A city penthouse with almost no doors is transformed into a sanctuary for one. LYNN TAN succumbs to its cosseting embrace.
WHO LIVES HERE
A single professional in her 50s HOME A penthouse in Ardmore Park SIZE 2,000sqf (approximate)
In the balcony, a series of oversized planters draws the eye past the glass doors, thereby helping to visually extend the space.
Five artisans were required to put together the desk.
The client wanted a coffee table which did not require her to bend down in order to reach it. To avoid the bulkiness of a tall piece, Nikki designed a tiered solution. The frame was gilded by hand and the onyx top had LED panels inserted within, so the coff ee table also serves as a giant light ﬁxture.
The private lift lobby evokes the ethereal qualities of a Chinese landscape painting.
This mirror, with a design that resembles the branches of plum blossoms, is one of the homeowner’s favourites.
To have an entire penthouse designed as a master suite for one sounds like the ultimate indulgence and that was exactly what this homeowner wanted. In her brief to Design Intervention, T she asked for a home that would serve as her retreat from frenetic city life – a space that would exude serene glamour and soft femininity.
With that in mind, Design Intervention principal Nikki Hunt went about designing a haven to make her client feel pampered. The studio undertook all aspects of the project, from interior space planning and furniture layout, to carpentry, lighting and furniture design, as well as soft furnishings, right down to the selection of teacups, bedlinen and bath towels. “I will bring only my clothes,” was what the client told Nikki.
Nikki drew inspiration from two Chinese artworks belonging to the client. The first is a depiction of plum blossoms.
“I have always been enchanted by the beauty of blossoms on trees, whether they are plum blossoms in Northern China, peach blossoms in the South, or the cherry blossoms of Japan,” shares the homeowner. The plum blossom leitmotif can be found on walls, doors, windows, mirrors and even the living room carpet. The second is a landscape painting that inspired the colour palette for the home and whose ethereal quality permeates some of the key areas within the home, starting with the private lift lobby – it gives one the sense of having been transported to another realm, and reveals a tantalising first impression of the romance and glamour within.
The living space comprises an open-plan living and study zone. The seating area is defined by the dialogue between a circular ceiling feature above and a circular rug tufted with plum blossoms below. “We carefully considered the composition such that the branches appear to emerge from the sofa and coffee table without disrupting the pattern,” Nikki points out.
The centrepiece of the study area is a bespoke desk that is every bit as functional as it is beautiful. The integrated lighting transforms the desk into a large floor lamp that casts a soft glow within the room.
The client wanted the kitchen to feel connected with the rest of the apartment. As she had no requirements for entertaining, all that was needed was a kitchen island with a dining space for one. “We are particularly proud of how we have created a seamless aesthetic flow, while simultaneously integrating the practical requirements and maximising the available floor area,” says Nikki.
The curved walls of the kitchen take their cue from the rounded forms of the furnishings in the living area and evoke a softer and warmer ambience. Brushed gold strips set into the grey veneer – derived from a single tree to ensure a consistency of colour and grain – accentuate the curvature of the wall and provide an interesting contrast of textures and finishes, with the soft sheen of metal against the matte veneer.
The bedroom and bathroom are designed as part of a cohesive whole. A grey floor runner ties the two spaces seamlessly together even though they are on opposite sides of the corridor. The oyster pink ceiling extends from the corridor into the bedroom and bathroom, drawing the spaces together while infusing them with a soft, romantic glow. The two areas also share the same wallpaper and gold-toned wall sconces and bathroom taps. A glamorous dressing room, sauna, horizontal shower and bespoke home gym complete the decadent and pampering sanctuary away from the outside world.
Every space within the home is unique in its own way, yet comes together harmoniously. “Every corner is different. I can stay home all day and never get bored. This is the mark of a welldesigned home,” affirms the homeowner.
As a design studio, Design Intervention sees its role as creating homes that reflect the lifestyle, aspirations and personalities of its clients. “We tell their story, not with words, but through visual language,” says Nikki. And it is indeed a story with “so much me in it”, as the homeowner candidly puts it. “It speaks to me and it has meaning to me. It makes me feel as if I am discovering and re-discovering myself.”
The plum blossom motif appears in various areas within the home and has been applied to different surfaces, including this frosted glass treatment beside the bath.
"Curved walls are accentuated by LED strips set into a pelmet. The light washes down, emphasising the curves and highlighting the grain of the veneer."
Nikki created a stunning dining set with a richly veined onyx top that complements the coffee table. It sits on a one-inch thick acrylic top that gives it a ﬂoating effect.
The wallpaper is a depiction of a cityscape amid tropical foliage, which is particularly apt for Singapore.
A sliding door etched with plum blossom motifs separates the public and private realms.
The curved walls of the kitchen take their cue from the rounded forms of the furnishings in the living area and evoke a softer and warmer ambience.
“Every corner is different. I can stay home all day and never get bored. This is the mark of a well-designed home.”
Nikki cleverly integrated a structural column into the design of the bath, widening it so that it appears centralised, and cladded it with a mirrored panel etched with plum blossoms.
The sleeping zone has a distinctly soothing and romantic mood. Decorative pendants and wall lights add glamour and sparkle, while Punkah fans in the bath is evocative of a bygone era with a more relaxed pace of life.
The bath is constructed from an acrylic solid surface that allows for a visually uninterrupted form without joints or edges.
Closet doors are wrapped in shagreen-effect wallpaper to blend in with the overall design.
photos DESIGN INTERVENTION