This Family Home Pairs Effortless Elegance With A Sense of Whimsy
The first impression one gets of Astrie Ratner’s airy apartment is that there is a lot of white. From the ivory curtain panels to the cream sofas and seashell-white cabinetry, this neutral tone dominates the colour scheme of the entrepreneur’s 3,400sqft home in River Valley. “People are surprised that I have so much white with three kids at home,” says the founder of beauty and lifestyle boutique The Beauty Candy. “But white is easy to maintain because you can bleach everything and it will be pristine again,” she adds with a laugh.
Indeed, this unfussy elegance, which Astrie is known and loved for, is a theme that runs through her entire home. “I go for classic and comfortable because of the children. I want my home to look beautiful and elegant but I also want the kids and whoever comes over to feel like they can sit down and relax,” she says.
Astrie, who holds a degree in fashion design from Parsons School of Design, decided not to engage the services of a designer when the family of five relocated from a smaller unit in the same condominium to this penthouse earlier this year. Instead, she undertook the project herself, both as a way to stretch her creative muscles as well as to personalise the space to meet the needs of every family member.
“My fashion background has given me an understanding of the basic requirements needed to put things together; for me it is important to make things look effortless while reflecting who I am as a person,” she says.
This is why she chose to move treasured pieces from her travels abroad with her. For instance, the sofa set was acquired during her university days; an antique gold mirror from Sweden dating back to the 1800s stands in the entryway; and the Bungalow 55 chandelier over the dining table was from the family’s previous apartment. The shelves and walls are lined with framed photographs, prized books and precious mementos such as a Japanese figurine and a Swiss vase that she and her husband David received as gifts when they got married 12 years ago.
Equal care and attention to detail went into decorating the rooms for her three children—Noah, Myla Rose, and Neal to reflect their personalities, she says.
There are shelves for the eldest son, Noah, who loves sport, to display his football, boxing gloves and taekwondo medals. With an Xbox console, flat screen television and computer, it is certainly more “grown up” compared to the younger kids’ rooms too.
(Related: How To Design Rooms Made For Your Family)
In contrast to the navy-toned accents in Noah’s room, Myla’s room is a feminine haven done up in shades of beige, grey, white and of course, touches of pink. “Myla is very girly so I really wanted to create a pretty room that incorporates pink without looking like a bubblegum explosion,” says Astrie. There are cuddly soft toys aplenty, a clothing rack of costumes for playtime and a feathered ceiling lamp that echoes the feathered table lamp by Asiatique that Astrie has in her own room.
“As for Neal, he is my baby, so I splurged on creating a super dreamy room for him,” says Astrie, her voice softening as she talks about her youngest child. Filled with plenty of whimsical toys, including a rocking horse and an oversized soft toy giraffe, which Neal inherited from Noah, it is a welcoming space for a toddler just beginning to discover the wonders of the world. Colourful picture books line the wall shelves like small paintings, so it is easy for the child to grab books that catch his eye.
When it is time to indulge in some self care, Ratner retreats to her reading corner in the master bedroom which she has furnished with a blush pink Fritz Hansen armchair and woven rug. “After I put the kids to bed, this is where I unwind with a glass of wine or champagne and catch up with my husband,” she says.
The cosy spot, which overlooks a park, is also where she sits in the day when she has pockets of free time to catch up on work and dream up new creative endeavours. Although she recently migrated The Beauty Candy from a brick-and-mortar store at Mandarin Gallery to a digital space, Astrie says she has many plans up her sleeve for the business. Up next, she is working on starting her own Beauty Candy brand, starting with the launch of a perfume next year—something she’s wanted to do for a long time.
(Related: This Family's Cosy Open-Plan Living Room Is A Must-See)
“I’ve been customising fragrances for many years, from when I lived in New York and would go to essential oil shops to create my own blends,” she says as she takes out a prototype of her fragrance. “Perfume is so interesting as a scent can evoke precious memories. I envision this to be a scent of joy and beauty. It is fresh, clean, powdery and with a bit of musk and vanilla.” Sounds like the essence of the Ratners’ home, doesn’t it?
- Art Direction Khairul Ali
- Photography Jasper Yu
- Photographer's Assistant Tan Ming Yuan
- Make-Up Zhou Aiyi of Makeup Entourage, using Armani and Keune