Family home at The Ladyhill for $7.5 mil

By Amy Tan
/ EdgeProp Singapore |
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Husband and wife, Arjan and Amber De Boer, were looking for a home in 2004 when they came across The Ladyhill, a boutique luxury condo located next to Shangri-La Residences, just off Orange Grove Road.
The design concept of SCDA Architects’ Chan Soo Khian for The Ladyhill – a low-rise development with just 55 units, surrounded by greenery, water features and façade of natural stone – “resonated with us”, says Arjan in a phone interview with EdgeProp Singapore.
Arjan is the co-founder of InSitu, a developer and manager of hospitality concepts. The couple develop villas and hotel resorts in Bali, Indonesia, and share a love for interior design, despite never having been trained in the field. “Through our work, we meet a lot of architects, interior designers, landscaping designers, and you get ideas all the time,” he says. “You are basically inspired all the time after working with all these people.”
The Ladyhill is a freehold project comprising two parallel, four-storey terrace blocks facing a landacaped courtyard (Pictures: Samuel Issac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
The couple purchased a 3,283 sq ft, four-bedroom apartment on the first level at The Ladyhill in 2004. The living room has full-height glass sliding doors opening out to a patio, which overlooks the lawn. They have been living there since.
“We really like the tranquillity of the place despite its proximity to Orchard Road, which is such a busy area,” says Amber in the phone interview. “Everything we need is within walking distance.”
Six-year renovation in phases
Even when they renovated their apartment, the De Boers did not move out. Their last renovation took place over a span of six years and was completed last year. It cost about $1 million.
They renovated in phases over the years to accommodate the needs of their growing family. They now have two daughters aged seven and nine, a helper, a golden retriever and a cat.
“Given that we have a very young family, where everything was changing, we lived with our renovation and then we reconsidered the next section that we wanted to do and we did it slowly,” says Amber. “So many people renovate an entire house without actually living through it. And they end up regretting what they have done further down the track when they have to renovate again.”
The couple removed the original water feature to make room for more living space
One of the first things they did was to remove the water feature at one end of the living room. This allowed them to extend the living area. Amber also wanted an open-concept kitchen so she could see and hear her children when she was there. As such, the wall enclosing the kitchen was torn down to make way for a custom-built kitchen from Germany by luxury kitchen designer Eggersmann, with high-end kitchen appliances from Gaggenau.
Both brands worked together to ensure that the glass-fronted doors on the De Boers’ fridge and freezer could suit the Singapore climate. The Eggersmann and Gaggenau offices in Germany are located within close proximity, enabling them to customise their appliances and finishing easily.
“Amber spent a lot of time on this,” recounts Arjan. “She basically went through all the catalogues and called them [the retailers] up to find out the largest fridge and freezer she could get.”
The De Boers fitted out their open-concept kitchen with Eggersmann and Gaggenau finishing and applicances
The couple added more wardrobe and storage space in the bedrooms. Even though there were three en suite bedrooms in the unit, a fourth bedroom had to be added when the two daughters wanted their own rooms. This is because the third bedroom had been designated the guest bedroom. A new bedroom was therefore created from part of the space that was freed up after the removal of the water feature in the living room as well as the study.
The wooden deck and river stones in the patio were replaced with stone slabs that were easier to maintain and this also created more space for the pets to roam about freely.
The guest room
Sensitivity to original design
Apartments at The Ladyhill are fitted out with marble, granite, semi-precious stone and teak floors. Even though the De Boers extensively renovated their apartment to suit their family’s needs, they were sensitive to the original design and materials used.
For instance, when they covered up the water feature and redesigned the kitchen, Arjan visited six different stone suppliers to source for the same type of marble used for the flooring. “He stood in the hot midday sun and went through each slab to make sure that the grains matched,” says Amber.
The marble flooring at the apartment
Adds Arjan: “You could ask a contractor to do it, but he will not make the same effort in finding slabs of the same colour or to make sure that the grains match.”
The pride that the De Boers take in maintaining their home has also extended to the development as a whole. Arjan has even joined the Management Corporation Strata Title (MCST) committee for The Ladyhill as a council member, and is actively involved in the rollout of the various maintenance programmes.
Facilities include an infinity pool, a function room, a gymnasium, and a lotus pond which runs the length of the development. The gym was renovated two years ago while the swimming pool deck and furniture were replaced with new ones recently. Meanwhile, the lotus pond and landscaped gardens are maintained regularly. Hence, despite being 17 years of age, the condo still looks pristine today.
‘Pride in the development’
“All the council members take pride in the development,” says Arjan. “We want to maintain it regularly so that we reduce future costs of upkeep.”
The Ladyhill was the maiden luxury condo development by Simon Cheong of SC Global Developments. The freehold project in prime District 10 also marked the first collaboration between SC Global and SCDA Architects in a high-end condo project. Since then, SC Global has become a developer synonymous with luxury projects.
For instance, SC Global’s The Marq on Paterson Hill – where SCDA was also the architect – was the first condo in Singapore where prices first crossed $5,000 psf during the last peak of 2007/2008. Moreover, it achieved the highest psf price of $6,842 in 2011, a record that remains unbroken today.
SC Global is also the developer of Sculptura Ardmore in Ardmore Park, where the super penthouse was sold for $60 million or over $6,000 psf in 2017.
All the 55 units at The Ladyhill are four- to five-bedroom units with sizes from 2,239 sq ft. The biggest units are those on the first level, which are up to 4,187 sq ft. The penthouses on the fourth level are all 3,843 sq ft in size.
The master bedroom en-suite
Premium value
When the project was first launched in 2000, units were sold at prices ranging from $1,139 to $1,781 psf, based on caveats lodged then. Prices at The Ladyhill peaked in 2010, when units crossed $2,800 psf. The highest were for two units of 2,325 sq ft on the second level that changed hands for $6.6 million ($2,839 psf) each in April and October 2010 respectively, according to caveats lodged then.
The prices at The Ladyhill have held up well over the years, says Sharon Lee, senior director and head of auction sales at Knight Frank. Lee brokered the sale of a 4,187 sq ft unit on the first level for $10.3 million ($2,460 psf) in December.
“The Ladyhill is sought-after because it was SC Global’s first project,” says Lee. “The quality of the finishing and materials used is top-end. The property has therefore been able to maintain its premium value. It’s also rare to find a project so close to Orchard Road and yet still so peaceful.”
One of the daughters' bedrooms
After some 14 years at The Ladyhill, the De Boers have decided to sell their apartment. “The Ladyhill has been very good to us but our children are coming to the crucial schooling age that require us to make some big decisions,” says Amber.
Adds Arjan: “We are ready for our next renovation project.”
The De Boers engaged Knight Frank’s Lee as the exclusive agent for their apartment. The asking price for the property is said to be $7.5 million ($2,284 psf).

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