& HOW TO STYLE THEM
BEYOND SCHOOL KIDS’ ENRICHMENT IDEAS
MCI (P) 076/02/2021
PAMPERING WISHLIST RETURNING TO TRAVEL FITNESS GOALS
PROBLEM SKIN FACIAL MASKS
EDITOR’SNOTE Welcome to 2022! What are you hoping for this year? Maybe you have a personal wish, or more of a global one – there’s a lot of hope and wishing needed on that side! On top of the global wishes, I’m still wishing I had more willpower… I wake up early for my “early” morning walks, and then I get back into bed. I was very good during lockdown, but the enthusiasm has waned since. I do kind of have an excuse though – it’s a small and fluffy excuse that sleeps with me, since her mate died. Poppy is my small dog of 11 years who now snores really loudly! I can’t put her out into the kitchen where the two of them used to spend the night, and it’s now disturbing my own sleep. And then I just want to lie in. Some people are good and disciplined with their healthy eating and exercise; some, like me, need a little guidance. We’ve got help in both those areas in this month’s magazine! And, let’s not let age get in the way of us having a good body, or one we love. It’s possible to be firm and toned at any age – it just takes a bit more work. More walking and less sitting always helps too. There are some lovely feel-good stories in this issue – people helping others and the environment. A long-term expat tell us what it was like here when they first arrived in 1989, and we showcase the home of a family heading off to Dubai. There seem to be lots of new folks around, too, so welcome to you. We met quite a few at the Flipping Creative Fair at the Hollandse Club, and we have two furniture recommendations in this issue that are both from newbies. We will be starting our walks again soon and a few more get-togethers in February, so be sure to go to expatliving.sg or get the mag to keep up with things. The winners of our Readers’ Choice Awards will also be announced next month! We know some of them already, but we’re not telling… Anyway, do set some goals and get those affirmations going – they do help!
REBECCA BISSET Editor-in-Chief
Happy New Year!
Poppy’s kind of nice to cuddle up to, but she
snores and sometimes takes over!
Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET Group Editors SHAMUS SILLAR | JULIET KEYS | LEANDA RATHMELL Editorial Team HEALTH & FITNESS: AMY GREENBURG LIFE & FAMILY: PATRICEA CHOW WINE & DINE, LIFESTYLE: DINESH AJITH FASHION & BEAUTY: REBECCA BISSET HOME & PROPERTY: AMY BROOK-PARTRIDGE Online & Digital Content MICHAELA BISSET Production Coordinators NUR HANANI KAMAL LUDDIN | JUDIT GÁL Graphic Designers MICHAEL BERNABE | JEANNE WONG Marketing, Circulation & Administration ANNA TSERLINGAS | VEENA GILL | SITI SHAHIRAH KHIRUDEEN Advertising Sales KARIN GALLEY | DANIELLE ROSSETTI | LARA SAGE | JACQUI YOUNG Events & Partnerships SUSAN KNUDSEN-PICKLES IT & Web Support RENE YUTIAMPO | HANADDI REY DIAZ MAMBA Chief Operations Officer COLIN PURCHASE Contributing Writers HARSHARAN KAUR | DEE KHANDUJA | LOUISA LIM | AMANDA GREENSLADE Contributing Photographers HART TAN (TOMATO.SG)
CONTACT US Call or WhatsApp: +65 9112 0652
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Cheval Blanc Spa at Cheval Blanc Randheli – Maldives
NEWS 16 What’s on in Singapore 18 Recap: The other events of 2021 20 This month’s letters to the editor 22 Subscribe and join us at an event or online talk HOME & PROPERTY 26 New furniture finds and store updates 28 We showcase the Siglap home of a departing expat 36 Join a masterclass on interior styling 38 Readers’ recommendations for dining-room gems 40 Buying Guide: Dining tables for impressing guests 44 Golden rules of photo management 46 Street Talk: Living in Tanjong Rhu 50 Long-term Expats: Three generations in SG
28 A little piece of paradise in Siglap
44 A home full of colour
LIFE & FAMILY 57 The latest news for parents and kids 64 Noticeboard: Baby births plus cats for adoption 66 Beyond School: Fun enrichment ideas 70 How personalised learning can help many kids 72 A trade-based college welcomes a new face 74 What to watch and read this month 76 Singapore Pages: Explore the island! 78 A group that recycles plastic from the sea
40 Stunning tables and more
42 Seats for
80 Meet the teen behind a charity project in Singapore 82 Nurturing early learners beyond the classroom 84 Tips for moving on from a divorce
WINE & DINE 88 Foodie news, restaurant updates and more 92 A healthy eating roundup to kick off the new year 94 The latest great eats at Dempsey Hill 97 A cracking craft beer spot in Bukit Batok 98 Recipe Corner: Two more treats for your repertoire TRAVEL 102 Trip-planning inspiration and hotel news 104 Bucket-list spas and treatments from around the world 108 Helping a good cause in Myanmar 110 Notable national parks in Sarawak, Malaysia
92 Healthy meals and groceries
110 Discover incredible nature and culture in Sarawak
STYLE & BEAUTY 116 Latest fashion news and advice 120 Tried & Tested: Reviews of fab facial masks 123 Top cleansers for your skincare regime 124 New beauty products and retail picks 128 A salon that’s little short of scent-sational! 130 Can the clothes that we wear help us to heal? HEALTH & FITNESS 135 Medical updates and health tips from experts 139 Getting started with fitness – nine ways! 144 Why it can be helpful for families to visit a GP 146 Tackling myths around pain and staying active 148 How running transformed a woman’s life 150 From regular pain to a clean bill of health REGULARS 154 See how well you do in our Puzzle Pages 156 What’s in the stars in our January horoscopes? 158 Important contacts and this month’s advertisers 160 Parting Shot: A new chapter!
118 How to rework your wardrobe
116 Latest fashion
news and advice
Open Morning: Discover Nursery at Tanglin (BY REGISTRATION) Get a glimpse into the world of Tanglin’s Nursery at the school’s Open Morning, which will be held as soon as Safe Management Measures allow. In the session, you’ll see how the experienced team of educators deliver personalised curriculum for children at three to four years of age, and how they’re nurtured by Tanglin’s unique approach to teaching and learning that fosters happy, independent and caring children. The Open Morning will be hosted by Victoria Thomas, Head of Nursery, and will include a short talk, followed by a tour of the classrooms and facilities. Register your interest at tts.edu.sg/admissions/visit- tanglin/discover-nursery-at-tanglin . Annual Holiday Toy Drive (UNTIL 15 JANUARY, 2022) This is the sixth year that charity organisation LOVE, NILS has held a toy drive for children aged one month to 19 years with cancer. You can donate or fund brand new toys; used toys aren’t accepted. The items will then be delivered on a bi-monthly basis to hospitals. Visit bit.ly/LOVENILSToyDrive to schedule a drop-off of toys.
M1 Fringe Festival (12 TO 23 JANUARY) The 18th edition of the M1 Fringe is curated around the theme of The Helpers, with an emphasis on the importance of human kindness and care for each other, and alternative support structures at a time when many individuals feel bereft of aid rendered by traditional institutions. A curated line-up of nine theatre and
performance events from Singapore and around the world will grapple with topics such as the climate emergency, doxxing and the refugee crisis, all responding to the theme in their own way. Tickets from $15 are available at sg.bookmyshow.com. singaporefringe.com
Singapore Art Week (14 TO 23 JANUARY)
Expect over 130 diverse art programmes across physical and digital platforms at the 10th edition of SAW. Close to 600 artists, creatives, curators and partners from Singapore and countries such as Bangkok, China, Australia, Turkey, the UK and the US will present their creative takes on the theme of Art Takes Over. The programmes will unfold at various venues including Tanjong Pagar Distripark, the Singapore Art Museum, Lau Pa Sat, Basheer Graphics Books at Bras Basah Complex and an HDB flat in Bedok. artweek.sg
The Swimming Pool Library (6 TO 22 JANUARY) Inspired by Alan Hollinghurst’s bestselling seminal novel of the same name, this multimedia
the definitions and stereotypes of masculinity. Through a variety of mediums including paper sketches, paintings, 3D printed sculptures, 3D film photography and DIY books, visitors will be taken on a less conventional coming-of-age journey where society’s labels of gender and sexuality don’t necessarily apply. Free with registration at theswimmingpoollibrary.peatix.com .
Singapore Art Week
Light to Night (14 JANUARY TO 3 FEBRUARY)
Light to Night
Held in the Civic District of Singapore, the sixth edition of this visual, literary and performing arts festival looks to inspire audiences to forge deeper connections with art in new and engaging ways. There will be a host of innovative digital and on-site art experiences as well as an expanded line-up of programmes and artistic interventions that invite audiences to engage with fresh perspectives about the world we live in. nationalgallery.sg/lighttonight Nam June Paik: The Future is Now (UNTIL 27 MARCH) Singapore is the only Asian stop in this exhibition’s international tour, which kicked off at London’s Tate Modern in 2019, then toured Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum and San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art. The exhibition at the National Gallery Singapore celebrates Paik’s five decades of visionary and playful practice through more than 180 works across all media. Through the early adoption of audio and visual images in his works, he manipulated technology and experimented with the concept of media such as art, music, performance and technology. namjunepaik.sg
The Future is Now
Mapping the World: Perspectives from Asian Cartography (UNTIL 8 MAY) Held in partnership with the Embassy of France in Singapore, this exhibition at the National Library Singapore features over 60 treasures from overseas institutions and private collections across Europe, America and Asia. Many are on display in Singapore for the first time. The rare historical maps bring together different mapping traditions and worldviews, political and cultural spheres of influence, and the exchange of cartographic knowledge between civilisations across the world. exhibitions.nlb.gov.sg
Brickosaurs World (UNTIL 3 MAY)
This is the first ever showcase in Asia featuring more than 60 life-sized dinosaurs made of 1.5 million LEGO bricks and constructed over a period of 8,548 hours. They’re spread over a self-guided walking trail in the Singapore Zoo and River Wonders. Other activities include an interactive maze of hidden clues and puzzles, and a bone-digging site to uncover dinosaur fossils. A LEGO pop-out store is set up at the Singapore Zoo’s Pavilion by the Lake and will feature diorama displays – including one of a velociraptor from the Jurassic World movie. Visitors can redeem a complimentary LEGO Minifigure with every child admission ticket presented, while stocks last. Tickets: $82 ($57 for children aged three to 12). wrs.com.sg
LIFE & FAMILY
Headlines in the media can be very same-ish these days, which is why we’ve spent the past year delving into news stories with a difference. Here’s our roundup of some of the weirder events of 2021.
APRIL ARE YOU JOSHING? A park in Lincoln, Nebraska, became a giant battleground in April, as hundreds of people, all with the first name Josh, gathered to fight for the right to their name. A fellow called Josh Swain had set the challenge, and Joshes from around the country answered the call. The battle was fought with pool noodles, and five-year-old Joshua Vinson Jr was the last man – erm, boy – standing at the end.
JANUARY C IS FOR COOKIE
As rock-related news stories of 2021 go, this one takes the biscuit. A California gemologist named Mike Bowers revealed on Facebook on 16 January that a rare gemstone he’d bought from Brazil had a cross-section that was a dead ringer for the googly-eyed Cookie Monster from Sesame Street. The blue Muppet weighed in on the subject, tweeting: “Me no geologist, but me think dat rock look a lot like me...”
FEBRUARY ZOOM-BOMBING GOATS
MARCH IT’S A SWING THING
In February, owners of Cronkshaw Fold Farm in Lancashire, UK, revealed they had earnt £50,000 (S$90,000) by renting out goats for Zoom calls. It’s a simple service: for £6, you select a time, a date and the goat of your choice from the farm, and said goat will turn up on screen for five minutes during your business video call or family get-together. As one farmer said: “It beats selling manure.” No kidding.
If you’ve got a child who loves a playground swing and keeps asking you for “one more push”, they’ve go t no t h i ng on Kiwi teenager Patrick Cooper. In March, he set a new Guinness World Record for the longest time on a swing, racking up 36 hours in a playground in Napier, NZ. Typically for the Land of the Long White Cloud, his attempt included plenty of rain and wind, yet Patrick wouldn’t be deterred.
MAY QUITE A TAIL
In May, it was reported that UK- based The Tail Company would soon start manufacturing a new product called miTail. You wear the Bluetooth- enabled animatronic tail and control it by smartphone – if you’re happy, you can wag your mechanical appendage, or use other movements to express different emotions. As the company says, “Get your rear in gear!”
LIFE & FAMILY
AUGUST FANGS FOR NOTHING
Here in Singapore, animal welfare group ACRES was called out to a job when a woman in Jurong reported hearing an angry hissing sound in her home – possibly the warning noises of a Black spitting cobra. After an hour’s search, the team discovered the much more innocuous culprit: the buzzing of a faulty pink electric toothbrush.
SEPTEMBER DRAWING A BLANK
NOVEMBER HANGOVER CURE
A gold ring with a purple stone, dug up by archaeologists in Israel and dating to between the 3rd and 7th century, is believed to have been worn to ward of the effects of too much booze. The ring, whose stone is thought to be amethyst, was found in the ruins of an ancient wine factory known for its white Gaza variety of vino.
JUNE BOILING POINT
When a Danish museum gave artist Jens Haaning the equivalent of S$115,000 to prepare two artworks for an exhibi t ion, they perhaps expected a splash of paint for their payment. But Haaning sent back two blank canvases, which he titled “Take the Money and Run”. The museumhung the pieces nevertheless, saying that the artist had prepared a provocative new piece of art.
We’re not sure if there’s any legal precedent for this, but a cooking recipe has been found tucked away in a piece of Belgian legislation relating to medical supplies and drug prices. While nobody is entirely sure
how the rogue recipe – which was a six- step method for preparing white asparagus gratin – got into the official database, several ideas are simmering.
OCTOBER SPIDER VS SPIDER
DECEMBER AUSSIE BELCHER Finally, an Aussie bloke has let rip in Darwin and broken a decade- old Guinness World Record for the world’s loudest burp. His gassy outburst measured 112.4 decibels, beating the previous 109.9 held by Brit Paul Hunn. That ’s loads louder than an electric drill (85 decibels) and only just shy of the average rock concert (120 decibels). You can hear the triumphant belch at guinnessworldrecords.com. Vi s i t the Expat L i v i ng website for more weird and wonderful features.
If you suffer from arachnophobia, you’re not alone. It turns out that our hairy eight-legged friends are also scared of each other. The British Ecological Society revealed in October that spiders recognise the threat of other spiders – particularly larger ones – and will scurry away even when faced with static objects made to look like a spider. (Don’t worry, spiders; we do the same.)
JULY WINNING EDGE Every four years, there’s a news story on the number o f c o nd oms s upp l i e d to the athletes’ village at the Olympics. Wi th the pandemic rampant in Tokyo in 2021, the packets remained largely unopened. That’s unless you’re Austral ian kayaker Jess Fox, who used an Olympics-issue condom to repair her kayak before taking out bronze and gold medals. “It gives the carbon a smooth finish,” she said.
BEST LETTER We want to hear from you! Send us your thoughts on any subject and you could win a bottle of Paper Lantern Gin ( drinkpaperlantern.com ) featuring botanicals sourced from Asia – and no colours or additives – to add a dash of flavour to your life.
EL Talk: Mental Health in the Workplace Thank you! As someone new to Singapore, it’s heartening to see a company like Expat Living working to reduce the stigma around mental health by providing these opportunities to bring the community together and learn about mental health. I really enjoy Dr Sanveen Kang’s presentations. Katie Ed: We’re glad the talk was useful – and yes, it’s something we all need to be aware of with others new and old.
Memories of the UK November issue was another great read, folks! I had a good laugh at the comment by the Craig family at the end of their Street Talk story (page 58). “Q: If you’re missing home, what do you do? A: Have a barbecue in the rain, burning sausages from Marks & Spencer,
while listening to BBC Radio 2.” It brought back some memories, cheers! Doug Holmes
HOME & PROPERTY
AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO LIFE IN THEIR ’HOOD
Fact File – Chip Bee’s Colours As Melissa and Duncan have pointed out, the streets in Chip Bee Gardens have colourful names – quite literally! Here are just a handful that refer in some way to a particular colour. • Jalan Kuning – yellow • Jalan Kelabu Asap – grey • Jalan Puteh Jerneh – white • Jalan Merah Saga – red • Jalan Hitam Manis – black • Taman Warna – “ Garden of Colour ”
Ed: Thanks for the lovely feedback – we’re glad it made you
The Specifics What’s the name of your street? Jalan Kuning. MELISSA, DUNCAN AND SIENNA CRAIG From: UK and Singapore Occupation: Project director and banker
EL Workshop: Lampshade Making Masterclass Yo u r l amp s h a d e ma s t e r c l a s s wa s wonderful; Jacqui was very knowledgeable, helpful and patient. I love my lampshade
If it’s in another language, what does it mean? It’s Malay for yellow. Most of the streets in Chip Bee Gardens are also named after colours. What’s a common myth or misconception about your neighbourhood? That it’s exclusively an expat enclave. While it does have a large expat population, there are an increasing number of Singaporeans creating a colourful mix of locals and people from all over the world. Exact words you tell a taxi driver to get home? “Chip Bee in Holland Village, please, uncle.” Closest MRT station? Holland Village MRT (yellow Circle Line) is a five- minute walk away. How long have you lived here? Just six months, but this is Duncan’s second time; the first time as a bachelor living with friends in 2007, and now with a family – both a little noisy and chaotic but in very different ways! We moved back to Singapore after six years in Hong Kong. Chip Bee Gardens has everything on its doorstep including great shops and restaurants, an MRT station, plus it’s a five-minute bike ride to the green corridor. Living in a house with a garden was also very appealing after living in expensive Hong Kong shoe boxes!
The Scene When you walk out of your place, what’s the first thing you see? Identical terraced houses but each with dramatically different front gardens. The residents take a lot of pride in their gardens and they often tell a lot about the family that lives there. It’s very difficult not to be nosy! What’s the closest store to your front door? Tiong Bahru Bakery – which is a problem! Morning jogs with the scent of fresh croissants often results in a net gain in weight. If your street was chosen for a remake of a film, which would it be? The Truman Show , especially during the lockdown periods!
laugh; we all needmore of that at the mo’! You win a lovely bottle of gin, to go with your next rainy day!
What’s the unofficial uniform of your street? A push bike, yoga pants and a reusable coffee cup.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen on your street? Tiny ghosts, beheaded soldiers, big-nosedwitches and the odd gremlin. Halloween is huge on Chip Bee, withmany houses converting their garages into sets straight out of horror films. The kids and adults love it. Hopefully, we will see more ghouls and goblins this October.
Our Home Hi there, we’ve been in Singapore for a few years now and we love your magazine, which has been so inspiring for our home décor and our general lives here. We’ve purchased our first property, near Buona Vista MRT, and we feel this new area doesn’t really get featured much. We’d love you to showcase our home, which has influences from our time in Asia and the UK, and our family of three with two cats. Let me know if you’re interested – happy to share photos and details. Ting Smith
– it now has pride of place at home, and I’m looking at making the next one! Branka Ralph Ed: She’s multi-talented, our Jacqui ! Look out for more workshops next year!
Ed: Thanks, Ting – we have you locked in for the February issue! Looking forward to reading your story. (I love the wallpaper!)
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What to expect in theYear of theTiger Feng Shui talk with Lucy Richardson Whymore Singaporeans and expats aremoving to Portugal When test scores are not enough Guiding your kids to navigate the university path with H&C Education Properties Overseas Why do we assume it’s difficult for a Foreign National or Expat? A talk with GMG and American Mortgages ObtainingMortgages on BeachBootcamp &Yoga with Control Key Consulting and GDP Advogados Assosiados
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HOME & PROPERTY
40 Dining Décor: Tables, chairs and accessories for entertaining
The Cinnamon Room
28 Siglap Showcase: We look around the home of a departing expat
36 Wow Factor: The EL team tries out a styling masterclass
44 Tech Talk: The golden rules of photo management
HOME & PROPERTY
Is clutter in your home driving you mad? Whether you’removing house, relocating, or simply need a clear-out but don’t know where to start, professional organiser Clara Chew of Reglow Living can help. Using the Marie Kondo-inspired KonMari Method, she can help transform your home from an overwhelming mess to a haven of peace and calm. Head to reglowliving.com to find out more about her professional home-organising service. Decluttering Magic!
STYLE ON THE OUTSIDE Comfort and style are at the heart of the new beanbag collection, Roolf Living, available at Soul & Tables. The range is for both outdoor and indoor use, and comes in various materials and colours. There are single poufs and footstools, a modular corner piece and the classic one-seater, all of which come in 100 percent polyprop fabric. There’s also a wide selection of weaved and patterned outdoor and indoor rugs. Find all the details at soulandtables.com.sg/brands-roolf-living .
Teak Trends There’s a new sleek range of teak furniture at Island Living, including cabinets, sideboards and coffee tables. With straight edges and a minimalistic design, each piece blends seamlessly with tropical décor. Check out the range online at islandliving.sg .
HOME & PROPERTY
NEW YEAR PIECES
Transforming Tables Love entertaining but need help to style your table up to envy-inducing standards? Estilo & Co, a Singapore events and table styling company, creates eye-catching tables that can transform a dinner party into a fun and stunning experience. It’s headed up by creative and couturiere Mary Soltysiak, who uses flowers, luxurious silverware, delicate dinnerware and table accents to create elegance and the perfect ambience. Find out more at mssoltysiaktablestyles.com and estiloandco.com .
Two new containers brimming with fabulous antiques and reproduction furniture have been del ivered to Just Anthony, ready for all that new year shopping! The store’s collection of lamps has also increased, with new pieces including porcelain jars and old ceramic Shiwan ware from China converted into unique table lamps. Head down to 379 Upper Paya Lebar Road to find some great gifts and décor for the new year. justanthony.com
How to use colour and still create timeless interiors
Colour makes us happy, but I believe it’s the curation of colour that allows us to feel more comfortable at home. Too many clashing, saturated colours and you can easily feel overstimulated. That doesn’t mean you have to stick only to pastels and neutrals though!
Arete Culture’s founder and creative director CAROLINE CHIN GEYLER shares her professional tips on home design and décor.
#1 Pick no more than three contrasting colours and use tonal variations for interest instead. Remember to keep the rest of your palette neutral! We like to pair complementary colours (colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel) as these are high energy but classic combinations. #2 Keep to white walls if you love colour or have lots of colourful furniture and accessories. #3 No matter your colour palette, black and gold metallic accents can help to lift the overall look and make it more contemporary.
Arete Culture | 20 Depot Lane, #01-01/02 | 9640 3829 | areteculture.com
We go inside the impressive 200-square-metre Siglap home of PAVLA SCHNEUWLY, just before she, her family and her helper Jilyn head off to live in Dubai. Heading Of f !
PHOTOGRAPHY HART TAN
HOME & PROPERTY
Try to behave like you’re here forever, and treat Singapore like your home – it’s a place that has a lot to offer
Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey up to Singapore. I met my Swiss/French husband Alain almost 30 years ago in Prague and a year later joined him in Singapore where I enrolled in intensive Mandarin classes at NUS. In 1995, we moved to Hong Kong and witnessed the unforgettable handover of power from the British to the Chinese. During our time there, I spent six months perfecting my Mandarin, in Tianjin in mainland China. The Asian economic downturn in 1998 brought us from our beloved Asia back to Europe (Cannes in France and then Prague in the Czech Republic) where our sons were born. We always knew that we would one day return to Asia, and in summer 2010 we were back in Singapore and remained here. Alain is a management consultant. I’m a Heritage Guide working for the best travel company in town – Jane’s Tours, run by my friend Jane Iyer. I started my guiding career as a FOM (Friends of the Museums) Docent, and a volunteer guide at NMS (National Museum of Singapore) and MHC (Malay Heritage Centre). Later, I became an accredited tour guide in English, French and Czech. We have two sons: Victor is studying Product Design in Nottingham in the UK, and Prokop is in Grade 10 at UWCSEA East. What kind of property were you looking for when you arrived? What were your non-negotiables? Our first priority was to find a place near the children’s school. After five years living in a condominium, we were ready for a house! To be closer to the UWCSEA East community, we were looking for a property near the East Coast. When I visited our new home, I knew from first sight that I’d found a little jewel, an oasis for my family.
Pavla and Jilyn
HOME & PROPERTY
We love your home! Tell us more about the property. What was it that sealed the deal for you? The location is just fabulous, in a lush green residential area near the Park Connector to the ECP. The terraced house is in a cul-de-sac, sheltered from traffic and noise. It overlooks an old school field and enjoys rare open-space vistas, surrounded by huge trees and a cacophony of tropical birds. The row of houses belongs to the same owner who’s been smart enough to renovate the houses in a simple, tasteful manner, keeping them just two levels high. The architect implemented the layout of a typical Chinese shophouse – a long structure with an inner courtyard and air well. Each house has a small front and back garden with grown- up old frangipanis, mango trees and coconut palms – a glimpse of the laidback atmosphere that made the East Coast so popular in the past. However, what I’ve appreciated the most are my neighbours – a mix of expat and local families. We’ve been enjoying friendly “village- like” chats, school car-pooling, inviting each other for dinner, even organising a neighbourhood potluck for an entire row of houses! Singapore can be a very transient place, so it’s been a blessing to be able to build long-lasting friendships. And, of course, there is our garden, our little piece of paradise. Moving to the house, I’ve discovered the joy of gardening (must be the age!); especially during the lockdown, it helped me to keep my sanity. We’ll never tire of sitting on our patio, l istening to the fascinating sights and sounds of the tropics: the noisy green parrots, the hummingbirds sipping nectar from the orange flame tree, the pair of doves cuddling on the branch of the frangipani, the dancing of butterflies and occasionally the impressive hornbills hopping around.
How would you define the style of your home and interior? It’s a collection of objects that reflect our past 30 years living in different parts of the world – Singapore, Hong Kong, China, France and the Czech Republic. It’s an eclectic mix that carries strong emotional value. There’s the Indonesian kitchen cabinet, our first piece we bought in Singapore in the early 90s, and which made a tour of the world to be back here in 2010; a Chinese wedding cabinet purchased in the year of our wedding in Hong Kong in 1995; a 1920s set of chairs from a Modernist shop in Prague. Every time we move to a new place, these objects get a new life in different settings. My husband is a passionate photographer and music lover; I love literature, architecture and history. We both enjoy travelling and discovering the world. Our interior reflects that. What’s your favourite corner of the house and why? I just lovemy patio seating, with the viewof the garden. I never grow tired of the colours and sounds, the late afternoon orange light illuminating the walls. It’s magic. In the evening, it’s a perfect place to entertain, dine or just read a book. Where do you source your furniture and décor from? For outdoor furniture, our choice is Fermob at Soul & Tables. We like the collections with their broad colour range, and the quality is unbelievable – great for resisting the tropical climate. The rugs and decorative accessories are from The Cinnamon Room; since I’ve discovered Visha’s showroom, it’s my go-to place! The sofa and beds are from King Living. And our latest addition is a beautiful dining table from French brand Ligne Roset.
HOME & PROPERTY
For getting photographs printed and framed, we use Brilliant Prints and AVS. And our Hi-Fi system is Avantgarde Acoustic from Germany. If you’re a Hi-Fi lover, the old Adelphi Shopping Centre is a paradise – a must-visit. It’s been around since the late 80s. What three items would you save in a fire (god forbid!)? I love this question! It made me think really hard… My grandma’s jewellery; the box with my sons’ childhood memorabilia; and my beloved head statue of Jayavarman VII from Siem Reap. My husband will most likely be running out of the house with his Leica cameras around his neck, dragging boxes of negatives and slides he hasn’t had the chance to scan yet! Favourite thing about Singapore and the region? In pre-COVID times, my answer would be the location – it’s an excellent place to explore Southeast Asia. How are you feeling about going to Dubai? Dubai was a deliberate choice and we are very excited to discover new horizons! We can’t wait to explore UEA and nearby countries such as Oman, Iran and Azerbaijan. It’s well connected, and it will
bring us closer to our families and friends back in Europe – especially our son Victor who is studying in Nottingham. With more than 13 years in Singapore, it’s an important chapter of our life that’s closing. As our departure date approaches fast, we’ve been increasingly sentimental and lucid about what we love about Singapore – the ethnic and cultural diversity (including the Singlish), the food (Jumbo Seafood black pepper crab on the East Coast!), and the lush greenery. We’re grateful for the opportunities this place has given to all of us, for the amazing people who crossed our path and with whom we became friends, and for so many countries in the region we were able to discover. But we feel that now it’s the right time to move on. What would your advice to newcomers to Singapore be? My favourite Malay proverb is “ Di mana bumi dipijak, di situ langit dijunjung ”; it means “Hold high the sky of the land you tread on”. Behave like you are here forever, treat Singapore like your home. It’s a place that has a lot to offer. Also, hang your paintings, pictures and photographs on the walls – don’t find excuses that you are here just for couple of years. In a blink of an eye you will realise that those two to three years you’ve planned to stay have turned suddenly to five or more.
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Our garden is our little piece of paradise; moving to this house, I’ve discovered the joy of gardening
Singapore Recommendations • Become a Friends of the Museums (FOM) member – it’s the best way to learn about Singapore’s history and culture through guided visits, lectures, book clubs and film clubs; you also get to meet interesting people. • Go for an early morning or evening stroll to Alexandra Park starting from Hort Park. • Visit Inverturret and Atbara, beautiful black- and-white houses that have been converted to Forrest Learning Centre on the hill of the Gallop Extension of the Botanic Gardens. Bring a picnic with you. Early evening is the best time for surprising city vistas. • Sign up for a kayak trip to Pulau Ubin with Darren Goh of SneakPeek Singapore (sneakpeeksingapore.com). Escape the city and explore mangroves, spot wildlife and dig into lunch at a floating restaurant. • Try the hot springs at Sembawang. Yes, it’s unbelievable, but there are hot vichy waters here. You can either boil eggs or your feet in the basins and meet local fans soaking for hours in inflatable tubs. • Visit Haw Par Villa, the quirkiest place you can find in Singapore. The 10 Courts of Hell gallery is not to be missed! • Go for a Jumbo Seafood dinner on the East Coast. We recommend the black pepper crab, drunken prawns, baby garlic kailan and seafood fried rice. And, of course, a pitcher of Tiger beer. • Visit Bukit Brown with an accredited guide, “Bukit Brownie”. You’ll be amazed to discover one of the largest Chinese cemeteries outside of China. • Go for a movie at The Projector; it’s in the Golden Mile Tower, next to the Golden Mile Complex, which was recently gazetted as a conserved building. • Read some historical fiction – The Red Thread from Dawn Farnham’s Straits Quartet series, or Singapore Sapphire from the Harriet Gordon mystery series by AM Stuart. Near to Singapore • Spend a weekend at Sea Gypsy Resort on Pulau Sibu on the east coast of Malaysia. It’s an absolutely amazing place that has been around since the 1990s; we love Richard and Linda (“Mama Sea Gypsy”)! • Visit Georgetown, Penang for a feel of Singapore 50 years ago.
Caroline Chin Geyler of Arete Culture thinks it’s really important to take a moment to make a dining setting special – and she makes it look so easy! To help you, the brand’s newest creative endeavour, Magical Moments by Arete, has started hosting styling masterclasses – and a few of us went along to try one out. We had great fun (as you’ll see from our comments further on), but it also made us all realise that styling needn’t be that complicated. Caroline showed us how to choose a few key pieces, then change things up each time with fresh flowers and accessories. We also each created a centrepiece, which gave us lots of ideas and confidence – it’s actually not that difficult! Mine looks great on my coffee table and outdoor dining table. I just update it with a few fresh leaves from time to time. The workshops are 2.5 hours – a great way to learn some new skills with a group of friends or to meet new people. About the masterclass Caroline and Nirvi first go through the fundamentals of interior stylingwith a short slideshow. Then they demonstrate four different setups for styling your dining and coffee tables. They’ll also show you how a few affordable staples can be mixed with some fresh flowers or foliage to help you create a new look each time. Mixing some faux or dried pieces with fresh means that updating or switching it up doesn’t cost too much or take too much time. Here’s what the rest of the EL team thought! I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and think it would be a great class to do with a group of girlfriends. Caroline is really passionate about her field and was happy to share her knowledge and practical tips to ensure you get the most out of the workshop, from where to pick up inexpensive materials to how to incorporate existing objects you have lying around the house into styling. I learnt how to use different colours, patterns and textures to complement each other and how to easily create amazing table settings. Juliet BY REBECCA BISSET Would you like your dining table settings to be a little more “finished”? Are your coffee tables looking messy or bland? If you’re having people round for a meal, it’s nice to make it memorable – and perhaps with a little bit of “wow”.
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I loved the practical ideas and inspiration. I’m buying a decorative box to house my ugly remote controls on the coffee table, and using my trays to show off collectibles I already own but don’t display well. Danielle Caroline from Arete Culture is one truly magical lady – she manages to sprinkle glamour into everything. I learnt a lot about how to put things together on your coffee table and dining table. The workshop starts with some theory, and I really appreciated it because it provides a set of rough rules on how to put things together; you also get a little booklet on how to style confidently, which is a handy tool to have. It will definitely spark your creative juices and make you want to entertain every weekend. (A warning to all husbands!) Caroline said that theMagical Moments idea came to her during lockdownwhen we were all isolating at home and couldn’t see friends. What this workshop gave me was the chance to spend time with my beautiful colleagues, hear them laugh (evenwithmasks on the whole time) and spend an amazingmorning learning and creating something wonderful. It made us take time out of our schedule, and take time to be present and be with one another – my super team! Susan I loved this Magical Moments styling masterclass! It was lovely to see a coffee table display and table setting being created layer by layer. I had no idea table decorating was so much fun and could look so stunning! Jacqui I finally figured out how to style my coffee table like a pro through an artful mix of flowers, books, trays and other objects. Karin
What else? The styling masterclasses cost $385 per person. Along with a gorgeous vase, you get fresh flowers and candles to style your own centrepiece (worth $80 in total), and you’ll be able to take your creation home with you. The Arete teamwill guide as you create, and give you some constructive feedback. You also get $285 worth of shopping credits, which can be used to redeem products from Magical Moments by Arete. Don’t worry if you don’t think you’ll remember everything – you’ll get a take-home guide too! Each class accommodates a minimum of four people and a maximum of 20.
The next Magical Moments styling masterclasses are on 12 and 14 January. Visit magical-moments-by-arete.com for more information.
These readers tell us why they picked their dining tables.
Travis and Jeanette Rogers, American We moved to Singapore last September and wanted to find a local piece that would be large enough for our family of five plus guests. We were looking for something that would provide a “wow factor” and be memorable for years to come. We found Woody Antique House online when searching for local furniture stores. Their select ion of inventory and reviews stood out to us. The staff were very welcoming from the moment we walked through the door – they’re knowledgeable about their stocked furniture and antique items and were able to sell us on our pieces without making us feel overly pressured. They also worked with us on pricing and provided a seamless delivery experience. We ended up purchasing three items: a large suar wood live-edge dining table, a bar cabinet and a shoe cabinet. The table measures 210cm by 105cm and is made of a solid piece of suar wood from Indonesia. The chairs are on their way so we have replacement chairs at the moment. We love our table. Af ter looking at live-edge tables in several different shops around the island, this one was the
perfect fit for us. It’s one piece of wood, and the live edge is just right with angles not so extreme that you can’t sit at the table and eat, but enough to be noticeable. The wood grain is gorgeous, and the overall design is so simple. We love the joinery at the base, which gives it an antique feel.
Woody Antique House #01-05, 13 Dempsey Road 6471 1770 | woodyantique.com
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Sarah Burrowes, British We recently relocated here from the UK and needed to furnish our new home. I knew that we needed a low-maintenance dining table with plenty of style. I’d spotted Gallery 278’s ad in this magazine and loved the look of their furniture so I visited them and was very impressed with the collection. The team at Gallery 278 were informative and extremely helpful with furniture tips. However, I was still in the midst of a home search, and trying to nail down a unit with my realtor. Felicia knew of the property I was shortlisting as she had furnished the show flat and other units in the same development. I was impressed with the work she’d done with the show flat and so I engaged her interior services for my home project. I initially liked a rectangular eight-seater dining table, but Felicia suggested I go with an off-square eight-seater option instead. I was undecided at first and Felicia said that I could just rent it first and see how I liked the shape in the space. We also have some comfortable rattan and teak dining armchairs to go with the table. Felicia even showed me a trick
to cover up minor scratches on the tabletop – with a walnut of all things! – which is brilliantly convenient. The table fits my dining space really well; it’s made of teakwood and the tabletop is 6cm thick. It’s solid but with a timeless, simple line design, and the natural wood grains have an understated charm and character. My husband and I have a two-year lease for the dining set and will decide later if it’ll fit in our UK home. Lease- to-own is a very flexible programme that helps with our decisions and our changing lifestyle in an easy way. Our quest for the perfect dining table to host dinner parties has definitely been met. I’ve really enjoyed my three weeks of shopping and learning from an interiors guru! Felicia has even encouraged me to take up an interior appreciation course so that I can better understand Asian practical feng shui and space planning.
Gallery 278 #11-01/02, 203 Henderson Road (Wing A)
Henderson Industrial Park 6737 2322 | gallery278.com
There is one thing Singapore has plenty of: celebrations! With Lunar New Year right around the corner, we give you some great ideas to impress your guests with our dining room picks! ComeDine withMe!
1 Interior styling by Arete Culture 2 Harper dining chair in teak, $520, 2022 collection available for pre-order at Nestify.shop 3 Shallow iron tray bowls in varying foiled hues, $125 to $165, The Cinnamon Room
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4 Armstrong buffet sideboard in mindi wood and old beech wood, with legs in rustic bronze, $1,859, WTP 5 Jean Dubost cutlery set of 24, inspired by traditional peasant tools, $395, House of AnLi 6 Dorchester dining table in American solid ash wood, available with brown or white marble top, Black & Walnut 7 Vibrant contemporary striped hide rug, available in different sizes, $1,900 to $2,600, or customisable for your space, The Cinnamon Room 8 Custom Eve bar cabinet with agate handles, from $5,800, “Coleridge” candle holder with green marble base, $385, Arete Culture 9 Dani dining table, Gallery 278 10 Mabel dining chair in teak, $565, Nestify 11 Enamelled iron trays in varying hues, $125 to $175, laser-etched hide coasters, set of six, $99, The Cinnamon Room 12 Slim dining chair in solid ash wood frame with walnut finish, WTP 13 Brisa pitcher from the Costa Nova Brisa Dinnerware Collection, $75, House of AnLi
14 Custom Sabrina dining table, from $3,500, custom dining bench, from $1,500, round Capiz tray, $125, Capiz rectangular tissue box, $95, Arete Culture 15 Welle dining table, Gallery 278 16 Tall antique kitchen cabinet from Zhejiang Province, China, price on request, Just Anthony 17 Padar dining chair in mindi wood with rattan seat and back, handmade in Indonesia, $390, The Furniture Makers 18 Lombok dining chair in mindi wood, and synthetic seagrass seats, handmade in Indonesia, $390, The Furniture Makers 19 Geometric oak dining table, from $4,310, Originals 20 Versailles extendable dining table in natural oak wood, with space for 10 or more diners, $2,995, House of AnLi 21 Hedgerow wallpaper by 1838 Wallcoverings, Altfield Interiors 22 Torsion oak dining table, black, $1,480, Originals 23 Catalonia dining set, in your choice of Rehau fibres and cushion colours for styling, OHMM 24 Chancery dining table, in solid American ash wood, with Black Rose marble top, Black & Walnut 25 Elm wood dining benches from Zhejiang Province, China, approximately 120 years old, original patina and colour, price on request, Just Anthony
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Directory Altfield Interiors Central Mall Office Tower, #07-10 1 Magazine Road 6909 2768 | altfield.com.sg
Arete Culture 20 Depot Lane, #01/02 areteculture.com
Black & Walnut 43 Keppel Road, #W1-01/02/03 6781 3201 | blackandwalnut.com.sg Gallery 278 278 River Valley Road 6737 2322 | gallery278.com House of AnLi #02-21/22, #03-17 Tanglin Mall, 163 Tanglin Road 6235 5193 | houseofanli.com Just Anthony 379 Upper Paya Lebar Road 6283 4782 | justanthony.com
Nestify FB and IG: @nestifyhome | nestify.shop OHMM #03-09 Riverside Point, 30 Merchant Road 6836 2747 | ohmm.sg
Originals 1 Bukit Batok Street 22, Level 5 6471 9918 | originals.com.sg The Cinnamon Room 43 Jalan Merah Saga, #02-74 9727 3051 | thecinnamonroom.com The Furniture Makers #05-01 Joo Seng Warehouse, 1 Upper Aljunied Link (By appointment only) 9234 4966 | thefurnituremakers.co
WTP 3 Kung Chong Road 6235 2760 | wtpstyle.com
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