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1 2: The Latest in Design and Decor News
OBJECT OF DESIRE â€“ LOUIS VUITTON BLOSSOM STOOL
PENG A d
A breathtaking item borne from the partnership between LV and Tokujin Yoshioka.
NOW PEOPLE â€“ JAMES FUTCHER Creative lead of Ikeaâ€™s PS 2017 collection.
NOW PEOPLE â€“ MARK YONG
NOW PEOPLE â€“ K AT H E R I N E WHITEHEAD & JACQUELINE K E L LY
President of the Singapore Furniture Industries Council.
Creators of Big Blue Co.â€™s 3-D-printed shells and corals.
NOW PEOPLE â€“ HOANG THUC HAO
CHECK OUT â€“ COMMISSARY
Founder, chief architect of 1+1>2, and laureate of the SIA-Getz Architecture Prize 2016.
A retro Californian-style restaurant located in Hong Kongâ€™s shopping district.
CHECK OUT â€“ THE OT TOMAN ROOM
A gallery for homeowners to browse through the latest laminate designs.
A modern Middle Eastern dining lounge filled with character and mystery.
CHECK OUT â€“ HOTEL MONO A minimalist monochromatic hotel in Chinatown.
#HDFAVES What we saw and liked this month.
WOOD & WOVEN
THE COOL LIST
Accent your style with a generous dose of rustic charm in wood and wicker.
50 tips to help you combat the heat while keeping your living spaces comfortable and stylish.
YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO SINGAPORE DESIGN WEEK Already a big part of everyday life, design is about to play an even bigger role in March, when the annual Singapore Design Festival (SDW) is held.
PRACTICAL PARQUET The natural grains and warm texture of this wooden material make it one of the most sought-after additions to the home. Find out how you can use parquet on your floors and walls for a unique and stunning look.
TOPS ON TOP
Colour Eternal Marquina Available in July
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Cindy Crawford on Silestone Countertop
+ 20 ( 6
LABOUR OF LOVE
CLEAN S L AT E
THE PERFECT BLEND
Hannah Cecil Gurneyâ€™s South Kensington home interiors are an expression of her passion for colour and contrast.
Chic, contemporary aesthetics and simple material finishes form a bright and airy abode with a timeless design.
A design that reflects the homeownerâ€™s distinctive style transforms this apartment into a cosy abode.
Scandinavian simplicity lends warmth and character to this apartment, which is as functional as it is endearing.
BREAKOUT S E N S AT I O N Many different styles, textures and materials are creatively and boldly fused together under one roof, resulting in visually arresting interiors.
&29(5 +20( photography VERONICA TAY art direction DON TAN
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I used to be cynical of what Singaporeans are capable of achieving. However, one incident changed my mindset for good; it happened when I was serving my national service (NS). One day over lunch, my campmate shared with me his goal of swimming the English Channel. Now we’re talking about a 34km swim in extremely rough, choppy and cold waters, from the coast of England to France. Less than 800 swimmers have successfully managed to make the crossing alone in the last 150 years, and he wanted to be the next to succeed. Naturally, I baulked at his statement and immediately played the devil’s advocate. “You’re not built like a Caucasian, what makes you think you’d have the endurance and stamina to pull through? Why don’t you try swimming the Kallang River instead?” were my words, which in hindsight were absolutely thoughtless and insensitive. We ate our lunch in silence after that, and fell out of contact after finishing NS. It wasn’t until two years later, as I was thumbing through a copy of The Straits Times, that I saw him again as a headlining feature for
being the first Singaporean to swim solo across the English Channel in 12 hours and 24 minutes. This time, it was my turn to have to suck it up in silence. Since then, I’ve learnt to believe in what Singaporeans can do. That’s the spirit I encourage everyone to adopt whenever March comes around, because that’s when Singapore Design Week takes place. Organised by the Design Singapore Council, its purpose is to promote the works of local designers, while inviting foreign industry players to develop the design scene here. Over the years, it’s grown from a fledgling event into an internationally regarded affair covered extensively by local and foreign press. Singapore designers bear the brunt of the public’s cynicism because they hail from a small country lacking a distinctive design style but, thankfully, this sentiment is changing. We, too, can do our part by being supportive of our local talent. I dedicate this March issue to our designers, and also to Thum Ping Tjin, the Singaporean who swam the English Channel.
YOUNG LIM EDITOR
photography DARREN CHANG art direction DON TAN
WWW.HOMEANDDECOR.COM.SG CHECK OUT THREE POPULAR BLOG POSTS OF THE MONTH
8 ELEGANT HOMES WITH MARBLE FLOORS
See how these homeowners incorporated marble into their living spaces. www.tinyurl.com/marbfloors
7 STYLISH CORRIDORS & FOYERS
A C O O L A PA R T M E N T W I T H A S TA I N L E S S - S T E E L K I T C H E N
Well-designed corridors can help tie your home’s look together. www.tinyurl.com/foyercorridor
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text ELIZA HAMIZAH
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,QWKH0DUFKGLJLWDOLVVXH BONUS GALLERY View more ways of styling the home with Big Blue Company’s sustainable shells. Download the digital edition of Home & Decor now! Get 20 per cent off a single issue (UP: $6) or 50 per cent off an annual subscription (UP: $72)! Details at www. homeanddecor.com.sg/ promotions.
BONUS GALLERY Check out the sumptuous dishes available at The Commissary.
BONUS VIDEO Exclusive behind-thescenes footage from our Fab Finds photo shoot.
BONUS VIDEO Take a tour around this beautiful home we featured.
BONUS GALLERY Delectable treats at The Ottoman Room.
BONUS GALLERY Take a look at how Peng Handcrafted’s shelves, made with industrial pipes and upcycled wood, look in these homes.
Now available at
hobs offers precise flame adjustment to independently control the inner and outer flame rings on the hob, so you can cook up a storm with just the right amount of heat!
KITCHEN ESSENTIALS From electric induction hobs with ceramic glass heating surfaces, to conventional gas hobs, Bosch shares tips on how to choose one that suits your needs.
and the temperature control is more accurate. If you have kids at home, choose a hob with safety functions, like the Bosch PID631BB1E which has child-lock features, to prevent accidents.
Enjoying home-cooked food is one of the simple pleasures in life. Whether youâ€™re an enthusiastic home chef or a design-conscious homeowner, choosing the right hob for your kitchen brings you closer to fulfilling your design and functional needs. Which hob should I choose â€“ induction or gas? As a general rule of thumb, electricpowered induction hobs are safer to use compared to other alternatives. It limits the risks of burns â€” the hobs cool down quickly when turned off â€”
What should I consider after deciding on a hob type? If you choose an induction hob, use suitable cookware such as saucepans that have a magnetic, iron and flat base. Boschâ€™s range of induction hobs have automatic pan recognition to identify the size of pan and pot bases instead of the entire zone, which translates to greater energy efficiency and savings. The flat and sleek surfaces also make them easy to clean. Some food aficionados prefer gas hobs as they can achieve wok hei â€“ flavours from the charring of ingredients â€“ in home-cooked food when stir-frying over high heat from an open flame. Boschâ€™s range of gas
How do I clean my hob? All surfaces must be cooled before wiping, as the use of cleaning agents on hot surfaces may result in fumes that are hazardous. For induction hobs, remove watermarks and stains with white vinegar. To remove burnt food deposits, pour a small amount of cleaning fluid directly onto the hob and wipe with a cleaning cloth, kitchen towel or glass scraper. To maintain stainless-steel surfaces on glass hobs, opt for a mild cleaning agent or stainless-steel cleaner, and wipe dry. Do not use solutions that contain chlorine, as itâ€™s corrosive to stainless steel. What safety concerns should I be aware of? All cooker hobs have their own safety risks. Proper installation and maintenance is important. Keep your hobs spotless by cleaning up after use. A well-ventilated kitchen is also good, as it lowers safety risks significantly. For instance, as cooking using gas hobs is done over an open flame, faulty or poorly maintained appliances may cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and even carbon monoxide poisoning. 7RILQGRXWPRUHDERXW%RVFKČ‡V UDQJHRIKREVDQGDSSOLDQFHV YLVLWZZZERVFKKRPHFRPVJ
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12: Bare Essentials French writer Antoine de SaintExupery once said: ”Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” The Panton Wire exempliﬁes this “less is more” approach perfectly, with its steel wire frame and surprising versatility. It can be used as a bedside table, grouped to form a coffee table, hung on the wall, or stacked to act as room dividers. The Panton Wire, designed by Verner Panton, comes in chrome-plated steel and is lacquered in the colours Black, Snow, and Moulin Rouge. A limited-edition gold version is also available. The Panton Wire can be found at Danish Design Co, #06-03 Century Warehouse, 100E Pasir Panjang Road, tel: 6270-8483.
text YOUNG LIM photo MONTANA
OBJECT OF DESIRE Louis Vuitton Blossom stool
The idea for this silhouette came from the quatrefoil motif, which is a decorative design resembling a clover leaf.
BIO Designs come and go, but Louis Vuitton’s petal monogram remains as coveted as it was in the mid-19th century. Inspired by its timelessness and elegance – as well as the craftsmanship cultivated in the brand’s long history – designer Tokujin Yoshioka created the Blossom stool, a bold design that features feminine swirls of wood and a soft Nomade leather seat.
TRIVIA When asked whether form or function came first for his design, Tokujin says: “Neither. I always try to invent something beyond forms, and that is universal and timeless.”
The Blossom stool is available in a metal edition, in which the entire chair is gilded in brass.
The seat is part of Objets Nomades, a collection of practical yet luxurious designs that you can take on your travels. They are all made using Louis Vuitton’s signature Nomade leather.
The latest Objets Nomades collection also includes a swing chair by Patricia Urquiola and surface lamp by Nendo.
THE BLOSSOM STOOL IS AVAILABLE FOR ORDER AT ALL LOUIS VUITTON BOUTIQUES.
text ELIZA HAMIZAH photo LOUIS VUITTON
interiors + design consultancy . construction + project management
The Orange Cube Pte Ltd 14 Arumugam Road #01-03 . LTC Building C . Singapore 409959 . (MacPherson MRT Exit 'B') Tel: (65) 6337 7277 . www.theorangecube.com . firstname.lastname@example.org . www.facebook.com/theorangecube
What’s one piece you’re looking to get for your home? My home has an eclectic mix of classic design pieces, second-hand items, Ikea products, and travel finds. The wearable throw will get a lot of use in our house. My wife will wear it constantly, as the throw moves with the user – whether it’s for cosying up with on the sofa or when you’re getting a cup of tea. What materials do you see consumers being attracted to in the future? Materials that give you an emotional connection when you touch and feel them, like the collection’s 3-D knitted armchair. It’s soft and comfortable to sit on, and the see-through feature imbues a sense of airiness and space. THE PS 2017 COLLECTION IS NOW AVAILABLE AT ALL IKEA STORES.
JAMES FUTCHER CREATIVE LEAD OF IKEA’S PS 2017 COLLECTION
Like the free-spirited kid of the family, the PS (Postscript) Collection is where you’ll find Ikea’s most offbeat and experimental designs. As an add-on to the main collection for 2017, the range was designed around the themes of independence and flexibility, comprising innovative products that reflect the lives of urbanites who don’t play by the rules of 9-to-5 society – think self-watering pots and sofas that can hang from walls. James Futcher, the creative lead who worked with the designers of the PS 2017 Collection, talks about the uniqueness of the concept. How does design allow people to become more independent and flexible? Firstly, to me, independence is about being myself, and having the freedom to live, work, and enjoy life the way I want to. Being stressed and busy, and having no space and time, stops people from achieving this. Designers can help ease this with smart products that solve space and organisation issues.
Frequent travellers will love this selfwatering pot ($99), which promises to keep unattended plants alive up to two weeks. BELOW
Space-saving pieces in the range include a foldable armchair ($149), a minimalist valet stand ($39.90), and sofa throws. BELOW LEFT
“The 3-D knitted armchair ($269) can endure years of wear without its shape being distorted,” says designer Sarah Fager.
What prompted the choice of colour palettes for the collection? The colours come from the surprising elements of Scandinavian nature, including colours you see when taking a walk in the Nordic forest. We’ve included unexpected hues as well, similar to what you’d find when turning over a stone, or on flowers and even on birds and insects.
text ELIZA HAMIZAH photos IKEA
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PRESIDENT OF THE SINGAPORE FURNITURE INDUSTRIES COUNCIL (SFIC)
As the new president of SFIC, the first order of business for Mark Yong is to improve the capabilities of its members and help them adapt to a changing marketplace. He explains why it’s important for the industry association to lead the way in connecting designers, manufacturers and retailers, while getting them ready for new challenges. What sort of innovative approaches should designers and manufacturers take when adapting to new ways of selling and production? Furniture are usually bulky items that take up a lot of space and result in high rental costs. With virtual reality and augmented reality tools, you can have a much smaller space, still showcase your products, and make it a very immersive experience for your consumers. Other approaches include designing smart and multifunctional furniture – for instance, transformable furniture, something that takes up very little space but when you need it to be bigger, you can make it bigger. What do you think we need more of, for the design industry to flourish? We need designers and manufacturers to not be shy from taking part in events where they can work with different companies and brands, such as Singaplural (a showcase organised by SFIC of the best design elements from various platforms like advertising, interior design and architecture).
I think s i mp li st i c o r mi ni ma l i st luxury is h ere t o sta y.
Why is it important to push the Singapore brand for furniture makers? Being Asian, we are very humble about our capabilities and what we are doing, and sometimes, we tend to hide; we don’t shout about our achievements. But we have a lot of talented manufacturers with exceptional manufacturing practices, and great brands that are well formulated. It is important to teach makers to profile themselves better on the national stage to get more attention. Can you predict the trends for furniture and design this year? I think simplistic or minimalist luxury is here to stay. Colour-wise, since the economy is slowing down; more natural materials, more muted, lighter and grounded colours seem to be becoming a trend. Nowadays, natural materials are also taking on other appearances – for instance, wood with a fabric type of texture, instead of synthetic materials fabricated to look natural.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON SINGAPLURAL AND THE SINGAPORE DESIGN WEEK, TURN TO PAGE 80.
text GIRWINA TAN photos STRATAGEM CONSULTANTS
Singaplural is an annual design event organised by the SFIC to showcase new perspectives of local design, such as Engulf – an installation by Xtra and Celine Ng. TOP
This light installation, named Project X, was designed by Hive by Park and Associates for Singaplural 2016. LEFT
The International Furniture Show is a platform to source for specially curated designer furniture, and network with industry players.
What materials do you use? Galvanised steel sprinkler pipes and two types of timber – American white oak and reclaimed wood from old lorries. My family runs a business in sprinkler pipe installation. Sometimes, the pipes are spray-painted and finished to look distressed. The wood is treated, but not stained so it looks natural. Tell us about your designs. They have an industrial-style look, but I much prefer the oriental style! For shelving designs, other than attachments to walls, there are no screws or nails used – just joinery techniques are used. Also, no welding is done for the pipes. I call it a marriage of hardware, as everything has to fit perfectly.
Peng started making handcrafted furniture and shelving out of sprinkler pipes and timber as a hobby. The self-taught designer avoids using nails, screws or welding methods to put the pieces together. BELOW
His work can be found in homes (pictured is a storage-display feature wall in the lounge of a bungalow), restaurants, ofﬁces and more – including the HDB’s showﬂat.
What makes your work different? As the industrial look is very popular, I want to do it better, so I integrate other elements, such as lighting with a dimming function. As everything is customised, there are no repeats, and I can add workstations or extendible tables. I’ve even made a gate out of sprinkler pipes.
PENG SELF-TAUGHT INDUSTRIALSTYLE DESIGNER
Simply known as Peng, the 42-year-old admits he doesn’t know what to call himself. With no background in design or engineering, he doesn’t consider himself a craftsman, furniture designer or contractor, and actually runs a retail business. Nevertheless, he has been creating distinctive, customised handcrafted industrial-style features for homes, offices, cafes and more. From built-in shelving and dividers to loose furniture and lighting, what started as a hobby has seen him completing over 400 projects since 2015! What got you started? It started as a hobby. I built furniture for my office lounge, and friends, followed by friends of friends, liked it. So I started a Facebook page to reach out to more people, even though I had no intention of turning it into a business.
How long does it take to make one? For a table, up to seven days, and for a complete shelving system with accessories, up to two weeks. I have to set up the system – hiding wires inside the pipes or through the timber – in the workshop, before dismantling it and assembling it in on-site.
See more of Peng’s work in real settings. See page 26.
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT PENG HANDCRAFTED AT WWW.PENG.COM.SG.
text LOUISA CLARE LIM photography TAN WEI TE art direction LIM YI LING
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View more sea life designs from the Big Blue Company. See page 26.
K AT H E R I N E WHITEHEAD & JACQUELINE K E L LY CREATORS OF BIG BLUE 3-D-PRINTED SHELLS AND CORALS
You’d be forgiven for thinking the shelled beauties on the table in the picture (above) are real. But make no mistake – these and other pieces from the Big Blue Company’s collection have been painstakingly made to resemble the real deal. Launched in November last year, Big Blue Company was started by design duo Katherine Whitehead and Jacqueline Kelly. It was a snorkelling trip around one of the islands near Bintan that sparked off the idea of a business venture together. “We came across many large and extraordinarily beautiful washed-up giant clams and pieces of coral,” recalls Jacqueline. “Our immediate urge was to take some home with us, but we knew that in doing so, one harms the fragile marine eco systems.” It then dawned upon them that there’s an enduring fascination for such treasures from the sea. The duo then decided to work out an innovative way of making eco-friendly reproductions of giant clams, corals and shells in stone and resin as objets d’art. The process – from conceptualising to production and planning the launch – took a year. The designs were created with the help of
3-D printing technology, with both Jacqueline and Katherine pulling out all the stops to ensure the products in the inaugural collection look and feel just like their endangered counterparts. The pair sank deep into research, delving into conchology, using an underwater camera to find the right composition of the corals, and looking for the right community of artisans in China to craft their designs into being. Big Blue’s creations come in a myriad of shapes and sizes, from the smaller pieces in the “Beach on a Plate” collection, to giant 50cm-wide clams and statement-making pieces in the colossal “sculpture” range, which can measure over 2m and weigh up to 30kg. The founders want to play an active role in ocean conservation projects. “We want Big Blue to become synonymous with conservation,” says Jacqueline. For a start, it supports the Garden City Fund’s Plant-A-Coral, Seed-A-Reef programme at the Sisters’ Islands Marine Park.
Katherine (left) and Jacqueline, the dynamic duo behind Big Blue Company, with its inaugural collection of shelled beauties. LEFT
Guarding the entrance of a hotel here is the statement-making sputnik sea urchin, from the colossal range. LEFT, BELOW
VISIT BIG BLUE COMPANY AT WWW.BIGBLUECO.COM.
text JACQUELINE TAN photos KATE GRIFFITHS photography (portrait) FRENCHESCAR LIM art direction LIM YI LING
A giant clam makes for a fetching centrepiece on a coffee table.
The Ta Phin Community House in Sapa is designed to house an education centre, local handicraft exhibition space, and an information centre for locals and tourists. LEFT, BELOW
Made mostly of wood and bamboo, the Cam Thanh Community House in Hoi An has open courtyards that are designed to allow natural ventilation.
HOANG THUC HAO
FOUNDER AND CHIEF ARCHITECT
An advocate of sustainable architecture and responsible development, Vietnamese architect Hoang Thuc Hao has been building for underprivileged communities in his home country and other parts of the world, including Bhutan. The Architect of the Year (for Vietnam in 2015) recently clinched the SIA-Getz Architecture Prize 2016 for having contributed significantly to the progress of architecture in Asia and beyond, yet he believes more can be done to improve the living standards of those living in undeveloped areas.
OF 1+1ƻ2, AND LAUREATE OF THE SIA-GETZ ARCHITECTURE PRIZE 2016
What does winning the SIA-Getz Architecture Prize 2016 mean to you? I am extremely honoured. I hope that with this award, I will be able to gather more resources and continue building for the disadvantaged communities. My aim is to respect the culture, while improving the quality of life of villagers. I hope that by bringing architecture into rural communities, these physical spaces will give the local community a sense of belonging. How does the natural environment and surrounding inspire you when you build? I pay attention to materials, context and culture, and incorporate these elements as much as I can into each project. For example, I built Ta Phin Community House in Sapa
The Earth Village serves the minority community of Nam Dam in Ha Giang; the roof design of the iconic Swallow Community House takes inspiration from the bird’s wings.
as a symbol of the town. Its design is inspired by the natural landscape in the region, which boasts mountains, valleys and terraced rice fields. The crimson colour parallels the traditional scarves and hats that native Dao women don. At the Earth Village in Nam Dam, I constructed it with local materials like earth, while incorporating a passive design to allow natural light and air to fill the interior spaces. What do you aim to achieve when building in rural areas? Instilling a sense of happiness is important. Happiness for the people will bring a sense of satisfaction to me, as an architect. How is architecture different in the city and in villages? Architecture in the city is usually only seen as a form, with a strong focus on design. More needs to be done, and I believe that cities should draw reference from the countryside, where problems of urbanisation such as overcrowding and pollution almost do not exist. My dream is to create a countryside-inspired sanctuary – made with natural materials and simple forms – in a city one day. SEE MORE OF HOANG THUC HAO’S INSPIRING WORKS AT WWW.HOANGTHUCHAO.COM.
text DOMENICA TAN photos 1+1ƻ2 INTERNATIONAL ARCHITECTURE JSC
EDL DIVISION A GALLERY FOR HOMEOWNERS TO EXPERIENCE AND BROWSE LAMINATES
Housed in the industrial area of Sungei Kadut, the EDL Division gallery can easily pass off as an art space. Here, you are encouraged to touch and consider laminates beyond its conventional uses – starting with a foyer featuring an interactive art wall cladded in EDL’s metallic range. “We want users to push the boundaries of laminates, as well as provide an immersive experience that allows them to understand the material better. After all, laminates are the clothing of your furniture and interiors,” say Eleanor and Daphne Lim, the sisters who run EDL. Past the foyer is the spacious Courtyard – where you’ll find a display of jewellery pieces made using laminates – and an intriguing cluster of wood structures, aptly named The Woods. The latter was designed to showcase the brand’s extensive woodgrain collection, and visitors need only pull out a wooden slat to view a 3m-tall sample; the height is suitable for most HDB flats, condominium apartments, as well as retail stores. Want something different? Head to The Library, where the entire EDL collection is on display. This includes stone- and leatherinspired finishes, block colours, as well as the Fenix range – a matte, anti-fingerprint and scratch-resistant material that is perfect for a utilitarian and sleek kitchen countertop. With designs coming in approximately 1½ years – the next collection is expected to arrive in Q3 this year.
At a glance, you’d think this was a wooden sculpture – they’re actually samples! ABOVE, RIGHT
Wood finishes include the lighthued Hipster Oak and dark Rovere Carbone. RIGHT, TOP
Up to 40 designs will be added to The Library in the third quarter of this year. RIGHT
Formwerkz Architects designed the gallery and its unique structures, such as The Woods. BELOW
Shop for necklaces and earrings by local jewellery brand Thing In Itself here.
VISIT EDL DIVISION AT 43 SUNGEI KADUT STREET 1, TEL: 6369-0990.
text ELIZA HAMIZAH photography JASPER YU art direction DON TAN
HOTEL MONO A MINIMALIST MONOCHROMATIC HOTEL IN CHINATOWN
Hotel Mono is housed within a stretch of six shophouses, and its black-and-white facade sets the tone for its pareddown interiors.
In the lobby, an attentiongrabbing design feature is a round chair that was modiﬁed and integrated into the staircase.
In an embellished world where “more is more”, Hotel Mono stands out with its pared-down interiors and a minimalist look you wouldn’t normally associate with a hospitality development. As part of its “unconventional” design, expect no frills at the Chinatown hotel — no headboards, pendant lamps, rugs, artwork, or even colours, as hinted by its name. And yet, the hotel still manages to be Instagramworthy in a modern-minimalist way. In fact, that was a consideration in its design, says general manager Glenn Quah. Designed by William Chan of Spacedge Designs to have an overarching minimalist theme with an uncomplicated black-and-white palette, the hotel’s interiors are restful and understatedly chic. The materials used may be inexpensive and humble, says the designer,
LEFT; TOP, MIDDLE & BOTTOM
The rooms have a minimalist aesthetic, with a distinctive and striking element in the form of linear and angular bars that are both decorative and functional. Bathrooms have simple mosaic ﬁnishes, and carry the theme through. FAR LEFT, TOP
The bright and airy Loft room features soaring ceilings, as well as a one-of-akind geometric staircase design based on bold lines and planes. FAR LEFT, BOTTOM
Devoid of embellishments often seen in hotels and hospitality developments, Hotel Mono’s appeal is in its uncomplicated, yet deﬁned, design language that’s evident even in the corridors.
but a lot of thought went into applying them to “bring out something special in a simple way”. The design language starts in the lobby. Upon entering, the long and narrow space is free of loose furniture and, instead, a bench made of solid surface and a wallmounted spherical seat flank the way to the cantilevered T-shape reception counter. William says the distinctive seat – a focal point in the lobby – was a chair that was modified and specially built into the partition under the staircase, which is only accessible to guests. As for the rooms, the most distinctive elements are linear and angular structures, made using 38cm by 38cm mild steel hollow sections. Affixed on the whitewashed ceiling and walls, the bars punctuate the space and make for an unexpectedly bold
design statement in each room, apart from functioning as clothes hangers and housing LED strip lighting. “The choice of materials is simple, but shapes and lines are used to create visual impact,” says William. Owing to the fact that Hotel Mono is housed in a row of shophouses (five threestorey ones, and a 2½-storey one), each of the 46 rooms in the 15,000sqf hotel has its own shape. “Different layouts make the rooms interesting — when you return for another stay, you get another experience,” smiles Glenn. Nevertheless, the consistency in design and uniformity is evidently maintained. Even the renovation was kept simple. Glenn and William explain that the site previously housed another hotel, and no major structural alterations were done, despite the vastly different look now. The original wooden
text LOUISA CLARE LIM photos HOTEL MONO
floorings in the rooms were restored and stained black and, still, traces of the building’s heritage in the form of its architectural elements remain as a visual contrast to the new minimalist and unornamented interiors. Apart from appealing to the designsavvy, Hotel Mono aims to provide a balance between price and quality, says Glenn. Family rooms (apparently a rare find in the Chinatown area) are priced at around $250 a night, and you get a restful sleep, thanks to custommade pocket spring beds from King Koil. If simplicity is a luxury, this hotel would make for the ultimate retreat. HOTEL MONO IS AT 18 MOSQUE STREET, TEL: 6326-0430.
Take a look at some of Commissary’s dishes. See page 26.
The exterior was transformed into a laid-back terrace reminiscent of a beachside cafe, where diners can hang out.
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COMMISSARY RETRO CALIFORNIANSTYLE RESTAURANT
The focal point of the restaurant is the bar, inspired by classic wooden bars. The pingpong ball light bulbs create a rustic and intimate atmosphere. RIGHT
The artworks were chosen by coowner Yenn Wong to accentuate the design and complement the wood features in the restaurant.
Among the many upmarket restaurants located at Pacific Place in Hong Kong, the Commissary stands out with its smart casual style and chilled-out vibe. With a neutral colour palette, string lights and wood implements, this Southern Californian restaurant charms with a warm and cosy ambience. Designed by Singapore-based Siew Hui Lim of Hui Designs, the hip restaurant features a fresh take on Californian interiors of the 1960s and 1970s, which is what the co-owners – entrepreneur Yenn Wong and culinary director Morgan McGlone – envisioned when developing the diner’s concept. Like many of Yenn’s other F&B concepts that offer customers a place to relax, Commissary exudes a sophisticated lounge atmosphere with an open concept and lots of natural light. A “commissary” usually refers to a basic food store for military personnel, but the design of this outlet is far from simple. Guests entering the restaurant are greeted with large bay windows, red clay walls and generously proportioned wood furniture and furnishings. Once inside, diners are instantly transported from the bustling city to a beachside cafe. Featuring Hay’s Soft Edge chairs in oak matte lacquer and vintage Herman Miller DSW chairs (designed by Charles and Ray Eames) in fibreglass, the ensemble further enhances the modern feel of the space. One main feature is the wooden bar with a brass
text GIRWINA TAN photos JIA GROUP
counter and mirror backing – a modern interpretation of the classic wooden counter. Hui Designs also transformed the exterior into an outdoor terrace with lush plants and high tables. The restaurant offers all-day dining and baked goods, including treats such as fish tacos, red velvet cake and a range of California-inspired cocktails. With its well-conceived menu and inviting interiors, Commissary makes for a stop worth visiting the next time you are in the fragrant harbour.
COMMISSARY IS LOCATED AT LEVEL 4, PACIFIC PLACE, 88 QUEENSWAY, HONG KONG. VISIT WWW.PACIFICPLACE.COM.HK/EN/ DINE/COMMISSARY.
Take a look at the delicious dishes from The Ottoman Room. See page 26.
Softly lit by 70 natural ﬂames, the eatery has a unique ambience. Customised plush furniture, as well as handpicked Turkish rugs and decor add to the cosy space. BELOW
Customised glass oil lanterns are suspended by chains with a pulley system – an easily adjustable system that suits various table conﬁgurations. BOTTOM
THE OT TOMAN ROOM A MODERN MIDDLE EASTERN DINING LOUNGE
An arched passageway clad in black and gold mosaics welcomes you to The Ottoman Room.
Being hidden from plain sight along Peck Seah Street adds to the exotic allure of The Ottoman Room. Situated behind and accessible only through Fat Prince cafe and bar, a dramatic ambience awaits past the entrance and through the arched black and gold passageway. Illuminated by candlelight, the modern Middle Eastern restaurant exudes a luxurious yet laid-back look and feel. Dine under a canopy of 39 suspended oil lanterns, all specially designed for the place. Along the walls, lit brass sconces with cut-out patterns cast interesting shadows on the hand-painted plaster walls. The aged treatment on the surfaces, featuring a delicate filigree motif, evokes a time-weathered look and adds to the lived-in opulence of the interiors. The Ottoman Room was designed by Michael Goodman of EDG Interior Architecture + Design, who is also partner of the restaurant group behind the concept. According to Michael, this vision was derived from his dining experience in a beautiful candlelit courtyard of an old villa in Marrakech, Morocco. “There, I felt like royalty, but it wasn’t pretentious, and instead cool and casual,”
he says. To embody the opulence of the Ottoman Empire, but with the warmth of a buzzing social-gathering place, the designer used custommade chesterfield sofas, armchairs upholstered in jewel-tone fabrics, mismatched Middle Eastern printed fabric throw cushions, heavy drapes in a rich burgundy hue and Turkish rugs. The 13 unique rugs, along with colourful bowls used as washbasins, and tableware, were handpicked from Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. While the furniture is kept low-slung and loungey, chequerboard panels overhead lower the ceiling level for a more intimate, cosy feel. The nosh is equally tantalising. Take your pick from unlimited mezze (small plates), to go with a choice of a meat or fish main dish, as well as two other options from the “Earth” selection of the menu. Currently open only for dinner ($74++ per person), it makes for a great spot for both group catch-ups and intimate dinners. THE OTTOMAN ROOM IS AT 48 PECK SEAH STREET, TEL: 6221-3683.
text LOUISA CLARE LIM photos THE OTTOMAN ROOM
TURN TASTE UP
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Arne Jacobsen, 1902 - 1971
Along the way, I found time to view new designs from modern Danish designers. My favourite is this Spine lounge chair, designed by design duo Space Copenhagen for Fredericia, which is versatile enough to ﬁt into any room.
photo DANISH DESIGN
W H AT W E SAW AND LIKED THIS MONTH
photo FRITZ HANSEN
Young Lim Editor
I spent a week in Copenhagen learning about the life of Danish architect and designer Arne Jacobsen. While his design philosophy is deeply rooted in functionalism and practicality, the timeless look of his creations makes them highly sought after and perfectly adapted to our lifestyles today.
My last stop was at the Danish National Bank, one of the last architectural projects that Arne completed in Copenhagen. His deft ability to combine functionality with form can be seen in this beautiful stairway.
photo THOMAS IBSEN
The Swan chair was one of the iconic chairs Arne origina ally designed for Room 606, 606 which later lat became a worldwide sensation.
My trail began with a stay at the SAS Royal Hotel (now Radisson Blu Royal Hotel) in Room 606. Built in 1956, this was the ﬁrst designer hotel, and Arne designed everything inside – from the building itself to the furniture and ﬁttings, right down to the ashtrays. photo RADISSON BLU ROYAL HOTEL
The Series 7 chair is the epitome of timeless design. Created in 1955, it looks as modern as any furniture you see in stores today.
photography & text YOUNG LIM photography (portrait) DARREN CHANG
photo FRITZ HANSEN
As an architect, Arne possessed a great sense of proportion. This can be seen in his design of the Sollerod Town Hall which, despite its massive block-like appearance, still looks aesthetically balanced and inviting.
All-Rounder You can have audio equipment that produces great sound, without compromising on design and aesthetics, with the new Beoplay M5 by B&O Play. The stand-alone wireless speaker not only has a minimalist cylindrical shape that’s stylish, but also provides crisp and clear music evenly in all directions. It features the brand’s True360 degree omnidirectional sound and pre-set sound modes that optimise acoustic performance in different placements. Finished in trendy wool-blend Kvadrat fabric in two colours – natural (a warm grey) and black, it will surely enhance your space in more ways than one.
B& O P LAY’S BE OP LAY M5, $ 899, IS AVAILABLE AT BANG & OLU FS E N, #01-05 GRAND H YATT, TE L: 6737-7500, WWW.BE OP LAY.C OM.
Purr-fect Solution If you love the idea of having a pet cat, but aren’t particularly thrilled about dirty chores, Litter Robot makes cleaning up after your kitty much easier as this machine self-cleans after each use. Once it detects that the cat is out of the machine, the sphere rotates, sifting only clumps of dirty litter away – allowing maximum use of litter – and chucking it into a drawer which you can empty once full. The inbuilt carbon filter helps block out odours, while the sleep mode saves electricity when the Litter Robot is not in use.
T H E LIT T ER R O BOT R ETAIL S FO R $990, AND IS AVA ILABL E AT WWW.PETCO NNEX IO N.COM.S G.
Even Better While it’s true that iconic designs are best left unaltered, you can still improve on perfection – as in the case of the new Aeron office chair. With over 7 million sold worldwide, the Aeron was designed by Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick in 1994 and became an instant hit with its sleek and ergonomic design. For its new update, Don returned to the drawing board and spent two years studying how to include even better features in the chair. A new forward angle now lets your back keep closer contact to the chair, while supporting the natural S-shape of the spine. With custom reclines and moveable armrests, as well as an improved fabric that distributes weight evenly, you’ll probably not want to get up once you’re seated.
The Finishing To u c h More often than not, the finishing touches to a home involve styling with the right accessories. Choose from unique and dramatic options, like wood sculptures designed by French sculptor Etienne Moyat. From small circular leaf discs, artistic wall panels to 4m-high totems, every piece is intricately carved using a chainsaw to expose unique wood textures. They are then torched, polished or painted to create artworks of varying colours.
TH E NE W AE RON IS AVAIL AB LE IN TH RE E S IZE S . CARBON (GREY ) RE TAILS FOR $ 2,099, AND GRAPHI TE (BLAC K) FOR $ 1,999. TH E Y ARE AVAILABLE AT XTRA, #02-4 8 M ARI N A S QU ARE , TE L: 6336-0688.
E T I E N N E M OYAT ’ S WO R K S A R E AVA ILA B L E E XC LU S IV E LY AT VA N ILL A H OM E , 6 3 C LU B S T R E E T.
Designer Furniture Outlet Simply and aptly named, this new store along Orchard Road offers authentic designer furniture and accessories at sale prices, due to the pieces being over-stocked, discontinued or display models. Examples of designer brands that you can look forward to are Zanotta and Casamilano.
D E S IGNE R FURN I TURE OU TLE T IS AT P E RANAKA N PLACE C OMP LE X, 178A ORC HARD ROAD , TE L: 6732- 4 6 4 7 .
Twice The Clean Convenience is the name of the game with LG’s new Cordzero Handstick, which combines a vacuum cleaner and a mop together. With a detachable container attached to the back of the vacuum, it can hold up to 330ml of water and cleaning agent, and you can mop using its microfibre cloth. Besides that, its anti-tangle brush ensures that hair won’t get stuck at the nozzle for easy clearing of dirt.
The latest design in King Living’s range of sofas is the Reo, an option that offers not just style, but also flexibility. Lounge on the low-back seats, or prop the backrest up for added support when you’re watching a movie or reading a book. Available in four sizes – three-, 2.5-, two-seater and armchair configurations – Reo comes in European leather or premium fabrics. There are also add-on accessories, like the platform table that comes in various timber veneer finishes or Carrara marble, for added convenience.
TH E REO I S AVAILA B LE AT TH E KIN G LI V I N G S H OWR O O M , #01-00 HO N G AI K BU ILD I N G, 2 2 KALLAN G AV EN UE.
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Decoriia THE LG C OR D Z E R O HA N D S T IC K VAC U U M A ND M OP IS AVA IL A B L E AT AL L M A JO R E L E CTR ICAL STO R E S FOR $ 6 4 9 .
Searching for the perfect accent piece can be a challenge when you have no time to window shop, but it’s about to get easier with this new online home-accessories store. Whether you are looking for a decor item, statement piece or quirky trinkets, Decoriia has just the thing for you. Most of its items are curated from Poland and new products from brands such as Vola and Enda, are constantly shipped in. Items range from $30 to $400.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, VIS IT WWW.D E C ORIIA.C OM.
Safehouse Enjoy peace of mind by installing reliable security systems in your home! Aztech has launched Blink, its latest portable, battery-operated – with up to two years of battery life – high definition, video monitoring home security system. Compact and wireless, it can fit seamlessly into any part of the home, and allows you to stream live footage through the Blink Home Monitor app. Video recording works even in low light, too!
BL IN K RE TAILS F ROM $ 188. FIND OU T MORE AT WWW.AZTE C H .C OM.S G.
Flavors of Indonesia PUBLISHER
BAB publishing PRICE
$40.66 (hardcover) REVIEW
Are you someone who appreciates the designs of wood furniture for its grains and patina? If so, there’s something for you at Barn In The City, an Amsterdam brand that specialises in luxurious furniture made with weathered barnwood and contemporary frames, and finishes like marble and steel. Its extensive range includes side tables – such as the stylish Celine side table that has a base featuring a fluid silhouette – coffee tables, dining tables, and even bathroom and kitchen cabinetry. You can also customise them to your preferred size and choice of materials.
Embark on a culinary journey through Indonesia with acclaimed chef William W. Wongso, as he travels through his home country, revisiting food from his childhood. In this engaging 197-page volume, the celebrity chef begins by checking out the local markets around the various Indonesian cities, while comparing the types of distinctive flavours one can find in each region. He also highlights the uniqueness of cuisines from areas such as Western Sumatra, Bali and Java. Half of the book is dedicated to showcasing William’s version of 35 popular Indonesian recipes. They include appetisers, such as gadon (Javanese steamed spiced minced beef) and soto bandung (beef and white radish soup), as well as mains, such as sate daging maranggi (mix spices marinated beef satay) and gulai ikan (fish curry). William also serves up 10 interesting fusion recipes incorporating European cooking techniques with traditional Indonesian ingredients.
CHEC K OU T BARN IN T HE C ITY’S RANGE OF FUR NITU RE AT TATU M, 29B KE ONG S AIK ROAD .
Better With Time
Available at all major bookstores.
Made With Heart Inspired by Indonesian and Southeast Asian design traditions, Ikea has launched Jassa, a range of furniture and furnishings – from sofas to cushions and vases – made of natural materials including rattan, cotton, water hyacinths and sea grass. Handmade using traditional craft techniques like bending and weaving, no two pieces are the same. For a rustic vibe at home, pair a rattan lounger or sofa with one of the bamboo lampshades in the range. Or, add a splash of colour to the space with the cushions in vibrant hues!
TH E C OMP LE TE JASS A RANGE IS AVAILABLE AT BOTH IKE A ALE XAND RA AND IKE A TAMP INE S TH IS MONTH , AND FOR A LIMITE D TIME ONLY.
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EC Proof For those who enjoy mixing up the occasional tipple during a home party, a well-stocked bar that’s equipped with the tools of the trade is an essential element. Online store EC Proof offers everything you need to, from stirrer spoons and strainers to shakers and barrels, in a variety of styles and finishes. You can even get home bar kits that range from $1,500 to $10,000, including in-home training by a respected craft bartender. And if you want to improve your knowledge on the subject, there are also cocktail recipes, technical guides and other books available.
S H OP ONLI N E AT WWW.E C P RO O F. CO M . 1 Kimu New Old light in copper, from $315, from Bibliotek. 2 Comet copper pendant lamp, $489, from Harvey Norman. 3 Yoko pendant lamp in blue, $569, from Homes To Life. 4 Louis Poulsen Above pendant lamp, from $450, from P5.
Art and design showcases around the world worth checking out.
Architectural Digest Design Show March 16 to 19 Pier 92 and 94, 55th Street West Side Highway (12th Avenue), New York City
Philippines International Furniture Show March 9 to 11 Manila SMX Convention Centre, the Philippines The sixth edition of the Philippines International Furniture Show (PIFS) is back. This three-day extravaganza will feature the latest collections and ideas in furniture, furnishings and home accessories from local and international brands, designers and manufacturers. Acclaimed Chilean designer Nelson Sepulveda will be one of the specially invited guests at the show, and visitors can participate in interactive programmes with both him and other local and international artists. With the Philippine furniture industry constantly improving its use of natural materials and craftsmanship, the show attracts major industry players from across the region. The PIFS Design Award will be presented to participants at the show for Transitional Furniture Design, Contemporary Furniture Design, Home Accessory Design and Visual Merchandising.
Source for handcrafted and limited-edition furnishings, accessories and art pieces at the annual Architectural Digest Design Show held in New York City. For four days, exhibitors from all over the world gather to showcase their latest products for the home. The design show includes four segments, with an extensive and impressive lineup of artists and brands, such as Vetro Vero and Bosch. The Made segment features oneof-a-kind furnishings, accessories and art pieces. The Shops section offers decor, gifts, tabletop accessories and more. Fair-goers get to see the latest kitchen, bath and luxury appliances in the Refresh segment, while the Furnish segment focuses on showcasing contemporary and classic furniture, lighting, carpets and rugs, decorative accessories, textiles and art. The Jenn-Air Master Class Studio will be where participants can experience design talks with tastemakers and designers, and a conversation with Architectural Digest editor-in-chief Amy Astley, as well as a celebrity designer. A portion of all ticket sales will benefit the Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids.
TI CK ETS ARE PRI CED AT US$3 0 + (S$4 2 + ) FO R ADVAN CE PURCHASES, AN D US$4 0 FO R O N - SI TE PURCHASES. V I SI T W W W. AD D ESI GN SHOW. CO M .
A D M ISS ION F EES AR E 5 0 0 P H ILIP P INE PESO S ( S $ 1 4 ) P E R P ER SO N FO R E AC H DAY. V IS ITO R S CA N P R E - R E GIST ER FOR A ON E - DAY C O M P LIM E N TAR Y PA SS TO A L L SHOWS. V IS IT WWW. P I FS.PH.
text DOMENICA TAN, LOUISA CLARE LIM, ELIZA HAMIZAH & GIRWINA TAN
WOOD & WOVEN Accent your style with a generous dose of rustic charm in wood and wicker.
Want a behindthe-scenes look from this shoot? See page 26.
W AR M T H & FAM I L I A R I T Y Natural textures add cosiness and intimacy to your personal space. These alluring materials comfort the senses and invigorate the soul.
Teak M small rack by Ethnicraft, $1,340, from Originals. Large Dovetail jug by Keep Resin, $260, and mustard vases by Keep Resin, $275 for a set of three, all from Affordable Style Files. HK Living rattan coffee table, $480, from Make Room. Artesia Honey rattan charger plate, $24.95; gold salad fork and spoon, $27.95 each, all from Crate & Barrel. TL Vetiver wood vessel, $69; Vetiver candle insert $59, and XXS Bohemian basket, $48, all from Affordable Style Files. Madame natural rattan chair, $1,490, from Dreamweave. Fond Sali throw by Fond Industries, $300; Bungles B ink cushion, $110, and Armadillo and Co Kalahari in natural and pumice rug, price upon request, all from Affordable Style Files. OPPOSITE
Open weave basket, $119, from Dreamweave. Straits bench, $599, from Namu Furniture. Nosh glass bowl, $3.95, and Acacia wedge servers, $49.95 each, all from Crate & Barrel. Lidded cups by Seed collection, $68, $88, $108 for different sizes, all from &Natural. White Marin creamer jug, $27.95, and Helena dark natural linen napkin, $15.95, both from Crate & Barrel. Uashmama gold washable bag in gold, $30, from Affordable Style Files. BACKGROUND
Light Blue GSC 282 laminate, price upon request, from Greenlam. Other items, stylistâ€™s own.
THE ART I SA N AL TOUCH Beautifully constructed wooden furniture demonstrates the skill of its maker, backed by a heritage of experience and dedication to the craft. The stories behind their origin inspire a sense of artistry and timeless appeal.
Wanderlust place mat (on wall), $15, from Affordable Style Files. Lawrence charger plate, $49.95, and French beechwood tasting spoon, $10.95 each, all from Crate & Barrel. Ella small white vase by Originals Nomad Home, $25, from Originals. Medium Dovetail vase by Keep Resin, $230; Speckled carved cone by Paterson & Steel, $59, and large Belly baskets, $48 each, all from Affordable Style Files. Water Hyacinth oval place mats, $19.95 each, and Helena dark natural linen napkin, $15.95, from Crate & Barrel. Frame PC teak console by Ethnicraft, $1,175, from Originals. OPPOSITE
Wally desk by Originals Nomad Home, $1,150, from Originals. SOH Collins street brass candle, $89, from Affordable Style Files. Birch mini logs, $25.95 for a pack; Nosh glass bowl, $3.95; Chemex three-cup coffee maker with wood collar, $84.95; Stainless-steel espresso cups, $15.95 each, and Evans wood charger plate, $39.95, all from Crate & Barrel. Isadora vase by Originals Nomad Home, $115, from Originals. Botanical tray (on wall), $79; HK Living rattan tub chair, $490, and rattan lantern, $59, all from Make Room. Teak M small rack by Ethnicraft, $1,340, and Blasia vase by Originals Nomad Home, $130, both from Originals. BACKGROUND
Light Blue GSC 282 laminate, price upon request, from Greenlam. Other items, stylistâ€™s own.
text YOUNG LIM photography JASPER YU art direction & styling KAFFY TAN
MAY 19 – 2 1
11AM – 9PM
MARINA SQUARE CENTRAL ATRIUM EXHIBITORS
JOIN US FOR
• Asus Singapore • Bona Far East & Paciﬁc • Cosentino • Econﬂo Systems • Ergoworks • Jung Asia • Meter Square Consultancy • Starry Homestead
• Pre-registration gift • Exclusive exhibitor discounts • Fabulous subscription offers and gifts • Free goodie bags • Decor tips and advice
Find o ut mo re at w ww. h om ea n d d ecor. com . s g / p rom oti on s
THE COOL LIST With temperatures set to rise during the hot and dry season in Singapore, keeping cool is a prime concern. Fret not, here are 50 tips to help you combat the heat while keeping your living spaces comfortable and stylish.
LG Artcool Platinum Series Designed with tempered glass, the LG Artcool Platinum series provides clean air through ﬁve features – ﬁltering, deodorising, eliminating, ionising, and auto cleaning – to reduce the amount of harmful bacteria in the air.
Samsung Five Ticks multi-split air-con with built-in Wi-Fi
CHOOSE THE RIGHT AIR-CON FOR YOUR HOME HOW TO SIZE YOUR AIR-CON Proper sizing is essential when it comes to ensuring your air-con unit is able to cool your room efficiently. The cooling capacity of an air-conditioner is measured in British thermal units (BTU), and air-cons generally have capacities ranging from 5,500 BTU per hour to 14,000 BTU per hour. Each square foot of the space requires 20 BTU to maintain the temperature at around 24 deg C. Rooms that let in a lot of light, with a high ceiling or contain a kitchen will require more energy to keep the temperature constant.
In sunny Singapore, the airconditioner is a must-have in every household! With a wide selection on the market, how do you determine the right type for your home? Experts at LG explain that “inverter air-conditioners are the preferred choice as they achieve desired temperature more quickly, are quieter, and draw less power compared to conventional models.” There are many types of multi-split system air-cons, and their suitability depends on factors including the size of the home and frequency of use. For example, System Two – two units of airconditioner to a condenser – is ideal for a three-room flat with the air-con units installed in two bedrooms, or in the master bedroom and living room.
This is Singapore’s ﬁrst multi-split system with built-in Wi-Fi, allowing you to operate the appliance while on the go. It also comes with Samsung’s air-con air-purifying technology, which can also be controlled with the Samsung Smart Home App.
Daikin Five Ticks Smile Series Having been awarded the Good Design Award, the Daikin Five Ticks Smile Series carries stylish and compact models that are perfect for tiny homes – even the outdoor units are compact enough to be installed through narrow windows. All air-conditioning units mentioned are available at major electrical stores.
U S E C E I L I N G FA N S T O C I R C U L AT E COOL AIR
U S E FA N C Y ICE CUBES
UNPLUG UNUSED GADGETS AT N I G H T
COOL AND CLEAN T H E A I R AT T H E SAME TIME The Dyson Pure Cool Link purifier fan utilises the brand’s patented air multiplier technology to circulate and cool surrounding air. The machine is said to remove 99.95 per cent of indoor allergens, and pollutants as small as 0.1 microns. Its 360-degree, vacuum-sealed glass Hepa filter and layer of activated carbon granules capture odours, harmful toxins and cigarette smoke.
Any eco article out there will probably tell you to unplug your gadgets when they’re not in use, to save electricity and money. Also bear in mind that gadgets that are plugged in continue to consume energy even when fully charged, so the excess energy turns into heat, which is released into the surrounding area. Your gadgets also produce blue light that suppresses melatonin production, which helps regulate sleep. So do your body a favour, and reduce your exposure to blue light at night.
Haiku’s ceiling fans are three times more energy-efficient as compared to typical fan motors, and are totally silent thanks to the brand’s patented DC motors. The built-in motion sensors automatically turn the machine on or off when you enter or leave the room. They’re stylish, too, and are available in wood-look finishes.
Instead of putting plain ice cubes into your drink, use slicess of fruit and berries frozen in water. This way, you’lll get plenty of flavour in a chillled glass. You can also freeze citrus-infused water with ffresh fruit juice – for ur and taste. It’s all about colou having fun, despite the heat!
I N S TA L L W I N D O W S H U T T E R S T H AT K E E P T H E H E AT O U T Choose the right sun shading and window treatment systems, which help to keep the heat out by shielding against harsh sunlight. Wooden shutters from Sunleaf Shutters can do just that, while filtering sufficient light through the louvres. The hardwood material acts as a natural insulator against the heat, so your home will be kept cool.
S E T Y O U R FA N S T O R O TAT E COUNTER-CLOCKWISE â€œA counter-clockwise movement circulates cool air down to the floor, where it wicks perspiration away from your body. This creates a wind-chill effect,â€? says Eric Tay, founder of fan manufacturer Acorn. The Fantastique AC-326 (pictured), is just one of many Acorn designs that include a counter-clockwise function.
MAKE COOLING MISTS Think of a cooling spray as air-conditioning in a bottle! Include witch hazel and peppermint, which are naturally cooling. Mix them together with aloe vera, which is soothing and anti-inflammatory without being oily. Formula: â€˘ Âź cup aloe vera gel or aloe vera plant extract in Âź cup distilled water â€˘ Âź cup witch hazel â€˘ 2 to 3 drops peppermint essential oil
Combine all in a glass spray bottle and shake or stir until well mixed, before spraying on your face or wherever you need to refresh. Mind your eyes, though, as it may sting!
PUT ON AN EYE MASK â€Ś but pop it in the fridge before use. A cold eye mask â€“ whether itâ€™s a sheet or gel one â€“ not only reduces puffiness in the morning, but it is also a respite for tired eyes.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT M AT E R I A L T O W E A R On a warm, sunny day, linen clothing is your best bet. Choose from Mujiâ€™s latest French Linen collection thatâ€™s soft and light to the touch. Linen fibres and weaves allow for more airflow with high permeability, and are less likely to cling to the skin. The material removes perspiration from the body effectively as it absorbs moisture easily and dries out quickly.
DO LAUNDRY AT N I G H T The afternoon sun may hasten the drying process when youâ€™re putting clothes out to dry, but itâ€™s not as kind to your skin. One solution is to invest in a dryer, but if space is a concern, go for a space-saving washer-dryer. Samsungâ€™s WD12 front-load washer-dryer is compact, but packs a punch â€“ it offers up to 12kg and 8kg of capacity for washing and drying, respectively. Its Eco Bubble technology uses bubbles for a more thorough yet gentle wash, while the Air Wash uses heated air to remove odours and bacteria. Best of all, it doesnâ€™t make a lot of noise, thanks to its 3-D Vibration Sensor.
PA M P E R Y O U R S E L F WITH A COLD SHOWER
Cristina TV 457
Nothing beats the heat better than a refreshing cold shower. Typically larger and wider than a traditional showerhead, rainshowers spray water from directly above you, resulting in a rhythm of water droplets that envelop your entire body. Here are five luxurious rainshowers to choose from.
This minimalist chrome-plated rainshower by Italian brand Cristina Rubinetterie features a thermostatic mixer, so you’ll be sure of your desired temperature as you shower. The anti-lime handshower also means no unsightly chalky stains; it’ll look pristine, always! It is available at Bathroom Gallery.
25 Waterworks by THG Paris
Dornbracht Big Rain
This rainshower system by French luxury ﬁttings brand THG is ideal for those who want an industrial yet chic look in their bathrooms. Its lever handles sport elegant lines, while the handshower gives you an additional option without the bulk. It also features hard-water and limescale protection.
Aptly called the Big Rain, this shower panel features an impressive 36cm by 28cm shower outlet. It also comes with a smaller outlet that targets the head, neck, and face areas – switch on both modes at once for a truly luxurious shower experience.
Hansgrohe Crometta and Shower Select
Kohler Katalyst Air Showerhead
S L E E P O N A C O O L M AT T R E S S
Much like athletic wear, the new Tempur Hybrid Luxe mattress features a moisturewicking, heat-absorbing fabric to keep you dry and cool as you sleep. This Cool Touch technology, along with a material that relieves pressure points and a removable and washable cover, will give you the quality shut-eye you need.
Pair the minimalist Hansgrohe Shower Select thermostat with the Crometta hand shower, which pampers you with soft rain shower, as well as intense rain modes. Use the thermostat to activate both overhead and handheld Cromettas, as well as customise your desired temperature and pressure. Its scratchproof glass is easy to clean, too.
GO ORGANIC WITH ALOE VERA Sunburns are common, and aloe vera gel – kept in the fridge for an extra cooling effect – makes for a soothing antidote for sore burns. You can also freeze the gel in an ice-cube tray and rub the cubes over affected areas. If your aloe vera gel is edible, add a squeeze or two into a glass of water.
To mimic a rainfall experience, the Kohler showerhead features large nozzles that deliver fuller and heavier water droplets. Its Katalyst technology uses an air induction system to make each drop feel even bigger – resulting in a dense yet gentle water delivery without using a lot of water. It is available in three designs.
E AT S P I C Y F O O D
Ever heard of the saying â€œfight fire with fireâ€?? According to scientists, eating spicy food will force your body to bring your temperature down to match the room temperature â€“ in a phenomenon known as Gustatory facial sweating. Time to stock up on Tabasco sauce!
DESIGN YOUR HOME W I T H S U R FA C I N G M AT E R I A L S T H AT A R E COOL TO THE TOUCH Go for surfacing materials in light and pale shades, as they reflect light and therefore absorb less heat. Consider these stylish materials:
USE GLASS T H AT S H I E L D S A G A I N S T H E AT Local glass fabricating company Singapore Safety Glass has created a thermochromic glass called Varishield. The glass panes tint when exposed to heat from the sun, helping to reduce glare and heat entering the home by 65 per cent. This lightens the load on air-conditioning systems, too, as heat does not get trapped in the home.
Dekton ultra-compact surface Cosentinoâ€™s Dekton is a versatile and durable large-format material that can be used for worktops, ďŹ‚ooring, and cladding for both interiors and exteriors. It comes in three thicknesses to suit different application requirements.
Natural stone The thermal conductivity of marble is considerably high, and dissipates heat quickly to leave it feeling cold. Hafary offers numerous types of beautiful marble, apart from other stone surfaces.
Porcelain tiles Not only are tiles hardy, but these days you can get them in many designs to suit all kinds of interiors. Rice offers quality tiles with interesting designs from Italy, including eco-friendly and antibacterial ones.
CHOOSE BED LINEN MADE FROM CELLULOSE-BASED FIBRES
Cellulose-based (or natural-source regenerated) fibres include bamboo and Tencel, and fabrics made from these are breathable, soft and smooth. The Grand Atelier Premium Collection bamboo sheets, available at Takashimaya and Tangs, are made of a highly absorbent and breathable material that wicks moisture away for a comfortable nightâ€™s sleep. Another option is naturally occurring fibres, such as cotton and linen. Choose these over bed linen made using synthetic fibres, which score less on comfort and breathability, even though they are more durable.
COOL DOWN WITH A RELAXING SOAK When you create a spa experience at home, you’ll forget how hot it is outside. Fill these stylish tubs with cool water and have a good, long soak.
Victoria + Albert Napoli Inspired by an eggshell, the Napoli bath is sleek and spacious, with a low-slung proﬁle that allows users to get in and out of the tub easily. Made of naturally white and glossy – as well as easy-toclean – Quarrycast material, this freestanding bath embodies the “less is more” look perfectly.
Villeroy & Boch Squaro Edge 12
Made of Quaryl – a mix of quartz and acrylic – this tub maintains the temperature of water longer so there’s no need for reﬁlls. The Squaro Edge 12 sports a slim silhouette, with a rim only 1.2cm thick, and is available in a kaleidoscope of colours, including a slate grey hue called Ocean.
Duravit’s tub combines form and function to great effect. Featuring back slopes (or foot rests) in two angles – 40 and 46 degrees – you can relax and submerge yourself on whichever side you ﬁnd most comfortable. The trapezoidal shape allows space for two users, too.
USE ESSENTIAL OILS Remedy the heat with minty essential oils, such as peppermint or eucalyptus. Apply a dab of these all-natural essences (available from essential oil cultivator Young Living) on your neck for an icy sensation, or add a few drops into an aroma diffuser. Muji’s diffuser (pictured) produces a cool mist, which enhances the aromatheraphy effect.
USE A BED-COOLING SYSTEM Ucoolz is an online company set up in 2011 that specialises in designing cooling products for Singapore’s hot climate. Its bestseller is the Bamboo Charcoal Cotton Mat with Digital Temperature Control set that you can place on your bed, mattress and even your car to cool you down at any time. It works by continuously circulating cold water through a pump attached, which has to be changed every few months. The Ucoolz mattress pad is part of a green environment initiative to cut the rate of global warming by reducing the need for air-conditioning.
OPT FOR A PILLOW T H AT D O E S N ’ T R E TA I N H E AT The head is the warmest part of your body, so by cooling your head, it calms the body – which, in turn, cools you down. Latex is a natural polymer and is more effective in preventing moisture and heat absorption. King Koil’s 100-per-cent latex pillow with cooling properties will not only keep you cool, but also support you by conforming to your head and neck.
QUENCH YOUR THIRST WITH LEMONADE
Try these lemonade recipes, which serve five each: • Prepare basic lemonade by squeezing the juice of six lemons into a jug. Add 2 to 3 cups of water and ¼ cup of sugar, and stir until sugar dissolves. • For a tropical-inspired beverage, add 180ml of pineapple juice, 180ml of apricot nectar, and 350ml of ginger ale into your basic lemonade. • For a minty cooler, add ½ cup of mint leaves and 350ml of club soda to the basic lemonade. • For a spritzy strawberry and basil taste, add 2 to 3 cups of chopped strawberries and a handful of chopped basil. Leave for 15 minutes for the lemonade to soak up the basil flavour. Add plenty of ice, and garnish with lemon slices.
E N J O Y A N AT U R A L COOL BREEZE Laze on a hammock in a breezy and shaded spot at home, such as the balcony. Airmocks’ Zen Deluxe range of hammocks is made of 100-percent polyester; this breathable material keeps it cool to the touch and does not trap heat.
PREVENT COOL AIR FROM ESCAPING While air-conditioning is the easiest way to lower a roomâ€™s temperature, itâ€™s not the cheapest. Having it work harder, due to cool air escaping the room, means ending up with an expensive bill. Ensure that windows are properly sealed, and doors are closed, to maximise the use of air-cons. Hire a professional HVAC technician to determine if your home is leaking air.
KEEP YOUR BLINDS CLOSED Reduce the amount of heat and sunlight from entering your home by installing blinds and keeping them closed during sunny afternoons. You can draw the blinds (curtains too) when the sun goes down â€“ this allows extra heat to escape, and cooler night air to ventilate your home.
KNOW WHEN TO REPLACE YOUR FRIDGE The Warranty Group shares some tips:
â€˘ Is the freezer too cold? Is the fridge warm? Watch out for excessive ice buildup in the freezer compartment, and condensation in the fridge. Note that the ideal freezer temperature is -18 deg C, while the fridge should be 3 to 5 deg C. â€˘ Put a sheet of paper between the seals when you close the door. If youâ€™re able to pull it out easily, the seals are probably loose. A quick fix is to buy kid-proof straps to ensure that the fridge door shuts properly. â€˘ Check for unusual sounds. â€˘ Look out for water pooling around the fridge.
Maintain a fridge easily with the Love Home programme. It covers all repairs and replacements of your fridge for an annual fee of $399. Find out more at www.homeanddecor.com.sg/lovehome.
INVEST IN A DURABLE AND QUALITY FRIDGE
USE OUTDOOR SHADING
A good fridge will not only keep your food cool and fresh, but also help you save money. Samsungâ€™s Twin Cooling Plus refrigerator (choose from three sizes) brings modern technology into your home, while saving energy. By cooling the fridge and freezer compartments separately, it provides the optimal environment for your food. Bonus: It comes with a 10-year warranty.
It may be hot outside, but that doesnâ€™t mean you have to hide indoors all day. If you have a balcony or patio, make the most of it. Just install a trellis or pergola that provides shade from the sun, as well as rain. At Absolut Outdoors, you can choose from either composite wood, natural wood or galvanised steel for the structure, and polycarbonate and aluminium composite panels for the top. You can even add creeping plants, or other greenery, to beautify it!
Try this traditional Chinese cooling recipe by Hockhua Tonic:
KEEP YOUR HOME W E L L V E N T I L AT E D In order to have good air flow, you need two opposite openings in a room to create an air tunnel. From your floor plan, you can work out how the air might flow through your home (take note that air does not cut across hard angles), so do not install partitions or other structures that would inhibit good circulation. While this should have been done at the renovation stage, what you can do at any point is to frequently air out your home simply by opening the windows and doors. Use fans, if needed, to help with pushing stagnant hot air and dust out, to allow fresh air in.
DRINK BARLEY FOR A COOLING EFFECT
Ingredients 30g China barley, 15g winter melon strips, 25g refined sugar, 5g pandan leaf, water Preparation 1) Rinse and soak the barley in hot water. Keep refrigerated overnight. 2) Remove barley from the refrigerator the next day and pour away any waste water. 3) Add 700ml of fresh water, the winter melon strips and refined sugar to a pot, and boil for an hour (use only a medium or low flame). 4) Keep stirring to keep ingredients from getting burnt. 5) Add the pandan leaf after an hour of cooking, and boil for another 10 minutes, then serve.
U S E E N E R GY - S AV I N G BULBS
C H O O S E H E AT R E F L E C T I V E PA I N T
In incandescent light bulbs, electricity is converted to heat in the tungsten, which mean more heat is dissipated as compared to LED options. Swop incandescent bulbs at home with LED ones – they’re also more energy-efficient and last longer as they require less electricity to produce the same light output. “Look out for the energy label on the light bulb packaging. Bulbs with a three-tick rating are the best in terms of energy efficiency, and will save the most electricity,” advises lighting experts from Philips. The Philips Classic LED range looks the part, yet uses around 80 per cent less energy compared to traditional light bulbs.
Coat the exterior of your house with heat reflective paint to keep the interiors cool. Dulux Weathershield paint is able to reduce surface temperature by up to 5 deg C with its high solar reflectance property, offering better indoor thermal comfort. This translates to up to 15 per cent of energy savings per annum for a two-storey bungalow too!
I N S TA L L A N E X H A U S T FA N I N Y O U R B AT H R O O M T O REMOVE STEAM Your bathroom would usually be the hottest and most humid area in your home, especially after a shower. Remove the steam, hot air and odour by installing an exhaust fan. This will also help to prevent mould from forming and causing health-related issues.
COOL DOWN WITH AN ICE-COLD SMOOTHIE Nothing beats sipping on a delicious homemade smoothie on a hot day. A trusty ice blender can do the job for you – just drop all your ingredients in and blend well! The strong 450-watt motor and durable serrated knives in Bosch’s MMB12P4RGB make it easy to blend any ingredient. Its BPA-free plastic also makes food preparation safe. Plus, it’s easy to clean as the jug, lid, measuring cup and accessories are all dishwasher-safe!
CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY SMOOTHIE RECIPE BY BOSCH
To match your retro-style kitchen – or if you simply love the vintage look – Smeg’s latest range of kitchen appliances includes the 50s Style blender. Its die-cast aluminium body makes it stable during operation, and the convenient non-drip spout makes drink preparation fuss-free. It even has preset Ice Crush and Smoothie programmes that can produce beverages with different consistencies or levels of creaminess. Choose from a variety of gorgeous shades: red, cream, pink, pastel blue, black and pastel green.
Ingredients 2 tsp cocoa powder 1 cup pitted cherries 1 cup raspberries ½ cup almond milk ½ cup vanilla yoghurt 1 cup ice cubes Preparation • Blend all ingredients. • Add ice or water according to your preferred consistency.
Available at APS Lifestyle.
USE A THERMOS FLASK TO KEEP YOUR DRINKS COLD O N A H OT DAY Thereâ€™s no need to worry about serving lukewarm water at your next picnic when you have the new Thermos Alfi Senso Vacuum Carafe. With a capacity of 0.65 litres, it keeps liquids cold for up to 24 hours. Bonus: It comes with a single hand-pouring button for convenience. Sleek, stylish and functional, this is one carafe youâ€™ll need to beat the heat. Available in three colours.
E AT F R E S H A N D REFRESHING ICE CREAM Itâ€™s easy making your own ice cream with the Cuisinart Soft Serve Ice Cream Maker ($458, from Tangs). Fully automatic, it makes around 1.4 litres of tantalising frozen dessert in as little as 20 minutes. All you have to do is add fresh ingredients and turn the dial. The machine also allows you to add toppings or mix-ins as the ice cream is dispensed.
E AT A C O L D D I S H â€“ NO COOKING REQUIRED! Some things are best served cold: revenge, and a chickpea and feta salad. Pour one can of chickpeas into a bowl, and add chopped cucumber, red onions, and parsley for crunch. Top it up with 1/3 cup of feta cheese (or more â€“ whoâ€™s counting?) and a diced avocado for a creamy texture. Drizzle the juice of half a lemon, sprinkle salt and pepper to taste, and toss. Chill in refrigerator.
K E E P H Y D R AT E D WITH PURE DRINKING W AT E R Sweaty days call for a countermeasure â€“ lots of water! Purify the water you drink with the Hyflux Alkaline-3 Drinking Water System, which removes bacteria, viruses and chlorine. The antioxidant-alkaline feature helps neutralise acidity in your body as well. This device can be connected to a drinking tap or dispenser.
S L E E P O N A TATA M I Tatami mattresses are made of rush plants. The porous, natural material helps with air ventilation, which makes tatami mats cool to rest on. Now, you can have a good nightâ€™s sleep even on warm nights! Smooth to the touch, the mats are also environmentally friendly and easy to maintain. Available from The Tatami Shop at Metro Centrepoint.
USE A CLOTHES LINE TO HANG YOUR LAUNDRY If you’re not ready to invest in a quality dryer, sticking to a clothes line for your laundry may offer some cooling relief as well. The reasons are simple. Firstly, conventional dryers generate large amounts of heat and humidity, which get trapped in your home. Secondly, when you use a clothes line to dry your clothes, the water evaporates and cools the surrounding air.
LET YOUR DISHES AIR-DRY The theory of leaving your dishes to dry manually is similar to using a clothesline to hang your laundry. By allowing them to dry naturally, water droplets are dispersed into the air and this cools down the temperature. Also, air-drying your dishes could be better for your health, since germs can get trapped in towels used to wipe dishes.
CHOOSE OVENS T H AT A R E W E L L I N S U L AT E D Keep the heat in! Whether you’re looking for an oven, microwave or combination steam oven, it’s important to choose one that meets your cooking and baking needs, without heat escaping from the appliance. Miele’s ovens are cool on all sides. The latest in its range – Artline – has exteriors that are kept cool as several panes of glass insulate the oven door effectively and ensure a lower temperature on the outside. Available in graphite grey, Miele’s Artline ovens have no handles, and are designed to fit seamlessly into stylish and minimalist kitchens. The doors pop open automatically upon the touch of a sensor.
D E C O R AT E W I T H PLANTS AND GREEN WALL SYSTEMS It has been proven that plants naturally aerate and cool our surroundings, apart from removing toxins from the air and being soothing sights. For statementmaking feature walls, head to Greenology and Vertical Green for green walls. Green walls dramatically reduce temperatures of a building by acting as an insulation layer to protect from the heat of sun.
USE WINDOW FILMS T H AT K E E P O U T H E AT A N D H A R M F U L R AY S If you don’t fancy drawing your blinds and curtains as this blocks out views of the surrounding or makes your home look dark and gloomy, apply anti-glare films to your windows. They help maintain openness, without you having to worry about heat and harmful rays entering the home. 3M Prestige window films feature a multi-layer optical technology that’s designed to reflect heat, ultra-violet and infrared rays, thereby decreasing the temperature within the home, while allowing natural light to pass through.
MAKE USE OF H O M E A U T O M AT I O N With smart home systems, you can prevent your interiors from heating up even when you are not in. Have the curtains or blinds drawn automatically when there is strong sunlight, or the air-conditioning turned on before you arrive home. Systems from Asus, Somfy, Mation, Zipato, and more allow you to programme the various aspects of your home to keep it comfortable and energyefficient, without any extra effort on your part.
MAKE A REFRESHING ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE AT H O M E Fans of the classic pina colada will welcome the Painkiller, a richer, creamier cousin of the tropical beverage. Hereâ€™s a recipe, adapted by Zachary de Git from EC Proof, a craft spirits and home bar goods store. â€˘ â€˘ â€˘ â€˘ â€˘
Mix ingredients in a tiki mug or old fashion rocks glass, and serve it into a hurricane glass. Garnish with nutmeg and an orange wheel.
OPT FOR OUTDOOR FURNITURE Outdoor furniture usually feature open designs and are made with lightweight, durable materials. Consider using them indoors to stay cool when lounging. Here are some stylish suggestions:
1 Living Divani Georgeâ€™s chair, from Dream. 2 B&B Italia Ravel sofa, from Space. 3 Dedon Mbrace chair, from Xtra. 4 Sika Design Hanging Egg chair, from Dreamweave.
- Consider the number of liquor bottles and wine chillers needed before determining the location of the bar counter. - Store bottles and glasses on an overhead shelf above it. - Choose the right materials. â€œWe recommend honey onyx for countertop as it creates a warm and elegant ambience when the area is illuminated,â€? says Jeremy Tay of interior design firm Prestige Global.
USE AN ALKALINE W AT E R D I S P E N S E R
45ml dark rum 45ml fresh pineapple juice 30ml coconut cream 15ml fresh orange juice 15ml rich syrup
3 TIPS FOR DESIGNING A BAR AREA
Drinking alkaline water supposedly offers a wealth of benefits like restoring your pH balance, improving immunity and helping in detoxification. Backed by years of research and over 130 patents, H2O Life Source, a Korean alkaline water dispenser company, has released various versions for company and personal use that will adjust according to your tap water.
text DOMENICA TAN, LOUISA CLARE LIM, ELIZA HAMIZAH & GIRWINA TAN illustration LIM YI LING
COOL YOUR FEET Your feet have more blood vessels that directly impact your body temperature. Therefore, if you cool down your feet, your body will follow suit. The Vornado fan circulates the air in a cycle, taking in hot air and releasing cool air into the room, and can be placed on the floor or under your desk to keep your feet cool.
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Y O UR C O M PL ET E G U I DE T O
Design is a big part of everyday life, and it’s about to play an even bigger role in March, when the annual Singapore Design Festival (SDW) will be held. Organised by the Design Singapore Council, and into its fourth year, the SDW takes place from March 3 to 12 this year, and features local as well as international design activities, conferences, exhibitions and workshops. Part of it includes industry-geared events, such as the International Furniture Fair Singapore, Asean Furniture Show, and design conferences, but there are plenty of activities
the curious public can check out as well. Anchor event Singaplural, at the F1 Pit Building this year, features the work of over 100 participants and a pop-up store with new products by local designers. Design Trails bring participants closer to creative communities to learn more about their work, and the Design, Make & Craft Fair at the National Design Centre will offer workshops and hands-on activities for adults and kids. This year’s festival follows the announcement of the Design 2025 masterplan in March 2016, which has a vision of Singapore as a thriving innovation-driven economy. Working towards this goal, “we are aiming for greater excitement and buzz for SDW 2017. We are putting stronger emphasis on making people aware of design around us, and the possibilities of using design to enhance our environments. We are aiming to make Singapore a liveable city, and a loveable city – by design”, says Yeo Piah Choo, festival director and director of industry development and outreach, for Design Singapore Council. Get clued in on what’s happening with our handy guide.
photo SING MUI HENG
photo SINGAPORE CHINESE CULTURAL CENTRE
DESIGN TRAILS 2017: DESIGN DAY OUT IN THE CITY When March 11 to 12, 11am to 6pm
Admission Free, register at www. designsingapore. org/sdw
photo JOURNEY EAST
Where Hop on and off the trail. The free shuttle service can be boarded at any featured stop.
In its fourth year, the popular Design Trails brings participants up close and personal with the creative community – through talks, interactive demonstrations and exclusive entry to their workspaces. This year’s trail, developed by Shophouse & Co, will take participants to eight locations – Collision 8, a co-working space at North Bridge Road; the Airbnb office in Tanjong Pagar; Oasia Hotel Downtown; the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre in the CBD area; Chong Wen Ge, a heritage landmark at Telok Ayer Street; Journey East, a furniture retailer; and Sing Mui Heng, a specialist in fashion craft materials. One stop features “a surprising urban intervention” at Telok Ayer Park.
SINGAPLURAL When March 7 to 12, 11am to 10pm
Where Level 3, F1 Pit Building, 1 Republic Boulevard
Admission $10 each for tickets sold at the door (unlimited entry). Local students, children 12 years and below, and senior citizens aged 60 and above enjoy free entry
This year marks many firsts for Singaplural, the anchor event of SDW – a new location, a new curator, new collaborators and new segments. Its location at the F1 Pit Building is “quite large”, says Jackson Tan of the award-winning design firm Black, who is curating the festival for the first time. With the theme “Stories – A New Perspective” in mind, he says visitors can expect more than 100 design installations at the event, which aim to give guests an insight into the minds of their creators. Organised by the Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC), Singaplural’s key installation is Tomorrow: Design Stories Of Our Future, where 10 past President
Installations and new product designs from Singaplural 2016. Visitors of the 2017 edition can expect to see an installation titled Tomorrow: Design Stories Of Our Future.
Design Award-winners imagine the lives we’ll lead in 2065. New segments Partners, Pop-up and Projects have also revitalised the programming. Partners will feature the KYO Project, a collaboration with the Kanto Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry. For this, Singapore designers such as Chris Lee of Asylum, Wong Mun Summ and Richard Hassell of WOHA Architects, and Colin Seah of Ministry of Design worked with Japanese craftsmen to create new items. Pop-up supports local brands by giving them a platform to showcase and retail their works. “This is the first time visitors to the event will be able to purchase the unique design creations from local brands directly at the site,” says Jackson. Look forward to product launches and items from brands such as Supermama, Shermay’s Fine Food and Ette Tea. Under Projects, well-known designers and brands team up to create thoughtful installations. One example is Uniqlo’s collaboration with local design studio Machineast and Roots to feature the quick-drying properties of Uniqlo’s Airism clothing line in fun, interactive ways. www.singaplural.com
What are the main highlights of this year’s Singaplural?
JACKSON TAN CURATOR OF S I N G A P L U R A L 2 0 1 7 What does your role involve? Setting the theme, format, and direction of the festival, as well as to curate the designers and presentations.
How have you evolved the event? By refreshing the event with our theme of stories, which aims to make the event more relatable to the audience, and gives more scope for participants to exercise their creative flair.
Singaplural 2017 promises to have a star-studded lineup that includes the very best of the Singapore design scene. I would highlight our Tomorrow exhibit, Uniqlo’s collaboration with Machineast and Roots, as well as a new segment, Pop-up, which is a showcase of local brands and designers.
What impressions do you hope visitors will take away after visiting Singaplural? I hope they will gain insights from the stories that we have put together for them to enjoy. We also hope that they can derive inspiration and appreciation of design in different forms, and see how design can touch our life in many ways. Through our special feature, Tomorrow, we want visitors to share their dreams and have a glimpse of how design of the future can create a better life for everyone.
Why did you choose to collaborate with Jackson Tan (and Black)?
MARK YONG CHAIRMAN OF SINGAPLURAL 2017 How is the new site at the F1 Pit Building different to previous years’? The past two editions of Singaplural were held at the evocative environs of the old Central Police Station at 99 Beach Road, which – to us – was a grand old dame of sorts, but one that required a lot of attention in order to transform the disused venue to a usable one. This year’s venue at the F1 Pit Building is, in many ways, an easier location to work with, especially for the curatorial and operations teams. It will be packed with exciting installations and activities for visitors to experience more conveniently – all in one place, and in a more integrated fashion.
Black is a Singapore-based multidisciplinary creative agency with notable projects, including the brand concept and identity of SG50, and CREATIVE©ITIES – an exhibition that “maps creativity in Asia-Pacific cities today”. Jackson Tan is the creative director of Black, who was awarded Designer of the Year in 2007, the President’s Design Award, and is a five-time awardee of the Promax Asia BDA Gold. Black was also named one of Asia’s Top Design Practices in the Singapore Design Awards 2015. With such an impressive portfolio and track record, we believe that Black and Jackson can help us bring Singaplural to the next level of design distinction and add to Singapore’s world-class design credentials.
What are you most excited about at this year’s Singaplural? The Tomorrow showcase, which features the who’s who of the Singapore Design scene, postulating a day in the future of Singapore. Pop-up, where designers work with retailers to create unique products, to be launched and retailed at Singaplural, and host talks on interesting topics featuring select participants of Singaplural.
DESIGN MAKE & CRAFT FAIR When March 4 and 5, 11am to 8pm
Where Open Plaza – Ground Level, National Library Building, 100 Victoria Street
photo TIM KOBE
photo PATRICK CHIA
Through a series of talks, gain valuable insights into the minds of prominent international and local design, business and public sector leaders, to find out how innovation and value can be created by fusing design and business. The Innovation by Design Conference is a signature event of SDW and, this year, speakers such as Tim Kobe (pictured right, bottom), the founder and CEO of Eight Inc.; local designer Patrick Chia (pictured right), of Squeeze Design, Design Incubation Centre and d. Lab; and Neal Cross (pictured right, top), the chief innovation officer of DBS Bank, are in the lineup. “There will be opportunities for participants to meet and network with these leaders in the field of design and innovation, design thinking, customer experience, human behaviour and organisation transformation,” says Yeo Piah Choo, the festival director of Design Singapore Council.
photo DESIGN FOR RESILIENCE
Where To be confirmed
Admission Free, register online at www. designsingapore. org/sdw.
photo NEAL CROSS
When March 7 and 8, 8.30am to 5pm
photo TOGETHER WE CREATE
INNOVATION BY DESIGN CONFERENCE
SINGAPORE PRESENTATIONS AT THE 15TH INTERNATIONAL ARCHITECTURE EXHIBITION (LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA) When March 3 to April 8, 9am to 9pm
Where Level 1 Atrium, National Design Centre, 111 Middle Road
Get in touch with the vibrant designer and maker community in Singapore, and try your hand at making something under the supervision of designers, makers and craftsmen. Produced by Supermama and Clara Yee, one of the 30 people included in the inaugural Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia (2016) list, the Design, Make & Craft Fair is themed “Creating A Better World By Design”, and focuses on thoughtful consumption and living. “Visitors are encouraged to look beyond the object, and to appreciate the thoughts, processes and the personalities behind the independent designers, makers and craftsmen in Singapore and across the Asia-Pacific region,” says Clara. The workshops will be adapted to suit all age groups, including kids (accompanied by adults). At the end of each session, participants will not only take away their own unique piece of craft, but also an appreciation of how we can play a part in designing a better world.
This is a rare chance to catch Singapore’s contribution to the 15th International Architecture Exhibition (La Biennale di Venezia) that was held in Venice last year. The consolidated work of three exhibitions will be on display, including the Singapore Pavilion, Space To Imagine, commissioned by the Design Singapore Council and curated by the department of architecture of the National University of Singapore; Room For Everyone, Limit/ Limitless by MKPL Architects, and Living Shelter by WY-TO and POD Structures. These presentations “responded to the Architecture Biennale’s exhibition theme, Reporting From The Front, which encouraged exhibitors to share the battles they face at home and how the community have been able to improve their own built environment and quality of life”, says Clara.
INTERNATIONAL FURNITURE FAIR SINGAPORE 2017 / 34TH ASEAN FURNITURE SHOW (IFFS/AFS)
When March 9 to 12, (March 9 to 11, 9.30am to 6pm; March 12, 9.30am to 5pm)
Admission $20 at the door, pre-register online before March 6 for free admission
Where Singapore Expo, 1 Expo Drive
Having grown into premier sourcing events on the global furniture industry calendar, the IFFS and AFS are trade shows which have also become important platforms for local designers and brands to launch products. This year, its organiser – the Singapore Furniture Industries Council – has amped up the offerings with a new Virtual Reality (VR) Zone, in partnership with Dimension 5 Technologies. Visitors will be able to view furniture pieces from various companies in VR showrooms at dedicated VR booths. Also launching this year is Nook Asia, a co-located event that focuses on furnishings and home and lifestyle accessories with an artisan bent. Two big industry names, award-winning local designer Nathan Yong and renowned Italian designer Giulio Cappellini (pictured left) will also present exciting showcases. The White House, by Nathan, brings together products from key exhibitors that have been selected to suit the theme of “whiteness”. The Italian Hospitality is a curated space and lounge by Giulio that reflects the best of Italian design in IFFS, which includes both established and up-and-coming brands.
Italian designer Giulio Cappellini will be presenting curated space The Italian Hospitality at the fair. ABOVE
Views of the fair from IFFS/AFS 2016.
text REBECCA WONG
PR ACTI CA L PAR QU ET
The natural grains and warm texture of this wooden material make it one of the most sought-after additions to the home. Find out how you can use parquet on your floors and walls for a unique and stunning look.
7LS Suzane Tan, marketing director of Perswood, recommends lighter shades of wood for the illusion of a larger space.
Pairing a white palette with wood flooring keeps this home looking sleek and minimalist, while accentuating the textural surface on the ground. OPPOSITE
Not just for floors, hardwood is gaining popularity as a material of choice for feature walls, too.
design J + A DESIGN
7LS “For smaller rooms, use long and wide wood pieces to create a sense of space. However, if the room faces the westerly sun, wider dimensions are not recommended as exposure to harsh sunlight makes the material susceptible to warping, which may cause slight shifting of the slats.” – Kelvin Chua, director of Choon Bok Wood Industries.
The floor is possibly the largest surface area you’ll have at home. Choosing your desired material type sets the tone for the design of your abode, including the colour palette, interior styles and furniture options – so pick wisely. If timeless elegance is what you’re going for, hardwood – or parquet flooring – will be your cup of tea. Hardwood flooring comes from many regions around the world, bringing with them a variety of textures, grains, and colours. Having the option to lay parquet in various ways expands the possibilities of styles you can achieve at home, too! What is parquet? Solid wood, when used as flooring material and laid in a geometric pattern, is known as parquet. Why choose it? Parquet weathers naturally and gracefully, while giving a warm ambience and timeless appeal to the home. In comparison to vinyl and engineered flooring, it is more durable and can be sanded down or varnished when required. The material also provides a natural grip, and has acoustic properties that aid noise absorption, as compared to other natural flooring materials, such as marble.
1 AMERICAN OAK Light-coloured hardwood, with mostly linear grains, that can be easily stained and polished to your desired finish.
3 TEAK Often golden brown with straight grains, teak also comes with a tinge of red.
With a primarily reddishbrown palette, mahogany has fine grains that resemble streaks.
Generally grey-brown in colour, there are bands of darker browns, with moderate interlocking across the grains.
Solid teak from Indonesia is used in this bedroom to create a headboard that extends to the ceiling. RIGHT, BELOW
Indonesian teak pieces laid in a chevron pattern set the backdrop for this quirky display shelf. OPPOSITE
What should I look out for when choosing wood from different regions? Wood of the same species that are sourced from different regions have different properties. For example, teak from Indonesia is logged from 30- to 40-year-old trees, while Burmese teak is logged only after trees have matured over 80 years. Hence, Burmese teak offers more material stability. Check with your wood supplier that the material is logged from a sustainable forest. How much does it cost? This varies depending on the size and dimension of the wood, labour required, and types of varnish used; it can average from $8 to over $12 per square foot. “Select from a range of wood thickness or layout designs that suit your budget,” advises Eileen. WHERE TO GO
Chip Lee Timber, TEL: 6747-8636, www.chiplee.com.sg Choon Bok Wood Industries, TEL: 6269-7049, www.fb.com/cbwipl Perswood, TEL: 6898-0355, www.perswood.com
design STUDIO SUPER SAFARI
Is parquet easy to maintain? Yes. “Solid wood floor is easy to clean – simply wipe the surface with a damp mop. It does not trap odours, making it more hygienic and suitable for Singapore’s tropical climate,” shares Eileen Wong, manager of Sin Joo Lee, Chip Lee Timber’s parent company. Avoid dragging heavy objects or furniture across the floor to prevent scratches.
Laying parquet in various patterns creates interesting visual effects in the home.
design LEKKER DESIGN
P AT T E R N S
Laid at 90-degree angles to create a zigzag pattern, this is commonly seen in homes, and suitable for use in corridors, kitchens and bedrooms.
This is similar to the herringbone design, except that the parquet is cut at a 45-degree angle. Often used in living rooms leading to corridors.
SQUARE ON SQUARE
Three pieces of parquet set parallel to form a square, and laid diagonally. Mainly used in odd-shaped rooms, as the diagonal fashion works well in such spaces.
Similar to diagonal basket â€“ with four pieces of parquet instead of three. Best used in rooms with a larger floor area.
Laid in a linear fashion, each piece meets at the mid-point of a parquet on the adjacent row. Commonly used in square-shaped rooms to make them look more spacious.
A simpler version of brick bond â€“ everything is laid parallel to one another. Often used in smaller rooms.
7LS Beware! Homeowners have reported being cheated by companies that replaced higher-grade wood with less-premium options. Information of such shoddy jobs can be found through the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra).
Single-length parquet set to create a square, with a larger square laid around its perimeter. Rarely used in Singapore, as it requires a considerably large floor area for the design to look appealing.
Two lengths of parquet are used to create rectangles and squares. They can be laid in two- to four-piece configurations. Mainly used with openconcept living and dining spaces as the pattern helps frame areas of the home.
text DOMENICA TAN
L A B O U R O F L OV E
Hannah Cecil Gurneyâ€™s South Kensington home interiors are an expression of her passion for colour, and her devotion to her family business.
The de Gournay St. Laurent Chinoiserie wallpaper features a colourful oriental garden scene. Its design was inspired by a set of antique panels in the Paris apartment of Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Berge.
The hallway’s wallpaper depicts early views of India. Traditional artefacts such as the Burma chest complement the theme of a bygone era, while leather and brass lamps from Collier Webb inject a contemporary element.
Hannah Cecil Gurney is not one to shy away from colour. She grew up in a house opposite Kensington Gardens decorated by her father, Claud Cecil Gurney, who founded de Gournay – renowned for luxury handcrafted wallpapers – 30 years ago. “It was full of de Gournay wallpaper and every room was like a magical wonderland. It was a feast for the imagination and gave me a very particular appreciation for decoration from a young age, especially colour,” she recalls. As the business development director of de Gournay, Hannah uses her two-bedroom flat on the ground floor of a Georgian townhouse that she shares with her husband and dogs, to showcase her love of colour. It took the couple six months to find the perfect property with an ideal location, lots of natural light, traditional architecture and enough space for entertaining. “I wanted the interior to be youthful, eclectic and surprising, but also homely, comfortable and warm. I wanted each room to be different, so that I could play around with different styles and colours,” she shares. Expect the unexpected in her home, which is like a microcosm of many worlds juxtaposed together. For instance, a room may contain 18th-century French antiques alongside Buddhist Burmese trinkets on a modern geometric floor. Father and daughter love spending time together, scouring flea markets around the world for beautiful pieces that are restored and used in their homes and showrooms. “I love to combine the contemporary with the traditional. The modern pieces I own provide a nice contrast to the antiques, and keep the interior feeling fresh,” she says.
The couple enjoy having drinks with friends in their large, high-ceilinged living room, with walls covered in de Gournay St. Laurent Chinoiserie wallpaper.
Hannah believes that there is no point in having a beautiful home if you cannot relax in it. Her home is filled with dogs, and they are always happy to see visitors.
photo SIMON UPTON
But it is the riot of colours that Hannah absolutely adores. “The wallpapers that I chose are all colourful, which reflects my optimistic personality. I love each room to contain different colours that evoke different moods. The mishmash of colours and the wild use of patterns are quite impulsive, but I like the chaos,” she says. The wallpapers in Hannah’s home are all de Gournay designs that she and her sister, also a director of the company, worked on together. While she humbly acknowledges her inexperience in interior decorating, she seems to have no difficulty pulling off such a heterogeneous home. She attributes this to the fact that the majority of her furniture are antiques or reproduction antiques, which work well with the Chinoiserie wallpapers that are mostly inspired by 18th-century hand-painted Chinese wallpapers. “The wallpapers are very colourful, so it’s easy to find furniture that works harmoniously alongside them,” she says. WHERE TO GO
De Gournay wallpapers are available at Tatum, TEL: 6221-2524, www.tatumcompany.com. 93
The hand-painted Badminton Chinoiserie wallpaper on a custom Rose Antique sterling silver gilded background in the master bedroom is Hannah’s favourite. The warmth of the rose antique finish on the silver leaf exudes a rich, cosy feeling. RIGHT
The Badminton Chinoiserie wallpaper’s design mimics the effect of natural silver tarnishing. This was developed when a client left silver wallpaper uninstalled for years in humid conditions, resulting in a naturally degraded, yet unique print.
The Fishes design is one of the most recognisable patterns from de Gournay’s Japanese and Korean collection, referencing artworks from Japan’s Edo period. BOTTOM
The fluid movement of the fish and the pearlescent antiquing bring to mind images of a shimmering lake, creating an evocative misen-scene in the bathroom.
text LYNN TAN photos NATALIE DINHAM
The spacious home features separate wet and dry kitchens, with the latter having a large customised island counter with an integrated dining table. Clown Nose vases by Foundry. 96
CLE AN S L AT E Chic contemporary aesthetics and simple material finishes form a bright and airy abode with a timeless design.
WHO A couple in their 40s and 50s, and four pet rabbits HOME Four-bedroom condominium near Holland Road SIZE 3,500sqf
“White walls with no wallcoverings, and a simple and timeless design” was the brief given by Dr David Wong and Melissa Lim to their interior designer, Zack Lim of Lush Interior Design. Having acquired a spacious apartment that comes with the a 1,400sqf balcony, the homeowners wanted the focal point of the home to be the beautiful vista around the expansive outdoor terrace. But while it seems like a straightforward job, Zack spent a great deal of time conceptualising the modern and minimalist-inspired design. Through a renovation that cost $280,000, he incorporated sleek, well-crafted and elegantly proportioned features. Upon stepping into the open-concept living area, a palette of white, grey and wood tones creates a calming vibe, while black is introduced in the form of accent trimmings and furniture pieces, for depth and contrast. While the walls are kept bare, the one behind the sofa is clad in faux bricks from Hafary for subtle texture.
The theme and colour palette are kept consistent in the wet kitchen, with white subway tiles and woodgrain laminate. RIGHT
Low-slung furniture — a large L-shaped sofa and nesting coffee tables — were chosen for the living area, which looks out to greenery. OPPOSITE
A platform seamlessly links the living area with the expansive balcony.
LEFT, BELOW & OPPOSITE
Done up with a stone water feature, green wall, and stylish outdoor furniture, the balcony has a sheltered area where the homeowners can relax in comfort.
Through the sliding doors of the living room, a platform leads to the vast balcony, enhanced by a stone water feature designed by Water Concepts, a green wall from Greenology, and comfortable outdoor furniture. This is the couple’s favourite area and they enjoy the space especially in the evenings. Another standout feature is the open integrated dry kitchen and dining area. Besides providing ample storage space for appliances and crockery, it sports a large customised kitchen island that’s the perfect place for Melissa to indulge in her baking hobby. Its built-in cabinetry, kept consistent with the rest of the home, has a structured and linear design, finished with an elegant woodgrain laminate from EDL. More interesting and eye-catching surfaces can be found in the private spaces. The master bedroom’s design makes use of a basic material — compressed wood chipboard — to create a unique feature wall above the headboard. In the bathroom, the walls and floors are decked in luxurious white marble-look tiles, installed in a staggered strip pattern. WHERE TO GO
Lush Interior Design, TEL: 6256-3133
Compressed wood chipboard panels installed over the bed in the master bedroom make for an unexpectedly interesting feature. BELOW
The monochromatic scheme in the bathroom, featuring stone-look tiles, is accented with wood tones in the built-in structures for a touch of warmth.
text LOUISA CLARE LIM photography JASPER YU art direction YEW XIN YI
7 + ( 3 ( 5 ) ( & 7 %/(1' A design that reflects the homeownerâ€™s distinctive style transforms this apartment into a beautiful abode that is warm and inviting.
WHO A family of four HOME A five-room condominium on Ridgewood Close SIZE 2,002sqf
Warm tones of brown and yellow were used to create a cosy atmosphere in this spacious living room.
Watch a video tour of the house. See page 26.
Eddy Kuswandi from EJ Werkshop Interiors made a bold choice for his client’s home. Instead of an ordinary timber backdrop to the apartment’s spacious living room, he opted for wainscotted walls – a classical design element that certainly looks unusual in this contemporary, resort-inspired home. Yet, the unexpected feature, as part of the $150,000 renovation, works well here; its wood trimmings are a reflection of the homeowner’s fondness for both traditional design and nature. We highlight two unique factors that make up this home. Go big or go home The already spacious flat received a visual upsize
when the homeowner decided to knock down the walls that separated the dining, kitchen, and living rooms. With almost-full length windows (and a spectacular view to boot!), the open space evokes a villa-esque airiness. “The homeowner loves open yet cosy spaces, so she requested a similar concept for her second home,” says Eddy. The wainscotted wall is more than just a backdrop, too. It holds an oversized pivoting door – twice the size of a standard door – that opens up to the master bedroom. In here, a tall tufted headboard, as well as a highback chair from Taylor B, adds hints of classical design.
A mini-golf area in the foyer creates a fun entrance to the home. ABOVE LEFT
“We chose wood features to imbue warmth, stone finishes for texture, and artificial greenery for easy maintenance,” says interior designer Eddy Kuswandi.
o set a warm tone throughout the space, wood was the main material used for built-ins, such as this display shelf as well as master bedroom’s walk-in wardrobe. OPPOSITE
For a simple yet elegant look, linen laminates were applied to the Blum kitchen system.
Bring the outdoors in The design influence from resorts was most apparent in the kitchen and dining area. “To create an outdoorsy atmosphere, we demarcated the dining area with pebble wash flooring and adorned the walls with artificial vines,” explains Eddy. These elements of nature were extended into the kitchen; the island features a granite countertop and a cement-look laminated base, while the bench is cladded in Astroturf. The vibrant
green shade helps brighten the grey-hued space. When asked how he combined the resort and classical styles in the apartment, Eddy says: “Textures, finishes, and archetypal design elements from both nature-inspired and traditional design were applied throughout the home, tying the two looks together subtly, but effectively.” WHERE TO GO
EJ Werkshop Interiors, TEL: 6887-5240
To create an open atmosphere, yet maintain privacy, half the bathroom wall was replaced with a glass window. TOP
The walk-in wardrobe previously featured sliding mirror doors, but after consulting a fengshui master, the family opted for a wooden ďŹ nish instead. OPPOSITE
The homeowner chose neutral colours, such as cream and brown, for a restful bedroom.
text ELIZA HAMIZAH photography TAN WEI TE art direction LIM YI LING
BRE AKOU T S E N S AT I O N Many different styles, textures and materials are creatively and boldly fused together under one roof, resulting in visually arresting interiors.
WHO Housemates in their 30s HOME Four-room HDB flat in Old Airport Road SIZE 970sqf
In the living room, set against a faux brick and concrete screed feature wall, is a customised neon light fixture. Its design, inspired by stock graphs, references Kennethâ€™s work in financial investments. 111
As the backdrop to the living room, a bright yellow cargo container appears to be sitting in the middle of the flat. BELOW
Chek Yong sits in the study, which features built-in storage and display shelving made using reclaimed wood from old houses in Malaysia. OPPOSITE
In the living area, a black geometric metal grille is not just decorative, but also helps zone the living area from the corridor leading to the rooms.
It’s probably every interior designer’s dream to be told to “just go wild with the ideas”. This was exactly what housemates Kong Chek Yong and Kenneth Ang told Yiap Yiyun of Linear Space Concepts. The duo had a wish list of ideas that included neon lights, strong colours, iron grilles and patterned Peranakan-like tiles, but they were also open to other ways of working the various elements together to create something unique. Sources of inspiration for this melange were hip cafes, as well as various W Hotels (the brand is known for its distinctive statement-making style) around the world, says the well-travelled Chek Yong. But while a smorgasbord of fun and trendy concepts makes for interesting interiors, it takes
an experienced designer to balance the contrasting styles to create a look that is aesthetically appealing, and Yiyun took on that challenge. The result – costing $84,000 – is nothing short of stunning and striking, without being haphazard or obtrusive. From industrial to nostalgic, and in a myriad of colours, the look is bold but inviting. The designer’s deft approach ensured that the main visual focus of each area was clearly defined, while complementing the harmonious flow of the space. A key principle Yiyun used for the home’s design was to adhere to a colour scheme that comprised not more than two main accent colours in each space. For example, orange and blue for the living area, red and green for the kitchen, and bright yellow for the walkway. There is also a consistent subtle geometric theme to tie the various spaces together. The home has unique standout features at every turn, with Yiyun creatively putting various materials to good use. Upon entering the home, a cargo container appears to be sitting right in the middle of the apartment, backdropping the living area. To achieve this effect,
Framing the entrance to the kitchen, the design language of the “cargo container” flows onto the concrete screed flooring, with painted yellow strips of various widths and lengths. (OPPOSITE) TOP
The kitchen has an open-concept cooking and dining space, and sees the housemates spending lots of time there cooking and working. BOTTOM
Creative use of metal mesh panels can be seen in the kitchen – as a wall-mounted utensil rack.
RIGHT & FAR RIGHT
A door that blends into the surface of the â€œcargo containerâ€? opens to reveal the spacious master bedroom, which has an inviting feel with wood tones and warm colours. OPPOSITE
Even the bathrooms are decked out in bold colours, with subway tiles in an intense green shade on the walls.
she cladded a wall with corrugated metal hoarding panels spray-painted in cheery sunny yellow. This â€œcargo containerâ€? also conceals the doors to the common bathroom and master bedroom. Old-school metal grilles are installed as design features, but also serve as a divider in the living room. In the study, the built-in cupboard was made using wooden planks reclaimed from old houses in Malaysia. As for the loose furniture and decor, Chek Yong sourced most of it from his travels. They include the workshop lamps above the dining table from Chatuchak market in Bangkok, as well as online. One of his favourite pieces, he says, is the glass pendant lamp in the living room (in front of the brick-finished wall) that he bought from Taobao. Interesting textures, eye-catching details and vibrant colour, come together with hand-picked finds, creating an abode that is inspiring, yet comfortable. WHERE TO GO
Linear Space Concepts, TEL: 6462-3360
text LOUISA CLARE LIM photography VERONICA TAY assisted by SHERMAN SEE-THO art direction DON TAN
HYGGE HAVEN Scandinavian simplicity lends warmth and character to this apartment.
WHO A couple in their 30s HOME Five-bedroom HDB flat in Bukit Panjang SIZE 1,100sqf
The couple’s love for cooking and baking inspired Waff’s Joy Loo to design the kitchen as a sleek and stylish yet practical space.
Living rooms are often the centre of attention, a space usually reserved for the most striking designs and styles. However, Joy Loo, creative director of interior-design consultancy Waff decided to do something a little different with her clients’ five-room flat. She transformed the kitchen into an uber-cool, welcoming space for the owners – newly-weds who enjoy baking and whipping up meals at home. With a budget of $50,000 for renovation and $20,000 for furnishing, Joy proposed a refreshingly light yet sophisticated design for this home. Nordic blue was chosen for the cabinetry, a deep, soothing shade that greets the eyes when you step into the home. White quartz for the countertop enhances the blue and makes it more prominent. “I wanted a clean and modern look, so I proposed a Scandinavian theme, which went down well with the owners,” says Joy. Much detailing also went into the design of the kitchen – from the way the top-hung
The sliding panels that hide the study and walk-in wardrobe area can be closed, to double as wall panelling. ABOVE
The wood accented-dining set lends a touch of rustic chic and warmth to the interior. Unconventionally bigger tiles help create a sense of spaciousness. OPPOSITE
The kitchen becomes the focus of the interior, with its prominent pop of Scandi blue and modish ﬁxtures.
The mirror frame in the bathroom serves as a ledge for storing small items and toiletries. LEFT, ABOVE
The desk and shelves in the study are clad in white laminate with plywood ďŹ nishes. An existing niche in the home has been cleverly turned into a bookshelf. OPPOSITE
Light warm tones in the living room give way to a darker palette of grey in the master bedroom.
cabinets have been designed to accommodate potted plants, to the suspended stainless steel rack, which gives a dose of industrial chic. Joy wanted to integrate the kitchen and living room – the “seamless” look was achieved by covering the entire space with unconventionally bigger pieces of homogeneous cement-like floor tiles (60cm by 60cm). “The large tiles lend a sense of spaciousness to the interior,” adds Joy. Loose furnishings deck out the living room, which takes on a decidedly warm tone inspired by the earthy shades in the Scandi palette. The dining set was chosen for its simple, clean structure and light brown hue. In keeping with the warm, cosy feel of the interiors, Joy had track lights fixed along the perimeters of the ceiling. The only other light source is the pair of pendant lights hanging above the dining area. Another unique feature in the living room is
the sliding panels which act as a feature wall when closed; when opened, it reveals the study room and walk-in wardrobe. The panels are white laminate with exposed plywood finishes around the edges – the subtle use of wood complements the woody accents in the living room. The master bedroom assumes a “heavier” tone, with grey as the dominant colour – it also reflects the ash-grey shade found on all the doors of the house. The rustic-chic look takes over again in the master bathroom. A rectangular mirror comes thoughtfully designed with a built-in niche for displaying toiletries and sprays. Light wood accents, with a strong pop of Scandinavian blue concentrated in one part of the interior, make for a home with character, indeed. WHERE TO GO
Waff, TEL: 6482-6388, www.waff.sg
text JACQUELINE TAN photography WAFF
HOP SCORED Home & Decor ’s signature design tour event took Shop-Hoppers on another exciting tour to learn about furniture, furnishings and designing the home! 2
It was an eventful day for the 90 participants of Home & Decor’s fifth edition of its muchloved Shop-Hop design tour. The overwhelming turnout included homeowners from all walks of life, as well as young executives about to embark on buying their first home. Brought together by a mutual interest in home design and styling, the participants were eager to find out how to elevate the style of their homes and enhance the comfort level of their interiors. Held on Saturday, Jan 14, the Shop-Hoppers were brought to three interesting stops. The first stop was Big Ass Solutions, where they learnt about the brand’s well-known collection of ceiling fans from its Haiku range. The next was interior-design firm Starry Homestead. After a
sumptuous buffet lunch, ShopHoppers were given insight on spotting Build-To-Order home defects and things to take note of in a new flat. The last stop for the day was Homes To Life, where Shop-Hoppers were welcomed to the newly opened third and fourth levels, and introduced to a wide range of bedding products and luxurious furniture, from sofas to coffee tables. Throughout the event, participants were given goodie bags and a fortunate few won lucky-draw prizes, including a Haiku fan worth $780, and Moreau Armchair worth $509! If you’ve missed out on this Shop-Hop edition, be sure to register early for the next instalment, as there’ll be more interesting stores to visit and new things to learn about caring for your home.
gathered for a photo before setting off to the three stops. 2 At the ﬁrst stop, participants learnt about Big Ass Solutions’ range of products from Junie Lim, an architectural and engineering specialist.
3 The staff at Big Ass
Solutions provided consultations and addressed any product and installation enquiries from Shop-Hoppers. 4 Ryan Ng from
Homes To Life’s marketing team shared more about the newly opened spaces in the ﬂagship store. 5 & 13 Lucky
Shop-Hoppers won attractive prizes, including a Haiku fan, from Big Ass Solutions.
6 & 8 While at
Homes To Life, participants browsed through the store’s extensive range of furniture and furnishings. 5
7 Another happy
Shop-Hopper won lucky-draw prizes at Homes To Life! 9 At Starry
Homestead, participants learnt useful tips on checking for BTO defects.
10 Free interior-
design consultations were available at Starry Homestead. 11 Shop-Hoppers 6
had fun with activities such as interactive games, at Starry Homestead. 12 Homes To Life
goodie bags were presented to all participants. 14 Shop-Hoppers
had the chance to learn more about Homes To Life’s bedding products.
text DOMENICA TAN photography VERNON WONG
YOUR RENO & DECOR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
reputation and warranty commitment. At the same time, examine if the piece is multifunctional or can easily transition between homes. For example, a round pedestal table is good for dining, and could be relocated as a foyer table should you move to a larger home. A sideboard can store crockery and table linens now, and function as a bar years later. Will you still love it after 10 years? Is it a trendy piece that will grow old in a year or so? You are better off with a classic design rather than a short-lived one. If it’s a designer piece or an antique, what is the resale value?
photography VERONICA TAY design THE ASSOCIATION
We answer your renovation and decorating questions with help from industry experts. E-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I fell in love with some pricey furniture, but my practical side is holding me back. What should I consider before investing? That depends on how much you’ve set aside for furnishing your home, but there are some questions you should ask yourself before making a purchase. What stage of your life are you at? An expensive sofa or dining table will probably not suit a young family as it is unlikely to survive the messiest years of early childhood. Will this furniture go the distance; will it last for years? Ask the sales staff about the manufacturer’s background and manufacturing process. Do your own research on its
How do I select a chair for my study? Are ergonomic chairs really better, and how do I know if they suit me? According to Dr Suyi Choo of Family Chiropractic Singapore, prolonged sitting causes back pain as our bodies are designed to be in regular motion. Sitting puts our centre of gravity on the pelvis, which impacts the spine. It also stretches the spinal ligaments and impedes nutrition from reaching the vertebral discs. This leads to premature degeneration. Sitting on an ergonomic chair will help lessen the pressure. Look for a chair that can be adjusted for seat height and lumbar support. It should also have adjustable armrests, as these will reduce the strain on your shoulders and neck. The chair should support your spine in different positions while you’re seated. Look for a seat depth that allows space for two fingers between the front of the seat and the back of your knees. Some people prefer sitting on stability balls instead of chairs. “Stability balls prove to be effective in toning your abs and strengthening your core, which helps support your back. However, when it comes to extended periods of sitting, a good working chair is still better,” she advises. If you do use a ball, stick to short periods of time, instead of the entire day. Maintain a straight posture by using your abdominal, back and side muscles, and switch to a chair when you’re tired. Stability balls are not recommended for people with osteoporosis, balance or lower-back problems. Whichever seat you use, don’t be stuck in one position for too long. Remember to take a break every hour or so.
I would like to soundproof my study room, but will this make it look smaller? Also, how do I soundproof windows? The first thing Kathryn Cheng, an acoustic consultant at Soundzipper, points out is the misconception that “soundproofing” panels (more accurately known as “acoustic panels”) prevent sound from going through walls. Actually, their role is to reduce echoes. What stops traffic noise or the blare of the TV in the living room from travelling into your study are heavy layers of material that are airtight. “Acoustic panels control the sound within the room itself, so if you want clarity in your conversation in this room, acoustic panels will do the job,” she explains. To reduce outside noise from entering the study, she recommends tackling the weak link in the walls: the door. Swop your typical HDB hollowcore door for a solid core one to increase door mass and make it airtight. Install rubber door seals on the door frame. “This is where sound freely enters and is the weakest point in the structure.” To reduce traffic noise, she suggests installing an additional window over your current one. “If you wish to install curtains, go for high-density curtains (also known as blackout curtains). However, installing them without door seals and soundproofing windows might not work very well.” Adding a carpet will minimise echoes, but remember: it will not soundproof your room from outside noise. It will only control the noise within the room.
photography DARREN CHANG
I have a double-volume ceiling space in my living room and I’m not sure how high I should place my aircon. How many units I should use for a living room with a loft layout? The rule of thumb used to calculate air-con capacity relies on the floor area of the space that needs to be cooled. In your case, the ceiling height is double that of normal rooms. Generally, a unit that’s one or two BTUs (British thermal units) higher than what is recommended for your room, text WONG SIOW YUEN
based on floor area, will cool the room more efficiently. However, it is best to ask an air-con specialist to survey your home. Help your air-con work efficiently by installing the condenser units in the shade and using ceiling or standing fans. If you have double-volume windows, install heat-reducing window film and blinds or curtains, to reduce heat transmission. Keep the units serviced regularly to maintain performance and flush out piping. 127
UP, OUT AND AWAY With the rise of open-concept kitchens, having an efficient ventilation system in the cooking zone is crucial to drawing fumes and airborne grease away from your living space. Here’s a look at the latest downdraft systems, hoods and extractors on the market.
Brandt Extract odours and smoke from your kitchen with the Brandt glass decorative hood AD1189X . Equipped with multiple speeds for varying levels of suction power, it’s efficient and practical. Its built in filter-cassettes and activated carbon filters work to catch grease and extract odours. Despite the hoods’ high power, Brandt has designed them to be as quiet as possible, no matter the speed. The Brandt glass decorative hood AD1189X costs $1,159 at selected retailers and dealers. Find out more at #02-51/52 Oxley Bizhub, 65 Ubi Road 1, or e-mail email@example.com.
Bosch With a noise level of 61 decibels and an extraction rate of 450 cubic metre per hour, this perfectly concealed downdraft stainlesssteel hood by Bosch promises to get rid of unclean air from your kitchen fast, with minimal noise. Illuminate your hob with energyefficient LED lighting, or use the Touch Control function and electronic display for easy access. There’s even an intensive speed setting, which provides a six-minute burst of ventilation to clear strong odours – perfect for heavy-duty cooking days. The DDA097G59B downdraft stainless-steel hood by Bosch retails at $4,699. Exclusively available at the Bosch Experience Centre, Level 4, 11 Bishan Street 21.
Miele Sleek, contemporary and modern, Miele’s downdraft extractor system is both functional and stylish for any home setting. Designed to match the brand’s Generation 6000 builtin appliances, this powerful system comes with a dimmable LED light and touch controls to give your home a chic look. It also has a 15-minute automatic fan run-on feature, and comes with two dishwasher-safe metal grease filters. The Miele downdraft extractor system is priced at $5,900. Find it at #04-03 Winsland House II, 163 Penang Road. Call 6735-1191 for more information.
Hafele If you are looking for a unique hood to match your stylish home, Hafele’s Island Hood black panel HH-MI40A just might be the answer. Aside from the sleek pendant-like design, it comes with a convenient electronic soft touch control, three speeds and an intensive speed setting for your kitchen needs. You can even activate its timer to recirculate the air. Since it’s not as large as most hoods, it will also be an easy fit into any kitchen. The Hafele Island Hood black panel HH-MI40A retails at $1,399. Available at #01-27/28 Enterprise One, No.1 Kaki Bukit Road 1. Call
6848-9075 for more information.
Cook and cleanse the air at the same time with the Gaggenau Flex induction cooktops integrated with a ventilation system. Choose between the air recirculation or air extraction mode when cooking, and the smart system will be able to determine power levels based on vapour detected in the air. Energyefficient and built for maximum effectiveness, the ventilation system aims to clear 85 per cent of odours during air recirculation. The Gaggenau Flex induction cooktops’ integrated ventilation system costs $8,290. Available at the Gaggenau Experience Centre, Level 4, 11 Bishan Street 21.
text GIRWINA TAN
E-WASTE RECYCLING Singaporeans are conscious about recycling paper and plastic products. However, when it comes to electrical and electronic items, most of us are pretty clueless. According to a 2015 Straits Times article, “Singapore is churning out 60 million kilograms of electronic waste (E-waste) every year – more than the combined weight of 220 Airbus A-380 aircrafts.”
WHAT IS E-WASTE E-waste is mostly made up of metal and plastic parts, and generally fall into the following categories: • Infocommunications technology equipment, such as desktop, laptop and tablet computers, mobile phones and batteries. • Computer accessories, such as keyboards, modems and mice. • Home appliances, such as fridges, TV sets, air-conditioners, washing machines, rice cookers, microwave and toaster ovens, as well as vacuum cleaners. • Gadgets, such as electronic toys and music players.
RESPONSIBLE DISPOSAL The best way to dispose E-waste is via recycling programmes. E-waste products contain small amounts of heavy metal, which can lead to environmental problems if they are not processed properly. Recycling also helps conserve our planet’s natural resources and reduce mining-related pollution. As E-waste consists of various components, specialised equipment in controlled environments is needed to take them apart, shred and then extract the materials – plastic, metal, glass and precious metal – that can be turned into new products. For instance, almost 100 per cent of a mobile phone’s components can be recycled to generate energy or make new products, such as electronics.
text GWEN LEE photo TPG IMAGES
WHERE TO RECYCLE • Starhub’s Renew programme has 235 bins at 185 locations around Singapore that takes used electronic products, ranging from phones and laptops to cables and electronic toys. Their locations can be found on the Starhub website. • Singtel has recycling bins located at its shops at Comcentre, Tampines Mall, West Mall and Jurong Point. • Ink and toner cartridges can be recycled via Project Homecoming’s bins in participating libraries, such as Ang Mo Kio Public Library and Jurong Regional Library. • Singapore Polytechnic’s recycling programme takes in most E-waste except printer and ink cartridges, saws, household appliances and alkaline batteries. • Various malls in Singapore, such as Raffles City.
L E V I TAT I N G SPEAKERS It’s one of the hottest tech trends at the moment, and for good reason – anything that is suspended without visible support is always fascinating and eye-catching. Just imagine how intrigued your guests would be to see a floating device! Manufacturers of bluetooth speakers have hit upon a cool concept to sell their products in
a very crowded market: make speakers levitate while they’re playing. The secret behind this are magnets – an electromagnet and a regular permanent magnet. Levitating speakers make use of the magnetic field to repel two objects – one being the “base” magnet and the other, a portable speaker with an embedded magnet that floats over the “base”. These speakers may be visually stunning, but do they deliver, sound-wise? There
are claims that floating speakers produce better sound than normal speakers, as audio frequencies are not transmitted through a surface as they would when placed on a table. In theory, this is accurate, as vibrations on surfaces do affect audio fidelity. However, as most of these speakers are small in size, the difference in sound quality is insignificant. They may be more expensive than regular bluetooth speakers, but you can’t beat the thrill of watching the device levitate as it plays your favourite tunes.
STAR WARS DEATH STAR LEVITATING SPEAKER This is one of the coolest gadgets any Star Wars fan could own and will definitely be the centrepiece of any household. The sound from this bluetooth speaker is pretty good, and it even glows in the dark! However, getting it to levitate is tricky. You have to lower the Death Star onto the base. When you feel it levitating, let go. If you donâ€™t do it right, the speaker falls and snaps noisily to the base.
LG PJ9 A neat and stylish design by LG, the PJ9 reproduces strong mid-range tones and crisp high frequencies, while the deep bass is handled superbly by the subwoofer embedded in the levitation station. The wireless speaker hovers over the station to deliver impressive audio, and when its 10-hour battery runs low, it descends to the station to charge without any interruption to the music. You can also connect two bluetooth devices simultaneously to the PJ9.
Available at Simply Toys, Simply Zakka and http://geekculture.co/shop.
For more information, visit www.lg.com.sg.
SPACO 2.1 These speakers are attractively designed and can be controlled by voice. ASWY, the company behind it, is currently raising funds on Indiegogo and is due to deliver its products in October this year. The levitating tweeter speakers charge while floating. They also double as speakerphones and a Wi-Fi extender in your home. The speakers come loaded with features and are available in the more expensive 5.1 surround and Family models. For more information, visit www.aswy.co/spaco.
text PATRICK CHNG
CHECKS AND BALANCES If you’re checking out this year’s pickings for the popular Sale of Balance Flats launch, here’s a breakdown of considerations to help you decide if you want to apply for a flat through the scheme.
Build-To-Order (BTO) flat or resale flat? That’s a common question on every HDB flat buyer’s mind, although, there is a third option – balloting for a home through the Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) scheme. These may be new flats left over from previous BTO sale launches, surplus Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers) replacement flats, or units whose buyers backed out on the purchase. They may also be older flats that were repurchased by the HDB. While BTO exercises are held four times a year, SBF launches happen only in May and November, concurrently with the BTO launches. If you are trying your luck at getting an SBF unit this year, consider the following.
1. You’ll get your brand new flat faster than going through the BTO route... BTO flats take at least three years to complete and SBF launches offer a shorter wait for your new crib. Depending on what you choose, you may get your flat almost immediately for completed projects and Repurchased Flats, or at least look forward to a shorter wait for the BTO flats. At last November’s SBF sale, a third of the SBF units were already completed while the rest were under construction. If you had successfully booked a four-room flat at Ang Mo Kio Street 44’s Block 455C (the 1,001sqf unit costs $445,100), your flat’s delivery possession date can be as early as February 2018.
1 At Block 90 of
Sky Terrace @ Dawson, there were three mid-ﬂoor, four-room ﬂats available in the November 2016 SBF exercise. 2 A 31-year-old four-
room ﬂat at Block 106 Bishan Street 12 was available for considerably less than in the market.
…but prepare to pay more for the shorter wait. Like BTO flats, SBF units are also greatly subsidised, compared to the transacted prices of similar resale flats in the neighbourhood, but they still cost more than if you’d joined the BTO queue. This is because the flat’s price is adjusted to the current market rate. One buyer who shared his experience on local forum Hardwarezone.com.sg said that he paid $30,000 more for his SBF flat, compared to neighbours who applied via the BTO route. Another paid $50,000 more than its BTO price; however, he waited for only one year compared to over three years.
During the recent SBF launch, 25 units of five-room flats at Bukit Merah were available, priced from $553,000 onwards. One 1,205sqf unit at Block 9A Boon Tiong Road, within walking distance to Tiong Bahru MRT, was completed in January 2016 and cost $637,700. That is over $200,000 cheaper than an 11-year-old resale flat of a similar size at Block 8A, which is marketed at almost $850,000!
and mature estates. Non-mature estates like Bukit Batok, Choa Chu Kang, Hougang, Jurong East, Jurong West, Sengkang, Woodlands and Yishun all had leftover 3Gen and/or executive flats. Out of the 14 mature estates, Pasir Ris, Queenstown and Serangoon had just one executive flat each. East-enders may have better luck at Tampines, which had 12 units of 3Gen and three executive flats.
2. You get to pick from many estates islandwide... While BTO launches focus on a few estates, SBF exercises offer a much wider choice. The recent February 2017 BTO launch has over 4,000 flats in four towns: Punggol, Woodlands, Clementi and Tampines. But during the November 2016 SBF launch, HDB released 5,008 balance flats in 11 nonmature towns and 14 mature towns/estates. Although the majority (3,654 flats) were from non-mature towns, there were still 1,354 units from mature towns, including in highly coveted estates in Queenstown, Bukit Merah, Bishan, Ang Mo Kio and Toa Payoh. At Queenstown, there were 84 flats available, ranging from two-room flexi (shortlease) ones to an executive flat. We spotted several choice units at Sky Terrace @ Dawson, a swanky looking Sers project completed in 2015. Ang Mo Kio had 38 units of two-room flexi (short-lease) to five-room flats. Bigger homes for extended families were also available in both non-mature
…but you’ll be choosing from the leftovers. Many BTO exercises, particularly in popular estates, are oversubscribed right from the get-go. For example, on the first day of last November’s BTO launch, 271 applicants signed up for just 158 units of four-room flats at Kallang, which are priced between $497,000 and $584,000. So, there must be a reason why some flats are not chosen. Usually, these are on low floors, in unfavourable locations such as facing the centralised rubbish dump, or may have inauspicious-sounding unit numbers such as #04-04, which Chinese buyers tend to avoid. But some may be carefully selected BTO units whose buyers had changed their minds, perhaps because they eventually bought an SBF or resale unit instead. And if you look hard enough, you may even find SBF units on high floors. At Dawson’s Block 90, three mid-floor four-room flats were available, ranging from a 1,044sqf unit on
Level 13 for $586,600, to a smaller 936sqf unit on Level 22 for $582,400. We also found a 1,216sqf five-room flat at Ang Mo Kio Street 44’s Block 455B – on a breezy Level 33! – for $607,000. 3. You can pick up a repurchased flat at a hefty discount... Repurchased flats are older flats that were sold and returned to the HDB for various reasons; for example, the previous owners may have been unable to keep up with the payment, or a couple getting a divorce before they completed their minimum occupation period of five years. Buyers can move into these vacated flats as soon as the paperwork is completed. We spotted a 37-year-old repurchased four-room flat at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5 Block 535. The 979sqf unit is a steal at $357,200 – 30 per cent cheaper than the last four-room flat sold in the same block, which fetched $465,000 in December 2015! In another hot spot, Bishan, a 31-year-old fourroom repurchased flat at Bishan Street 12 Block 106, near Raffles Institution, was available for $395,200. Its neighbour was sold for $510,000 on the resale market in February last year. …but your flat may come with unsavoury history. The most common issue repurchased flats’ buyers face is when loan sharks turn up to collect debts incurred by the previous owners. We have heard horror stories of new owners waking up to paintsplashed doors and “Owe $ Pay $” messages scribbled on walls. Fortunately for one buyer who shared his story on a local forum, he faced only a letterbox stuffed with debt claims from loan
companies. That soon stopped after he informed the companies that the previous owner had moved out. “I got [my flat] at a 25-per-cent discount compared to the resale price at the time, so it was all worth it,” said the happy buyer, whose flat is on a high floor with unobstructed views. Do visit the repurchased flat to look out for telltale signs of trouble, such as walls painted over to cover messages from loan sharks or notices stuck on the door. Chat with the neighbours to find out about the previous owner’s history. One potential buyer checked out a unit at Sengkang and changed his mind after seeing the “calligraphy” on the walls. However, rumour has it that, sometimes, these may be the work of desperate fellow balloters who hope to scare off competitors keen on the same unit. In extreme cases, the repurchased flat could have been sold back to the HDB because a tragic incident, such as suicide or a murder, had occurred in the flat. Depending on how superstitious you are, this may be an instant deal breaker – or an opportunity to buy a flat at a hefty discount, with no competition!
4 3 Twenty-ﬁve units
of ﬁve-room ﬂats, including one 1,205sqf unit at Block 9A Boon Tiong Road, in Bukit Merah were available in the recent SBF launch. 4 If you had
successfully booked a four-room ﬂat at Ang Mo Kio Street 44’s Block 455C (pictured here is the neighbourhood), your ﬂat’s delivery possession date can be as early as February 2018.
text STELLA THNG photography FRENCHESCAR LIM art direction LIM YI LING
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Domestic Diva Circle
BALCONY UPKEEP Whether your balcony is a small urban garden or a spacious al fresco lounge, make sure to include it in your cleaning schedule.
Keep it green Artificial turf or synthetic grass is gaining ground in balconies, because it adds a green factor with less care and maintenance required than natural grass. Grooming it regularly – according to the amount of foot traffic it gets – will help extend its life and keep it looking as natural as possible. Using a brush with synthetic bristles at least 12cm long, brush the grass against the natural grain. This will keep the fibres upright and fluffed up. Most spills can be rinsed away with water. If residue remains after hosing off the area, use a mild, natural soap with warm water or a half-and-half mix of vinegar and water, which also removes bacteria. Maintain the deck Another popular balcony flooring is timber decking, typically in chengal or balau. Timber decking can be cleaned with a vacuum or a mop, but it scratches easily, so take care when moving furniture around. Protective stains for decks also deteriorate over time due to natural wear and tear, so it’s best to have it restained yearly. To avoid darkening of wood colour through repeated staining, thorough sanding may be required before applying a new layer.
photography DARREN CHANG design MUSEUM HOMES
Having a balcony is a luxury in Singapore, so if you have one, you’d want to get the most out of it, no matter the size. However, remember that balconies are open to the elements, so regular maintenance is a must. Here are some pointers to ensure your outdoor space receives enough TLC.
Give your pots and planters a good clean once in a while. Dirty ones can contain minerals, mould, and fungus that are harmful to your plants. Standing water in pot plates can also become breeding ground for mosquitoes.
text VERLAINE MARQUEZ
Unclog drains Check your balcony drains often for debris that might cause clogging, such as fallen leaves or accumulated dirt. Sweep them up right away to prevent water ponding – you don’t want water to eventually flow into your indoor space. Keep weight in check Your balcony floor slab can bear only so much weight. Don’t place overly heavy pots or huge installations in your al fresco area. Mind the moisture Water can be an erosive element, especially if your balcony is facing the coast. Moisture from sea breeze can cause fast rusting of steel or rotting of wood. Look out for these signs and get professional help if such damage occurs.
Fan-tastic! Cool down with Acorn Fantastique fans that feature acrylic blades pitched at 23 degrees to ensure the best wind performance. Thanks to its clean and simple lines, the contemporary design fits into all home styles. The three-tone LED light attachment allows you to change the lighting ambience of any part of your abode conveniently. The Acorn Fantastique fan comes in three colours – matte black, coffee, and matte white.
Make An Impression Prints can certainly change the look of a space! Made from polyester, cotton, linen and viscose, Acacia Fabrics’ Staccato range of 10 classic prints in neutral colours will lend a classy feel to your home. Having undergone the Martindale and Wyzenbeek rub tests (which measure the durability of fabrics) for between 2,000 and 105,000 abrasions, the pieces are sure to stand the test of time.
The Acorn Fantastique fans retail from $639 at www.acornceilingfan.com.
Prices for all Acacia Fabrics’ products are available upon request by calling 6743-0060. Visit www.acaciafabrics. com for more details.
The Perfect Soak Smooth Marbling
Enjoy your very own spa-like bath sanctuary with the Neorest bathtub from Toto. It’s made using Toto’s custom Luminist material that is impact- and heat-resistant, and easy to maintain. The Neorest also comes with embedded LED lights.
You can’t go wrong with an elegant conversation piece, like Crate & Barrel’s Hexa side table. Designed with a top featuring a mosaic pattern of marble hexagonal tiles, and a flared iron base, the table exudes an understated and laid-back beauty. It’s also versatile enough for both indoor and outdoor use. The Hexa side table comes in three sizes, and can be layered for added dimension.
The Neorest Luminist bathtub costs $48,835. Find it at the W.Atelier showroom on Level 1, 75 Bukit Timah Road. For more information, call 6270-8828.
The Hexa side table is priced at $499, exclusively at all Crate & Barrel outlets. Call 6634-4222.
text GIRWINA TAN
LUXE AND LOUNGE The homeowners’ request for a modern luxury home was achieved with a neutral colour scheme and the use of rich materials.
At a glance, one may mistake this charming home for a luxurious five-star suite. After all, the homeowners of this four-storey house possess a deep appreciation for the finer things in life. While embarking on the design of their home, they wanted a look that would reflect their preference for understated luxury and sophisticated taste. For that, they turned to the team at award-winning local design firm Prestige Global, who designed it from scratch – from reconfiguring the layout to selecting furniture. “For the living room, we chose silver travertine as a
backdrop and paired it with a black Poltrona Frau sofa; the indirect LED lights, as well as the plush throw pillows, give the space a cosy ambience. To add a touch of drama, we placed a life-size horse sculpture lamp to divide the living and dining rooms,” says Jeremy Tay, director of Prestige Global. This careful curation of materials, colour and accessories certainly plays a role in the home’s decadent atmosphere. For instance, the grey velvet curtains in the open-concept dining area create an intimate mood, while the modern chandelier adds grandeur to the space.
text ELIZA HAMIZAH photos PRESTIGE GLOBAL
In the master bedroom, the designers took advantage of the view – the lush greenery of Poets Villa, where the house is located – and designed the space with an earthy colour palette. Here, a divider was erected for the walk-in wardrobe, where a chaise longue and a wall-mounted television set make it the perfect place to lounge. The harmonious look of the overall design is complemented by the attention to detail and quality finish, resulting in a dream home that’s everything the homeowners wanted.
WHERE TO GO
Prestige Global, TEL: 6836-6678
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buying guide YOUR ONE-STOP RESOURCE FOR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
BATHROOMS Hemsley #07-01 Halcyon Building 39A Jalan Pemimpin Tel: 6337-3136 www.hemsley.com.sg Toto @ W. Atelier 75 Bukit Timah Road Tel: 6270-8828 www.watelier.com
BEDDING 8edtimes Gallery #B1-09 Park Mall Tel: 6338-7889 www.8edtimes.com
ELECTRICAL & ELECTRONICS Acorn #02-09 512 Chai Chee Lane Tel: 6635-6147 www.acorn ceilingfan.com Brandt Asia #02-51/52 Oxley Bizhub 65 Ubi Road One www.brandt.com.sg City Gas Gallery #02-01/03 PWC Building 8 Cross Street Tel: 6732-6910 www.citygas.com.sg Happiness 52 Loyang Way Tel: 6542-2822 www.happiness.com.sg Panasonic Singapore 202 Bedok South Avenue 1 www.panasonic.com/sg Spin #05-01 994 Bendemeer Road Tel: 6298-1038 www.spinfans.com.sg
FURNITURE & FURNISHINGS Akemi Uchi #04-19 Jem Tel: 6268-5054 www.akemiuchi.com Boconcept #04-01/03 Paragon Tel: 6736-0777 www.boconcept.sg Commune #02-51/53 Millenia Walk Tel: 6338-3823 www.thecommune life.com
Homes To Life 65 Mohamed Sultan Road Tel: 6635-5050 www.homestolife.com Muji #02-198 Vivocity 1 Harbourfront Walk Tel: 6376-8023 www.muji.com/sg Novamobili @ W. Atelier 75 Bukit Timah Road Tel: 6270-8828 Scanteak 60 Sungei Kadut Drive Tel: 6368-2802 www.scanteak.com.sg
Da Vinci Home #01-01 3 Tai Seng Drive Tel: 6468-6333 www.davinciasia.com
Space Furniture 77 Bencoolen Street Tel: 6415-0000 www.spacefurniture. com.sg
Dream 456 River Valley Road Tel: 6235-0220 www.dream.com.sg
Star Furniture 1 Pasir Panjang Road Tel: 6273-2522 www.starliving.com.sg
Fritz Hansen #01-01/02 75 Bukit Timah Road Tel: 6270-8828 www.watelier.com
Taylor B Fine Design Group #04-02 43 Keppel Road Tel: 6225-7090 www.taylorbdesign.com
Fullhouse Home Furnishings #02-75 114 Aljunied Avenue 2 Tel: 6844-8122 www.divano.com.sg Grafunkt #02-34/36 Millenia Walk Tel: 6336-6046 www.grafunkt.com Harvey Norman Level 1, Millenia Walk Tel: 6311-9988 www.harveynorman. com.sg Home 2 U Gallery #02-410 3 Temasek Boulevard Tel: 6338-5789
Xtra #01-01 Park Mall Tel: 6336-0688 www.xtra.com.sg XZQT #01-05 UE Tech Park Tel: 6774-8031 www.xzqt.com.sg
INTERIOR DESIGNERS Black N White House 291 Tanjong Katong Road Tel: 6440-9766 www.blacknwhite house.com Dwell Interior Design 11 Kim Yam Road Tel: 6883-1005 www.dwell.com.sg
Haire Living Level 4, 29 Mayo Street Tel: 6441-3345 www.haireliving.com Prestige Global Designs 228 River Valley Road Tel: 6836-6678 www.prestige-global.com Renaissance Planners & Designers #01-02 469 MacPherson Road Tel: 6291-1545 Fax: 6345-3306 www.renaidesign group.com Space Factor #08-02 Richﬁeld Industrial Centre 22 Eunos Avenue 7 Tel: 6746-0082 www.spacefactor.com.sg The Orange Cube 14 Arumugam Road Tel: 6337-7277 www.theorange cube.com Three-D Conceptwerke 24 Eng Hoon Street Tel: 6293-8001 www.three-dconceptwerke.com Weiken.com #01-134 Tradehub 21 18 Boon Lay Way Tel: 6465-6656 www.weiken.com
KITCHENS Mudian #01-21/23 Vertex Building 33 Ubi Avenue 3 Tel: 6733-7378 www.mudian.com.sg Toto Kitchen @ W. Atelier Level 1 75 Bukit Timah Road Tel: 6270-8828 www.watelier.com
LIGHTING Lightcraft 131 Jalan Sultan Tel: 6297-6658 www.lightcraft.com.sg
RENOVATION MATERIALS Admira 45 Sungei Kadut Avenue Tel: 6368-0123 www.admira.sg Caesarstone S.E.A. #08-06 The Spire 10 Bukit Batok Crescent Tel: 6316-1938 www.caesarstone.sg Chip Lee Timber Block 1011 Eunos Avenue 6 #01-29 Eunos Industrial Estate Tel: 6747-8636 www.chiplee.com.sg Greenlam 11 Sungei Kadut Crescent Tel: 6365-9138 www.greenlam.com.sg Hafary 105 Eunos Avenue 3 Tel: 6250-1368 www.hafary.com.sg Rice #01-03 213 Henderson Road Tel: 6692-1199 www.rice-ﬁelds.com Timplex #01-13 18 Sin Ming Lane Tel: 6898-1120 www.timplex.sg
OTHERS Acacia Fabrics #04-03 Ubi Techpark Lobby A Tel: 6743-0060 www.acaciafabrics.com
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WHERE TO BUY
&natural www.andnatural.com 3M http://solutions.3m. com.sg/ Absolut Outdoors #05-19 UB. One 81 Ubi Avenue 4 Tel: 6749-8087 www.absolut outdoors.com Acorn #02-09 512 Chai Chee Lane Tel: 6635-6147 www.acornceilingfan.com Affordable Style Files Dempsey Hill 6A Dempsey Road Tel: 9101-6903 hello@affordablestyleﬁles. com Airmocks #06-07 Excalibur Centre 71 Ubi Crescent Tel: 6545-4770 www.airmocks.com APS Lifestyle 9 Muthuraman Chetty Road Tel: 6233-0593 www.apslifestyle.com Asus www.asus.com Bathroom Gallery 25 Changi South Avenue 2 Tel: 6546-5900 www.bathroomgallery. com.sg Bibliotek www.bibliotek.co Bosch Bosch Building 11 Bishan Street 21 www.bosch.com.sg Chip Lee Timber #04-31, Block B Mandai Connection 7 Mandai Link Tel: 6747-8636 www.chiplee.com.sg
Choon Bok Wood Industries 40 Sungei Kadut Avenue Tel: 6269-7049 www.fb.com/cbwipl Cosentino 34/35 Duxton Road Tel: 6713-9543 www.cosentino.com Crate & Barrel Orchard Gateway @ Emerald 218 Orchard Road Tel: 6634-8488 www.crateandbarrel.com Daikin www.daikin.com.sg Dornbracht Interior Affairs Bathroom Experience Centre 302 Jalan Besar Tel: 6291-3864 Dream 456 River Valley Road Tel: 6235-0220 www.dream-int.com Dreamweave & Other Stories #02-24/25 Shaw Centre 1 Scotts Road Tel: 6836-9495 www.dreamweave concepts.com Dulux www.dulux.com.sg Duravit Asia Limited 63 Tras Street Tel: 6238-6354 www.duravit.com Dyson #01-01 One North @ Nexus 1 Fusionopolis Link Tel: 6643-2999 www.dyson.com.sg EC Proof www.ecproof.com
Econﬂo Systems #01-01, Lobby B Haw Par Technocentre 401 Commonwealth Drive Tel: 6396-3738 Foundry Unit 1/1 3 Seah Street Tel: 6339-6381 www.foundry.com.sg
Hockhua Tonic 6 Ang Mo Kio Industrial Park 2 Tel: 6482-6006 www.hockhuatonic.com
Namu Furniture #04-02 50 Playfair road Tel: 6610-3217 namufurniture.com.sg
Sunleaf Shutters #01-12A The Herencia 46 Kim Yam Road Tel: 6297-7113 www.sunleafshutters.com
Homes To Life 65 Mohamed Sultan Road Tel: 6635-5050 www.homestolife.com
Originals #02-03 Sime Darby Centre Tel: 6471-9918 www.originals.com.sg
Tempur #01-031 Nassim Road Tel: 6262-0898 www.sg.tempur.com
Gain City 71 Sungei Kadut Drive Tel: 6899-1212 www.gaincity.com
Hyﬂux Selfﬁx DIY #B2-20 Vivocity 1 Harbourfront Walk Tel: 6376-9072 www.selfﬁx.com/location
Greenlam 11 Sungei Kadut Crescent Tel: 6365-9138 email@example.com www.greenlam.com.sg
King Koil #03-317/318 Marina Square 6 Rafﬂes Boulevard Tel: 6336-9279 www.kingkoil.com.sg
Greenology 289 Farnborough Road Tel: 6214-1140 www.greenology.sg H20 Life Source #06-02 M38 @ Jalan Pemimpin 38 Jalan Pemimpin Tel: 8100-6600 www.h2olifesource.com Hafary 105 Eunos Avenue 3 Tel: 6250-1368 www.hafary.com.sg Haiku by Big Ass Fans #06-07 18 Tampines Industrial Crescent Tel: 6709-8500 www.bigassfans.com Hansgrohe 69 Muhamed Sultan Road Tel: 6884-5060 www.hansgrohe.com.sg Harvey Norman 9 Rafﬂes Boulevard Millenia Walk Tel: 6311-9988 www.harveynorman.com
P5 #01-14 Sultan Link 63 Mohamed Sultan Road Tel: 6337-0050 www.p5.com.sg Perswood 7 Link Road Tel: 6898-0355 www.perswood.com
Kohler KHK Asia #01-11 Cendex Centre 120 Lower Delta Road Tel: 6377-3285 www.kohler.com.sg
Philips Light Lab by Philips Level 1 Philips APAC Center 622 Lorong 1 Toa Payoh www.philips.com.sg
Make Room #11-09B Tan Boon Liat Building Tel: 6222-3042 www.make-room.net
Rice #01-03 213 Henderson Road Tel: 6692-1199 www.rice-ﬁelds.com
Metro The Centrepoint 176 Orchard Road http://metro.com.sg
Singapore Safety Glass 112 Pioneer Road Tel: 6861-5530 www.ssg.com.sg
Miele #04-03 Winsland House II 163 Penang Road www.miele.sg Muji #02-198 Vivocity 1 Harbourfront Walk Tel: 6376-8023 www.muji.com/sg
Space 77 Bencoolen Street Tel: 6415-0000 www.spacefurniture. com.sg Somfy www.somfy.com.sg
Thermos #05-02 LTC Building D 16 Arumugam Road Tel: 6749-4100 www.thermos.com.sg THG #07-01/02 GEA Trading 219 Henderson Road Tel: 6271-2122 Ucoolz Tel: 6698-9167 www.ucoolz.com Vertical Green #06-14 Pioneer Centre 1 Soon Lee Street Tel: 6100-6680 www.verticalgarden. com.sg Victoria + Albert Bathroom Gallery 25 Changi South Avenue 2 Tel: 6546-5900 www.bathroomgallery. com.sg Villeroy & Boch #01-74/76 Capitol Piazza Tel: 6384-7309 www.villeroy-boch.com.sg Vornado Home-Fix Trading #06-01 19 Tai Seng Avenue Tel: 6671-9000 www.vornadosg.com Xtra #02-48 Marina Square Tel: 6336-0688 www.xtra.com.sg Young Living www.youngliving.com Zipato www.zipato.com
photography JASPER YU art direction & styling KAFFY TAN
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build to natural comfort www.acornceilingfan.com
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