This elegant apartment ups the style ante with designs inspired by some of France's top fashion brands
Who: A bachelor and his two dogs
Home: A two-bedroom condominium apartment at Newton Circus
From the moment you step through the front door, the influence of French luxury is unmistakable. Homeowner Kian Liew's elegant yet masculine style is striking.
Exquisite wooden panelling on the walls, sumptuous Hermes-inspired carpets, bespoke furniture and custom-made interiors are the order of the day.
Kian travels a lot as the head of global interior design for a leading international luxury hotel chain. Paris is a regular destination for him, and he takes many of his style cues from this iconic city.
His love of French fashion brands - in particular, Hermes and Louis Vuitton - is evident throughout the apartment.
How did you transform the space?
The apartment was only six years old, but I completely gutted it when I bought it. This included knocking out a wall in the kitchen, removing all the lintels, dropping the ceiling, repainting, installing new lighting and flooring, and remodelling the bathrooms.
What was your decorating goal?
I like playing with layers and textures. I also like playing with tones and then accenting with spots of colour - such as the red sculpture on the bookshelf, Made In China by Sui Jianguo. I like timeless looks, and I'm drawn to all things masculine. I want my interior style to still be relevant in five years' time.
What was your inspiration behind the colour scheme?
I wanted a wooden box - hence the wood-effect panelling throughout the apartment. Even the wooden outdoor fan in the main balcony ties in with this. The design is clean, with a play on lines and planes, layered with the hues of linen, walnut, taupe, black and brown. I have two Miniature Schnauzsers - Steffi and Chester - and even they match my colour scheme!
How do you utilise your space?
I just love being home. I travel a lot for work, which means that when I am home, I just want to spend time here. I enjoy cooking and entertaining friends at home, so I designed it around the open-concept kitchen, which helps anchor the design of the space.
One thing I really wanted was a dining table. The solution to having one in the space I had was to extend the kitchen countertop into a table. The fact that it is glossy and lower than the kitchen counter, which is matte, allows for a visual differentiation between the spaces.
How did you choose the interior finishings?
Materials were selected to suit my lifestyle, and for easy maintenance. Having a seamless visual flow from room to room was also important. For example, in the kitchen, the walls andcabinetry are all done in acrylic laminate. I chose this material because it doesn't have any joins, which gives the space a smooth finish and visual fluidity.
What do you think makes your apartment unique?
From top to bottom, the whole apartment is essentially custommade. An example is the three rugs (in the living space and two bedrooms), which are all designs of Hermes wallpapers that I had made into rugs.
I also collect art, and the pieces are significant elements of my decor style. It's all unique, such as one of the artworks in the bedroom which is, in fact, a Louis Vuitton scarf that I had framed. But I didn't want the art to 'jump out'.
Whereas some pieces, such as the wall installation in the living area - Pollock by David Kracov - catch the eye immediately, some of the pieces aren't noticed straightaway, but as you spend time in the space, you'll identify them - like two of my sculptures, Dog Parade by Mariana Fernandes (the pitbull sculpture by the sofa) and Pangolin by Gilles Caffier (the vase on the kitchen island).
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