House Tour: Siew Wee's Picture–Perfect Nostalgic HDB Flat

This home is brimming with beautiful items that spark so many memories.

Updated on May 21, 2019 0:05 am

Jemma Chiu

House Tour: Siew Wee's Picture-Perfect Nostalgic HDB Flat

What does it take to be recognised as an inspirational home and be included in Makeful's top 10 homes*? For Lim Siew Wee, it's about filling one's abode with things that bring a beautiful memory or two, and smiling at the thought of such memory.

In his 64-square-metre HDB flat, Siew Wee displays sentimental items that his father, a retired fruit seller and an artist at heart, kept and collected. These include a weighing machine that his father used to weigh durians, a traditional sewing machine (now serving as base for a facial basin) from his paternal grandmother, two laundry basins kept in their backyard for years, and an antique foldable study desk from their neighbour.

Also making this home a standout is a set of wooden window panels Siew Wee found discarded by a neighbour. Truly a beautiful conversation starter, they were the original panels used in Singapore's first public housing—the post war houses situated along Tiong Bahru. You will find them now serving a new purpose in Siew Wee's home: as a divider between his dining room and master bedroom.

When he moved to this 3-room flat in July 2017, this 38-year-old homeowner's main goal was to introduce elements reminiscent of his childhood home and neighbourhood in Tiong Bahru to his new home. He worked with Raymond Seow from Free Space Intent, who turned Siew Wee's vision into reality.

"I was referred by a friend, film director Royston Tan, who just had his home designed by Raymond. I’m extremely pleased with their design work and the way they managed the entire renovation process. I provided the brief and ideas to the designer, and he put them together into a feasible design," Siew Wee shared.

His nostalgic vintage-style home is also peppered with decors from his film and vinyl records collection. For one, his interior designer suggested he display the posters of his Wong Kar-Wai limited edition film soundtracks in his home so that his home perfectly captures his personality.

Prepare to be transported back to the past as you take a look at this beautiful HDB home:

Living Room

According to Siew Wee, the spacious living room is his favourite area of his home because "every time I come home, I feel at peace and at ease, and it is fast becoming a cosy spot for me to host gatherings and chit chat sessions with loved ones." It comes as no surprise, considering the living room is connected to the dining area.

Dining Room

Guests in this home are sure to linger a little longer at the dining room. Its vintage vibe is inviting, pulsating, refreshing. The long island may be the star of this space, but the vintage decors and shelf residents are not to be missed.


Siew Wee's kitchen echoes the vintage design from his Tiong Bahru home. Not convinced? Check out the
kitchen floor tiles and wall tiles!


Siew Wee's bedroom is already a stylish nook. But it was made more memorable by the addition of the window panels from a Tiong Bahru post-war flat, which opens up to the dining area.


Even his bathroom is designed to mimic the colour scheme of his Tiong Bahru childhood flat! "A space becomes beautiful when it starts to accumulate beautiful and loving memories in people's mind," believes Siew Wee.

Renovation Details

Type of property: 3-room HDB Flat
Total space: 64 sqm
Interior designer: Free Space Intent
Budget: S$60,000
Time to complete works: 10 weeks

Tips to fellow homeowners

  • Do your own house chores so that you can fall in love with every inch and every corner of your own home.
  • Design a home that allows good memories to be continued and new memories to be created.
  • Love what you create, create what you love.

*Makeful, a lifestyle channel from Blue Ant Media on Starhub TV, was launched last year. Following this debut, Makeful launched their inaugural Inspirational Home Awards to find the most inspiring homes in Singapore, and Siew Wee's home is one of the Top 10 Homes.

Photos courtesy of Free Space Intent

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