Having spent seven years working in the hotel industry, Charles Yap thought of his favourite hotels when he was doing up his home in Telok Blangah. "You could say I was inspired by the good hotels that I stayed in," he says, where his favourites include the Hilton in Kuala Lumpur and the W hotels in Taipei and New York.
Then, he continues in almost the same breath, "but I was not going for the 'hotel look'."
The media executive for an international TV network merely wanted a place that he could truly call his own. "You can't personalise too much when you live in a rental apartment, but with this apartment, I could put my stamp on it," says Mr Yap of his first home purchase.
He added that apart from hotels, he also found ideas through home decor magazines as well as from the television series Million Dollar Decorators. "From the show, I picked up tips such as the best way to place furniture, and how to play with lamps," says Mr Yap. "I'm still changing things here and there, so the home is forever a work-in-progress."
He was attracted by the apartment's location, which looks out to the glitzy Reflections at Keppel Bay. Henderson Waves is just around the corner where Mr Yap has been doing his morning runs. Interior-wise, he liked the apartment's linear layout.
"I wanted something clean and simple for the interiors," he says. He thought about going with the industrial chic theme, but decided otherwise. "I'm too anal to have open trunking in the home," he quips. Still, he managed to have a somewhat industrial chic look but by using alternative materials.
For example, in place of concrete screed flooring, Mr Yap opted for dark grey tiles. In his living room, again, rather than have raw concrete walls, wallpaper that resemble concrete was used instead. It is the same in his bedroom. What looks like wooden strips that run the length of his bedroom, is actually wallpaper. His bathroom floor looks like it is made of wood, but are actually tiles.
The frequent traveller slips in that he selected white, rectangular wall tiles for his bathroom, because, he wanted the shower area to have that "New York subway feel".
Out in the kitchen and dining area, a row of white full-height cupboards reveal themselves to be more than mere storage space. Mr Yap opens two doors, revealing a hideaway desk. "Sometimes I have to take conference calls at night, so it is good to have a proper work space that is fully equipped, but can be hidden when not needed," he says. Another door reveals a fridge behind it.