NOW PEOPLE – IVAN TEO
INTERIOR DESIGNER AND FOUNDING DIRECTOR OF HAIRE LIVING
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.