Adrian Heng is a man with an impressive creative history.
As a boy, Adrian’s parents enrolled him in art classes, sparking a lifelong interest in design whilst simultaneously expanding the horizons of his boundless imagination. Art would remain a constant companion throughout the formative years of his childhood, later imbuing his teenage years with a zest for design.
“As I progressed through secondary school, I enrolled in a technical class focusing on wood- working, with metal and plastic workshops. We also had to do simple technical drawings.” Adrian recalls. “I guess those classes became the foundation for my design work.”
This foundation would certainly come in handy through Adrian’s journey in design. After completing his O-Levels, he took an aptitude test at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, and soon found himself enrolled in an Interior Design diploma course.
“Through the years, I’ve found delivering timeless, beautiful, and stylish homes to my clients to be extremely rewarding.”
Inspired by Interior Design since young
Around the age of 10, Adrian had a serendipitous visit to a neighbour’s flat. Recalling the beautifully-designed space, Adrian shares, “I was quite wowed by the design of their flat, and secretly wished that I could live in their beautiful home!”
The space in question had been carefully curated by the flat owner, who had himself been an interior designer. Adrian holds the memory with particular fondness, often thinking back to it, and the space that sparked his lifelong passion. “Little did I know that I would become an interior designer myself.”
Space One Interior Design Consultancy Founder
Speaking on the beginnings of Space One Interior Design Consultancy, Adrian provides a snapshot into the gutting realities of many novice designers.
“I worked in two different companies before I ventured out on my own,” he reminisces. “One of my bosses took credit for my design works, which were published in the media.” Despite lacking seniority in the industry, Adrian nonetheless mustered the courage to stand up in the face of an unfair situation, soon after striking out on his own.
He jests, “At the time, I had the mindset that I could just go back to working for another company if it didn’t work out.”
As it turns out, Adrian’s leap of faith was not in vain. Twenty five years later, Space One Interior Design Consultancy has more than earned its rightful place among Singapore’s established interior design practices.
Adrian handles the boutique firm with his measured, contemporary approach to interior aesthetics, from the initial design work to the final styling and client unveiling, with plenty of experience in styling and staging developer show units for potential buyers.
Adrian brings this experience to his day-to-day design work, drawing strength from the belief that personal touches are key to personalised spaces.
“Having a complete hands-on approach gives me the advantage of knowing my clients well. I can also rectify any hiccups along the renovation journey with lightning speed, instead of having to go to a site manager and an in-house design team which may be more time consuming,” he shares.
Clients to Friends
Adrian’s rule of building and maintaining relationships with his clients extends beyond the realm of business. The interior designer shares that many of his clients have become his good friends, even drawing on his wealth of travel experiences for recommendations in fashion and food alike.
As it stands, Adrian takes yearly visits to the world’s largest furniture fair – the Salone Del Mobile in Milan, giving him plenty to share – as well as plenty to learn.
“Walking through the fair and talking to different furniture houses and top designers gives me an injection of creativity.” Adrian believes that exposure to international design themes is essential in helping him to craft his personal design style – all of which he uses to inspire his projects, and to formulate content for his YouTube channel.
“Life is a constant learning curve. New products and technology are constantly released in the industry, and we have to stay abreast of it all to be relevant, and to progress. A good designer never stops learning!”
Interior Design is a Journey
Indeed, just as life is a journey of unending lessons and growth, so too are the spaces of Adrian’s design. “My design services don’t end when the project is complete,” he shares. “It’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
And beautiful it is. The interior designer has had repeat clients of the same families, all thoroughly impressed with his work, personable nature, and personal touch. “I’ve done a few clients’ houses and commercial spaces where their children, upon growing up, came back to me to design their first houses.”
Modern Contemporary Interior Design Style
As an interior designer, Adrian describes his style as modern, with a contemporary and luxurious feel. He brings these design sensibilities to his work for Space One, eschewing passing microtrends for timeless elegance, sophistication, clean lines, and luxurious finishes.
“When I design for my clients, I create styles that they can continue to love and appreciate for years to come. They may even grow the design with different home accessories and ornaments, creating a unique character that reflects their personalities,” he tells us.
“We don’t follow trends, but instead focus on creating elegant and sophisticated homes that can effortlessly transcend design styles that come and go.”
This, Adrian does by customising furniture and soft furnishings to fit any given space. The interior designer provides this bespoke service exclusively for his clients, happily lending his creative touch and expansive knowledge of international design to the cause.
“I do get many calls and emails from homeowners wanting to purchase custom pieces when my works are published in the media,” He tells us. “It’s specially done for my clients, as part of a complete package.”
Evolving Interior Design Style
Adrian’s own inteiror design styles have seen their fair share of evolution throughout the years. While his earliest days in design saw conformity to design trends and the hottest drops on-scene, Adrian’s work today tells a different tale. “My design style progressed to contemporary aesthetics, then slowly morphed into a fusion of modern and contemporary luxe. In my opinion, that’s a more timeless design style.”
His personal evolutions are in line with his opinion: That the world of interior design is a constantly-evolving space.
“Now that I’ve been in the industry for more than twenty nine years, I’ve seen my fair share of design trends come and go,” He tells us. “Back in the day, designs were more embellished, and played on colours and geometric shapes. Today, however, interior design focuses on blending lifestyle into functionality.” He chalks this up to the need to streamline spaces for comfortable living.
“We’re looking at intensifying storage capacity, hiding doors and spaces, creating continuous flow of spatial spaces, and emphasising human ergonomics.”
Salone Del Mobile 2023
This year’s visit at Salone Del Mobile 2023 further cemented his observations. “Most of the Italian designs from this year are all about curves and fluidity,” he shares. “It’s very interesting to see a change from the linear styles we’ve been seeing for the past twenty years.”
Adrian also believes that we’re progressing into a time of conscious, sustainable living – in line with green initiatives that top design houses and appliance companies are already implementing.
“As we progress to more sustainable living, this keyword is going to be the main focus in the design arena, where we source sustainable building materials and lower carbon emissions.”
River Valley Penthouse
Having completed numerous projects throughout his years in interior design, Adrian’s most memorable project was a penthouse at River Valley. “It was during the COVID-19 pandemic, and so the work took a lot longer than usual,” He shares, reminiscing on the experience. “It was tough coordinating work during that time, as many people were paranoid about infection.”
The experience was made all the more harrowing, considering a non-negotiable timeline in which Adrian’s client needed to vacate his current unit and move into his new, completed home. “The uncertainty of those times sent me into a frenzy,” Adrian chuckles, “I was elated that I managed to hand over the home within the stipulated time frame!” The interior designer also recalls another memorable hand over.
“I once had an owner who cried and hugged me,” Adrian tells us. “They were overwhelmed by the unveiling of their new house. No one really sees what goes on behind all the renovation work, nor do they see the staging at the end of the project.”
And what a staging process it is. The interior designer personally sees to the lighting, the accessories, and even the fragrances that pervade a cosy home.
“The amount of satisfaction and happiness on the owners’ awed faces when I unveil each room is priceless. It’s one of the driving factors that make me love my job even more,” he shares. “It’s about them trusting me, having faith, and giving me a platform to perform and showcase my creativity. I’m very thankful for that.”