Upon walking into the driveway of this family home, one of the first things you’ll notice is an abundance of greenery. Visitors will see an array of tropical plants, each personally selected and planted by the homeowner around the property. Patrick Khoo not only has a green thumb, his passion for landscaping also meant that he saw to the design as well as the curation of every leafy detail within his family home at Chestnut Crescent. “I’ve always loved greenery and I have an interest in gardening and landscaping,” explains the businessman, who lives in the 12,300-sqft property with his wife and four children. “The trees also provide some shade from the sun, while keeping our home comfortably cool.”
The flourishing foliage complements the resort-themed interiors, creating a bright and welcoming abode for the family. Terri Tan, design director of Designworx Interior Consultant, was tasked with crafting interiors inspired by nature. “The owner favours natural materials, and he stressed that the overall look of the home needed to be bright and inviting. Based on that brief, we felt that resort-style interiors would work best for this project,” explains the designer. She adds, “We didn’t know about his hidden landscape talent until we visited him shortly after he settled into his new home. We were so surprised by how well it complemented the interiors. He shared with us that he was glad to find a local nursery that could supply the plants for the landscaping ideas he wanted to create.”
With a generous built-up area of 11,800sqft, the three-storey home features a total of nine rooms, including a gym room and a study on the top floor. The design firm was involved with the new-build bungalow project from its early days, and had discussed the layout with the architects and builders of
GK Architects to meet the feng shui requirements of the spacious abode. “The bed orientations for the various rooms were predetermined after a consultation with the feng shui master, so we had to plan the bedrooms based on that,” says Tan.
To create a relaxing yet luxurious resort ambience, the design team made sure to use as many of the nature-derived materials as possible for the surfaces and flooring. “We used natural materials such as marble, onyx, granite, ebony and walnut wood wherever possible—nothing beats these when it comes to giving a home the modern-luxe resort look,” says Tan. The team made several trips with the owner to pick out slabs of marble and other stone surfaces. In particular, the Portoro Gold marble (a black marble with bold veins of gold and cream) was so favoured by that it was also used for the custom-made dining table in the living room. In shared spaces such as the living and lounge areas, the team selected a neutral palette to create warm, cosy communal spaces for the family.
On top of that, the designer opted for a careful curation of decorative pieces, as well as a judicious use of gilded details to keep the interiors refined and elegant. For instance, gold leaf detailing on the television console, shelves, drawers and some furniture pieces adds a touch of glamour to the rooms without looking ostentatious. Each section of the home contains just one or two statement-making pieces, such as the grand chandeliers by the stairwell or the striking gold apple sculpture from Bull & Stein next to the grand piano. The apple sculpture became such a hit with the family that the owner began acquiring more fruit-themed pieces for other sections of the home.
Lighting and lamps picked for the home were deliberately kept minimalist and functional, aside from the grand chandeliers at double-volume spaces. In keeping with the resort-like ambience, rooms and shared spaces were fitted with ceiling fans, which also give the family the option of going without air-conditioning on cooler days. Another eco-conscious detail is the use of low-emissivity glazing for all windows, which improves the thermal efficiency of the bungalow while reducing unwanted glare from the sun.
Flora and Fauna
The nature-inspired elements of this home carry over to the artworks and sculptures on display, too. The designer chose outdoor sculptures by Belgian brand Atelier Vierkant, which are shaped like large pebble stones that can be used as outdoor seating on the balcony decks. To complement the home’s resort theme, the design director also selected floral imagery for the corridors and stairwell—this includes paintings of lotus flowers by the staircase, as well as a gold orchid centrepiece at the entryway to the dry and wet kitchens.
The owner’s collection of animal sculptures also provides lively accents, both indoors and outdoors. Myriad forms of felines, oxen, birds and tortoises can be found on tables, at corners of rooms, by the balcony and beside the koi pond. Each piece had been personally sourced by the owner from landscaping stores in Singapore, and from artisans in Thailand and Indonesia. “We were so pleasantly surprised by the owner’s collection of animal sculptures, which were amassed over the years, as well as his tasteful placement of these throughout the family home,” says Tan. “They add such a lively touch to the bungalow.”
Since the family’s move into their new abode just over a year ago, Patrick’s interest in home decor hasn’t abated; he continues to enjoy shopping for furniture and decorative objects in his free time. “The owner was wonderful to work with. He’s very open to ideas, and he picks out furniture brands such as Koket and Brabbu, which he fell in love with after seeing them at the Maison et Objet fair in 2015,” shares Tan, who also quips, “We even had to discourage him from buying more furniture—we had to tell him, ‘Please hold back.’”
Next to the living room, the family’s favourite communal area is the dry kitchen, where the island is the preferred spot for shared meals. “We rarely use the dining table in the living room, which is used only for special occasions,” says Patrick. “We like gathering around the kitchen island and dining outdoors on the first floor.” Teatime en plein air is another favourite pastime, as the lady of the house loves baking pastries and cakes for the family and visitors to savour while on the outdoor deck. These sociable spaces add to the homely feel of the spacious abode, which leads Patrick’s soft-spoken wife to conclude: “I love everything about our home. It’s just so comfortable and cosy.”
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