ARCHITECT Maria Warner Wong has designed countless homes throughout her career, but it was only recently that she finally turned her attention to her own.
Being her own client brought its own challenges to the design director and co-founder of Warner Wong Design and WOW Architects.
"I try not to be subjective and build according to what the clients want. But for myself, I had no one to listen to, and I had never thought about what I wanted."
That uncertainty dogged her a little, but by the time she was done with her home - a 5,000 sq ft, two-storey house with a basement and an attic at Braddell Heights - it was a meticulously thought out space with equal nods to visual impact and liveability.
Even though her husband Wong Chiu Man is an architect, she single-handedly designed the home, interiors and landscaping, calling the process an "unconscious unpacking of dreams, as it took a long time for our family's wants to come together".
Top on her list was a communal work space for her family. For that purpose, she carved out an open space on the second floor, where an eight-seater table is the focus of the home, rather than the more conventional kitchen or living room.
Rather than position the swimming pool at the back or side of the home which is the norm, the pool is set right next to the driveway. "A pool is a visual treat because it tends to be more looked at than used, so by putting it at the front, it becomes a welcoming feature," she explains.
The living room is where friends and family gather, naturally, so Ms Warner Wong designed a high volume space - also to maximise ventilation and natural light.
The home's front and back boast bespoke 3.6m-high steel doors, while a long bay window with a low glass panel runs along the entire room.