HDB Bomb Shelter Design [Singapore Home Design Tips 2023]



Have you noticed that some HDB houses and properties tend to have additional rooms and spaces for a multitude of purposes? Some are designed for laundries, some for storage and some for the most usual purposes being an office or a hobby room. But perhaps the most unusual space that is part of every HDB home is little room located a little inches away from the main space. It may be small and almost unnecessary, but once upon a time, it had a very important purpose.

Image source: HDB.gov.sg

We are talking about the bomb shelter, a unique feature in every Singaporean HDB home. Now you might be wondering, what is a bomb shelter and what is it doing inside a house? And why was it constructed in the first place?

Let’s do a quick history lesson. The bomb shelter, also known as the household shelter, was designed and added to  the home as a means of protection from bomb blasts and air raids; the latter being especially true during the Japanese Occupation. By mid-1996, bomb shelters were now being considered a mandatory feature for every home.

So much so that when the Civil Defense Shelter Act was passed, almost every building and structure had a bomb shelter. As part of its mandatory inclusion, it also had to adhere to certain structural standards such as reinforced walls, ceilings and floorings as well as ample space for the entire household to occupy.


Now bomb shelters are all well and good to have, but think about it?

When will it actually serve its purpose?

Surely not during a time of peace and prosperity. It would just be another room that, if left on its own, will be a waste of space. And since you can’t have it omitted from the property, you might as well do something with it.

Luckily, there are more than a million creative ways you can redesign and repurpose your bomb shelter into something more unique and practical. So sit back and get inspired with these amazing HDB Bomb Shelter design ideas that are sure to make your space truly one of a kind.



The first thing that you must consider above all else is how big your bomb shelter is. Most bomb shelters will be at least 4.8 sqm. Which in itself is not quite big, but rather just right for sitting in with the household.

However, there are some bomb shelters which may be a bit bigger than the standard, so that can make a difference.

  • Check if they have any existing electrical wirings.
  • Check if those wirings are still alright or if it needs repairs. 

Take note of where your bomb shelter is located. Some bomb shelters tend to be located in the hallway leading up to the bedrooms while other locations include being close to the living room, the foyer, the kitchen or even the dining room. This is also important in determining what you will be converting the shelter into.

Another requirement you must adhere to is to retain the overall structure itself. No matter how much you want to knock down the walls to extend, you simply can’t do that. Apart from it being a mandatory feature, the walls are reinforced and is likely a load bearing structure. So as much as possible, retain it. Once you’ve gotten all the basics covered, you’re ready to begin your project.


Whenever you have guests over, the most hospitable thing to do is to take their coats and hang them in a closet. And what better way to do so then by converting your bomb shelter into a coat closet. This HDB bomb shelter design takes a cue from the Western coat closets seen in many European and American homes. Apart from it being a place to store your visitor’s coats, it also stores spare umbrellas, house slippers and even some linens.

Install a hanging rack on one side of the wall for the coats and a few shelves on another side for the linens. Place a catch all bin at the entrance for the umbrellas. Your guests and visitors are sure to be impressed by your hospitality and consideration when they see this coat closet.


Image Source: Instagram @thehomeedit

Your kitchen can only hold a limited amount of things and when it comes to storing food, you need more than just the refrigerator and the cabinets. A good HDB bomb shelter design idea to try is by creating your very own walk in pantry.

This works especially if your bomb shelter happens to be near the kitchen. Like how restaurants store their food ingredients in large walk in refrigerators, you can do the same but on a much smaller scale. Install some shelving on 3 sides of the wall, leaving the side with the door completely bare.

You can opt for industrial style racks or if you are feeling rusting, you can go for wooden shelves. Go the extra mile by keeping an index near the door so that you can keep track of what food is stored and when it was purchase and its expiration date. You’ll be glad to have an organized pantry and an even organized kitchen with this idea.


Image Source: Renodots.com

Let’s face it. No one can have too many clothes and shoes; especially if they are for several particular occasions like a dinner, a company meeting, a gathering or even a wedding. And no matter how hard you try to organize and carefully arrange your clothes in your wardrobe, you still have a pile of them lying about.

A good and practical solution to this is by converting your bomb shelter into a walk in closet. The size is just perfect for storing clothes that are worn on special occasions as well as shoes. You can place a hanging rack and cubicles for your clothes and shoes as well as some drawers for other articles like coats and boots. For that added glamor, you can even install a mirror inside if you are keen on changing inside rather than outside.


Image Source: Abeautifulmess.com

This unique HDB bomb shelter design idea is what makes your home completely yours; especially if you enjoy certain hobbies.

  • If you like to play video games or even computer games, you can create a gaming room complete with a table to mount your computer or gaming console, some comfy chairs and a shelf to display all your games and paraphernalia.
  • If you’re a crafter who enjoys making handicrafts, you can create a crafting room with cubicle shelves and drawers to store your crafting materials and tools, a table for you to work on and even some sample handicrafts.
  • If you’re a collector, you can even make a small museum dedicated to the things you collect like figurines, action figures, pop culture paraphernalia, decorative plates and much more. You can even install some track spot lights so that you can highlight your most prized piece.

6. GYM

You know what they say, health is wealth. And if having a gym membership is not part of your plan or you don’t feel comfortable with working out with other people, you can always have your own gym indoors. And you don’t necessarily need to get all that bulky equipment. Just perhaps a few pieces that you will use like a stationary bike or a yoga mat.

You can even simulate the look of the gym by hanging inspirational quotes on the wall and lining the floor with rubberize mat so that you won’t slip and fall when you work out.  Having a space to work out in promotes a healthy lifestyle both physically and in some cases, mentally.


If your idea of relaxing involves lounging on a large sofa surrounded by books or music, then why not create your own personal escape. Have a custom made daybed installed in your bomb shelter and place several throw pillows; the more pillows, the cozier. Install some shelves and cubicles and stack all your books in an organized manner. Add a wall mounted reading lamp that can easily be adjusted to suit your needs and a unique lighting fixture to illuminate everything else.

If your bomb shelter is big, you can opt to have a small table and two chairs across your daybed if you want to spend your relaxation time writing or having coffee while reading your favorite book. You can also install some speakers if you want to listen to some songs play in the background. Or if you need a quick nap, but are too tired to make it to the bedroom, your personal nook can serve as a quick resting spot. Don’t forget to include your favorite decors such as framed works, photos and even figurines.

And above all, when creating your HDB bomb shelter design project, always leave space for it to serve its intended purpose for when an actual emergency arises. But regardless, when creating your personal space, what is important is how you use it and how it makes you feel!

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