Home Tour: An Artistic Penthouse In Singapore With Classical And Art Deco Design Influences
The owners of this penthouse at The Suites@Central condominium along Devonshire Road have the bustling Orchard Road at their doorstep. But when they return home, they are transported to a haven of calm and a space filled with all the things they love. Designed by TDC & Associates, the apartment stands apart from the sleek, minimalist style that characterises many homes. Against the panoramic view, the palette of dark wood, reflective surfaces and glamorous elements presents not only a sense of luxury but also forms an exciting venue for the family’s many gatherings.
“Both the husband—a private banker in a foreign bank—and wife love to entertain,” shares LH Chan, principal designer of TDC & Associates. Stunning as it is, the home is not merely a showpiece; it’s fully customised to suit the lifestyles of the couple who have two schoolgoing children.
Lots of light and space
The private lift lobby leads to the open-plan living and dining areas, which are bathed in natural light from large windows. The homeowner requested a bar where he could relax with a glass of wine and enjoy the view. The bar is also the centrepiece for dinner parties. Chan removed the original island counter just outside the kitchen and replaced it with a slim bar counter backed with a dramatically lit shelf of spirits. This transformation has also opened up the space around the dining table.
(Related: Tatler How-To: Design A Home Bar)
The living and dining room walls are clad in bespoke wallpaper in a classical, floral pattern and the floors are covered in Greco Roman-inspired carpets. “The wallpaper was customised to fit each wall; it took two months to produce and the panels are all bookmatched to ensure a well-balanced appearance,” shares Chan. A circular crystal chandelier and ornate wall mirror juxtapose the regularity of straight lines.
The silvery walls are complemented with darker elements, such as a chocolate feature wall located behind a Taylor B sofa; the latter sports a more streamlined version of the Chesterfield style. Cove lighting and mouldings that frame the cabinets, windows and wallpaper contribute to the sophisticated ambience.
Two-mirrored panels in the living room magnify the sense of space and reflect light; they also serve as walls that hide a bedroom. One of the panels replaces an original door that made the space appear asymmetrical. The door was also unsightly, explains Chan. This design solution—a testament to Chan’s aptitude at problem-solving—adds harmony to the space.
The dining table from Calligaris features a rectangular top with a material that simulates the elegance and smoothness of Italian Statuario white marble, but is in fact a more durable, high-gloss ceramic. The reason for choosing this material, says Chan, is that a marble tabletop may look run-down after two to three years, especially as it absorbs stain marks easily. To enhance the ambience of the dining space, a chandelier similar to the one in the living room hangs overhead.
Celebrating the homeowners' art collection
This elegant setting is the perfect space to display the homeowners’ art pieces, which inject personality into the interior design. One is a painting by Turkish artist Coplu acquired from Ode to Art when the homeowners first got married. Another is a stainless steel wired sculpture, Runner X, by German artist Rainer Lagemann, also from Ode to Art. The modernity of the latter—a witty twist on the classically nuanced backdrop—is a favourite conversation piece among guests.
(Related: Here's Why Having Art On Your Walls Can Make Your Home Picture-Perfect)
Time to unwind
Beside the Rainer Lagemann sculpture is a sliding timber door that leads into the family room, which is adjacent to the husband’s “man cave”. “It’s a private space for the homeowner to unwind and enjoy some personal time,” says Chan. Here, there are multiple lighting options—bright for functional use and intimate for relaxation. To add to the sense of calm, clutter and equipment are cleverly hidden. The printer is stowed away in the lofty cabinet and cables are tucked into the table. Darker tones, which the client loves, add to the masculine feel; Chan softens the strong look with a Persian rug.
Giving the rooms a stylish spin
The bedrooms feature upholstered headboards and customised bedside lamps that create a distinct personality in each room. At the same time, Chan is careful to ensure that calming elements are added to the rooms. In the master bedroom, off-white wall panelling projects tranquillity and modernity. It is accented with elaborate silver-leaf printed panels behind the night table and a floor runner with a geometric print mirroring the living and dining room carpets. The expanded walk-in wardrobe is organised into his-and-hers sections for greater functionality.
(Related: The Swedish Art of Lagom: Secrets To A Cosy Bedroom)
Throughout the home, it is clear that Chan has designed every corner and yet, the look isn’t overwrought. He uses the metaphor of vintage wine to describe his design ethos—where elegance trumps trendy styles that may be attention-grabbing, but soon wane. The aim is to craft a comfortable home that exudes feelings of joy, vitality and rest—“a place that the owner is proud to call home”.
- Photography James Liang