When the compulsory household shelters or bomb shelters, as they are commonly known, first popped up in the new flats of 1998 and beyond, homeowners were flummoxed by them. It was necessary to have this important room to protect citizens from shrapnel in the case of war, but in the meantime, this extra room with its heavy, white blast door that cannot be removed was left pretty much to its design – that is, if design meant looking awkwardly out of place.

As years went by and homeowners became savvier and more design-minded, interior designers also breathed a sigh of relief as clients became more receptive in accepting ideas to incorporate their bomb shelters as part of the overall interior design theme. In here, we present three top ideas on to best utilise the space and design for the bomb shelter.

Ways to hide your bomb shelter:

1 Wallpaper the door

No painting, no fixing, just good old’ wallpapering. Available in so many patterns and colours, you can use wallpaper to disguise the white door and ensure that you keep the overall look of your flat. Choose a wallpaper that mimics wood panelling and keeps the Scandinavian theme of your flat going.

Cleverly chosen grainy textures for wallpapering have concealed unwanted features such as the blast door, yet keeping in with the warm, cozy ambience in this flat.

ANCHORVALE by Cad Associates

2 Paint the bomb shelter door

The rule on bomb shelters, according to the regulations stipulated by Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) is that the exterior doors of the bomb shelters can be painted, but the existing paint coats of the doors must be removed first. So you can give the door a lease of life by painting it!

One simple way will be to paint the door a colour that will blend in well with the wall. But why not get creative and add chalkboard paint, effectively turning your bomb shelter door into a huge to-do list or creativity outlet?

3 Add a feature wall

Yes, a common sense approach to ‘hide’ the door would be to build a feature wall that will shield its presence from visitors.

A sliding feature wall can also be a place to install shelves just like the house featured on the right, so you can place your books or magazines and create a tasteful reading nook.

Or opt for a feature wall with wall planters that will not just conceal the blast door, but also add a touch of green to your living room space ala the apartment on the left.

4 Mirror, mirror on the… door!

Whether it’s a series of sliding mirror panels built to hide the blast door, or an ornate mirror placed strategically leaning on the door, mirrors help to increase the perceived space in the room and distract visitors from the blast door.

5 Using doors

Using doors can give the illusion that the visitor is stepping into another room, when it is actually the bomb shelter that’s behind the door.

There are two good options to use a door with a feature wall. The first option would be to use a tic-tac door. What is a tic-tac door? The name of the door comes from the tic tac sound it makes when it spring open. This mechanism is a magnetic device that protrudes when being pressed upon. When installed on your feature wall, the door will spring open, and when closed, the door hinges are not visible, making the design seamlessly aligned with the rest of the wall

Take the above concept; the designer has cleverly built a shoe cabinet using the feature wall in front of the bomb shelter. With tic-tac doors to shut off the shoe cabinet, there are no obvious doorknobs to disrupt the smooth plane of the wall!.

Another clever way to hide the bomb shelter would be to install a pivot door on your feature wall. This door pivots open instead of sliding open and can be used to display shelves as well.

Still Confused? Here’s a quick summary!

WALLPAPER

PAINT

FEATURE WALL

MIRROR

DOOR

COST Cheapest option as you can get the wallpaper designs at a range of prices depending on your fancy. Nippon Paint has a huge variety of paint colours which will help you to paint the door to fit into your interior theme. More expensive than the first two options as the wall has to be erected. Additional costs may be incurred if you want to include shelves or mirrors on it. As this option has to be built against a feature wall, additional costs can also be incurred with the construction of a fake wall to conceal the shelter. As this option has to be built against a feature wall, additional costs can also be incurred.
HIGHLIGHT Cost is low, and there is a huge range of designs. You can also wallpaper over the previous wallpaper if you would like to change the design. The door will be less obvious as the colour blends it into the walls. Or you can consider chalkboard paint to turn the bomb shelter door into a huge to-do list. A great way to feature your prized collections, if you build shelves on your feature wall. This makes your living space look more expansive than it is. Whether you choose a tic tac door or a pivot door, this option helps to give the illusion of stepping into another room.

References: SCDF

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