HDB interior design is a common topic discussed among new home owners in Singapore. With over 1 million units in Singapore, HDB flats are considered the most common form of housing in this country.

Although HDB flats may be less luxurious than a condo which comes with additional facilities like 24 hours gym, sauna, security post, and other perks, it is still possible for you to enjoy a luxurious home with the right design.

Instead of admiring your friends or relatives who live in lavish-looking homes, why not make it a reality for your dream home as well? You deserve to stay in a luxurious home too.

At Honeycomb, our goal is to provide bespoke interiors that meet your needs and lifestyle. Whether you are renovating a 2 room, 3 room, 4 room, or 5 room HDB flat, we have got you covered.

We provide many options for HDB/BTO flat homeowners as we would like to serve people of all housing types.

Like any other property owners who have a desire to engage an interior design company to give their property a facelift, it is important for homeowners to keep an eye on their renovation budget. 

Access your requirements

Do I need a new kitchen? Do I prefer an open concept kitchen? How about kitchen cabinets to store my utensils, cooking condiments, appliances, plates and bowls etc.? Should I reuse my existing furniture or source for new ones?

Should I use neutral colours or warm colours? Colour is an important component to consider when you are gathering ideas for your hdb design.

How about my master bedroom? Should I go for a platform bed, coffee table, full-height wardrobe, or sleek furniture? How about the dining area? Do I need a custom-made dining table or can I get stylish ones from Ikea?

Lighting is another important component to consider for HDB flats. Do you prefer natural light? How about installing new fixtures for your common bathroom? Do I need structural changes like wall hacking to expand the space?

To speed up the renovation process of your HDB unit, you can spend some time to research on the design styles that you want to incorporate for your home. Popular renovation platforms like Qanvast, Renopedia, and HomeTrust, and Pinterest are places that you can visit to get some design inspiration.

Scandinavian interior design is a popular style used by many Singapore homeowners besides minimalist and Japanese if you don't have an idea of what to go for.

Plan your finances

It is important to plan your finances properly before embarking on a renovation project as most renovation works will be completed within 12 weeks and 95% of the project sum has to be paid by you.

Review your finances and consider your options before engaging an interior designer to begin the renovation process.

Families typically spend about $20,000 or more on their HDB flats renovation. The amount can vary according to the scope of work. Consider getting home insurance that covers your furnishings and renovation works on top of the mandatory fire insurance for your HDB or BTO flat.

How much does it cost?

The current pandemic situation has led to an interest in raw material and labour costs.

Therefore, homeowners are expected to spend a little more on their renovation projects.

The estimated cost of renovating the entire flat:

5 Room HDB flats - $60k - $80k

4 Room HDB flats - $50k - $60k

3 Room HDB flats - $40k - $50k

Professional design consultancy, carpentry, painting, electrical work, plumbing, plastering and flooring are some services included in the costing. Value added services like tiles and flooring removal will be included for resale flats.

Taking a Renovation Loan

The interest rate for renovation loans are generally lower than personal loans since your home is an asset and renovating it will enhance its value.

As the cost of renovation varies for each room, it is important for you to decide on which rooms you would like to renovate based on your budget.

For example, your living room will tend to cost more than your normal bedroom since it has a bigger space.

Bigger rooms will typically cost more since there are more materials and work involved. Renovating more rooms will result in a higher cost.

By figuring out which areas you want to renovate, you will be able to allocate the necessary funds for it. Be sure to set aside 40-50% of your budget for carpentry works such as kitchen cabinets, storage units, wardrobes etc.

Interior Designer or Contractor?

If personalised designs and services are important to you, an interior design firm would be a better option. A contractor would be a better option if you have limited budget and are not concerned about design.

HDB Permits

As the Housing Development Board of Singapore oversees most HDB works in Singapore, there are rules such as applying for a permit and getting approval from HDB before renovation works can be conducted that must be adhered to.

Renovation works like hacking of walls and raising of floor levels excessively can weaken the structure of the flat and put the safety of other residents at risk if they are not performed appropriately.

Therefore, a permit has to be applied and approved by HDB before such works can be carried out.

Most interior design firms would be glad to help you with the application. Therefore, you can check with your chosen ID whether they provide this service.

Learn more about the renovation guidelines here.

HDB Registered Firms

Since HDB renovation permits have to be applied before renovation works can be performed, it is important for you to pick a firm that is HDB registered.

However, if you love the design of a company that is not HDB registered, you can always check with the firm whether they use HDB approved contractors to perform your works.

Owners of BTO flats can be more creative with their interior design since the apartment is unfurnished. It gives them more room to imagine the home that they want to create.

On the other hand, more design planning and conceptualisation are needed for resale flats since they are designed for new owners besides you.

Therefore, it is important for you to choose an experienced designer for your Singapore resale HDB interior design.

It generally costs 30-40% more to renovate a resale flat due to its higher market value compared to new flats. Prices may vary according to location.


Request for a work schedule from your ID to monitor the progress of works so that you can prepare for contingencies in the event of delays.

Delays can result in the costs for alternative housing to pile up while you are waiting for works to be done before moving in to your new home. This is an important factor to consider while you are deciding on which professional to use.

Finalise your design

Once the design is finalised, you will proceed to select the materials, furniture, and fittings to make your design a reality.

As you have done your homework, you will be in a better position to negotiate for a fair pricing for your renovation project.

Opt for quality over cost since you will be staying in your home for a number of years and it's better to invest in materials that last.

Custom-made furniture will cost more. Hence, if budget is a constraint, you may want to buy ready-made ones from Tao Bao. Our team of interior designers is well-versed in using Tao Bao to buy furniture that meets your requirements.

Get your home furnished

After the preparatory steps have been completed, it is time to get your home furnished.

Request for timely updates from your interior designers and contractor on the renovation progress.

Execution is where magic or disaster happens.

If you apply what you have learnt from this article, you will enjoy the renovation journey.

The secret lies in hiring an experienced designer who can oversee the entire project from start to completion so that you can have a peace of mind.

Bonus Tips To Enjoy Renovation Success


  1. Engage a designer who can make your plans a reality
  2. Do your own room and furniture measurement
  3. Have a flexible timeline
  4. Put aside an additional 20% of your planned budget for any changes


  1. Don't compromise quality over price
  2. Don't invest in bulky furniture for a compact living space
  3. Avoid doing installation or construction activities on your own. Hire a professional to do it
  4. Don't buy expensive decor items without getting the quality basics

We hope this guide has been useful in helping you to plan for your HDB renovation. Ready to start your renovation project? Talk to us today.

Our HDB and BTO Projects

Khatib Gardens
Yishun Riverwalk
Punggol Waterfront
Punggol Waterfront
Punggol Waterway Woodcress
Waterway Woodcress
Jurong West Central
Need help with your HDB renovation? Get a design consultation from us today! 
Simply fill up the form below and we will get in touch with you within 1 working day.

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