Cover Michael Ong and Jeremy Tay are the co-founders and directors of Prestige Global Designs

The answer lies in being a good listener with the clients

Jeremy Tay and Michael Ong may hold the reins at Prestige Global Designs as the firm’s directors and co-founders, but the humble duo does not claim to be the sole drivers of success behind the projects they take on. Their clients, they believe, deserve a large part of the credit, too.

“In every project, the clients and designers are a team,” says Tay. “Good chemistry between the designers and clients is important in order to understand the clients’ needs and create a space that will suit their lifestyles.”

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Chemistry used to mean a very different thing to Tay. A biotechnology scientist by training, he gave up two research scholarships to pursue his dream career in interior design. He started out by assisting Ong, who was trained in London and had entered the industry a few years before him. In 2008, the pair founded Prestige Global Designs.

The firm has gone from strength to strength since, and now, a little more than a decade later, has carved a niche for itself as an award-winning studio with a portfolio that displays a versatility that few can claim to have. Whether designing for high-end residences, hotel suites, commercial spaces, or offices, Tay and Ong seem to adapt with ease.

“We never limit ourselves to any specific style,” says Tay, explaining the firm’s versatility. Instead, they allow themselves to be guided by the needs and preferences of their clients.

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Design needs to have a purpose. As long as it serves its purpose, then it is considered good design.
Jeremy Tay, co-founder and director of Prestige Global Designs

“Design needs to have a purpose,” Tay points out. “As long as it serves its purpose, then it is considered good design.” Ong agrees, adding, “In all the interiors we do, we focus on how we can personalise the spaces for our clients. In this way, the interiors we create will always be unique to our clients.”

Despite claiming to have “no specific style”, interiors by Prestige Global Designs have a certain je ne sais quoi that has become recognisable to those who are familiar with the studio’s work. The secret? “We always like to inject a touch of luxury,” Ong reveals.

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They share that the most common client request, and also the biggest challenge they encounter as interior designers in land-scarce Singapore is and has always been creating sufficient storage space. “We often have to get creative with it,” says Ong. Luckily, the duo has found most clients today to be very open to new ideas and materials. Technology also helps.

The latter is what Ong and Tay predict will come to dominate the interior design industry in the near future. “We believe that technology and digitalisation will start to make a huge impact. We are seeing more clients who are looking towards smart homes,” says Ong. “It’s still in early stages, but we are expecting more options for smart homes in time to come.”

 

Ong and Tay fully intend to be there when it happens, embracing the changes with an expanded Prestige Global Designs team, perhaps with their toes dipped into other interior design-related businesses.

In the meantime, on any given weekday, the duo can be found working hard towards their shared vision in the materials library in their showroom, where they have a comprehensive collection of fabric, surface, and wall swatches. “We love every part of the showroom, but if we really have to choose, we will have to say that the materials library is our favourite,” Tay shares. “This is the place where we can use materials to tell a story.”


Prestige Global Designs is part of the Best of Singapore 2022 guide. 

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