Long before I got my HDB flat, I dreamt of a high-ceilinged romantic space, a green wall with floral blooms, a king-sized 4-poster bed with princess headboard, an expansive walk-in wardrobe, a large sofa, and a huge living room and a large kitchen with a bar counter.
I think I was living under a rock, because much of what we see on Pinterest might not be applicable to your standard 4-room HDB flat. Some features are achievable, but not entirely practical. For example, my neighbour bought a large bed with a Victorian-style headboard. Unfortunately, the bed, which couldn’t be dismantled, didn’t fit into the lift and had to be carried up 19 storeys.
However, there are still ways to add a touch of everyday romance to your home, no matter what the size. Here are some practical ideas to consider:
1. Bay Window
There are some pros and cons to having a bay window, but to me, this is a worthy investment. Some see this as “wasted” floor space in the home, while others fear that this ledge might be a climbing hazard as it’s near the window.
I see only opportunities — turn the bay window into a storage space for extra cushions, snacks, toys, board games, etc. When guests come over, it serves as extra seating space, especially if your living room is on the longer side. Install sturdy window grills if you have children.
During the day, it’s a great reading nook as you’ll have access to natural light. As night falls, a wider bay window can serve as your cuddling corner, or a romantic place for a candlelit champagne toast while looking out at your neighbourhood from above.
2. Mood Lighting
Bright, white lights are practical choices for daytime busy work such as chores, cooking or finishing up some work on your laptop. However, they aren’t so sensual when all you want to do is to snuggle up on the sofa and watch a romantic movie together, or get up to some pillow talk in the bedroom.
Some ways to create mood lighting in the home are through dimmer switches, or buy lights that can be toggled between white and warm. Have additional light fixtures, such as lamps, to create a soft glow in the room.
You can also buy LED light strips and create underglow effects below your bed or headboard. Or run fairy lights for that boho-chic look, coupled with neon lighting.
3. Add A Cosy Corner To Your Room
Not every inch of your home must be filled with stuff or furniture. Keep some areas emptier than others, as the pockets of space can induce a calming effect.
You can even consider placing a beanbag or carpet in a corner, with all your favourite things within reach — a book, an instrument, video game consoles, a snack stash… anything that keeps the both of you relaxed, happy and comfortable.
4. Drapes And Curtains
Soft, flowy touches such as drapes and curtains and help to soften the edges of a room and keep things intimate.
Curtains help to create a romantic window treatment. Perhaps it’s the sheer look of the material, or the way the thin cloth diffuses the harsh sunlight into a soft glow. Or maybe it’s the way the material seems to flow from the top of the window to a delicate “puddle” on the floor.
You might even want to get a canopy or four-poster bed, from which you can hang soft drapes to create a luxurious yet intimate touch to your bedroom.
However, when choosing the colour of your drapes and curtains, avoid geometric patterns with hard lines. Go for plain colours or gentle floral patterns, in subtle, pastel tones.
5. Install A Bathtub
Installing a bathtub in a HDB flat isn’t that hard to do, as some Singapore-based vendors offer customised bathtubs to suit local spaces.
Do take note of certain regulations though. You can only install pre-made bathtubs and cannot make one from scratch. Plus, the bathtub has to weigh less than 400kg.
Not only is this ideal for a relaxing soak after a tiring day, but it also adds a touch of class and romance to your bathroom.
6. Pink Tones
It sounds cliche, but pink tones do bring out the romance in any style — even for those who opt for the industrial look, adding pink accents through furniture or even opting for rose gold pipes, can really up the romantic factor.
Pink doesn’t have to be “girly” either. Opt for a dusty rose colour to complement soft grey tones in the home, or have a feature wall in vivid fuschia. Add a diffused warm glow to your bedroom with baby pink curtains, or place a vase of roses on your dining table.
7. Statement Pieces
Even if you’re already done with renovation, there are other ways to add romantic touches to your home.
Switch up the plain mirrors with ornate ones. These can really lend a Victorian feel to your home. You can also do the same for furniture, such as dressers, headboard or coffee table; as well as smaller details like vases, lamp shades and cutlery.
If you’re still waiting for the keys to your home, consider designing a statement ceiling, or built-in cupboards with delicate carvings. Get your interior designer to source for intricate curtain bar designs, or hang an eye-catching chandelier in your living room.
This article was written by Mary Wu, who hopes to share what she’s learnt from her home-buying and renovation journey with PropertyGuru readers. When she’s not writing, she’s usually baking up a storm or checking out a new cafe in town.