Check Out These Singapore Stores For Serious Design Inspiration
#1: Audemars Piguet, #01-03 Liat Towers
Ten months in the making, the high-end watch brand’s revamped boutique opened in February and is its largest in the world at 2,110 sq ft. The store takes its design cues from the environment around Audemars Piguet’s birthplace: the village of Le Brassus in the Vallee de Joux region, Switzerland. The three-storey bronze facade calls to mind the trees in the region, while the use of materials such as oak and stone abounds throughout the store.
Tip #1: Lighting fixtures can double as installation art.
The chandelier on the first floor is made up of 2,000 crystal glass pieces, and is inspired by the fog and clouds that often hover over Vallee de Joux.
Tip #2: Bring the outdoors into your home with photography.
The framed images lining the stairwell are the works of British landscape photographer Dan Holdsworth, and have appeared in the brand’s ad campaigns throughout the years. The striking and dreamy images depict the nature of Vallee de Joux at its calmest.
Tip #3: Vertical window blinds provide privacy while bathing the living room with plenty of natural light.
This creates a sense of openness and an illusion of more space. As the lounge of the boutique shows, it also gives the illusion of height.
#2: Casa Loewe, #01-11/12 Paragon
Opened in February, this is the first flagship in the region – conceptualised by the brand’s creative director/design supremo J.W. Anderson, no less. Spanning the size of about three five-room HDB flats, it features wide open spaces and clean lines. It also harks back to the grand yet modern Spanish homes of the ’60s, and the works of Spanish architect Javier Carvajal Ferrer, who worked on Loewe’s boutiques through the ’60s.
Tip #1: Forget feature walls and think statement ceilings.
The dramatic emerald green fixture that hovers above the entrance is a nod to the one Ferrer designed for Loewe’s Madrid flagship in 1959. Crafted from a single slab of agate, the slivers of light that pass through the grains of the stone create a calming welcome, like a reflecting pool suspended in air.
Tip #2: Mix two contrasting design aesthetics to create a dynamic space.
The store’s architecture may be mid-century Modern, but its furnishings are a lesson in the turn-of-the-century Arts and Crafts movement. The latter, characterised by furniture that’s part medieval, part folk and part handcrafted, is seen in the wooden armchairs made by English artist William Morris, and the brass and wicker details on the display tables.
Tip #3: Contrast different stone textures for a contemporary look.
Black and white Marquina marble columns, silver travertine tiles, stucco walls and Capri limestone flooring do the trick for Loewe.
Tip #4: Colour code the contents of your wardrobe a la Loewe’s in-store displays.
This not only helps with organisation, but creates immediate visual interest too.
#3: Dior, #01-22 & #02-12/13 Ion Orchard
Designed by starchitect Peter Marino, the four-month-old duplex is an homage to the brand’s Avenue Montaigne store in Paris and, at over 7,530 sq ft, the largest of Dior’s boutiques here. It combines the classic with modern and eclectic touches. French-style mouldings come on opalescent grey walls, while the 18th century-style Louis XIV chairs come with a mishmash of upholstery.
Tip #1: A single statement piece is all that’s needed to liven up a large open area.
The boutique boasts at least 10 special commissions peppered throughout its rooms. In the women’s leather goods space, for example, is a bench by Detroit-based designer Christopher Schanck, whose modus operandi includes playing with aluminium foil, scavenged foam, steel and multiple textures. The result: a cross between a metal tree and a round park bench.
Tip #2: The modern alternative to chandeliers: glass artwork plastered across the ceiling.
In the women’s ready-to-wear room, an installation by American contemporary artist Rob Wynne features a smattering of his signature mirrored butterflies. Hit the lights and get an ethereal glow.
Tip #3: Put a contemporary spin on French salons with a VIP lounge that’s accessible only via a private staircase or elevator.
Here, French brand Pouillon’s white marble fireplace – inspired by the ones from Louis XVI’s palace – becomes a nook for floral arrangements. Instead of antique furnishing? Modern and unpredictable designer pieces like Franck Evennou’s Curved and Twist mirrors, and Rolland Mellan’s Walking Table.
An adapted version of this appeared in Female‘s May 2016 issue.