Coco Chanel’s famed adage: “Fashion changes, but style endures,” immediately comes to mind upon regarding Terri Tan’s projects for Designworx. Architecture-trained Tan founded the interior consultancy in 1998 and has, over the last 20 years, designed an array of striking spaces in high-end residences, hotels, show suites and offices.
“Although every project is unique, there is a certain timelessness that permeates the designs over the years,” says Tan, when asked to describe her design philosophy. She also cites “understated elegance, beautiful things and her clients” as her inspirations, the latter which she emphasises are the driving force behind each of her projects.
“A lot of time is spent understanding each client’s brief even before the design process commences. Designs are often inspired by the client’s personal story, places that they like or styles that they gravitate towards,” says Tan.
Tan’s client-focused approach is especially evident in her Good Class Bungalow (GCB) project at Leedon Park. Designworx was commissioned to design the interiors of a home (situated on a sprawling 21,388 sq ft of land with a built-up area of 14,387 sq ft) for a family of five. The owners were after a contemporary, yet warm aesthetic that would impress guests when the family entertained, yet offer them a relaxing sanctuary during precious downtime. The final, show-stopping design is reminiscent of an aquatic palace, and is accented throughout with marine inspired motifs such as a dramatic coral-like bronze and glass wall light in the entrance foyer, a four-metre elliptical Manooi Artica chandelier, seashells set into the main dining table and a shagreen feature wall for the bar area.
The oceanic theme flows into the kitchen, which was particularly important for the owner’s daughter, a Cordon Bleu trained restaurateur and baking enthusiast.
“A lot of thought was put into the kitchens, particularly the dry kitchen because it had to be, first and foremost, practical and the design aligned with the overall design concept of timeless, contemporary luxe,” says Tan. Her solution is a serenely white space, anchored by a state-of-the-art Marosi dry kitchen island featuring sculptural, undulating wave-like contours, which Tan says “mimics the sensuous curves of the swimming pool just outside the dining room”. It takes considerable skill to make so many disparate strands cohere so effortlessly, and Tan agrees when asked if a feminine perspective brings unique attributes to the table. “Definitely. Women see things differently and they have a good eye for detail.”
( Related : Good Class Bungalow at Leedon Park )