Wine collector’s bachelor pad at Duchess Avenue on the market for $16.96 mil

The private library in the master suite (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Along Duchess Avenue, off Bukit Timah Road, is a detached house with an old-world charm. The four-bedroom, five-bathroom double-storey house has a built-up area of about 6,000 sq ft and sits on a regular shaped 5,877 sq ft, 999-year leasehold plot.

Alvin Choo, PropNex Realty’s associate district director of investment sales and affluent markets, reckons the previous owner built the house two decades ago. Choo represents the existing owner in the sale of the property.

The existing homeowner is an academic, wine collector and wine connoisseur who requested anonymity. The interiors are a testament to his twin passions of wine and books.

The 20m lap pool (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

“There are wine bottles everywhere,” says Choo.

According to the homeowner, some of the bottles are “semi-decorative”, while others are “special”, for instance, a 19th-century bottle of Madeira, another 1870 bottle and anniversary vintages. “I will keep these because they are rare,” he says.

His collection of wine bottles around the house is so extensive that his helpers devote an entire day each week to cleaning them.

The living and dining area of the house (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Bringing natural light into the interiors

The homeowner purchased the property in 2010 after selling the family home, a Good Class Bungalow at Binjai Park. He and his mother moved in after the Duchess Avenue property was renovated in 2011.

“We didn’t knock down and rebuild the house,” says the owner. “But most of the renovations were on the ground floor. It was much darker before and had an indoor koi pond next to the main staircase.”

The owner engaged Vincent Lim, principal of Visual Text Architects, to design the home. The architect removed the koi pond and installed a full-height glass window to bring light into the home. Even the living room and dining area walls were removed and replaced with full-height glass sliding doors. Where there was once a lawn is now a 20m lap pool.

The wine cellar can accommodate close to 6,000 bottles (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

The renovations also included carving out the wet kitchen and part of the dry kitchen to build a wine cellar with nearly 6,000 bottles. “The kitchen was my design,” says the owner. “I love cooking and don’t need a big kitchen.” The kitchen comes with marble countertops and a Viking gourmet kitchen range. He had a second kitchen installed upstairs in his private quarters.

The house was designed for the homeowner and his mother. However, she passed away shortly after they moved in. Hence, it became “a bachelor pad”, he says.

The owner adds that the space downstairs was designed as a public entertainment area, while the space upstairs functioned as the owner’s private area. “I don’t spend much time downstairs,” he says. The house has four bedrooms: An en suite granny’s room on the first level and three en suite bedrooms on the second.

The kitchen and seating area at the master suite on the second level of the house (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Self-contained master suite

The owner designed his master suite as a self-contained private quarters within the house. He has a fully-fitted kitchen, a library, a seating area, a master bedroom, a dressing area and a master bathroom. The pitched roof allowed the architect to create an attic level for his private study and an extension of his library.

The owner can access the master suite from a spiral staircase next to the main entrance on the first level of the house. It allows him to go straight to his private quarters without disturbing the rest of the household in the evenings. For privacy, the master suite has customised timber louvred windows across the entire length of a wall.

Spiral staircase to the master suite (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Besides wine bottles, the owner has an extensive library of books and documents. He is also a collector of mid-century furniture and has kept some pieces handed down from his parents and grandparents. He has even kept some of the original grills and old bricks from the previous family home in Binjai Park.

The owner is selling the house as he recently got married, and he and his wife want to start afresh in a new home.

The house sits on a regular plot of 5,877 sq ft with a 16m frontage (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

‘In line with recent market transactions’

Even though the house was renovated 13 years ago, it has been well-maintained over the years, says PropNex’s Choo. “Most of the viewers are families, and they are always pleasantly surprised to find that the home is so functional and elderly-friendly.”

The house’s structure is strong enough for a new homeowner to add another upper level or install a lift, adds Choo.

The property’s asking price is $16.96 million or $2,886 psf based on a land area of 5,877 sq ft. “It’s a regular plot with a 16m frontage,” says Choo. “Such land plots of 5,000 sq ft to 6,000 sq ft or larger are becoming rarer, especially in prime District 10.”

The detached house was built nearly two decades ago and has retained its old-world charm (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

The latest transaction along Duchess Avenue was in December last year, when a detached house on a 999-year leasehold plot of 5,401 sq ft changed hands for $14.05 million ($2,601 psf), based on caveats lodged. According to URA Realis, the house was built in 2000.

Nearby on Coronation Road, a detached house with a 5,055 sq ft, 999-year leasehold plot was sold for $17.08 million ($3,379 psf) in February. The property on Coronation Road is a newly built three-level detached house, hence it commands a higher price psf, says Choo.

“The asking price of the property at Duchess Avenue is in line with recent market transactions,” he adds. “A house like this, with an old-world charm and rich family history, cannot be easily replicated.”

Check out the latest listings near Duchess Avenue, Coronation Road, Bukit Timah

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