Entrepreneur Raymond Khoo was drawn to the six-storey townhouse at Bukit Timah as it offers privacy for each member of the family. -BT
Sat, Oct 20, 2012
The Business Times
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The townhouse appealed to him as the common areas and bedrooms are on different levels. "Each of us can still get our own privacy," says Mr Khoo. Their previous home was an apartment on Holland Road. The look of each home varies, and for this townhouse, Mr Khoo has gone for "classic European with a modern twist". Mr Khoo bought the 20-something year old townhouse in its original condition, but updated it to suit his lifestyle.
From the street level, visitors enter the second storey, where there is a small patio that leads to the living room. On one side of the living room are full-height glass windows, and the main door is also made of glass. "The living room used to be dark, and installing glass windows allowed more light to come in," says Mr Khoo.
This also means that neighbours can look into the home, so a hedge has been planted outside the home to give the 3,000 sq ft townhouse some privacy.
The level below the living room is the former laundry area. But Mr Khoo converted the space into a bedroom for his father, who sometimes lives with him. There is also a separate entrance to the home here.
From the living room, visitors go up a short flight of steps to where the dining area and kitchen are. Mr Khoo had a skylight installed in the kitchen, and on a clear day, the area is bathed in warmth and plenty of light.
He selected wooden cabinets for his kitchen to give it "warmth". The avid cook has fitted his kitchen with Gaggenau appliances, including a hob that is good enough for commercial use. The hob is put into use when Mr Khoo does his roast pork with black sauce, "because I don't want the kitchen to be so smokey". He adds that he would like to have had an outdoor kitchen, but there is just no space.
The next level is where Justin's bedroom is. As this used to be the master bedroom, the room is spacious, and has been divided into two sections: a sleeping area, and a play area.
The couple's bedroom is on the next level, which was converted from two smaller bedrooms.
The bedroom comes with a small alcove where Mrs Khoo surfs the Internet at. A door in the bedroom leads to the bathroom. The bathroom used to be tiny, but Mr Khoo converted part of the second bedroom into the bathroom. The bathroom then leads to the couple's walk-in wardrobe. There is another alcove here, which has Mrs Khoo's dressing table.
While the design of the home was left to Mr Khoo, his wife had specific items that she wanted: a large dressing table and enough wardrobe space. Two vertical rows of light bulbs running down the dressing table mirror add a star quality to the area. There are racks on the walls to hangbags and jewellery. "I made sure there is enough space for her," says the doting husband.
In fact, Mrs Khoo is so pleased with the space that her walk-in wardrobe and dressing table are the first things she shows to her friends when they visit.
Mr Khoo's favourite part of the home is his den on the top level, where he has his computer and television. There is also a fridge and microwave here. "This area is self-contained. There is no need to go downstairs for drinks, and I have the whole area to myself," he says.
With every home he designs comes along a new set of furniture, such as the rich brown Chesterfield sofas in the living room. There are Arco lamps in the home, not placed in the living room, but one is out on the patio and the other in the bathroom.
Mr Khoo says that the light from the Arco lamp is just right when lazing on the day bed at the patio. "Janet likes to read while relaxing in the tub, so the light is just right," he says.
There are numerous pieces of artworks by Indonesian artists that were specially commissioned that are placed around the home and also in the bathroom, which "adds colour to the house," says Mr Khoo.
When the family goes on holidays, Mrs Khoo heads to the fashion stores, while Mr Khoo would go furniture shopping. "The items are bought on the spur of the moment, but so far they have all fitted well into the home," he says.
He admits that it is far easier to just hire an interior designer to design a home, but enjoys the challenge of designing and working with contractors.
His friends know about his home renovation adventures, and often they are the ones who would have photographs of the apartments before renovation and await eagerly to see the completed works. Does he feel the pressure to live up to their expectations? "I'm confident about what I do," says Mr Khoo.
His next goal: "to buy a house, tear it down and rebuild it".
ENTREPRENEUR Raymond Khoo designs restaurants for work, and his design skills extend to his own homes too. He has designed four homes, the latest of which is a six-storey townhouse at Bukit Timah, which he shares with his wife, Janet, and their five-year-old son Justin.
The founder and chief executive of Solutions 17, a boutique hospitality and lifestyle group of companies, bought the home for $3 million and spent $500,000 renovating it. The family moved in about two months ago.
|6-storey townhouse is family's dream home|