Bomb shelters were made mandatory as a compulsory feature of HDB flats in 1997 when the Civil Defence Shelter Act was enacted. The bomb shelter is a steel-enforced enclosure installed as a permanent fixture inside the flats with a steel-enforced door.
These features may be an eyesore with more than 80 percent of Singapore’s population living in HDB flats. Not surprisingly, Singaporeans have turned the bomb shelter into a space for various uses.
Before we suggest what are some of the design ideas for decorating your HDB bomb shelter, we would like to debunk the idea that HDB bomb shelters would be the only column left standing when a bomb strike attacks an HDB block.
Main Purpose of a Bomb Shelter
If you have seen films on World War two, you might notice that bomb attacks do not annihilate an entire building leaving only a row of standing column. The extent of a bomb attack depends on its area and the size of the impact. The purpose of the bomb shelter is to shield its occupants from blast fragments during a bombing.
That is due to the fact that a huge proportion of casualties occur from flying debris and glass splinters in bomb explosion incidents.
Despite the life-saving intent behind having a compulsory bomb shelter, these features remain an eyesore and “wasted space” for home owners looking to maximise the space in their homes.
Common Uses for a Bomb Shelter
The most common idea for the use of a bomb shelter is to use it as a store room for the items you want to keep away from view.
Many owners opt to build a shelter storage rack in their bomb shelters and this isn’t a bad idea at all. However, there are other ways to make use of your bomb shelter and to decorate it so that it does not stay as an out of character feature in your home design theme.
Hide Your Bomb Shelter
One of the ways is to hide your bomb shelter out of sight. How to do that? The answer is simple – build a feature wall to hide your bomb shelter from view.
You can also add mirrors to your feature wall covering your bomb shelter, to create an illusion of a bigger space.
If you find that you do not have an extra space for a feature wall, you can consider decorating your walls, together with your bomb shelter with decorative paints. This helps prevent your bomb shelter from hindering the aesthetics of your home and blend it into a gorgeous feature instead.
You can also go for a minimalist Scandinavian look by using a white brick wall coating to conceal the utilitarian bomb shelter door.
Other Storage ideas
Besides storing items you don’t usually need in the bomb shelter, you can also store other useful things. Such as using the bomb shelter to store your collection of designer shoes.
Besides using the space inside the shelter for storing your shoes, you can also utilise the space created by a feature wall to both hide your bomb shelter and to neatly organise your shoe cabinet as well.
Besides shoes, you can also turn your bomb shelter into a walk-in closet.
Or, if you are an avid reader, turn your bomb shelter space into a library for your treasure cove of books. If there is enough space, you might even consider placing a small armchair inside where you can hide away and read without distractions.
Another ingenious way to decorate and make the blend design of the bomb shelter door useful is to turn it into a blackboard. Doing this helps bring the café vibe to your flat. You can use the board to note your to-do list for the day, or as space to write down your favourite recipes to sharing with family members the food menu for the day. Or if you have children at home, this is a great idea where kids can doodle on the board.
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