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HomestyleSocialite-influencer Jamie Chua treasures space and privacy in her Sentosa Cove home

Socialite-influencer Jamie Chua treasures space and privacy in her Sentosa Cove home

This article first appeared in Harper’s Bazaar Singapore, the leading fashion glossy on the best of style, beauty, design, travel and the arts. Go to harpersbazaar.com.sg and follow @harpersbazaarsg on Instagram; harpersbazaarsingapore on Facebook. The October 2023 issue is out on newsstands now.

SINGAPORE – Jamie Chua is no stranger to the spotlight.

Not one to blend into the crowd, she is one of the most recognisable figures in Singapore. Dubbed by the media as “Singapore’s Instagram Queen” and often regarded as one of the most influential lifestyle personalities in the region, her digital footprint is prominent.

Her Instagram follower count, at 1.3 million, speaks volumes of her influence. Similarly, her TikTok and YouTube platforms boast 250,000 and 500,000 followers respectively, placing her firmly among the Republic’s most illustrious content creators.

Her vibrant lifestyle extends beyond the digital world and into her daily life.

In March, the mother of two moved into a new home in a cul-de-sac in Sentosa Cove. This was not originally on her list of desired locations, despite having previously lived on the island about 15 years ago.

“I did not enjoy living in Sentosa as it was not very accessible then,” she says, but her preferences gradually shifted.

“I feel that as I grow older, I appreciate a more relaxed lifestyle. I lived in Bukit Timah and the traffic, among other things, was horrendous.”

The final nudge came from her children, who were already comfortably nestled in their nooks on the island. They convinced her to give it a second thought, as the area had become more developed and offered a peaceful charm.

The Covid-19 pandemic was a catalyst for her change of heart. During the lockdown, she spent most of her time indoors at her old house.

“It made me realise how important having a peaceful and comfortable lifestyle at home is,” she says. “When we were stuck at home, we needed a space that felt comfortable, offered activities and had a good view – all of which I did not have back then.”

Today, her life is an intriguing duality. On social media, her personality is larger-than-life, but at home, she relishes her privacy.

Stepping into her home is akin to entering a grand French salon. The almost entirely white three-storey residence takes up about 740 sq m of space.

Upon entering, one’s eyes are instantly drawn to the distinctive arches lining the ceiling, their contours playing with light and shadow.

In the distance, wall-to-wall glass-panelled doors offer a tantalising glimpse of the waters beyond, filling the entranceway with a serene light that accentuates the chiaroscuro effect throughout the space.

“My brief was clear. I wanted the decor to resemble the Dior boutique in Avenue Montaigne in Paris. I did my research and studied its design,” says Chua, who worked with the principal architect and co-founder of Type0 Architecture, on the interior design.

Her home, with its Parisian chic and elegance, is a testament to her love of the city. “The beauty of Paris always leaves me mesmerised,” she says. “The city’s fashion, food, art – everything adds to my creative process. I’ve always sought to capture that essence in my home, and I think I’ve achieved that.”

The walls, for instance, are adorned with wooden wainscotting panels that hide clever storage spaces.

Chua says these panels were personally chosen and arranged to achieve the desired effect. The resulting design is unique, with some elements protruding while others are recessed, providing a visual and tactile experience.

Given her eye for perfection and the many details that needed attending to, the extensive renovation process took 1½ years.

In Chua’s home, every room is a distinct entity, carefully designed and compartmentalised to serve its purpose, and she appreciates this clear delineation of spaces.

“This layout offers a sense of structure and organisation, yet each room is a part of the whole. I designed this house with content creation in mind because every part of it can be a backdrop,” says Chua, who used to rent a studio each time she needed to create content for her clients.

The dining area and open-plan kitchen elegantly coalesce within a shared space, subtly divided by a versatile moveable island. The thoughtful design is practical when it comes to hosting – a pastime she shares with her partner, lawyer Terence Koh.

Adjacent to the eight-seater Giorgetti dining table set that is anchored by a Baccarat crystal chandelier hanging above, a wine chiller flaunts an impressive selection of vintages, including revered labels Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Petrus and Chateau Margaux.

In addition to a wet kitchen, there is also a bar area and an island, which provide plenty of room for people to move around and mingle.

However, Chua also savours her moments of solitude when at home. “I enjoy my solitude. It gives me time to research on how to better my life.”

Venturing into the back garden and beyond the lap pool, one meets an unexpected sight: a chicken coop. Crafted from timber repurposed from her previous home, this charming, pink-hued sanctuary is a cosy haven – reminiscent of a real-life Barbie dollhouse – for her brood of fluffy Silkie chickens.

Chua says her household uses only the freshest eggs from her flock, collected every morning. “This is as fresh as it gets.”  

Her affinity for nature extends beyond the coop. Amid the lush greenery, a rich array of vegetables and herbs flourishes. Her garden teems with diverse produce, from the heady scent of rosemary to the fiery zest of green chillies, the unique taste of bitter gourd to the tangy freshness of her beloved lemon trees.

Her need for respite and solitude manifests in this serene sanctuary, creating a surprising symbiosis between the spheres of luxury and nature.

Back inside the house, the piece de resistance of her home is her lavish walk-in wardrobe on the second floor. The opulent woman cave not only houses her stunning collection of designer clothing and footwear, but also her coveted handbag collection, with luxury brands such as Chanel, Dior and Hermes.

“While it might not be my home’s emotional heart, it’s crucial to my public persona. People anticipate seeing it and I’ve got to deliver. So, a great deal of thought went into making this space,” she says.

While building the wardrobe, she painstakingly considered every detail to provide a perfect stage for her cherished items. The final result resembles a private boutique with towering glass-protected displays and a vanity room.

At the centre of the wardrobe is a smaller chamber designed to display Chua’s famed collection of Hermes bags, reputedly the largest of its kind.

“This was a labour-intensive task,” she says, recounting the process of crafting the distinctive curved glass piece. “Its unique shape, created from a single continuous piece, was incredibly challenging and demanded a great deal of time and repeated attempts to perfect.”

Even amid the home’s opulence, there are tranquil corners where she can find solitude. The third-floor spa room, for instance, is a private retreat where she can bask in restorative treatments, undisturbed and at her own leisure.

Similarly, the meticulously curated cabinet of curiosities in her formal living room suggests a deeper narrative, an exhibition of her personal world.

It is not merely a display, it is an intimate collection that underscores her individuality.

Through it all, this is more than just a home. It is a personalised sanctuary away from the bustle of Chua’s public life. It is a world within a world and a home that is a unique representation of her persona.

When asked what she loves most about her home, she says: “Amid the chaos of my public life, this home is my quiet retreat.”

More On This Topic

Socialite Jamie Chua shares video of her luxurious new walk-in wardrobe

Socialite Jamie Chua’s boyfriend Terence Koh helps her sell old Manolo Blahnik heels on Instagram

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