'These are the things I couldn't afford when I was younger': Desmond Tan on his newly renovated and luxurious monochrome kitchen

'These are the things I couldn't afford when I was younger': Desmond Tan on his newly renovated and luxurious monochrome kitchen
Desmond Tan said that he renovated his whole kitchen after it had a termite attack last year.
PHOTO: Instagram/Desmond Tan

Local actor Desmond Tan had always wanted a more functional kitchen to improve the quality of life.

However, as a young actor then, he and his partner had to work within a budget. The opportunity to change came last year, when they had a termite attack in the kitchen.

At first, he and his wife, a non-celebrity whose identity he hasn't revealed, called for pest control to mitigate the issue, but eventually realised that the problem was more serious than they thought.

Speaking to AsiaOne at the recent press conference for his new Mediacorp drama All That Glitters, the 37-year-old shared: "We eventually realised that the only way to prevent it from spreading to other cabinets was to just tear it down and redo everything again. It was quite a major thing."

In addition, the couple have been living together in the condominium apartment for a decade, and there was some wear-and-tear that was long overdue for repair.

"There were some things that I really needed to change. I also needed to change my parquet flooring, which was so heavily vandalised by my two dogs. They scratched the wooden flooring like crazy so I have to change, otherwise the place looks terrible", he added.

Desmond revealed his newly renovated kitchen — which is gorgeous — in an Instagram post on Aug 28, where he showcased pristine white marble countertops with black bar stools, classy black built-in cabinets with golden handles and knobs, and beautiful black-and-white baroque tiles for the kitchen flooring.

"The design is the brainchild of both of us," Desmond shared happily, adding that their home is a modern colonial design.

Desmond also said that he and his wife chose a monochrome theme for their kitchen because they love black and white and that it is "timeless".

He added: "We also added a pop of colours in our home decor such as paintings and souvenirs that we got from overseas. Just like everyone's life is like a black-and-white canvas, we bring colours bit by bit after every holiday and after every significant moment, and put it on the wall or on our shelves to become memories."

'These investments improve the quality of our lives quite drastically'

Besides renovating the kitchen, Desmond also took the opportunity to invest in good kitchen appliances.

He shared: "At different stages of our life, we would have more budget and want a better quality of life. This time round I actually invested a lot on the kitchen devices. I have a dishwasher, a washer dryer, wine chiller, steam oven, coffee machine, built-in fridge and induction stove.

"These are the things I couldn't afford when I was younger, when I moved in as a young actor. I could only afford the apartment but I couldn't afford the luxury stuff. So this time I actually invested more in these appliances to make the house more functional. These investments increase and improve the quality of our lives quite drastically."

Desmond, who revealed that he spent a mid to high five-figure amount to refurbish his kitchen, added that the place is his favourite spot in their home now.

He said: "I love my kitchen so much because it's such a good platform to host friends and family. Especially since I don't like to go out much and the coffee machine is so fancy that I can serve latte, cappuccino and whatever drinks.

"After hosting, I can just wash the crockery and utensils with the dishwasher. I have also got an awesome oven that I can make food and it's so good. I can just press a button and it can do anything, from baking cakes and cookies to preparing steamed fish and rice. It makes me quite an awesome chef.

"Food and warmth always bring people together so it's so nice to have such a nice place."

'I like a peaceful environment when I am preparing for my work'

Desmond revealed that he is staying in the southern part of Singapore, as it is near Mediacorp and convenient to travel to other places such as the town area and the Central Business District.

He added: "I don't like to commute. It is better to live near to reduce carbon footprint and reduce commuting time, so I can spend the time with my loved ones and increase rest time off work.

"I avoid places that are mature, as the traffic will build up and make me feel impatient. I also avoid places that are a little too noisy because I like a peaceful environment when I am preparing for my work."

Desmond also sees himself living in the southern side for a long time, even for his next property, but it is still in the planning stages now.


"I just renovated my kitchen, so I will most probably be staying for a few more years. I am also living near my family. They are staying in the same place and it's just a walk up to spend more time with them, which matters to me most at this stage of my life. My friends are also living in the same condominium, so it is very nice," he shared.

In his Instagram Story on Sept 7, Desmond posted that he had met up with lawyer Josephus Tan to write his will.

When we asked Desmond about it, he said that he felt everyone should think about doing a will, regardless of their age.

He shared: "I think it is only responsible to do a proper will. At different stages of your life and along the way, you have to fine-tune it, but I think it's only fair because you want to leave a legacy and you want people to be happy when you leave and be protected. I think it is important to protect and take care of people around us."

In his latest drama All That Glitters, Desmond plays Liu Musen, a young man who was orphaned at an early age and became best friends with He Jianzhi (Ayden Sng) and Huang Jintiao (Jeremy Chan). The story centres around how their friendship crumbles over the span of two decades as they turned from best friends to worst enemies in their pursuit of success and riches.

All That Glitters, which also stars Chantalle Ng, Hong Ling, Chen Yixin, Zhang Zetong and Tyler Ten, premieres today (Sept 18) and airs on Channel 8 at 9pm on weekdays. It will also be available on demand for free on meWATCH on the same day.

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