Both homeowners and the designer have an equally keen eye for detail. A brass strip takes care of the transition between the marble and timber ﬂoors in the kitchen and dining area respectively. The kitchen island was also deliberately elevated slightly to accommodate the uneven level of the kitchen ﬂoor.
Custom-made panelling and carpentry create discreet storage spaces that are well-integrated with the rest of the furniture.
The nightspots along Mohamed Sultan Road used to be among homeowner Edmund Chan’s favourite hangouts when he was growing up, so when he and his wife, Elaine Koh, were looking for a new home, they decided to explore the River Valley area. “It has a very ‘other worldliness’ about it, and I like the restaurants in the vicinity,” he says.
When they finally found an apartment that they liked, they decided to have the interior gutted, in order to start from scratch. “The renovation was so extensive that only two of the existing walls were left standing,” he recalls.
The couple turned to Laank for its design expertise. The home-grown boutique practice is the creative genius behind Violet Oon’s culinary concepts and came highly recommended by her daughter, Tay Su-Lyn, who is a classmate of Elaine’s. “Laank has done a lot of commercial projects, which tend to have very high standards, so I had utmost confidence in them shares Edmund.
Cherin Tan, the creative director and founder of Laank, began by understanding the couple’s aesthetic preferences. Edmund says: “Elaine put together a collection of images illustrating the looks that we liked and Cherin made sense of them, piecing them together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.”
He adds: “I also played around with Sketchup, a 3-D modelling software, which I felt facilitated the discussion with Cherin and helped move things along.”
Being in the business of home automation, it comes as no surprise that he wanted to integrate smart technologies into the home. The challenge for Laank was to address the client’s brief for a home that possesses the comfort and opulence of a luxury hotel, and combine it with the convenience and ease of technology. “The goal was to balance technological savviness with the ingenuity of architectural detailing to create a space where function meets aesthetics,” says Cherin.
A voice prompt alerts the homeowners when there are visitors, who are greeted by a travertine feature wall as they cross the threshold into the entrance foyer. “Glass panels integrated into the wall allow glimpses of the interior, while a metal tray forms a ledge for decorative items or keys,” Cherin points out. To the left of the entrance foyer is a series of concealed cabinets, within which is the “nerve centre” that controls the smart features of the home, along with an automated shoe carousel.
A customised black marble dining table paired with dining chairs upholstered in a rich, velvety green convey a luxurious setting that is accentuated by the choice of brass hardware, echoed by the pendant lights above. In response to Edmund and Elaine’s requirement for more storage, more concealed cabinets were built into the dining room wall.
The focus of the living room has been intentionally shifted away from the television set, with the Eames lounge chair and ottoman deliberately angled such that they do not directly face the television set. The television set itself will be concealed behind an artwork comprising two automated split panels that the couple specially commissioned and which is currently being produced.
A study area has been carved out of the original living area. This is also where Edmund can play on his keyboard, which has been ingeniously integrated with his desk using a movable lift-up panel. Edmund and Cherin even addressed minute details, such as incorporating the circuitry so that when the panel is lifted, the keyboard and amplifier are automatically turned on without the need for separate switches.
The master bedroom and bathroom feature various technologies that enhance the seamlessness of the interior. The television set in the master bedroom is concealed in a console, and is automated to rise from it when necessary. Another screen has been built into the bathroom mirror, so that the couple can get their morning news update while going about their routine.
Edmund went to the extent of making sure that the ceiling speakers were set into a recess. “The speakers are round, but I did not want to see a circular element, so I ensured the speakers were recessed into the ceiling, and fabricated square ceiling,” he explains.
Edmund and Elaine worked extremely closely with Cherin in order to ensure that every aspect of the home is well-integrated. Trained as an engineer, Edmund even took on some of the engineering aspects personally to quicken the process.
For Cherin, the success of the project lies in being able to “achieve something that has good aesthetics, with good materials, and without sacrificing functionality and efficiency.
WHO LIVES HERE
A couple in their 40s and their two children HOME A three-bedroom condominium apartment in River Valley Road SIZE 1,459sqf
The living room, dining room and kitchen feature tinted glass walls that connect the spaces, while providing family members with a measure of privacy.
Most of the furniture and shelves were tailor-made to ﬁt the spaces.
Brass ﬁttings add just the right touch of luxury.
No corner was over looked and no detail too minor when it came to ensuring that every space is exactly as it should be – even the common bathroom. One wall concealing ducts was moved just 100mm to achieve the desired result.
Many of the units in this development are inward-facing. Edmund and Elaine chose this unit for its orientation, view and light-ﬁlled interior.
Everything has been seamlessly integrated within the study room. A kick board under the table hides a CPU, the printer sits on a pull-out tray concealed inside a cabinet, and a switch built into the carpentry makes turning on the equipment a breeze.
Edmund humorously nicknames his children’s rooms, “Not-Important People (NIP) rooms”.
A dressing table, foldable mirror and power points are all neatly concealed within the vanity console.
The simplicity of the master bedroom belies a plethora of hidden technology, such as a television set that lowers back into the console when not in use.
photography DARREN CHANG art direction NONIE CHEN