UPSTRS_

UPSTRS_ is a Singapore-based design practice with a rigorous and conceptual approach to creating spatial experiences.

Founded by Dennis Cheok in 2011, the studio has garnered regional and international accolades for its innovative, narrative-driven design approach and immaculate execution.

UPSTRS_ has won multiple regional and international design awards for its diverse body of work over the past 10 years, including Multi-Disciplinarian Design Firm of the Year at Singapore Design Awards (2018/19); Interior Design Firm of The Year at Singapore Interior Design Awards (2020), and significantly, honoured twice as Interior Design Firm of the Year at Lookbox Design Awards (2017 & 2019).

In 2021, Dennis Cheok was finalist for Design Anthology Asia’s Interior Designer of The Year, alongside Kyle Chan (Karv One Design, Hong Kong) and Nelson Chow (NCAD, Hong Kong).

In recognition of his body of work and impact to the design industry, Dennis Cheok was a recipient of the inaugural 20 Under 45 Awards by the Society of Interior Designers (Singapore).

UPSTRS_

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Reconfigure then layer with thoughtful details was the direction of Apartment Serif by UPSTRS_

Reconfigure then layer with thoughtful details was the direction of Apartment Serif by UPSTRS_

Most people who buy a unit in a newly developed condominium will avoid making significant changes to it. Not Sonny Hu and Gladys Lin though. At the urging of their interior designer, Dennis Cheok of UPSTRS_, they gamely went along with his direction and have ended up with a 1,200sqft home that is a vast improvement on the original.  In fact, the couple even named the project, calling it Apartment Serif. A serif is “a slight projection finishing off a stroke” and Cheok says it aptly reflects the nuances of textures, materials and shapes that lend a somewhat neutral space a distinct identity. The original layout was not optimised. It had a foyer inside the entrance that led to a long and narrow corridor. This ran parallel to the kitchen and back-of-house, before opening up into the main living area, including an awkward counter that stuck out obtrusively from the kitchen.  “The discomfort was that we had to share the space between dining and living,” explains Cheok. A “big move” he made was to get rid of the counter and…