Our Favourite Kitchens
We shortlisted some of our favourite kitchens over the years.
When we were growing up, household kitchens were mostly closed kitchens with either a door or a divider separating them from the rest of the house. Now, new potential house owners can even look forward to the Housing Development Board (HDB) including designs for open kitchens as part of plans for future Built-To-Order flats (BTO).
The popularity of open kitchens have paved the way for us to have so many opportunities for new layouts and ideas, truly—but closed kitchens can be equally as exceptional with the right choices.
However, as much as kitchen crushes come and go, we still go back to the two pillars of living in a space: sustainability and timelessness. Let’s take a tour of our ultimate 5 favourite kitchens that look beautiful and most importantly, make sense.
1) Horne Road
At Horne Road, this kitchen was already brightly lit with natural light entering from 2 sides of the space. Although this is a closed kitchen, we saw the potential to make it as full of light as possible and replaced walls with glass, with black panels to anchor and visually frame the space.
Keeping the basic canvas of this kitchen monochrome might have been simple for some, but notice small nuances like the grey cement slab tiles that added a warm and soft tone when paired with the warm lighting.
Our favourite corner is also the chalkboard wall where possibilities are abound. No need for fridge magnets and messing the fridge up with notes… the owners could simply use chalk to write their daily grocery reminders, or even just decorate the kitchen wall.
2) Holland Avenue
This flat at Holland Avenue had been lived in by a couple for several years, and while they wanted a refreshment of their environment, they also wanted to preserve important elements of this space. Having said that, we were driven by needs and personal habits first. The couple particularly spent a lot of time in the kitchen whipping up healthy nosh, and this meant being efficient, fuss-free and nothing too fancy.
Honestly we always surprise ourselves how an efficient space needn’t be compromised.
No excess, no fancy kitchenware or décor needed.
At one glance, the kitchen looks complete. Scrutinize and you can see the little things: the kitchen is adequately and packed with its essentials.
For some of us, a kitchen should feel a little gritty, a little bit knocked up, a little bit tough. A kitchen is where hard (but yummy) work happens, and it doesn’t need to be too tidy. Does an efficient kitchen inspire its chef to spend more time clanging and banging? We sure hope so.
3) Ang Mo Kio
This 4-room resale flat in Ang Mo Kio had a major facelift, knocking almost all walls to create a seamless transition from the outside to the communal areas of the house. What we loved about making way for all this space: creating a seemingly endless kitchen. More than ample storage space was constructed with cabinets lining one side of the wall, and the heart of it all—an island countertop, fixed with a cooking hob and integrated sink.
Having an open concept flat layout, especially when space allows, an open kitchen with an island countertop does draw one’s eyes across the entire area and provide an illusion of spaciousness.
4) Poh Heng Court
Older flats and apartments inarguably have a larger assortment of layouts and floor plans—very unlike the places these days, that look pretty standardised (in the name of efficiency) which we love all the same. However the individuality of these commonly resale projects allow us to practise greater flexibility and work around unique corners.
For example, refurbishing this entire apartment in Poh Heng Court gave us and the owners a chance to experience both a conventional ‘closed’ kitchen as well as everything lovely about an open-concept one.
Instead of seeing a wall to the side when first entering the apartment, in its place we created a warm, wood frame and bar counter that can fit a cosy party of 3 or 4.
Clearing that wall also allowed light from the kitchen windows in to its full potential and brighten up the entrance walkway.
Keeping the rest of the kitchen intact preserved a degree of privacy and delineation from the rest of the apartment. All while having the chance to peek into the chef’s abode.
5) Cassia Crescent
Another example of unusual layouts, this apartment in Cassia Crescent had a triangular angle, but we played it to our advantage. Having an open space plan meant more light coming into the space, but we also took care in segregating different living areas for their different functions.
The wall of the kitchen was kept clean and sleek with dark paint, but the opposing concrete slab wall was painted to mirror the exposed brick wall over at the side of the living room. Playing with textures in a space makes all the difference.
Back to the kitchen, it was created with potential for so many activities. Storage, check. Surface area to work on, check. Able to watch TV while in the kitchen: check. All with abundant sunlight coming in from all corners of the house.
6) The Interlace
For every project, it is always important to us that we find out what the clients’ needs and wants, so we know what to focus on. In the case for our Interlace project, the clients loved hosting and cooking for guests, the kitchen and living room were the focal points of the design process.
The kitchen could easily have been cracked open to flow into the adjoining space but we chose to contain the cooking area to allow for worry-free cooking. That decision gave birth to the black mild steel framed glass divider and the texture-laden mosaic tile wall it sits on. Within the kitchen, the cool stainless steel worktops were balanced out with warm wood cabinet fronts. A groovy geometric patterned floor adds movement to the otherwise calm space.