The Yoyo Effect
Harper's BAZAAR Singapore|September 2020
Style maven Yoyo Cao lets us into her enclave of sleek minimalism infused with tropical warmth.
Jeffrey Yan

For someone as impeccably styled as Yoyo Cao, you wouldn’t expect anything less from her personal space and she certainly doesn’t disappoint. Singapore’s most-photographed street-style star greets me at the entrance of her two-storey penthouse in Newton in an effortlessly chic get-up of a white cotton tank worn with silk trousers in Burberry’s TB monogram and Dior Oblique slides. As she ushers me into the living room, I notice the same TB print repeated on a cushy throw slung over the arm of her couch. Her aesthetic choices for her home clearly reflect her fashion ones: Considered, but ultimately effortless.

“We moved in last year, but it’s still not fully done. I’d rather spend time trying to find things I really love instead of rushing into it,” says Cao of her decorating process. It may be a work in progress, but she definitely knows the end goal she has in mind. “I wanted something minimal and simple; a space I can look at and be comfortable in for a long time, because you have to look at your home every single day. But at the same time, I didn’t want it to be too plain or cold. I wanted to make it as cosy as possible.” To achieve that, she started with a base palette of whites and off-whites, then sprinkled warm colours, organic textures and rich materials throughout.

In the living room alone, a leather couch and leather chairs in cognac sit alongside a nubby, creamy armchair, rattan stools and side tables—all arranged around a coffee table in marble and brass. Leafy greens and white blooms bring a bit of the outdoors in while mustard cushions and plush throws from Burberry and Dior add pops of colour and print. The entire room is grounded by a massive rug from Marrakech. “I was there last year for Dior’s cruise show and one of my friends brought me to the artisans who made the carpets for that show—they do these beautiful one-off pieces.”

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