Sense of theatre

This large villa has a clear demarcation between lavish areas for entertaining and more intimate spaces for family life

View of dining area in a contemporary home. ceiling, interior design, light fixture, black, brown
View of dining area in a contemporary home.

Entertaining business clients at home is likely to call for a greater sense of formality than having a few friends or family members around for dinner.

For the owners of the home featured on these pages, entertaining was a key part of the design brief. With a lifestyle that includes a lot of travel and entertaining business people, they needed a home with a sleek and sophisticated design. However, it also had to take into consideration the needs of other family members.

In the design by LWK & Partners Architects, the 750m² home has three levels, and is topped with a roof garden. Living areas on the ground floor open up through a series of large floor-to-ceiling windows onto a private garden with a swimming pool.

Interior designer Ed Ng of AB Concept worked closely with the architects from the early stages of the project to ensure the internal layout and spatial planning fulfilled the client brief.

To strike a balance between the needs of the family and the scale of entertaining that was planned, AB Concept divided the house both visually and physically into private and public zones. The ground or public level of the house has been designed with a look reminiscent of the era of black-and-white Hollywood movies.

"Our whole approach to the interior design was the same as if we were creating a movie set," says Ng.

View of stairway in a contemporary home. architecture, handrail, interior design, lobby, stairs, gray
View of stairway in a contemporary home.

"We wanted to develop a design that would revive the glamour and sophistication of Hollywood's Golden Age and embody classic elegance."

From the heavy bronzed copper front entrance, which opens into a large 4m-high foyer lit through a skylight, the scene is set. By day, sun streams through the skylight into the foyer, but at night tiny LED lights embedded in the glass can be switched on to create an effect reminiscent of a twinkling, star-studded sky.

Ng says a deliberate effort was made with the interior design in this area of the house to create something that was a bit showy, and would provide a talking point for visitors. Doors opening into the foyer are upholstered in stingray leather, and walls are clad in natural timber panels. Strong gradations in the grain pattern of the timber panels helps to create a powerful visual impact in the foyer.

"Every item in the house, even the handwoven carpet, is custom designed, so all the furnishings have a bespoke quality, and the result is totally individual," says the designer.

Between the foyer and the living area, pivoting doors can be closed to provide partial separation. To create a feature of the opaque door panels and to filter the daylight, strands of horsehair are laminated between them.

In a continuation of the black-and-white film theme, AB Concept chose a monochromatic colour scheme in shades of grey, black and white across the ground level of the house. Floor-length curtains in black and white woven leather strips, grey rugs, a black volcanic stone fireplace surround and silver-coloured upholstery add to the atmosphere of understated glamour.

View of open plan dining and lounge area. ceiling, interior design, living room, lobby, room, black, gray
View of open plan dining and lounge area.

"The subdued neutral tones inside the house allow the brighter greens of the garden and the blues of the pool and sea in the distance to stand out," says Ng.

In contrast to the public spaces, the private areas of the house on the second and third levels are finished in warm, amber tones.

"This house is designed along the same lines as a small boutique hotel, with refined public areas the foyer, living and dining spaces. In contrast, the private spaces bedrooms, bathrooms, family living spaces have a warmer and more intimate ambience," says the designer.

A change of materials heightens the contrast. Rich materials such as high-gloss stone for floors have been selected for the public areas, and more tactile wood, fabric and textiles were used in the family areas.

A family living area and children's bedrooms, all with ensuites, are on the second level of the house. The entire third floor is taken up by the master suite. This includes a separate lounge and a study.

Credit list

E Man Construction
Chateau Adler wood flooring
Window and door joinery
Lutron, Toso, from Nicedrape
Robert Kuo
Leucos, from Zodiac
Pool and spa
Jade mosaic tile from Manroyce
Theatre screen, projector
Lighting consultant
Sirius Lighting
Boffi, Duravit, from Massford
Axor Hansgohe, from Massford
Interior designer
Ed Ng, Terence Ngan, AB Concept
Maya Romanoff, from Altfield; Robert Crowder, Phillip Jeffries, from Goodrich
Window and door hardware
Baldwin, from Massford
Ulf Moritz by Sahco, from Cetec; Noblesse, from Spring Collection
Custom made by Hing Fat International; Pucci, Holly Hunt, Venini, Secto Design
Pucci, Santa & Cole, from Louvre Gallery
Plasmas and LCDs
Samsung, Bang
Bang & Olufsen
Shower fittings
Axor Hansgrohe, from Massford
Duravit from Massford; Kohler from Arnhold
Duravit, from Massford

Story by: Mary Webb

05 Aug, 2011

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