Designers Matthew Shang (L) and Paul Semple (R) of Hassell Studio.
Designers Matthew Shang and Paul Semple are experts in the creation of plush, masculine interior spaces.
The partners have built a respected rep over the past decade setting the aesthetic tone at Singapore’s chicest luxury hospitality, retail and residential spaces — including award-winning bars 28 Hongkong Street and Manhattan at the Regent, the midcentury cool Club Hotel, Mad Men-esque co-working space the Great Room, and innovative multi-discipline boutique Malmaison by The Hour Glass.
Here, the duo — principals at leading international design practice, HASSELL Studio — detail their top ten pieces of advice for the gent decking out an elegantly mantastic domestic environment.
10. Chairman Wow “When taking a seat, quality only, please. Dine on Bellini’s Cab, relax in a Womb chair by Saarinen (above), and rock up a Pollock for working. Oh and remember, no faking it, thanks fellas.”
9. Push the Button “Whether an aged Chesterfield, Urquoila’s Bohemian beauty (below) or a vintage Ward Bennett, a buttoned sofa is always the best companion for a gentleman and his guests.”
8. Canvas Opinion “Real men know — and talk — art. Buy something meaningful that speaks to you for years to come, let it keep good company in a ‘Paris Hang’ amidst those beautiful black and white shots you took and that market find. Also, projectors please or at least keep that enormous television hidden.”
Flipping the bird: Chirpy art at the Club Hotel, Singapore.
7. Knick-knack Paddy Whack “Present those Tchotchkes in style — make a beautiful tablescape with sentimental mementos stacked high on custom acrylic and brass stands. Even better, keep it all together in a tabletop vitrine.”
6. Cocktail Power “Invest in a great drinks trolley or better yet, have one custom designed for you.”
Semple and Shang's delightfully dark and moody Manhattan Bar at the Regent Singapore.
5. Shelf Awareness “Cicero was right: ‘A room without books is like a body without a soul.’ Customise those walnut shelves from floor to ceiling, or get yourself into the smart set with Dieter Rams’ universal shelving (below) or the USM Haller system.”
4. Sweetness’n’Light “Lighting needs to be oh-so-low, complement with some tasteful lamps: Magistretti’s gold Otollo on that credenza and Colombo’s Spider for your desk.”
3. Serious Business “Keep things professional with a partners’ desk from that distinguished law firm or a vintage Platner executive desk (below) for a Wall Street renaissance.”
2. Smell Blessings “If your room is empty but for a scent let it be Diptypque’s Bois Ciré or Cire Trudon’s Solix Rex.”
1. Closet Case “Make dressing a pleasure, ensure drawers are ordered, sized and colour coded — lined too, please. There’s nothing better to keep you company while selecting the day’s attire than a Wegner valet chair (below). Apart from a real-live valet, of course…”