Space Maximising Lessons From A Lofty Penthouse Condo

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In this penthouse nestled in the heart of King Albert Park, one would automatically assume that it covers more than its approximately 1,012 square-foot size. This illusion of supersized spaciousness is attributed to the finesse of the design team at Eightytwo, an interior design firm that the lady of the house engaged not long after she gained ownership of her apartment. Her brief was simple: she wanted a bright and breezy abode that further accentuates the penthouse’s two-storey stature. What’s more, the pad was minimally equipped although it’s brand new. All the more to rope in the help of the experts to turn the house into her very own sanctuary.

As the homeowner prefers a clean aesthetic that goes hand in hand with her request for a light-filled and airy interior, the designers chose to keep the home’s foundation a pristine white. Wood surfaces are chosen as accompaniment, as the natural patterns give character and imbue cosiness into a space. Black – a colour that the homeowner has a penchant for – makes its appearance as an accent all around the abode. It contrasts brilliantly with white and dresses the wood tones up with a modern flair. This design scheme is applied to the entire interior, from foyer to sleeping chamber, for consistency and to ensure a seamless transition from one area to the other.

The residence opens to a sprawling communal area where the demarcation between the different zones is somewhat blurred. A kitchen island – or some might perceive as a dining table – takes pride of place in the middle of the room. It’s a stunning piece that’s crafted to precision. It is massive enough to fit up to six sitting adults, including a sink and a petite burner by the counter’s margin. Yet, the designers ensured there is ample walking space all around this centrepiece. Brightening this area is a pair of copper pendant lights that provide a touch of sheen to the room’s aesthetics. Instead of conventional dining chairs, stools were the chosen mode of seating as the low backrest allows the homeowner to simply slide them underneath the island whenever she needs the countertop for preparing food.

As the homeowner rarely cooks, a full-fledged working kitchen wasn’t a necessity. Hers is the perfect size for hosting and entertaining guests who come by occasionally. Clad in white, the cabinetry seems to meld seamlessly into the walls.

On the other side of the room and sited along the wall behind the island is a full-length bookcase with a sliding ladder – a feature no one can miss in this apartment. As a bookworm and avid collector, it is no surprise that the lady of the house had requested for this piece right from the start. Measuring 4.6 metres, this handcrafted bookcase comprises a Tetris of both open shelving and hidden storage compartments made of sanded plywood to add grit into her all-white domain. Only the doors are clad in laminates. Track lights line its entire span to ease her way around during late night readings. The design team also customised a sliding ladder to make access to the higher recesses easy. Apart from its utilitarian purpose, the matte black steel ladder picks up the dark hues interspersed around the space, and this, as a result, creates visual harmony within the communal zone. To ensure that no space is wasted, the inhabitant also gave the team the dimensions of all the books and knick-knacks that would go onto the bookcase. The result is a gorgeous storage and showcase space that fits her things to a tee.

Overlooking the feature wall is a living area, imperceptibly demarcated from the other zones by a soft grey rug that echoes the shade of the ottoman that sits on it. These soft furnishings, together with the curtains and throw cushions on the leather lounger, help soften the impact of the simple interior. The vertical wooden slats of the television console cabinet echo those that cover the walls of the bookcase, visually connecting the spaces together. Clad in a cement screed effect surface, the feature wall where the television is mounted injects a dash of the daring – a nod to the homeowner’s adventurous spirit – into the space. Its raw facade goes beautifully with the black framed bi-fold door. Up above, the simple form of the all-white hanging lights doesn’t distract and keeps the focus on the room’s architectural feature – the enviably high ceiling.

Away from the social space and up the second floor where the owner seeks solace, the master suite embraces a duskier colour palette with its dark grey wall and a wooden bed frame with black headboard. A newly created entryway connects this room to a dressing room with a walk-in wardrobe. The row of closet space is designed in a minimalist style and swathed in white laminates to make it seem as if it was camouflaged against the wall. It’s also built to a height of 3.5 meters with actual usable space right at the top, thus, maximising every inch of vertical space here.

The amount of work that went into this revamp meant it was a two-month-long wait before the lady of the house was able to move in. But the wait was worth it because now, the penthouse that sits at the peak of King Albert Park Residences isn’t merely a house, but a home that’s fully equipped and perfectly made for its owner.

This was adapted from an article originally written by Fidz Azmin published in the January 2018 issue of SquareRooms. Photo credits: Eightytwo