A private yet practical haven

Actor Desmond Ng’s new home is infused with a style that resonates with his personality.

Getai singer, television host and up-andcoming actor Desmond Ng is best known for his successes in the professional sphere, especially given his recent Best Actor Nomination at the Star Awards this year. However, beyond his public persona hides a composed, calm, and deeply introspective soul eager to recharge in a serene space that he can call his own.

Home, to him, is a refuge from life’s cacophony; a chamber that preserves the authenticity that has followed him even before his foray into the public eye. In fact, his apartment is the best personification of his desire for intimacy, with a minimalistic open concept that fuses a beautifully urban aesthetic with
brilliantly practical nuances.


What motivated your transition from singing to acting?

My childhood friend, Wang Wei Liang (best known as Recruit Lobang in Ah Boys to Men) was my getai partner when we first started. When he got his first big break with Ah Boys to Men, he encouraged me to audition for a cameo role in the movie. I didn’t know it at the time, but acting would soon become my fulltime job!

Guess you never expected to add ‘acting’ to your repertoire?

Funnily enough, I never thought I was going to be a getai singer, let alone an actor, even in my wildest of dreams. Truth be told, I assumed I would have led a more conventional life, perhaps as a salesman after I graduated from school. That just goes to show the unpredictability of life, and its many surprises!

If your home had a personality, what would it be?

I think my home can be best described as a haven or perhaps a familiar escape from the hustle of my public life. I want a living space that is personally comfortable, cosy and safe for me to embrace my true self. In a way, it is bold and daring, for it represents an aspect of me that isn’t dictated by anyone else but me, and it’s my way of taking full control of the private aspects of a life that is predominantly public. At its core, my home is a space where I can unwind, let loose, and let go after a long day at work, where I can shift my focus from my professional responsibilities to myself.

On that note, how does your home space accommodate your already hectic schedule?

Just looking around my apartment, it is pretty apparent that I embrace minimalism. I don’t enjoy clutter or design concepts that embrace clutter as a natural accompaniment.

My home is mostly lowmaintenance, and I only keep what I really need. I guess that’s how my home exudes a sense of spaciousness despite it being a 3-room apartment. With that said, most of my furnishings act as storage spaces as well! Take, for example, the very seats we’re sitting on – they also function as shoe closets. That way, the unavoidable clutter does not inhabit and occupy my rest space, leaving more room for personal contemplation anentertainment.

What is it about black and white that draws you in?

Somehow, I have always found this mix to be perfectly versatile. They are distinctively contrasting, yet beautifully congruous. For me, it is the absolute expression of individuality that accentuates the duality of our private and public selves. You can see this in the segmentation of my spaces using these colours, that each space is fittingly clear in its specific function. This has also inspired my new clothing brand, @imperfect.dmd, which offers a series of black and white oversized tees.

 How do you incorporate art into your home while still upholding its minimalistic open concept?

Many assume minimalism to be the removal of clutter. That’s not true. It’s all about being deliberate about what I do with my space so that it represents only what truly matters. You can tell there isn’t a trove of artistic impressions in my home, but the lack of it accentuates the meaningfulness of those that I do display.

One of which is this incredibly abstract piece that was designed by a dear friend – an impressionistic caricature put together by gold leaves that alludes to the passion that is concealed behind my quiet countenance. Also, it’s great for feng shui so double points!


What advice would you give to aspiring homeowners hoping to create an intimate space like yours?

Always remember that your home is an extension of you. What do you want to feel when you first step intoyour home? Personally, I like a space that enables me to feel good, feel happy, and feel free. I can understand the concerns of practicality, but personal sentimentality and wants are what allow a home to feel unique, and distinct. Make them the primary fundamentals of your conceptualisation, and then incorporate practicality into the mix. There are so many creative ways to fulfil the practical aspects of home design with multidimensional furnishings. That way, you avoid falling into the pothole that is filled with “what ifs” and overwhelming your home with unnecessary clutter.

Which area(s) of your home do you find to be most special and welcoming?

My living room for sure. Many do not know this, but during my formative years as a getai singer, I was renting apartments. And as any renter would know, the living room is a shared space, so I would spend most of my time confined in my bedroom. Finally, I have a living room that I can call my own, and just that alone delivers this satisfying sense of freedom that is savoured.

Do you entertain often at home?

The apartment is relatively new, so not many have had the chance to see my new home. On that note, however, I am rather selective about who enters my home, for it reflects my more private self. My friends that have come over love my living room. When paired with ambient music and warm lighting, it is an incredibly vibrant and relatable space that exemplifies the comforts of a home. It is built around me and my passions, and the living room really opens up whenever I’m lounging.

How does your home integrate your professional self into its design?

I do my very best to separate my work life from my personal life. This space is akin to my personal  pocket realm – it doesn’t incorporate many elements of my professional life except my proudest achievements (like my Star Award). When I’m  here, I want to embrace a piece of me that isn’t available while I’m at work. When I’m here, I want  to be really here, not in this strange flux between my private life and my professional life.


Any thoughts on ‘Smart Homes’?

Love it. In fact, my entire home is connected via a mobile app I can check whenever I’m on the go.  And the best thing about it is that it isn’t especially evident. I wanted its interconnectivity to subtly integrate itself within my home so that it doesn’t intrude on my home’s veritably warm nuances. Of course, many laud the practicality that smart connectivity brings to home design, but I think it should be done less conspicuously so that it doesn’t overwhelm the home’s ambience.

What are some must-haves you would recommend from Gain City?

For sure, it would be its sofa. Weirdly enough, I wasn’t aware that Gain City carried a range of couches and recliners and I’m surprisingly pleased by their quality and workmanship. Homeowners should definitely consider one as well!