First-Time visitors to Geri Murphy's home often wonder if she gave them the right address. To get there, you have to make a left turn along Pasir Panjang Road, followed by a fairly long drive up a nondescript lane that makes you wonder if you are driving into a jungle instead.
The road leads to a single block of apartments, where it looks like time has stood still. The apartments were built several decades ago, and the compound is so quiet that you wonder if anyone lives here. The presence of cars in the open-air carpark hint that, perhaps, there are people living here after all. The lift is so tiny and run down, you're worried it might break down midway.
It is a different story in Ms Murphy's apartment, which is bright, airy and full of life. The owner of home furnishings store, Originals, moved in nearly eight years ago. "I can always see the look of surprise on people's faces," she says.
The view from her apartment may not be as glitzy as that of the Marina Bay area but it is still breathtaking. In the distance, there are Singapore's southern islands, such as Pulau Bukom, and tankers dot the sea. Nearer to shore, there is the construction of the upcoming port. "There was no reclaimed land in this area when I moved in," says Ms Murphy.
The best part about the apartment is that the living spaces, from the living room to the three bedrooms all look out onto the sea. "I love the view from each of the rooms. The light and the energy in the apartment are wonderful," she says. "Plus the sunsets here are just amazing."
To maximise the apartment's sea view, Ms Murphy removed the rarely used original folding doors.
The moment a visitor steps in the front door, the view is immediate. She relies on blinds in the balcony to keep the dust out when she is away, but otherwise, the apartment is open with a breeze flowing through the rooms.
It is no wonder that the balcony is one of her favourite areas at home. "My guests love it too.
Everyone gravitates to the high table here," she says.
As the owner of a furnishing store, it is no surprise to hear her home is filled with pieces from Originals. "All of the pieces are what I have collected on my buying trips. They are typical of furniture I have in the showroom," says the Australian expatriate, who often visits Bali, Sri Lanka and India to source for furniture. Apart from the store at Bukit Timah, she has a second store in Colombo.
"The interior is not complicated. It is clean and uncluttered," says Ms Murphy. "The furniture is really simple in design, contemporary and works as a complement to the art, which is a focus for colour."