NOW PEO­PLE – IVAN TEO

IN­TE­RIOR DE­SIGNER AND FOUND­ING DIREC­TOR OF HAIRE LIV­ING

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In­te­rior de­signer and found­ing direc­tor of Haire Liv­ing.

Ivan founded Haire Liv­ing in 2005 and the stu­dio has since earned a rep­u­ta­tion for qual­ity in­te­ri­ors and be­spoke fur­nish­ing, es­pe­cially in the res­i­den­tial mar­ket. But the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the de­signer ex­tend be­yond the cre­ative line – apart from hav­ing 14 years of de­sign ex­pe­ri­ence, he is also a restau­ran­teur and ho­tel owner. We chat with him about what con­sti­tutes ef­fec­tive de­sign to­day.

How should home­own­ers em­brace lux­ury liv­ing in a mod­ern con­text?

Mod­ern lux­ury at home isn’t so much about spe­cific ma­te­ri­als or colours for a par­tic­u­lar look, but more about the thought­ful­ness and fine de­tails be­hind a be­spoke de­sign that’s unique to an in­di­vid­ual. A home de­sign that is com­plete – cov­er­ing ev­ery­thing from space plan­ning to fur­ni­ture se­lec­tion to hand­picked ac­ces­sories – would ex­ude lux­ury.

What is your ap­proach to cre­at­ing well-de­signed spa­ces?

My de­sign phi­los­o­phy starts with a good spa­tial foun­da­tion to build on the look. Space plan­ning is crit­i­cal, not just in the floor plan, but also the vis­ual hi­er­ar­chy and com­po­si­tion of space. It is also about longevity of the in­te­rior de­sign – not just de­sign­ing for now, but for the long term. We pre­empt the risk of a home look­ing dated, based on the re­quire­ments and life­style habits of the home­own­ers, to en­sure it looks good and is func­tional in the years to come.

Fi­nally, cus­tomi­sa­tion and be­spoke loose fur­ni­ture pieces play a big role. Whether it is a sofa, cof­fee ta­ble or lamp, de­tails such as trim­ming make a piece exclusive and unique to the client. We never du­pli­cate de­signs.

What’s trend­ing in the world of in­te­rior de­sign right now?

As the world gets more com­plex and fast-paced, and liv­ing spa­ces be­come smaller, peo­ple are more in­clined to­wards sim­ple and func­tional de­signs. The pref­er­ence for a high-tech life­style, and eco-friendly de­signs are also stronger than ever. There­fore, we in­cor­po­rate the likes of light­ing ef­fects and touch-to-open draw­ers in our be­spoke de­signs. A bal­ance of fu­tur­ism and back-to-na­ture el­e­ments in de­sign will def­i­nitely be sought af­ter.

Which ma­te­ri­als do you like to work with?

I like to in­cor­po­rate wood, metal and glass – these ba­sic el­e­ments never go out of style, and aren’t too am­bi­tious to work with. When ap­plied cor­rectly, with good de­tail­ing, ob­jects made us­ing these turn out re­ally beau­ti­ful.

For ex­am­ple, me­tal­lic trim­mings on a cab­i­net can re­ally el­e­vate a sim­ple de­sign. The trick when build­ing a fur­ni­ture piece is to not just stick to one ma­te­rial, but to use mul­ti­ple ma­te­ri­als and fin­ish­ings, and in­cor­po­rate sub­tle de­tail­ing to in­crease the luxe fac­tor.

ABOVE To cre­ate a mod­ern lux­u­ri­ous look, it’s all about the de­tails, Ivan says. Haire Liv­ing takes pride in de­sign­ing com­pre­hen­sive in­te­rior solutions.

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