The Chic Apartment

Ripples of luxury

The spare bedroom has a scalloped lamp (top) from the United States; and the master bedroom has Swarovski crystals on the cushion boards (above) to mimic the sparkle of the sea under the sun. The bespoke eight-seat dining table (above) with a steel s
The bespoke eight-seat dining table (above) with a steel stand featuring a floral motif specially created for the family; and the eye-catching ceiling lamp in the living area.PHOTOS: WHITE CORPORATE
The spare bedroom has a scalloped lamp (top) from the United States; and the master bedroom has Swarovski crystals on the cushion boards (above) to mimic the sparkle of the sea under the sun. The bespoke eight-seat dining table (above) with a steel s
The bespoke eight-seat dining table with a steel stand featuring a floral motif specially created for the family; and the eye-catching ceiling lamp (above) in the living area.PHOTOS: WHITE CORPORATE
The spare bedroom has a scalloped lamp (top) from the United States; and the master bedroom has Swarovski crystals on the cushion boards (above) to mimic the sparkle of the sea under the sun. The bespoke eight-seat dining table (above) with a steel s
The spare bedroom has a scalloped lamp from the United States; and the master bedroom has Swarovski crystals on the cushion boards (above) to mimic the sparkle of the sea under the sun.PHOTOS: WHITE CORPORATE

Waves are part of the inspiration for this Marine Parade apartment, which sports a classic look

Interior designer Thomas Tham got his dream project last year, when he was hired to renovate a Marine Parade condominium apartment.

Not only was he given complete freedom to design the four- bedroom apartment as he pleased, but he also had an unlimited budget for the furnishings.

The co-founder of interior design company White Corporate says: "My clients just instructed me to do whatever I thought was suitable and best for their home."

His clients are identified only as Mr and Mrs Lee, a Singaporean couple who are in their late 40s and are self-employed. Mr Lee's mother lives with them.

They declined to be interviewed, but let Mr Tham, 42, speak to The Straits Times on their behalf.


The spare bedroom has a scalloped lamp (above) from the United States; and the master bedroom has Swarovski crystals on the cushion boards to mimic the sparkle of the sea under the sun. PHOTOS: WHITE CORPORATE

Based on the couple's stylish appearance, Mr Tham decided on a classic and luxurious look for their 2,800 sq ft resale apartment.

"They wore very good watches - a Patek Philippe and a Rolex - and they were dressed in light-coloured clothing," recalls Mr Tham of his first meeting with the Lees. "A trendy industrial design would not have suited them."

The nine-month renovation cost just under half a million dollars.

Mr Tham says the couple agreed with all his design decisions and furnishing picks.

Furniture was imported from Europe and Australia and the apartment's original dark marble flooring was replaced with Italian white marble.

Elegant and striking lighting fixtures were installed, such as a 1.8m-wide ceiling lamp designed like a petal wreathin the living area.

As the spacious living room offers unobstructed views of East Coast Park and the sea, Mr Tham also drew inspiration from the sea.

Layered white cabinets that line the top and bottom of a wall in the living room are supposed to represent the ripple effect of waves. The vibe is especially apparent when the lights installed between the layers are switched on.

In between the two layers of white cabinets is a panel of black crystal glass that conceals a black television set.

To add contrast to the apartment's predominantly light palette, Mr Tham says black was used sparingly as a design element.

Pieces of tinted mirrors are glued to two black glossy walls near the dining table to heighten the luxurious feel.

The ripple effect continues in the master bedroom.

Soundproof cushion boards covered in waterproof taupe fabric, which are layered to resemble ripples, are mounted on the walls behind and opposite the bed.

To mimic the sparkle of the sea under the sun, Swarovski crystals are studded across the boards. "The crystals help to liven up the room," says Mr Tham.

The look of the three other bedrooms are different, however- with wood flooring and cream-coloured wallpaper with floral motifs. One room has a feature wall with a design of cherry blossoms and gold butterflies to symbolise the coming of spring.

Mr Tham explains: "I wanted each room to have its own character."

To add a luxurious detail to the home, he created a personal motif for the Lees - multiple ovals arranged to look like a six-petalled flower.

The motif is used in the design of the steel stand of the custom-made eight-seat dining table, which has a crystal glass tabletop. A light box is encased within the steel stand.

The floral motif is also seen on the white shoe cabinet near the sliding main door, which has biometric access.

Mr Tham says: "I wanted to make a motif rather than just use a random one. Having one's own motif is a symbol of luxury and I wanted my clients to feel special."

He says the Lees, who moved in last December, were very pleased with his design for the apartment and liked everything. "They had liked my past projects and there were no disagreements."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 31, 2016, with the headline 'Ripples of luxury'. Print Edition | Subscribe