Singer Tay Kewei cleverly hides this 'secret' behind 2m high cabinet in Bedok Reservoir home

5 January 2016 / 11 months 3 days ago

AsiaOne
5 January 2015

She has stayed in the East, West and North of Singapore, but two years ago local singer Tay Kewei and her family settled down in a Bedok Reservoir condominium.

The singer has moved house several times. When she was younger, she stayed in Eunos with her parents and younger sister for nearly 20 years. The family then moved over to Boon Lay to be closer to her father's workplace.

"We lived in Boon Lay while I was at university, and then we moved to Bishan and remained there for eight years," she told Lianhe Wanbao in an interview at her house.

The family then made a third move three years ago, moving into their current Bedok Reservoir unit. "My father likes it here. We used to stay in the East anyway," she explained.

The living room in the Tays' home has a modern and minimalist style. The living room, bedrooms and the study room all have specially customised built-in cabinets, which are beautiful and also help to save space.

In the living room, there are statues of the Chinese Fu Lu Shou deities and animal sculptures. Ms Tay smiles and explains: "My father was the eldest in his family, and so the three statues were passed on to him from my grandparents. But they are quite out of sync (with the style and design of the house)!"

A highlight of the house is a built-in cabinet, which serves as a shoe rack that is over 2 metres high.

At their previous Bishan home, Ms Tay and her younger sister had so many pairs of shoes that they faced problems storing all of them, causing the shoes to spill out onto the floor. In this home, the sisters cleverly used a recess beside the front door to build a customised sliding door panel with shelves that can accommodate an estimated 200 pairs of shoes.

As for Ms Tay and her husband, athletics coach Alfred Sim, their Build-to-Order (BTO) "love nest" in Whampoa will only be ready in 2017 at the earliest. Therefore, the couple currently still stay with their own parents. But she says that they still see each other almost every day, and take turns spending the night at each other's homes.

"He does not have many clothes at my place, nor do I have many clothes at his place. We only bring what we need when we decide where we are spending the night," she told Wanbao.

Will her Whampoa flat also have built-in wall cupboards? "I don't like everything to be built-in, but it really does save space," she said, adding that she had already begun collecting design materials based on her new home's blueprints.

One of her existing ideas is to have a glass display cabinet to show off pieces of art given to her by her artist friends as well as merchandise and posters from her previous performances.

According to the Chinese evening daily, one feature of her current house that she is particularly proud of is a cutout of the Chinese "Double Happiness" character that is pasted on the couple's bedroom door. On both sides of the character are also cutouts of the couple's names, which were put up a year ago in preparation for their nuptials.

"I really like the 'Double Happiness' character. It is both simple and unique. But, maybe it should be taken down now since we've already been married for close to a year," she mused.

The bedroom has a double bed, desk and a doll, but is otherwise empty and does not even have a chair. "There used to be many more things in the bedroom, but it has all been cleared. I don't study anymore so I don't need a chair," she explained.

A special compartment on the desk is used to conceal wires, plugs and a hairdryer, while a row of drawers under the bed is used as a store for her handbags.

While most women also have dressing tables, Ms Tay has cleverly "hidden" her dresser inside her wardrobe. "All my makeup is kept inside the wardrobe, while my accessories are all kept on a file tray."

In another corner of the unit is a small study room. Ms Tay says she had initially hoped that the room could be made into a walk-in wardrobe, but the idea was scrapped after the family received advice from a feng shui master.

"He (the feng shui master) told us that the room would be suitable as a study, so we turned it into a small study room that is now used by my father," she said.

She also revealed that some of the videos online of her performing solo were filmed in the study. The study is also used to store a few of her father's erhu, as well as her own electronic keyboard.

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