Housed in a retrofitted row of attractive white-and-teal heritage shophouses on the fringes of Singapore’s Chinatown, every nook of KeSa House along Keong Saik Road (KeSa, get it?) appears perfectly art-directed for Instagram: natural light washes in through French doors, bay windows and, in some rooms, skylights with remote-controlled shutters. There are Mid-Century Modern chairs in the social areas, as well as trending greenery, from the indoor plants to the floral wall accent.
Looks aside, the property is trying to sell a new concept for the app age: What if you could live in a kind of low-commitment dream share house?
Flexible living in Singapore
“The idea behind this flexible living concept is to give young Singaporeans working in the CBD a taste of what it’s like to live on their own [and] inspire them to take the leap,” says Amir Arshad of 8M Collective, the hospitality management arm of 8M Real Estate. The firm has been at the forefront of adaptive reuse architecture in Singapore, and specializes in reimagining blocks of shophouses and other heritage buildings as design-led commercial spaces—preserving the character of the neighborhood while making sure the spaces remain relevant.
The firm’s portfolio of stylish accommodations—which includes Ann Siang House on Ann Siang Road and Base Residences on Hongkong Street—is contributing to urban renewal in the city’s most historic districts.
Share the fantasy of stylish living
KeSa House opened in May this year in a colorful and interesting neighborhood of startup offices, hipster bakeries, traditional Chinese eateries and trendy restaurants and bars (Burnt Ends and Potato Head Singapore are both a stone’s throw away). Travelers to the Little Red Dot can also share in the fantasy of stylish living, in a place you can’t help but show off.
KeSa House has all the essentials for the business traveling millennial: a swish lunch spot for power meetings over Spanish homestyle cooking (Olivia Restaurant & Lounge), a coffee shop for mid-afternoon pick-me-ups (The Affogato Lounge) and even the local outpost of an award-winning bar (The Old Man), all on the ground floor. Things can only get more interesting with every step you take away from home base.
Highlights of the ‘hood
Kafe Utu. This newcomer offers a sampling of unique and diverse flavors from Africa, from mains of Liberian peanut chicken stew to Swahili fish curry. 12 Jiak Chuan Rd; kafeutu.com
Kok Sen Restaurant. Always packed but worth the queue, this zi char institution earned a Michelin Bib Gourmand nod for its wok-fried comfort food, served family-style. 30 Keong Saik Rd
Taki Taki. Also new to the strip is this tikiinspired bar, above co-working space The Working Capitol, which pours serious thought into their rum-focused cocktails. #02-02 1 Keong Saik Rd; fb.com/takitakisg