A 500-Square-Foot Singapore Studio Is Small But Smart

published Aug 3, 2022
Homes Around the World

A 500-Square-Foot Singapore Studio Is Small But Smart

published Aug 3, 2022
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Square feet
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Name: Redzuan Idris
Location: Punggol East, Singapore
Size: 500 square feet
Type of Home: Two-Room Flexi Flat, equivalent to a studio
Time lived in: Three months, owned

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Redzuan, who has been a freelancer for almost 15 years and works part time at a home and lifestyle store, AkimeUchi, applied for public housing at the end of 2016. “In Singapore, you are encouraged to purchase a flat from the government and in return you will get a subsidy in the form of a grant to offset the cost of the flat. And so I chose that path,” Redzuan explains. The waiting time was five years long, and the flat wasn’t ready until March 2022, but it was a blank canvas for Redzuan to create a home.

“I didn’t want a cookie-cutter flat and so I decided to style it myself without any interior design/renovation service, Redzuan explains. “I didn’t want a specific theme but I made sure that all the styles complement each other. And that the flat looks somewhat quirky but subtle — if there’s such a thing!”

Credit: Redzuan Idris

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Mix of styles

Inspiration: Pinterest,  Apartment Therapy (but of course!), and many home lifestyle magazines.

Favorite Element: The freestanding kitchen — made of Cherrywood flown all the way from America.

Credit: Redzuan Idris

Biggest Challenge: I spent more on my furniture/appliances. I did a three-year plan to dress up the 500-square-foot apartment by purchasing furniture locally and overseas. So thinking about all the furniture to complement each other took me awhile. I’m satisfied that it paid off finally!

Proudest DIY: It has got to be fixing the drain hose for my claw foot bathtub I purchased in Carousell for only $300! What a steal and I did myself proud.

Credit: Redzuan Idris

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? I made my flat open concept and there isn’t any bedroom, only a wardrobe with a bed on top to make it obvious that this side of the room is for sleep/wardrobe area. I intend to make a partition but for now I’m happy with this layout.

Please describe any helpful, inspiring, brilliant, or just plain useful small space maximizing and/or organizing tips you have: Organize, organize, and organize! With detailed planning you will never go wrong. You would think it would be easy to get away without in a small apartment, but if you love junk like me, trust me it will not work with a limited space. Some things will have to go eventually. To Marie Kondo or not to, that is the question…

What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? A wall-mounted washing machine I purchased from an online app. It’s from China and I had no clue what the instructions said! But thanks to Google Translate it works just fine. Also my gorgeous bathtub. And my freestanding kitchen from Loft Home. I don’t cook and so this counter is perfect for preparing light dishes and sandwiches.

Credit: Redzuan Idris

Does your home reflect your home country/city in any way? It does with other countries that I’ve travelled to. I was also once upon a time a student in NYC and worked at a boutique in East Village. I liked how everyone was a very unique individual and that could have rubbed off some on me. You just have to be original to stand out.

What are your favorite places to shop for home décor that can only be found in your country? Hipvan, Journey East, Loft Home, Hooga, Akimeuchi, and IUIGA. And maybe IKEA for basic essentials.

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? Just be yourself. Make it your own and stop trying to impress others.


Credit: Redzuan Idris


  • Samsung The Frame 43 TV  — Samsung
  • Army Green Styvest Occasional Armchair — United Strangers
  • Laura sofa bed — Hipvan
  • Glycine Console Table — Drugeot  Manufacture
  • White Accordion Bench  — IUIGA
  • Black Cosette  Chair — FortyTwo
  • Army green knit stool — HOOGA
  • Accessories, cushions, blanket throws – HOOGA, Zalora, and IKEA
  • Paint — Berger Royal Emulsion paint
Credit: Redzuan Idris


  • Briggs electric height adjustable table — FortyTwo
  • Navy dining office  chair — IKEA
  • Natural oak storage cubes – Urban Mood
Credit: Redzuan Idris


  • Freestanding Cherry Richard Kitchen — Loft Home
  • Alape Black White Retro Bucket Sink  — Alape Germany (Also available from Rejuvenation)
  • Beige Retro Fridge — Tecno
  • Wall Mount 3kg Washing Machine — Xiaomi
Credit: Redzuan Idris


  • Beige White Bed Wardrobe — Miyamiko Bed
Credit: Redzuan Idris


  • Clawfoot Bathtub — Carousell
  • Black Round Mirror — HOOGA
  • Baby Blue Wooden Ladder — Journey East
  • White Pegboard and Accessories — IKEA

Thanks Redzuan!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity. Share Your Style: House Tour & House Call Submission Form