you need immediate access to.
Make sure to arrange your kitchen gadgets and utensils based on how often you use them. Place the items you mostly use on a shelf nearest your hand's reach, while the less-used items can be placed on the upper part of the shelf.
9. U-shaped HDB Kitchen
At Megafurniture, we love cooking as much as we enjoy a scrumptious meal. A mouth-watering Asian meal includes steaming, deep-frying, and sautéing, with loads of spices and garlic smells spreading around the place. A U-shaped kitchen layout helps contain this heavy-duty cooking dilemma while providing ease for carrying out the work triangle. This configuration needs thorough planning, including measuring your aisle between the counters and the space taken up by the cabinet doors when opened. When done right, a U-shaped kitchen will surely give you a fun and fulfilling cooking experience.
A U-shaped kitchen provides ample countertop space and cabinetry, even in a smaller area. With plenty of room to work, you can turn one side of the U shape into a peninsula. Get rid of the lower cabinets on one side and tuck in some tools to maximise your dine-in area. Utilise your upper recesses with a combination of closed and open shelving to make the U-shape look more spacious than it actually is.
If you have a small kitchen, experimenting with colour combinations can help make it appear larger. Choose darker-colored cabinets to add depth to your configuration, then keep your upper cabinets white and neutral to make the kitchen appear less crowded. To invite nature into a closed kitchen, add some small greens on corners that would not restrict your movements.
Do not worry about symmetry. Despite having a parallel configuration, you do not have to make every side look the same to achieve a cohesive space. Make use of one side of the U shape for cooking and storage, then utilise the other for dining. Expose the upper space of your peninsula by using open shelves. You might want to consider a coloured or patterned backsplash. For a minimalist yet sophisticated kitchen design, try installing LED lights under the cabinets or on the ceiling.
For a U-shaped HDB kitchen, placing medium-sized kitchen appliances on countertops might be a less efficient move. Having three countertops means that you have more things to look at when you enter the kitchen. Displaying less-used kitchen appliances and utensils on top of your counter makes it look cramped and too occupied. Spare your counter space for the basics and keep the less-used items within your cabinets. If you want a totally clutter-free counter space, put your appliances and kitchen wares in easy-to-access open cupboards.
10. Galley HDB Kitchen
Imagine two parallel countertops enveloping a narrow straight aisle; a Galley Kitchen practically fits features and purpose in a compact space. As a "galley" in a ship, this kitchen layout is perfect for space-saving. Because of its simple nature, a galley kitchen often requires less renovation, especially for its counter space and cabinetry. However, as it offers a compact kitchen solution, a galley kitchen tends to look more cramped, and it might not be conducive for pair or group cooking. Due to renovation or budget constraints, turning a narrow galley kitchen into a more spacious one is challenging. But even if you don't have the budget for major renovations or wall hacking, you can make the most of your kitchen with a little creativity and some space-saving tricks.
Carefully plan your sink, stove, and fridge configuration to allow ease of movement, especially if you are cooking with someone. Think about the processes involved: gathering and cleaning the ingredients, food preparation, cooking, and serving. Place your fridge near the sink for easier food preparation and the sink on the opposite side of the stove for a smoother workflow. Also, consider the number of people cooking in your small galley kitchen. Allocate alternate work zones if two or more people are cooking.
Get away from that typical hallway look and make your space a small yet remarkable one with these simple galley designing tricks:
- Keep your countertops and cabinets functional and let your floor speak for itself.Use a patterned rug or dark accent tiles paired with neutral-colored walls and cabinetry.
- Remove the suffocating feel of your small space. Create a warm ambiance with canary or flaxen yellow paints and wood cabinetry.
- Add a little drama with marble-topped cabinets and rustic upper shelving.
- Create an illusion of space with white paint and mirror decorations. Introduce natural light with minimal window treatment.
Because we have a small space to start with, filling up the room with too many kitchen items will make it more cramped and uncomfortable to work in. Keep your appliances and essentials in safe, closed cabinets to keep your sight clear and refreshing. Maximise the purpose of your whole space, including the walls, by installing upper and lower shelving. For space-saving and variety, you may use a tall and slender cupboard.
11. One-Wall HDB Kitchen
Another kitchen layout that is efficient for saving space is the one-wall kitchen. Unlike a galley kitchen or a U-shape configuration, a one-wall kitchen gives you one linear space to work with your triangle. This means that your kitchen range, sink, refrigerator, and cabinetry must all be installed in a single straight line. This looks conducive enough, right? If properly planned, this simple kitchen layout provides a lot of ease since you do not have to turn from one countertop to the other to do your task, but it presents some challenges in fitting all the appliances and kitchen items in a limited space while keeping ample countertops to work with. Creativity and resourcefulness are important to make the most of a one-wall kitchen. Here are some easy tips that you may follow.
Since you have limited space, consider buying medium-sized primary appliances rather than bulky ones. A slim and tall refrigerator and a compact stove will help you save space while still allowing maximum function. Install cooker hoods to prevent greasy smells from spreading across your open space.
This compact configuration also allows extra room for dining sets or islands. If you want to keep more appliances and kitchenware, a mobile kitchen island or a buffet hutch will do the job.
Even if you have a linear configuration, your one-wall kitchen does not have to look monotonous. You can play with the shapes of your upper shelves. Instead of a straight closed-door cabinet, use geometric cubby holes arranged in a fancy way. Utilise floating shelves to add texture. You can also go for a tall display unit with glass doors to keep your kitchenware and plate collections in place.
Play with colours to remove the monotony. Add accent colours and framed decor to beautify your space.
Kill the dead kitchen space with a peninsula placed adjacent to your one-wall kitchen. If you opt for a more mobile and cost-efficient solution, go for an extendable kitchen table and stackable chairs.
You do not have to deal with multiple countertops in a one-wall kitchen. This means that you can combine other storage solutions other than your built-in cabinetry. Save floor space by pushing a tall cabinet against your wall. Be a little clever with your storage by turning a shoe cabinet into utensil storage.
12. Kitchen Island
One of the most picture-perfect kitchen configurations is the kitchen island. No, really. Kitchens with islands are all over the internet, in magazines, and on cooking shows. We cannot blame everyone for loving it because kitchen islands are stylish and efficient for cooking and dining. However, kitchen islands are not as space-savvy as the other kitchen configurations. Good thing there are simple tricks to still nail this look without sacrificing much of your available space.
For an open-concept kitchen or a smaller kitchen space, here are some ways to successfully put up a kitchen island.
Since BTOs now welcome the open-concept kitchen, we have more chances to choose the configuration that we prefer. Still, there are many considerations before starting a kitchen renovation, one of which is whether to push through with the renovation or just go with the alternatives. For a roomier open-concept kitchen, a one-wall configuration mixed with a kitchen island makes up an efficient and inviting space. Add some chairs and turn your space into a dining area.
The kitchen island is the ideal focal point for your space. Beautify a minimalist white piece with coloured stools and playful pendants. Display some greens and cookies or other snacks to enjoy while you are cooking. To make your kitchen look more spacious, try a long kitchen island.
For a smaller open kitchen, the island does not have to be a bulky built-in piece. A stylish marble dining table can be transformed into a DIY kitchen island.
Speaking of DIYs, if you are dealing with space and budget constraints but still want to push through with a kitchen island, go a little bit outside the box, and you will find more affordable ways to build a kitchen island. You can turn a spacious dining table into a centre piece to join your kitchen and dining room in one space. For more compact spaces, you can use a sideboard with ample storage as a mini-island or peninsula. You can also repurpose two low kitchen cabinets by placing them back-to-back to add more storage options.
The secret to a pleasing and conducive kitchen is the optimum utilisation of all the available storage solutions. A lot of kitchen islands are built with efficient storage in mind. Some remarkable types include open-space islands with exposed storage space, roomier closed anchor pieces with pull-out drawers, and simple islands with appliance or utensil nooks. DIY pendant shelves placed above the island are also fantastic options.
You will be surprised to see how colour changes the look and feel of a space. A subtle shift in white's hue changes the mood from cool to warmer. The application of colour psychology and smart combinations make a huge difference. Your kitchen is no exception to this principle.
Before we dive into the next section, let us go a little bit back to the basics and discuss some colour principles you can follow to effectively choose the right combination for your kitchen.
The Basics of Using the Colour Wheel in Designing
The colour wheel typically consists of twelve hues (some have a more comprehensive range), grouped into primary, secondary, and tertiary. Based on this highly popular colour illustration, you can create a variety of combinations to use for your design, especially if you want to go outside of the conventional.
The colour wheel consists of warm or cool hues placed side by side. The hues located next to each other on a colour wheel are analogous colours like blue, blue-green, and green. This combination helps in creating the monochromatic palette.
Triads are the colours that make up a triangle shape when considering their location on the colour wheel. These hues are efficient for creating accents. Think about the throw pillow combinations in your living room or the chairs, cabinets, and coloured pendants in your kitchen.
Another accent colour combination can be made when you match two colours located exactly opposite each other on the colour wheel. Examples are green and red or blue and orange. Since these are mostly extreme, mixing complementary colours with white or black can help you create different hues that go well together.
Shades include white, grey, black, beige, and other parts of the neutral palette. They are not included on the traditional colour wheel, but they are mostly admired because of their simplicity.
Although shades and minimal accent colours are often used nowadays, there are kitchen designs that cater to bolder and more adventurous colour combinations. A white kitchen with a light blue tiled backsplash and cute carrot orange and grey accents is incredibly fun and inviting. A combination of olive and wine colours creates a homey kitchen.
If you plan to revamp your kitchen on a budget, changing your colour scheme can do the trick. These wonderful colour combinations might help you decide what to choose.
13. Neutral Colours with Wood Tone Accents
Minimalism is a hot topic in interior design. Although not a new concept, the use of sleek lines, cleanly built furniture, and subtle colour combinations is widely used in any home. Neutral colours are highly favoured due to their flexibility and simplicity. They give the illusion of openness to a small space, making it look more spacious than it really is. While neutral palettes provide a variety of advantages to an interior design, they also tend to be a little monotonous if not used properly. To avoid creating a lifeless and boring kitchen, try matching your neutrals with textured accents. To make the job easier, treat your own furniture as your accent.
Wooden cabinets are popular for kitchen use for a good reason: they are durable and stylish, and they never go out of style. Their natural lines contribute to the overall beauty of the place. When painted, wooden cabinets give your kitchen an extra flair. If properly matched, wood furniture and accessories naturally beautify a neutrally painted kitchen.
White HDB Kitchen with Wooden Cabinets
White walls with a brown undertone make a warm and relaxing kitchen. Liven it up with a well-detailed, glossy white wooden buffet hutch with glass doors exposing its interior. To complete the fusion of modern and classic kitchen design, choose an equally detailed hanging light placed at the centre of your kitchen ceiling. Add some minimal window treatment to welcome the natural light in the morning.
Grey + Ivory + Natural Wood
Create a rustic interior with minimal and functional items. A quill grey and ivory-painted kitchen wall can look warmer with built-in open shelves. Add the texture of white-washed kitchen cabinets placed on top of a wooden floor. Chromes are welcome as they contribute to the smart and minimalist feel of the kitchen. Incorporate some pops of brass and glass lighting for a more varied look.
Dark and Light Neutral Palette + Additional Texture
Another way to create a timeless neutral palette for your kitchen is to mix dark wood cabinetry with white upper shelves. Roll out a patterned rug and flaunt your cooking hub for a modern twist. Create a cosy atmosphere with layered, warm light fixtures. For an industrial touch, set up a slim metal bar with hooks to hang your kitchen utensils instead of keeping them inside a closed cabinet.
14. Colour Shy Combination
While white and neutrals provide endless possibilities in interior design, other colour combinations are also on the rise as we strive to create a more personal space. It might be a little daunting to shift from the usual neutral combination to a more colourful space. If you want to switch from the neutrals but still prefer subtle colour combinations, here are some for you.
Marigold and Daffodils
The kitchen is where a family gathers to explore different recipes and bond with each other, so it is vital to make this space cosy and inspiring. Brighten up your backsplash with dusty yellow paint and marigold accents. Create contrast with neutral cabinetry, open wall shelves, and a wood-tone rug. Make the space more welcoming by installing abstract patterned curtains.
Blues and Lemons
Add a refreshing twist to your neutral kitchen with some subtle accent colours. Highlight your lower kitchen area with baby blues and create a spacious upper space with neutrals and open shelving. Add a chevron-lemon wallpaper to make your kitchen more interesting. Opt for coloured fabric stools or chairs to complete the fresh look.
If you want a cool and relaxing cooking space, opt for a contemporary pewter kitchen with wood cabinetry and chrome appliances. Allow natural light to enter your kitchen and add some reflective pieces to make a relatively small space look more spacious. Welcome some brick or doodle patterns for a show-stopping design.
15. Brass and Chrome
Metal finishes make a kitchen look smart and luxurious. Brass and chrome focal points and accents contribute to a design's timeless appeal. A smooth textured chrome built-in appliance creates the illusion of space, while brassy accessories add texture and depth to a simple space. Create a breath-taking brass and chrome kitchen combination that you will surely love.
Set a Chrome Focal Point
If you place your chrome stove and cooker hood in the middle of your kitchen configuration, maybe that's the cue to make that chrome space the highlight of your kitchen. Go for closed upper cabinets to ensure that you do not overpower the smart look of your chrome anchor point. Choose light neutral colours for your backsplash and dark neutral colours for your floor space. Place a long LED light across your cabinetry to highlight your focal point's clean chrome finish.
Create a Modern Kitchen with Chromes and Dark Neutrals
Imagine that deemed fine dining restaurant you've been dreaming of visiting—the cosy ambiance, relaxing music, luxurious delicacies, and shocking bill.
Why not create your five-star kitchen in your own home?
Boast your chrome appliances with a grey backdrop, dark cabinetry, and marble countertops. Add some reflective surfaces and glass pendants with warm lights for a more intimate look. Place some occasional genuine or faux leather swivel chairs around your kitchen island or peninsula to create that stylish fine dining look. Copper decorations will also add to the charm of your formal space.
Create an Industrial Feel with Metal Furniture
Instead of the traditional wood or marble kitchen peninsula, try using a metal table with a tempered glass top as your kitchen focal point. Pair the piece with slim-legged dining chairs to maintain an uncluttered kitchen. Expose chrome appliances and utensils with industrial, do-it-yourself upper shelves. Install long pendant lights and occasional greens to balance the open look.
Add Some Brass to a Neutral Kitchen
Your HDB does not need to undergo a major renovation to change its overall appeal. Mixing some elements, like brass, with an originally neutral palette will create a fresh and unexpected design upgrade for your kitchen. You do not need to change your chrome fridge to create a cohesive look in your kitchen. Embrace a neutral and metal theme by simply adding brass decorations and metal-legged chairs. These brassy pieces will also serve as reflective surfaces to make your kitchen look more spacious.
16. Incorporating Bold and Daring Colours
Bright colours ignite life and energy in your kitchen. Playful combinations do not only look fresh, but they provide an unforgettable charm to your space. Vibrant paints highlight your kitchen's focal points and provide depth to neutral walls.
Incorporating bold colours into your kitchen might be a little bit challenging, but when done right, you will see a boost in the charm of your kitchen.
From paints and wallpapers to appliances and decorations, you can brighten up your kitchen with adventurous colour combinations.
If you want to perk up your space with minimal decor and changes to your furniture and configuration, try painting your wooden cabinets bright yellow and keeping everything else, including the wall, upper shelving, table, and chairs, minimal. Choose a subtle window treatment to reflect the sun's natural vibrant color.
Create a natural charm for a neutral palette by adding some greenery and patterns to your kitchen. Boast your coloured plate collections and stencil vases, and welcome some coastal dining chairs and assorted throw pillows to your space. Hang some playful tangerine light pendants to serve as your focal point for an invigorating appeal.
Add Some Personality with a Retro Coloured Kitchen
If you are a lover of the trendy "retro" style, try creating a dynamic and personal kitchen space with hues and retro decorations. Work with a combination of teal, light blue, and orange for a tropical yet homey feel. Add a splash of texture to your backsplash while maintaining your cabinetry's simplicity. Mix and match wooden and fabric furniture, add some decorative wall art, and don't be afraid to use colourful appliances.
17. Dark Monochromatic Colour Combinations
Let's get it straight: monochromatic is not equal to monotonous when done right. The monochromatic colour scheme involves using a single primary base and its sub-hues to create depth and cohesiveness. Some of the most popular monochromatic combinations are the neutrals that we see on interior design blogs and magazines, but in this section, we will not focus on the widely known neutrals. We will be focusing on the sleeker, darker shades to level up your kitchen.
Edgy Black and Warm Wood Combination
White neutrals and wood tones are ideal for Scandinavian design. Imagine the clean and spacious look it creates for your kitchen. Imagine now shifting the light neutrals to darker ones—think black and grey. As white promotes calmness and space, dark neutrals depict warmth and depth.
For a sophisticated look, paint your backsplash matte black and your cabinetry dark grey. Keep the chrome appliances exposed, as they will serve as reflective surfaces to spread the light across the kitchen. Choose a sleek table with a wooden top table as an alternative for a kitchen island. Add some slim, wooden-legged chairs and warm light fixtures to balance the dark space.
Add Some Light Textures and Accents
Enjoy the sophisticated black backdrop spruced up with do-it-yourself geometric glass wall designs. Choose a dark cabinet with light or metal knobs and silver lighting for an elegant vibe. If you have an open kitchen configuration, you may incorporate a small reading or display nook to fill your space. Add a slim and tall light wood bookshelf to contain your magazines or decorations. As for your dining partition, opt for a glass or sintered stone table and fabric dining chairs.
More Creative Ways to Spruce up Your Kitchen's Interior Design
Oh, wait, there's more—a lot more ways to beautify a kitchen space.
A variety of styles and colour combinations stretch through different HDB kitchens across Singapore. But if you are the type to change plans and preferences always, you might need some design options that involve replaceable or easy to remove pieces. Here are more adaptive designs to choose from when building or revamping your kitchen.
18. Welcome Greens to Kitchen's interior Design
Adding indoor plants is one of the most practical ways to liven up a typical kitchen setup. As we deal with the pandemic, we have adopted some ways to enjoy our homestay, including new hobbies like cooking and taking care of plants. Both contribute to relaxation and coping with the stress caused by the sudden shift in our lifestyle. Since we deal with space constraints in our HDB flat, why not mix these two in one place?
You might be a little hesitant to go on with this idea because of the HDB limitations here in Singapore and the deficient sources of sunlight, but there are indoor-friendly varieties that will surely level up your kitchen. A pro-tip is to choose pieces that are low-maintenance and can survive a shady environment.
Be inspired by the lush greens as you prepare a hearty meal for your loved ones.
Position Tall Green Potted Plants Near Plain or Glass Walls
Placing a tall potted plant as an anchor piece in a corner away from furniture and decorations will help you balance an open kitchen configuration.
A tall Monstera plant is all over Instagram home designs. This broad-leafed plant is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it is also indoor-friendly. It does not require direct sunlight or daily watering. For a more clean and refreshing kitchen atmosphere, place a tall mother-in-law's tongue or snake plant near your window where it gets ample indirect sunlight. If you are a busy plant parent, this lovely piece can survive watering once a month. This finely detailed plant can act as a kitchen centrepiece that can help purify pollutants and harmful oxides from the air, making your kitchen feel more relaxing and alive.
Place Small Decorative Plant Varieties on Open Shelves or On Top of Your Centre Table
Your shelves are not limited to keeping appliances and spices together. They can also be used to beautify your kitchen. On natural wood or white-painted upper shelves, place a few white-potted Fittonia and Asparagus Ferns. Add some flowery varieties to a decorative box or some circular vases.
Hang Aerial Plants on Shelves or Walls
You can absolutely incorporate greens into your kitchen decor. Aerial pieces like tillandsia and money plant, when hung to walls or the edges of your shelves, will undoubtedly create a stunning focal point for your kitchen. Take your design to another level by letting an aerial plant climb a customised suspended lattice on top of your dining table.
19. Add Some Florals and Patterns
Florals and patterns are mostly associated with country or retro kitchen styles, but they can also beautify a contemporary space. With the right choice of colours and patterns to stick with, you can achieve a trendy yet unconventional kitchen design. Arguably, the simplest and most cost-efficient way to revamp your kitchen involves the addition of these amazing patterns.
Floral Designs for Your Backdrop
Stick a decorative wallpaper to your kitchen backdrop to add some personality while keeping everything else unaltered. For a modern-looking kitchen, choose a wallpaper with big and bold, natural-looking blossom patterns. You could also choose the inverse: a neutral abstract small-pattern floral piece.
Florals on Fabrics
Another simple way to add the charm of florals to your kitchen is to incorporate them into your fabric accents. Think of those classic and welcoming kitchens that you see in the movies. Choose a simplistic floral cover for your wooden chairs to establish a serene ambiance. Place an indoor plant on top of your dining table or counter to add to the snug feeling. Install matching floral curtains for a remarkable, cohesive look.
Wall Arts and Frame Decorations
Wall stickers are emerging when it comes to creating a simple yet exciting space. Create some simplistic accents for your white kitchen walls with minimalist outline stickers. You can also hang some framed dried flowers or abstract patterns on your walls.
Let's Make It Real
Nothing defeats the charm of adding natural florals to your kitchen. As a countertop centrepiece, shelving accent, or wall hanging, florals invite effortless sophistication to any space. Keep it fresh with woven baskets or do-it-yourself wire baskets hung on top of your counter.
20. Make It a Bit Quirky
Upgrade your neutral kitchen with quirky and unusual accent decorations for a striking appeal. From massive pendants to DIY pieces, a simple space can look more fun and alive.
Accent Pendant Light
So you painted your walls white, and you have closed lower cabinets and minimalist upper shelves. Natural lighting is welcome, and your kitchen looks spacious enough, but you still feel that you are missing something—a striking focal point. Clean, minimalist kitchen designs are cosy and amazing, but since there are a bunch of kitchens that adopt a minimalist approach, some become monotonous and easier to forget.
You do not have to change this minimalist style to make it more fun. You might just have to add something. A molecular hanging lamp or a massive geometric pendant light can liven up the simplicity of a neutral palette.
An Exciting Kitchen with Rugs and Patterns
Enjoy a fresh and authentic feel with a mixture of natural accents and patterns splashed into your kitchen. Accentuate your pale colour palette with rattan baskets and solid teakwood dining chairs. Roll out a decorative hallway runner in between the spaces of your countertop and kitchen centrepiece for a strong floor anchor. If you want enough space for a one-walled kitchen, add a bistro table instead of a bulky island.
Go for Gold
Add sophistication to your white kitchen with gold accents—from decorations, furniture legs, cabinet knobs, and lighting. Nothing extravagant; a subtle change to your accessories will change the whole mood of your kitchen design.
21. Your Floor Can Look Good Too
You think you do not have enough space to decorate your kitchen? Then look at your floor. You can keep everything in your kitchen simple and basic, then spend your effort on the details of your kitchen floor. Here are some chic floor statements to adopt for your own HDB kitchen.
Decorative Straight Lay Tiles
Applying the basics of colour schemes, this most basic type of tile can lift the mood of a conventional kitchen design. Select the colour and pattern that best suits your kitchen's overall look, making sure that it will not overpower your whole design. If you have a Scandinavian black, white, and grey colour combination, adding some imperial straight lay tiles makes a noticeable difference.
Make It More Spacious with Herringbone Tiles
Straight-lay tiles' grout patterns usually make a small HDB kitchen look more limited, so here come the narrower herringbone patterns. Although we see herringbone patterns mostly on the kitchen backsplash, they can also add charm to the floor space. A simple dark-colored herringbone floor can add depth to an all-neutral kitchen design.
Mix different-patterned tiles and create a striking mosaic on your floor. Create a cohesive colour and pattern combination by combining pure grey tiles with grey, white, and brown diamond and promenade patterns.
22. Incorporate Different Styles
Look at the available resources that you have, extract those creative juices, and let's get started.
Consider a Retro-style Fridge for a Modern Kitchen
Remember the good old days, the nostalgic music, and the unique, cosy home ambiance you treasure? You can infuse that same style while embracing the beauty of modernity. The '50s were the time of chrome and bright kitchen appliances. A twist of quaint appliances in a kitchen with streamlined cabinetry and a relatively modern setup can evoke the same inviting feel. A pastel retro-style refrigerator can serve as an aesthetic feature in a neutral-based kitchen. You may add some decorative elements, like retro wall art or patterned curtains that you have kept for years, for additional retro touches. Remember to balance the look by following the 80/20 rule (80% for the main theme and 20% for the accent theme).
Black and white is a prevalent combination that perfectly describes how efficiently two opposite elements blend in interior design. Other than this exquisite combination, there are more contrasting elements that we can mix and match to create a distinctive look.
Incorporate smooth-surfaced cabinetry or tables into a textured backdrop for an exciting kitchen. Lay out a patterned rug to create minimalist floor space, or keep the floor simple for an ornament-filled kitchen. Add some smooth chrome lights and warm fixtures for additional drama.
The Balance in Asymmetry
Your kitchen elements do not have to be matching or symmetrical to achieve cohesiveness. An exciting way to achieve balance is to embrace asymmetry with a mixture of big and small items. Boast your upper space with light open shelving while you let the main cabinetry do the heavy storage work. Style your lighting with uneven circular pendants. Create a mini tea space with a slim coffee table anchoring a pair of spacious chairs. You can get rid of the upper shelves on one side of your countertop for a more varied look and fill the wall space with framed wall art while keeping one side as functional storage.
23. Create a Remarkable Focal Point
When you shop for furniture, accessories, and appliances for your kitchen, it is pretty tempting to choose the fanciest or most eye-catching ones. What happens later is that instead of establishing a pleasing design, you end up creating a visually confusing combination. And you may not know that you are spending a lot on fancy pieces that do not go well together.
To address this, decide on one or two kitchen features to highlight and invest in their beauty and quality. From there, everything else in your space is meant to complement those focal points.
Establish strong kitchen features with these ideas.
A backsplash serves multiple purposes in your kitchen. It also plays an important role in your environment. This makes this portion an efficient focal point for your kitchen. Choose colours, patterns, and textures that will anchor your kitchen together. Keep your cabinetry and countertops minimal to highlight your backsplash' unique style. If you want to keep an elegant yet minimalist backsplash, opt for a neutrally coloured textured tile like the basket weave texture.
Another amazing focal point is your kitchen island. Not only because it is located in the centre of your kitchen, but also because it comes with a wide range of possibilities in terms of design.
Do not limit yourself to the bulky built-ins. You can choose more daring kitchen islands with various shapes and countertop finishes. If you want to save space for your limited kitchen, a gorgeous sintered stone dining table can turn into a show-stopping island. You can also go for a playful circular piece for an illusion of space.
Fun Accent Furniture and Accessories
A simple way to spice up your regular kitchen is to use accent furniture pieces like coastal-style cabinetry or random, yet balanced, brightly coloured stackable chairs as your focal point. A glamorous compact dining set can also be used to create a mini eat-in kitchen. A grand velvet chair is a perfect touchpoint and the main character of an open-concept kitchen.
24. Small Kitchen, Big on Style
We all deal with renovation and space constraints in our HDBs, but some of us deal with smaller ones. This means that there will be limitations in the work area and storage space. But this does not mean that you cannot create an efficient and comfortable space to cook and eat in. With a few alterations and DIY hacks, you can achieve an exquisite kitchen despite your limited space.
We hope that these small kitchen ideas will help maximise your kitchen area.
Breakfast at the Window
Create a small breakfast nook next to a window in your galley kitchen. Choose a slim corner table and a small dining bench you can tuck away when not in use. Choose handleless, neutral cabinetry to reduce obstructions and make your kitchen appear less crowded. Allow natural light to reflect off your walls by using minimal window treatments. Instead of installing a bulky air source, use a minimalist dual-purpose ceiling fan with light to keep the air flowing in your kitchen.
A Tiny Galley Trick
A trusted way to make a small space appear larger is to use straight lines and reflective surfaces. For a multipurpose galley, turn one side of your configuration into a dining space by getting rid of your lower cabinets and adding some armless chairs. Instead of going for the conventional light fixtures, try a narrow, warm panel light in the middle of your kitchen's ceiling. Keep everything else minimal and uncluttered.
Optimise Space with Top Choice Shelves
Minimise the closed look of your kitchen by installing open shelves over the bulky built-in upper cabinets. If you want to pursue wall-mounted shelves, go for variations with transparent doors. To keep the clutter out of sight, try translucent door cabinets.
Another uncommon and interesting idea for organising small kitchen spaces is converting your backsplash into a striking utensil rack. Create a do-it-yourself utensil rack backsplash with a stainless steel, small-holed panel. Paint the board with gloss paint and add some hooks where you will hang your lightweight utensils. Bright colours are champions in creating a simple yet cheerful space.
25. Lighting Makes the Difference
Like paints and decorations, your choice of light sources can dramatically alter the look of your kitchen. Natural light effectively boosts the natural colour of your walls. White lights illuminate a neutral palette, making your space look more spacious, while warm lights evoke a cosy and welcoming atmosphere.
From simple fixtures, pendant lighting, and LEDs to more detailed geometric lights and mini chandeliers, there are endless options to brighten up your kitchen.
Be familiar with the three major types of lighting to find the pieces that you want to incorporate into your kitchen:
Also referred to as "general lighting," ambient lighting acts as your interior's primary source of light.
This primary light source is mainly located at the centre or in staggered places in your ceiling to make your whole space as visible as possible. However, not all areas, specifically your kitchen, where you install upper cabinets, receive ample lighting. To add direct luminance to specific areas like your cabinets, what you need is task lighting.
Task lighting refers to lights that are placed in areas of your kitchen where ambient light cannot reach. Under-cabinet lights are an example of a task light.
Enhance your favourite kitchen areas and elements with accent lighting. These are the pendants or decorative wall fixtures that add to the charm of your space.
Here are some lighting options that will take your kitchen design to the next level:
Linear Suspension Lighting
We love pendant lights. It is pretty obvious since we mentioned them a couple of times in this article. These accent lights are great when paired together or arranged in a set. A set of three or four suspension pendants creates a fancy kitchen when placed 40 inches on top of your dining table or island. A single linear suspension chrome light provides a modern feel to your design.
Task Lights Under Your Cabinet
Putting staggered puck lights under your upper cabinet will not help you brighten up your kitchen work surface. It will also highlight the beauty of your backsplash and countertop. Measure the length of your cabinets before deciding the number and configuration of your lights.
Create a remarkable mood in your kitchen with a long LED strip light installed under your upper shelves. You may choose from different colours depending on the design and mood that you want to evoke. If you have layered open shelves, you might want to consider installing LED fixtures under each shelf. You can also beautify your floor space with LED lights under the recessed areas of your lower cabinets.
Grand Ambient Lighting
If you managed to make all of your kitchen elements minimal, a decorative ambient light might add life to your minimalist space. A chandelier might be a little too decorative and expensive for your kitchen, so opt for the simpler orb lights or more detailed rustic lamps. Whatever primary light you want to install in your kitchen, ensure that it will provide as much light as you want your kitchen to have.
Start Your HDB Kitchen Upgrade
Now that you have those creative juices flowing, it is time to level up your kitchen experience. Whether you are working on a 3-room, 4-room, or 5-room HDB flat, you can get out of the cookie-cutter kitchen and create a space that you can proudly call your own.
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