Shaped like a necklace adorning Singapore’s southern shore, Corals at Keppel Bay is an elegant residence that combines the best of waterfront living and upscale comfort. Keppel Land Live recently spoke with its interior designer, Ms Patty Mak, to find out how she created the unique, “cocoon” look of the homes at Corals at Keppel Bay, and her design influences.
Patty is the founding partner of Singapore-based interior design firm Suying Design. She has put her signature touch of understated elegance on residential and commercial projects in more than 10 countries, including the Wadhwa Imperial Heights residential complex in Mumbai and Reflections at Keppel Bay in Singapore.
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Patty: My design approach is “simple but significant”. That means, whatever I design, the element has a reason to be there. From conceptualisation to implementation, the intentions of my designs are to allow the space to grow, so people living in the environment can evolve with it.
I’m very mindful that my design is not dictated by trends and fashion. Trends are always part of our lives, you can’t work in this industry and ignore them, but they aren’t used as the sole basis of my designs. What I design today will still be stylish in five years to 10 years time.
When it comes to Corals at Keppel Bay, I’m giving homeowners a canvas – everything from design to the family’s art work and family photos, they’ll find that the place is a cocoon that reflects them. They feel embraced by the space, and that’s my first priority when I do something.
Patty: I’ve always loved designing, but the earlier days of my career was more of a project management role. I stopped working in my early 30s, as I wanted to nurture my son, who was in primary school. The break allowed me to think about what I wanted to do in my next phase of life, and to refocus on what I enjoyed most, which was interior designing.
Patty: To be honest, when we’re first given a job, we have zero inspiration. It’s through the many discussions and dialogues with the developer and homeowner that we start thinking about the best way we can meet their needs and direction. That inspires us to come up with a concept and develop it over time; inspiration comes along the way. The design doesn’t just click in our minds; it never happens that way.
Patty: For Corals at Keppel Bay , I was shown what Daniel Libeskind, the architect of the project had developed during the early stages. I observed that the shape of the blocks in Corals at Keppel Bay formed a necklace, and he was going for more earthy colours. But I was mindful, because Reflections at Keppel Bay is right next to it and I didn’t want to repeat the colour palettes that were used there.
I thought: “Let’s go for something warm.” And I chose taupe. At the time, taupe was also one of the colours used by manufacturers in Milan for their furniture lines, so I was quite sure taupe would complement what Daniel was trying to project for Corals at Keppel Bay.
If you look at Corals at Keppel Bay’s colour palette, the walls, floors, kitchen cabinets all wrap you in a monochromatic, taupe palette. No one element pops out. When you change colours in an apartment, it sets hard perimeters around the spaces. Since the apartments are cosy, I wanted the colours to flow instead, from the floors to the walls and so on, so that your eyes relate from one space to another, and the space as a whole feels larger and more unlimited.
Patty: We were very thoughtful about its seafront location. We added various small touches, which included putting dehumidifiers in the wardrobes. We also made sure the kitchens were Asian-friendly. Rather than using the standard furnishing modules, we worked with the design team from Poliform, a renowned, high-end Italian furniture company, to produce a design range suited to our needs.
When we designed the kitchen, we ensured that at least one drawer is deep enough for Asian pots, woks and pans. Italian drawers tend to be narrow and unsuitable for Asian cooking pots.
At first, nobody was sure if Poliform would accommodate our request to make changes to their standard furnishing modules. But we got them to agree to that. Another thing different about Corals at Keppel Bay is that Poliform provided all of the furnishings and fittings. Most developments use various brands, “X” for the wardrobes and “Y” for the kitchen. I didn’t want that for Corals. When you buy an apartment at Corals at Keppel Bay, you’re getting an apartment that’s designed and created with the co-branding of this well-known and respected Italian brand.
Keppel is known for its developments, and Poliform is a world-renowned brand. To bring these two giants together makes a big selling-point.
Patty: I think the “cocoon” taupe palette provides a backdrop for the apartments that homeowners can play around with. You can darken the palette by using heavier colours or lighten it by introducing lighter colours.
Patty: I think it’s the monochromatic tone of the apartments. The colour palette of the kitchen, the beautiful taupe and high-gloss lacquer, being carried through to the apartment. That’s a bold move for a developer.
Keppel Land allowed me to realise this vision with all these non-traditional elements – I am very happy and grateful that they trusted me and my vision to let me go forward with what I knew would be a stunning project at the end of the day.
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