Comfort zone

Comfort zone

AS founder and group CEO of Best World International, Dora Hoan oversees more than 100 staff with 10 offices in the region, including Singapore, Taiwan and the Philippines.


Best World International CEO's $14.35m dream home

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    AS founder and group CEO of Best World International, Dora Hoan oversees more than 100 staff with 10 offices in the region, including Singapore, Taiwan and the Philippines. Running the company – which specialises in developing and marketing skincare and wellness products – keeps her on her toes, and with frequent travelling thrown in, all she wants is to come home to 'a relaxing place'.

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    That was her design brief for her bungalow off Bukit Timah Road – an imposing structure of two massive rectilinear blocks atop a slope, each comprising three storeys plus a basement. Despite the formidable exterior, it is a sense of calm that greets you once you enter.

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    Interior designer Terence Chan of Terre Design chose soothing colours such as off-whites, beiges, greys and browns. A koi pond with over 200 fish and a reflection pool provide a relaxing environment.

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    On the advice of a fengshui master, a stone carving of the Goddess of Mercy sits in the pool.

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    The house replaces the original single-storey house which Ms Hoan bought for $7.35 million together with the land. She had to spend another $7 million building the new bungalow.

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    Ms Hoan, who comes from a tightly knit family, had been looking for a new home a few years ago – something bigger than her previous penthouse at Keppel which could not accommodate visits from her extended family.

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    'These days it is worth much more, but I have no plans to sell. I hope to live here for a long time,' she says.

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    Despite her busy schedule, she played an active role in the design of the home and its furnishings. Her brief to Kyoob Architects and Mr Chan was: The home had to look like a resort.

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    Together with Mr Chan, the two travelled to the annual Milan Furniture Fair in 2009 to pick out pieces from Baxter, Baker, Cappellini and Living Divani.

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    The double-volume, octagonal-shaped dining room, which looks out onto the koi pond, is one of the highlights of the home. Its unusual shape, Ms Hoan says, reflects her philosophy on life. 'The octagon has eight linear sides, yet on the outside it is circular in shape,' she says.

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    What she has instead is an indoor badminton court so she can play anytime she feels like it.

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    During the festive season, the space is transformed into a large dining space for the whole family.

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    The shelves are filled with books, alongside several pieces of antique Chinese vases, some of which supposedly hail from the Ming Dynasty.

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    On the opposite wall, a glass cabinet has been specially constructed, and filled with numerous awards that Ms Hoan has received over the years, including the Asean Outstanding Women Entrepreneurs in 2008 and photographs of Ms Hoan with various ministers.

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    The former president of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises is also a grassroots leader and active in charity work. Rather than display her awards in the living room, she has chosen to do so in her bedroom.

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    Much thought also went into the design of her spacious walk-in wardrobe.

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    There are floor-to-ceiling mirrors, and the island cabinet comes with a glass top, so Ms Hoan’s collection of jewellery can be seen.

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    The roof terrace, with its own BBQ area and a hot tub, completes the home. 'But I’m so busy, I have no time to use the tub at all.'

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    Ms Hoan’s favourite spot is her study, which is adjacent to her bedroom.

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    The full-height glass windows all round let in plenty of light, while the lush landscaping around the home provides colour and privacy.

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    Ms Hoan calls this her 'dream home, as it has everything that I want'.

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    She is so proud of it that she had a book written on it.

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    Her two favourite pieces of furniture are placed at the start of a long corridor connecting the entrance of the bedroom to the sleeping area – a Baker constellation mirror by Thomas Pheasant.

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    Dora Hoan (above right), founder and group CEO of Best World International, with the model of her $14.35 million home off Bukit Timah Road.

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    [Dr Dora Hoan (left), group chief executive of Best World International, together with Best World International chairman, Dr Doreen Tan (right).

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Running the company – which specialises in developing and marketing skincare and wellness products – keeps her on her toes, and with frequent travelling thrown in, all she wants is to come home to “a relaxing place”.

That was her design brief for her bungalow off Bukit Timah Road – an imposing structure of two massive rectilinear blocks atop a slope, each comprising three storeys plus a basement. Despite the formidable exterior, it is a sense of calm that greets you once you enter.

Interior designer Terence Chan of Terre Design chose soothing colours such as off-whites, beiges, greys and browns. A koi pond with over 200 fish and a reflection pool provide a relaxing environment.

On the advice of a fengshui master, a stone carving of the Goddess of Mercy sits in the pool. Ms Hoan, who comes from a tightly knit family, had been looking for a new home a few years ago – something bigger than her previous penthouse at Keppel which could not accommodate visits from her extended family.

Now that this bungalow is ready, weekends are when her mother, siblings and their children come over.

“We have nearly 30 people here, and there is plenty of space for everyone,” says Ms Hoan.

The house replaces the original single-storey house which Ms Hoan bought for $7.35 million together with the land. She had to spend another $7 million building the new bungalow.

“These days it is worth much more, but I have no plans to sell. I hope to live here for a long time,” she says.

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