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Design Intervention has just completed a major extension and renovation at our studio in the heart of central Singapore.

The adjacent unit had become available earlier this year and the extra floor space gave us the excuse, we needed, for a major revamp…

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But with a large team of design professionals, each with their own myriad of ideas, getting agreement on the design was no mean feat. Nowhere was this more evident, than the choice of décor for the staff loos. With a team of 20, predominately female employees, the design of the toilets has been debated hot and hard. And, as for the time taken for the design planning, well let’s just say, it has been totally out of proportion to the room’s diminutive floor space.

In the quest of the perfect powder room, the DI team has passionately contested a multitude of ideas, from Zen, to funky to bold and brash, quirky or decadent. But during all our (so lengthy) discussions, one thing that the haggling design team agreed upon, was the importance of making a design statement in this tiny corner of this office.

And, as I attempted to moderate the designer discord in my boardroom, it dawned on me that a common characteristic of our work is the attention paid to the humble loo. For most of our projects, this pint-sized space is the smallest room that we work on and yet for the DI design team, it clearly held a position of import. Perhaps, it is because in such a limited area, we can afford to indulge in more expensive finishes, or because as a space that is only used fleetingly, we can experiment with styles that might feel overpowering in a more well used room. But whatever the reason, a signature powder room is a clear DI trait.

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East Coast Rd - Kitchen, powder rm, dining (2) copy

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Above powder room images are from Design Intervention projects.

Doc - Mar 27 2015 10-31 AM

November 11, 2015 0 comment
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Creating a bespoke piece, meant that we could not only select the colours and materials that were perfect for the space but also that we could get the exact size and shape and proportion that would complement the scale of the room.

I began the design process, as I do for every project by working on the floor plan to see what size and  shape and piece works best in the room. Only when I am certain of the this do I begin to think about the design. The next step to consider is the functionality. Is this a sofa for lounging, for formal entertaining? For both?
Comfort is a very subjective concept and we always begin our process by discussing with the client what level of softness they prefer, we consider the type of back support that is required. Optimal seat depths and arm heights will vary depending on the height of the user and the way they use the piece. We need to understand all these factors before we begin the designing the piece so it means spending time with each client to fully understand their needs.

So after, narrowing down the shape, scale and proportions of the piece, we select the optimal internal fillings so that we can achieve the optimal level of softness.
Some of our clients like to sink into  deep, soft cushioning that feels cozy and comforting, others require firm support. We need to decide on the filling before we select the type of fabrics as some fabrics look better with a crisp firm seat and others work better with a more rounded sense of softness.

So for the Cameron sofa, I knew immediately that I wanted a curved sofa for this space. I began by sketching a curved shape on the floor plan so that I could get a feel of how it would fill the room.

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This was a large open plan room with entertaining, dining and living space all in one. In such an expansive space, I felt that the room needed a big piece to anchor the various elements in the room. So instead of having several smaller pieces, I opted for this oversized piece. I wanted the lines of the sofa  to be strong and confident so the sofa is not raised on legs. Instead, I opted for a solid base, to give a feeling of weight and permanence. This sofa is unapologetically bold. There is a poised,  reassuring quality about this piece, -almost a sense that it’s strength will wrap you in an envelop of protection, a perfect place to retreat after a hard day.

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This was a multifunctional room that would serve as an area for entertaining as well as a space to unwind with a good movie at the end of the day. The sofa had to be comfortable and welcoming but at the same time elegant enough for entertaining. The shape has an organic quality to it. There is a softness in the lines that is welcoming, inviting you to lean back and rest. But the piece also had to look smart enough to impress guest and complement the elegance of the room, so I have selected a channel stitch design for the seat back. The regularity of the channel stitch design, balances the rounded forms, giving the piece a sophisticated feel that is is less formal than chesterfield buttoning but equally crisp.

It is only after we have selected the shape, scale, proportion, filling and type of fabric for the piece that we start to think about colour. And with this piece we certainly had some fun!

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Check out this month’s The Peak Magazine for my feature article “Form meets Function” featuring our very own Cameron Sofa.

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Doc - Mar 27 2015 10-31 AM

June 19, 2015 0 comment
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The winners of this years Hotel and Property Awards will be announced in Italy in just a few weeks time. This year, Design Intervention has been shortlisted in 2 categories and to say that I am in a state of eager anticipation would be the understatement of the year. I can’t seem to divert my mind away from what it would be like to actually win. So I thought I would channel this obsessive thinking productively into this blog entry and suss out our competition.

There are just 6 nominees for the winner of the Global Award for Best Bar/ Lounge/ Club. These projects come from all over the globe. And surely, it’s a testament to just how cool Singapore has become that two of the nominees are Singapore projects!

1. The Bar, Hotel Mulino Grande, Milan,

2. Subsix Underwater Bar in Maldives

3. Exex Suites, Japan

4. Turquoise Tiger, New York

5. The Club, Marina Bay Sands Singapore

6. And our project, The Alta Ego Bar and Lounge in Singapore

What makes it even more amazing that we made it on this list, this is actually our first foray into Bar/Club design. But it certainly won’t be our last. Bar/Club design, I have realized, is an exercise into fantasy. It allows us to push limits and explore design ideas that stimulate, startle and intrigue. Of course, my first love is residential design. To be able to create someone’s personal retreat is an honour that can rarely be beaten. But Night Club Design, like Pop Art is fun and frivolous and allows us to try ideas that would never be suitable in a home.

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Alta Ego Club/Lounge by Design Intervention

I have always seen the humour in Osborne and Little’s Gecko wallpaper – it is probably not appropriate for our residential clients, but it’s combination of jewel colours and kitsch,

Tongue-in-cheek styling seemed the perfect choice for a Lounge Bar that feels luxurious but not at all serious or stuffy. See how wonderful it looks across the ceiling above the Bar. But my favourite element of the design is the bespoke pendant lights we made out of cast resin shark’s jaws. We placed one above each of the banquette seating areas to add a touch of the unexpected in a glamorous space.

BUT how does our entry stack up against the competition? Can we really come back with a win for the Best Club Design in the World for 2015?

Well, looking at the other entries, I must admit that I am not confident at all. Some of these projects are pretty awesome and for ours to be selected alongside them is an honour in itself.

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Subsix

One of the most impressive is Subsix, an underwater Bar in the Maldives. Check out that ceiling of cascading capiz shell discs.

And those sea urchin inspired chairs, perhaps not my cup of tea but I must admit they won’t easily be forgotten and isn’t that what you want from a Bar designer, a talking point, something memorable to distinguish this watering hole from the crowd.

The Turquoise Tiger in New York is resplendent in its art deco references, one of my favourite design styles. So I am unsurprisingly a bit biased towards this nominee. I love how the splashes of turquoise invigorate the design, making it less serious than it would have been otherwise. The carpet is not for me, but I simply love those curvaceous buttoned banquettes and the confident use of black lacquer-one of my all time favourite materials.

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Turquoise Tiger at Exit 33

And then, of course, there is the other Singapore Nominee. How could our small project even hope to compete with The Club, Marina Bay Sands? This is surely the most famous building in Singapore and probably amongst the most iconic in the world nothing that we could ever design could compete with those views. And oh to be working with that budget…. what fun we could have!!!

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The Club, Singapore

But I keep telling myself – don’t loose hope. I must never forget the power of the underdog and compared with Marina Bay Sands Design team, we certainly are just that. So I may not be confident, but am ever hopeful.

The final winner will be selected through public vote so if you like our design or simply enjoy the triumph of an underdog, click here and vote for us:

http://www.thedesignawards.co.uk/voting2015-hotels/

And remember we are also shortlisted for the Best Hotel Suite in the Asian pacific Region so don’t forget to vote for us in that category too!

http://www.thedesignawards.co.uk/voting2015-hotels/

Doc - Mar 27 2015 10-31 AM

June 8, 2015 0 comment
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Fashion designers have long understood the value of dramatic detailing on the back of a dress. There has always been something intrinsically sexy in the contrast between an elegant, even demure gown with a deeply revealing plunge back line. Just think of the most memorable Oscar gowns worn by some of Hollywood’s most glamorous stars to see just how Maestros like Valentino, Balenciaga and Oscar de la Renta can excite and thrill, through dramatic flourishes on the reverse of their creations.

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And, as an interior designer, I know that very often details on the rear of our furniture designs can have an equally dramatic effect.

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                                                                               Dragon Sofa by Design Intervention

Many of our clients consider the dining table as a major investment piece but, quite frankly, it is often hidden behind a ring of chairs. Instead, it is the rear of the chairs which become the dominant feature… Luckily, adding detail or embellishment here is far less expensive to achieve and can have a greater impact on the room then splashing out on a designer table. But it is not just in the dining room that the backside of your furniture is key.

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                                                                                       Design Intervention

Consider your furniture layout. It is very often the rear of your furniture that is the first thing you see when you enter a room. Just as my personal trainer will not let me escape our sessions without a punishing regime of squats and lunges, I consider attention to my derriere, a crucial element in my designs.

Design Intervention

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Unexpected, detailing on the reverse of furniture imparts a subtle undercurrent of richness or can inject another layer of interest that can add spice to a room scheme without overpowering it.

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Chinoiserie Chic, Design Intervention

And sometimes, the backside can be the most significant feature – so channel your inner J-Lo and flout your derriere!!!

Doc - Mar 27 2015 10-31 AM

May 27, 2015 0 comment
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We are seriously mad for the hit tv show “Mad Men” here at Design Intervention and so it was with a sense of great sadness, this week, that I watched the finale of what has to be the swankiest show on TV. I have followed this series through its entire seven seasons. It is a show that has entertained, surprised, enlightened and confounded me, provoked and inspired me and made me think. And all that, set against a backdrop with aesthetics to die for. Much has been written about the show’s sartorial influence. Over the past seven years, echoes of its costumes have popped up on many of the great catwalks The return of the slim suit silhouette can be credited to the sharp suits donned by Sterling and Draper with entire clothes lines being credited to the series. mad-men-slattery-draper_l

Megan Draper (Jessica Pare) - Mad Men _ Season 7, Gallery - Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

Megan Draper (Jessica Pare) – Mad Men _ Season 7, Gallery – Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

Images of Meghan in patterns have doubtlessly contributed to making Pucci cool again. Over the past eight years, the outfits of Betty, Joan and Megan have influenced fashion houses from Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton, to name just a few. But for us in the design field, it is the set design that has literally stolen the show. 3abf8__Mad-Men-Sets-Raw-2812029_sm-thumb My all time favourite “Mad Men” moment was in Season 5, Episode 9, His ex-wife, Betty drops by Don’s new Manhattan apartment to collect the kids. In the hallway outside, she glances in the mirror, adjusts her hair and sucks in her tummy. When she steps inside, her eyes widen as she takes in the sleek, modernist design. The camera slowly pans to reveal Don’s spectacular apartment with its white carpets and grass cloth clad walls; the sunken living room with it’s Knoll –inspired sofas; the Lied Mobler leather lounge chair; the walnut cabinetry; the countertop cocktail bar; the and expansive floor-to-ceiling windows with a spectacular view of the New York skyline. Betty stares at the suave, modernist design with a mixture of desire and envy – a feeling familiar to every “Mad Men” aficionada. 6a00d8341c630a53ef0167645f128c970b-600wi It is no surprise that mid- century modern modern furniture has undergone a populist revival since the shows launch in 2007. For those not yet fully briefed on mid-century modern style, here’s the history: toward the end of the 1950s and into the early 1960s, America developed a mass appreciation for the perfect mix of simplistic form and function and the idea of “less is more”, and streamlined shapes. Mid-century modern design first emerged at a time when the economy was bleak, but mind-sets were bright. In the post-war years, people were looking to the future. Roger Sterling (John Slattery), Don Draper (Jon Hamm) Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser), Ted Chaough (Kevin Rahm), Jim Cutler (Harry Hamlin) and Bertram Cooper (Robert Morse) - Mad Men _ Season 6, Episode 10 _ 'A Tale of Two Cities' - Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/AMC Untitled1 Don Draper has a fast-paced, stressful life, as do many of us today. So it is probably not surprising that the no-frills functionality and clean aesthetic lines that appealed to him, resonate with so many of us today too. The beauty of this style is that it merges so effortlessly with a variety of décor styles from contemporary furniture to eclectic. Check out how we have incorporated mid century modern clean lines into some of our recent projects.

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Modern Eclectic, Design Intervention

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Modern Eclectic, Design Intervention

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The Oslo Chair, Design Intervention

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The Draper Sofa, Signature Series Collection – Design Intervention

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The Canton Sofa, Signature Series Collection – Design Intervention

We developed these sofa designs for two of our projects and loved the sleek lines so much that we have just added them to our signature series. Can’t you just imagine Don lounging across these couches with a glass of scotch in hand? As the show ends and we say goodbye to Don, Peggy, Joan, and the rest of the gang, will our current obsession with mid-century modern style dissipate? Something tells me no…                                                                                                         The beauty of mid-century modern style is that it’s still, well modern. Doc - Mar 27 2015 10-31 AM

May 22, 2015 0 comment
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