Space En­coun­ters


Singapore Tatler Homes - - HOMES FOCUS -

When it comes to craft­ing your in­te­ri­ors, the pos­si­bil­i­ties can seem end­less. This abun­dance of in­for­ma­tion can be over­whelm­ing, es­pe­cially for a new home­owner. “Most peo­ple do not get to ren­o­vate or re­design their home that of­ten. If a home is badly de­signed and poorly planned, the own­ers of­ten have to live with it for years to come,” says Ast­ley Ng, re­gional cre­ative di­rec­tor of SC + DC. His prac­tice aims to make the de­sign process eas­ier and less in­tim­i­dat­ing for clients. “Our projects are built on em­pa­thy, and this un­der­lines our en­tire process. We strive to un­der­stand the needs of our clients, while ed­u­cat­ing them and giv­ing them the op­por­tu­ni­ties to make more in­formed de­ci­sions,” ex­plains Ng, who has more than two decades of ex­pe­ri­ence in the in­dus­try. Each project starts with a con­sul­ta­tion at the SC + DC show­room and stu­dio, which is equipped with dig­i­tal tools to help home­own­ers per­son­alise and re­alise their plans for their dream home.


Ng prides his firm’s use of tech­nol­ogy, which can aid the clients’ aware­ness on the spa­tial con­cerns of an ex­ist­ing home be­fore the start of its ren­o­va­tion and de­sign proper. This be­gins with a dig­i­tal scan­ning tool that reads the space and cap­tures it in a three-di­men­sional file that makes the ren­der­ings more ac­cu­rate. “Beams, air-con­di­tion­ing, pip­ing and other site con­cerns can be spot­ted early, as we are able to recre­ate th­ese spa­tial di­men­sions ac­cu­rately in our drawn pro­pos­als,” ex­plains the di­rec­tor. An­other dig­i­tal tool em­ployed by SC + DC is its use of Vir­tual Re­al­ity (VR), which the firm has been us­ing since 2016. Through the use of a VR head­set, home­own­ers get to en­joy an im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ence of the pro­posed de­sign—it also en­ables them to make in­stant changes to the colour and ma­te­rial pal­ette. “The de­signer is able to talk you through the de­sign and change it on the spot, if you pre­fer a dif­fer­ent colour for your walls or an­other ma­te­rial for your floor­ing, be it lam­i­nate, ve­neer tiles and so on,” shares the di­rec­tor. “You get to ‘test’ th­ese com­bi­na­tions in real time, and you’re able to change the ma­te­ri­als im­me­di­ately, as long as th­ese se­lec­tions are car­ried within our dig­i­tal li­brary.”

In line with Ng’s for­ward-think­ing ap­proach, the show­room has been fit­ted with Ama­zon’s Alexa Smart Home, which in­cludes voice-ac­ti­vated con­trols, as well as an in­ter­ac­tive mir­ror dis­play in the bath­room. The mir­ror lights up when you step into the bath­room, and it fea­tures a nav­i­ga­ble and in­ter­ac­tive screen with con­trols for the space; the team is also able to man­age such light­ing and air-con­di­tion­ing set­tings re­motely on their smart­phones. “We’re try­ing to demon­strate how the old can co­ex­ist with the new in our show­room, which is sit­u­ated in a con­ser­va­tion shop­house that’s in­fused with mod­ern flair and tech­nol­ogy,” ex­plains Ng.


Be­yond th­ese tech-savvy tools, the hu­man el­e­ment is just as vi­tal. To the di­rec­tor, it’s as im­por­tant to an­tic­i­pate the chang­ing needs and life­style habits of the home­own­ers. In one in­stance, Ng ad­vised a young cou­ple to plan ahead for their grow­ing fam­ily. “They wished to cre­ate a huge master bed­room with a pantry area, and in­te­grate a wash­ing ma­chine into their walk-in wardrobe,” shares Ng. “They did plan on hav­ing kids soon, but they for­got about mak­ing space for a cot in their bed­room. So I asked them to re­think their re­quire­ments, with the re­al­i­ties of par­ent­ing in mind.” Through Ng’s prac­ti­cal and style­con­scious ap­proach, his prac­tice caters to the owner’s user ex­pe­ri­ence in ev­ery de­sign de­tail. Mir­rored sur­faces, for in­stance, should be treated with a coat­ing to min­imise the ap­pear­ance of hand­prints, while the strate­gic use of glass on fur­ni­ture pieces and walls can im­prove the sense of space, even within small apart­ments. The de­signer would also share the fol­low­ing ad­vice to wouldbe mums: “plat­form beds are not as friendly for preg­nant women, as they’re not at the sit­ting height— it will be­come more chal­leng­ing for them to set­tle into bed in the later stages of preg­nancy, .” He sums up: “Well-de­signed homes should not only look good— th­ese dwellings must be func­tional, ex­hibit char­ac­ter and tell mean­ing­ful sto­ries in a space that their in­hab­i­tants call home.”

THIS PAGE Oak gives the home an invit­ing warmth; mir­rored pan­els add to a sense of space in this apart­ment; black lines added to rafters at the SC + DC show­room high­light his­toric de­tails of the con­ser­va­tion shop­house

OP­PO­SITE PAGE The oak par­quet false ceil­ing is a char­ac­ter­ful touch within the home’s mod­ern in­te­rior

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