When design director Tan Sze Ling first encountered this home at Sentosa Cove, she marvelled at its sharp apertures, which recall the dazzling facets of a diamond. “When we first visited the house, we felt that it had a really striking facade, but the previous treatment of the interiors had nothing to do with its architecture,” says Tan, founder of interior design firm Topic Studio.
She adds, “There was a lot of potential to heighten the senses through the interiors—by looking into how we could further sculpt its indoor spaces and improve the spatial flow between the inside and the outside.”
It is home to a family of three, who had tasked the designer with the redecoration of their abode after living there for several years. The owner wished to give his house a new lease of life, as he was dissatisfied with its previous resort-style interior. The main aims for this project were to enhance the home with new sculptural details and bring elements of the outdoor environment into its indoor spaces. Emphasis was also placed on maximising vantage views of the surrounding greenery. “We wanted the views of the nearby golf course to captivate,” says Tan.
This marked the beginning of a year-long project, one Tan counts among her favourites. “The owner was very receptive to new ideas,” she says. “He gave an open brief and asked us to surprise him with the result. This residence is almost like a holiday home, since the family travels a lot. Thus, we wanted to create a concept that would be a talking point among visitors, as the family entertains guests frequently. At the same time, we kept in mind that it should have the cosy restfulness of a home.”
To unite the interior and exterior, the design team added sharp planes to the walls throughout the home to reflect the multiple facets of the facade. In the living area, earthy shades are paired with sleek stainless-steel trimming on the TV feature wall. A long oak cabinet connects the dining and living areas, improving spatial flow on the first level.
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The walls are clad in white to capture the play of light and shadow on its new angular features, as seen in the dining area (pictured above). Minimal changes were made to the existing structure and layout; the original staircase by the entrance was kept, as well as the previous material palette of oak wood and travertine stone.
The restful bedrooms on the second storey create intimate spaces for each family member. The master bedroom features a dark palette, with an origami feature wall in ebony. Accessories such as a powder-pink tray, a round side table and a velvet chair soften the room’s angular lines.
In contrast, the master bathroom celebrates a flair for the lavish. Decked in tiger onyx marble that runs from the walls to the floor, the bathroom is fitted with a Portoro gold marble basin, champagne-coloured taps, and a bathtub clad in crocodile leather.
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The other floors take on an entirely different character. An unabashedly opulent mood reigns in the basement entertainment area. The decadent design heightens the senses and creates an exclusive enclave separate from the rest of the home. Fitted with a state-of-the-art sound system by Steinway Lyngdorf, the movie room features book-matched onyx that appears almost fiery when lit. Its ceiling features a stucco effect to mimic the night-time, while a chandelier glows from above, recalling a starlit sky. At the back of the movie room, a specially created cellar houses the owner’s treasured wines and cigars. Backlighting adds layers to the rich textures of the space. “It’s almost like a movie set,” says the designer. “You’ll forget you’re in the city—or in Sentosa. It brings guests into a whole new environment.”
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The design practice also sought to bring an individualistic flair to the myriad spaces within the home. “We wanted to discover the characteristics of each family member, the things they love, and bring elements of these into the home,” says Tan. “Rather than sticking to a single design theme, the home became a showcase of the personalities and styles of the couple and their daughter.” The daughter’s bedroom leads up to the rooftop floor, which has been crafted as a personalised entertainment area for her and her friends.
Words To Remember
As an added flourish, the design team carved the owner’s favourite quote into the very structure of the home. The successful businessman had told the team about a quote by Martin Luther King Jr that propelled him to believe that nothing is impossible. “We wanted to create something special for him, so we placed his favourite quote by the stairs leading up to the attic,” says the designer. “Only close friends get to see this quote, which lights up at night. It was a pleasant surprise for him.” These words to live by are just as emblematic of the designer’s philosophy: “I want to create homes that really touch the soul through these little, thoughtful gestures.”
This story was adapted from Singapore Tatler Homes August-September 2017.