WHERE TOWALK CAR RENTALS MELBOURNE Around
SORE BACK SOLUTIONS
Bukit Timah Bliss
FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS
I’ve been thinking a lot about the millions of wild animals that filled the plains of the world in times gone by. And it’s made me wonder why there’s this big need to cull farm animals now, if we don’t have the wild population anymore. According to an article in the Guardian, African wildlife declined by 60 percent between 1970 and 1995. Surely, then, animals in general (and their emissions!) are on the decline. For 1.9 million years (according to history.com) we have been innately hunter-gatherers – around the same time we became homo erectus . (It’s a good thing they’ve changed our name since then!). So, I don’t understand what’s being done to farms in many parts of the world. If we – as in the human race – can’t farm the land, then what are we? Yes, there are gorgeous tracts of wild land we can visit, but being able to make a living from the land is very special. If you are feeling it’s all a bit crazy too, and you need to head off to some wild (or wildish!) land to unwind, we have a couple of options for you to read about in this issue; the forests and lakes of Victoria in Australia, and the jungles and seas of Sarawak. A big welcome to any newcomers! Keep an eye on our website, expatliving.sg, for loads of things to do here locally and in the region. There’s always plenty on. Happy 57th birthday to Singapore this month – it’s a city I think we are very lucky to be able to live in. As usual, I have been enjoying all the Saturday night practices for National Day. Is it still okay to be a motorhead and love fighter jets and fireworks?
REBECCA BISSET Editor-in-Chief
Have an awesome August!
According to Wikipedia, there used to be 60 million wild bison in North America. Now there are around 30,000. Surely the world has plenty of scope for more animals!
Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET
Group Editor SHAMUS SILLAR Copy Editor JULIET KEYS Editorial Team HEALTH & FITNESS: AMY GREENBURG LIFE & FAMILY: PATRICEA CHOW
WINE & DINE, LIFESTYLE: DINESH AJITH HOME & PROPERTY: AMY BROOK-PARTRIDGE FASHION & BEAUTY: REBECCA BISSET JUNIOR EDITOR: YIMIN HUANG Online & Digital Content MICHAELA BISSET Client Services (Ads) Manager NUR HANANI KAMAL LUDDIN Production Manager JUDIT GÁL Graphic Designers MICHAEL BERNABE | JEANNE WONG Marketing, Circulation & Administration ANNA TSERLINGAS | VEENA GILL | SITI SHAHIRAH KHIRUDEEN | HARSHARAN KAUR 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 ANNA MURPHY | JAC CHEOK Contributing Photographer KEN TAN (MISTERKENTAN.COM) | BEATRICE CONTRINI (BEATRICECONTRINI.COM) | DELON HO (DELONHO.SG)
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Cover: Mollie Jean De Dieu ’ s home Photography: Beatrice Contrini
What’s on in the coming weeks Singapore Pages: Interesting facts about where we live Cool places to go walking on the island Around Town: The latest EL Events and more Subscribe and join us on a walk or a talk New homeware finds and store updates The Hamptons meets French chic in Bukit Timah! Reader recommendations: workspace wonders Black is a feature colour in Island Living’s new range Buying Guide: Work-from home and IT solutions
52 Furniture for tropical living
Home & Property 28
Shining a light on outdoor furniture A bedtime story about mattresses, linen and more
Home office ideas 44
Meet five brands from new retail collective A Raft of Otters Street Talk: Living in Bukit Timah
Life & Family 62
The latest news for parents and kids Noticeboard: Baby births, plus cats for adoption We review the latest films, series and books A multi-function gadget that’ll save time for mums House on the Hill turns ten! Why flexible work spaces are such a good idea Hear from readers about leasing a car Our chat with the Hungarian ambassador
Ten minutes with Dr Vanessa Van Auer
Common questions around complex legal matters
Marysville in Victoria is full of great
Wine & Dine 90
Restaurant openings, new menus and more Eating the world’s most popular cuisine in Singapore
Live it up at these ladies’ nights and lunches
Find a range of quality grocery providers in one location
100 Make a sourdough starter and a golden focaccia!
Grocery goodies at Cluny Court 98
Travel 104 Trip-planning inspiration and hotel news 108 Destination Focus: Tips and advice for Australia 110 Victoria, Part 1: Exploring Melbourne and beyond 114 A travel guide to Kuching, Sarawak
Style & Beauty 120 The latest fashion news and advice 122 Meet four local designers with a difference 124 Jewellery for that special occasion! 126 The latest beauty products and news 130 Three treatments for tackling hair loss 132 Find out about this hair growth supplement 134 Liposuction versus the tummy tuck 136 Eight skin strategies for age-defying looks 140 Tried & Tested: We review anti-ageing products 146 WIN! $870 worth of Clarins skincare
Give martial arts a go! 162
Health & Fitness 150 Medical updates and health tips from experts 154 Combining Eastern and Western wellness approaches 156 When to opt for an urgent care clinic over A&E 158 How chiropractic care can benefit the whole family 160 A new fitness provider with a mental health focus 162 Why you should try mixed martial arts training 164 When to see a doctor for sciatica 165 Getting help for your heels! 166 An orthopaedic surgeon’s passion for MMA Regulars 170 See how well you do in our Puzzle Pages 172 What’s in your stars this August? 174 Important contacts and this month’s advertisers 176 PartingShot: Top spots for bigdogs
Some special bits of sparkle! 124
Is Your Child Survival Ready? (6 & 20 AUGUST)
One of the greatest gifts for children is helping them become independent and confident individuals. Kick-start their journey with a one-day trial at Outdoor School Singapore, where kids get to venture out of their comfort zone and into the great outdoors. Facilitated by trained instructors, they’ll learn vital survival skills in the wild like grid map reading and navigation. On the way, they’ll also discover local flora and fauna through first-hand experiences at Singapore’s nature parks. The trial runs from 9am to 11.30am on both days, and costs $50 (before GST). outdoorschool.sg/ programmes/trial-is-your-child-survival-ready SOSD, a charity committed to eliminating the cruelty and abandonment of dogs in Singapore, has organised this dinner event as an opportunity for animal lovers to do good and have fun at the same time. Bring your friends and family along for a night of lively entertainment with a kind donation of $300 per seat at the charity dinner. Proceeds will help SOSD build a new shelter and rehabilitation centre. Reserve your seat at rb.gy/se9ft4. The dinner runs from 7pm to 10 pm at Conrad Centennial, The Ballroom, Level 2 (cocktails served from 6.30pm). SOSD Charity Dinner (20 AUGUST)
Billie Eilish Live (21 AUGUST) US popstar and seven-time Grammy winner Billie Eilish brings her hotly anticipated Happier Than Ever, The World Tour to the Singapore National Stadium. The tour will mark the singer’s first-ever arena and stadium performance in Asia, and it comes off the back of her critically acclaimed album Happier Than Ever , which debuted at #1 on worldwide album charts in July 2021. Secure your spot at ticketmaster.sg . Standard tickets range from $130 to $300; book early! My Community Festival (5 TO 21 AUGUST) Themed “My Home Sweet Home”, this community-run festival provides an intimate look into the lives and habits of local communities. This year’s range of programmes and line-ups is the most extensive yet; you’ll learn about each community’s traditions, culture and practices by stepping into their living and working spaces, and visiting lesser-known places dear to them. Hear stories from all walks of life to broaden your perspectives about what it means to live here. Ticket prices vary across events; find details at mycommunityfestival.sg .
Outdoor School Singapore
Our Stars and Crescent Moon (7, 13, 21 & 27 AUGUST)
Celestial Bodies (16 AUGUST TO 25 SEPTEMBER)
How much do you know about Singapore’s National Symbols? This walking tour is an experiential history lesson for those eager to learn. You’ll discover pioneer leaders’ aspirations for Singapore, and how three of our National Monuments witnessed the birth of the symbols we know today. Monuments covered in the tour include Former Parliament House (now The Arts House), Victoria Theatre, Victoria Concert Hall and Former City Hall (now the National Gallery). $5; register at monumental-walking-tours.peatix.com . Tour de Care is the Home Nursing Foundation (HNF)’s inaugural virtual cycling challenge. Race at your own pace while raising funds and awareness for the underprivileged community. With 90 percent of patients struggling to afford long-term medical costs and treatments, HNF needs your help now more than ever. For every $100 raised, you can provide one Home Nursing Visit for an underprivileged patient. Support the underprivileged community today at hnftourdecare.togoparts.com . Inaugural Virtual Cycling Challenge (UNTIL 31 AUGUST) The Studios 2022 (UNTIL 24 SEPTEMBER) Using the biological nervous system as a metaphor for society, The Studios 2022 , presented by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, explores the theme of collective care through a series of insightful programmes. From ticketed productions to workshops and free talks at library@esplanade, you’ll learn to confront difficult issues like ageing, mental health, love, and grief. esplanade.com/whats-on/festivals-and series/series/2022/the-studios
Celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival with a view of the outdoor installation Celestial Bodies . Produced by Taiwan’s renowned Kai 3D Art Studio, it comprises spherical lanterns featuring the Moon, Earth, Sun, Saturn and Mercury. The installation pays tribute to the moon as it appears in its brightest and roundest form on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. It also symbolises the joyous union of family and friends, and reflects the desire of Singaporeans to reunite with loved ones as pandemic restrictions loosen. See it on the lawn of the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall, 10am to 9pm daily. Batik Kita: Dressing in Port Cities (UNTIL 2 OCTOBER) This special exhibition by the Asian Civilisations Museum celebrates Southeast Asian heritage, and features over 100 masterpieces from overseas and local lenders, as well as rarely seen pieces from the National Collection. The free exhibition explores the rich history and culture of batik and batik making, from its traditional roots to contemporary designs. acm.org.sg
Chua Mia Tee: Directing the Real (UNTIL 20 NOVEMBER)
Focusing on his early practice from the 1950s to 1980s, this free exhibition at the National Gallery presents a fresh perspective on acclaimed artist Chua Mia Tee and looks at his works through the nostalgic lens of film. His depictions of the city reflect Singapore’s dynamic changes as a nation and are testament to the contributions of diverse groups in its quest for progress. nationalgallery.sg/directingthereal
Batik Kita Chua Mia Tee
Investigating the island past and present, with tips, trivia and time travel – and the occasional tricky challenge for readers!
INTRODUCING THE CIVET! EL’s editor-in-chief recently had a close encounter with a civet who was climbing around in her garden in broad daylight; the large and quite friendly animal made repeat visits on other days too. It prompted us to find out more about them. Here are ten things we learnt: #2 They’re actually more closely related to mongooses (we’ve seen them referred to as “a cross between a mongoose, a dog and a racoon”). #3 There are around 12 varieties of civet, four of which can be found here. The Common Palm Civet is native to Singapore. #4 Spotting a civet up close and in the middle of the day is rare; you’re more likely to see them at night, most commonly in Siglap, Bukit Timah, Portsdown and the Southern Ridges. #5 Known in Malay as “musang”, civets are sometimes referred to in English as “toddy cats”. This comes from their habit of climbing coconut trees that had been tapped for their sap and drinking the fermented sap, known as “toddy”. #6 A civet’s diet includes pretty much anything they can find (they’re omnivores), but they’re particularly fond of fruit such as mangos and bananas. They tend to swallow seeds whole and then defecate them, so they play an important role in dispersing seeds in forests. #1 Civets aren’t cats!
#7 Another favourite snack of civets is coffee cherries, though, again, they don’t eat the beans. This gave some bright spark the idea of sifting through civet faeces to find the semi-digested beans and making a cup of coffee out of them. Apparently, the effect of the digestive enzymes on the beans gives them extra flavour and aroma. The resulting coffee, known as kopi luwak , is among the most expensive in the world. #8 Not that we’ve given it a go, but if you smell the secretions from a civet’s anal scent gland, it’s said to have a similar aroma to pandan. In fact, the smell of pandan is one sign that a civet may be around. #9 Speaking of a civet’s glandular secretions, these have been used in perfumery for over a thousand years. It sounds eww , but apparently when it’s diluted, the smell is “floral” and “velvety”. Happily for the animals, today a synthetic version of the substance called civetone is primarily used instead. For instance, Chanel replaced the real stuff with the lab-produced stuff back in 1998. #10 The civet gets a mention in Shakespeare ( As You Like It , Act 2, Scene 3). One character remarks, “The courtier's hands are perfumed with civet,” only for the other to proclaim, “civet is of baser birth than tar, the very uncleanly flux of a cat”. If you’ve found a civet in your house, or one that appears to be injured, call NParks’ Animal Response Centre at 1800 476 1600.
HAVE YOU TRIED YOUTIAO? If not, here’s a fact file!
• Youtiao is a light, fluffy, deep-fried stick of dough most commonly served at breakfast. It’s usually made as two joined strips that can easily be pulled apart when cooked.
• It originated in China in the 12th century – apparently as a type of protest food. The twin strips of dough were said to represent two leaders of the Song Dynasty who had executed a popular general on a trumped-up charge. Dumping the pair of strips into boiling oil was akin to throwing the nefarious leaders into the oil! • In Singapore, youtiao is often referred to as you char kway . • There are plenty of ways to eat youtiao – most commonly, it’s chopped up and added to congee, a bit like adding croutons to soup. A popular Singapore style of eating them is with a cup of coffee; you take a bite of youtiao, then dunk the remaining stick into the coffee so it can soak up the liquid. • Xi De Li are perhaps the best known youtiao makers in Singapore; they started in the 1920s, and today the fourth generation of the family are in charge. They produce up to 10,000 youtiao every day!
Think you know Singapore well? This working clock made up of different flower beds says that it’s seven minutes past six; but where can you find it?
Last month: The amazingly green hotel shown in last issue was the Parkroyal Collection Pickering, Singapore.
8 NIGHT MARKETS TO NOODLE AROUND IN Heard of pasar malam ? It’s an Indonesian and Malay expression meaning “night market” (“pasar” is directly related to the word “bazaar”). A pasar malam, then, is an evening street market that you might find in Indonesia, Malaysia … and here in Singapore! Pasar malams have been around for ages – they’re like an old-school version of a pop-up fair. They tend to be neighbourhood-focused; so, you might find them in the likes of Punggol, Woodlands, Ang Mo Kio and Clementi. Often their main attraction is food stalls (Ramly burgers are a big thing at pasar malams!), but you’ll also find retail offerings and fun games and rides for kids. Unfortunately, pandemic restrictions weren’t kind to these markets, and they disappeared for a couple of years. Since April, however, they’ve been back in business. Keen to check out a pasar malam for yourself? Here are just a few that are operating this month in different corners of the island.
Punggol When: 14 July to 14 August Where: Adjacent to Punggol bus interchange Tampines When: 1 August to 30 August Where: Next to Tampines Mall and Tampines MRT station Changi Business Park When: 1 August to 30 October Where: The area outside Changi City Point Mall Gardens by the Bay When: 26 August to 11 September Where: Public spaces at Gardens by the Bay
Chinatown When: 26 August to 10 September Where: Along the former Chinatown
Food Street Clementi
When: 29 August to 18 September Where: 353 Clementi Avenue 2, and 449 Clementi Avenue 3 Bishan Road When: 29 July to 13 August Where: The space beside Junction 8 and Bishan MRT station Waterloo Street When: 27 August to 2 October Where: Along Waterloo Street, near Bras Basah MRT
It’s great to go out walking in nature, but you can also get your steps up and explore the cultural richness of Singapore at the same time. Here are five prime places to mooch around – and remember, there’s plenty more on expatliving.sg.
Find history at Fort Canning
The tree-covered hill of Fort Canning Park has been a historical landmark of Singapore for centuries. Most famously, it’s where the British Army made the decision to surrender to the Japanese in 1942, in an underground bunker known commonly as the Battle Box. The park is a pleasant, leafy place for a relaxed walk – don’t miss the nine historical gardens including the Spice Garden and Raffles Garden; or take things up a notch and climb the many sets of stairs, passing Singapore’s first Christian cemetery and relics of the island’s military past on the way to the reservoir on the summit. You can find an excellent guided walk to Fort Canning on our website, at expatliving.sg/walk-in-singapore-the history-of-fort-canning.
Discover the backstreets of Chinatown With its busy alleys and shophouses, this is an area ripe with Chinese heritage, making it one of Singapore’s must-sees; it’s also a great place to bring visitors so they can load up on souvenirs. Highlights include ducking into shops on Sago Street and Temple Street to look at antique wares, Chinese tea leaves, traditional remedies, clothing and more; stopping by the hawker stalls and eateries along Smith Street for a local meal (go in the evening when it’s cooler!); and exploring prominent places of worship such as the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Sri Mariamman Temple. For some refreshments after your walk, Chinatown is also teeming with cool bars to try; check out Ann Siang Hill and Club Street for some of the best spots.
THINGS TO DO
Chill out at Kampong Glam Kampong Glam was already a site associated with Malay royalty when Stamford Raffles arrived in the early 1800s, and today this former forest of gelam trees remains the centre of Singapore’s Muslim community. A short walk from Bugis MRT, the area also has rows and rows of vibrant shophouses hiding quaint cafés, trendy boutiques, laidback bars, Middle Eastern restaurants and more. There’s some excellent shopping to be done on Haji Lane – it’s one of the narrowest retail thoroughfares on the island, and among the most popular (not least for its vibrant street art). For a more traditional taste of Malay culture, take a look at the stately Masjid Sultan Mosque with its striking gold domes, and browse some of the old fabric and trinket shops nearby. Wander around Little India This cultural enclave has lots of interesting lanes to explore. Start your wander by savouring an Indian dessert at the famous Moghul Sweet Shop in Little India Arcade; from there, you can visit some colourful and ornate temples, find out your fortune from a street-side parrot astrologer, or try a selection of traditional curries served on a large banana leaf. Ladies will also love Little India for beautiful saris, cheap eyebrow threading and intricate henna tattoos. If it’s a unique late-night experience you’re after, try shopping at Mustafa Centre; this 24-hour shopping mall sells everything you could possibly want, and then some!
Head up to Dempsey Hill The former nutmeg plantation turned army barracks and now lifestyle enclave is a hugely popular haunt both day and night. With its black-and-white heritage buildings set against a lush jungle backdrop, Dempsey is a great place for a stroll. There are also tons of places to eat and drink for any taste and budget, along with plenty of shops – particularly if you’re on the lookout for antiques or carpets. Grab a coffee from one of the many cafés and explore the whole area on foot. Not only will you find bars, restaurants and shops, but art, hairdressers, a spa, a women’s fitness studio and even a luxury pet hotel.
Visit expatliving.sg/things-to-do for more great ideas on where to go for family fun in Singapore!
AROUND TOWN Look Who Dropped By! In case you were wondering if it was David Beckham that you saw having a casual stroll around town in June, you’re right! The football star visited Singapore for a series of activities organised by Adidas on 17 and 18 June. Despite his busy schedule, he managed to surprise unsuspecting “weekend warriors” at the futsal court at The Cage at Kallang, joining them for a short game.
Beating The Monday Blues
It was definitely a Monday morning we at EL were looking forward to: a 5km easy walk in Labrador Nature Reserve – and with the weather on our side, there was plenty to see and explore. We couldn’t leave without taking a group photo with the replica of Long Ya Men (aka the Dragon’s Teeth Gate), which served as a navigational aid to ancient mariners. And we wrapped up our exertions with some salad and coffee. We’re looking forward to the next Expat Living Walk – why don’t you join us?
Makeup Workshop In a collaboration with Amplio Beauty, we treated some of our readers with a fabulous makeup workshop for ladies on the go! Special guest makeup artist Fiona Bennett provided fantastic tips and tricks for achieving a fab look in no time. A big thanks to our friends at The Hive, and also to The Plattering Co., Juno Gin, Akesi Wellness and Glow Recipe.
A New Serviced Apartment The first Adina serviced apartment in Asia opened on 7 July, with a celebration to mark the occasion. Adina is an Australian hospitality brand, and this inaugural property on Penang Road is managed by Far East Hospitality – the opening was set around the property’s central pool and officiated by the Australian High Commissioner to Singapore, William Hodgman. To mark its debut, Adina has an opening special: book and stay before 30 September this year, and you’ll receive an exclusive Adina gift set and dining vouchers worth $100 (visit adinasingapore.com to find out more).
Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve Walk Singapore’s first ASEAN Heritage Park
Geylang Guided Walk Discover the secrets of Singapore’s red light district
Kent Ridge – Hort Park – Mt Faber Walk Experience stunning views of Singapore
Scan to register or visit expatliving.sg/ELevents
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WHERE TOWALK CAR RENTALS SORE BACK SOLUTIONS August 2022 Issue 241 HOME OFFICES • ANTI-AGEING • CAR RENTALS SPOTS MELBOURNE Around
WHERE TOWALK CAR RENTALS SORE BACK SOLUTIONS August 2022 Issue 241 HOME OFFICES • ANTI-AGEING • CAR RENTALS SPOTS MELBOURNE Around
Bukit Timah Bliss
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32 The Hamptons meets French chic in Bukit Timah 44 Buying Guide: Work-from-home and IT solutions 52 Shining a light on outdoor furniture
HOME & PROPERTY
Bold & Beautiful Well-known for its striking bone inlay home décor, Hacienda Blue has come out with a raft of new pieces including elegant bedheads, chests-of-drawers and table lamps that add an edge to your home style. The bedheads are crafted by skilled artisans in India, with each leaf-shaped element carved by hand and placed in the intricate pattern to create an elegant, whimsical and show-stopping piece. Available in queen and single sizes, they can also be custom-made in any colour and pattern. Head to haciendablueshop.com and check out opening times during the week, or make an appointment for a visit on weekends or public holidays.
Mid-Century Cool Get that Mad Men vibe with Born In Colour’s cool new mid-century style furniture range. The Certo collection’s modern appeal comes from its blend of dark walnut brown finishing with a unique tambour design (thin strips of wood attached to a backing). The wood tones and texture of the design blend seamlessly, encapsulating minimalist design. Pieces include storage cabinets, a mirror and a sofa table. Shop the range at bornincolour.com .
Stylish Shades These individually handcrafted lamp shades come in a range of shapes, sizes, prints and colours. They’re the brainchild of Audrey Mitchell, who turned her hobby into a passion with the mentorship of master lampshade maker Jac Amos. Lamp transformations and bespoke shades are Audrey’s speciality, and she works closely with clients every step of the way, from sourcing specific materials and fabric to on si te instal lat ions. Head to theshadesociety.com and start shopping for your shades.
Jewellery brand Swarovski has teamed up with porcelain producer Rosenthal to create the Signum Collection. The new items include tea and espresso sets as well as full dining services. Swarovski’s brand colours of blue, green, yellow and pink are captured in graphic designs and edged with gold accents, and the collection ranges in price from $60 to $735. It’s available at a range of stores including at Marina Bay Sands, ION Orchard and VivoCity, or online at swarovski.com .
HOME & PROPERTY
Home Away From Home
Austral ian hospi tal i ty brand Adina has debuted in Asia with the Adina Se r v i ced Apa r tment s S i n g a po r e Or c h a rd , managed by Far East Hospitality. The property has 88 rooms, ranging f rom studios to two a n d t h r e e - b e d r o om apartments. It’s centrally located between Somerset and Dhoby Ghaut MRTs and available for visitors looking for a minimum stay of six nights. For a full listing of apartment services and to book, see adinasingapore.com .
How to style a small space
Short on space? Don’t worry, your home can still be big on style! With these tips and tricks, you too can live in a small space that reflects your personality without feeling like the walls are closing in on you.
Arete Culture’s founder and creative director CAROLINE CHIN GEYLER shares her professional tips on home design and décor.
#1 Use reflective and clear materials like mirror, glass, acrylic, shell, glossy tiles or even paint with some sheen in it. These will help expand the sense of visual space by bouncing light around for an airier, lighter feel. #2 Coffee tables are notorious space suckers. Try a compact nesting table or an upholstered ottoman instead, which you can use as a table by adding a tray. #3 Aim to keep the eyemoving by drawing attention to different heights of the roomwith artwork, wall sconces, pendant lights, drapery and shelves. #4 Neutral, even-toned rooms can also create the illusion of more space, but be sure to layer in texture for interest. Don’t like neutrals? Just aim to curate a tight colour palette to help your home feel more cohesive.
Arete Culture | 20 Depot Lane, #01-01/02 | 9640 3829 | areteculture.com
HOME & PROPERTY
We take a look around the Bukit Timah home of MOLLIE JEAN DE DIEU and hear about her efforts to positively impact the workplace.
AUGUST2022 BY REBECCA BISSET PHOTOGRAPHY BEATRICE CONTRINI
HOME & PROPERTY
About the home: Landed property (“Good Class Bungalow”) – floor size, 2,600 square feet; land size, 12,168 square feet Location: Bukit Timah Who lives there: Mollie and husband Romain, children Mia (9) and Louis (8), Belle (“our lovely helper of six years”) and Coco (eight month-old Cocker Spaniel)
Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey here.
I’m the General Manager of the French fashion and accessory company Longchamp, in Singapore and Malaysia. A self-proclaimed citizen of the world, I grew up between Africa, France and the United States, and have made Asia my home for the past 16 years. My family and I have spent nine years in Hong Kong and seven years in Singapore, where we currently reside. I’m a keynote speaker and founder of the NGO Emotional Inclusion (emotionalinclusion.com), which advocates for humanising the workforce. My focus is to specifically look at a new paradigm of leadership in the corporate realm that requires companies to recognise and care for the humanity of the individuals they lead by investing in a clinical psychologist in their organisations, to spearhead sustainable growth. Aside from work and family, how do you keep busy?
HOME & PROPERTY
What led you to launch this NGO? Over my two-decade long career in the fashion industry and listening to hundreds of stories of people who have navigated work whilst facing the “perfect storm”, I realised the “realness” of the subject matter and the urgent need to advocate a safe platform in the corporate world, where emotions can be heard, recognised and dealt with, for an enhanced business productivity. My work draws on the latest research in positive and behavioural psychology, leadership development and organisational change. The Emotional Inclusion Program has shown measurable improvement in leadership effectiveness, emotional inclusion, psychological corporate safety, team performance and employee wellbeing. On the Emotional Inclusion podcast (on iTunes and Spotify), I host global leaders with a voice who are advocates for emotional inclusion and mental health in the workforce. The aim is to open up the discussion and destigmatise workplace mental health – and to shatter the status quo of today’s business landscape and lead the way to a wholesome new mindset in the workforce. I’m also currently writing a book for Penguin that outlines my vision for humanising work cultures (out in March 2023).
HOME & PROPERTY
Sounds like you have a lot going on! It must have been important to find the right home to come back to each day; what kind of property were you looking for when you arrived in Singapore? We were looking for a landed house in Bukit Timah. The children were small when we moved here and we wanted to be somewhere convenient to all our touchpoints – preschools, gardens, shopping places, work and so on. Our three non-negotiables were: luminosity – we wanted lots of natural light to feel good; a pool because of the heat (and because a tropical home would simply not be complete without one!); and an office for my husband. He’s the founder of a fabulous and unique sports brand called UGLOW– high-end, 100 percent stitch-free, comfortable apparel for running, cycling and lifestyle. I’m so proud of what he has accomplished with the brand. He sponsors amazing athletes and charitable causes around the world with tremendous focus and unwavering dedication. I ran a full marathon wearing UGLOW three years ago and it was the greatest saving grace; speaking as a “customer” here, the comfort and quality level is simply unbeatable.
HOME & PROPERTY
Tell us more about the house. How did you find it? What was it that sealed the deal for you? Our lovely agent Nadia Ederer (who I highly recommend) helped us find it. She’s the kindest, most patient and upbeat person ever, a real gem. Christopher Quek oversees the property and he is the nicest and kindest man you’ll meet. When we visited this house, I immediately knew it was the perfect one for our family. From Chris’s welcoming, to the big garden, the in-ground pool, the Balinese master bathroom, the big living room, the kitchen, the English doors – they all sealed the deal for me. We really feel thankful to be living here. How would you define your style when it comes to interiors and décor? In one sentence: the Hamptons meets European chic. I love the mix of coastal vibes that I find so calming, comfortable and clean, intermingled with the old world, polished detail of the European style.
What’s your favourite part of the house and why? I would say my home desk that looks out onto the garden where I get to watch the kids and the dog play when they are outside. I find it deeply anchoring and it never fails to bring me back to the “now” – that is, to that which really matters! Where do you source your furniture anddécor from? That’s a very simple and straightforward answer! Aside from our family pieces, I source our furniture and décor almost exclusively from Nina Beale at Bungalow 55. (I also have a few pieces from Originals.) Nina is such an exceptional lady – genuine, smart, hard-working and oh-so-talented. I adore both her and her style. If I could, I literally would buy every piece in her Dempsey shop and her online store! She has such an “eye” and she makes her craft look so effortless. She decorated our home with such ease and made the whole process so much fun. Nina is a real pearl, I couldn’t recommend her more.
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Anything more you’d like to do to the décor? For now, the few touches that I would like to make would be to reupholster my great grandmother’s chairs in the dining room, get new lampshades for my bedside lamps and paint the walls around the pool in white – provided Chris gives me the green light to do so! What do you like about the area? It’s serene, our neighbours are lovely, the Botanic Gardens and our church are just a stroll away, and it’s conveniently close to where we do our shopping. Favourite thing about Singapore? The people, the food and the proximity to amazing destinations and beaches. Do your homework. Check out the Singapore Tourism Board or your affiliated Chamber of Commerce, read Expat Living for all the tips and tricks they offer; Sassy Mama is also a great portal for mums trying to find their way here. Get out and explore the city and don’t be afraid to mingle and ask for help! We’re blessed with so many associations and clubs here, so visit them when you can. What would your advice be for newcomers to Singapore?
HOME & PROPERTY
Hairdresser: Timen at Yann Beyrie Salon | yannbeyrie.com (“I also adore Yann’s beautiful new line of products, Plumeria – especially the Plumeria Nourishing Hair Serum, which acts as the best anti-frizz I’ve tried”) Home Décor: Bungalow 55 | thebungalow55.com Photographer: Beatrice Contrini | beatricecontrini.com Agent: Nadia Ederer | IG: @dreamhomessg Florists • Flower markets | Thomson Road • The Floral Atelier | thefloralatelier.co • Grandiflora | grandiflora.net/grandiflora-singapore French Produce • Delisari | delisari.com
• Le Petit Depot | lepetitdepot.com Sustainable & Organic Produce • Little Farms | littlefarms.com • Sasha’s Fine Foods | sashasfinefoods.com Restaurants & Cafés
• Crowne Bakery Crown Centre | 557 Bukit Timah Road; near Coronation Plaza (“the absolute BEST baguette, croissants and pains aux chocolats in town”) • Odette | odetterestaurant.com • Luke’s (“there are several but I still prefer the one at 22 Gemmill Lane”) | lukes.com.sg • Patara (Thai) | patara.com.sg • VUE | vue.com.sg • Culina | culina.com.sg • SUJU (Japanese) | suju-masayuki.com/sg Activewear: UGLOW Sport | uglowsport.com
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With the right home office furniture, you can really get into a work-from-home groove. Malaysian JOEYLIM tells us how he found his ideal setup at Gallery 278. We needed some home office furniture that would be readily available and also long-lasting, but it was very difficult to find pieces in the size and quality that we preferred. Specifically, we were looking for a working desk and a study chair. I was looking forward to having some nice furniture to work from home on! Gallery 278 had been recommended to us by friends and family. When we visited their showroom, we saw a sample of their range and it had a classic, timeless style. A big plus was that a lot of the furniture was in solid reclaimed teak, which is more durable than young teak since it’s less prone to cracks and splits. I especially
Gallery 278 203A Henderson Road (Wing A), #11-01/02 6737 2322 | gallery278.com Under the sunny skies of Singapore and against a backdrop of flawless white walls, the raw satin wood of our new home office furniture really takes on a peaceful, almost wistful, mood. labelled as “teak wood furniture”, but in reality, they may only have a thin veneer of teak. Others use solid teak for the table face and legs, but the drawers are made of plywood with veneer, so they feel very cheap and flimsy. It can be quite frustrating. When we inspected Gallery 278’s furniture, we were pleasantly surprised by the quality – and the competitive pricing! We’ve had no regrets about our purchases, and we would definitely return to Gallery 278, especially because the principal designer, Felicia, really knows her stuff.
liked the raw satin finish; this protects the wood with a clear matte coating, and allows the natural beauty of the wood to shine. Houses are getting smaller and smaller, which means getting the right kind of furniture to suit your space is crucial! In addition, I’m very particular about study or work desks: I like drawers, but not so deep that my knees bump into them (ouch); and I like them wide enough to put both my digital devices as well as my traditional stationery side-by-side. Because of that, we got a custom sized piece. It fulfils my criteria and is entirely made of solid French oak; it’s also narrower, so it makes it easier to manoeuvre in the room. The study chair is much simpler: I sat on it, it felt really nice, really sturdy, and it was surprisingly comfortable! Another thing important to us is that furniture must be entirely made of solid wood for durability. In various stores we’ve visited, many items have been
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Black Island Living’s timeless collection of furniture and homeware just got bigger – with black at the forefront of the colour palette.
The collection of stylish and reasonably priced rattan furniture at Island Living is growing, thanks to the addition of some contemporary yet timeless designs, and a nicely timed move into a new showroom at Kaki Bukit. At this new location, the brand will continue to carry its signature rattan pieces while offering an even broader range. “We’re working with carefully selected new suppliers who are supporting us in this next chapter,” explains Island Living’s director DENISE VRONTAS. “We’re bringing in more recycled and sustainably sourced timbers, such as teak, elm and mango woods, and using these to offer our clients more contemporary designs, while maintaining the natural grain, texture and tones of the timber.”
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#06-04 Mapletree Industrial Estate, 8 Kaki Bukit Avenue 1 8028 2571 | islandliving.sg “Using these pieces in combination with other rattan items can really tie a whole room together,” says Denise. “Simple teak pieces will also work in this combination, so don’t be afraid to mix things up a little.” The team has been seeing a general trend towards a more modern approach to interiors combined with the inclusion of pieces made from natural materials. “These items are timeless and well worth investing in; they work well in any home and can be paired with a range of other pieces regardless of your style and the other pieces you may already own. We’ve had many clients coming to us who are relocating and who’ve taken the opportunity to sneak a few pieces into their containers!” Black & Rattan The darkest of tones is making a big splash right now in the world of furniture and homeware, according to Denise. “The dining tables, television consoles and sideboards we offer are solid timber and have been painted black by our team of craftsman in the Southeast Asia region. Many of the products still retain the natural texture and elements of the wood – these are proving to be very popular.” And black doesn’t have to be dull and depressing! Add a lamp, a simple vase of leaves or a collection of family photos to make them instantly pop on these darker furniture pieces. “Black is a great backdrop for showing off your favourite homeware.” Combining black with rattan is also very on-trend. This aesthetic l ends i t s e l f pe r f ec t l y t o the environment here, but also brings a more modern feel mixed with the traditional rattan.
Whether your workspace at home is where you tackle a full-time job, or simply a spot for pursuing a hobby, the right furniture will give you the right mindset. One of these pieces might be just the thing!
HOME & PROPERTY
1 Wave teak desk, Originals 2 Hall floating wall shelf, Gallery 278 3 Semi table lamp with glass shade and bronze body and base, WTP The Furniture Company 4 Design concept, interior design, accessories and styling by Arete Culture 5 Milos desk lamp, perfect as a task lamp or bedside reading light, Bungalow 55 6 Nuez oak desk, Originals 7 Steg bookcases, Gallery 278
8 Design concept, interior design, accessories and styling by Arete Culture 9 Leather legume box, a luxe touch for your shelf or tablescape, Bungalow 55 10 Rita study desk in solid oak wood and powder-coated metal, House of AnLi 11 Crushed mother-of-pearl storage box for stationery, The Cinnamon Room
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12 Gili rectangular bookshelf, handmade in Indonesia from natural kiln-dried mango wood, Island Living 13 Bayquest writing desk, with three drawer units and synthetic leather worktop, in South American walnut wood frame and legs, Black & Walnut 14 Jamesson footed mirror in stainless steel, with mirror glass, House of AnLi 15 Lowanu angled leg desk, handmade in Indonesia from sustainable mango wood, with a small storage drawer, Island Living 16 Design concept, interior design, accessories and styling by Arete Culture
17 Gordon desk chair, upholstered in fire-retardant and water-resistant vegan leather, WTP The Furniture Company 18 San Jose writing desk in solid oak and leather top finishing, House of AnLi 19 Monochrome black and white 3D hide rug, The Cinnamon Room 20 Grey leaf pattern inlay table lamp, Hacienda Blue
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21 Work-from-home desk in sustainably sourced teak, in walnut or candy brown finish, Nestify 22 Scented summer candle in golden sun, fuschia and green colours, House of AnLi 23 Leo swivel armchair, upholstery fabric in peacock velvet with black metal base, WTP The Furniture Company 24 Blue cloud pattern vase collection, Hacienda Blue 25 Humla oak rack, in natural finish, Originals
26 Trestle adjustable desk in sustainable solid wood, made in Indonesia, Soul & Tables 27 Grey wallpaper pattern inlay desk, Hacienda Blue 28 Oscar desk and Oscar drawer unit in solid teak, made in Indonesia, Soul & Tables 29 Vinna writing table and Fiske chest of drawers with five drawers, stylish yet practical addition to a home office, Scanteak 30 Hikaru bookcase in teak wood with natural finish and some inner frames painted in white, WTP The Furniture Company 31 Retro desk, Gallery 278 32 Hollywood Smoke waste basket, crafted from acrylic, fits easily in the corner of any room, Bungalow 55 33 Planka computer desk, slim minimalist structure in teak, perfect for computer or paperwork, Scanteak 34 Grooves teak sideboard, with four doors, Originals
HOME & PROPERTY
Arete Culture 20 Depot Lane, #01-01/02 9640 3829 | areteculture.com Black & Walnut 43 Keppel Road, #W1-01/02/03 6781 3201 | blackandwalnut.com.sg Bungalow 55 8D Dempsey Road, #03-04 8318 5358 | thebungalow55.com
Gallery 278 203A Henderson Road (Wing A), #11-01 & 02 6737 2322 | gallery278.com
Hacienda Blue 17 Woking Road, #02-04 9866 1024 | haciendablue.com
House of AnLi Tanglin Mall, 163 Tanglin Road, #02-139/141 6235 5056 | houseofanli.com
Island Living 8 Kaki Bukit Avenue 1, #06-04 8028 2571 | islandliving.sg Nestify FB and IG: @nestifyhome 8261 4138 | nestify.shop Originals 1 Bukit Batok Street 22, Level 5 6471 9918 | originals.com.sg Scanteak 1 Pegu Road, #01-01 6355 0208 | scanteak.com.sg
Soul & Tables 315 Outram Road, Tan Boon Liat Building, #02-03 & #02-09 9272 1545 | soulandtables.com.sg The Cinnamon Room 43 Jalan Merah Saga, #02-74 9727 3051 | thecinnamonroom.com
WTP The Furniture Company 3 Kung Chong Road 6235 2760 | wtpstyle.com
HOME & PROPERTY
Hayman dining table, $2,550; Rose dining chair in chalk, $460.
BY AMY BROOK-PARTRIDGE JASDEPSINGH fromOriginals talks us through the store’s dedicated outdoor collection, known as Originals Outdoor.
Rose outdoor lounge chair in lava (left) and moss (right), $580
Outdoor rocking chair swing in chalk, $1,080; Corda side table, $520; Picacho vase in cream, from $150.
Outdoor two-seater Avalon sofa in silver grey, $3,200; Avalon armchair in silver grey, $1,950; Pier outdoor coffee table, $1,200.
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Corda three-seater sofa in grey, $2,580; Corda coffee table, $1,280; Ruby outdoor lantern in stone linen, from $280.
Hamilton outdoor two-seater sofa in white, $2,650; Hamilton outdoor armchair in white, $1,950.
How did Originals Outdoor come about? Over the years, while exploring and sourcing for our Originals indoor range, we met many designers of outdoor furniture. A couple of years ago, we decided to select the best of them; so we introducedOriginals Outdoor, our new outdoor furniture collection. We wanted a collection designed and manufactured with the purpose of creating comfortable outdoor living spaces no matter how large or small, and with a style difference too. We’ve since continued to expand and work with award-winning designers to bring a collection that’s not just good-looking, but exceptionally well made.
How are the pieces made? Every detail is considered, with the hand-craftsmanship of woven resin painstakingly executed. Each piece has a structural harmony; it’s constructed and pared down to its most elemental form, ensuring the collection as a whole is an extension of Originals itself. Our outdoor collection is designed and manufactured to create comfortable outdoor living spaces with all-weather furniture that offers maximum comfort and requires minimal maintenance. It’s constructed with the best materials, which means it can be enjoyed for decades. What are you hoping customers take away from the range? We hope they can enjoy their outdoor spaces with a collection of weatherproof contemporary outdoor furniture. Whether they’re looking to dine alfresco, sunbathe or create a cosy spot on the veranda, we have a range of high-quality outdoor furniture that includes dining tables, chairs, outdoor sofas, benches, lounges and much more. There are colours to suit any taste or setting too.
Leo outdoor dining table in teak, from $2,200; Rose dining chair in lava, $460; Mokado vase in black, $220.
Corda lounge chair in grey, $1,180; Corda outdoor side table, $520; Picacho vase in cream, $150.
Originals is at 1 Bukit Batok Street 22, Level 5. 6471 9918 | originals.com.sg
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