At MeyerHouse’s show flat, luxury interior design has been redefined by MASSONEONG
In their ideal world, MASSONEONG would have designed this project for a French art gallery owner married to a Chinese lady. This is an important exercise it undergoes when it conceptualises show flats, and was what it imagined when commissioned the one for MeyerHouse, a freehold luxury condominium development in Mountbatten.
“We invent our own clients,” quips Elisa Massone, one of the two Directors of the firm. The other is Vanessa Ong, who adds, “With show flats, we basically have a blank canvas to work with, which we really enjoy.”
The east-meets-west theme they decided on clearly flows through into the four-bedroom unit. For instance, there is furniture by the French designer Charlotte Perriand and a wallpaper printed with scenes from a traditional Chinese garden.
Yet, rather than kitsch, the curation is done in a tasteful, elegant and extremely understated manner, hinting that there is more to it than meets the eye. Additionally, the duo have eschewed the need to make it a “hardworking space” that is multi-functional and instead, devote generous floor area to pure space.
“The developer, Kheng Leong, had a lot of trust in us showcasing less is more. They really understand what luxury at this level means to their clientele – a sense of spaciousness, a beautiful chair, one-of-a-kind fittings,” explains Ong.
What this translates into is plenty of opportunity to step back and appreciate the items they have selected to fill the communal areas and bedrooms of the 3,240sqft apartment on the ground floor of MeyerHouse.
Massone elaborates, “From the entrance, you enter straight into this big space of the living and dining combined together, facing the swimming pool. We therefore had to size it by using organically shaped furniture and customised shelving.”
For example, in the living room is a two-tiered coffee table from one of their favourite brands, Pierre Augustin Rose, featuring legs sculpted in solid oak and a lacquered off-white top. The burnt-orange-coloured sofa that curves around it is also from the same company. In the dry kitchen, the display shelf is topped with an unusual leather sculpture by GIOBAGNARA.
While most designers would channel their energies towards creating a stunning bedroom, Massone and Ong have also done the same for two rooms that are used one as a study, and the other, for music and games. “The brief was to give a different experience for all of them,” says Massone.
In the study, the shelf is designed as a freestanding piece, backed with a gorgeous Calacatta Viola stone slab with shades of purple on a neutral base. The work table and leather swivel armchair are both icons from Cassina and designed by the inimitable Charlotte Perriand.
The second room contrasts with a lighter, brighter tone. Anchoring it is a daybed with high-gloss mutenye wood, a patinated brass base and rattan backing from the artisanal French brand Atelier Tortil. Behind it stands a screen with wallpaper from Pierre Frey depicting imagery of a traditional Chinese garden.
Special mention must go to the master bedroom, distinctive for a feature wall clad with wallpaper from de Gournay of fishes in tarnished, silver-gilded silk and désargenter pearlescent antiquing.
At the foot of the bed is another extraordinary piece, a bench from French-Indonesian
Tempting as it is to continue the litany of details around the furniture, fittings and artworks, given how fascinating they are, it cannot be kept up. “Every single piece in this project has a story of its own,” says Massone.
But Ong points out that they are all a means to a purposeful end, “For show flats, what is interesting is that you design for the eye. We always consider where people are entering from, and what looks best as they walk through the space to create a lasting impression.”
She cites the example of how the developer wanted a connection between the master bedroom and the private garden. Consequently, the furniture in the living room was carefully positioned for easy access to the terrace and views of the outdoor landscaping.
“We really have free reign to design and layer as how we want to see it. That perception is what I think is the value that developers want. It is all about creating an image for them, which is something that we are very passionate about,” adds Ong.
If it seems like practicality and function has a lower priority in this equation, they do not. Massone is quick to point out that the show flat was eventually sold with the furniture they had curated for it.
And while the owners are not a French art gallery owner married to a Chinese lady, it is easy to imagine that they appreciate the same lifestyle and tastes that has been curated for them.