The Chic Home: YouTuber Ryan Tan's resort-style penthouse packed with smart gadgets

Mr Ryan Tan outfitted his living room with a QLED TV and surround sound speakers for a cinematic experience. PHOTO: ISABELLA QUEK, KHER CHYN, NATALIE LIM
The renovation cost about $200,000 including furniture and appliances, and was completed in a month. PHOTO: ISABELLA QUEK, KHER CHYN, NATALIE LIM

SINGAPORE - For many people, building a house in popular simulation game The Sims is a whimsical pursuit.

Mr Ryan Tan, co-founder of media production company Night Owl Cinematics, however, actually used the simulation to design his home to scale, walking his character through it to get a feel of the spatial flow.

It was just one of several aspects the bachelor, who is 33 this year, was involved in during the design and renovation of his two-storey penthouse near Seletar.

Although he had engaged interior design firm The Designer Inn to oversee the creative process, he believes in being hands-on.

"I decided to get the master bedroom done first, so I could move in and be involved in the rest of renovation," he says.

The finished look: a tropical resort-style abode with embedded smart gadgets, plenty of plants and earthy wooden accents.

Considering the amount of work needed, it was quite a feat the renovation, which cost about $200,000 including furniture and appliances, was completed in a month.

Mr Tan moved into the 1,410 sq ft apartment - which he shares with his dog, a shih tzu named Mantou, and a domestic helper - in 2018.

He knew exactly what he wanted, thanks to planning ahead and having an architect for a father. As his childhood was spent playing with and learning about the wooden materials his father specialises in using, wood was a natural choice.

"I love to spend time at home, so I wanted it to be aesthetically pleasing. It doesn't matter if others think it's too woody. I'm living in it," he says with a laugh.

"I also like that it has many plants and flowers to soften the look."

The penthouse has wooden flooring and walls, and solid wood furniture from local brand Grey & Sanders.

Wherever wood was not a practical option, such as in the bathroom, Mr Tan used Evorich vinyl.

Green plants go perfectly with the wooden furniture. PHOTO: ISABELLA QUEK, KHER CHYN, NATALIE LIM
Night Owl Cinematics' co-founder Ryan Tan at home. PHOTO: ISABELLA QUEK, KHER CHYN, NATALIE LIM

The all-wood look is also practical for his work as a YouTuber.

Mirrors and other reflective surfaces are a no-go as they distort lighting and reflect other people during filming. Wood is also a better choice for acoustics.

Reconfiguring the layout was another major task. The original place had many separate spaces, including four bedrooms, three bathrooms and two balconies.

"As a single man, I don't need three bathrooms," says Mr Tan, who removed the one on the first level, allowing for a larger open-concept kitchen that flows into the living and dining space.

Attention to detail was also paramount to creating his dream home.

A typical boxy air-conditioning unit, for example, would have disrupted the tropical resort feel, so Mr Tan installed the Samsung Cassette air-conditioner. The cylindrical unit, which resembles a speaker, is affixed to the ceiling and blends well with its surroundings.

As a fan of technology, he also made the apartment a smart home.

The lights, blinds and other appliances are integrated into the smart-home system, which he controls via his mobile phone or Google Assistant. He also invested in Samsung's Family Hub refrigerator, which has features such as a meal-planning app and food-expiry reminders.

The deliberate positioning of the dining table means Mr Tan can watch TV while he eats. PHOTO: ISABELLA QUEK, KHER CHYN, NATALIE LIM
The master bedroom's screen and projector allow Mr Tan to watch movies in bed whenever he wants to. PHOTO: ISABELLA QUEK, KHER CHYN, NATALIE LIM

His dog was also on his mind when designing his home. As he wanted to give her unfettered access to every part of the home, every door has a dog flap.

"I don't see her as my dog, but as a family member. She gets to sit anywhere and do anything she wants," he says.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.