Singapore Tatler Best of Singapore
TIPS FOR THE HOUSE- PROUD
Spruce up your living space with some canny insights from the professionals.
The start of a new year often inspires homeowners to make changes to their home decor and furnishings, so here’s some helpful advice from the best interior design and home furnishing experts, on the latest trends and some outof-the-box ideas to consider. Whether you’re considering a big upgrade or a minor tweak, there’s something here to suit your space.
SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW
“We are seeing more and more people wanting to combine the old with the new, unafraid to combine different styles. Antique Chinese furniture is being matched with Scandinavian, modern, minimalist, and even industrial decor,” observes Chantal Travers, owner of Emperor’s Attic. “If you fall in love with an antique piece of furniture, then go for it. You will make it work and be happy every day because you bought something you love. If you are really unsure, consider talking to an interior designer, even if it’s just for an initial consult. Most designers will offer a paid initial consult to set you on the right path.”
For those who are keen to implement this idea, Travers adds: “We are big fans of both royal blue and bottle-green lacquered pieces. They add a classy, classic pop of colour that works with every style to make a unique statement in your home.”
Jeremy Tay, director of interior design firm Prestige Global Designs, observes that the New Oriental Style is the trend to follow in 2019. More than just a look, it is a philosophy that appeals to the firm’s well-travelled and high-net-worth clients. Its appeal, Tay says, lies in its ideal expression as “a good balance of modern and traditional elements that creates a sense of harmony and peace”. Done well, it “adds elegance and character to an interior, facilitates a quiet appreciation of beauty in the functional, and encourages a calm and serene approach to life”.
Terri Tan, design director at Designworx Interior Consultant, concurs. “People are turning to such elements as a way to feel more grounded, to the earth as well as their cultural roots. Handmade items using sustainable and traditional materials such as jute, rice paper, and clay will be in as well.” She adds that homeowners who desire a more open, airy look and feel should consider “bold use of colours like teal for accent walls or furniture, pairing them with stark white or warm neutrals instead of the typical cool or grey-toned neutrals”.
KEEP COLOURS SIMPLE
“Luxury is all about fulfilling personal dreams, and everyone is unique,” says KC Lee, managing director of Hansgrohe Singapore. He then adds the caveat that when customising bathroom fittings (or anything else, really), homeowners should “reduce the variety of colours and simplify
their colour scheme to achieve a more pleasing and uniform appearance”.
Lee explains that “customers can choose between 15 special finishes under the AXOR Finishplus service, where bathroom fittings are more scratch-resistant…with exceptionally robust and brilliant surfaces thanks to state-of-the-art engineering”. With AXOR Signature, they can also choose to have special lettering, logos or modified mixer lengths. With so many exciting options to pick from, it’s easy to get distracted or go overboard, to the detriment of the overall effect.
“Try having the same colour in different textures,” Lee advises. “For instance, AXOR bathroom fittings can be customised in brushed or polished red gold; it’s better than having a large number of different finishes that could clash.”
HIGH-TECH LUXURY BATHROOMS
“Recently, more customers have been requesting bespoke bathroom fittings to express their individuality,” notes Lee from Hansgrohe Singapore. AXOR affords them a dizzying array of options, too, with more than 2,000 stylish, top-quality products across various collections—plus personalisation and bespoke services under the AXOR Finishplus and AXOR Signature programmes, in which highprecision, state- of-the-art engineering is employed to guarantee a robust, scratchresistant, brilliant result.
For homeowners interested in specific game-changing products, Hansgrohe’s newest launch, an innovative shower technology called Powderrain (featured in the AXOR
350 Overhead Shower and the hansgrohe Raindance Select hand shower), is proving to be an aggressive trendsetter. Its sophisticated microspray technology transforms the conventional shower spray into thousands of micro droplets that “cocoon” the bather— this significantly reduces splashing and is much quieter, which makes relaxing in and maintaining an open-shower concept much more comfortable.
REST BETTER, LIVE BETTER
“In life, there are three things we should indulge in: a good watch; good quality shoes, as our feet take us everywhere; and a good mattress, to ensure we get quality sleep,” says Michelle Anne Ng, marketing manager at Simmons (SEA). “Sleep performance contributes directly to one’s performance in day-to- day activities,” she adds, and when one considers today’s hectic lifestyles, it stands to reason that good sleep is worth investing in.
“Get the best mattress you can afford that suits your needs,” Ng says, explaining that since people spend about a third of their lives sleeping and a good mattress lasts about 10 years, it’s money well spent.
“Simmons mattresses are the ultimate equipment for high-performance sleep,” she adds, citing the Simmons Beautyrest Black series as the best of the best: “It has unique features such as the Advanced Pocketed Coil technology, Coil- on- Coil technology, Diamond-infused Aircool Memory Foam, Beautyrest Mist Foam, and the renowned E-ION Crystal technology, all of which intertwine to take you beyond mere comfort and into the realm of the extraordinary.”
(ART-INSPIRED) CUSTOM RUGS
Take art off the walls and shelves and onto the floor— why not? Clients are increasingly finding inspiration from the art world for their bespoke rugs, says Melvyn Khong, manager at The Rug Maker. “Having a statement piece is a great way to spruce up your floor, and people are getting more adventurous with colours and textures.”
The company is comfortably on-trend, having scented the winds of change a little way back: Its recently launched collection, Corak, is the result of a collaboration with award-winning architect and artist Richard Hassell, who enjoyed exploring new possibilities and experimenting with a new medium for his art.
So, what should homeowners keep in mind when commissioning a customdesigned rug? “Do your research to find
out what inspires you,” Khong advises. “Try to see beyond the colours of the design that sparks your interest. Colours can be changed. We will be here to assist you in selecting the final colours and working out the technical design.”
Sound plays an important part in harmonising the home environment, and discerning homeowners are increasingly paying attention to the audio equipment that they introduce into their carefully designed abodes. It’s no surprise, therefore, that sound system experts who manage to marry topclass aural integrity with gorgeous design are enjoying a spike in demand. And leading the pack is high-end British audio specialist Bowers & Wilkins.
“Bowers & Wilkins is the industry standard for good sound; the brand has been trusted by Abbey Road Studios—the world’s best studio—for over 20 years,” proclaims Henry Loh, sales director at The Experts Group, which holds exclusive marketing rights to Bowers & Wilkins products in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. The brand’s Diamond Dome technology, Loh says, “is the closest you can get in real life to the theory of the perfect tweeter and perfect high-frequency sound”. And in its newly launched 802 D3 Prestige Edition speakers, which boast elegant Santos Rosewood veneers expertly lacquered to a lustrous finish, you have “a masterpiece that is a true marriage of the science of audio with fine craftsmanship”.
Smart and/or assistive kitchen appliances are becoming a necessary asset for busy modern families, as they afford safety, functionality, durability, and convenience. As Ng Tiong Ling, managing director of De Dietrich, says, “Technology that works can greatly improve humanity’s quality of life.”
Two cases in point are De Dietrich’s Fascination Collection and ‘Chef’ Mode Collection, which won the 2017 Janus De L’industrie and 2017 Red Dot Design Award respectively. The pinnacle of smart ovens, they offer unrivalled functionality with their roomy 73-litre volumes and integrated programming. “‘Chef’ Mode allows you to prepare your most frequently cooked meals completely automatically,” Ng says. “Simply choose the dish in your customised menu and put it in at the height recommended by the oven, which will adjust all the necessary settings: cooking mode, ideal temperature, and cooking time. A sensor constantly analyses the dish’s humidity level so that cooking time can be adjusted down to the minute.”
With six easily identifiable shelf-level options, reinforced wall insulation for reduced preheating time, and four elegant, classy colour schemes, the choice is a no-brainer for homeowners who are looking to up their hosting game.