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Dressed for the occasion

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Contrasting textures and opulent furnishings ensure every room in this apartment – including the bomb shelter – is a lesson in sophistication

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Creating an apartment interior that stands out from the crowd requires an innovative design approach. Such creativity not only ensures the interior is different from adjoining apartments, but is also an exciting place to come home to.

The interior featured on these pages was designed by Isabelle Miaja to meet the client's desire for a sleek, sophisticated look.

"As with most new apartments, the architect had already selected the hard materials, such as the flooring," she says. "The brief for the interior was to give it life. However, we had to make sure no single item overpowered everything else. We didn't want the furnishings to compete with the beautiful sandstone finishes, which also provide texture and relief."

Miaja says a muted colour palette was essential to achieve the sophisticated look.

"Soft, light tones of gold and taupe, combined with a variety of interesting textures and furniture pieces, help to create the look we wanted."


Textures introduced to the living room include a stitched leather and chenille sofa and a plush, heavily textured rug. A designer chair is a key visual element.

"When you are designing such a sophisticated space, it is important not to overcrowd it," says Miaja. "It is better to work with fewer pieces that are of high quality. One special piece, such as this chair, can add visual interest and punch."

For this interior, however, Miaja also introduced a teardrop-shaped coffee table, chosen for its unusual shape and mix of glass, stainless steel and wood.

"It's a talking point," she says. "The table is not only functional, but also beautiful to look at."

Another decorative item is a large glass starburst sculpture on one wall, featuring a hand-carved metal mirror with a silver finish. Miaja says the textured glass makes the mirror appear to float within the space, and adds a transparency to the room.

Miaja punctuated the soft gold tones of the room with accents of black, most notably in the selection of accessories.

A small, compulsory bomb shelter room has also been given the sophisticated treatment, rather than being turned over to storage. Here, chairs upholstered with black and gold-coloured fabric and a table provide a small seating area, and a large mirror makes the room appear more spacious. The room opens to the family room, which also enhances the sense of space.

As the master bedroom is small, simplicity was a priority. Wood panelling, silk curtains, mohair cushions and a soft chenille bedspread provide textural interest.

First published date: 24 August 2003

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Credit List

Interior designer Isabelle Miaja, IMA Interiors (Singapore)
Client Property Enterprises Development
Development Cairnhill Crest
Architect DP Architects
Wall coverings Goodrich
Feature wall French limestone from Polystone
Furniture M&A Collections and imported pieces
Flooring Marble
Lighting Downlights by Million
Bed covering, master bedroom and carpets Custom designed by IMA Interiors