Leong wears his own clothes and accessories.

“I love the work of Donald Judd and some of his sensibilities regarding form, colour and material have played into my general aesthetic inclination and the way I designed my flat, which I moved into around February this year.

I wanted the place to be simple, and have good spatial flow and a sense of openness – a space that’s minimal yet not cold and could form a backdrop for furniture, which I love… My favourite furniture companies include Artek, Mattiazzi, Fritz Hansen, Cassina, Menu, Emeco and Tacchini.”

Boxyz Damier calfskin top handle bag, Salvatore Ferragamo

“The glass display is the Labyrinth coffee table designed by Piero Lissoni for Glas Italia and I bought a pair of it at a sale – I’m always looking out for a good buy whether it’s fashion or furniture. The Italians are masters in glasswork and the piece is so easy to work into any interior space.

To be honest, it wasn’t something on my long list of furniture that I want, but I’m always open to having new items to evolve my own taste in design. I’ve been trying out how best to use it: as a bedside table, side table in the living room, or as in combination with a green coffee table that I have. I’ve always thought that a perfect home is partly one that’s constantly a work-in-progress, changing according to how you grow. Nice furniture doesn’t make a perfect home, but it helps!”

A custom blue Clerici Chair takes pride of place in the living room.

“The spaces within my home are structured around thick walls and volumes that allow me to get a glimpse of each room and its contents as I walk around; it’s like going through an abstract folly (a purely ornamental structure or building).

In my living room now, there are the likes of the Kiki Sofa from Artek, designed in 1960 by Ilmari Tapiovaara and upholstered in yellow Kvadrat/Raf Simons fabric – I’ve always enjoyed the simplicity and functionality of furniture from Artek – and a floor lamp by Jielde, an old French lamp maker known for its industrial-style folding-arm lamps.

There’s also my favourite piece of furniture in the whole house: a blue Clerici Chair from Mattiazzi designed by Konstantin Grcic. It doesn’t normally come in this colour, but I managed to do a special order with help from Raymond from Pomelo, which sells the brand in Singapore and is also one of my favourite furniture shops here.

The speaker is from Bang & Olufsen, it was a heavily discounted display set from their shop at Hyatt. It originally came with a grey fabric cover, which I replaced with a green cover that I bought online. I like that it is designed to be a piece of furniture and not just some black box.”


Leather clutch, Cos

“Walk past the kitchen and you’ll find some Artek 60 stools (opposite, bottom right) by the entrance that I’ve accumulated over the years, including a polka-dotted one that’s a special Comme des Garcons edition. They’re meant for guests, but I like them stacked in the corner and looking like sculpture.”

Leong fills his homes with mementos from dear friends too such as this side table designed by Studio Truly Truly for Tacchini.

“This coffee table is a gift from my friends who run the furniture store Made & Make. The table is the Daze side table designed by Studio Truly Truly for Tacchini. It’s composed on sheets of bent metal that have been hand-coloured in two layers of paint with a faded effect at the edges. It’s somewhere between a piece of furniture and minimalist sculpture. The dog is a year-end gift from Xtra. It’s made by Magis.”

The red terracotta tiles of the bathroom remind him so much of buildings in Tokyo.

“My bathroom is a combination of what was previously two separate ones and its design is partly influenced by the restrictions posed by the presence of pipes and the windows. There wasn’t a specific inspiration behind the design per se: it’s a combination of the materials and shapes I liked at that point of time of designing it. There’s always this element of providence when creating spaces – an intersection of things I come across and the situation being presented to me at a certain point in time.

I love its terracotta tiles because they remind me so much of buildings in Tokyo. I’ve also had friends who have told me that it makes them think of swimming pools and country clubs circa the ’80s.”

Photography Vee Chin Art Direction Adeline Eng

An edited version of this interview first appeared in the August 2020 Home Edition of FEMALE.