Comedian and TV host Mark Lee at home. Lee’s art collection from Beijing-born Wu Qiong includes a 3m-long painting, which is now mounted on the ceiling of his apartment.
It is a moment of incredulity to hear comedian and TV host Mark Lee rattle off different interior looks such as Manhattan and resort styles.
But the funnyman, better known as Singapore’s favourite Ah Beng than for his knowledge of interior design, is not taking the Mickey out of decorating. He knows what he is talking about.
As the co-host of five seasons of the popular home makeover programme, Home Decor Survivor, Lee has picked up a few tips about how to dress a home.
The 46-year-old, who has also hosted shows such as Home Makeover and DIY My Home, confesses: “My knowledge of interior design started from zero. I thought it’s enough if there’s a table, sofa, television and bed. But when I started doing interior design shows, I bought magazines, and went on the Internet to see how interior designers did it. You just try and try, and you will get it eventually.”
While he was designing for other families on the reality shows, his skills – and taste – were put to the test when it came to designing his own 2,680 sq ft condominium apartment last year.
He worked with local interior design company Weiken, for which he is the celebrity ambassador, to create the look for the five-bedroom, single-storey apartment in Upper Thomson Road. He lives there with his wife, their three children aged between one and six, his mother and elder sister
With Lee designing the apartment, it is a role reversal for the couple, who used to live at the Nuovo condominium in Ang Mo Kio. His wife Catherine Ng, 41, went for a resort-style look for that four-bedroom apartment. Lee says: “My wife did it all. I just gave her the budget and I was not involved.”
Was she then worried about leaving their new home in his hands? “She knew I had taste when I married her,” he deadpans.
Indeed, the result is a modern-looking apartment, with a mainly white palette and pops of colour from the furniture. The apartment also has an expansive balcony, where Lee replaced the grass with wood-like tiles so he could enjoy the outdoors.