SINGAPORE - Michael and Michelle's (not their full names) careers in IT and finance respectively have taken them all around the world.
Having lived in countries such as Canada and China, the Canadian couple - who are in their 40s - have settled down in Singapore after residing here for the past five years.
Home is a two-bedroom, 1,539 sq ft apartment in River Valley which they share with their chihuahuas Yoda and Leia, which have 10,000 followers on Instagram.
They engaged Ms Carmen Tang, design director of Wolf Woof, to design the interior.
"Our brief to Carmen was very functional. We shared what we wanted each room and space for and the type of storage we needed. Having moved from country to country, we have accumulated a lot of stuff, so we wanted to maximise the use of every surface for storage," says Michelle.
The entrance foyer sets the tone - understated luxury that exudes lushness - for the rest of the place. A timber strip wall extends from the foyer to the living area, and conceals the door to the household shelter between the two areas.
A similar feature wall provides a backdrop for the dining room, tying the spaces on the first storey together. "Every strip of timber was individually laid and varnished," Ms Tang says.
Beyond the entrance foyer, the apartment opens into a double-volume space occupied by the living and dining area.
The vertical expanse of space is accentuated by full-height glass fenestration. Vertical planters flank the living room's feature wall, adding an element of green. They also draw the eye up to the piece de resistance: an air theatre.
Created by the addition of a loft that takes advantage of the unit's high ceiling, it is accessible from the master suite on the second storey and has the effect of a platform suspended in the air, hence the term air theatre.
The loft here is an extension of the master suite, and establishes a dialogue with the opposite wall on which the projection screen is mounted. This gives the sense of an enlarged space that extends beyond its physical boundaries.
However, Ms Tang cautions home owners about structural and regulatory considerations when designing lofts, such as the load it can withstand and restrictions on the floor area. "The loft must also be endorsed by a professional engineer," she says.
The master suite occupies the entire second storey. A space directly off the staircase landing serves as a walk-in wardrobe and dressing area that is screened off from the bedroom by a sliding door. Michelle also uses it for yoga.
Built into the floor-to-ceiling wardrobe and storage area - which can be converted into a guest room - is a fold-down bed the couple uses when watching television. The bed, designed to give the illusion of being suspended from the ceiling, is supported by a pedestal.
The couple and their fur kids moved into the home in November 2019, after a $120,000 renovation that took 2½ months.
Michelle says: "The pandemic hit a few months after we moved in. Since then, we have been spending most of our time at home, and we feel very lucky to have such a beautiful space to live in, work from and entertain in."
• This article first appeared in the April 2021 issue of Home & Decor, which is published by SPH Magazines. Get the May and latest issue (left) of Home & Decor now at all newsstands or download the digital edition of Home & Decor from the App Store, Magzter or Google Play. Also, see more inspiring homes at the Home & Decor website.