Before we go wild with cool bomb shelter ideas, let’s first understand what we aren’t allowed to do with our bomb shelters due to HDB regulations.
Your typical HDB bomb shelter will comprise an airtight door, a door handle that swings downwards to open, and which you’re supposed to lift and swing upwards to ensure it’s airtight during emergencies, a ventilation sleeve, lighting, power point, phone point, adn TV/radio outlet points. These things we just mentioned: you cannot modify or remove from the shelter. You also cannot hack, drill or remove the walls, floor, ceiling, door, or ventilation openings.
You can, however, have power-driven nails on the external face of the walls or attach removable screws for mounting cabinets, shelves, fans and the like. These minor works do not require permits.
Now, let’s get to the fun part.
#1: Walk-In Closet
HDB dwellers can only dream of having a walk-in closet, unless they have a spare room they can convert. But wait, don’t you?
Converting your bomb shelter into a walk-in closet not only fulfils your walk-in wardrobe fantasy, you can simultaneously free up space in your bedroom — without a space-consuming wardrobe — for other furniture like that fancy ottoman you so want at the foot of your bed, or a nice vanity for all your cosmetics and perfumes. You can even customise the space in your new “walk-in closet” to include a vanity so your bedroom looks extra spacious and clutter-free. If you have kids, this also ensures all your precious beauty products and fashion statement pieces will never risk a rugrat attack.
Shoe lovers can also use the space to house their collection of fancy kicks. Keep your foyer free of bulky shoe racks and cupboards by moving your shoes into the bomb shelter!
Pro Tip: Have your hanging shoe storage built behind your door so you can use the rest of your bomb shelter for wardrobe space. Now you have a shoe rack and walk-in closet in one!
#2: Karaoke Room
Is the bathroom the only safe space in your home where you can belt out your favourite tunes? Or do you have nowhere to practise your musical instrument?
If you need a quiet place to make a ruckus without annoying your neighbours or fellow occupants who don’t appreciate the wailing strains of your violin or your amateur singing, this is a wonderful private zone for you to sing or play your heart out while keeping all your embarrassing mistakes behind a closed and semi-soundproof door. It sounds perfect, no pun intended.
#3: Private Pantry
Are you a foodie? Or just a really stressed out parent with too many snacks lying around? Having a pantry that is out of bounds to the kids can really help keep their dietary discipline in check. It also provides our neat freak friends with the perfect space to live out their home organisation dream with perfectly lined up shelf upon shelf of pantry goods in pristine jars, all labelled, of course.
It’s a great space for you to declutter your kitchen and achieve the sleek looks made possible with empty kitchen countertops. If you have a sweet tooth or often get the late-night munchies and you’re trying to cut down, keeping your snacks out of sight will be helpful in helping you fight your cravings.
If you want to splash out for an experience, you can even design it to look like a mini mama shop so it is a delight to behold and explore, and a treat for the young ones to visit as a reward for good behaviour.
#4: Reading Nook
Parents rejoice! Here’s a place for you to store your mountains of books, encyclopaedias, educational games, assessment books and worksheets you’ve been wondering where to stash.
You can also cultivate the love of reading in your little ones with a cosy library corner that gives them the tranquillity they require to curl up with a good book. Dress it up with a little tent and some fairy lights to make it more appealing, or turn it into a makeshift playroom. After all, your kids are going to outgrow an actual playroom eventually. Of course, you should always make sure the space is properly ventilated and equipped with good lighting.
#5: Mini Gym
Now you have a space to sweat it out. You can also pant, grunt, and make all the strange groans of exertion you need in total privacy. Be sure to air it out every now and then to keep the air in there fresh and pleasant. It’s also a nifty way to keep all that pesky gym equipment from lying around and tripping up the elderly folks or kids in your house.
Do you have a bomb shelter you’re putting to unconventional use? Share your bomb shelter snaps with us!
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