Cover The dining and living area of a villa with interiors designed by Sumisura

This beautiful home pays tribute to the oeuvre of its architect, while creating a stylish sanctuary in the city

Designed by the late Baghdad-born, London-based architect Zaha Hadid, the D’Leedon residential complex is indeed a sight to behold. Its seven statuesque towers feature undulating curves that narrow towards its base, making the property a striking landmark in the District 10 neighbourhood.

“It’s truly a vivid expression of famed architect Zaha Hadid’s futuristic aesthetic,” says Angela Lim, director of interior design firm Sumisura, as she recalls her first impression of the property. “The tone-on-tone finishes look clean and stark, next to the building’s yacht-like shape and curved walls.”

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The local practice was tasked to design the interiors of one of the villas within the complex, to turn the architecturally stunning semi-detached house into a home. With its spacious balconies and the striking exterior, there was little about the three-storey property that the designer and the homeowners wanted to change; there were however, aesthetic concerns when it came to the interior scheme.

The same pure white finishes on the exterior, when applied indoors had made the house appear cold and clinical—so one of the first design objectives was to dress its interiors with colour and tactile textures.

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Working swiftly within three months to design and decorate the villa, the designer and her team started the project by cladding the walls with dark timber panelling, to bring an immediate sense of warmth to the home.

Furniture pieces in grey, taupe and other neutral tones, complemented the cosy ambience, and were punctuated with shots of colour on the artworks and decorative objects. Shades of green and blue draw cues to the nautical silhouette of the house, while gold accents permeated the space with an air of opulence.  “I loved designing the living room the most—I wanted to create a sense of arrival, because of the suspense that the adjoining corridor creates,” shares Lim.

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A long corridor separates the foyer from the main living and dining area on the first floor, creating a moment of suspense before the living room is unveiled.

In the living area, a custom-made, crescent-shaped sofa and abstract artworks hark to the architect’s distinctive use of curving forms and sinuous lines—these were surprising additions that the homeowners love. The matching round rug, ottoman, and side table complete the tableau, while demarcating the living space from the open-plan ground floor.

Similarly, the dining table and seats were specially made for the abode, and is accompanied by a crystal chandelier that adds a glamorous dazzle to the space.

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Away from the home’s social centre, the bedrooms on the second floor take on a more serene mood. The palette here is more subdued, leaning towards earthy tones that is interspersed with a plush mix of fabrics and varied patterns on rugs and upholstery. 

Built-in cabinetry in dark timber echo the material palette on the ground floor, thus conveying visual continuity throughout the house. Slabs of bookmatched marble with fine veins form the feature wall of one of the bedrooms to give it an understated elegance; in another room, the tinted glass panel above the bed enhances its sense of space.

Practical needs of the family were taken into consideration during the design process. All bedrooms and most of the common areas feature ample built-in storage, which were custom-made to fit the sleek look of the interior scheme. 

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In the master bedroom, the second entrance of its ensuite bathroom was closed off to create space for wall-hung compartments. Mindful of the unique slanted windows of this house, the designer added curtains and blinds which can be lowered for privacy.

To celebrate the home’s tropical context, the designer also made the most of its balcony areas, providing a sweeping view of the swimming pool and the surrounding gardens. “The outdoor areas have been decorated with comfortable outdoor furniture to create spaces for get-togethers and for family members to interact on breezy evenings,” says Lim. 

These thoughtful details created a cosy haven for the family. Although the house was initially designed as a show unit, its current homeowners adore the decor scheme so much that they have decided to move in with all the furnishings intact. To Lim, it’s surely a sign of a completed project that is well-received—an interior made to impress, just like the game-changing work of its iconic architect.

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This story was adapted from Singapore Tatler Homes Aug-Sept 2018