When it came time to design his very own family home, Norman Lim, partner at Asialand ID, started by reconstructing the estate to extend its floor area and enlarge the semi-detached house, transforming it into a nature-inspired sanctuary.
6 March 2020
Home Type: 2-storey semi-detached house
Floor Area: 6,500sqft
Text by Angela Low
Norman Lim is a partner at Asialand ID, so it’s only expected that he went all out when he designed his own family home. He started by reconstructing the estate to extend its floor area and enlarged the semi-detached house. In a bid to create a nature-inspired sanctuary, Norman and his team modelled the two-storey semi-detached house after Bali’s luxury villas. Just like the tropical estates of Bali, where Norman visits every couple of months, his domicile features a lush garden with twelve species of flora. The natural greenery come together to form a natural mosaic and a private enclosure for the house. To complete the look, he even built a bio-pond that leads to the balcony and communal areas.
This house sits on a slight rise, and has a granite-clad facade that obscures the residence from the entrance sightline. “Most local home buyers would regard the uneven terrain, narrow frontage and lack of prominence as a disadvantage. However, I saw it as an opportunity to camouflage the bulkiness of the large house,” says Norman.
The living spaces are designed to blur the boundaries between the indoors and the nature outdoors. Clear glass windows, for example, separate the living room from the pond outside. One of the highlights of this room is the grandiose flooring, made from bookmatched slabs of Italian Carrara marble.
It’s obvious that Norman is a fan of dark and dramatic veined marble. The veteran designer played with juxtaposition through the use of Black Beauty granite in a leathered finish for the custom-made dining table. To avoid having the luxurious finishes appear overwhelming in the space, Norman kept the rest of the dining room pared-down.
Besides the dining table, Black Beauty granite also covers the backsplash and wraps the entire island counter in the open kitchen. Norman selected the material because it is heat resistant and suitable for the kitchen. But he adds that the streaks are another element of nature that remind him of the “foam of waves in an indomitable ocean”.
The designer’s love for dark marble continues in other parts of the home. For example, the staircase that leads to the upper floors are decked in Nero Marquina. This is a type of black marble with distinct white veins. The material also provides a luxurious yet cool tactile experience underfoot. Extra thought and detail are apparent in the addition of soft lighting along the staircase.
Similarly, the spa-like master bathroom swathed with Nero Marquina marble is perhaps the most glamorous space in the house. A freestanding bathtub sits at the heart of this dark, soothing sanctuary as an aesthetic and functional centrepiece. Additionally, its curved edges provide a soft contrast to its dramatic environment.
The bedroom is no different with its dark colour palette and handsome finishes. The most obvious being the dark grey feature wall and chestnut-coloured chesterfield sofa. This sofa subtly demarcates the sleeping zone from the lounge area. Additionally, this room also features large glass panels that overlook the nature outside.
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