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Exclusive Emerging trends from Finland’s design scene Property Sure-fire way to boost your home value Perfect tech gifts for the house

tropical festivity Celebrate with a twist and the season’s trendiest colours

S$6.00

C 2017


CONTENTS

N OW The Latest in Design and Decor News

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OBJECT OF DESIRE – THE GENTLEMAN WARDROBE

NOW PEOPLE – K AT H A R I N A U E LT S C H I & LEE YAN TING

Exquisitely conceived for the dandy gentleman, this elegant cupboard offers the ideal space for storing your dapper togs.

Directors of sewing machine brand Bernina Singapore.

28 NEW SHOP – KOHLER EXPERIENCE CENTER Flagship store of the leading sanitaryware brand.

32 NOW PEOPLE – METTE & ROLF HAY Founders of Danish design cult brand HAY.

34 NOW PEOPLE – PIETRO GALIMBERTI & GIULIANO GALIMBERTI Second- and third-generation owners of Flexform, an established Italian luxury furniture brand.

36 NOW PEOPLE – VITRA BY GRAFUNKT Swiss furniture brand Vitra’s first stand-alone store in Asia.

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CHECK OUT CHECK OUT – CHIKIN Singapore’s first Sichuan Yakitori bar.

40 CHECK OUT – ROVE DOWNTOWN A trendy boutique hotel.

42 CHECK OUT – ARMANI HOTEL MIL ANO Style meets passion at this luxe hotel in Italy.


CONTENTS

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REGUL ARS

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EDITOR’S NOTE H&D.COM.SG DIGITAL EDITION EXCLUSIVES

25 139 140 142 143 144

NOW TECH 101 IN STORE PROJECT SHOWCASE BUYING GUIDE WHERE TO BUY

FE ATURES

COVER

52 T R E N D S TO W ATC H

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You may be familiar with names like Marimekko, Magisso and Artek, but how much do you really know about design in Finland?

66 JOURNEY THROUGH THE WALLS

photography DARREN CHANG art direction NONIE CHEN & LIM YI LING

Beyond the captivating world of high fashion and equestrian excellence, the French luxury house of Hermes is putting its mark on yet another facet of luxury design.

74 PROPERTY

How can you remodel your property to make a profit?

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E Q U ATO R I A L ISLAND BLISS It’s time to gather your family and friends for a celebration of a year well spent.

Download our digital edition Get Home & Decor on your mobile devices and enjoy enhanced and exclusive content such as videos, photo galleries and more! Download your copy or subscribe at www.homeanddecor.com.sg/magazine.

Find us on Facebook See what the team is up to and get daily updates on what’s new on www.homeanddecor.com.sg and www.facebook.com/HomeandDecor.Singapore.

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Follow us on Pinterest Pin your favourite looks and learn useful home hacks – all from our Pinterest page!


CONTENTS

H OM E S

88 THE ORIENT EXPRESSION Anouska Tamony’s home is an exotic blend of East and West that draws upon her Eurasian heritage, childhood influences and sojourns around the world.

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LIVING LEGACY

N AT U R A L F I N E S S E

RUSTIC BEAUTY

Sensitive renovation preserved the old-world charm of a pre-war terrace house, while injecting modern touches. Take a look at this beautiful conservation home.

An earthy palette and a well-planned layout transformed this apartment into a bright, airy space with refined and chic interiors.

The homely style and laid-back charm of this chic apartment home offer the perfect backdrop to the owners’ love of carpentry and cooking.

116 PA S T I N PRESENT

Upcycled furniture and existing fixtures in this house were given a new lease on life in this Art Deco- and colonial-style home.

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EDITOR’S NOTE

“Just like you said it would be, life goes easy on me, most of the time.” As the haunting strains of Damien Rice’s ballad, The Blower’s Daughter, streamed through the Bang & Olufsen speakers, I sat in the middle of my bedroom and took one last look at its four walls. And so it is, after having spent the last quarter of a century in this terraced family home, it’s time for me to move. While some intrepid homeowners enjoy the process of buying and doing up a new pad, carting up belongings and shifting to a new home can be a stressful affair for many. As a creature of habit, I’ve grown used to seeing the same neighbours and doing my grocery runs at the same neighbourhood stalls. My daily routine of being greeted by the morning sun shining through the blinds, casting zebra-striped shadows over the study table, became a source of comfort for me to begin the day on the right note. Home’s where we form and store most of our memories and, in some way, this physical structure has evolved into an

extension of ourselves – an invisible limb we grow so attached to. Yet as global nomads living in a world that is becoming increasingly connected – physically and digitally – change is something that we should welcome in our lives. It was with that in mind, that I began the next stage of my life searching for and designing a home to call my own. A month and several house viewings later, I secured an apartment relatively close to the heart of town. Just as the year draws to a close, it’s also time for me to draw the curtains on my current home and start packing. That’s when the faded photographs and forgotten keepsakes came tumbling out from the recesses of my wardrobe and cabinets. Making the call to cast those lost friendships, movie stubs and greeting cards into the garbage pile became the hardest part of moving out. So, I invite you to join me on my journey, and clean out the closet before I embark on the exciting phase of designing my new space. As the adage goes: “Out with the old, and in with the new.”

YOUNG LIM EDITOR

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photography DARREN CHANG art direction DON TAN

and so it is...


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HOUSE TOURS: T W O H D B F L AT S W I T H CONDO INTERIORS It’s hard to tell the two apart nowadays! www.tinyurl.com/condohdb

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BE INSPIRED BY OUR ONLINE IMAGE LIBRARY

With a library of over 10,000 pictures of real homes, furniture items, furnishings and accessories, you have decor inspiration for every part of your home at your fingertips!

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This week on our Creative Kitchens board… www.pinterest.com/homeanddecorsg

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text ELIZA HAMIZAH


GET MORE IN OUR DIGITAL ISSUE

In the December digital issue… BONUS ARTICLE An exclusive look at another upcoming trend we spotted at Finland’s Habitare design fair.

Download the digital edition of Home & Decor now! Get 20 per cent off a single issue (U.P. $6) or 50 per cent off an annual subscription (U.P. $72)! Details at www. homeanddecor.com.sg/ promotions.

BONUS VIDEO

Find out what’s in store for you at Millenia Walk’s Vitra by Grafunkt gallery.

BONUS VIDEO

Visit the Kohler Experience Centre.

BONUS VIDEO

Missed the Hermes Universe Through The Walls exhibition? Here’s a walk-through video.

BONUS VIDEO

Find out who won at Bernina’s tote-making workshop.

BONUS VIDEO

Italian furniture brand orm launches its Flexfo showroom here.

BON ONUS VIDEO

Behin e nd the scenes of our festive e celebration shoot.

BON NUS VIDEO

Home H e tour of a beautiful apartment designed by Museum Homes. Muse

Now available at

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DWELL INTERIOR DESIGN P.L. INTERIOR DESIGN & CONSULTANCY DESIGN & BUILD | ADDITIONS & ALTERATIONS WWW.DWELL.COM.SG

RIVER VALLEY | 11 KIM YAM ROAD | T 6883 1005 | TALKTOUS@DWELL.COM.SG BY APPOINTMENT ONLY


NOW Bold & Beautiful The Shu Ying armchair, from SP01’s latest furniture collection, merges hip Art Deco vibes with hints of Modernism. Its elegant, tubular steel frame is complemented by the feel of plush upholstery. Conceived by New Zealand industrial designer Tim Rundle, the seating appointment – along with other pieces from the 10-piece collection – is inspired by pairing hard architectural elements with soft textures, while keeping the silhouette in line with the label’s philosophy of balancing geometry, form and detailed craftsmanship. The SP01 Tim Rundle collection is available at Space Furniture, TEL: 6415-0000.

text YOUNG LIM photo SPACE FURNITURE

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NOW

OBJECT OF DESIRE The Gentleman Wardrobe

The wardrobe, as with every Ceccotti piece, is entirely handcrafted and put together by master carpenters in the brand’s Tuscany workshop.

BIO Exquisitely conceived for the dandy gentleman, this elegant cupboard offers the ideal space for storing your dapper togs. The brainchild of architect Guglielmo Ulrich for Italian label Ceccotti Collezioni, there are sections for every wardrobe essential – from shirts and scarves to cufflinks, and even those monogrammed umbrellas!

There are only 10 pieces worldwide, with one in Singapore.

The fold-out wardrobe is made of rosewood and maplewood, with doors in briar root or parchment. It is accented with polished brass trims, as well as ebony and rosewood handles.

TRIVIA The Gentleman Wardrobe is a reissue of the original piece by Guglielmo Ulrich, which was launched in 1932. The rare woods used by the brand were personally selected by owner Franco Ceccotti, from places such as the US and Slovenia.

THE GENTLEMAN WARDROBE BY CECCOTTI COLLEZIONI IS AVAILABLE AT ASIATIQUE COLLECTIONS.

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text ELIZA HAMIZAH photo ASIATIQUE COLLECTIONS


NOW

NEW SHOP

KOHLER EXPERIENCE CENTER FLAGSHIP STORE OF LEADING SANITARYWARE BRAND

RIGHT, TOP

You won’t have to wonder what Kohler’s fixtures will look like in your bathroom, as the showroom is designed to allow easy visualisation. RIGHT

Prefer more geometric designs, or curvy silhouettes? Take your pick with Kohler’s range of standing basins. RIGHT, BELOW

There are even options to suit the Classical style, complete with goldfinished faucets and showerheads. FAR RIGHT

See a rain shower at work in an enclosed shower area in the Experience Centre.

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Located in a three-storey conservation shophouse in Peck Seah Street, the Kohler Singapore flagship store sets the bar high for a bathware shopping experience. It is not often that customers get to experience a whole host of sanitary accessories in store, before deciding on which to purchase. But at Kohler Experience Center, be prepared to see functional rain showers at work, as well as a digital showering system, which has a touchscreen control panel, and a bathtub that offers hydrotherapy. Designed by award-winning design firm LTW Designworks, the interiors of this store are stylish, too. Features such as laser-cut batik panels and Peranakan-inspired floor tiles are incorporated as a reflection of the heritage building that the Experience Center is housed in. Five themed suites — fashion, hi-tech, family, classic and black — offer a different look and feel while still imbuing a sense of luxury. Enter and experience the space, and take design inspirations for your own home. With every suite catered to suit different lifestyles, aesthetics and preferences, it offers the brand an opportunity to showcase an extensive range of bath accessories with various finishes, colours and functions. Aside from being a retail store, Kohler also dedicates spaces in the Experience Center to showcase artworks from local and regional artists, and their unique interpretations of accessories such as basins.

VISIT THE KOHLER EXPERIENCE CENTER AT 52/56 PECK SEAH STREET, OR WWW.KOHLER.COM.SG.

text DOMENICA TAN photos KOHLER

TOP

Be inspired by artistic basin designs that local and regional artists have created for Kohler. TOP LEFT

In the hi-tech suite, Kohler showcases a WC with a seat cover that opens automatically, as well as a bathtub that offers hydrotherapy. LEFT, MIDDLE

Not only are the sanitary accessories stylishly designed, they’re also presented in unique setups for a fresh perspective. LEFT

The black suite combines elegance with an intimate ambience, with brass and darkcoloured fixtures complemented with luxurious finishes such as marble.

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NOW

PEOPLE

K AT H A R I N A U E LT S C H I & LEE YAN TING

LEFT

DIRECTORS OF SEWING MACHINE BRAND makeup CHRISTINA LIM USING URBAN DECAY

BERNINA SINGAPORE

According to Katharina, a third-generation member of the family-run Swiss sewing machine manufacturer Bernina, knowing your way around a sewing machine is not only helpful in times of a wardrobe malfunction, but can also be a hobby that allows you to express your creativity. That became the impetus for Katharina to revive the craft and encourage renewed interest in sewing among the young generation here. Together with her business partner, Yan Ting, they jumped on the doit-yourself bandwagon to reintroduce this traditional skill in a fun and creative way.

ABOVE & TOP

Learn about various tools that’ll help you personalise your belongings using Bernina’s sewing machines.

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Why is sewing a relevant skill today? K: In the past, sewing was a need, but now the interest in this skill is waning due to increased accessibility to retail options. We want to create communities where people can pick up sewing as a hobby. By bringing back skills that were once popular, and their heritage, we are also passing down valuable historical knowledge and making it relevant for today’s needs and interests. YT: By building such communities, we aim to offer more opportunities where people can engage and interact with one another, combating the lack of face-to-face communication in our fast-paced society.

text DOMENICA TAN portrait ANGELA GUO art direction YEW XIN YI

Bernina carries a range of sewing machines suitable for novices to experts. Some features include digital screens and embroidery functions.

How can sewing machines support the drive for creativity in Singapore? YT: We want to instil a better appreciation for the things people make and own, especially with the increasing convenience to shop for ready-made items in stores and online. There is a need to create a new sense of ownership through the process of making, and that can be fulfilled with this craft. As a third-generation family member of the company, what are some of your fondest memories of Bernina’s machines? K: At our family home in Switzerland, where I used to live with my parents, everything is made using a Bernina sewing machine, such as curtains, napkins, bed linen and towels. My mother will even personalise accessories like napkins — by embroidering initials or icons — when we have a dinner party! That definitely left a very deep impression in my mind, and I hope local owners of Bernina’s sewing machines can enjoy similar experiences. How can Bernina help sewing novices pick up the skill? K: When purchasing a machine, a starter kit helps to kick-start the learning process. It comes with a guide, fabric and a “mini project”, such as instructions on how to make a tote, pencil case or even oven mitts. Bernina hopes to inspire people to make simple yet functional and cool everyday objects. There are also home interiors- and fashion-related workshops you can attend to try out Bernina’s range of sewing machines. BEGIN YOUR SEWING JOURNEY WITH BERNINA AND FIND OUT MORE AT WWW.BERNINA.COM.SG.


PEOPLE

METTE & ROLF HAY FOUNDERS OF DANISH DESIGN CULT BRAND HAY

TOP RIGHT, RIGHT & BELOW

The extensive collection includes seating appointments, tables, vases and bags.

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Partners in life as well as business, Mette and Rolf Hay met as colleagues at Danish furniture brand Guni, before establishing their own label in 2002. Now, 14 years on, HAY has become a global phenomenon popular with homeowners looking for contemporarystyled furniture with clean lines, captivating colours and uncomplicated forms. The duo recently collaborated with Swedish furniture juggernaut Ikea to launch the Ypperlig collection. In an exclusive interview with Home & Decor, the pair talk about the partnership and why the collection deserves a space in every modern home.

What were some of the ideas discussed during the brief for this collection? Mette: After our first meeting with the Ikea team in Sweden, I already knew on the drive home that my biggest wish was to work with some of the classic Ikea products. I wanted to see if we could come up with new ideas for already well-known products, which would be just as functional but designed in the philosophy of our brand. What was the inspiration that led to some of the looks? Rolf: I was extremely eager to learn about the possibilities in the Ikea supply chain. One has to approach design from a technical angle when


you are creating something with the intent of mass producing it on a massive scale. More or less all the furniture we did was driven by existing production facilities or new technology. Who is the collection created for? Rolf: There wasn’t one particular person we had in mind when creating the collection. The simplicity of our designs make them suitable for every home and every individual. Are there any similarities between HAY and Ikea? Rolf: The main reason we decided to work with Ikea was out of curiosity. The second reason was our chemistry, which I felt in our first meeting. I felt that the Ikea culture was very open and transparent, and not afraid of sharing.

TOP

Partners in business and marriage, Rolf and Mette Hay first met as colleagues.

How was the colour palette chosen for the collection? Mette: A lot of the furniture is grey, and white, and green, but with the accessories, we played much more with the colour – they are the glue of this collection. Of course, it is always important to look at the product first. Some products are simpler, some more bright, but we wanted to create items that are longlasting – so we chose colours that are not overpowering, but can fit into the collection.

TOP RIGHT

The wall-hung mirrors combine both function and form. RIGHT

ABOVE

The simple form of this sofa exemplifies HAY’s minimalist design philosophy.

The Ypperlig dining chair.

Is there a possibility of a follow-up collection? Rolf: We haven’t talked about that, but all have agreed that it was really nice working together and we look forward to seeing how the customers will like the collection. THE YPPERLIG COLLECTION IS NOW AVAILABLE AT IKEA.

text YOUNG LIM photos IKEA

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NOW

PEOPLE

PIETRO GALIMBERTI & GIULIANO GALIMBERTI SECOND- AND THIRDGENERATION OWNERS OF FLEXFORM, AN ESTABLISHED LUXURY ITALIAN FURNITURE BRAND

Founded by the Galimberti brothers in 1959, Flexform has maintained a legacy of creating elegant and understatedly luxurious furniture. The second- and third-generation owners were recently in town for the opening of the brand’s newest flagship store. We find out more from Pietro and Giuliano Galimberti, the uncle-nephew owners now helming the company. How has the brand evolved over the years? In its inception, Flexform was well known for its classical-inspired furniture pieces. Over the years, styles and designs began to evolve with the rest of the world, and our pieces developed an understated appeal. As Flexform started expanding internationally, we began collaborating with architects and designers.

What is the one thing that has been constant throughout? “Quality” is the keyword for our designs. We pride ourselves in quality, from raw materials to designs, as well as functionality – our pieces are long-lasting and timeless. With Flexform’s flagship now in Singapore, what does this milestone mean for the brand? We’re very happy, especially since Singapore is an internationally recognised hub. It is a determinant in influencing our approach and entrance into regional markets in Asia. Even though there are existing distributions in Asia, such as Japan and China, we hope the Flexform flagship familiarises consumers with the brand as we showcase our latest furniture pieces here. What do you look out for in furniture design? Good furniture design is like a language that connects and communicates, and any culture can relate to it. It is almost like an emotional connection, and not a style or look that is affected by trends. The best designs are often a sum of parts; every element adds up to create a successful product. The peculiarity of our collection is that we do not design to shock, and our pieces are often refined and elegant, and never too opulent or overbearing.

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text DOMENICA TAN photos FLEXFORM

ABOVE

Designed by Antonio Citterio, the flexible Adda sofa comes in leather and fabric options. BELOW

With a metal frame base and wooden slats, and a metal headboard covered in hide leather, the Newbridge bed is durable, functional and aesthetically refined.

BOTTOM

Understated in design with clean lines and a simple form, the Tosca armchair is perfect as a stand-alone piece, or when paired with furniture in neutral hues.

SEE FLEXFORM’S FURNITURE COLLECTION AT 200 NEWTON ROAD, AND WWW.FLEXFORM.IT.


Whatever today brings.

Brandt Revolutionizes top-loading washing machines with... Your regular washes at your fingertips.

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WATER HARDNESS* Whether you live in a soft or hard water area, your washing machine adapts its rinse and wash cycles to ensure perfect results.


NOW

NEW SHOP

VITRA BY GRAFUNKT SWISS FURNITURE BRAND VITRA’S FIRST STAND-ALONE STORE IN ASIA

ABOVE

Vitra carries many quirky accessories, from an elephantinspired seat by Charles and Ray Eames, to the L’Oiseau birdshaped figurine. RIGHT

Designed by English product and furniture designer Jasper Morrison, the Soft Modular sofa comes not only in grey, but in vibrant shades like yellow, too. Complementing it is one of Vitra’s most iconic armchairs — the Grand Repos — designed by Italian architect Antonio Citterio.

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Design lovers and house-proud homeowners are no strangers to Swiss brand Vitra’s range of classic and contemporary furniture, lighting and accessories, as the brand has been at the forefront of creating trendsetting designs targeted at discerning urban dwellers. So it’s great news that the brand, with over 80 years of experience in 20th-century design, decided to establish its first stand-alone store in South-east Asia here, at Vitra by Grafunkt. In collaboration with local retailer Grafunkt, Vitra’s newly opened 2,000sqf store is designed by Nathan Yong, local designer and co-founder of Grafunkt. Sleek, stylish furniture is housed in this chic and trendy shop. Its vibrant neon-lit signage at the entrance sets the tone, and you can expect fun yet elegant pieces for the modern home. Inside, living-room and dining-room settings offer easy visualisation of what Vitra’s latest collection — including iconic armchairs and sofas designed by renowned designers and architects such Antonio Citterio, George Nelson and Jay Osgerby — will look like at home.


Nathan created a dedicated area in the showroom where Vitra can showcase its versatile and colourful outdoor furniture, too. He chose patterned floor tiles by Onlewo that catches the eye and sets the space apart from the rest of the shop, which is cladded in wood-look flooring tiles laid in a chevron pattern. Greenery is also added to introduce an outdoorsy element to the space. Also, spot interesting silhouettes on the walls, as lights accentuate the designs of Vitra’s hanging art installations, like the Plywood Mobile designed by Charles and Ray Eames. If you’re looking for accent pieces and decor accessories that’ll complement and complete the look of your home, Vitra by Grafunkt carries stationery, clocks, wall shelves, lighting fixtures and even quirky figurines.

TOP LEFT

Add a cheerful vibe to your home with Vitra’s pastel pink furniture.

ABOVE

See how you can pair bold colours and create stylish corners, such as this study.

LEFT

The arched entrance and window gives the store a refreshing visual appeal.

VISIT VITRA BY GRAFUNKT AT #02-32 MILLENIA WALK, 9 RAFFLES BOULEVARD.

text DOMENICA TAN photos VITRA BY GRAFUNKT

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NOW

LEFT

A framed artwork by Cheah Wei Chun hangs over a lounger on the second storey. BELOW

Kooky-kitsch wallcoverings extend to the ceiling, featuring characters from Japanese anime Astroboy, and Sailor Moon’s cat, Luna.

RIGHT

A platter featuring some yakitori options at the bar. BOTTOM, RIGHT

The Sumoki Raisin cocktail is just one of many fusion beverages available.

CHECK OUT

CHIKIN SINGAPORE’S FIRST SICHUAN

YAKITORI BAR

From its name, Chikin – “chicken” in colloquial Japanese – to its Doraemonfilled window on its facade, everything about this yakitori bar will appear to the unsuspecting passer-by as yet another izakaya. However, you will find that its grilled chicken skewers come not with the traditional Japanese tare sauce, but a tongue-tingling Sichuan peppercorn, or mala, version instead. By the same folks who brought you Cantonese tapas bar Sum Yi Tai at Boon Tat Street, Chikin shares a similar fusion food concept with its sister bar – this time, marrying Japanese grilled skewers with the mouthwatering flavours of Sichuan cuisine. Even the type of building in which the bar is housed – a three-storey conservation shophouse – is the same. Explaining this particular affinity, co-founder and chief operating officer of Coterie Dining Concepts Sandra Sim says that the structure allows for a unique dining

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experience on each floor. The ground floor is for casual drinks along the bar counter, comfortable sit-down dining is reserved on the second, and a reservations-only private karaoke room can be found on the top floor. The charm of a conservation shophouse lies also in the ability to contrast tradition and heritage with a bold, almost irreverent, interior design. Plastered across the walls are paintings and installations that feature a myriad of characters from Japanese popular culture, and illuminated by neon lights – these are done by Cheah Wei Chun, who runs creative consultancy Clanhouse. Chikin wants to show that Asian dining can be different and fun – after paying it a visit, we are convinced that it really is. CHECK OUT CHIKIN AT 6 BUKIT PASOH ROAD, OR VISIT WWW.FB.COM/CHIKINROOSTAR.

text ISABELLE TOW photos STUDIOKEL PHOTOGRAPHY BY KELLY FAN


Sole distributor for ... led. Years ahead™


NOW

LEFT

There’s a good mix of accessories and soft furnishings, from wall decor to colourful pouffes that add to the hotel’s vibrant look.

CHECK OUT

BELOW

photo ROVE DOWNTOWN

DUBAI ROVE DOWNTOWN A TRENDY BOUTIQUE HOTEL

photo ROVE DOWNTOWN

Dubai is known for breaking world records with its impressive and massive architecture, as well as a wealth of luxurious hotels in the city. Yet, Rove Downtown strikes a chord with a slightly different approach and showcases itself with understatedly stylish interiors and unique decor. Just a stone’s throw away from the world’s largest mall and the tallest building in the world — The Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa respectively — the building that Rove Downtown sits in is almost unassuming next to its “big brothers”. In spite of its diminutive size, the hotel doesn’t fail to impress with its convivial atmosphere and warm reception. Entering the hotel, guests are greeted to a warm and welcoming ambience within the high-ceiling lobby.

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The effective use of artworks featuring locally inspired elements such as camels and the keffiyeh — a traditional Middle Eastern attire don by men — add a casual and fun vibe to the space, while giving visitors a glimpse of the culture and icons of Dubai. There isn’t a dull corner, especially since accessories used come in a variety of colours. In the lounge seating area, a feature wall of mementos (including prints, fabrics, street signage and a bicycle) becomes one of the many Instagrammable spots in the hotel. The entertainment corner, where gaming consoles are offered to hotel guests, is housed within shipping containers, repurposed and painted in bright orange and red. Larger pieces of furniture, such as sofas and tables, are chosen in earthy tones like beige, grey and wood to complement the overall look while keeping the space looking cosy. It is no wonder that Rove Downtown garnered the Interior Design of the Year award at the 2016 Commercial Interior Design Awards, and the Best Hospitality Design Project award this year. This hip boutique hotel is the place to be for design-conscious travellers and a bohemian crowd looking to form a more intimate connection with the vibrant city amid the dunes. text & photography DOMENICA TAN

Flowing drapery in the lounge mimics the look of tentage and gives the space a cosy ambience. BOTTOM & BOTTOM LEFT

The look of the lobby and rooms are pared down, except for quirky wall decor that spot the interior spaces.

VISIT ROVE DOWNTOWN IN DUBAI, WWW.ROVEHOTELS.COM.


9 Raffles Boulevard Millenia Walk Singapore 039596 info@grafunkt.com

Grafunkt 02-34/35/36 6336 6046 grafunkt.com

Ligne Roset 02-29/30/31 6238 8372 ligne-roset.com

Conde House 02-42 6338 3248 condehouse.co.jp

Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec · Inga Sempe · Christian Werner · Antonio Citterio · Verner Panton · Jasper Morrison · Naoto Fukasawa · Phillipe Nigro Isamu Noguchi · Nathan Yong · Marie Christine Dorner · Michel Ducaroy · Peter Maly · Didier Gomez · Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby

Year End Sale.

Vitra by Grafunkt 02-32 6266 3369 vitra.com


NOW

CHECK OUT MIL AN ARMANI HOTEL MIL ANO STYLE MEETS PASSION AT THIS LUXE HOTEL IN ITALY

ABOVE

Couples get to thoroughly unwind in the spa with its gym, steam and sauna facilities and private suite.

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TOP RIGHT

The welcome area’s gorgeous aesthetics greet guests the moment they step into the hotel, orientating them to the seamless luxury they will experience throughout their stay.

Situated in its founder’s country of origin, Armani Hotel Milano is style maven Giorgio Armani’s flagship for the eponymous hotel chain. While the interiors of the hotel are decked out in the famed designer’s iconic understated manner, the luxurious finishes and impeccable service standards offer guests a unique and memorable experience. The hotel recently launched a new package for newlyweds looking to explore the city, along with a hotel stay of a lifetime. The couples-only special, which starts at $2,360, includes accommodation at the Armani Deluxe Room, where they will be served American breakfast and, upon arrival, a bottle of champagne and a flower tribute to their room. They will also be pampered with a dinner in the Armani/ Ristorante, a luxurious 80-minute treatment at the Armani/Spa Couple Suite, and access

to relaxation and spa facilities. Designed entirely by Giorgio Armani, the hotel exudes sharp and subtle sophistication with its cream and grey-hued furnishings, reminiscent of the signature style of the Armani fashion house. Situated within the Manzoni 31 building that was built in the 1930s, the hotel houses 95 rooms and suites from its second to sixth floors. What makes this package undeniably attractive is its hard-to-beat location. Milan’s most famous luxury shopping street, Via Montenapoleone, is only a few minutes’ walk from the hotel. Other fabled attractions like the Piazza del Duomo, Pinacoteca di Brera and La Scala theatre are also within walking distance. With the year-end holiday season fast approaching, book early if you intend to surprise your other half with a honeymoon trip to this fashion capital!


ABOVE

From their private balconies above the streets, guests get to experience the bustle of central Milan. LEFT

The Manzoni 31 building at night makes for a stunning landmark in the busy city.

ABOVE, TOP LEFT

All the hotel rooms are ultrachic. The deluxe rooms come with complimentary Wi-Fi with flatscreen TVs, and feature stone bathrooms with Armani toiletries. ABOVE, LEFT

Sitting on the top floor of the hotel, visitors at the spa are rewarded with sprawling views overlooking Milan’s rooftops.

TO MAKE A RESERVATION, CONTACT ARMANI HOTEL MILANO AT +39 02-8883-8381 OR E-MAIL RESERVATIONS.MILAN@ARMANIHOTELS.COM.

text ISABELLE TOW photos ARMANI HOTEL MILANO

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NOW

Creative Collision Imagine you gave Jaime Hayon – a designer known for his fantastical illustrations and who has worked with brands like Fritz Hansen and Lladro – a blank canvas. Rugmaker Nanimarquina did exactly that for its 30th anniversary, and the result was a whimsical, playful design reflecting the expressive Spanish designer. Named Hayon x Nani, the rug was created using a handtufting technique where a manually operated pistol injects pieces of wool, to achieve the fluid lines within the piece. T HE HAYON X NANI RU G BY NAN IMARQU INA IS AVAIL ABLE ONLINE AT NEST , WWW.NE S T.C O.U K.

Unmistakable Designs Minotti’s Home Anthology Collection wows design enthusiasts with its unique silhouettes and surprising material combinations. Designed by architect Rodolfo Dordoni, Song is a range of versatile coffee tables in materials like backpainted glass and Calacatta marble. There is also the Colette armchair (below), an elegant Mid-Century-inspired design with a contoured back. The collection features creations by Christophe Delcourt; the fluid forms of the Lou storage cabinets and tables showcase Minotti’s masterful craftsmanship. SEE THE DESI GN S AT THE M I N OTTI S HOW RO O M , #0 1 - 0 2 , 30 HI LL STREET, TEL: 6 3 3 8 - 2 8 2 2 .

12 Days Of Christmas This festive season, TWG Tea debuts its version of the advent calendar with a 12 Days of Christmas gift box. Packed in a gold and ruby-red chest are 12 ornament-sized 25g tea tins in a variety of colours. Gear up for Christmas by sipping on tea, including classic favourites like Milky Oolong Tea, White Night Jasmine Tea, and Silver Moon Tea. T H E 1 2 DAY S O F C H R IS T MAS G IFT BOX IS AVAIL ABL E AT A L L T WG T E A S A LO N S AND BO UT IQ UES FO R $150. V I SI T WWW. T WGT E A . C O M.

Like Clockwork

S E E TH E RANGE AT D E PARTU RE S & ARRIVALS , #02-61 OXLE Y BIZH U B 1 (WE E KDAYS BY AP P OINTME NT) OR AT WWW.LIVINGD NA.S G.

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Clocks may be an overlooked decor item, but you’ll definitely give these handmade clocks – made from materials like wood, paper and stone – by Japanese designers like Riki Watanabe and Nendo Design Studio – the time of day. The Keisoudo No Tokei ceramic clock was inspired by “well-being and warmth”, and the Trio was modelled after an elegant wristwatch.


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Flock Of Cranes De Gournay’s new wallpaper, Namban, depicts an abstract seascape and evokes the artwork of Imperial Japan. Designed by Oitoemponto, it is exquisitely illustrated in a 3-D gold leaf pattern, which evokes a 1920s’ aura. Take it up a notch and install this wallcovering onto curved walls for a subtly striking effect.

C h i l d ’s P l a y Dulux recently launched the Far Away Places painting system, which aims to make painting and designing children’s rooms a fun, family-friendly activity. The set comes with stencils, stickers, masking tapes, six Dulux Colour Play packs, and an instruction manual to get you started easily. Decorate your kid’s room with any of the eight themes – including Under the Sea and Into the Woods (pictured) – and enjoy the experience together!

TH E NAMBAN WALLPAP E R RE TAILS E XC LU S IVE LY AT D E GOU RNAY FOR U S $ 1,592 (S $ 2,168) P E R PANE L. VIS IT WWW.D E GOU RNAY.C OM.

T HE DULUX FAR AWAY PL ACES SET R ETAIL S FOR $139.90. VISIT WWW.DULUX FAR AWAYPL AC E S . CO M.

DIARY

Customisable Cassia The daybed-cum-ottoman is a functional accessory you can use to spruce up your home - if you’d like an elegant, hotel-like ambience in the bedroom, place the ottoman at the end of your bed. For homeowners who love to host, the daybed offers more seating options than armchairs. The King Living Cassia daybed is available in leather as well as fabric, both of which are customisable. C H ECK O U T T H E CA SS IA DAYBED AT # 0 1 - 0 0 H O N G A IK B U ILDING , 2 2 KA L L A N G AV E N U E , T E L:6805-4198.

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Art and design showcases around the world worth checking out.

Ancient Religions

Dali/Duchamp

Dec 11 to Dec 31

Oct 7 to Jan 3

Asian Civilisations Museum, 1 Empress Place, Singapore. Admission is free. Ancient Religions explores how artists have masterfully expressed complex ideas about life and existence with religions through sculptures and paintings. See early styles and motifs of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism in India, and how they spread in South-east Asia.

WWW.ACM.ORG.S G.

Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, London. Admission is £16.50 (S$30) per person. Showcasing the works of Salvador Dali and Marcel Duchamp, this exhibition presents a conversation through art. The two artists bonded through humour and scepticism, which led them to challenge typical notions of art in different ways.

WWW.ROYALACAD E MY.ORG.U K.

The World of Tintins Nov 17 to Dec 26

ArtisTree, Cambridge House, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong. Admission is free. Celebrating a 20th-century cultural icon, the exhibition explores Tintin’s adventures. On display are models of Tintin scenes, including Tintin’s apartment. Enjoy a fully immersive experience, featuring vivid scenography of the beloved comics.

WWW.H OCA. O RG.


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Online help for interior design

When Two Become One Big-name collaborations are trending at the moment and this particular collab between two powerhouses of the audio-visual industry is definitely something to look forward to. Popular Korean tech brand LG teamed up with Danish designer label Bang & Olufsen (B&O) to launch the BeoVision Eclipse TV. Positioned as a definitive game-changer in the industry, the BeoVision Eclipse promises a sensory explosion of sight and sound by merging the core strengths of both established brands. It uses an LG OLED panel integrated with an oversized B&O soundbar.

iDoo Need help designing your home? Local start-up iDoo is offering a fuss-free and affordable way for homeowners to get expert interior design advice. Simply take a short survey based on your preference and budget, then select an in-house designer, and get advice via the direct messaging feature. Upload photos of your home, and receive a customised shopping list. Explore mood boards and visualise easily with 3-D renders.

FI ND O U T M O R E A B O U T T H E BEOV I SI O N E C LIP S E T V ON W W W. BA N G - OLU FS E N . C O M.

WWW.ID OO.IO

Flaunt The Singapore Furniture Industries Council (SFIC) recently launched Flaunt, an e-commerce platform of curated furniture and furnishings from Singapore-based designers and design-centric companies, supported by Lazada.sg and Singtel 99% SME. The online retail space now showcases products from 13 brands including Commune, Scene Shang, Creativeans and 11H. As a marketplace backed by SFIC, the aim is to create a community where local industry players can come together to offer quality designs and crafts in the form of furniture and home accessories, while increasing brand awareness and accessibility. WWW.FL AU NT.C OM.S G

Wright & Smith Founded by interior designer Sasha Young, Wright & Smith is an online platform with a curated selection of beautifully crafted furniture and accessories. With great respect for local and international craftsman and artisans, Sasha sources items from around the world, including hand-painted textiles from Italy, porcelain from China, and embroidered wall hangings made by Indian craftsman. WWW.WRIGH TAND S MITH .C OM

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NOW

The Golden Age

OY UNA I S S TOC K E D E XCLUSI V E LY AT TAT U M SI NGA PO R E , 2 9 B KEO NG SAIK R OA D , TE L : 6 2 2 1- 2 5 2 4 . V I SI T W W W. TATUM CO MPA N Y. C O M .

Throws and bedspreads are a great way to decorate any space – Oyuna has a diverse range you can choose from. The Teva Throw (pictured) sports a luxurious golden two-tone design that will brighten up your room. Simply fold it and leave it on the couch for an effortless look!

OU R PICKS

Fes t i v e C a n d l e s

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Beat The Heat Keep cool at home without using up floor space, when you choose the right fan. Samaire’s ceiling fans, such as the Frankfurt SA575 (pictured), are designed with wide wingspans and high rotations per minute, to ensure that airflow covers as much of the home as possible. It also carries models that come in compact sizes and fit into smaller spaces. Its brand specialists will share tips on what to look out for before deciding on the perfect option for your home.

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3 T H E SA M A IR E F R A N K F U R T SA575 IS AVA I L A BLE IN C OLO U R S S U CH AS WHIT E, BRO NZE , S T E E L , S H IN Y B L ACK AND MAT T E BL ACK . V IS IT WWW. S A M A IR E.CO M.SG .

Bath Time For those who truly appreciate a long and relaxing bath, having a comfortable and luxurious bathtub is vital – the Diamond bathtub (far left) will guarantee just that. This fanciful piece is presented in fibreglass in an elegant shade of translucent black.

TH E MAIS ON VALE NTINA D IAMOND BATH TU B RE TAILS FOR U S $ 25,655 (S $ 34,947), WWW.MAIS ONVALE NTINA.NE T.

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text YOUNG LIM, DOMENICA TAN, ELIZA HAMIZAH & MARIE QUEK

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1 Diptyque Phoenix candle, $105, from Escentials Paragon. 2 Frosted Spicewood candle, $70, from Crabtree & Evelyn. 3 Byredo Altar candle, $110, from Escentials Paragon. 4 Crackling Wood Fire candle, $42.90, from Yankee Candle.


DECOTALK SPECIAL

WARM AND TIMELESS Your choice of furniture can make or break the look you want to achieve at home – so shop wisely.

Furniture shopping can be a fun yet challenging task, especially if you already have a style in mind for your home. A quick tip is to find pieces with an evergreen style, that are versatile and can evolve with your changing tastes and preferences. This helps keep things looking fresh in the home, while ensuring longevity of the furniture. DecoTalk — a brand by Star Living — offers products designed to strike the perfect balance at home. You’ll find pieces that embody a rustic charm, yet have a contemporary aesthetic touch. Designed using a combination of new and recycled wood, the pieces exude the beauty of the natural material with its patina and weathered look. DecoTalk Halia collection furniture pieces come in two colours — solid recycled pine in antique finish and solid acacia in brushed finish — and powdercoated steel legs. In the living room, the Halia coffee table makes a statement with shades of black, white and brown. Its powdercoated steel legs give an almost industrial-inspired look that’ll still work perfectly in any contemporary- or rustic-style apartment. Create continuity by pairing it with the matching Halia sideboard (available in 120 and 160cm configurations) that also doubles as a TV console! With just enough dedicated storage for technical requirements such as cables and a set top box, you won’t have to worry about clutter. Need more storage space for your book collection? Choose the Halia bookshelf and carry the look right into the bedroom with the Halia console as your bedside table, or mini dresser, if you like. Soften the look by simply decorating with flowers, or add artwork and quirky accessories. See the Halia collection and more furniture and home furnishings at Star Living’s showrooms around the island. Find out more at www.starliving.com.sg.

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H&D

EXCLUSIVE

TRENDS TO WATCH Home & Decor travels 12 hours across the globe to Helsinki, where Habitare – the country’s annual and prestigious interior, design and furniture fair – is taking place. You may be familiar with names like Marimekko, Magisso and Artek, but how much do you really know about design in Finland? For one thing, it’s in everything the Finns do – from their sustainable and functional products (hello, Fiskars scissors!) to the way the city is planned. The capital of Helsinki was awarded the biennial World Design Capital in 2012, which praises cities that use innovative design in urban development.

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MICRO & COSMOS T R AY S B Y T E R O KUITUNEN These trays were the result of Tero’s interest in “controlled coincidence”. Glitter, pigment and acrylic paint were sprinkled into water, and Tero would see the final pattern only when he turns the glass over. The trays feature leather rims and brass accents.


W H AT ’ S T R E N D I N G I N H A B I TA R E

TREND #1

Functional Art

FRINGE MIRROR BY TERO KUITUNEN Fringe Mirror was inspired by the designer’s fondness for vintage fringe lampshades, and the playful urge to run his fingers through the fringes! Always experimenting with colour, Tero picked vibrant hues that can brighten up an interior.

LIEKE BY SIMOSE Hung like an art installation, Lieke is an OLED-driven pendant light with adjustable aluminium light panels. Depending on the direction, it can give both direct and indirect light. The word “Lieke” was proposed by the famous philologist Elias Lonnrot as the Finnish word for electricity, but it was never made official.

LANDSCAPES BY WOODIST Enthralled by the beauty of nature, particularly the hills in the Lapland, Woodist modelled his birch lamps after the topographic silhouettes often seen on maps. Landscapes currently count the hills of Luosto, Saana and Kaunispaa as part of its collection.

YOUNG DESIGNER OF THE YEAR Textile and surface designer Reeta Ek impresses many with her rhythmic and expressive illustrations. The Arts and Design graduate studied in Aalto University School, and has worked with textile and wallpaper companies like Marimekko, Feathr, and Lapuan Kankurit. Her prints are available for purchase at www.reetaek.com.

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Made So Simple

PA L AT B Y M A I J U U S K I The perfect serving trolley! Not only does it come with a drawer for cutlery and a rack for condiments, Palat features a made-to-fit tableware collection, too. The latter consists of wooden cutting boards, porcelain plates, and soapstone and cast iron platters that help keep food at the temperature you prefer.

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photo DAVIDE FARABEGOLI

TREND #2

TOGETHER CANES BY L A N Z AV E C C H I A + WA I These walking aids by ItalySingapore design studio Lanzavecchia + Wai chucks stereotypes out the window. With Together Canes, our grandparents – or anyone who needs a walking aid – can get the support they need while enjoying teatime or a good game of Angry Birds. Together Canes were part of Habitare’s Signals Exhibition, which featured an “Ageless” section that challenged conventions of the young and old.

TA I B Y M A I J U U S K I We see Tai, a versatile storage system designed for small spaces, as an ideal foyer accessory. Hang umbrellas or keys, and store your shoes in the cupboard. Tai does not require a wall fastening, and can be placed anywhere you want it to be.


photo JOHANNA KINNARI / A-LEHDET 2017

NAPPI BY GRANDESIGN This unassuming shelf is more than meets the eye. The Cut version allows users to mount the wall rack vertically or horizontally, or place it upright on the floor. Made of birch plywood, the stackable Nappi comes in colours like white, grey and yellow.

ROD BY KRISTOFFER HEIKKINEN This wall rack system is designed to be a hanger as well as a sculptural visual element. Its curvilinear lines add interest to an otherwise utilitarian home object.

ODDA BENCH BY GEDIGO For Gedigo’s first piece of furniture, the brand wanted to combine softness and sturdiness into one product; Odda is made of durable ashwood, as well as supple, naturally tanned leather – all of which were sourced and assembled in Finland. It was designed to be assembled without screws or adhesives.

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photo JOHANNA KINNARI / A-LEHDET

M A JA K K A B Y J U L I A P O P OVA It may be petite, but the Majakka lamp illuminates a room brilliantly. Inspired by lighthouses and their task of assisting seafarers with navigation, Majakka offers different hues that highlight its stone textures, as well as evoke a sense of concentration or relaxation.

BICOCA BY MARSET At just 22.5cm tall, this lightweight lamp is cute and chic. It comes with a tiltable shade, a strong magnet that allows you to place it anywhere you want (even horizontally on a wall), and an armchair accessory so you can drape it over armrests and headboards. There’s a wide range of colours, too.

FOLLOW ME BY MARSET Outdoor enthusiasts will love this compact lamp; Follow Me features an oak handle, an easy-to-maintain white polycarbonate lampshade, and a lamp that needs no electricity (it runs on a chargeable battery that can last five to 10 hours). A larger version, the Follow Me Plus, is also available.

TREND #3

Little Lights

TEELO BY SECTO DESIGN Designed by architect Seppo Koho, Teelo is a table light with soothing, rounded forms and soft luminosity. It is Secto Design’s first lamp without its signature wooden slats.

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SONY SPECIAL

Stylish sound systems are becoming an essential item for homeowners who enjoy having friends over for a movie night or chill-out session. But when it comes to choosing highperformance sound equipment that looks stunning and offers crystalclear audio output, design-conscious audiophiles may find it difficult to find one that fits the bill. Catering to this growing demand, Sony’s latest range of soundbars are specifically developed to complement the lifestyle of modern homeowners, while being innovatively designed to meet the various needs and preferences of users. Improve the home theatre experience with Sony’s HT-MT500 and HT-MT300 soundbars. Aesthetically, both models look similar; HT-MT500 supports high-resolution audio and ChromeCast/Spotify Connect, amongst other feature, for those seeking a more comprehensive audio experience at home. With their sleek, geometric exteriors and creme white and charcoal black options, they’re easy to pair with any interior style, from Scandinavian-inspired looks, to modern contemporary designs. Where should you place this home theatre system to enjoy the cinematic audio and surround sound experience? Sit the soundbar in front of your TV set, and pair them with the ultra-slim subwoofers

positioned under or beside your sofa. Both HT-MT500 and MT300 have Sony’s proprietary Sofa Mode, so you can conveniently hide the subwoofer under your sofa while still enjoying uncompromised sound quality. Not just with your TV, you can even pair your smartphones and tablets wirelessly via Bluetooth or the Sony I Music Centre app, and stream music from these platforms. The HT-MT500 pushes the boundaries further with its LDAC technology, which transmits approximately three times more data than conventional Bluetooth systems to ensure high-resolution audio.

Place various soundbars or wireless speakers throughout your space and enjoy your favourite tunes anywhere at home, as HT-MT500 supports wireless multi-room feature and can be connected and synced wirelessly. Now, you can create any ambience you want – get a party started with upbeat tunes, or wind down with slow classics. Find out more about Sony’s range of sound systems, including soundbars, at www.sony.com.sg/sonydays17.

DE S I G N E D TO P E R F ECT I ON Achieve an unforgettable audio experience at home without compromising on style or sound quality, with Sony’s HT-MT500 and HT-MT300.

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photo JAINO HUOVIO & VERNA KOVANEN

MASAAKI KANAI Chairman, Muji International Friend of Habitare 2017

In September this year, Masaaki Kanai presented a compact wooden wheelchair to the crowd at Habitare. Designed by a Japanese designer and made using Finnish wood, it introduced a solution for wheelchair travellers who may have trouble with metal detectors. This gesture was not only symbolic of the friendship between the Finns and Japanese, but also a representation of Muji’s values: Creating better lives with simple and functional design, whether it’s through clothing or prefabricated homes.

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What can Muji offer the Finns, who are great fans of the brand? I think we can improve the daily lives of the Finns, not with something gorgeous or luxurious, but with simple products like cleaning tools… and even socks (laughs). We don’t have a Muji store here yet, but are getting lots of offers. We’ll need to think about the best place for the first store in Finland. Japanese design is often thought to focus on p r o b l e m - s o l v i n g . W h a t ’s a solution that has yet to be designed? Rather than think about what is missing or insufficient, we should look at the excess of goods and information in our daily lives. There are too many things and trends, which takes our liberty – the liberty to choose what we really need – away from us. Muji is the antithesis of excessive consumerism; we simplify things.

What can the Japanese learn from the Finns? Despite their difficult history, the Finns have created a safe country with free education and healthcare. The people are sincere about sharing the responsibility of building the country with their government, and pay high taxes – there is a lot to learn from this structure. And like Singapore, the country’s lack of natural resources has created a deep appreciation for the people and their creativity. This makes their designs and creations powerful and, in turn, brings great value to the country.

Share with us what your own home looks like. My family and I live in an old, onebedroom apartment in Ikebukuro, which is very close to our main office. I’ve renovated it and included Muji furniture, of course, but also those of designers I like and whom Muji has worked with. I collect pieces from designers like Naoto Fukasawa, Jasper Morrison, James Irvine, Konstantin Grcic, Enzo Mari, and Sam Hecht.

VISIT MUJI’S LARGEST FLAGSHIP STORE IN SOUTH-EAST ASIA AT #01-10 TO 17 PLAZA SINGAPURA, 68 ORCHARD ROAD.


ECONFLO SPECIAL

BASIN BASICS Put together your dream bathroom with Econflo’s extensive range of bathroom brands and fittings. Designing a home can be a stressful experience, especially when dealing with issues you may not have experience in. This often happens when designing the bathroom and choosing sanitaryware, as the many technical aspects can be intimidating.

Selecting the right basin is a crucial but often overlooked aspect of bathroom design. For this, Econflo’s bathroom experts are able to offer some helpful tips to make your search easier. Material Most basins are made of ceramic, as the material is durable, hygenic, resistant to temperature changes and does not absorb odour. Brands such as Duravit, which Econflo carries, even created and patented an innovative material called Duraceram — a special mass of ceramic made of quality porcelain that features greater impact resistance and robustness.

LEFT

Another trendy option is Duravit Durasquare, featuring a design that fuses round and rectilinear forms. Its rims are just 5mm-thick, while still longwearing, thanks to Duraceram. TOP

The contrast between the interior and exterior of the basins from the Duravit Luv series offers versatility in bathroom design. RIGHT, ABOVE

The Duravit Vero Air collection boasts fluid surfaces with a striking linear charm.

Shapes and styles Increasingly popular in homes are basins with slim and streamlined designs, yet have spacious areas and clean edges to ensure less splash and easy maintenance. Colours and finishes Bored of white basins, or think the colour doesn’t match the bathroom design you’re going for? Soft shades in matte exterior surfaces can now be added to the conventional glazed white basins. Duravit Luv series, developed exclusively by Duravit, has selections such as white satin matte, sand satin matte and grey satin matte for exterior surfaces that contrast with the glossy white glazed inner basin. Take a look at the newest basins designs and other sanitaryware at the Econflo showroom, #01-01 Haw Par Technocentre, 401 Commonwealth Drive Lobby B, or www.econflo.com.

zŽ Ƶ ƌ   Ž ŵ Ɖ ů Ğ ƚ Ğ   Ă ƚ Ś ƌ Ž Ž ŵ  ^ Ž ů Ƶ Ɵ Ž Ŷ Ɛ

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WHILE YOU’RE IN HELSINKI… Our writer shares her itinerary and the best design spots to visit when you’re in the capital of Finland!

EAT

CAFE ZOCERIA Located in Tarvaspaa, Espoo (a 30-minute drive from Helsinki), this rustic cafe sits next to the home and studio of Finnish painter Akseli Gallen-Kallela. It’s known for its creamy salmon soup and the picturesque views.

R E S TA U R A N T L O N N A Open only from May to September, the industrial-style restaurant serves a modern take on traditional island cuisine, made with organic local produce. The 15-minute ferry trip to the island of Lonna is part of the experience!

SHOP & VISIT

MARIMEKKO It’s not difficult to find a Marimekko store in Helsinki, but one that’s definitely worth visiting is the Herttoniemi outlet. The printing factory has a discount section, and considers tour requests.

TRE As the flagship store for Finnish design, Tre is a must-visit if you’re looking for designed-inFinland products, be it furniture or fashion.

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I I T TA L A The most popular glassware brand in Finland, Iittala has worked with legends like the Aaltos and Tapio Wirkkala. Its Esplanadi store also houses ceramic crockery by the equally iconic Arabia.


SAMAIRE SPECIAL

If you’re looking to manage the recent heatwaves we’ve been experiencing in Singapore, investing in a quality fan for your home is a good way to start. However, with apartments getting smaller these days, you might not have enough floor space for standing fans. So ceiling fans are the perfect solution, and fan specialist Samaire shares some tips on selecting the right fan types for your home. First, consider the area where you will be placing your ceiling fan and the space needed to accommodate one. This way, you are narrowing down your options for suitable blade widths. Check the height of the ceiling. As a general guideline, the distance from the blade of the fan to the ground should be at least 2.3m, so as to optimise the fan’s cooling effect. You might be wondering if the wingspan or number of blades on the

ceiling fan will affect airflow. A bigger wingspan does result in more airflow across a larger area, however, more may not be better when it comes to blades. In fact, fans with more blades may result in a higher electricity bill, as more energy is required to power up the system. Fans with fewer blades create airflow that hovers over a large space, whereas fans with more blades (four or more) produce a concentrated tunnel of wind, so each model serves a different purpose and preference. Also take note of the rotations per minute (RPM), which refers to how fast the fan rotates per minute. A higher RPM results in the fan generating more airflow. For a fan to operate at maximum efficiency and effectiveness, all the factors above have to be incorporated.

COO L DOW N Expert tips to help you choose the right ceiling fans for your home.

The smallest fan in Samaire’s collection, the SA333, measures just 32 inches (81cm), but is one of the most powerful in its size range. With three curved blades and a high RPM of up to 280, performance is not compromised.

For example, Samaire’s range of ceiling fans, such as the Frankfurt SA575 and Stuttgart SA495 (pictured, left), are designed with wide wingspans and high RPMs of 238 and 258, respectively, to ensure the airflow covers many areas of the home. The range even comes in a variety of colours including white, bronze, steel, shiny black, and matte black. There’s also the option of installing an LED light so the fan will double as a light source for your home. Samaire’s diverse variety of fans, ranging from as small as 32 inches (81cm) with the Fanniti collection, to 57 inches (145cm), means you’ll definitely find a perfect fan for your abode easily and fuss-free. Find out more about Samaire at www.samaire.com.sg.

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EMMA MUSEUM The Espoo Museum of Modern Art (EMMA) is the largest museum in Finland, and home to thematic exhibitions, as well as a deposit collection from the Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation. It is 15 minutes from Helsinki.

photo ARI KARTTUNEN/EMMA

TEMPPELIAUKIO CHURCH Also known as the Rock Church, Temppeliaukio is famed for its stunning and unique architecture. It was hewn out of a massive rock, and is bathed in natural sunlight and has great acoustics.

ARTEK Don’t leave Finland without something from Artek, the furniture label by architect Alvar Aalto. Iconic designs include Stool 60 and 400 Tank armchair. There’s a secondcycle Artek store at Pieni Roobertinkatu, too.

photo PAAVO LEHTONEN

DESIGN MUSEUM Housed in a Neo-Gothic building, the museum showcases everything you need to know about Finnish design. Here, we spotted the Baby Box, a maternity package that every expectant mother receives from the state.

ANTIK BLOMQUIST Just down the road from Lilla Roberts hotel, this vintage store is filled to the brim with unique tableware, lamps (we spotted a Louis Poulsen PH5) and knick-knacks.

STAY

LILLA ROBERTS HOTEL This chic hotel is right smack in the middle of Helsinki’s Design District, which means antique shops, museums and galleries are just around the corner.

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text ELIZA HAMIZAH


LG SPECIAL

A WASH ABOVE THE REST Save time; wash and spin two laundry loads simultaneously yet independently, in one machine!

If you’ve ever experienced the frustration of having your white tees stained by your jeans in the same wash cycle, we feel you. As a solution to this problem, LG Electronics has introduced the TwinWash washing machine that allows homeowners to run two separate wash cycles at the same time, so as to cater to different loadss of laundry. Convenience is key with this new appliance. With a main washer and mini washer, you can now wash colours and whites, regular and delicate items, large and small items, and even adult and baby clothing at the same time, yet independently. The main washer even has an Add Item feature to allow late additions to the load mid-wash, so you won’t have to worry about forgotten clothing items even after starting the cycle. The washing machine’s two-load function also helps you save time as you’ll only need 49 minutes to complete the washing of two laundry loads, instead of having to wait for separate wash cycles to finish. Of course, cleanliness is never compromised thanks to the machine’s latest technology, which includes the TrueSteam and TurboWash functions. The former penetrates fabrics with steam to eliminate 99.9 per cent of household allergens, wrinkles and odours, while the latter minimises washing time by utilising a powerful jet spray and filtration feature to

disperse concentrated detergent on clothing, ensuring your clothes come out clean and fresh. What about drying? The TwinWash comes with LG’s efficient Eco-hybrid dryer function, so you can save space at home with this all-in-one machine. After loading up the machine, you won’t have to hang around waiting for the cycle to end as the LG TwinWash is fully equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity. Easily control and monitor the appliance remotely via your connected device, track energy usage and even diagnose technical problems. This handy appliance does not compromise on style either, with its ergonomically designed exterior complete with black tempered glass and a touch-screen LED display that’s both edgy and user-friendly. Find out more about the LG TwinWash washing machine at www.lg.com/sg.

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THE FURNITURE MALL SPECIAL

ONE-STOP SHOP Time to refresh the look of your home for the new year! The new year is just around the corner, so it’s the perfect time to start planning for a new look at home. Update your furniture pieces, change out old and worn accessories like soft furnishings and decor items, and freshen up your living spaces. Find everything you’ll need for your home, including furniture and home furnishings to accessories, from 40 stores with over 70 brands at The Furniture Mall, or TFM. With such a vast selection under one roof, this one-stop destination is best known for its range of mattresses and variety of furnishings like carpets, curtains and wallcoverings. Regardless of your home’s style, you’ll be able to find sofas, chairs, dining tables, coffee tables,

lighting fixtures, and more, thanks to an array of options that cover the Scandinavian style, the country look and even a Victorian-inspired style. As a celebration of its 23rd anniversary this year, the shop now offers visitors a chance to win attractive prizes, including seven consolation prizes of $1,000 in cash, as well as the grand prize – a Mitsubishi Attrage eco-friendly sedan – when you spend $200 and more from now till Feb 28, 2018. An additional draw, which is supported by mattress specialist Sleepnight, is happening this month, too. With a minimum spending of $500, a lucky shopper will receive a Royal Kingdom queen-size mattress worth $5,999. You can even redeem complimentary parking for two to three hours, when shopping at TFM. Head down to The Furniture Mall at 10 Toh Guan Road, for an exciting shopping experience. Find out more at www.thefurnituremall.com.sg.

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Beyond the captivating world of high fashion and equestrian excellence, the French luxury house of Hermes is putting its mark on yet another facet of luxury design. Home & Decor puts the Birkins and silk scarves aside to delve into the world of the Hermes Home Universe.

J OUR NE Y T HROUGH THE WALLS

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ABOVE

Designed by Gianpaolo Pagni, the stripes on these lacquer boxes seem to have a life of their own. LEFT

Inspired by anarchitecture (anarchy and architecture), Through the Walls features elements of deconstruction, as can be seen in these windows.

More than just designers, the creative brains at Hermes are better recognised as seasoned storytellers. From Hermes’ whimsical storefronts to the artisanal production of its handstitched leather gloves and bags, each carefully constructed object carries a tale of the artists behind the fantastical designs, techniques used by Hermes craftsmen, or simply an imaginative concept that has captivated the brand’s tastemakers. The French brand started out in 1837 as a saddle-maker, but soon evolved from equipping equestrians with utilitarian riding gear to accessorising their homes, too. The Hermes Home Universe began with blankets and lamps, and then –

BOTTOM

The Log Basket (below) and Centrepiece (bottom) are part of the Lien D’Hermes collection, and feature natural maple and Hermes’ brick bridle leather.

thanks to a serendipitous meeting in 1924 with interior decorator Jean-Michel Frank – leathercladded seats, furniture, and even walls. These commissioned pieces were worked on by Hermes master leatherworkers and saddlers. Currently helmed by artistic directors Charlotte Macaux Perelman and Alexis Fabry, the union of form and function continues to this day with the Home Universe mantra of “rigour and fantasy”. This was personified in Through the Walls, an immersive and playful exhibition that showcased the diversity, versatility, and functionality of Hermes objects. Here for the Singapore-exclusive exhibition, Charlotte gave us an insight into Hermes Home Universe.

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Charlotte Macaux Perelman ARCHITECT, DESIGNER & DEPUTY ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF HERMES HOME UNIVERSE

W H AT D O E S I T M E A N T O H A V E “ R I G O U R A N D FA N TA S Y ” ? Hermes’ products are made to last and be passed down through generations. We like finesse in craftsmanship and avoid industrial and synthetic materials. We combine heritage with farsightedness; this is also why we love to work with architects – they understand time. On the other hand, we also convey the know-how and personalities of artists we work with through artistic elements. For instance, I like that the wallpapers in Through the Walls were hand-stamped and, if you look closely, you will see the hand gestures of the artist. H AV E YO U S E E N T H I S R I G O U R AT W O R K ? Yes, everyone knows a Hermes piece is honest and well done. [That phrase is used a lot these days], but working from inside, I see the energy we put in each piece to get the right materials, weight, and even artisan. We spare no effort to materialise a design, and pay the same attention to a small box as we would a sofa. When Hermes had the design for Karumi, we could not perfectly handle the bamboo, so we found an amazing Japanese master in Tokyo who could. He had invented the layering technique that could accurately convey the idea of Karumi. We push boundaries.

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ABOVE

FAR LEFT

LEFT, ABOVE

LEFT, BOTTOM

The exhibition showcased Hermes’ minimalist designs against a backdrop of playful and felttip-inspired motifs from its children’s wallpaper collection. The Picotin table features natural maple, fawn bullcalf leather, and natural woven wicker.

The Diligence serving trolley is part of the Equipages d’Hermes collection, and was modelled after diligence carriages (stagecoaches) that were pulled by horses. These bowls, in Sandstone and Paprika, were designed by Dutch wood artist Maria van Kesteren. The lid’s groove is hidden for a seamless effect. (OPPOSITE) TOP

Through the Walls exemplifies Hermes’ philosophy: Rigour in furniture, and fantasy and softness through wallpaper and textiles. BOTTOM

Designer Gianpaolo Pagni creates abstract prints using repetitive stamp effects.

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LEFT

W H AT S I M I L A R I T I E S ARE THERE BETWEEN H E R M E S T H E FA S H I O N BRAND, AND HERMES THE FURNITURE DESIGNER? We like to give clients little luxuries. In fashion, we’ll include an amazing texture in the pocket, even if it is hidden. We create these intimate gestures with our furniture, too, such as cladding the inside of drawers in leather or, like in our maple bowls, including a hidden groove.

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For its Fall/Winter 2017 collection, Hermes launched a series of colourful skateboards and longboards retailing at US$2,900 ($3949.18). FAR LEFT

The staircases of Hermes at Liat Towers were clad in layers of wallpaper – torn to create an anarchitectural effect. FAR LEFT, BELOW

The Tie Set’s plates feature interlacing H motifs. It was designed by Hermes tie designer Philippe Mouquet. BELOW

Part of the Pippa collection, whose items revolve around travellers, this daybed features 15 removable cushions and two reclining sides.


Did you know? Hermes has a team that specialises in buying drawings and illustrations. Both interior and fashion departments are free to browse or use them. This striking plaid carpet by Korean artist Seulgi Lee will enliven any space.

HERMES’ THEME THIS YEAR IS “SENSE OF THE O B J E C T ”. W H AT D O Y O U H A V E AT H O M E T H AT EXEMPLIFIES THIS? Having “sense” is to have meaning and value; Hermes creates objects with technique and heritage in mind. I have plenty of such objects at home, such as those by a great artist called Alev Siesbye. All her life, she designs only bowls – same shape, same hues. She repeats the same gestures again and again, and gets so good at what she does. She creates honest and unique objects. W H AT K I N D O F H O M E WILL A HERMES PIECE LOOK GOOD IN? Hopefully, any home – though Hermes will be strongest in a home with Scandinavian, Japanese and French furniture. People should add their own personality into their homes, instead of focusing on one brand. It’s like Jean-Louis Dumas said: “Don’t wear only Hermes on you.”

text ELIZA HAMIZAH photos HERMES, EDWARD HENDRICKS

CHARLOTTE’S PICKS Aes Bronze Table This sleek, monolithic piece, designed by British studio Barber & Osgerby, was cast in bronze and with a singleuse mould. “The design is simple, but strong; we used the antique technique of casting to convey this.” Groom Attele Hanger This Hermes design pays homage to the house’s first metier: A harness and saddle-maker. “In a collection that uses leather only as links or harnesses, this all-leather Hanger is seen as extravagant,” says Charlotte.

Karumi Bamboo Stool Designed by architect Alvaro Siza, Karumi features bamboo that has been harvested from Kyoto’s Arashiyama bamboo forest. “The Japanese master who worked with Hermes linked carbon fibre with layers of bamboo. This maintains the strength and bendability of the bamboo, sans visible nails or stitching,” says Charlotte.

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ALFI SPECIAL

Gusto Fresh, Fire Red (left)

COLO U R INFUSION Accessorise your home with these premium glass vacuum-insulated carafes. Gusto Fresh, Lime

Gusto Fresh, Cool Cassis

Senso, Apple Green

Water flasks and carafes aren’t just functional kitchen tools – they can also be stylish tools that add character and personality to your home. When shopping for these common household items, discerning homeowners should consider their design, in addition to how well they perform. As a 103-year-old market-leading brand in the houseware tabletop category – with products that include vacuuminsulated carafes and drinking bottles – premium German brand Alfi offers a wide range of carafes and drinking solutions with a sleek aesthetic, and has a reputation for outstanding performance and durability. Alfi products are highly soughtafter by design-conscious homeowners, specialist retailers, the hotel trade, and catering businesses worldwide. Senso, Alpine White

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Made in Germany and designed by Martin Hauenstein, the premium Gusto Fresh and Senso glass vacuuminsulated carafes combine users’ visual preferences with excellent insulating properties. The Gusto Fresh boasts a stylish, tasteful appearance that remains compact with a sleek silhouette. The one-litre carafe comes in five vibrant shades – Fire Red, Apple Green, Lime, Aquamarine and Cool Cassis. Its simple handling and easy maintenance promise true ease of use with zero risk. The Alfi Senso is a 0.65-litre carafe, with a single hand pouring button and a chrome body, available in Fire Red, Apple Green and Alpine White. Whether coffee, tea or water – both premium carafes offer 24-hour cold retention and 12-hour heat retention, so you can enjoy your beverages at your desired temperature whenever you like! Alfi Senso and Gusto Fresh carafes ($119 and $139 respectively) are available at Takashimaya, Robinsons The Heeren and Raffles City, and BHG Bugis. For more information, visit www.thermos. com.sg/alfi.


SET THE SCENE For a lush emerald botanical setting, begin by placing long-stemmed fronds and luscious ferns in tall clear glass holders. Accent the look with succulent blooms placed in smaller vessels, which can also be used as place settings for your guests.

TA BLE

Inclass Sui table, $3,470, from Inhabitant. O N TAB L E

Joy copper wire lights (10m), $39.90, from Kikki.K. Chin Chin champagne glass in rose gold, $16.90; S&P eclectic ripple plate in pink, $13.90; and Mila large round plate in white, $19, all from Harvey Norman. Charles Millen silver cutlery set (16 pieces), $129, from Robinsons. Ichendorf Milano Bouquet Optic large vase, $100, and Ichendorf Milano Bouquet large vase, $90, from Inhabitant.

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It’s time to gather your family and friends to celebrate a year well spent. But instead of the conventional redand-green theme that’s too often seen in December, put a refreshing spin to your festive decorating by using this season’s trendiest hues of onyx green and millenial pink, along with a bold tropical look.

FLO R AL AR R A N GE ME N T S

Table floral setting and window drape, by Dreams & Doodle.

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FU RNI TUR E

Won Tip Toe large bench, $740, and Sketch Orphan armchair, $1,300, from Inhabitant. O N ARM C H A I R

Wendelbo cushion, $110, from Inhabitant. O N BEN C H

C R E AT E A V E R D A N T W R E AT H Rubina Tiyu, founder of floral styling and events studio Dreams & Doodle, designed this tropical-inspired Christmas wreath by partially lining a metal ring with large-petaled leaves in a dark-green tone, along with cherry pink flamingo flowers. Follow the natural curves of the leaves for an elegant and textured effect.

Joy copper wire lights (10m), $39.90; Joy mini Christmas tree decorations (three-pack), $22.90; Rituals mini cloche and candle set, $39.90; CD storage cloth box in pink, $19.90, half-A4 storage box in white, $22.90; A4 storage cloth box in pink, $29.90; Inspiration Gratitude journal, $44.90; Love Life 365 Days journal with pen, $49.90, and 2018 Raspberry A6 bonded leather daily diary, $44.90, all from Kikki-K. LED Champagne Pillar candles, $12; Bloomingville porcelain square votive in white, $18, and Christmas pine cone ornament in silver, $8, all from Stylodeco. Ikea PS 2017 grey vase, $39.90 for a set of three, from Ikea. A4 storage card box in white, $24.90, from Kikki-K. O N FLOOR

Gurli cushion cover in pink, $7.90, and Vassad throw in grey, $59, from Ikea. O N WA L L

Floral wreath, by Dreams & Doodle. Other items, stylist’s own.

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THE K ATO N G S L I N G Welcome your guests with a local-inspired tipple! This cocktail is a Katong twist to the iconic Singapore cocktail created in 1915. This drink, concocted by Baba Chews Bar & Eatery, is given a little spice with the addition of Fernet. The Katong Sling is made with Courvoisier VSOP, Fernet, apple juice, lemon juice, apple honey syrup, and soda.

Da Vinci crystal tumblers, $133.20 for a pair, from Robinsons.

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FU RNI T U RE

Inclass Sui table, $3,470, and Won Versu chairs, $650, from Inhabitant. FLO RAL ARRANG EMENT S

Table oral setting and window drape, by Dreams & Doodle. O N TABLE

Joy copper wire lights (10m), $39.90, from Kikki.K. Chin Chin champagne glasses in rose gold, $16.90; S&P eclectic ripple plates

in pink, $13.90; and Mila large round plates in white, $19, all from Harvey Norman. Charles Millen silver cutlery set (16 pieces), $129, from Robinsons. Ichendorf Milano Bouquet small vase, $80; Ichendorf Milano Bouquet large vase, $90; Ichendorf Milano Bouquet Optic small vase, $90, and Ichendorf Milano Bouquet Optic large vase, $100, from Inhabitant.

A SUMPTUOUS SPREAD When designing a look for your celebration, think about using all the available space that’s not just on your dining table, but above it as well. This stunning canopy was created by hanging a thin wooden dowel from the ceiling and layering it with large monstella fronds.

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COMFORT FOOD Impart some Asian avour to a traditional Christmas meal with these delectable treats from Baba Chews Bar & Eatery, which were inspired by Peranakan Tok Panjang recipes. They include turkey breast assam curry, turkey roulade lo mai kai and crackling pork belly panggang.

FO O D

USDA prime beef short rib rendang, and crackling pork belly panggang, from Baba Chews Bar & Eatery. C LO C K W ISE , FR O M TOP LE FT

Stainless steel serving fork and spoon, $6 each, and white Asa bowl, $23, from Robinsons. George Jensen wine and bar tray, $200, and Ichendorf Milano Bouquet Optic small vase, $100; from Inhabitant. Luzerne KNT oval bowl, $13.90; Charles Millen Jewel Design plate, $26.90; Jewel Deisgn soup plate, $21.90; Oyster Design plate, $11.90; Le Creuset mini cocotte in powder pink, $76; silver stainless-steel small spoon, $12 for a set of six; Luzerne marble design bowl, $12.50; Zuperzozial Jumbo large plate in pink, $18; Asa plate, $23, and Charles Millen Jewel Design soup plate, $21.90; all from Robinsons.

FLO R AL AR R A N GE ME N T

Table oral setting, by Dreams & Doodle.

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BEEF SHORT RIBS RENDANG Beef short ribs stewed in a rich gravy of coconut cream, spices, gula melaka (palm sugar) and turmeric leaves.

Ingredients 5kg 1kg 500g 50g 30g 1L

beef short ribs (no bones) rendang paste roasted grated coconut turmeric leaves lime leaves water

Step A 1kg 50g

chilli paste chilli powder

Step B (blended fine) 700g 600g 200g 170g 150g 160g

onions shallots garlic ginger blue ginger lemongrass

Step C 80g 80g 80g 800ml 1L 65g 350g

cumin seed, dry blend fine coriander seed, dry blend fine fennel seed, dry blend fine cooking oil coconut milk salt gula melaka

Method 1 Blend all ingredients listed in Steps B and C into paste. 2 Heat up cooking oil in a pot and add blended paste; stir fry until fragrant. 3 Add short ribs and Step A ingredients; cook for 1 hour or until tender. 4 Add coconut milk and seasoning; continue cooking until tender. Serve.

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FU RNI T U RE

WHITE, GREY & GREEN White and grey are fabulous shades that can complement a green and pastel pink theme. These muted tones work well together to evoke a warm and cosy atmosphere.

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Wendelbo Edge V1 sofa, $3,250, Sketch Orphan armchair, $1,300, and Wendelbo Root coffee table, $1,130, from Inhabitant. D EC O R

Christmas tree, from Dreams & Doodle. CD storage cloth box in white or pink, $19.90 each, half-A4 storage cloth box in white or pink, $22.90; A4 storage cloth box in white or pink, $29.90, from Kikki.K.

O N SOFA

Nordstjerene Ombre small cushion, $100, and Nordstjerene Ombre large cushion, $130, from Inhabitant. Vassad throw in grey, $59, from Ikea. ON ARMCHAIR

Wendelbo cushion, $110, from Inhabitant. O N TA B L E

George Jensen wine and bar tray, $200, from Inhabitant. Joy House tea light holder, $24.90, and Joy glass bauble, $12.90, from Kikki.K. Georg Jensen Haberli medium container, $50, from Inhabitant. LED Champagne Pillar candles, $12, and Hubsch Christmas pine cone and bell ornaments in copper and silver, $8 each, from Stylodeco.


F ROM L EF T

Bloomingville glass tea light holder in grey, $12, from Stylodeco. S&P Marmo marble coaster in pink, $37.90 for a set of four, and S&P terrazzo trivet in white, $49.90, from Harvey Norman. Joy mini Christmas tree decorations (three-pack), $22.90, Rituals scented large candle, $49.90, Joy glass baubles (20-pack), $19.90, and Joy metal star ornament in silver, $12.90, all from Kikki.K. Succulent, from Dreams & Doodle.

A PRETTY VIGNETTE Get into the Christmas mood with a tray of festive trinkets and candles. Place these on the console near the entrance or on the coffee table. Scented candles also add an inviting fragrance to your interiors as the perfect ďŹ nishing touch to your decorating.

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BRANCHING OUT While the origin of having an evergreen tree in the house during Christmas harks back to the 16th century, here’s a new take on the traditional pine tree. Use large branches of mint fern or palm instead, and decorate them with fairy lights around the base for an extra-festive touch.

F UR N I TUR E

Arrmet Tool table, $1,400, from Inhabitant. ON TA B L E

Ichendorf Milano Bouquet Optic small vase, $100; Ichendorf Milano Bouquet Optic large vase, $110, from Inhabitant. Ikea PS 2017 vase in grey, $39.90 for a set of three, from Ikea. Joy copper wire lights (10m), $39.90; Joy glass baubles, $12.90, and Joy glass baubles (20-pack), $19.90, all from Kikki.K.

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BOSCH SPECIAL

THE PERFECT FIT Here’s what to consider when selecting the right refrigerator for your home, and how a good fridge can improve your quality of life. Shopping for big-ticket appliances, such as a refrigerator, may not be as easy as it seems, because you’ll want to choose one that’ll stand the test of time, and fit the space and interior style of your home. A modern “smart” fridge will definitely look out of place in a vintage-inspired home, for example, so it’s important to equip yourself with the right information before you start shopping. Home appliance specialist Bosch shares tips on what to look out for. You can easily narrow down your search when you consider what you need in a kitchen. Find out how much kitchen space you have; be sure to measure the dimensions so you can immediately eliminate models that do not fit. Also, how often do you cook? Knowing these will offer you a rough gauge as to how much storage capacity you require.

Bottom freezer refrigerator Refrigerators with the freezer located at the bottom are suitable for families who use the fridge compartment more often. As the latter is at eye level, it makes retrieving items more convenient as you won’t have to bend down. Side-by-side refrigerator With a fresh food section on one side, and a freezer on the other, you can access all your chilled items with ease. It’s perfect for larger households that need more space for food storage. Compared to wide single-door models, it’s a good option for kitchens with narrow aisles as it requires less clearance. Classic refrigerator If you need a model that’s small enough to fit into your studio kitchen or office pantry, a classic refrigerator – such as the Bosch Classic – will work great with its compact body! It sports a vintageinspired look, rounded corners and a chrome handle, making it an iconic piece to have in the home, too. Built-in refrigerator Designed to sit flush against kitchen cabinets for a seamless look, builtin fridges often come with hidden door hinges, safety glass and LED lighting. How do you achieve the perfect fit? Discuss with your interior designer for the recommended niche dimensions before installation, and ensure there is extra space to allow ventilation behind the appliance.

Find out more about at www.bosch-home.com.sg.

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SWEET ENDINGS A festive dinner is the perfect excuse to indulge, and what better way than with a decadent dessert like this chendol log cake. You can also complement the green and pink theme with colourful local treats, such as Nonya nine-layered cakes, ondeh-ondeh and kueh salat, served in a traditional tingkat.

FO O D

Chendol log cake, available for order, from Baba Chews Bar & Eatery. FR O M TOP LE FT

White Luzerna KNT oval bowl, $13.90, and stainless-steel dessert forks, $12 for a set of six, from Robinsons. Fantastisk paper napkin in light pink, $3.90 for 50 pieces, from Ikea. Joy glitter ribbon (threepack), $19.90, from Kikki-K. Hexagonal small marble board, $49 each; round small marble tray, $79, all from Comme Home. White Asa cake plate, $33, from Robinsons. Joy metal star ornament in silver, $12.90, from Kikki.K. Linge Particulier linen tablecloth in nude, $230, from Stylodeco.

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text YOUNG LIM photography DARREN CHANG assisted by ANGELA GUO art direction & styling NONIE CHEN, KAFFY TAN & LIM YI LING


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RIGHT

Anouska’s style combines contemporary elegance with inuences from her travels, underpinned by a keen understanding of design history and a love for art. OPPOSITE

The living room is an eclectic mix of Mid-Century with Art Deco references and a bohemian, well-travelled twist.

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T H E OR I E N T E XPR E S S I O N Anouska Tamony’s home is an exotic blend of East and West that draws upon her Eurasian heritage, childhood influences and sojourns around the world.

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For Anouska Tamony, founder and creative director of award-winning London-based boutique interior design studio, Anouska Tamony Designs, interior design was a hobby that she never seriously considered as a career until her involvement in a Guantanamo Bay case made her realise that the emotional intensity of human rights law was not for her. After retraining at KLC School of Design while working part-time in a London firm, she set up her own studio that specialises in creating bespoke homes for private clients. When it came to designing her own home, a late Victorian property in Dulwich, in south London, Anouska looked to her Asian roots. The bold use of colours combined with a playful mix of patterns can be attributed to her maternal grandmother, a Singaporean-Chinese couture seamstress who designed wedding dresses for royalty and wealthy magnates. “My poh poh’s colourful studio was where I fell in love with exotic patterns and vibrant textiles that captured my imagination, inspiring me to incorporate pattern and pizzazz into my designs,” says Anouska. Her master bedroom is like a jewel of the orient, with a burnt orange, turquoise and magenta palette that is sumptuous,

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The clean lines of the kitchen evoke a relaxed feel, and are a nod to industrial and Moroccan styles. A copper tap provides a contrast against the backdrop of blues and whites. (OPPOSITE) TOP

A young Anouska with her poh poh, to whom she attributes her love for colours and patterns. BOTTOM

The study room is classic with a softer palette of pale blue and dusty pink, and a touch of chinoiserie.

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At the foot of the bed is a late 19thcentury rosewood opium table that was shipped from Malaysia when Anouska’s mother moved to England with her poh poh and grandfather in the 1950s. OPPOSITE

A pair of antique carved teak chairs from India complement the vintage textiles, which were handpicked by Anouska’s aunt when she was living in Mumbai.

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ABOVE

The wallpaper by Cole & Son, West Bengal blind fabric by Kelly Wearstler, and 19th-century Japanese silk paintings from the Rowley Gallery in Kensington add drama to the bathroom. (OPPOSITE) TOP LEFT & RIGHT

This floral arrangement brings out the jungle chic of the bathroom. A simple shower area provides an appropriate counterpoint to the rest of the space. BOTTOM

Treasured photos and knick-knacks are lovingly displayed on the study table.

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zesty and sophisticated. In the bathroom, Anouska kept the colour scheme to a more subdued cobalt blue with yellow and golden accents, and introduced dramatic prints in the wallpaper, blinds and floor tiles. The outdoor dining terrace showcases more multicoloured prints using vintage textiles from India. It exudes a wild bohemian vibe that is evocative of sunnier climes. Anouska’s home is where she surrounds herself with a curated treasure trove of souvenirs collected from her travels. The Berber rug in the living room was sourced from a Marrakech souk (market) and the lacquer screen was a Malaccan antiquesmarket find. The Chinese silk painting in the study came from yet another antiques market in Hong Kong. Other elements, such as the Moroccan kitchen tiles and a 1920s’ Korean persimmon wood chest and Danish rosewood chest in

the master bedroom, reflect their countries of origins and this cultural fusion gives the home an eclectic quality. As Anouska shares the home with her partner, Scott, it was important to strike a balance between their individual tastes. “Scott is an avowed fan of Art Deco and oriental pieces. It was thanks to him that I’ve grown fond of design classics such as Hans Wegner’s Wishbone chair and Qing dynasty chairs,” she reveals. “I suppose this was how we ended up with an interesting mix of Deco and Mid-Century, feminine and masculine, bold colour and pastel tones.” When refurbishing a period property such as this, Anouska believes that it is important to respect the unique architectural features and detailing by taking a slightly more sympathetic approach. “This could mean reinstating cornicing that has been pulled down or restoring original


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The dining area is an extension of the living room. The Askha blind fabric by Jim Thompson picks up on the Farrow & Ball Green Smoke paint used on the cabinets. OPPOSITE

The vibrant colours of the oral arrangement accentuate the jewel tones of the master bedroom.

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fireplaces to their former glory,” she explains. The joy and woe is that you never know what you might discover, so her advice is to “allocate some of the budget to unforeseen discoveries and allow for flexibility in the final design”. Anouska’s home is not just a reflection of her personality and her passion for interior design, but also a way of keeping her poh poh’s artistic spirit, kindness and positivity alive. “These are traits that inspire me more than ever now that I have followed in her footsteps and started my own creative business,” she says. WHERE TO GO

Anouska Tamony, www.anouskatamony.com

text LYNN TAN photos ANOUSKA TAMONY

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LIVING LEGACY Sensitive renovation to a pre-war terrace house preserves its old-world charm while injecting modern touches. WHO A Belgian couple and their young son HOME Conservation terrace house in Kim Yam Road SIZE 2,842sqf

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The living room is where Jonathan and Katrien spend most of their time. It takes them back in time to the colonial era, with its open concept, the breeze from the ceiling fan and a view of the neighbourhood. RIGHT

This is one of three pre-war terrace houses along Kim Yam Road. It is named “Sireh�, which translates to betel leaves, a vine that is commonly cultivated and consumed in South-east Asia.

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LEFT

The air well creates a layering of spaces that draws you into the home. (OPPOSITE) TOP

The original kitchen was still in good condition, but it was somewhat dated so the couple had it redone in a sleek black-and-white theme. BOTTOM

The young family now call Singapore home and are the proud owners of this historic shophouse.

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Jonathan Roelandts and Katrien Bollen moved to Singapore in 2010 – Katrien, to pursue her MBA, and Jonathan, on a posting as the business development manager of international furniture brand Ethnicraft. They used to frequent the River Valley area and were thrilled when the opportunity to purchase this conservation shophouse in Kim Yam Road arose 2½ years ago. The shophouse is part of a development comprising three pre-war terrace houses and a new 10-storey condominium extension, which explains why the Belgian couple was able to own it despite being foreigners. “We love the contrasting beauty of the conservation shophouse against the modern and bustling neighbourhood. We knew at once that this is where we will begin building our dream home,” recalls Katrien, who is currently the Performance Marketing Lead for Asia-Pacific at Google. Restoration works had been carried out between 1998 and 1999, so the shophouse was still in relatively good condition. The interior however, looked dated, so the homeowners decided to renovate it before moving in after their tenant’s two-year lease had expired. They opted for a colonial-style interior with a modern touch. “We wanted the charm of a blackand-white bungalow, but with a fresh look,” says Jonathan, who is now Ethnicraft’s sales director for Asia-Pacific. To achieve this effect, they introduced natural elements and kept the styling to a minimum. The original layout was retained, together with the original air well – a feature that, in addition to its architectural style and structure, gives the home a lot of its character. Working directly with contractor Heavenly Homespace, they hacked and revamped the kitchen and three bathrooms. Minimal intervention was done to the rest of the house, with some repainting of walls, polishing of the timber staircase, changing of the air-conditioning system, and replacement of the flooring on the first storey.

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ABOVE

The air well lets in natural light that penetrates the interior of the home. (OPPOSITE) LEFT

Simple wall displays give the dining room an understated charm. RIGHT

Balcony doors allow the spaces to connect seamlessly from room to room.

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Why did you decide not to engage an interior designer, but to work directly with a contractor? Primarily, it was because we wanted to be hands-on and very involved in this homebuilding journey. We also had a clear vision of how our dream home should be, which eased communication with the contractor. It helped that Katrien has a real passion in interior design and her various industry contacts shared their experience and professional advice with us. Having had a few years to ponder over what you wanted to do with the home while you were serving out the tenancy, what was your thought process like? We had the luxury of time and we started off with a more exploratory approach. We laid the foundation first, shortlisting the styles and brands which appealed to us, as well as deciding which areas


of the home had to go. Once the groundwork was done, we sought inspiration through social media. Pinterest and Etsy helped the shaping of our dream home immensely, and we understood better our yays and nays. How did you go about selecting furniture, fittings and materials? We appreciate well-designed, quality furniture that comes with a fair price tag. Being in the furniture industry made furniture shopping a breeze as we are no strangers to brands. We are wood lovers and want our furniture to last. Thus, we went for brands such as Ethnicraft, Universo Positivo, Mr. Marius and Kartel, which met our likes and tied in with our modern colonial theme. Bloomingville was another go-to brand to accessorise the home, and the look was completed with handwoven rugs and cushions from The Grey House.

What are the advantages of being so hands-on with the whole project? You definitely have much more control over the home journey, from design to budget and spending. What advice would you give other homeowners who are tempted to take on their home project themselves and work directly with a contractor? Communication and direction is key. Homeowners must be able to communicate the ideas they have for their home to their contractor. They are the captains of this journey and must provide a clear direction for the contractor to follow. What is it about conservation shophouses that appeal to you? We have always been big fans of old, rustic colonial architecture and are intrigued when we delve deeper into their beautiful and rich history. Aside from the aesthetic charm, we are also proud to 103


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RIGHT

The black-and-white colour scheme of the bathroom is inspired by the colonial bungalows that the couple love. (OPPOSITE) TOP

The sloping roof gives the guest room on the third storey a unique character. It overlooks the air well, which brings in natural light for an airy and welcoming feel. BOTTOM

Baby Louis’ room that leads off the second storey landing is simply furnished but cosy, allowing it to change according to the growing child’s needs.

own a piece of Singapore’s history, a place that we have grown attached to and now fondly call our home. Tell us more about Ethnicraft Online. The concept of an online furniture store was sparked when we found it challenging to find great-looking, high-end yet affordable furniture in Singapore that was immediately available when we moved here. It was brought to fruition with Ethnicraft, a reputed solid wood furniture manufacturer that produces sustainable, contemporary and high-quality furniture pieces. In 2012, Ethnicraft Online made its entrance into Singapore, as the first online branch of the

international furniture brand. Since then, we have expanded into Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai. We offer functional, beautiful and eco-friendly solid wood furnishings, such as the contemporary teak or oak collection, the playful Universo Positivo series, vintage-inspired Mr. Marius range or the sophisticated Notre Monde collection. Quality customer service and convenient shopping form our DNA, so whatever our customers choose, they will be guaranteed a one-of-a-kind piece with a lifetime warranty and complimentary maintenance. WHERE TO GO

Ethnicraft, www.ethnicraft-online.com.sg

text LYNN TAN photography FRENCHESCAR LIM art direction YEW XIN YI

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Mark lined solid oak pieces vertically on the facade of the concealed TV console, hiding clutter and cables while creating an impressive feature wall in the living room. RIGHT

The original terrazzo oors in the dining area and kitchen were sanded down and overlaid with light oak-look tiles.

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N AT U R A L FINESSE An earthy palette and a well-planned layout transformed this home into a bright, airy space with refined interiors. WHO A couple in their 40s, their seven-year old child, and a helper HOME Four-bedroom resale condominium apartment in Meyer Road SIZE 2,700sqf

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When homeowner Sam Chiu and his wife bought their resale apartment at Equatorial Apartments, they told their interior designer, Mark Yong of Piu Design, that they wanted the home to have a spacious and open configuration. The previous layout had to be reconfigured and selected finishes removed, to achieve bright and airy interiors. An earthy colour palette was chosen to imbue a warm and cosy ambience, despite the generous floor space in the home. Natural materials and wood accents blend well together for textures and a tactile experience, while a pop of vibrant hues come into play with the right selection of furniture. Private spaces in the home, such as the

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bedrooms and bathrooms, are “hidden away” as Mark strategically designed a reading corner-cum-library and display shelving in the intermediate space that leads from the living room and kitchen, to the three bedrooms, bathrooms and study. With the renovation cost amounting to $200,000 (without furnishings), the home now combines a touch of the Mid-Century Modern-inspired look with a resort style, resulting in an understated, refined and cosy abode — everything that the homeowners were looking for! WHERE TO GO

Piu Design, www.piu.com.sg


RIGHT

Mark replaced the original stairs with wood of a locally felled Khaya tree. The natural patina and silhouette of the material add to the home’s polished look. RIGHT, BELOW

Making a statement in the dining areacum-open-concept kitchen is a sculptural pendant lamp — the Acrylic Spiral of Light suspension lamp by Palmer Earley — from The Beuro. OPPOSITE

A textural granite wall is the first thing you’ll see when entering the home. Its design was inspired by one of Sam’s favourite American artists, Josh Agle, who goes by the pseudonym Shag. The stone walls set the backdrop to the living room’s natural palette. To anchor the furniture in the living room, Sam and his wife chose a large geometric-patterned rug in grey and white, which complements the blue armchairs and coffee tables from Lorgan’s.

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This part of the home is kept to a mostly white palette, and to ensure it is easy to maintain, Mark cladded the kitchen cabinetry in Fenix NTM, a nanotechnology material that is matte, hygienic and resistant to ďŹ ngerprints, scratches and mould.

To add an accent to the otherwise pared-down kitchen, Carrara marble tiles were used for the backsplash. The design of the solid oak feature wall in the living room is adapted here, too.

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LEFT

Mark customised storage cabinets and display shelves for the homeowners’ book collection. This strategy helps keep the home looking clutter-free, while carrying the white-and-wood look through to the other spaces. BELOW, LEFT

The feature wall design continues into the study, too, where the homeowners display knickknacks including family portraits and travel photographs. Mark customised a wooden frame around the windows to mimic the look of shutters, when paired with blinds.

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There are many nooks where the family can lounge, including this Mid-Century Modern-style mustard lounger from Lorgan’s in the living room. An abstract artwork sits next to it for a splash of colour.

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RIGHT

The homeowners love to read and spend plenty of time here. Rug by PDM Brand, from For The Common Goods. (OPPOSITE) TOP

Sam wanted the master bathroom to have both a shower area and bathtub. Mark customised a 2-in-1 ďŹ xture cladded in marble-look ceramic tiles. Paired with wood for the under-sink storage and doors, this intimate space exudes a resort-inspired vibe. BOTTOM LEFT

Similarly, the common bathroom has a bathtub-cumshower space. An interesting feature is the granite wall, which Mark cladded over a structural wall to accentuate the overall bathroom design. BOTTOM RIGHT

The louvred doors help to keep the bathroom wellventilated at all times.

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text DOMENICA TAN photography VERONICA TAY art direction NONIE CHEN

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PAST IN PRESENT Upcycled furniture and existing fixtures in the house were given a new lease on life in this Art Deco- and colonial-style home. WHO A family of five and two elderly parents HOME A house in Bukit Timah SIZE 6,047 sqf

This home has a number of designer furniture pieces, such as the kitchen’s yellow Masters dining chairs by Philippe Starck, as well as an oversized Kartell lamp.

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ABOVE

The bay window was designed so the couple’s elderly parents could enjoy this soothing view from indoors. OPPOSITE

The bay window (originally a veranda that was part of the carpark) and wall lamps were in the house before the homeowners moved in.

As the lady of the house has a penchant for colonial houses and upcycling, purchasing a 1970s’ property with well-kept design elements thrilled her. Its existing features, such as wall lamps and the staircase, were perfect for the look the family had in mind: A modern interpretation of colonial and Art Deco styles. “Almost all the furniture in this home was from my previous residence, giving the current space a lived-in and familiar atmosphere. I’m pleased that Alex Kwan from Museum Homes appreciates my choice to upcycle,” she says.

Here’s what went into the $700,000 renovation, and the final look of this capacious abode.

They improved the condition of the home The Art Deco style uses plenty of dark finishes, so a home should be well-lit. So, the house’s original half-windows and false ceilings – which created a dark and stuffy atmosphere – was a no-go. To create a bright and airy space, false ceilings were hacked and full-length steel-framed windows, as well as larger doors, were installed. The white marble floors in the living room further enhanced the now-sunlit space, oozing sophistication.

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LEFT

The homeowner said she was attracted to Museum Homes’ steelwork, so Alex included a steelframed glass door in the kitchen and full-length windows in the design.

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RIGHT

Brass handles are quintessential to the Art Deco style. (OPPOSITE) TOP

The spacious bathroom features a bench and a large entrance; it was designed with the elderly occupants in mind. BOTTOM LEFT

The powder room, situated near the staircase, features the same black marble used for the customised dining table. BOTTOM RIGHT

Winding staircases (there’s one in the bedroom, too) and glass chandeliers add to the colonialstyle atmosphere.

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They customised what they couldn’t find The homeowners purchased a plush L-seater from Spanish brand Sancal, and a set of dining chairs from Danish furniture brand Boconcept. Contemporary pieces like these prevent the home from looking dated. As they could not get their hands on a luxurious, deep-hued dining table to match, Alex designed an eight-seater dining table, as well as a buffet table made of black marquina marble. He also designed an Art Deco-style bookcase that conceals the store room.

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Both the foyer and master bathroom feature mosaic tiles that have been laid out in patterns designed by Museum Homes.

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ABOVE

This wood-andwhite bathroom is a world away from the dark and luxurious first floor, but the homeowners welcome the change in scenery. LEFT

The bedroom is kept simple with lighter wood hues and few furnishings. OPPOSITE

The walk-in wardrobe, which features vintage handles and a barn door, separates the bathroom and bedroom.

They furnished the home with art Classical artworks and accessories add to the colonial- and Art Deco-inspired interiors. “On my bookcase is a Goddess of Fertility bust, which I bought on a trip to Greece, and three Lladro sculptures. They represent my three daughters; each time I delivered, my husband would commemorate the birth with motherhood sculptures. I’ll pass them on to my daughters when they are older,” shares the lady of the house. An abstract Murano glass chandelier hangs above the dining table, and the family’s large collection of traditional Vietnamese paintings add colour – albeit in soft, muted hues – to the home. WHERE TO GO

Museum Homes, TEL: 9818-3146

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text ELIZA HAMIZAH photography VERNON WONG art direction NONIE CHEN

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The home features a nice play between cool and warm hues, from the light-coloured paint and upholstery to the customised carpentry.

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RUSTIC BE AU TY The homely style and laid-back charm of this chic apartment home offer the perfect backdrop for showcasing the owners’ love of carpentry and cooking. WHO A couple in their 30s HOME Three-bedroom condominium apartment in West Coast SIZE 1,335 sqf

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Evon and Ken’s three-bedroom apartment is a mash-up of simple Scandinavian interiors and quaint country charms. The two styles may seem like opposite ends of the design spectrum, but the home’s exposed plywood carpentry bridged them perfectly; it sports unfussy linear forms, as well as distinctive grains and wood tones that imbue warmth to the space. The red brick wall also added to the cottage-style look. “When my fiance and I visited the office of our interior designer – Joy from Eightytwo – we fell in love with the plywood furnishings in the space. We wanted our home to have a light-hearted ambience with soothing colours, and the plywood that Joy suggested pairs nicely with our pastel blue walls,” shares Evon. Much of their $90,000 (furnishings included) expenditure went to the labourintensive woodwork, from the living room’s display shelves to the floor-to-ceiling wardrobe-cum-platform beds. The latter’s cocoon-like design was inspired by the

RIGHT

For a sense of design continuity, the kitchen also features exposed plywood cabinetry. RIGHT, TOP

The couple have a large collection of whisky bottles, toys and art – all of which are displayed throughout the home. OPPOSITE

Ken and Evon are cooking enthusiasts, so the designer integrated their passion into the interiors by displaying ingredients and cooking tools.

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couple’s stay in a Japanese boutique hotel. “Its wrap-around shape gives you a comforting sense of security, and is a great way to incorporate storage,” says Evon. The couple also cook regularly – “he’s the main chef and experiments a lot, while I prefer stir- and pan-frying,” she says – so the bomb shelter in the kitchen became a fully stocked pantry, and the designers converted existing cabinets into an open shelf for easy access to condiments. Their passion for cooking is also seen in the living room, where pots and pans are displayed on a wooden rack – it makes for an accent wall that truly befits the homeowners’ personalities!

ABOVE

The exposed plywood and chic whisky bottles create an interesting look. OPPOSITE

The recessed nooks in the walls and wardrobes give the homeowners plenty of freedom to switch up their displays.

WHERE TO GO

Eightytwo, TEL: 6698-7987

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For a consistent look, the bay window in this bedroom was clad in plywood. LEFT

Joy, the interior designer from Eightytwo, designed this cottage-style vanity for the common bathroom. BELOW LEFT

Joy looked for tiles, from wood-look ones to subway tiles, from stores such as Hafary, Soon Bee Huat and Rice.

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text ELIZA HAMIZAH photography FRENCHESCAR LIM art direction KAFFY TAN


PROPERTY

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FIXER UPPERS TO UP YOUR PRICE How can you remodel your proper t y to make a profit? We hear from t wo interior designers and a realtor.

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“Move-in condition!” and “Just bring your luggage!” These enthusiastic descriptors often pop up in property ads to entice home shoppers. Indeed, if a property fulfils the buyer’s needs – such as location, size or number of bedrooms – its renovation is the next most important criteria that affects how much a buyer is willing to pay for it. Alan Leo, design director of Proverbs of Design, says that while buyers of new properties have no choice but to spend at least tens of thousands of dollars on renovating their empty nest, resale home owners have more options. “Some of my clients overhaul their new homes, regardless of whether it has usable renovation, because they want the joy of designing their own space. Others don’t mind paying a premium for a renovated home because it is hasslefree. They require only simple touch-ups such as a fresh coat of paint, minor repairs or changing of curtains.”

ERA senior marketing director David Ng agrees. “Some buyers look for ‘original condition’ houses so they can renovate it to their dream home; they also expect to pay less for the property. Some look for wellrenovated homes. They may have a time constraint to move into a house, or do not wish to spend so much on renovation.” Remodelling/renovating for better resale value “For 80 per cent of home seekers, purchasing a property is an emotive process,” notes Eugene Yip, an interior designer and founder of Teetfa, which customises metal grilles and gates. While one man’s idea of good taste may not appeal to another, Eugene says if your home’s design can tug at the heartstrings of those with purchasing intent, you will draw a willing buyer more easily. “This is true no matter what the market condition or trend is.”


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Although Eugene’s interior practice does not focus on property flipping or selling, he has personally experienced the benefits of good home design with an investment focus. One of his properties that is co-owned with Mike Tay, fabric designer and founder of Onlewo wallpapers, is a freehold 1,250sqf walk-up apartment with a private roof terrace in Kim Tian Road. They bought it at $850,000 in 2009, and spent $105,000 – replacing the electrical and plumbing services, and reconstructing the threebedroom apartment into a home with one master room with a walk-in wardrobe and en-suite bathroom, one large study room, and a double-sized living room, all fitted with new carpentry. Some walls were stripped to expose the original brickwork, and old tiles were gutted out. The old wood flooring was refinished, and wallpapers – designed by Mike – were applied to the bedroom, living and study room walls. Old windows were reused with new glass panes. After two years, they rented it out for $7,500 a month and sold it with tenancy in 2012 – at a historic high of $1.95 million. Their second property, a freehold 1,249sqf condominium apartment – which includes a generous private enclosed space – in Robin Road was purchased at $1.39 million in 2011 and sold less than

three years later at another record high of $2.03 million. Similarly, they had removed all old non-structural walls, converting the three-bedder into one master room with a walk-in wardrobe and en-suite bathroom, two study-cum-work areas, and a helper’s room. New touches, such as a brick wall for a loft feel, full-height wood panelling as both space-dividing structures and wall finishing, plus carpentry work, pushed the renovation bill to $125,000. Spurning the usual painted walls, concrete screeding was applied on walls, the floor and the ceiling in the living and dining rooms. Two other remodelled properties were sold at a profit of $420,000 and $810,000, respectively, within three years. While they had renovated these family homes according to their lifestyle, Eugene says his designs inevitably attracted tenants and buyers of a similar profile. “I have discovered that I do not need to design properties to cater to all segments in the market. There will always be people with a similar family structure or lifestyle. When they come as a buyer or renter, it immediately makes for a good match. Creating a fine, tasteful home always draws fine home seekers with good taste.” In David’s experience, a picture says a thousand words when it comes to selling or marketing a home. “A clean, spacious, well-

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1 Looks do matter

when you are designing a home that has the potential to be sold at a higher price. 2 An apartment’s

good design can also affect its rental price. 3 Saving on your

renovation may not be a wise idea, according to the specialists.

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renovated home can, at the buyer’s first glance, give a very positive impression. As realtors, we should advise our sellers to dress up their homes to help buyers visualise their dream home.” David, who does professional photography on the side, enhances his clients’ property ads with his beautifully shot images, which have helped drawn eyeballs. “Online portals are the preferred way to reach mass buyers and a beautifully renovated home definitely helps you stand out from the crowd. A sale can take place within a day. This isn’t unique to renovated homes, but it does help.” Renovating just before selling Granted, many home buyers may not have Eugene and Michael’s renovation budget and astute investment acumen. Alan has served clients who chose to renovate for humbler reasons – to secure an elusive successful sale. “These homes – a mix of HDB, private apartments and condo apartments – were usually over 20 years old and looked very run-down. A fresh paint of coat – sellers usually keep to crowd-pleasing tones like white or light shades to brighten the home – is a must, as well as fixing damaged fixtures and flooring.”

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PROPERTY

One owner, whose home was on the market for months, realised his toilets were turning off potential buyers. Fixing two toilets cost about $10,000, but it was necessary in this case, and allowed the seller to command a better price, which covered his renovation costs. David has met sellers in mature estates like Bedok whose flats had peeling ceilings, old rickety fans on the walls and clutter everywhere. “Even they admitted that they would not pay the market price for their own house if they were the buyer!” he recounted. “The remedy was obvious. They fixed the ceiling, removed unnecessary furnishings, replaced cracked tiles and repainted the home to make it look inviting.” Some buyers don’t mind paying a reasonable premium if your renovation is to their liking, as their bank loan can cover the purchase price. “In this way, they also avoid taking a renovation loan, which charges more interest than a housing loan,” says Alan. Renovating for rental “In a tenants’ market like today’s, the landlord needs to do all he can to attract tenants,” says David. “A more beautiful home may not get him a significantly higher rent, but it’s important that his unit does not go empty without a tenant. A renovation will attract better tenants with profiles to match the higher rent.”

photos 123RF

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4 Rental units can

look dated over time, and require regular maintenance.

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5 Regular renovations also help to make your property more comfortable and cosy.

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AFTER TWO YEARS, THE CO-OWNERS RENTED OUT THE APARTMENT FOR $7,500 A MONTH AND SOLD IT WITH TENANCY IN 2012 – AT A HISTORIC HIGH OF $1.95 MILLION. Alan says it really depends on how bad the condition of the house is. “Usually, most landlords try not to renovate, or try to minimise their renovation, unless they have trouble getting a tenant. This could also be due to their fear of tenants not taking care of their freshly renovated property. However, there are exceptions when the owner wants to target a certain audience, such as high-ranking executives – these owners are more willing to invest in pre-rental renovation.” For example, his client at luxury condo The Oceanfront at Sentosa spent about $15,000 on such a renovation. He revarnished the timber flooring, repainted the house, repolished the marble, repaired the timber deck and replaced the blinds. He also stripped off built-in features such as the customised cabinets, tables and headboards in the bedrooms, because his property agent shared feedback that his target tenants often preferred to use their own furniture. He successfully rented it out very soon after, as tenants were impressed by a newly renovated house. Homeowner Dorcas Liang is another happy client. “Friends were surprised that my husband and I spent about $35,000 on revamping our five-room flat in the west. But we had rented it out for 10 years, which

text STELLA THNG photos COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE DESIGNERS

took a toll on the 33-year-old flat that was last renovated in the 1980s.” She had found it increasingly difficult to attract quality tenants as the flat looked dated, fixtures were falling apart and rental offers were lower than desired. The kitchen was remodelled, the flooring replaced, walls repainted, the old fashioned built-in cabinets, cornice and rock stone walls removed and the balcony was leveled up to expand the living room. Only the toilets were not redone as they were recently upgraded by HDB. “Renovation aside, we even put up framed scenic photographs lit by spotlights to evoke a sense of being at an art gallery.” The revamp worked. Instead of low offers like $2,400, they rented it out for $3,000 a month. Dorcas even received offers to buy her flat! Remodelling or renovating one’s home is an expensive and timeconsuming affair. Thus, it makes sense to get the biggest bang for your buck – not just to satisfy you and your family’s needs, but with the mindset of attracting future buyers or tenants. “Don’t be penny wise, pound foolish. You will not regret getting on board the virtuous cycle of good design, good living or good tenancy, and good returns,” sums up Eugene.


TECH 101

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE

COOL STOCKING FILLERS It’s that time of the year again! Here are a few suggestions that will make great presents this holiday season.

Asus UX370 Flip S – $2,498 Marketed as the world’s thinnest convertible laptop, the UX370 Flip S features an elegant all-aluminium ultra-light unibody that is 10.9mm thin and weighs only 1.1kg. It has a long battery life of 11 hours on a full charge and delivers an impressive performance with its powerful 8th-generation Intel i7 Core processor. The 360-degree flippable full HD display allows it to be used as a laptop or a handy tablet. The UX370 has full support for the Asus Pen and Windows Ink, perfect for creatives.

Vox Adio Air GT – $387 Vox is an iconic British brand known for making great sounding guitar amplifiers since 1957. Now, Vox has come up with the Adio Air GT, a multipurpose 50-watt amplifier and Bluetooth speaker. You can plug in your electric guitar and play along to music from external devices through its two 3-inch speakers. The amp can be powered via AA batteries for up to eight hours or by the included power adapter. As a regular speaker for music playback, the Adio Air GT gives you a smooth, full-bodied and balanced sound.

Audio Technica ATH-M50x RD – $268 The excellent ATH-M50x headphones is well established and widely used by studio sound engineers for recording and mixing, as well as by radio and club DJs. This is a limited-edition red iteration of the professional monitor headphones. The stylish hue and design are appealing to fashionistas and music lovers on the lookout for headphones that provide accurate sound.

Canon Powershot SX730 HS – $529 When it comes to compact cameras, the Canon Powershot series stands out in the market. The 40x optical zoom lens on the SX730 HS provides a viewing angle akin to that of 35mm film formats with a focal length starting at 24mm for wide angles – great for group photos and vast landscapes. The 180-degree, tilt-type rear monitor makes taking the perfect selfie easy. This is a versatile camera capable of taking great photos, from faraway wildlife to food and landscapes.

text MATTHEW CHOK

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IN STORE

Organised Outfits Pick out your daily attire with ease, using this clothing rack from Jottergoods – hang your clothes and place your shoes at the bottom to get a good look at your outfit. With a black-coated frame, the Tailor Rack offers a sleek, clean look that will look great in any room.

Sleep Soundly King Living’s Sleep+ Mattress 8000 is engineered for maximum comfort and support, with a more luxurious feel. It can also be tailored to suit each user’s firmness preferences at any time – simply unzip the top layer to change the components inside the mattress. The entire mattress can be thoroughly cleaned inside and out, too, making it the perfect pick for those with dust-related allergies.

Jottergoods’ Tailo r Rack, price unavailable, retails exclusively at www.starliving.com.sg, as well as its listed showrooms. Call 6269-2022 for more details.

No Mess, No Stress

available in three

Spend more time enjoying the food you cook, instead of cleaning up the mess you leave behind – Greenlam’s AFX anti-fingerprint laminates are just what your kitchen needs. These laminates help make it easy to clean grime and grease, and you can even eliminate minor scratches by merely rubbing them with your fingers! Use these on your kitchen countertops and dining tables for an effortless cleanup.

models; prices start

Greenlam’s AFX laminates are available in black, white

from $2,490. Visit www.

and grey; price available upon request at 6365-9138.

kingliving.com.sg.

For more information, check out www.greenlam.com/sg.

King Living’s Sleep+ Matt ress 8000 is

Hollywood At Home Thanks to the latest OLED screen technology, this elegant TV model delivers crisp images that are rich in contrast and colour. If you’re looking for the perfect blend of form and functionality, the EZ1000 is truly a worthy investment. Panasonic’s EZ1000 O LED TV retails for $10,999 at major electrical stores. Visit www.panasonic.com.

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text MARIE QUEK


PROMOTION

A VERY GOOD MORNING Home & Decor kicked off the first of its Home & Decor Mornings series with Toto at W. Atelier.

All received goodie bags worth more than $60 each and, at the end of the event, W.Atelier showroom manager Shirley Liew presented the lucky-draw prizes, which included the top prize – a Toto aerial handshower worth $515. Developed to offer discerning homeowners and design lovers opportunities to learn about leading design and product brands, Home & Decor Mornings sessions also provide guests with entertaining interactive sessions and exclusive bargains. “More and more, homeowners are beginning to appreciate the heritage behind established brands and show an interest in finding out the quality and design attributes they are investing in when buying home products. This series aims to benefit our readers by connecting them directly to the people behind those brands and products,” says Young Lim, editor of Home & Decor Singapore. If you missed the event, you can still enjoy Toto’s washlet and toilet bundle sale of up to 40 per cent off, which lasts until Dec 30. Keep an eye out for the next event in the series of Home & Decor Mornings, to see and learn about the latest in home decor and appliances.

Over 100 guests and readers of Home & Decor turned up to celebrate the launch of the inaugural Home & Decor Mornings series, along with partnering brand Toto at its stand-alone showroom in Henderson Road on Oct 22. The attendees got to explore the new gallery of the world-renowned bath and kitchen specialist through an interactive programme line-up for the morning, as well as garner exclusive deals available only at the event. Chef Shen Tan of Revolution Coffee was in the house to demonstrate how to make fragrant nasi lemak and her unique coffee sambal. Attendees were intrigued by her culinary tips and tricks, and got to sample her cooking at the end of the half-hour session. Toto product specialists were also present to take attendees on a tour around the showroom, introducing them to the latest Toto products, such as the rimless toilet range. There was also a workshop to make your own bath and foot fizzy bath bombs, instructed by Desmond Tan of handcrafted body-care brand Sandome Cura. Attendees were split into three groups, and took their turns at each activity.

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PROJECT SHOWCASE

AT Y P I C A L I N D U S T R I A L This HDB home features many multipurpose design elements, and gave quintessential industrial-style features a twist.

Though the homeowners of this four-room flat in Punggol like the trendy industrial look, they weren’t interested in cookiecutter designs. So, designer Kelvin Teo from Space Sense Studio altered their common HDB flat layout by adding a sloping wall feature that ran from wall to ceiling. The ceiling became the highlight of the home, from the crossed rods to the beams that concealed the light tracks. Next, Kelvin imbued cosiness through warm lighting, as well as wood-look finishes such as the timber vinyl flooring (overlaid on the original home flooring) and wood furniture.

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Instead of the usual red or white brick wall, they chose a printed brick-look wallcovering instead. The recycled oil barrel console enhanced the edgy industrial style, too. Like the concealed track lights, many other customised features in the home are multipurpose. The divider between the living room and main entrance not only provides privacy, but is a display space for knick-knacks, too. The mirrorcum-door hides a shoe cabinet. As the homeowners wanted plenty of wardrobe space, two bedrooms were combined; this made way for a wall-to-wall wardrobe, a closet island, as well

text ELIZA HAMIZAH photos SPACE SENSE STUDIO

as a study area. The track lights, customised wooden bed frame and headboard, and wardrobe’s pipe handles complete the industrial-style look.

WHERE TO GO

Space Sense Studio, TEL: 6746-9389


buying guide YOUR ONE-STOP RESOURCE FOR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

BATHROOMS Toto @ W. Atelier #01-01 and #03-01 201 Henderson 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 Panasonic Singapore 202 Bedok South Avenue 1 www.panasonic.com/sg Samaire Ceiling Fan #06-01 1 Kallang Way 2A Tel: 6846-7737 www.samaire.com.sg

FURNITURE & FURNISHINGS

INTERIOR DESIGNERS

Da Vinci Home #01-01 3 Tai Seng Drive Tel: 6468-6333 www.davinciasia.com

Archive Design #02-08 362 Upper Paya Lebar Road Tel: 6702-7738 www.archiveinterior design.com

Fritz Hansen #01-01 and #03-01 201 Henderson Road Tel: 6270-8828 www.watelier.com Grafunkt #02-34/36 Millenia Walk Tel: 6336-6046 www.grafunkt.com Home 2 U Gallery #02-410 3 Temasek Boulevard Tel: 6338-5789 Muji #02-198 Vivocity 1 Harbourfront Walk Tel: 6376-8023 www.muji.com/sg Scanteak 60 Sungei Kadut Drive Tel: 6368-2802 www.scanteak.com.sg Space Furniture 77 Bencoolen Street Tel: 6415-0000 www.spacefurniture. com.sg Star Furniture 1 Pasir Panjang Road Tel: 6273-2522 www.starliving.com.sg Taylor B Fine Design Group #04-02 43 Keppel Road Tel: 6225-7090 www.taylorbdesign.com XZQT #01-05 UE Tech Park Tel: 6774-8031 www.xzqt.com.sg

Black N White House 291 Tanjong Katong Road Tel: 6440-9766 www.blacknwhite house.com Design Intervention 75E Loewen Rd Tel: 6468-1942 designintervention. com.sg 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 Renaissance Planners & Designers #01-02 469 MacPherson Road Tel: 6291-1545 Fax: 6345-3306 www.renaidesign group.com The Orange Cube #01-03 14 Arumugam Road LTC Building C Tel: 6337-7277 www.theorangecube.com Three-D Conceptwerke 24 Eng Hoon Street Tel: 6293-8001 www.three-dconceptwerke.com

KITCHENS Mudian #01-21/23 Vertex Building 33 Ubi Avenue 3 Tel: 6733-7378 www.mudian.com.sg Toto Kitchen @ W. Atelier #01-01 and #03-01 201 Henderson Road Tel: 6270-8828 www.watelier.com

LIGHTING Lightcraft 131 Jalan Sultan Tel: 6297-6658 www.lightcraft.com.sg

RENOVATION MATERIALS Caesarstone S.E.A. #08-06 The Spire 10 Bukit Batok Crescent Tel: 6316-1938 www.caesarstone.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 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

Baba Chews Bar and Eatery #01-01 Katong Square (Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong) 86 East Coast Road Tel: 6723-2025 www.babachews.com.sg Comme Home www.commehome.com Crabtree & Evelyn B1-29 Raffles City 252 North Bridge Road Tel: 6337-2474 www.crabtree-evelyn. com.sg Dreams & Doodle www.dreamsanddoodle.com Escentials #03-02/05 Paragon 190 Orchard Road Tel: 6737-2478 www.escentials.com Harvey Norman #01-59 to 63 Millenia Walk Tel: 6311-9988 www.harveynorman.com.sg

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Hermes #01-02A Liat Towers 541 Orchard Road Tel: 6738-9807 Ikea 60 Tampines North Drive 2 Tel: 6786-6868 www.ikea.com.sg Inhabitant #04-00 Jubilee Industrial Building 6 Genting Road Tel: 6717-9848 www.inhabitant.sg Kikki.K B1-22 Raffles City Tel: 6264-3359 www.kikki-k.com Robinsons The Heeren 260 Orchard Road Tel: 6735-8838 www.robinsons.com.sg Stylodeco www.stylodeco.com Yankee Candle B2-71 Ion Orchard Tel: 6509-6925 www.yankeecandle.com.sg

photography DARREN CHANG assisted by ANGELA GUO art direction & styling NONIE CHEN & LIM YI LING


Home & decor singapore december 2017  

Exclusive Emerging trends from Finland’s design scene Property Sure-fi re way to boost your home value Perfect tech gifts for the house

Home & decor singapore december 2017  

Exclusive Emerging trends from Finland’s design scene Property Sure-fi re way to boost your home value Perfect tech gifts for the house

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