Thai-born television host Pornsak Prajakwit at his three-bedroom condominium apartment in Bukit Timah.
TV host Pornsak’s simple home is jazzed up by his ever-growing colourful toy collection.
Thai-born television host Pornsak Prajakwit has actress Michelle Chong to thank for helping him find his first home – a condominium apartment in Bukit Timah.
Calling her a “property guru”, he says it was Chong who advised him to buy the 1,420 sq ft unit in 2010 for its good location and proximity to amenities such as a shopping mall and major expressways.
The 31-year-old, who came to Singapore when he was nine, got his big break in 2004 when he won a UFM 100.3 DJ contest in his final year at the Singapore Management University.
“I have rented 10 homes since I came to Singapore, so it was time to get my own place. This apartment has a great, unblocked view and is on a high floor.”
Now a permanent resident, he paid about $800,000 for the apartment and estimates that it is worth more than $1.2million today.
The interiors, however, were far from perfect. The apartment was in a bad state as its previous tenants did not take good care of it, he says.
“There were dead cockroaches and dust everywhere. The balcony was not done up at all… Even the cupboard was hanging on its hinges for dear life.”
Still, he was convinced that the place could be turned into a cosy home for him and his 90-year-old father, who visits him about five times a year from Bangkok, where he is based.
The multilingual artist, who is Thai- Chinese, reckons he has spent about $100,000 retiling and painting the three- bedroom apartment. He occupies the master bedroom and rents out the other two rooms.
Art pieces belonging to actress Michelle Chong adorn the walls of television host Pornsak Prajakwit's simply furnished living room.
Instead of a dining table, a chill-out spot fills this space in television host Pornsak Prajakwit's three-bedroom condominium apartment in Bukit Timah.
To free up more space for cooking – something he enjoys doing when he is free – he extended the original kitchen area. The living room is decked out simply with wood flooring and a three-seater purple couch.
It is a casual affair when he entertains – his friends would sit on the floor around an almond-shaped coffee table.
Chong also had a hand in decorating his home: Two art pieces, which she commissioned a foreign artist to do, adorn the walls of the living room. They are “on loan for a few years”, he says.
“I borrowed one to decorate my house during Chinese New Year. It wasn’t nice to have such empty walls with people visiting. I didn’t choose the other one, but beggars can’t be choosers,” he jokes.
Television host Pornsak Prajakwit's apartment has custom-made glass cabinets to keep his toys neat and away from heat.
The cabinets are clad in ultraviolet protective sheets to make sure the figurines, such as those of the famous Japanese Bearbrick toys and various versions of Mickey Mouse, are shielded from heat and their colours do not fade.
He also cleans them regularly to prevent them from getting dusty.
His love for figurines started in 2010 when he bought 60cm-tall figures of The Beatles’ four members – John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. Put out by Japanese toy company MediCom Toy, the blue-suited Beatles Kubricks are an homage to the British band’s album cover featuring the 1964 hit, Can’t Buy Me Love.
The band, and the toys, remind him of his childhood days in Thailand.
These 60cm-tall figurines of The Beatles are part of television host Pornsak Prajakwit's collection.
He says of the figurines, which are lined up near the front door: “My cousins used to listen to The Beatles all the time and I really love them. I bought the set online and the four figurines couldn’t fit into any cabinet, so I had to place them here.”
He has made special trips to Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan to buy some of the toys, which he views as good investments.
“The value goes up if the artist who designed the toy signs it. Maybe one day I will sell the toys… when I’m broke.”
Going by his thriving career – besides being a host, he also owns four Thai restaurants called Porn’s and an education centre – that seems a highly unlikely prospect.
The bedroom of television host Pornsak Prajakwit's apartment in Bukit Timah has heavy curtains prevent natural light from entering.
This article was first published in 2013. Photos from The Straits Times. Written by Natasha Ann Zachariah for The Straits Times.