Built-in entertainment

PHOTO: Built-in entertainment

IN SOME homes, it is the ornate, crystal chandelier, or a dignified-looking leather sofa that takes centrestage. But not at the Yeo household.

The piece de resistance in their four-bedroom apartment at Meyer Road, is their McIntosh Private Theatre that comes with a 110-inch projection screen.

Private theatre the piece de resistance for Meyer Road home

"This was one of the first things that we planned for when doing up the apartment," says elder daughter Ashley Yeo.

The family used to have a smaller system at their previous home, and had a dedicated room for it. "But it was not conducive as the system was not good enough," says Ms Yeo, who lives with her parents and younger sister.

She adds that placing the system in a room made it too "exclusive and not everyone could enjoy it, especially when we had guests over".

The $200,000 entertainment system, from Ong Radio, stands proudly in the living room. The projector screen is built into the wall, with a pair of McIntosh speakers by the side, and additional speakers built into the ceiling for a surround-sound effect.

The speakers usually come in black, but as Mrs Helen Yeo wanted her interiors to be white, the speakers were painted accordingly. Mrs Yeo was initially worried that the entertainment system would look bulky and stick out like a sore thumb.

But Mervyn Augustine, Ong Radio's chief system designer, designed a built-in console to house the system to blend in with the rest of the home. The result is a stylish-looking system that has been a talking point among guests.

The Yeos often throw dinner parties which are known to end late simply because, "guests enjoy the entertainment system too much", says Ms Yeo.

Private theatre the piece de resistance for Meyer Road home

Instead of merely watching what's on TV, guests watch concert recordings by Andrea Bocelli, Celion Dion and David Foster.

Her father, businessman Daniel Yeo, who is an audiophile, says that the "sound is so amazing, it is exactly what the artists wanted audiences to hear".

The family also watches movies on their system, so often that Ms Yeo says she no longer goes to the cinema but "would rather wait for the Blu-ray version of the movie to be released".

A great movie experience at home is not just about the movie or the system but the surroundings too. The family's sofa can seat four comfortably with cushions that you can sink into. On days when younger daughter, Laura, has her friends over, bean bags are brought out, along with pizza, popcorn and drinks all around.

While their sound system is a highlight and a "worthwhile investment" for the family according to Ms Yeo, the rest of the apartment is worth checking out too.

Top of the list is their balcony area, overlooking the ECP and the city skyline in the distance. Come National Day and New Year's Eve, the balcony is a hot spot to catch the fireworks. "On other days, we sit out here to have wine," says Ms Yeo.

While most of the living spaces, including the hanging dining table light, are white, because Mrs Yeo preferred the clean look, the bedrooms are a more colourful affair.

Printed wallpaper in shades of dark blue, purple and gold give the rooms a feeling of warmth.

Private theatre the piece de resistance for Meyer Road home

Ms Yeo's bedroom is the smallest. "Mum turned what I thought would be my bedroom into the walk-in wardrobe wardrobe," she says. But with a sofa bed on one side, and a floor to ceiling bookshelf opposite, the room is sufficient for the book lover.

Her parents' bedroom has the look and feel of a hotel, from the use of dark furnishing and gold coloured drapes. A pot of flowers in the bathroom instantly gives the space a more stylish feel, a trick which Mrs Yeo, who used to run a floral business, practises.

Adjacent to the bedroom is the couple's walk-in-wardrobe.

The space is not big, so the floor to ceiling wardrobes are built on two walls. Instead of having a free standing mirror, the couple opted to have one mounted on the sliding door separating the wardrobe from the bedroom, to save space.

Persian carpets are strewn throughout the apartment, which are all Mrs Yeo's doing. "I love carpets and prefer to feel their softness under my feet than the bare floor," she says.

A collection of colourful artworks adorn the walls, created by a Russian artist who was commissioned by the Yeos. "I like working with up and coming artists because they have a different take on art," says Mrs Yeo.

On the walls of the living areas are a series of black and white photographs. These were taken by Singaporean photographer Russel Wong, who is Mr Yeo's cousin.

"My uncle was in London at the same time my parents were there for their honeymoon," says Ms Yeo. "He paid each person one pound to have their photo taken."

Since moving into this home, the family members say they have gotten closer. "Having the entertainment system in the living room draws everyone together to the same area," says Ms Yeo.

But of course sometimes there are fights over the remote controls. "The loser watches TV in the bedroom," she quips.

taysc@sph.com.sg


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