In the heart of the CBD, on the 23rd floor of the SBF Center, lies an intimate office space. Sprawled over 1,000 sqft, it bears equal measure of elegance and practicality. It has a 10-seater meeting room with a framed frosted glass writing board, a large reception area as well as a room awash in gold accentuated with hints of pink.
The latter is the office of Daphne Teo, the chief investment officer of D3 Capital, a family-owned investment firm with key projects such as Golden City in Myanmar, a mixed development complex it built and sold earlier this year to another real estate developer.
“We’re very happy with the sale. The hard work we put in paid off,” Teo says triumphantly. It was also this project that inducted Teo into the world of real estate development. Prior to Golden City, the 34-year-old quit her job in investment banking to join the family firm in 2011.
“I’d declined joining the family business a few times but when this project was presented to me, it was hard to turn down,” she says.
“It is after all, the first high-rise, mixed-use development of its kind in Myanmar — one of the world’s fastest growing economies — and to be able to be part of it appealed to me.”
On the back of this successful venture, the CIO is now working on other projects around Southeast Asia. “A lot of details are under wraps but we are applying what we have learnt before. Our goal is to create spaces that are functional, beautiful and enhance the quality of living.”
You just moved into a new office. Tell us about the style you went for.
I’m quite versatile when it comes to interior design and I’m always open to trying new things. My own home is monochromatic — predominantly white with black accents. But for my office I wanted it to be more modern. The main area is rather industrial and masculine with an exposed cement floor, metallic details and dark wood furnishings. My room, on the other hand, is more feminine with gold and pink accents.
What influences your design decisions?
Symmetry. It is regarded as a sign of beauty, whether in physical beauty, design or architecture. I worked closely with my designer to source for artworks that showcase this. Choosing tasteful furnishings helps to set the mood for your environment. I personally enjoy making my office feel like home. That way, one tends to feel happier and hence works harder!
What is your priority when working on real estate projects?
When it comes to residences, layout is really important. I’ve come across projects where the master bedroom is right next to the laundry room. It is not ideal, as a laundry room generates a lot of noise. It would have been better to design, say, a baby’s room there instead. Optimising a layout for the convenience of a family is a priority.
What do you look for when outfitting a space with appliances?
Practicality. For example, when it comes to fridges, I like them big so they can fit everything that a modern family, or an office, needs. I like the LG SIGNATURE refrigerator because it is spacious. The ice dispenser is especially handy for me as I always forget to re-fill the ice trays. I also like that the fridge minimises energy consumption with its see-through instaView Door-in-Door technology. My husband, Jeff, with whom I work, often opens the fridge just to check on his selection of drinks and snacks. All he has to do now is tap, and the window lights up.
Do appliances play an important role in raising the standards of modern living?
With the way appliances are designed these days, most definitely yes. Just look at the LG SIGNATURE OLED television. I was so surprised by the specifications. It is the thinnest TV I’ve ever seen. My husband loves it. Its high-resolution and rich colours are great for presentations during meetings, or for Netflix! The LG SIGNATURE washer-dryer with TWINWash system also looks just as sleek. I enjoy fashion and pay attention to caring for my clothes. So knowing that the washing machine has a separate compartment to handle delicates, and its own inverter heat pump drying, gives me peace of mind. It’s a bonus that the washer-dryer can be controlled via an app.
And the one appliance you swear by?
For home, it’s the air purifier. I have three cats so it can get a little chaotic. A purifier helps to make sure the air is clean. The LG SIGNATURE air purifier also helps maintain humidity levels, which is useful for proper storage of my bags!
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