Growing old with grace is no easy feat, although an elegant environment certainly makes the process easier.
This was the unique brief provided to YC Chen and Natalie Tsoi of design firm hoo in creating this, 2,300sqft Jardine’s Lookout home for a cosmopolitan lady in her 60s to enjoy her golden years while accommodating regular visits from her daughter’s family, who live in a neighbouring building.
We wanted it to feel vintage and modern at the same time.
A number of years back, YC had designed the current home of the daughter in a decidedly more modern and minimal style. Naturally, when the time came for her mother to move into a nearby property, the daughter’s high praise for YC’s work was more than enough to convince the lady of the house to completely place the aesthetic in the designer’s hands.
Of the style they settled upon, YC explains: We call it mid-century modern classic. We added a lot of French elements throughout the house to make it more feminine. We wanted it to feel vintage and modern at the same time.
This approach has informed everything within, from the classical French moulding of the beige-grey cabinets to the star-patterned wooden parquet flooring, which was custom-designed by hoo. The palette remains soft yet concise throughout, utilising a range of pastels as seen in the velvet Beetle dining chairs by Gubi. This is further tempered by muted greys in the Living Divani sofa and the cloudy silk wallpaper of the living room, beautifully painted by French-Moroccan mural artist Assia Bennani.
Metallic accents add an edge of material juxtaposition, as seen in the controlled use of brass in various fixtures throughout the house: the Modo chandelier by Roll & Hill above the dining table, the Kohler bath faucet and Allied Maker’s Arc Globe pendant lights. Elsewhere, an element of drama is injected into the home via the striking, all-over floral wallcovering by Ellie Cashman in the powder room, undoubtedly imbuing the client’s beauty routine with a certain gravitas.
Meanwhile, hidden elements in the abode cleverly transform spaces from public to private, should the client’s grandchildren stay the night. For instance, a raised platform in the lounge conceals a tatami bed underneath the flooring, while curtains flanking the glass partitions throughout the home allow for flexible privacy with a quick tug.
The overall effect of this space can be summed up in one word: poise. With a subtle yet sophisticated interplay of colours, materials and patterns, YC’s design hints at an undercurrent of nostalgia while remaining entirely tasteful – perhaps reflective of the client herself. She welcomed our ideas and really believed in us, recounts YC. That’s why it was one of our favourite projects of the year.
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