Nau­ti­cal Nu­ances


Singapore Tatler Homes - - JUN/JUL ISSUE -

Aquatic in­spi­ra­tion reigns in this abode which comes alive with marine mo­tifs

Re­cently, Yang Tse Pin, his wife, their two chil­dren who are both in their 20s, and his mother de­cided to move from their for­mer abode in the Up­per Bukit Timah area be­cause they wanted a home built to their spe­cific needs, as well as more space for ev­ery­one— in­clud­ing their bor­der col­lie. In the quiet Lee­don Park neigh­bour­hood, their new res­i­dence is “mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary, warm and friendly”, ac­cord­ing to Yang. It strikes just the right bal­ance be­tween im­pres­sive lux­ury for en­ter­tain­ing friends and a sense of home­li­ness for the fam­ily’s en­joy­ment. Yang, who is in the prop­erty and con­struc­tion busi­ness, went about his search for an in­te­rior de­signer through a va­ri­ety of ex­hi­bi­tions, re­fer­rals and friends’ rec­om­men­da­tions. He chose De­sign­worx In­te­rior Con­sul­tant af­ter hear­ing its cre­ative so­lu­tions for the fam­ily’s brief and ob­serv­ing its keen eye for de­tail. De­sign di­rec­tor Terri Tan worked closely with ar­chi­tect Betsy Lau of East 9 Ar­chi­tects & Plan­ners to fully re­spect the build­ing en­ve­lope and re­fine the in­te­rior de­sign even as con­struc­tion was still un­der­way. “The home­own­ers’ brief to us in­cluded an en­ter­tain­ment room and a dry kitchen,” re­calls Tan. “They also had spe­cific ori­en­ta­tions for their beds and al­tar, which were de­ter­mined by a feng shui mas­ter.”


The en­trance foyer is de­fined by a 6.6m fea­ture wall, where a dra­matic bronze and glass wall light from Serip’s Coral col­lec­tion is set against an an­tique bronze stucco back­drop; the light’s in­ter­twined struc­ture was in­spired by the nat­u­ral com­plex­ity of coral reefs. The hemi­spher­i­cal form of the Koket Eter­nity pen­dant light is also rem­i­nis­cent of a coral. Run­ning the en­tire width of the foyer are wave-like pan­els that con­ceal full-height shoe cab­i­nets. The flow­ing sil­hou­ette re­in­forces the aquatic theme and serves as a coun­ter­point to the lin­ear­ity of the fea­ture wall. The liv­ing room is lo­cated beyond the fea­ture wall. The dia­logue be­tween its marine sky mar­ble floor­ing (over­laid with a be­spoke black-and-white over­sized rug) and a 4m el­lip­ti­cal Manooi Ar­tica chan­de­lier within the oval ceil­ing re­cess sets the tone for the space in be­tween. Two off-white so­fas and a se­ries of arm­chairs from Fash­ion In­te­ri­ors by Paul Cor­nelis­sen, to­gether with a pair of be­spoke square cof­fee ta­bles with seashells set within the ta­ble tops, bal­ance the for­mal­ity of the floor and ceil­ing with a more re­laxed am­bi­ence. The sparkling Bo­hemian crys­tals of the chan­de­lier add to the idyl­lic mood by con­jur­ing im­pres­sions of the shim­mer­ing ocean sur­face.

It strikes just the right bal­ance be­tween im­pres­sive lux­ury for en­ter­tain­ing friends and a sense of home­li­ness for the fam­ily’s en­joy­ment

The din­ing room ceil­ing fea­tures a Serip chan­de­lier that again draws upon the marine theme and echoes the seashells set into the top of the 18-seater din­ing ta­ble be­low. Tan sees the Mi­ton dry kitchen is­land, with its fluid lines, as “an is­land amidst the waves”— it’s where Yang’s restau­ra­teur daugh­ter gets to dis­play her culi­nary tal­ent. From both the din­ing and liv­ing rooms, the fam­ily can soak in views of the swim­ming pool and sur­round­ing land­scape; Lau de­signed the or­gan­i­cally shaped pool to re­sem­ble an artist’s palette. There’s an invit­ing sunken lounge, while mo­saics in dif­fer­ent shades of blue form me­an­der­ing streaks at the bot­tom of the pool, to give a vivid op­ti­cal il­lu­sion of ac­tual waves.


“We de­signed the wall of the en­ter­tain­ment room fac­ing the liv­ing room as a high-gloss ebony fea­ture with wine chillers that are ac­ces­si­ble from both sides,” says Tan. The lav­ish treat­ment con­tin­ues in­side

Sub­tle cues to the aquatic theme can be found through­out the home, with the use of nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als, sin­u­ous curves and tac­tile de­tails

the en­ter­tain­ment room: at­ten­tion is im­me­di­ately drawn to the sha­green fea­ture wall with con­verg­ing brass in­lay strips, which forms a stun­ning back­drop for the bar. The base of the bar counter is made up of tree trunk sec­tions and its nat­u­ral qual­ity is in har­mony with the sha­green wall’s oceanic ori­gins. On the other side of the room, sofa cush­ions and a be­spoke rug with pris­matic pat­terns main­tain a con­nec­tion with the bar by pick­ing up on the aqua­ma­rine ac­cents of the sha­green wall. A Ti­mothy Oul­ton sofa and cof­fee ta­ble set, sur­rounded by acous­tic wall pan­els, helps com­plete the per­fect fam­ily karaoke ex­pe­ri­ence. Walk­ing up the straight-flight, open-riser stair­case that leads to the sec­ond storey, the de­sign di­rec­tor’s at­ten­tion to de­tail is on full dis­play. The tex­ture of the grey Me­tal­lica mar­ble wall that runs along­side the stair­case, the floor lights set into the treads, and the jux­ta­po­si­tion of stone and tim­ber el­e­vate a util­i­tar­ian means of cir­cu­la­tion to a stim­u­lat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.


The mas­ter suite is lo­cated just beyond a fam­ily hall, which is filled with fam­ily por­traits as well as tro­phies col­lected by the fam­ily dog. The fea­ture wall be­hind the bed is an in­tri­cate com­po­si­tion of pan­els mounted over a mir­rored base, with sweep­ing arcs that bring to mind the sway­ing move­ment of kelp forests. The be­spoke head­board de­sign is also curved to re­sem­ble a first-class air­plane seat. The Im­pres­sion­ist pat­terns of the cus­tomised rug mimic the sur­face of a pond, where the rip­pling water cre­ates in­trigu­ing dis­tor­tions of the marine life be­low. The chil­dren’s bed­rooms were de­signed to suit their per­sonal tastes. Yang’s son has a pref­er­ence for the dis­tressed leather look, so Tan in­cor­po­rated this el­e­ment into a darker, “mas­cu­line” scheme. His daugh­ter does not like harsh an­gles, so she re­quested for a round bed. “We raised the bed on a round tim­ber deck and used a tim­ber-look wall­pa­per from wall to ceil­ing, to cre­ate the rus­tic feel she wanted,” says the de­sign di­rec­tor. This home ex­em­pli­fies Tan’s be­lief that “the ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing in a space is more than just the sum­ma­tion of the floor, wall and ceil­ing.” To her, ev­ery in­te­rior should be “more than space”—it should ex­ude an el­e­gantly time­less qual­ity.

CLOCK­WISE FROM RIGHT Wave-like wood pan­els by the door con­ceal full-height shoe cab­i­nets; be­spoke cof­fee ta­bles with a seashell top bal­ance the for­mal­ity of the space with a re­laxed vibe; the Manooi Ar­tica chan­de­lier adds a ma­jes­tic touch to the spa­cious liv­ing room

TOP TO BOT­TOM The din­ing area faces the artist’s palette-shaped pool and the sur­round­ing green­ery; the rooftop ter­race is per­fect for a gar­den party

OP­PO­SITE PAGE, FROM TOP Yang Tse Pin and his wife at the en­trance foyer of their home; aqua­ma­rine ac­cents in the en­ter­tain­ment room con­nect with the sha­green fea­ture wall at the bar area

OP­PO­SITE PAGE, FROM TOP The lux­u­ri­ous mas­ter suite; the iri­des­cent for­est onyx mar­ble wall and pearly Nero Mar­quina mar­ble floor­ing in the mas­ter bath­room, which leads to the spa­cious walk-in closet

LEFT TO RIGHT The daugh­ter’s bed­room em­braces a rus­tic feel with wood floor­ing and a tim­ber-look wall­pa­per; a curved sofa en­cir­cles the lounge area on the sec­ond floor

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