Singapore Tatler Homes - - SANCTUARIES -

Most in­te­rior de­sign­ers can only dream of be­ing handed the keys to a new project and given artis­tic free reign but for Kelvin and Karen Gan, the dream be­came re­al­ity in 2017 when they were ap­proached by the owner of this strata bun­ga­low. Her re­quest: to en­sure that the prop­erty mir­rored the lux­ury ho­tels that she reg­u­larly stayed at. Be­yond that, the de­sign­ers were wel­come to do as they pleased. “The client spec­i­fied that she wanted her home to feel like a high-end ho­tel and that it had to be mod­ern and el­e­gant,” ex­plains Kelvin, de­sign di­rec­tor of KGID. “She also ex­pressed a de­sire for bold colours and rich tex­tured ma­te­ri­als. Other than that, she was happy to leave the work to us.” Ev­ery­thing from fab­ric to fur­ni­ture were se­lected by the in­te­rior firm and in such a de­light­fully laid­back man­ner that the team was able to com­plete the project within four months.


Be­ing at the helm of one of Sin­ga­pore’s most ex­cit­ing de­sign stu­dios no doubt played a sig­nif­i­cant part in Karen and Kelvin be­ing af­forded such cre­ative lib­erty. Es­tab­lished in 2009, their firm has over 18 years of ex­pe­ri­ence craft­ing lux­ury res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial spa­ces in both Sin­ga­pore and the US; the cou­ple has been reg­u­larly voted among the most in­flu­en­tial fig­ures in Sin­ga­pore’s de­sign field. Their sig­na­ture aesthetic is, in Kelvin’s own words, “con­tem­po­rary Art Deco”, with nods to the early 20th cen­tury style found in the pat­terns and forms that they use in their work.


In the de­sign of the bun­ga­low, the ma­te­ri­als— which in­clude ebony, mother of pearl, bronze and tinted glass—re­flect the Gans’ favourite era. The fo­cal point of the lounge is a large geo­met­ric glass and steel cof­fee ta­ble from Asi­a­tique Col­lec­tions. Ac­ces­sorised with soft fur­nish­ings in crushed vel­vet, the ta­ble evokes the roar­ing Twen­ties. The quin­tes­sen­tial fan mo­tif of the era marks the ac­cent chairs, which are uphol­stered in two fab­rics—one of them a bold swirl print by J&S De­sign and the other a cham­pagne vel­vet. The walls have a glam­orous fin­ish, cour­tesy of an eye-catch­ing Palis­san­dro Oni­ci­ato mar­ble slab whose nat­u­ral mark­ings re­flect the lines of the cof­fee ta­ble, while its colour per­fectly com­ple­ments the room’s neu­tral tones. “Through­out the house, we have stuck to an earthy pal­ette,” notes Kelvin. The scheme may sound un­der­whelm­ing but it is far from it, thanks to some care­ful co­or­di­na­tion. “The right shades and the right fab­rics cre­ate a luxe look while also en­sur­ing com­fort.” In the din­ing room, the same cham­pagne vel­vet is ap­plied to the chairs, which makes for a sub­tle sense of flow. A ta­ble for eight is framed by glass doors that lead to the lap pool, mak­ing the nar­row space feel a lot wider. The room also fea­tures a dou­ble­height ceil­ing, which fur­ther am­pli­fies its pro­por­tions. Hang­ing from above is a pair of Eich­holtz chan­de­liers, sug­ges­tive of the iconic 1960s Sput­nik lamp. By blend­ing de­signs from the two eras, the Gans en­sured that the house doesn’t be­come an Art Deco cliché.


While the liv­ing ar­eas are sat­u­rated in neu­tral tones, el­e­ments of colour have been in­jected into each of the four bed­rooms, thanks to a se­ries of bold be­spoke rugs de­signed by KGID. Th­ese rugs have been cus­tom-made to suit the rooms, each in dis­tinct dark blue, gold, orange or turquoise. The themes were cho­sen in part for their Art Deco con­no­ta­tions but also be­cause they are the pre­dom­i­nant colours in the art­works by Ir­ish artist Fin­tan Whe­lan and print­maker Chris Homer that take pride of place on the walls—the at­ten­tion to de­tail makes the in­te­rior scheme func­tion as a whole. By varying the tex­tures rather than the shades, the de­sign firm has art­fully cre­ated the lux­ury ho­tel at­mos­phere that their client de­sired. Even the roof ter­race, with its sur­pris­ingly vivid fur­ni­ture, is a seam­less blend with the rest of the prop­erty—the turquoise is found again in the wicker easy chairs, the orange in the drapes that can ei­ther shut out the rain or be pulled wide open to re­veal a stun­ning vista. It’s Art Deco, just not as we know it.

“Through­out the house, we have stuck to an earthy pal­ette—the right shades and the right fab­rics cre­ate a luxe look while also en­sur­ing com­fort”

LEFT TO RIGHT Chan­de­liers from Dutch brand Eich­holtz and gilded de­tails at the din­ing area add glam­our to the in­te­rior; vel­vet and other plush tex­tures add to the abode’s hotelin­spired scheme

THIS PAGE The mar­ble fea­ture wall makes a state­ment at the liv­ing area

LEFT TO RIGHT The roof ter­race fea­tures vivid tones of turquoise and orange; the spi­ral stair­case that leads to the rooftop ter­race; the be­spoke rug and other cus­tom­made de­tails in the bed­rooms were in­spired by art­works se­lected for the abode

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