Rohan Smith, senior interior designer at Coco Republic, shares his insights into the thought process behind selecting the furniture, decorating the spaces in the building, including a display apartment, and creating an ambience in Ardency Kennedy Place that aligns with the rich tastes of the residents and their lifestyles.
When you step into Ardency Kennedy Place, you recognise the extraordinary instantly. The premium residences built for the over 55 community are thoughtfully designed. They are flooded with natural light and the high-quality finishes are waiting for your personal touch. Coco Republic has enhanced the space extending from the foyer to the hallways and a display apartment to showcase how their stylish furniture and homewares can be utilised to maximise the beauty and elegance of the luxurious building.
The approach involved creating a consistent design language throughout the furniture and décor selection. We chose pieces that exuded luxury without compromising on comfort or functionality. The ease of use and safety were paramount, especially for an older demographic, ensuring the furniture was easy to navigate and safe while still being visually appealing. We used a lot of accent pieces to decorate the areas. You can compare them with artwork installations, we wanted every piece to be a conversation starter and enhance the overall appearance of the place.
The colour scheme was influenced by the existing elements, like the rug in the foyer, which we used as a foundation to ensure harmony and complementarity in the overall design. We used some of the key colours of the rug, like the blue and the rust tones, and incorporated them throughout the building. You would notice the rust tones in the lift lobbies for the resident amenities and the chairs, while we have used the blue to elevate the Kennedy Club resident lounge.
The furniture colours were kept neutral in the foyer, contrasting with the vibrant coloured rug to stand out while maintaining uniformity across the building. We didn’t want it to look too matchy-matchy but accentuate the place with hints of similar tones.
The choice of rounded-back G-chairs, round-edged consoles, and side tables contributed to a sophisticated yet understated coherence in the space. The rounded edges provide a beautiful flow to the rectangular shapes of the rooms and add a sense of softness to the overall aesthetic of the space.
The foyer's travertine marble for coffee tables, brass accents, and gold finishes add opulence while maintaining a refined aesthetic. We ensured the occasional chairs had arms and were easy to get in and out of them. The height of the furniture was kept elevated so that residents don’t have to lower themselves too much to be seated.
For the display suite, the objective was to create a memorable and appealing environment for potential buyers without overwhelming them. Our focus was to ensure the furniture showcased the space effectively without detracting from the main selling points of the apartments. The safety considerations were crucial, especially for an older demographic. We used a mix of furniture considering their functionality. We used rounded edges and stable structures for sofas and chairs to prevent them from slipping or moving while in use to avoid accidents.
Additionally, in communal areas, we used furniture that was designed to be flexible, allowing residents to rearrange chairs and tables comfortably if they wanted to move a chair out of the sun or to pull some chairs closer together to be in a group conversation.
The real challenge was to create a space for residents who were making a significant transition from spacious homes to apartments. Adapting to apartment living, where the focus shifted to on an open-plan setup, meant optimising the area that would serve as the living room, dining room, kitchen, study, and entertaining space. Therefore, we used multifunctional furniture to maximise functionality and make the most of the space available.
We also wanted to ensure the residents had the opportunity to personalise their apartment. We have created spaces for them to display their sentimental objects, souvenirs, to lend their unique personalities reflect in their homes.
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Senior Interior Designer, Coco Republic
"Instead of adhering to specific design trends, the emphasis was on creating a unique and sophisticated living space. The goal was to avoid the stereotypical retirement home appearance and provide a sophisticated, elegant, and personalised environment that resonated with the residents' tastes."