New Digs

An oasis away from work

One day in May last year, digital marketing expert Pat Law left her office for lunch and came back a home owner.

There had been a mid-day bank auction for distressed properties near her office and, on a whim, she attended.

Some grainy, low-resolution pictures of a beat-up, third-storey apartment in the east caught her eye. And because she had been considering investing in a home to live in, the idea of a freehold old-fashioned walk-up with the potential for dramatic refurbishment appealed to her.

 

She was previously renting an apartment in Lorong Stangee in the east.

The price was reasonable too: under $1 million for a 1,033 sq ft freehold property. Without hesitation, she signed on the dotted line.

"I didn't even know if I would get a bank loan at the time," says the founder of social influence agency Goodstuph, who is in her mid-30s. "I had 48 hours to secure a loan or I would lose my deposit. But, hey, no regrets."

I didn't even know if I would get a bank loan at the time. I had 48 hours to secure a loan or I would lose my deposit. But, hey, no regrets.

MS PAT LAW on buying her walk-up apartment on a whim at a bank auction

It took $100,000 worth of renovations and removing most of the walls in the four-bedroom apartment, but the space is now a stylish bachelorette pad, with generous, flowing spaces.

It is a zen oasis suited for one - that is if you do not count her two chihuahuas, Rebel and Tails. Otherwise, a spacious master bedroom, walk-in closet, airy living and dining spaces and an open-plan kitchen is Law's alone to enjoy.

"I work 10 to 14 hours nearly every day, so I wanted my home to feel like an oasis away from the chaos at work," she says.

Law is known for her creative work and tongue-in-cheek marketing campaigns. Goodstuph, which she started in March 2010, now boasts clients such as Changi Airport Group and UOB Bank.

To get her home looking like the place of her dreams, her close friend Abigael Tay, from interior design consultancy Obllique, came on board.

The aesthetic is textbook industrial chic - raw concrete walls and floors; and metal pipes - balanced with light-coloured wood finishings to provide warmth.

The style is understated, but elegant. The copper hangers and metal-pipe clothing racks that descend from the ceiling in her walk-in closet would not be out of place in a designer boutique.

Numerous walls around her home were also custom-made by her carpenter as giant wooden peg boards. The holes allow Law to put in pegs to serve as hooks for clothing or hats or install impromptu shelves to organise or display her stuff, such as the three vintage cameras in her living room.

"I thought it was a really creative way to organise my life," she says.

Although the apartment is clean and minimalist, peppered around her apartment are touches of her personality.

There are kitschy items she has been collecting for years, such as an overhead projector, a vintage KDK standing fan, an old-school 10-cent public payphone and a rusty Jacobs Cream Crackers tin.

The concrete taps in her bathroom were sourced from Melbourne so that they blend seamlessly with the walls.

Even the wooden fixture for the tube light in her dining room was made in Amsterdam from a single, salvaged elm tree - meaning Law had to wait nearly a year for the product to be available.

"Getting a chance to put a personal spin on things and move pieces around like a jigsaw has been so much fun for me," she says with a smile. "There's nothing quite like watching everything come together. It's a space I'm proud to come home to."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 07, 2016, with the headline 'An oasis away from work'. Print Edition | Subscribe