House tour: A compact but luxurious apartment in Upper Thomson
For this homeowner who lives with his two cats, it was very clear from the start what he wanted for his new bachelor pad. As the apartment was modestly sized, his priorities were to optimise the internal space and to create more storage. Design-wise, he prefers a clean and uncluttered look that is modern, timeless and chic, with a splash of colour. His brief to Adrian Heng from Spaceone Interior Design Consultancy also called for a flexible furniture layout that can be modified according to his needs, such as when hosting family and friends. Most importantly, “the home has to be practical, comfortable and where I can inject my personality over time,” he says.
Beyond these requirements, the homeowner, who is an engineer, gave Adrian free reign over the design scheme. “In addition to the usual sketches and collages, Adrian even brought me to view some of his ongoing projects. I especially like his geometric designs, hidden doors concept and bespoke furnishings, which were eventually incorporated into my home,” he shares.
The living room used to be a bedroom. The walls were demolished to create a more spacious living and dining zone that has been conceived as one, even incorporating a small workspace against the full-height window in the living area. “I retained the existing timber flooring in the original bedroom, but added an over-sized, custom-designed rug that defines the space,” Adrian points out.
To address the homeowner’s request for greater flexibility, the bespoke dining table, sofa and ottoman have hexagonal forms that allow them to be reconfigured according to usage and group size. The sofa and ottoman can even be combined into a daybed.
There were also four other aspects pertaining to his interests and lifestyle that the homeowner requested Adrian to take into consideration in the interior design. The first is immediately apparent upon entering the home. Taking pride of place in the entrance foyer is the homeowner’s Officer Cadet School (OCS) ceremonial sword that he received on his commissioning, prominently displayed in a custom-made wall-hung showcase. “It reflects my commitment to national service,” he emphasises.
The balcony beside the dining area offers a pocket of green that addresses the second of the homeowner’s lifestyle preferences- to be close to nature. With just some simple outdoor furniture and a few plants, Adrian managed to transform the balcony into an inviting space that many homeowners would otherwise have used to hang laundry.
Art is another one of the homeowner’s interests. Adrian ensured that there was sufficient wall space for hanging art. The pieces on the dining and balcony walls were specially-commissioned and customised by Ode to Art. “The interior colour palette is predominantly grey, so I selected prints that inject a pop of colour, which is also what the homeowner likes,” he explains.
Geometric motifs rule, from the sofa, ottoman and dining table, to the bedroom feature wall and rug.
Outside, the wall along the corridor leading to the master bedroom comprises a series of concealed panels and a door behind which storage cabinets, the electrical distribution board panel and the common bathroom are hidden. This is one of the signature features in Adrian’s works. He made provisions for the homeowner’s two pet cats- the fourth of his ‘loves’, at one end of the built-in carpentry, allowing space to tuck the cat litter and scratch post, as well as a nook for the cats to hide.
The most striking element in the master bedroom is without a doubt the feature wall behind the bed. It comprises timber strips that have been cut from their original 2.4-metre lengths, then painstakingly pieced together into square modules that are rotated to form a geometric pattern. Adrian recalls: “I got the inspiration for this feature wall design during a trip to Japan. I was sitting at a café and admiring its chevron timber floor. Then I saw some straws and started fiddling with them. The two came together and voila!”
The interior design addresses all of the homeowner’s needs and preferences, interests and lifestyle. “I am generally a laid-back, simple and practical person and the interior reflects that. It is a home where I can relax and unwind,” he says.