Ebony and Ivory

By Ailan Gates 2019-12-09 15:03:17

From Singapore to Shanghai, Diana Chew showcases her new contemporary home, which pays homage to the past

As I walked into Diana Chew’s home, the opening lines “Ebony and Ivory, living together in perfect harmony” to the classic 80’s hit, “Ebony and Ivory” played through my mind. Sir Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder must have visited this house.

Originally from Singapore, Diana and Ken arrived in October 2002, exactly 17 years ago, with their 3-year-old furry baby Brownie, a golden retriever. Since calling Shanghai home, they have renovated three homes, have two beautiful children, Kaitlyn (13 years old) and Kai (six years old) and have had three doggies. Two years after immigrating, Ken opened his own advertising production company. Diana works in the same industry, but prefers to work as a consultant, as she balances a career and her family.

Their contemporary home in Changning highlights their sense of taste. The minimalist style and subtle décor had an instantly calming, serene effect on me. The colour scheme, contrasting dark mahogany panels that ran on either side of the hallway with neutral coloured tiled flooring, is central to the look and feel of the residence. The winding staircase was dimly lit, providing functionality and beauty; the soft light reflected the grain of the wood.

Diana sourced most of the materials herself and her keen eye was most evident from the tiled floors that looked like floorboards, to the state-of-the-art automatic awning above Kaitlyn’s balcony. The collaborative effort with their architect and contractor was essential in creating this beautiful home.

The master bathroom was the pièce de resistance of minimalist design. As I walked through the sleek, dark paneled hallway, with Diana’s walk-in closet and walk-in shower secretly hidden behind it, my eyes were instantly drawn to their magnificent soaking bathtub. The sunlight streamed through the window, illuminating the ivory tub in such a way that all I wanted to do was jump in and have a luxurious bath.

Recounting her seemingly extraordinary childhood, Diana’s face beamed with glee. On a fishing village in Singapore’s Punggol Island, her father raised chickens by day and fished at night. His work ethic has evidently influenced Diana, as she successfully juggles both a career and parenthood. And, whilst most of Punggol Island has since been reclaimed for new development, Diana preserves her fond memories in her new house.

Their bold, bright coloured ‘Bon Voyage’ painting by Qing Hang in the dining room also paid homage to her childhood, as the painting was of three fairies laughing and dancing in front of a ship. Diana’s story is certainly a tale of two rivers, from Punggol to the Huang Pu.


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