Small Touches for Big Spa­ces

Sim­ple ways to dec­o­rate lux­u­ri­ous houses.

Singapore Tatler Best of Singapore - - Contents - WORDS STEPHANIE WONG

Large spa­ces of­fer bound­less pos­si­bil­i­ties in mix­ing and match­ing dif­fer­ent colours, tex­tures, and scales. Play­ing with each of these el­e­ments al­low you to cre­ate dra­matic looks and unique am­bi­ences. How­ever, the vast­ness could be­come an ad­ver­sary, as it is easy to get car­ried away in try­ing to fit too many el­e­ments into the space, mak­ing it crowded and claus­tro­pho­bic. Sim­i­larly, the vast­ness could easily be­come over­whelm­ing, caus­ing your fur­ni­ture and ac­ces­sories to be­come lost in the space. Avoid these pit­falls with tips from the in­dus­try, and pick up some trendy home im­prove­ment ideas along the way.


In the re­cent years, it's be­come a com­mon trend for in­te­ri­ors to move on from white hues and earthy tones to a more dy­namic pal­ette of solid colours. In par­tic­u­lar, many are favour­ing a jux­ta­po­si­tion of muted tones with a burst of colour from a cen­tre­piece, be it a fur­ni­ture piece or a por­tion of the wall. Terri Tan, de­sign di­rec­tor of De­sign­worx In­te­rior Con­sul­tant, ob­serves, “Turquoise seems to be the colour of the year in­stead of Pan Pan­tone’s Ra­di­ant Orchid. We see the colour show up in the uph uphol­stery, wall cov­er­ings and even­eve on the fur­ni­ture. We are al­soals see­ing more in­te­ri­ors with darkda ac­cented walls, which add a lotl of drama and glam­our. Theyt also form a per­fect back­dropb to me­tal­lic ac­ces­soriesa and light colour fur­ni­ture.”f Co­in­ci­den­tally, acrylica fur­ni­ture is mak­ing a come­back. Light and ver­sa­tile, acrylics of­ten come in a va­ri­ety of vi­brant colours, mak­ing it the per­fect ac­com­pa­ni­ment to both con­tem­po­rary and clas­si­calc in­te­ri­ors.


Think in terms of a ver­ti­cal scale to cre­atee a lay­er­ing ef­fect that draws one’s at­ten­tion to spe­cific fix­tures in a large home. Strate­gi­cally placed ob­jects that present a con­trast in size work won­ders in pulling a room to­gether while also cre­at­ing an or­ganic divider in sep­a­rat­ing spa­ces within in the same room. Low Shu Min, mar­ket­ing man­ager of Kri:eit As­so­ci­ates, sug­gests, “Sus­pend­ing stun­ning, large fea­ture light­ings from a high ceil­ing; adding tall plants to fill in the ver­ti­cal ex­panse to cre­ate a more wel­com­ing space; in­cor­po­rat­ing tex­tures to lend vis­ual depth to the room; or in­stalling high fold­ing screens to cre­ate an im­pres­sion of a more in­ti­mate area.”

Mov­ing to the other end of the scale, po­si­tion­ing some low fur­ni­ture pieces like a chaise lounge di­vides the room neatly while keep­ing the flow be­tween both zones. Ad­di­tion­ally, a well-po­si­tioned rug could an­chor the fur­ni­ture ar­range­ment and tie the pieces to­gether in a more uni­fied set­ting. Low adds, “By do­ing this, you cre­ate in­trigue by adding more di­men­sions of scale to the depth of field. Large pieces of art­work also fare bril­liantly in big spa­ces.”


Whether it’s a framed pic­ture or a sculp­tural piece, the per­fect art­work for a home has to speak to you in one way or another. It should fit your per­son­al­ity as much as it fits your in­te­rior. Says Tan, “For tra­di­tional in­te­ri­ors, clas­si­cal pieces like pho­tog­ra­phy and paint­ing will be more suit­able. For mod­ern spa­ces, sleek con­cep­tual pieces will work bet­ter. Try to aim for a bal­ance of scale, tone, con­tent, colour and shape. If you have a large wall, con­sider an ar­range­ment of smaller pieces in­stead of one large piece. If you are build­ing a col­lec­tion, de­cide on a theme – it can be by medium, genre, artist, or even sim­ply by colour. This helps to cre­ate a co­he­sive, mean­ing­ful group of art­works where each piece re­lates to the oth­ers.” With the nu­mer­ous gal­leries and art fairs pop­ping up across the is­land, the art mar­ket is as bustling as it has ever been. Be­sides fa­mous in­ter­na­tional artists, look out for orig­i­nal art by lo­cal emerg­ing artists, which are not only well priced, but of­ten also al­low more per­sonal in­ter­ac­tions with the artist.


While an out­door shower, a steam shower or a stand-alone bath­tub are sim­ple fix­tures that would in­stan­ta­neously el­e­vate a bath­room, high­tech gad­gets not only mod­ernise the space, but also add a new level of func­tion­al­ity. A prime ex­am­ple, Hans­grohe’s Axor Lamp­shower fuses light and wa­ter in an in­no­va­tive hy­brid that of­fers prac­ti­cal­ity and re­fined liv­ing. De­signed by Ja­panese de­sign stu­dio Nendo, its ef­fort­less aes­thet­ics im­part a height­ened sen­sual di­men­sion to the bath­room, and en­cour­ages re­lax­ation. Other luxe cre­ations on the mar­ket that in­spire to­tal in­dul­gence and re­pose in­clude Blue­tooth-en­abled showers that would stream your choice bath-time playlist, and a tub that dou­bles as a sound sys­tem.


A lav­ishly decked out bed­room would mean nought if you can­not get a sound night’s sleep – and that hefty task falls largely on procur­ing the right mat­tress. Since sleep qual­ity and com­fort are ex­tremely sub­jec­tive, there isn’t an ex­act science to defin­ing the cor­rect mat­tress. In­stead, the gen­eral rule of thumb is to go with per­sonal com­fort. If pos­si­ble, al­ways test out mat­tresses by ly­ing on them in a nor­mal sleep po­si­tion for at least 20 min­utes be­fore mak­ing a de­ci­sion.

Kenny Tang, founder of Lux­ury Mat­tress Col­lec­tion ad­vises, “In­vest in the best qual­ity mat­tress you can af­ford, and al­ways go for nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als over ar­ti­fi­cial ma­te­ri­als.” Like many other prod­ucts, all-nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als are mak­ing a strong come­back in the mat­tress in­dus­try. Bed­dings made from eco-friendly ma­te­ri­als like un­treated wool, or­ganic cot­ton and nat­u­ral la­tex, are known to give a more lux­u­ri­ous feel, while also boast­ing higher pro­fi­cien­cies in ab­sorb­ing and re­leas­ing mois­ture. Also, they are durable, non-toxic and en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly.


Trans­form­ing the base­ment into an en­ter­tain­ment room is a great way to add that ex­tra touch of lux­ury, but the team of de­sign­ers at De­sign­worx sug­gests tak­ing it even fur­ther by in­stalling a per­sonal wine cel­lar to show off your col­lec­tion of prized reds. For a more eye-catch­ing fea­ture, con­sider adding an im­pres­sive in­fin­ity pool, es­pe­cially if you are al­ready blessed with a breath­tak­ing view. Tan adds, “Another in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar fea­ture in lux­u­ri­ous home is glass floors. Depend­ing on what you wish to dis­play, you can have a par­tial glass floor on the up­per lev­els so you can take a peek at the liv­ing spa­ces un­der­neath.”

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