The Chic Apartment

Get cosy at home

Concrete-looking tiles create a cement screed-vibe in the living room, which has a sofa the owner bought from fashion retailer British India.
Concrete-looking tiles create a cement screed-vibe in the living room, which has a sofa the owner bought from fashion retailer British India.PHOTO: SPH MAGAZINES; ART DIRECTION: NONIE CHEN & LIM YI LING
The dining area gets a rustic touch with a wooden table and pendant lamps made of seashells.
The dining area gets a rustic touch with a wooden table and pendant lamps made of seashells.PHOTO: SPH MAGAZINES; ART DIRECTION: NONIE CHEN & LIM YI LING

A muted palette and a variety of wood, marble and metal furnishings come together to create a relaxing ambience in the home of actor and comedian Jeremy Chan

When Jeremy Chan bought his four-room resale HDB flat in Bukit Batok, he was sure of the look he wanted.

"I'm a pretty chill person. I love visiting spas and resorts and I wanted to recreate the cosy look and relaxing ambience at home," says the 36-year-old actor and comedian, who has two cats.

He and Malaysian actress Jesseca Liu, 38, got hitched in her hometown of Langkawi in July.

Chan engaged the help of long-time friend Ivan Lin of Aart Boxx Interior, who helped him strip the 1,011 sq ft apartment in Bukit Batok bare, and redo the interiors to his liking.

How did you decide on the look?

Chan: I didn't want anything too complicated and went for a look that was both resort-and Scandinavian-inspired, with my preferred palette of black, white and grey.

The materials used are mostly wood, marble and metal, which Ivan managed to match well together.

An Astro Boy piece adds a fun, quirky touch to the sleek kitchen.
An Astro Boy piece adds a fun, quirky touch to the sleek kitchen.PHOTO: SPH MAGAZINES; ART DIRECTION: NONIE CHEN & LIM YI LING

You have quite a number of rabbit figurines.

Chan: Yes, I love bunnies. I started collecting rabbit figurines during a trip to South Korea, when I chanced upon a charity advocating against animal abuse and learnt more about its efforts to save stray dogs.

As an animal lover myself, I wanted to play a part by donating and the souvenir in return was a rabbit figurine. I've not stopped collecting since.

Which is your favourite part of the home?

Chan: I love to cook, so the kitchen is definitely my favourite part of the home and is where I spend most of my time.

Aside from whipping up simple meals every day, I also do my work and entertain guests here.

I initially wanted to use marble for the countertops, but Ivan suggested using quartz for easier maintenance, while achieving the look and feel I want.

There are lots of storage cabinets and open shelves, too, to store my growing collection of tableware.

I love collecting unique classical-and vintage-style pieces whenever I travel and have since bought pieces from Thai and Japanese designers.

Tell us more about the design of your walk-in wardrobe.

Chan: I needed lots of storage for my collection of caps, watches and clothing. Ivan decided to turn one of the bedrooms into a wardrobe space with sliding doors to keep the space looking clutter-free.

He built an island feature in the room, where I showcase some of my favourite pieces.

I like that it now looks like a "boutique" and I have a dedicated space for dressing up.

(Left) An Astro Boy piece adds a fun, quirky touch to the sleek kitchen. (Far left) Concrete-looking tiles create a cement screed-vibe in the living room, which has a sofa the owner bought from fashion retailer British India. (Above) The dining area

What were some challenges you encountered during the renovation process?

Chan: I bought most of the curtains and light fixtures online; specifying the measurements and other technical aspects was a challenge for me. I'm not good at mathematics, so I tend to overestimate.

I even had to reorder some items because I got them in the wrong dimensions.

Any advice for new home owners embarking on a renovation journey?

Chan: Choosing the right interior designer is very important, but so is overseeing the whole process.

You must have chemistry with your interior designer.

Make sure he or she fully understands the design concept you want and share with him or her your needs to better achieve the look you want.


•If you have a Housing Board flat or condominium apartment you would like featured, e-mail your pictures, with the header, The Chic Apartment, to stlife@sph.com.sg

•This article first appeared in the October issue of Home & Decor, which is published by SPH Magazines. Get the October and latest issue now at all newsstands and download the digital edition of Home & Decor from the App Store, Magzter and Google Play. Also, see more inspiring homes on www.homeanddecor.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 21, 2017, with the headline 'Get cosy at home'. Print Edition | Subscribe