40 small (but important) design details you may have overlooked in your home renovation


Getting caught up in the aesthetics and the bigger things of your home renovation happens. So to help you cover all your bases, we’ve put together a list of design details—categorised by room—that are likely to get overlooked. Not everything will necessarily apply to everyone, but they will help you keep things in perspective as you undergo your home renovation.

Kitchen / Dining

design details overlooked
Design & Build: Upstairs x In-Expat

1. Storage for knives: a dedicated drawer or a wall-mounted knife holder?

2. Cabinet handles: are you going handle-less or will you be going for custom carpentry cut-outs, or will you be buying knobs/pulls?

3. Where are you going to locate the rubbish bin?

4. You need pantry storage for snacks, canned food or food that doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

5. Consider electrical outlets on the kitchen island, especially if you use it to prep food.

6. Electrical outlets near the dining area for steamboat, mookata, electrical grills etc.

7. If you are opting for an extendable dining table, is there enough room for the extended length?

8. Do you need hot water in the kitchen sink? If so, consider getting a storage water heater.

9. What built-in appliances (microwave, oven, dishwasher, washing machine, refrigerator, etc.) are you going for? You need to know this early to plan out your carpentry.

10. How will the gas pipes run if you’re opting for a gas stove? Will they be covered up?

11. Can the doors to your kitchen cabinets and appliances open fully without things getting in the way?

»Read more: 7 Kitchen Details Everyone Forgets in their Renovation

overlooked design details singapore
Design: Fifth Avenue Interior

Foyer / Living room

design details singapore
Design: Upstairs x In-Expat

12. Living room storage often gets overlooked! To minimise clutter, store textiles or display décor, you’ll want to plan for proper storage in this area. If you don’t have a lot of space for custom built-ins, consider multipurpose furniture.

13. Concealing wires and cables for your media units.

14. Future-proofing the TV feature: will it be able to accommodate a bigger TV unit in the future?

15. Privacy from the main door if you usually keep your front door open. You could arrange the living room layout another way or do up built-ins that block the view.

16. Is there a designated area to set your keys, bills and other documents? How will you manage this foyer area so that it doesn’t accumulate clutter?

17. Enough traffic flow between the furniture pieces in the living room. Your furniture may fit individually, but put together, do they offer enough room to move around?

»Read more: 8 Design Ideas for a Non-Basic Living Room

Design: Habit

Study / Home Office

Design: Swiss Interior Design

18. Decide what goes on your desk. Is it large enough that it can hold all your necessary equipment: computer (laptop, desktop and any additional monitors), stationery, files, printer, desk lamp etc.

19. Sunlight direction and desk position: if your home office window’s east- or west-facing, having your workstation facing the window directly may be too glaring for your eyes.

20. Ensure you have enough power outlets. Consider USB outlets for charging phones as well. Make sure the outlets are at desk height for easiest access.

21. With so many cables around, a proper cable management system is crucial in the home office.

»Read more: How to Create a More Productive Home Office

Design: The Local Inn.terior


Design: Fifth Avenue Interior

22. Grout colour: contrasting, exciting or blending in?

23. Do you want room for a hamper for dirty laundry?

24. Lighting in the bathroom is very important! Make sure there are lights that won’t cast a shadow over your face. Consider installing wall sconces by your vanity mirror.

25. Material choice in the bathroom should be dictated by cleaning ease and how well they hold up in wet and humid environments.

26. Slip resistant flooring. Look out for tiles with an R-value of at least 10.

27. Your bathroom fittings may all fit but is there enough room to clean around them e.g. can you reach the space between your vanity cabinet and toilet bowl?

28. If you are going with shower niches, make sure there’s a slight slope to allow water to drain away.

»Read more: How to Design a More Ergonomic Bathroom

Design: Lemonfridge Studio

Bedroom / Wardrobe

Design: The Angle Design

29. Consider having a spot in your built-in wardrobe for worn clothes that aren’t clean enough to go in the wardrobe. This could be an open compartment with a hanging rod.

30. What will be the percentage of drawers vs shelves vs hanging rods? Look at your type of clothes to decide. Jeans, sweaters, towels, bed linen are best folded in shelves. Drawers are great for T-shirts, skirts, and undergarments while dresses and shirts should be hung up.

31. Customised drawer insets that can help organise smaller accessories e.g. socks, ties, jewellery, etc.

32. Do you need to set aside room for luggage in the wardrobe?

33. Internal wardrobe lighting. Or make sure your wardrobe area is properly lit. Make sure your wardrobe doors aren’t obstructing the light source.

34. Proper bedside lighting for reading or for scrolling your mobile phone.

»Read more: 10 Open Concept Walk-in Wardrobe Ideas for Your HDB

Design: Happe Design Atelier

Laundry / Service Yard / Utility Room

Design: Wolf Woof

35. Do you need a dedicated space to fold away laundry? If you are going for a front-load washer, consider creating a counter space above the machine.

36. Storage for iron, ironing board, laundry bags, hangers and hooks.

37. If you are planning to iron your clothes in this space, plan for enough electrical outlets, adequate ventilation and an area to hang up and fold ironed clothes.

38. Storage for cleaning supplies and cleaning agents.

39. Outlets to charge your vacuum cleaners.

40. Proper lighting, especially if you do laundry at night. Make sure your ceiling-mounted laundry rack does not get in the way of your lighting.

»Read more: 15 Design Hacks to Solve Your Small Service Yard Dilemma

Design: DB Studio

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