Daniel Boey – Singapore’s “Godfather of Fashion” – has injected his fashion-fuelled home with a unique sense of style.
Daniel was inspired by the look of blackand- white colonial houses for the exterior of his house, but he wanted it to have a contemporary twist.
Innovative, daring and cutting-edge, Daniel Boey has been at the forefront of the Singapore fashion scene for decades – and he uses these same qualities to create his extraordinary home. As you’d expect from someone who has made style his business, Daniel’s home is a visual feast of the beautiful, quirky and luxurious. Among the contemporary, retro and antique items, whether it’s the antique dowry chest that belonged to his great grandmother, or an artwork made of Lego that was done for his 50th birthday – there’s a fascinating story behind every item in his home. The bachelor jokes that this house is, in fact, that of “Daniel and friends”. This is because so many of the artworks and furniture were gifts from friends – many of which were given when he had his joint housewarming and 50th birthday party last year.
Daniel dislikes clutter and keeps his living space sparse. The sputnik lamps were bought for a fashion event, while the painting is by Indonesian artist Dani King Herianto.
The chilli-red study area in the basement is adjacent to Daniel’s bedroom. The homeowner worked with Nippon Paint for the paint colours used throughout the house.
Daniel’s home is brimming with exceptional artworks, many of which were gifts from friends.
Each floor of the three-storey home has a bathroom. “All the bathrooms are tied together with a singular flooring style and pattern. I needed something to unify the spaces,” Daniel says. Pictured here is the bathroom on the second floor.
The metal outdoor furniture set on the front balcony (from The Event Store) was made by a friend who used to model for Daniel, and was a housewarming gift. The baby-pink mediaeval suit of armour is one of Daniel’s favourite possessions.
Colour is central to this home as well. The vibrant turquoise in the living space and stairwell are the perfect backdrop for his spectacular artworks and striking furniture. Upstairs, banana yellow fills the entire top floor of the home with a radiant energy. Daniel worked with Nippon Paint to help him with all the paint choices throughout the house. “I just love colour. Colour makes me happy!” says the homeowner. “People are so often afraid to use colour, but if you change your mind or get bored of it, you can simply paint over it,” he says. The homeowner bought much of his furniture from Lorgan’s the Retro Store. “The owner, Lorgan Wong, would often call me and say ‘I have the perfect thing for you!’ and nine out of ten times, he has been right.” Daniel’s new home is one-half of two semi-detached structures – the other belongs to his parents. He worked with architect Tan Li Chiat of TLCA Architects to create his dream abode. Daniel says: “One of my early briefs to the architect was that I wanted plenty of natural light, great cross-ventilation and large open spaces. I wanted it to be ‘like three open lofts piled on top of each other’. It also had to be versatile enough for me to change the look of the interiors. We were on the same page in so many ways and had such a similar vision and ideas. We worked really well together and I’m delighted with the outcome.”
Daniel’s room is actually in the basement – spacious and private, he refers to it as his “man cave”.
The staircase is a feature in itself. Daniel jokingly calls it his “Star Wars” stairway because of the lights!
Daniel on his prized gold Chesterfield sofa in his dressing room, adjacent to the bedroom. The sofa is from Lorgan’s the Retro Store; Lorgan customised it for him by painting it gold.
Daniel’s bedroom and dressing room are characterised by vibrant colours and patterns. However, he says that this downstairs area is a work in progress.
DANIEL ON THE COLOURS USED
“While I love the dramatic black and white exterior, I can’t imagine living in an all-white interior (it would make the space look a lot bigger; but how bland!) so I decided to pepper the spaces with pops of colour. Colour is a great way to define spaces and give each space a strong identity.
The myriad of colours are all tied together with the teal walls framing the staircase (the colour matches the ‘Cartier red’, ‘Hermes orange’ and ‘Kate Spade Saturday yellow’ spaces on the three floors). That is the key to playing with colours in the house – you need to find a unifying factor that serves as an anchor, to prevent it from becoming ‘rojak’
Don’t mash too many colours in one singular space, as it’ll have the opposite effect. Choose a singular feature wall for that strong colour – that becomes the centre of the room. Remember to pick furniture that complements that colour, too
Don’t be afraid of experimenting with graphic patterns. I painted one wall of my walk-in wardrobe (and the bomb shelter) in horizontal orange and vermilion stripes, which complement the solid orange wall (anchored by an Erica Hestu painting and a customised gold chesterfield sofa). It makes an interesting alternative to a plain wall of colour.”
The third and top level of the house is flooded with light – illuminating the fabulous yellow walls. When the windows are open, a breeze circulates through this space.
LEFT: “My dad was a swimming champion when he was younger and he passed on all his old trophies to me. My dad, my sister and I were all champion swimmers,” says Daniel, whose collection includes trophies bought in London. RIGHT: The wrought iron gate on the staircase landing was salvaged from his previous house, on the same site. Daniel says it was important to retain something from that structure to represent its history.
Daniel loves reading and his home has plenty of reading nooks, such as this one on the top floor. The armchair and footrest are from Lorgan’s. On the wall is an artwork of the cover of Daniel’s book – The Book of Daniel: Adventures of a Fashion Insider, by Dominic Clark.