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The Life Eclectic

47

Quirky yet elegant, founder of the Omar Khan Collective, and designer wunderkind, Omar Khan’s cave of wonders is an extension of his personality.

Images courtesy of the Omar Khan Collective

Visionary interior designer, visual merchandiser extraordinaire and an all round Creative (with a capital C), Omar Khan’s home in Cap Square is as much a reflection of his personal style as it reveals the inner workings of his head. Spread out over a generous 3000 sq ft, the apartment bears various clues of his unique career trajectory. The charcoal sketches hanging in the living room are his works from when he was a student studying animation and graphic design at the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York; an exquisitely intricate Pols Potten ceramic sculpture displayed in a glass box like a museum exhibit was picked up while he was travelling to source for props during his stint as head of visual merchandising for the Hong Kong based Pedder group; then there are the vintage style wooden dining chairs which also stand in his interior design projects for Troika and KLCC restaurant, Melur&Thyme, and family heirlooms reflecting his exotic background – his mother is Dutch Chinese Egyptian while his father is half Pakistani half German – an eclectic mix which informs his unique aesthetic blending heritage and modernity, oriental and occidental, idiosyncrasy and refinement.

Art and curios add interest in every corner, among them a Victorian bell jar that houses antique shirts cuffs

Here, an example of his aesthetic eclecticism, expressed through the blending of Oriental art and decor pieces with European style bistro chairs

Another view of the dining area, looking into the living room where the owner’s charcoal sketches line the wall

Leather vs. iron: the furniture selection is part gentleman’s club, part steam-punk, with the occasional presence of a mid-century classic

Having stayed in “small boxes” for many years during his time in New York and Hong Kong, Omar revels in having so much space to play around with although because of how well the space was already laid out, he didn’t do much to the structural work. “I ended up spending my budget on decorative items then an actual full scale renovation,” he reveals. “The space already had a good base and whatever I didn’t like was stained black or knocked out.” Omar’s aesthetic which he aptly describes as “dark and twisty, with a hint of whimsy” permeates the home and his collection of object d’art is showcased against a masculine palette of timber and polished stone finishings. His furniture is part steam-punk, part gentleman’s club with a smattering of mid-century modern classics – an unusual mix which Omar manages to pull off with panache. Lighting is kept moody and atmospheric, all the better to enjoy curiosities the likes of antique shirt cuffs displayed under Victorian bell jars. “Everything in this apartment is from my private collection. Some of the items are a collection of pieces I collected from everywhere I lived – Hong Kong, New York, Jakarta,” he says. “Some items are family heirlooms and a large chunk are from my travels throughout Europe and the States. I have candlesticks from an old church in Belgium, I have pressed flowers and old objects from a husband/wife artist in Italy and weird resin sculptures from France.” Despite the value of the objects, there isn’t a cold, untouchable “museum” feel to Omar’s home, instead it feels inviting and relaxed with tactile textures and welcoming areas to curl up in or chill out with friends. This is particularly true about the spacious balcony which has been turfed over with artificial grass and features vintage style hurricane lamps, a low table and seats: “The outdoor balcony turned out great and really is my favourite part of the house because everyone who comes over ends up hanging out for ages out there. Before, it read as a really cold space but since I changed it into this garden, it’s taken on a life of its own,” he enthuses.

The spacious balcony with its impressive skyline remains a popular spot among guests

In spite of the vast collection of fanciful objets d’art, the home maintains a masculine air, courtesy of surfaces finished in dark timber and polished stone

The home is as much a reflection of his personal style as it reveals the inner workings of his head.

Lighting is kept moody yet atmospheric, to better enable the appreciation of the owner’s private collection of treasures

With its romantic stag head, textured blanket and sombre palette, the master bedroom beautifully showcases the owner’s “dark and twisty, with a hint of whimsy’ aesthetic

As harmoniously as the existing space and decorative objects come together, Omar divulges that the project was as pleasing to work on. “The biggest challenge really was more logistical than anything else. I had so many different pieces from so many different places,” he reminisces. “My leather couch in my living room proved to be interesting as it was too big to get into the apartment and fit into the cargo elevator, so we had to get creative with how to get it up into the apartment.”

As with most creative types, Omar discloses that the apartment is still a work in progress. “I’m not done with it yet as I still have to add some black and white bamboo chick blinds and relook at some more furniture as well. But right now, I’m so busy doing other peoples homes that I just haven’t gotten down to finding time to do a lot of my own things.” 

Looks like those blinds may still take some time yet.



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