Architectural Digest’s Home Tours

15 min read

This week was INSANELY PRODUCTIVE. Everyday was filled with events that were either physically or intellectually stimulating OR just made me happy. Except Saturday. I realised now that writing blog entries have become part of my weekly routine, I figured I should add more architecture-related ideas too- just to elevate the normal what-happened-in-my-week kind of entry. This week’s architecture-related idea has got to be about this video tour of Taylor Hill’s home by Architectural Digest, but more on that later in this post.

Now here’s exactly what happened in the past week. Chronologically. Euro Cup Final. Conjuring in the theatres. Hit the Gym. Sketched Novena area. Shopped art supplies for school. Cycled 63km. Spent 30 minutes recording time lapses of sunsets. Drawing. More Drawing.

The biggest mistake this week would be waking up at 3am for the Euro Cup Final– just because I had a long week ahead and the match ending at 6am did not help my sleep schedule in any way. I think that is definitely something to work on; figuring out my priorities and making the best decision based on that.

Anyways, here’s something about myself. I have always loved cycling (recreationally of course) because I see it as an extremely convenient mode of transport around such a small country like Singapore.

It made sense that if I had this mindset then surely, I could cycle anywhere in the East (which is where I stay).

I would check the map and if my destination reads 3km away, and if I could run that in 15 minutes, I could definitely reach there even faster by cycling. Before Thursday, I had done multiple trips to East Coast Park about 12km from home and back at a relaxed pace.

So I met my friend Rauf who cycles ALOT and gave me a city tour before soaking in the sunset along Marina Bay Sands. Before Thursday, I never really figured my limit when it comes to cycling. This 63km trip, however, got me multiple shades darker in the noon sun and also knocked me out the entire day after.

But I like it.

I like to get uncomfortable and push myself so I understand my own limits.

But I am definitely keeping my cycling trips to be below 10km- just because I only see cycling as a convenient mode of transport. 

Now I have been meeting my schoolmate, Ray, to practice sketching buildings in order to understand their architecture through quick sketches. These sessions have been meaningful not because we got to learn from each other different techniques and how each of us saw the building, I mean surely they were excellent sessions because of that.

But the idea of setting aside 3 hours just to practice sketching has got to be the biggest motivator for me to plan such afternoons. To me, it’s one of those activities that you do without caring about the world around you.

So we started from our alma mater, St. Joseph’s Institution and walked along Malcolm Road along Catholic Junior College and reached Novena Church, Church of St. Alphonsus. Honestly, it is such a super intricate building which I love and this sophisticated design just complements the fact that it is a religious site so well. We went along Scotts Road to draw the black and white houses in the area as well.

As always, my sketches are rather loose like the ones from my Urban Sketching page but these loose strokes help me understand where things are in a very instinctive manner, because I don’t plan and accurately measure where it should be, I just see and draw. Gradually, the build up of lines and the confidence I had when starting the small piece becomes this nice memento of the building. 

I sketched in this manner so I get used to the idea of annotating particular features or ideas that could inspire me in my future concepts.

Hopefully, one day if I get a mental art block, I could just flip through these pages and understand my perspective at that time by reading the annotations I made earlier.

It is very different to when I get home and work on my other drawings- those are accurate and plotted with real precision.

Hence, having these sketching sessions just help me master the craft of drawing- be it loose sketches of hyperrealistic drawings. 

Mastering the art of drawing is a need because it complements my goal of becoming an Architect. Being able to draw well is a skill that translates the ideas I have into drawings that people can read and understand. I haven’t really figured out my specific style when it comes to Architecture but I sure will be setting a Monthly Moodboard just to capture all the crazy ideas I constantly have.

Nonetheless, the past few years, I have never come across a home that I would love more than Taylor Hill’s as shown in her home tour by Architectural Digest. I am a massive fan of what they do and I think it is simply amazing that these celebrities are opening up and shedding some light into their private lives.

To describe her beautiful home, it is one of the cosiest, personal and well-curated homes I have ever watched on their series. Another would easily be Dakota Johnson’s here. I realised the series mainly focus on the interior design- with Taylor specifically explaining why she picked certain furniture/colours in her home to be a certain way. But I am a firm believer that architecture and interior Design should go hand-in-hand as each aspect complement the other to build a complete home. Even if it focuses mainly on Interior Design, I love to appreciate the use of space and the flow that a certain arrangement of her home has on each guest.

Photo: Living Room naturally lit by full-frame windows. Photo by Alyssa Rosenheck.

I think a lot of people tend to adore Architecture for its facade but I tend to appreciate the facade better if I get to understand how the facade blends or complements with its interior use of space well. That’s where Interior Design comes in because it ‘decorates’ this interior space. That entire process then, creates this wonderful home. 

After reading so many editorial pieces and watching so many home tours, I would love to write a local piece for Architectural Digest simply because the term ‘Singapore’ does not yield that many results on their page (about 150), but to get a story means I would have to find a topic or a home, someone willing to be interviewed which seems alright. But the only thing stopping me is not knowing where to start. But I’m sure I’ll find my feet soon.

Search Results for ‘Singapore’ in Architectural Digest

Another epiphany I had when watching the video was that Taylor Hill is only 25 yet she owns such a beautiful house. I’ll be turning 21 this year and foreseeing 5 years in university, I’ll be 26 upon graduation. I mean, I had to serve National Service for 2 years and blah blah…. But nonetheless, those were just the circumstances of being a Singaporean male. I can’t use that as an excuse for a late start in my career. It just seems a little….. petty because if I really wanted to acheive something that badly, I would have done it.

So the epiphany I had was that I have to start DOING now. I can do so much in 5 years. I have to start setting my goals right because I can’t just be graduating from Architecture school in 5 years, I should be graduating from Architecture School and have done something amazing in the field as well. 

That video made me realise that I have to start now

And now every week, every day, is a day closer to being 25 and likewise, owning a beautiful home. The difference between me right now and that goal? An unbelievable amount of effort- effort that ordinary people would perceive as ‘crazy’ or their ‘limit’ but for me, it has to be something I am willing to put in .

As much as I had a productive week, it was also a good reminder to myself to do more. So this week, I think I am about 65% into my drawing of the National Gallery. I think it looks really pretty. I had this idea to draw city landmarks where I go because the reference photos were shot by me. And hopefully, in the future when I start travelling and living in other cities, I get to draw the landmarks over there and have a collection of the world in graphite. 

Thanks for reading my eight blog entry. I really appreciate your support. Don’t forget to keep up with my Instagram (hopefully I finish my humongous drawing this week)

Also, Thank you Architectural Digest for publishing content I love. Hopefully, my post doesn’t get removed for sharing their material but I just love it so much I had to share with everyone.


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