January 24, 2009 Saturday

Fashionably clad

Walls of 62nd-floor condo have timber veneer and tiles of varying widths for a modern yet cosy feel

Take in a sweeping view of the Benjamin Sheares Bridge and Singapore Flyer from the bright and modern master bedroom. -- TEXT: REBECKKA WONG, PHOTOGRAPHY: WINSTON CHUAN, ART DIRECTION: NICCO LIM

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When your apartment enjoys a million-dollar bird's-eye view of the Marina Bay area and beyond - overlooking the Singapore Flyer, the floating platform, the site of the future integrated resorts and all the way out to sea - the interior design of the space can rightfully take a back seat.

However, home owner Dato Resham Singh felt the interiors of his 62nd-storey 1,500 sq ft apartment at swanky new condominium The Sail, which was already kitted out for immediate occupation, could use a little aesthetic enhancement to make it feel more like a home.

'The apartment came with all the necessary finishes, but it looked pretty bare with plain white walls and no strong features,' says architect Lim Ai Tiong of Lato Design Architects, who was tasked with conceptualising the new look.

It was a challenge to create a style that Datok Resham and his wife, both in their 60s and who had never stayed in modern-style interiors, would feel comfortable with.

'Their previous home had a very ethnic style. I'm glad he was willing to let me try a more contemporary look,' explains Mr Lim, who does only modern design. The Malaysian couple do not live here. They use the 1,500 sq ft flat only when they are in Singapore.

The original plain walls of the living and dining areas made the space look bare and nondescript. By cladding various areas in different materials, the designer has created visual anchors to draw the eye towards the amazing view.

The new skins also add colour, decoration and warmth to the interiors.

In the living room, subtly streaked timber veneer in a warm toasty hue hugs one wall, complemented by false ceiling features that define the two spaces.

To keep the colour palette in the home consistent, Mr Lim matched the timber veneer to the one used on the existing bedroom doors.

A mirror wall installed at the dining area doubles the feel of the space and affords diners on both sides of the table a great sea view.

On the L-shaped wall that marks the footprint of the kitchen, Mr Lim has pieced together textured homogeneous tiles in different widths to create a feature wall with a sleek modern appeal.

The heavy curtain along a wall in the living room softens the hard edges of the apartment's interiors and hides the household bomb shelter and the shoe cabinet

The designer has also kept things simple in the master bedroom, which has an excellent sweeping view of the Benjamin Sheares Bridge, the Singapore Flyer and the floating platform where the last two National Day parades were held.

The 'jigsaw-like' theme used for the tiled feature wall in the kitchen is repeated here, but using panels of timber veneer instead, complementing the wood flooring. The wall doubles as a bedhead.

According to Mr Lim, the owners say they like their first modern-style home so much, 'they joke they will not stay in places with any other kinds of interiors from now on'.

This spread first appeared in this month's issue of Home & Decor, published by SPH Magazines.