Face bare and comfortably dressed in an oversized Balenciaga sweater and sweatpants, Kim Lim first greets you by apologizing for keeping you waiting (she’s suffering from stomach flu) and for making you cross the service entrance (which now serves as her main entrance after having her fengshui-ed house, something she takes seriously).
The Beauty Entrepreneur’s New Home is a two-story penthouse in the Balmoral neighborhood that spans approximately 6,000 square feet. Despite its size, the vibe is intimate and comfortable, with sleek gray marble and glass offset by plush cream furnishings.
At the time of my visit, the entire carpet and coffee table in the upstairs living room had been occupied by her three-year-old’s toys. The small living room on the ground floor is still under construction.
Lim, whose father is billionaire Peter Lim, moved here in February from a smaller unit in the same building.
“At that time, my son was still very young, so I didn’t want a house with stairs in case he fell,” says the 29-year-old whose three-year marriage to Kho Bin Khai ended Last year. “He’s taller now, so we decided to move. He likes having all that space.”
As large as his new home is, what got Lim closed the deal was the view. Beyond the huge picture windows that run the length of the house are stunning views of the city skyline.
“I feel like you rarely have a house with a view like this these days,” she says. “When you pull up all the blinds and look out, sometimes I feel like I’m not in Singapore. We’re not in the heart of Orchard, so it’s not too busy and still quite private. Still, you get that city feel, which I really wanted because I’m more of a city dweller. “
She worked with interior design studio Ninelines on the decor.
“It’s a whole new business. I didn’t want to use anyone fancy and I thought about supporting young people. I wanted something modern and contemporary – you walk in and there’s almost a New York vibe. is cool, but also pretty straightforward, ”she says.
Comfort was key for Lim. “I wanted it to be very comfortable, very cool – the vibe is that when I’m here I don’t want to go out.”
It’s quite a lifestyle change for a woman who spent half her time outside of Singapore.
But since 2019, Lim has made the country a more permanent home port as she focuses on growing her businesses.
Today, her new pillow has made her even more homey, she says.
Her favorite space at home is her wardrobe (which she enlarged by transforming one of the four bedrooms), but it’s in the upstairs living room that she spends the most time.
This is where the TV nights take place and, when friends come over to your house, the action moves from the karaoke room to a corner of the living room or to the patio and its glassed-in conversation pit outside. .
Like her approach to her interiors, Lim’s sense of style is, as she describes it, “simple”, evident in her penchant for effortless but elevated streetwear and basics.
“My style when it comes to home and fashion is the same: I like it very simple. My everyday look is now a sweater with long sweatpants.”
When she wants to go up a notch, she favors a mixture of masculine and feminine.
“If I dress, I’ll usually wear an oversized blazer – I just bought a great Saint Laurent one. I like boyish looks,” she says.
“There might be something feminine, like a lace top, but I’ll wear it with wide, baggy pants and an oversized blazer. Even if I wear a dress, I will wear it with sneakers. If it’s not an event or a photoshoot, I never do a girly-girl look. “
Her favorite brands are a checklist of the biggest names in fashion.
“I love Louis Vuitton. There are some very young and edgy pieces that I love to wear with sneakers. I also love Saint Laurent and Celine, especially the latter’s recent collections. Blazers are really cool. , but recently the brand has made a more casual look, like with jogging, it’s so much my style.
“I really like Dior too, but not the clothes. I find them too girly and the fit doesn’t really suit me, but the bags and accessories are great.
“Dior Men, I love it. All of my Balenciaga pieces are men’s clothing. If I’m feeling lazy and just going to my grandma’s or whatever, I put on a big Balenciaga T-shirt.”
Lim still does her errands, but these days she tries to be more mindful of the mileage she gets from her parts.
“Before that, sometimes I would buy things and end up never using them,” she admits. “Now I realize these things don’t come cheap. I have to at least use them, so I’m trying to wear, reuse, and rotate the pieces.”
Fashion is also no longer such a high priority. Lim’s focus is on beauty these days – specifically his two beauty companies, Illumia Therapeutics and Papilla Haircare.
“Other than during the cutout, the last two years have been just job, job, job,” she says. “I am at the clinic every day.”
The aspiring tycoon has big plans to expand his empire.
“Over the next four or five months, I’m going to be in Thailand to meet people for work,” she says. “We are expanding our business in a few countries, but Thailand will be the first. Hopefully we can start operating in 2022.”
People assume she doesn’t need to work, she says.
“But my dad always pushed us to build something of our own. He wouldn’t be happy if I didn’t do anything in my life.
“And now that I have started to build something, I can’t imagine not having things to do or goals to achieve. Life would be so boring and meaningless.”
• This article first appeared in Harper’s Bazaar Singapore, the fashion magazine for the best of style, beauty, design, travel and the arts. Go to www.harpersbazaar.com.sg and follow @harpersbazaarsg on Instagram; harpersbazaar singapore on Facebook. The June 2021 issue is on newsstands.