SINGAPORE – This 946 sq ft bachelor pad in River Valley makes a splashy welcome.
Next to its black-grille door is a wall finished with bronze-tinted stainless steel. On it is a yellow metal sign with black letters that read “Club Zion”. Hanging overhead is a majestic Aria lamp, designed by famed architect Zaha Hadid for Italian lighting brand Slamp.
Home owner Kong Chek Yong, a bachelor in his 30s who works in digital advertising, describes himself as an “outgoing introvert” who listens to all kinds of music and is a fan of nightclub aesthetics. “But I don’t club much, and I prefer smaller parties and gatherings,” he says.
A frequent traveller before the pandemic, Mr Kong has visited 151 countries and stayed in numerous hotels with unique interiors. He distilled his long wish list for his bachelor pad into a 159-slide brief before shopping for an interior designer.
“I think I spooked some of them with my requirements,” he says.
A one-woman practice, Do.Design Studio, stepped up to the plate. Studio founder Yiap Yi Yun worked on Mr Kong’s previous home – a retro industrial abode – under another company before setting up her own practice in 2019.
Ms Yiap, together with fellow creatives Lee Wei Lieh of collective Very Small Exhibition and Eugene Yip of design studio Onlewo – Mr Kong’s friends, who acted as lighting designer, and kitchen and bathroom consultant, respectively – tackled this complex brief.
A major reconfiguration of the walk-up apartment’s original floor plan eliminated a bedroom, took the balcony area indoors and moved the bathroom all the way to the back to create an open social space comprising living, dining and kitchen areas.
The new layout has a tranquil mode for rest, relaxation and work, and a party mode for hosting and playing.
A full-height neon installation of a dragon in mid-flight, inspired by W Hotel Shanghai’s presidential suite, presides over the living and dining area. The living area is a cosy corner dressed like a New York loft, juxtaposing exposed red-brick wall with contemporary designer items. Decorative beams on the wall add an industrial flair; the angled placement is echoed in the base of the Timothy Oulton Iceberg dining table. A projector and retractable screen turn this area into an intimate theatre.
Next to the entrance is a glossy black walkway fitted with colour-changing LED stripes, which leads to a multipurpose space. Formerly the balcony, it now hosts the gym, a carpeted seating area that doubles as extra sleeping space, and the study – all demarcated via different elevations that accommodate structural beams while serving as extra storage space. Dichroic windows, metallic wall tiles, a neon sign and a disco ball are on standby for the room’s party mode.
The bedroom, flanked by the LED walkway and the walk-in wardrobe, houses a huge one-way mirror overlooking the rest of the home. It is a restful area finished with timber and exposed white bricks.
The kitchen has an outer-space theme, featuring a futuristic material palette dominated by dark blue and bronze shades. The custom-made kitchen island features a Silestone top and sculptural brass base. “The base alone was welded from 30 different parts,” says Ms Yiap.
The original oversized chimney was painted blue and installed with LED lights to resemble a UFO. The same theme also applies in the futuristic bathroom.