This interior is the result of close collaboration between designer and homeowner. LYNN TAN learns how their chemistry led to stunning results.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
My Reading Room
The Beam sofa by Patricia Urquiola, along with most of the furniture within the home, has earthy tones that help create a warm interior.
My Reading Room

Having worked on business owner Charles Cheo’s previous home about 10 years ago, Raymond Seow, design director of Free Space Intent, was deemed the most suitable candidate to design the interior of Charles’ new apartment at Duo Residences.

The previous property was Charles’ family home and his parents still reside there. It has an Old Shanghai theme and is furnished with many antique Peranakan furniture pieces from Charles’ collection. “For the Duo apartment, which I share with my wife, Lili, and our twin boys, I wanted something different and which reflects its city location,” says Charles. Raymond thus went for a luxe concept that complements the high-end residential address. “I opted for a darker colour palette that conveys a more luxurious and opulent feel,” he says.

The design process was progressive and Charles was very involved throughout. “We interacted closely and I would tweak the design along the way based on Charles’ input and preferences,” Raymond reveals. Apart from design and space planning, Charles was also very involved in furniture selection. As a fan of Italian furniture, he hand-picked many pieces by Italian designers. One of the very first piecces that he deccided on was a Giorgetti Galet coffee table, which was inspired by the imperfect regularity of a pebble. Charles chose it for its curved form that echoes the curvilinear building envelope.

This organic language extends to various design features and even the choice of materials within the apartment. The living room ceiling has elliptical drop panels that mirror the pebble-like silhouette of the coffee table below.

However, the piece de resistance has got to be the marble feature wall beside the dining area. The white marble has dramatic black and grey veins with unusual dabs of green that have a moss-like quality. Four large slabs of this unique marble were book-matched to create an abstract pattern that is open to interpretation. “To me, the bold, black veins resemble rivers from an aerial view. Some people see a tiger, while others decipher a bull. Someone even spotted a Transformer,” Charles points out.

An awkward kink in the wall along one side of the living area has been smoothed out, and forms a subtle arc that sweeps towards the curved balcony. This also allowed the television set to be mounted in a more centralised position on the wall. Beyond this wall is the twins’ bedroom, which Raymond transformed into the interior of a space shuttle. “The perspective of a flight deck conveys depth, which gives a sense of space to a room that is not large,” he says.

On the other side of the living area is the study, which was converted from a bedroom. The original solid bedroom wall made way for full-height sliding glass panels that open up the room and establish a connection with the rest of the living and dining areas. These can be closed for privacy.

The master bedroom has an understated design, with a few strategic elements that give visual focus. The headboard is a collage of stone-like laminate juxtaposed with antique mirror panels to create a rustic feel. A remnant piece of the dining room marble was put to good use, forming a ledge above a built-in cabinet below the wall mounted television set.

This project was an interesting challenge for plan proved tricky, but he managed to make the necessary within and around the living area to improve spatial quality.

He had already built a good relationship, and established a strong rapport, with Charles from the previous home project but, because it is a totally this time, “I approached the design for the Duo home as if it is for another client altogether,” says Raymond.
My Reading Room

A view of Parkview Square gives the apartment a New York Art Deco loft quality, and is something that Charles particularly enjoys when he is in the study.


Another remnant piece of marble from the feature wall takes pride of place as a recessed display ledge along the entrance foyer, framed by a special metal laminate clad over built-in cabinets.

In between his frequent trips abroad, Charles spends quality time with his family in their beautiful home.
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A couple in their 40s and their preschool twins HOME A four-bedroom condominium apartment in Duo Residences SIZE 2,077sqf (Converted from 193sqm) 
My Reading Room
My Reading Room
The delicate and sinuous lines on the headboard of the Kelly bed by Emmanuel Gallina blend in perfectly with the look of the master bedroom.
My Reading Room
My Reading Room

Many of the art pieces within the home have a recurring nature theme.


Entering the boys’ bedroom feels like you are being transported to another galaxy.

The solar system ceiling design was the inspiration behind the space-themed bedroom for the twins.
My Reading Room

Photography ANGELA GUO art direction NONIE CHEN