Studio iF

Founded in 2015 and led by principal designer Gwen Tan, co-founder of Formwerkz Architects, Studio iF is an interior design studio that seeks to turn ordinary narratives into objects and spaces of meaningful beauty that are made for living. With a wide experience in residential and hospitality projects, its team specialises in designing and curating high-end residential homes that are finely tailored to the needs of its clients, wherever home may be. It brings a contemporary interpretation and sensibility to all its projects and aims to redefine the concept of luxury.

Studio iF

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Studio iF redesigns four duplexes in a condo on Orchard Boulevard to create villas in the sky

Studio iF redesigns four duplexes in a condo on Orchard Boulevard to create villas in the sky

As design challenges go, Gwen Tan of Studio iF knew she was being presented with an unusual one when a property developer approached her to relaunch part of their condominium project on Orchard Boulevard with a new design angle. The reason for the change? The marketability of the four duplexes on the highest two floors, due to the required blockage (by law and for security reasons) of views from all bedrooms facing a specific direction.  Fortunately, during the site inspection, Tan suddenly had an idea, prompting her to question, “What if I could make your biggest constraint your biggest selling point?” Her proposed solution centred on merging the four duplexes into two, such that they stretched out across the building, thus making sure that the homeowners would not lose out on the views. “On receipt of the building plans, I was quite pleased to find a singular gap in the core, which presented an opportunity to create a brand new typology out of an amalgamated footprint,” she says.  As can be imagined, melding staggered duplex units was a hugely complex project.…

Studio iF designed an apartment in Boulevard Vue with so many stories we barely knew where to start

Studio iF designed an apartment in Boulevard Vue with so many stories we barely knew where to start

A wall tiled with a mosaic design reminiscent of the Mediterranean; a standing lamp shaped like a tree; a room divider inspired by a meteorite shower. These are just some of the features of an apartment located in Boulevard Vue condominium designed by Studio iF’s Gwen Tan.  Presented as a list, it all sounds a bit hair-raising but the truth is far from it. Under Tan’s talented touch, they come together to form a comfortable four-bedroom abode on the 28th floor that celebrates the cosmopolitan tastes of the owners, a well-travelled couple, and their two daughters.  “The brief was to create a residence that is filled with understated and luxurious touches. Beyond just using high-quality furniture, we curated them to craft narratives that treat the owners and their guests to imaginative experiences,” explains Tan. True to her design style, a plethora of sensual and tactile elements are found throughout the 4,478sqft space. At the same time, she uses them to turn mundane spaces, like a long corridor connecting the bedrooms, to contain interesting stories.  First impressions matter The entry foyer…

Q&A with Gwen Tan, Studio iF: I often feel the urge to convey emotions through my works

Q&A with Gwen Tan, Studio iF: I often feel the urge to convey emotions through my works

You are well known for injecting compelling, quirky features into your projects. How do you manage to do it each time? I think it is important to travel extensively to constantly nourish the mind and soul. I have an innate ability to internalise the experiences and details from my travels, as well as diverse exposure through many different business ventures, into inspiration for creative expression when the right time or place comes along. I often feel the urge to convey emotions through my works and to endlessly challenge myself to create new experiences.  How does being trained as an architect impact the way you design interiors? Architectural training is full of rigour – it is one profession that touches on the deeper understanding of almost every subject we learn in school and beyond. In practice, one continues to hone the skills and knowledge necessary to become a competent architect in a highly complex industry, and that learning curve is constantly evolving no matter how many years one has invested in it.  The foundation of being an architect has given me…

Natural light floods this terrace house by Studio iF that hides behind an unobtrusive facade

Natural light floods this terrace house by Studio iF that hides behind an unobtrusive facade

If there is one lesson this residence teaches, it is to never judge an abode by its appearance. Part of four terrace houses in the east of Singapore that were once identical, it was recently renovated by Studio iF, which also gave the façade a makeover. The result is shorter windows and two rows of gunmetal-grey aluminium panels, transforming it into the least obtrusive among its siblings. But walk through the front door and be prepared for a jaw-dropping surprise. The exterior might give the impression that it would be dark and cramped, but the complete opposite is true. In fact, it compelled Gwen Tan, Founder of Studio iF, to name the three-storey project Light House. Natural daylight pours in wild abandonment through two skylights – the thriving indoor house plants are proof of this – as well as via the full-height sliding doors that lead out the lush back garden. This is made even more noticeable, since the colour palette just inside the main entrance, occupied by the sunken wet and dry kitchens, is dark and the ceiling is…