Thexton Smith Interiors transforms this 4,800 sq ft penthouse in Singapore into a home that makes the most of its panoramic views while thoughtfully anticipating the future.
Designing an interior of a rented luxury property is a delicate balancing act. How do you fulfil your client’s brief while creating something worthy of the premium footprint and taking account of its temporary nature? One could argue that the designer’s task is made even more challenging because it needs to be memorable and impressive during this transitional period. Thexton Smith Interiors shows how it’s done at this penthouse on Singapore’s south-eastern coast.
Home to a couple and their teenage son, the sprawling 4,800 sq ft penthouse has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and a panoramic view of the sea and the glittering Marina Bay cityscape. The husband works in finance, while the wife works in the fashion industry. Although they only took a two-year lease on the penthouse, they wanted the interior design to be timeless and truly embody their lifestyle. They returned to Thexton Smith Interiors – who designed one of their previous homes – for a fresh design.
ABOVE Styled with floral arrangements from Charlotte Puxley, the grand living area looks out to calming views of the sea
ABOVE Accent cushions add texture and colour to the home’s largely neutral canvas
“They loved how they could express themselves with me and how I am as crazy and as adventurous as they are,” shares Hafi Hakim. He is the co-founder and director of Thexton Smith Interiors, a Singapore-based sister company of Melbourne architectural firm Thexton Smith; the designer currently splits his time between the two cities.
“Our creative philosophy is to be unafraid to be bold, to break boundaries of what the norm might be, and to express ourselves through design,” adds Hafi.
ABOVE The sitting room is styled with outdoor pieces from Castlery upholstered in water-repellent textiles that make the off-white soft furnishings more durable
The full turnkey project took five months to complete. “This included the initial design conceptualisation stage, material selections, bespoke furnishings, construction documentation, interior styling services, as well as full project management from start to finish,” shares the designer. The focus areas included the open-plan living and dining room, the balconies, master bedroom, master bathroom, son’s bedroom as well as the staircase area.
The clients work from and conduct their businesses from home. Thus, their design brief had three key practical considerations. Firstly, the home must be an impressive place to entertain guests, as a place that wows them the moment they step inside. Secondly, it must also provide a calm and comfortable sanctuary outside of office hours. The third was the ease of maintenance. This consideration focused on their teenage son, who should be able to invite his friends over without making his parents worry about accidental spills on furnishings as they eat and drink, among other wear and tear.
ABOVE A sculptural coffee table and a backlit cabinet showcasing prized bottles bring visual flair to this nook
ABOVE A ceiling-hung glass installation draws attention to the lofty height of the living area
And, of course, there was the fact that the penthouse is a rented property. “This was a huge challenge to us as a few of our initial concepts were rejected by the landlord. So we had to go back to the drawing board multiple times,” shares the designer. “We also had to make sure that everything we did added value to the property, and any additions could be removed easily without disrupting the integrity of the apartment.” Fortunately, in the team’s expert hands, this constraint yielded some innovative design solutions.
The interior’s architectural shell is predominantly white to highlight its spectacular view. Pops of colours come from the decor, which can be adjusted as desired. “The home’s neutral palette meant that every artisan that has curated the pieces in this project had to work at the highest level, as any imperfection would be apparent and obvious,” adds Hafi.
PHOTO 1 OF 3 Styled with outdoor furnishings from Konopi Singapore, the spacious balcony invites one to sit back and take in the scenic vista
A sculptural light installation comprising thousands of glass rods creates a sense of wave-like movement in the double-height living room. Taking eight people and almost a week to install, the rods are made of 97 per cent sustainable materials, so the installation is recyclable. “This was very important to both my client and me. We wanted to not only create an ode to nature but also respect it,” says the designer. This visual feast also provides talking points for hosts and guests during all the soirees underneath it.
The furnishings have a light touch. All of the built-in carpentry is modular and can be moved to fit new spaces in the future with minimal wastage. The carefully curated new furniture comprises loose pieces that can be easily transported and reconfigured. As the house is rectilinear, Hafi incorporated curves and organic shapes to soften the look and feel of the space.
ABOVE A set of blue velvet dining chairs forms plush seating that also contributes to the luxurious look of the living and dining areas
ABOVE The cabinetry cleverly conceals the vanity area when it is not in use
Meanwhile, the finishes were chosen for both their look and durability. The boucle fabric upholstery on the living room’s Castlery sofas and armchairs is water-repellent. Spilled liquid would bead on its surface, making it easier to wipe without staining it while addin a luxe texture to the space. Gucci’s green Heron wallpaper, paired with daffodil-yellow walls, enlivens the previously dark staircase, which leads to the bedrooms on the upper floor.
Overall, Thexton Smith has crafted a well-thought-out space that fulfils the clients’ brief, anticipates their future moves, and ensures that they live their best lives worthy of the enviable location.
Thank you for the feature Tatler Homes!
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Photography – Marcus L Photography
Styling – Furnishings (Sitting Room): Castlery; Outdoor Furniture: Konopi Singapore; Decor: Island Living
Florist – Charlotte Puxley