Art Director's Dream Home

Art Director's Dream Home
Sylvester Tan
Art Director Sylvester, or Syl as he's affectionately known, has curated a beautiful, art-filled home that serves as his sanctuary of safety and self-expression. In Singapore, where acceptance and affordable housing remains a significant challenge for queer individuals, we celebrate his resilience and the privilege of creating a space of comfort and pride, in hopes that every person finds their own safe haven, a place where they can grow and flourish into their true selves.

“I'm Sylvester, but most people call me Syl. I work as an Art Director at Foreign Policy Design, a branding and design consultancy firm. Growing up as a gay person, I didn’t always feel comfortable living with some family members due to my sexuality. Owning a house now feels like a privilege, providing a space where I feel safe and can be myself.” 


“My home reflects my expressive nature and appreciation for freedom through vibrant colors and flexible design. It draws inspiration from the various things I encounter daily as a designer.” 

“I have a habit of curating and documenting interesting design elements I come across both online and offline, so my home is a reflection of that visual diary, where I've managed to blend different elements I like into a cohesive space.”


“I collaborated closely with my interior designer and friend, cerealtea.designs to create a space where I could spend most of my time in the living area rather than the bedroom. We opted for an open living area to maximize natural light and create flexible pockets of space. We removed several walls to achieve a spacious layout, resulting in an open-concept kitchen, converting two common bedrooms into a living room, and turning the original living room into my office.” 


“We focused on textured wood and metallic materials, adding unexpected pops of color. The first thing you see upon entering is the open-concept kitchen with a statement yellow buttery laminated cabinet. The master bedroom features an unconventional dark green epoxy, while the rest of the furniture maintains a neutral or wood tone.” 

“I have many favorite spots, but if I had to choose one, it would be the corner with the metal shelving where I display design collateral collected over the years. This idea was inspired by the studio I work in and serves as a showcase for my design collection. Fun fact: I can name most of the design studios behind these brochures.”


“I frequently shop at IKEA and enjoy DIY projects. For instance, I spray-painted my work desk legs blue to add some personality, inspired by HAY. Simple DIY tricks like this can elevate a common furniture piece.”


“Beyond style, I prioritize collecting decor that holds personal meaning, such as a piece of wood art from Egypt that reminds me of a friend I traveled with. For art pieces, I focus on supporting local artists, and having my own space actually also offers another outlet for my creativity - I designed most of the framed posters that are hanging around and also had fun picking out different color frames to balance them out compositionally.” 


“I’ve moved around and rented apartments, but never truly felt like I belonged anywhere. I now view my home as a work-in-progress canvas that evolves with my life experiences and I’m looking forward to hosting more friends over for meaningful connections and conversations.” 

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