Stylish Homes:
Alli Sim and Mark Teal's open-plan apartment in
Holland Village

mmerci encore

Just as shoes are a reflection of a man, and handbags the style signature of a woman, so is a home the plumb line into the heart and hopes of its owner.

Alli Sim and her partner, Mark Teal, have filled their new apartment in Holland Village with their easy charm, good taste, and a fun-spirited energy. "When people enter the space, I want them to feel peace, positivity and warmth," says Sim. "It's a retreat from everything out there. It's literally our happy place and we're never not laughing or talking."

Designed in collaboration with Dwell Interiors, the open and sun-drenched apartment is built on a foundation of black-and-white, and then thoughtfully decorated with an eclectic mix of designer furniture (Tom Dixon and Fritz Hansen chairs), eccentric finds (including a wooden table discarded from a shoot; a remnant of Sim's former beauty editor days at Harper's Bazaar Singapore), and the heady concoction of pure essentials oils, hand-blended into vials and jars for her aromatherapy label, mmerci encore.

But Sim's favourite design feature? "There's the herringbone tiles in the kitchen, and the brass chandelier handmade by Lambert & Fils in Canada, but for all the hacking and rebuilding from scratch, we decided to keep our front door in its original statement pink hue. I love it. It brings Palm Springs to Singapore. It annoys the neighbours, but our pink portal had to stay."
"We loved our time in New York and wanted to have this modern, loft-like feel. The space had to be functional, and we found this open-plan format to be very... human, for want of a better word. This flow in layout gives us a chance to do things together, alone. You can read a book by the window or sit at the entertainment area while someone cooks in the kitchen, and still not see anyone. While it's a place to be shared, there's also intimate corners to work or chill out in."
"I think there's always a tendency for a place to look either too feminine or masculine. For Mark and I,
we tried to maintain equilibrium here. We were both hands-on in filling the home with meaningful objects; it was never the job of one person. There's the mid-century sofa handcrafted in Japan next to the contemporary Flos light. There's concrete, which is raw and industrial, coupled with wood, cotton, marble and brass accents. The common thread through it all is the black-and-white palette."
"We were both hands-on in filling the home with meaningful objects; it was never the job of one person," says Sim.

"We converted one of the bedrooms into a super chill entertainment area with an extra long sofa. It's perfect for movie night.
We also knocked down a storeroom and had to get really creative about space solutions, customising cupboards and transforming
'dead' areas into more storage."
"I love our Statuario marble island. It's almost three metres long and is really the heart of the home — it's where we entertain, where I do random DIY projects, where we get the laptops out and work from home."
"Finding the right designer is like going on a bunch of blind dates," says Sim.
With the opportunity to design and build their dream apartment from scratch — "It was hella ugly before we renovated it; every wall was painted in a different eye-watering garish hue, and we stepped out with a migraine after our first visit," recalls Sim — her advice for others doing the same is to be selective with your interior design company. "You need chemistry, trust and communication between everyone on the project. And before sealing the deal, you'll want to ask them how many projects they're currently committed to. They may be stretched too thin and you don't want them palming work off onto someone else." Sage advice.

For more Stylish Homes, click here.
Photography: Vanessa Caitlin
Styling and text: Norman Tan
Photography assistant: Felicia Yap