Small Renovations with Big Results

You stroll in IKEA and marvel at the showrooms laid out before you. You catch pictures of the interior design in MUJI hotels online and swoon. Then you look at your drabby, I-tried-my-best two-bedroom HDB and heave a sigh of defeat.

How do you even start snazzing up your space?

We will help you!

You may only need a new coat of paint or a minimal renovation to your place – the good thing is, you have a smaller space, and hence, little changes will bear noticeable results. If you are living in a one to three-bedroom flat and are a little embarrassed about having people over, read this article till the end!

Pick a revamp spot

Don’t do a major upheaval to your place. Pick a spot or a room that you want to focus on first. Consider what is lacking in your unit and what desperately needs attention. For example, if your tap is leaking and the toilet ventilation is crumbling, you might want to focus on renovating the bathroom first. Remember, picking a spot is not starting working on it immediately. It is just a course to reduce the mental load and unrealistic expectations.

Choose a theme that suits your personality

It is easy to be influenced by the most fashionable thing in the market – yes, interior design has got trends too. However, whatever you like may not be what you want in your home. So, consider who you are, and bring that vibe into your home. When a theme is executed brilliantly, it will make you feel good when you are home and increase the value of your property in the market too!

So, what are the common themes we see in interior design?

  1. Modern: use simple, natural, and minimal colours paired with clean lines
  2. Contemporary: minimalistic with the use of trendy furniture accents
  3. Rustic: vintage with furniture made from distressed wood and metal, making it feel rugged and raw
  4. Traditional: influenced by classic and historical designs like deep wood tones and elegant furnishings
  5. Bohemian: Relaxed and gypsy-like, it takes an artistic dive with the use of wood and fabric
  6. Coastal: think neutral cool hues that remind you of your most recent beach holiday
  7. Eclectic: Daring, colourful, and mismatched with seamless style

We are going to look at a renovation that turns a not-very-appealing traditional interior into a contemporary, liveable space.

Clashy to Contemporary

Image Credit: Homes to Love

In the living and dining area, things look mismatched. The furnishings take us back to the 80s.

Image Credit: Homes to Love

Because they are going for a contemporary theme, the background plays a vital role. As you can see, the paint remains the same but a textured wallpaper is introduced. The owners opted for wood-print laminated flooring. The living and dining area is switched and more lights are introduced to brighten the place.

After sealing the background palette, the owners added three minor colours; turquoise, yellow, and orange. No major renovation, just a new floor layer, wallpaper, and furniture.

Now, that doesn’t sound too tough, does it?

Image Credit: Homes to Love

The kitchen looks happily used, filled with memories from the yesteryears, but we all know this looks really dated, its charm fusing out. But no major renovations are needed!

Look below!

Image Credit: Homes to Love

Doesn’t the space look neat and tidy? Note that the cabinets and sink are still the same. The flooring has been done, similar to the living and dining area. They upgraded the stove to a convection stove, oven, and grill – all in one, saving space.

The cabinets are given a new coat of powder blue paint with its hardware replaced. A modern addition to the kitchen is also the pleated blind that blends in perfectly to the theme as compared to the contrasting red dollhouse curtains before.

Image Credit: Homes to Love

The bathroom has certainly seen better days, and we think it needs an uplift. How do you make it work without involving the piping?

Image Credit: Homes to Love

Make space seem larger than it used to be by using uniformed colours. White is a good place to start. Here, the tiles on the wall are whitewashed to create a homogenous backdrop.

Then the cabinets are added so all items can be organised accordingly. See that water tank in the ‘before’ image. Disguising it behind a cabinet creates the illusion of space as the feeling of ‘bulkiness’ is omitted. Brighter lights are also installed and further reflected by the larger mirror cabinet.


Now, who created the idea that all renovations mean hacking down walls? Space can be created by using what you have and adding elements that will improve the aesthetic of your home. Painting work may set you back around SGD700, depending on the areas that need to be painted. Floor lamination is charged according to per square feet and can cost from SGD5 to SGD9. Labour cost is usually billed separately.

If you are looking for painters and flooring professionals, we’ve got them here.

Looking for interior designers with years of experience to complete your home renovation? Sourcing for affordable renovation packages or renovation contractors to complete your dream home? Looking to do a kitchen remodel or bathroom remodel? Get a quotation here!

Looking for inspirations for a particular interior style? Browse through our inspirations here!

Have you shortlisted a few interior designer firms but not sure if they are reliable? Curious to know about their renovation works? Get reviews here!