Experimental experience

PHOTO: Experimental experience

British luxury furniture designer Christopher Guy Harrison has furnished The May Fair Hotel in London, the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai and The Bellagio in Las Vegas, among others.

His oversized chairs and opulent mirrors have also graced many movie sets, including the James Bond flick, Casino Royale (2006), and The Devil Wears Prada (2006).

Visitors to his three-bedroom apartment in High Street Centre may well feel like they have stepped into a posh hotel suite or a movie set too.

The 53-year-old splits his time between Britain, the United States and Singapore, where he lives for at least six months of the year. His brand Christopher Guy, whose prices start from about $800 for a small sculpture to about $20,000 for a sofa, is based here.

Set against a chic base palette of cream, wood and white, his tastefully furnished 2,200 sq ft apartment is what one might expect to see in an interior design magazine.

Mirrors, sculptures, ornaments and artworks such as a mosaic creation of a woman's silhouette made with 17,000 coloured glass pieces - all from his brand - add interest and pops of colour.

The pieces were the first prototypes before they were sold commercially. He calls the apartment, which he rented two years ago, a "testbed" for how his furniture will look in homes and rooms.

Highlights include a mirror which he designed after being inspired by Irish celebrity milliner Philip Treacy's hat for Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, when she married Prince Charles in 2005. The hat featured gold-leafed feathers tipped with Swarovski crystals.

There is also a 12-seat dining set with Mr Harrison's "Chris-X" chairs, where the curved rear legs cross over one other.

He describes his style as simple and he loves pieces with "curvature". This is why he has many art pieces that depict silhouettes of human figures. "There's beauty in removing complexity. You can never get bored with simplicity," he says.

The best part of the apartment on the 27th floor, however, is the unbeatable view it affords: Step inside and you are greeted by a panoramic view of the Marina Bay area.

From his living room, you can see landmarks such as Marina Bay Sands, skyscrapers in the Central Business District and the upcoming National Art Gallery at the old Supreme Court and City Hall buildings.

Taking advantage of the view, his high-back bed faces the Marina Bay area, as does the seating in the living and dining rooms. There, you can catch the annual National Day Parades and the Formula One races in comfort.

"I've never lived in a place with a finer view. The best part is how much light I get just by opening the windows."

Another plus: It takes him less than a minute to get to his office, which is just three floors above his home.

He rented the top floor of High Street Centre for his office-cum-furniture showroom, where customers can make an appointment to view his pieces. The mixed development has five floors of residential units and the rest are for office use.

"I travel so much so it's easier when I'm in Singapore to come home and go straight to work immediately," he says.

Despite travelling often to work on projects such as for hotels and creating film sets, he considers Singapore home. His partner, a Japanese film producer, and their 18-month-old son, George, travel with him when they can.

"People often ask me where home is because I'm always in a different city. But I feel Singapore is a fabulous place to centre things. Even though I travel so much, I have no plans to move my home elsewhere yet."

His apartment may look like a furniture showroom, but there are personal touches that make it home. It is hard to miss the numerous photos in beautiful, vintage frames that he got a friend to help him source from Los Angeles.

The pictures, which are of friends, family members and Mr Harrison in his younger days, dot the living room table and the island counter which separates the kitchen and dining room.

"Photographs tell a story of who you are. When I look at them, it takes me back to those good moments."


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