Mr Levin is only too delighted to show off the different transforming furniture pieces but he has not forgotten that the apartment is still his home. When the beds are hidden away, the loft feels more like a chic apartment than a furniture showroom.
BRITISH expatriate Matt Levin's loft apartment is about 700 sq ft in size, but it can sleep six people comfortably, without anyone having to spend the night on the sofa.
He packs away three queen-sized beds into the apartment with still space to walk around, with the help of some space-saving furniture.
About two and a half years ago, Mr Levin relocated to Singapore from the UK to join PayPal, but he has since left the company.
He was attracted to this apartment at North Bridge Road, because of its loft design. "It is unusual for condominium apartments to have lofts. Plus I also liked that the apartment has large windows with clear, open views," he says. The apartment is not very spacious, but "when you are able to see lots of space from the window, you feel like you have space on the inside too".
Mr Levin, who lives with his partner, made do with furniture bought from the stores when he first moved in. But soon, he felt his living space shrinking with each piece of furniture that he bought. "A room will feel bigger if it has less furniture," he says.
So he went in search of multi-functional and space-saving furniture. "There were some in the market, but their prices were ridiculously high," he says.
While some homeowners may have bitten the bullet and paid the high prices, Mr Levin decided to source for more affordable pieces on his own.
He spent about eight months researching space-saving furniture, such as visiting trade fairs and looking at what other manufacturers offered.
Spotting a market for space-saving furniture in Singapore, Mr Levin decided to start his own business, calling it Spaceman. "Singapore is densely populated and properties are getting smaller, so it is obvious that people will want furniture that saves space," he says.
Spaceman also has sofas and work desks that can be converted into beds, and dining tables that can be transformed into coffee tables. The pieces come from countries, such as Austria, Italy and Hungary, and Spaceman is the exclusive distributor in Singapore for some of the models.
Mr Levin's apartment doubles as his office and showroom. In one corner, a multi-tiered shelf can be rotated to reveal a regular bed.
Over in the living area is a comfortable two-seater sofa placed against what looks like a wall with a single shelf. But like the Transformers tagline goes, there is more than meets the eye. Like a magician, Mr Levin removes a few cushions and pulls down the shelf to reveal a queen-sized bed.
"Often if you are living in a studio, a double bed doesn't leave much living space left," says Mr Levin. "But with a sofa bed, you can still have a lounge area in the day, and a bedroom space at night."
Upstairs in the bedroom is another desk that transforms into a bed. The apartments in Mr Levin's condo are of the Soho variety, allowing tenants to use the space as an office.
"Most people would use the space upstairs as a bedroom," he says. "But why only use it at night, and leave it empty during the day?"
With a desk-bed in his bedroom, Mr Levin can use the space for work in the day, and as a sleeping area at night.
When clients come, Mr Levin is only too delighted to show off the different transforming furniture pieces. But he has not forgotten that the apartment is still his home.
When the beds are hidden away, the loft feels more like a chic apartment than a furniture showroom.
On display are vintage products that Mr Levin has collected over the years. "They are not antiques because I'm not familiar with them, but rather, are items from around the 1950s," he says.
He heads to the flea markets to hunt down these items. "Going to one is like rummaging through a person's home. Flea markets give the flavour of life in that particular place," he says.
At Sungei Road, he found several Lacovo cups. Lacovo is a brand of malt drink.
On a shelf are a few Buddha heads that Mr Levin picked up from a flea market in Hong Kong. Other items that fill the home include a working theatre light from London, two wooden panels with Chinese inscriptions on them and several vintage suitcases. He has also bought an old bottle jar and turned that into a fish tank.
"I pick the items because they look nice more than for their historical value," says Mr Levin. But he also keeps in mind their cost and stops short of paying for overpriced items. "What's sold at flea markets are usually items that people want to get rid off, so they should be cheap."
Not all the items in the home are vintage as Mr Levin mixes them with modern pieces. "But mostly, the shabby chic look appeals to me," he says.
The compact apartment does not allow for much display space, so some of the art pieces are lined up against the wall along the staircase.
Most of the pieces however, are placed on the display shelves of the wall- and sofa beds. The good thing about placing them there, is that Mr Levin does not have to remove them when he wants to pull out the beds.
There is a downside with transforming furniture - having to lift and lower the beds every night and day. But the good news, is that the beds are light and can be lifted easily. "I can get quite a good workout, especially, when I'm showing clients around," says Mr Levin.