READERS’ CHOICE AWARDS
+ GREEK CUISINE WHERE TO DINE IN DEMPSEY
KIDS’ ROOMS VALENTINE’S JEWELLERY Shape IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE KEEPING IN
Say Yes !
MOST DIVERSE INVENTORY AND AMERICA’S UNIQUE FINDS
HOW TO FIND US:
+65 9758 3598 @taylorbdesign Taylor B Fine Design www.taylorbdesign.com
65 Mohamed Sultan Road Singapore 239003
Opening hours: Daily 10am to 8pm
EDITOR’SNOTE When I was about five, I got asked where I was born. My reply was “On a volcano”. It sounds dramatic, and the person probably didn’t believe me, but it’s technically correct! For my recent birthday, Mum sent me a photo of the hospital where I was born in Aden, Yemen. (She’s been sorting out photos since going back into lockdown in the UK.) The ground around the hospital is grey and clearly lifeless; large craggy mountains frame the area. Aden’s natural harbour is the crater of a dormant volcano and there’s even a district called Crater (also known as Kraytar). We left when I was three and it would be amazing to go back there one day. But, more than that, wouldn’t it be amazing for the people there to be able to get on with their lives? For many years now, it’s been facing one of the world’s worst humanitarian situations as different countries and factions fight over it. The news rarely makes the mainstream media – including the recent bombings in December. On to some news that’s a bit happier now, and that’s the results of our Readers’ Choice Awards. If you haven’t seen them online, we’ve highlighted the Gold Winners (first place) on page 16 of this issue, with details on where to find the others. Congratulations to all the nominees and those who won the prizes, too – we had some very happy readers. Look out for the next one! It’s the month of love – Valentine’s Day is with us and if you’re lucky enough to have a life partner, make sure you celebrate it. Yes, it’s commercial, but I think it’s also important to make certain days a bit more special than others, especially when they’re whizzing past so quickly! If you need some jewellery ideas, we’ve got a few for you on page 112. Hope you’ve been enjoying the cool of a Singapore “winter”. It’s the coolest and wettest I can remember it. I’ve been loving wearing jeans and sleeping without aircon.
REBECCA BISSET Editor-in-Chief
Wishing you a love -ly month!
It’s all you need...
Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET Managing Editor LEANDA RATHMELL Editorial Team
HEALTH & FITNESS: AMY GREENBURG LIFE & FAMILY, TRAVEL: LINDSAY YAP WINE & DINE, HAIR & BEAUTY: ANTHIA CHNG FASHION & HOMES: REBECCA BISSET Copy Editors
SHAMUS SILLAR | JULIET KEYS Online & Digital Content MICHAELA BISSET
Production Coordinator NUR HANANI KAMAL LUDDIN 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 Offi er COLIN PURCHASE Contributing Writers AMY BROOK-PARTRIDGE | LINDA DE FLAVIS HARSHARAN KAUR | DEE KHANDUJA | MELINDA MURPHY Contributing Photographers BEATRICE CONTRINI (BEATRICECONTRINI.COM) KATIE MARTIN-SPERRY (KATIEMSPERRYPHOTOGRAPHY.COM) KEN TAN (MISTERKENTAN.COM)
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NEWS 12 Things To Do:
How to keep busy at home
14 EL Forum:
Our online antics and upcoming events 16 Readers’ Choice Awards 2021: Find out who won! HOME & PROPERTY 24 News 26 Let’s Get Digital: Workshops you need 28 Home Showcase: How this family maximise their outdoors 34 Bouquet Boss: Meet the founder of The Floral Atelier 36 Artist Spotlight: What inspires Jieun Park? 38 Buying Guide: Funky finds for kids’ rooms 42 Street Talk: What life’s like in Pasir Panjang
36 A modern take on Chinese ink art
70 Why these families love their clubs
LIFE & FAMILY 48 News 52 Expert Advice: Let’s talk maternity insurance 54 Noticeboard: Birth announcements and pet adoptions 56 Screen & Page:
Top TV and book recommendations 60 Success Story:
72 Legal Advice:
Couples considering divorce
What makes a billionaire?
73 Helping Hands: Our latest on volunteer opportunities 74 The Singapore Pages: Exploring the island, past and present 76 Looking Back: What else happened in 2020?
62 Cupid Calling:
Your love horoscopes for 2021!
66 Wedding Snaps:
How one photographer tackles the new normal
70 Social Networks: Three great clubs to join
92 Date night in Dempsey
WINE & DINE 86 News 90 At the Bar:
New and noteworthy places for a tipple
92 Dempsey Dining:
Woo your Valentine at one of these spots
94 Going Greek:
Where to meet and mezze!
96 Recipe Corner:
Favourites to add to your repertoire
TRAVEL 102 News 104 Crystal Clear:
Pretty pools in the region
106 Virtual Travel:
Insta-worthy Sydney cafés to bookmark
104 Popular pools we’re itching to dive into
112 Want to wear some bling?
STYLE & BEAUTY 110 Style News 112 Just Jewellery: Six stops for sparkles! 116 Gems & Jewels:
The new brand that’s making a statement
118 Yes to the Dress:
Top advice from a bridal boutique
120 Beauty News 122 Mane Makeover:
We put this Orchard salon to the test
124 Lush Lashes:
Reviewing a Holland Village gem
126 Tried & Tested:
Body moisturisers we swear by!
128 Beauty Treatments:
Non-invasive slimming solutions
116 The darling duo behind this new jewellery label
HEALTH & FITNESS 136 News 140 Varicose Veins:
Causes, concerns and treatments
142 Neck Check:
What to do if you find a lump
REGULARS 154 Horoscopes for February 156 Puzzle Pages 158 Numbers & Websites
144 Debate & Discuss:
Is incurable really incurable?
146 Keeping Fit:
Exercises for each age group
147 Workout Tips:
How to maximise your sweat sesh
159 Advertiser List 160 Parting Shot: Close encounters!
148 Fitness Journey: One expat’s plans to stay motivated
Otah & Friends (UNTIL 26 FEB)
Local collective El Masnou has transformed popular otter hotspot Gardens by the Bay into a fun otter-themed attraction. Visitors can enjoy an immersive 45-minute experience in Otah the Otter’s colourful home, with the task to find him before his cookies burn in the oven. There’ll be loads of photo ops as well as lemonade and cookies after you find Otah. Get your tickets at otahandfriends.com . Margins: Drawing Pictures of Home (UNTIL 28 FEB) Exhibiting now at the ArtScience Museum, Margins takes a new look at Singapore, focusing on stories, landscapes and people who are often under-represented, unseen and unheard. The 15 Singaporean artists’ photographs capture stories that explore the hopes and dreams of Singapore while defining familiar places that make it “home”. marinabaysands.com/museum Hiroshi Senju: Beginnings (UNTIL 28 FEB) Japanese artist Hiroshi’s new series of Waterfalls come in vibrant colours including red and blue, a departure from previous exhibitions where he used a more restrained palette. The series features two waterfall paintings and two cliff paintings using platinum pigment. Sundaram Tagore Singapore
Senior Dance Showcase: Dancing Through the Darkness (2-28 FEB) This student-led performance by Tanglin Trust School showcases 50 young performers who explore dance as a beacon of hope, bringing youthful energy, elegance and sparkle in challenging times. Watch this virtual showcase with family across the world and appreciate the next generation of talent. It premieres on 2 February and is accessible until the end of the month. Tune in on the school’s YouTube channel ( youtube.com/c/tanglintrustschool ). AWA Open House (3 FEB) Join AWA for their first open house of the year in February! Arranged by appointment, the event will allow you to meet a board member or the GM to find out more about what AWA has to offer. Indicate in the comments when booking if you’ve been referred by a current member or if you have a timing request. For queries, email firstname.lastname@example.org . CIS Open House (4 & 5 FEB, 17 & 19 MAR) Experience the warm and
Cliff, 2020, Hiroshi Senju
welcoming CIS community at their upcoming open houses. Hear from the Head of School, meet the senior academic leadership team and chat with their Admissions team. You’ll also have the chance to tour learning and sports facilities as well
as see teachers and classes in action. Held at both campuses (9am): 4 February and 17 March (Lakeside) and 5 February and 19 March (Tanjong Katong). Register at cis.edu.sg/admissions/open-house .
PICNIC PLANS Gather your best buds (yep, in groups of eight!) and have some food and fun at one of these great spots around the island.
#1 Botanic Gardens One of our all-time favourite spots in Singapore, the gardens are great for sophisticated picnics. You can lay down your mat almost anywhere, but our favourite patch of grass is probably at Palm Valley and Symphony Lake. #2 MacRitchie Reservoir Park A popular spot for nature lovers and exercise enthusiasts, MacRitchie has convenient amenities such as toilets and drinking fountains, perfect for a picnic. Beware of sneaky monkeys, though! #3 Marina Barrage The Green Roof at Marina Barrage, approximately the size of four football fields, is open to the public for recreational activities. As you tuck in to your food, enjoy views of the city skyline. #4 Bay East Garden There are lots of areas within Gardens by the Bay to picnic in, but we suggest Bay East Garden. The two-kilometre waterfront stretch has great views of the Marina Bay skyline plus open lawns, palm trees and flowering shrubs. #5 Hort Park If you fancy spreading yourselves out on a huge lawn, HortPark’s one-stop gardening hub could be the ideal picnic spot. There’s plenty of shade, too.
Pasir Ris Park
#6 East Coast Park With a scenic coastline, East Coast Park is an excellent venue for a picnic. Grab a spot under the shade of the casuarina trees, take in the breeze and imagine you’re on holiday. #7 West Coast Park Another great open space by the sea, this park has a bicycle obstacle course, sand-play area, plus lots of swings and climbing structures that kids will love. #8 Pasir Ris Park For a family picnic, this park in the East has an adventure play area with a flying fox, swings, a sand area and rope climbing pyramids. There’s also a mangrove walk, cycling paths and a maze and kitchen garden.
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for FREE! Subscribe and get our latest Kids’ Guide February 2021 Issue 223 S$6.90 VALENTINE’S DAY • KIDS FURNITURE • GREEK CUISINE MCI (P) 032/02/2020 SINGAPORE FEBRUARY 2021 + GREEK CUISINE WHERE TO DINE IN DEMPSEY KIDS’ ROOMS TO THE DRESS! VALENTINE’S JEWELLERY KEEPING IN Say Yes READERS’ CHOICE AWARDS Shape IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE
Our annual Kids’ Guide has everything from finding an obstetrician and caring for your newborn, to fun activities and choosing the right schools for your child. There’s also lots of useful advice from other mums and dads. for theyear andget a free copy of our latest Kids’ Guide! $50 Subscribe for just $82.80
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Result ar in !
We’re delighted to announce the winners of our Readers’ Choice Awards 2021!
Over 15,000 consumers voted for their favourite businesses in Singapore in an open voting system, allowing every business a chance to be voted across 118 categories, from Furniture & Décor, Wine & Dine, Beauty & Spa to Retail & Fashion and more. The awards are based on real votes where YOU are the judges, so a big thank you for all your recommendations, and to our partners, Sofi tel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa and Pablo Blau for sponsoring amazing prizes for our voters.
Here’s a list of all the gold winners ! To view the full results, visit expatliving.sg/readerschoice
Wine & Dine
Home & Décor
Romantic Dining Origin Grill & Bar Family-Friendly Restaurant Smiths Fish & Chip Shop Value-For-Money Restaurant Din Tai Fung Breakfasts Wild Honey Weekend Brunch
Interior Designer / Home Stylist Arete Culture Living Room Furniture Originals Bedroom Furniture Originals Kids’ Furniture Deer Industries Outdoor Furniture OHMM Antique & Asian Furniture Emperor’s Attic Secondhand Furniture & Auction Items Hock Siong & Co. Home Accessories Living DNA Mattresses European Bedding Bedding & Linen Bed Bath N Table
Wild Honey Afternoon Tea The Grand Lobby @ Raffles Hotel
Hotels Hotel for a Romantic Staycation in Singapore Capella Hotel for a Family Staycation in Singapore Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa Spa & Resort Hotel in Singapore Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa
Carpets & Rugs Living DNA Art Gallery REDSEA Gallery Art Framing Framing Angie
Here’s a list of all the gold winners ! To view the full results, visit expatliving.sg/readerschoice
Services Dry Cleaning & Laundry Pressto Handyman Services Shalom Handyman Services Aircon Services Gain City Home Cleaning Services Helpling Movers Shalom Movers Relocation Agent Asian Tigers Group Storage Facility Shalom Movers Pool Services Clear Water Services Landscaping & Outdoor Services Green Fingers Landscaping Services Garden Centres & Nurseries Far East Flora Florists Flower Addict IT Support Tekkie Help Pest Control Rentokil Pest Control Services Property Website
MBAs & Higher Education INSEAD
Food Delivery GrabFood Telco / Internet Services Singtel Maid Agency / Nanny / Confinement Services We Are Caring Pet Groomer Bark N Woof Photographer Littleones Photography
Beauty & Spa Hair Salon & Services Expat Hair Studio Manicure & Pedicure The Nailist Facials Cutis Medical Laser Clinics Eyebrow & Eyelash Services Browhaus Hair Removal STRIP, Ministry of Waxing Hair-Loss Treatments TK TrichoKare Anti-Ageing Treatments Cutis Medical Laser Clinics Slimming & Shaping Treatments Cutis Medical Laser Clinics Body Massage & Spa Treatments Natureland
PropertyGuru.com.sg Auto Dealer / Car Leasing Presto Expat Motoring
Financial Planning AAM Advisory Insurance Provider AIA Legal Advice Clifford Law
Leisure & Kids’ Activities Social Club The British Club Sports Club Singapore Cricket Club Golf Club The Singapore Island Country Club Nightlife Zouk
Retail & Fashion Department Store Takashimaya Women’s High Street Fashion Zara Women’s Independent Fashion Outlet
White Ginger Women’s Shoes Charles & Keith Women’s Jewellery Lustre Jewellery Swim & Resort Wear
Indoor Activity for Kids Buds by Shangri-La Outdoor Activity for Kids Splash Zone Kids’ Art Programme Muckypups Kids’ Performing Arts Programme
Seafolly Activewear Lululemon Athletica
Lingerie & Sleepwear Victoria’s Secret Formal & Cocktail Wear Covetella Maternity Wear Bove by Spring Maternity Winter Wear Uniqlo Bridal Wear The Gown Warehouse Menswear Zara Watches Rolex Tailor CYC Made to Measure Kids’ Clothing & Shoes Cotton On Kids Baby Gear Mothercare Kids’ Toys & Gear Toys"R"Us Gifts The Cinnamon Room Electronics, AV & IT Products Harvey Norman
Centre Stage School of the Arts Kids’ Enrichment & Language Programme Whizz Kidz Kids’ Sports Programme SCC Rugby Academy Kids’ Holiday Camp Camp Asia Grocers Supermarket Cold Storage Online Grocer RedMart Organic & Health Food Store Little Farms Gourmet & International Food Store Little Farms Butcher Huber’s Butchery Wine Retailer
Wine Connection Wine & Alcohol Delivery Vinomofo
Health & Medical
Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) Specialist Dr Jeeve Kanagalingam, The ENT Clinic Sports & Orthopaedic Medicine International Orthopaedic Clinic Dermatologist Dr Ang Por, Dermatology Associates Cardiologist Dr Michael MacDonald, The Harley Street Heart & Vascular Centre Gastroenterologist Dr Andrea Rajnakova, Andrea’s Digestive, Colon, Liver and Gallbladder Clinic Vein Specialist Dr John Tan, The Vein Clinic & Surgery Breast Specialist SC Low Breast Centre Nutritionist UFIT Plastic Surgeon Woffles Wu Aesthetic Surgery & Laser Centre Medical Aesthetic Specialist Dr Sylvia Ramirez, Cutis Medical Laser Clinics Veterinary Mount Pleasant Vet Centre
Gym or Fitness Studio Ultimate Performance
Yoga Studio True Yoga Pilates Studio Options Pilates Studio Personal Training Ultimate Performance Chiropractor Organic Family Chiropractic
Physiotherapist PhysioActive Osteopath City Osteopathy and Physiotherapy Alternative & Natural Medicine Edge Healthcare Counsellor Alliance Counselling GP & Family Doctor International Medical Clinic Dentist & Orthodontist Smilefocus Dental Clinic Obstetrician / Gynaecologist Dr Paul Tseng, TLC Gynaecology Practice Paediatrician Dr Belinda Murugasu-Koh, Belinda's Clinic for Children Eye Specialist Eagle Eye Centre
The winners announced are based on the highest number of votes received during the campaign period. Businesses are not pre-nominated, which means readers are able to
Congrats also to our voters who won amazing staycations, brunches and spa treatments! Check out the full results at expatliving.sg/readerschoice
vote unprompted. Only single entry and eligible votes are counted.
HOME & PROPERTY
38 Kids’ Corner: Furniture finds and accessories
26 Let’s Get Digital: Workshops to boost your tech know-how
34 Flower Power: Meet the face behind The Floral Atelier
42 Street Talk: Check out the neighbourhood in Pasir Panjang
Buzz Kill The recent wet weather has put us on high alert for dengue as we try to keep those nasty nippers out! But rather than closing your doors and keeping the cool breeze from coming in, check out STOPMosquito. The
company specialises in customised insect screens for patio sliding doors. Complete with a professional on-site survey, customised installation and warranty, these screens are discreet and easy to maintain. Better yet, they’re pet-friendly, with a flap that allows your furry friends to come and go as they please! Find out more at stopmosquito.sg .
Having won wide repute for its unique collection of contemporary hide rugs, The Cinnamon Room has now extended its range of carpets and rugs with three beautiful new lines: hand-woven dhurrie rugs, unique jute rugs and weatherproof outdoor rugs. Expect the same quality craftsmanship and signature geometric designs that the store has become known for. Shop online at thecinnamonroom.com or visit the newly extended showroom in Holland Village for these funky floor finds and other eclectic in-house designed homeware. 43 Jalan Merah Saga, #02-74.
… a ginger jar lamp from Lampton by Emperor’s Attic!
That Rocks! Inspired by the legendary poet, prophet and musician of Greek mythology, the Or ph e u s c o l l e c t i o n b y Br and van Egmond ha s completely hypnotised us with its holistic range of statement lighting. Designed by founder and designer William Brand, these hanging l ight s are made with exquisite precious stones such as tourmaline and labradorite, adding a whimsical and unique touch to any room. brandvanegmond.com
Just launched, Lampton by Emperor’s Attic offers limited edition ginger jar lamp bases, complete with handmade linen shades. Available in a variety of sizes and combinations and with new collections scheduled to arrive every few months, you can be sure there’s something to suit every taste and home style. And that’s not all! There’s talk of the store starting a soft furnishing line too, so watch this space! For a chance to win a ginger jar lamp of your own, worth up to $495, visit expatliving.sg/competitions .
HOME & PROPERTY
Market Madness From sustainable fashion to one-of-a- kind homeware, The Editor’s Market makes it near impossible to head home empty-handed. From minimalist vibes to Art Deco accent pieces, nab some cool finds from brands like Ichendorf Milano, Meraki and Ferm Living. We’re particularly fond of these enamel splatter dinner plates by American brand Crow Canyon. Shop online or visit the five locations island-wide. theeditorsmarket.com
Holiday Homes Missing those vacay feels? Luxury hotel group Aman has introduced an inaugural range of scented candles that are guaranteed to trick your senses into holiday mode. Inspired by the varied landscapes of Aman’s destination resorts, these 220g candles are available in three scents: Grounding, Nourishing and Purifying. Poured into hand-blown glass vessels, the candles offer 40 hours of refreshing notes from floral rose to ginger and bergamot, providing varying benefits such as healing, soothing, energising and rejuvenating. Get yours for $84 from shop.aman.
Bed in a Box New to Singapore’s mattress market, European company Emma Sleep is here to help you get better quality kips at more affordable prices. Designed in Germany by an award-winning team of neuroscientists and sleep experts, the Emma Original Mattress provides optimal spinal alignment through patented, first-in-industry technology. The seven multi-zones and industry-first Airgocell Foam give comfort and support for all body types and sleepers. Available from $499 (single), including a 100-night trial with a money-back guarantee and a 10-year warranty. emma-sleep.com.sg
Colour Me Hopeful If you’re feeling optimistic about 2021, you’ll love Pantone’s picks for Colour of the Year 2021: Illuminating and Ultimate Gray. According to the American palette pros, this power duo will help people “fortify themselves with energy, clarity and hope” in unnerving times. Illuminating is a bright yellow shade that evokes the “optimistic promise of a sunshine-filled day”, while Ultimate Gray carries the “composure, steadiness and resilience” we need to make it through. Hear, hear!
Bigger & Better Since opening its doors in 1974, household name Courts now has a remarkable network of 14 stores island-wide – and they’re not stopping there! With expansion on the horizon, Courts recently announced plans to launch a flagship store on Orchard Road. Occupying all six storeys and 189,000 square feet of The Heeren’s retail space, this will be Courts’ largest outlet in Singapore when it opens in the first quarter of 2022.
HOME & PROPERTY
Let’sGet Digital! How to keep your personal or business life in the best of digital health.
Do you feel overwhelmed with the number of photos you have on your hard drive, and you’re just not sure where to start with organising them? Or perhaps you feel it’s time to brush up on your digital marketing skills to get the most out of your business. SARAH and BO at Tekkie Help are offering a raft of training workshops that can help. WHICH WORKSHOP? Managing, Organising & Protecting Photos This workshop aims to help you bring order to your digital photo library and ensure you don’t lose those precious photos. Choose from a Mac or Windows workshop. Cost: $187
Identifying & Removing Duplicate Photos Are you fed up with removing duplicate photos manually and worried you’ll delete the original photos? Or maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed with the sheer volume of duplicate photos you have? This could be the workshop for you. Cost: $137 Enjoy Your Photos This workshop will teach Mac users how to make the most of their photos, from creating beautiful photos books and slideshows, to how to digitise and protect printed collections. Cost: $87
Demystifying iCloud and Setting Up Family Sharing This workshop wi l l teach you the fundamentals of iCloud, as well as setting up family sharing and managing multiple Apple IDs. Cost: $87 Creating a Robust Backup We all know that backing up is critical in protecting those important photos and documents, but we often don’t prioritise this until it’s too late! This workshop will help you ensure you don’t lose that crucial personal or business data, and help you create more space on your Social Media Marketing Learn how to grow your social media following and use these tools to create brand awareness. This workshop will give you a deeper understanding of the social media landscape and help you to implement strategies that really work for your business. Cost: $190 computer. Cost: $147 Facebook or Instagram Advertising (Advanced) Gain practical hands-on advice and learn how to make your Facebook or Instagram
marketing work for you. Cost: $247 for each course
The courses are delivered in a variety of ways, including face to face and online, and in group or private sessions. For more information, call 8113 8682 or visit tekkiehelp.com/it-training.
HOME & PROPERTY
Pulling into the driveway of this open-planned home, you can immediately sense that the family living here loves spending time outdoors. With a fully-decked alfresco dining and lounge setting, inviting pool and gorgeous landscaping, there’s a sense of casual ease, and a “homely” feel. I’m welcomed at the door by Daisy, the cute family dog, and a very charismatic Heather, who shares tales about her Singapore escapades with me. Tell us a bit about your family and your journey here. I’m originally from California, my husband Peter is from Denmark, and our daughters Stella and Victoria were born in Singapore and attend the Canadian International School. I run a communication, consulting and training firm called Global Speech Academy, and Peter is a Regional Director of Operations for a Danish engineering company. We first arrived in Singapore in 2006, and have lived here for around 10 years over two stints. Where have you lived on the island? When we first came in 2006, pre-kids, we lived in Bukit Timah for two years in a really family-friendly condo. We were living right by the pool, and it was awful. So we moved out the minute we could renew the lease – I was around eight months pregnant. Then we moved to a house in the Springwood Height area, staying there a few years, and then to The Peak @ Balmeg, which was brand new at the time. In 2014, we moved back to Denmark and had four years there. About a year and half in, we could see it wasn’t going to work. We gave it a good shot, but we knew we didn’t want to stay in Denmark; we wanted to head back to Singapore, as we had built a life in Asia. Peter received a Singapore contract in May 2018. It was like “boom, boom, boom” – everything happened really fast. It was a six-month process of discussions, and then a sudden two-week move, just in time for the kids to start school in August. A modern home with interior styling that blends the indoors with the outdoors helps the signature “flow” in HEATHER HANSEN’s home.
BY DEE KHANDUJA PHOTOGRAPHY KATIE MARTIN-SPERRY
began preparing the paperwork to sign an extension. Then, our agent suddenly called to tell us about our current house, which had just come onto the market, though it was above our budget. We couldn’t view the house in person because of the restrictions, so we had to make our decision based on a pre- recorded video sent via WhatsApp by the previous tenants. We sat there watching it over and over. Then we took the dog for a walk and peeked through the fence. The next day we put an offer in, and the landlord accepted it.
Why did you feel so rooted in Singapore? Peter and I did our whole “growing up” here. We had our friendship networks here, as well as our business networks, and both our kids were born here. So our family and friend circles really developed in Singapore. It had become our home, providing us with a kind of “multicultural family”. We felt it was neutral ground, away from the US where I grew up, and Denmark where Peter is from. We built our world together here, separate from the influences of either family. We like the West Coast area a lot and it’s near the kids’ school; Peter’s office is close by, too. I also have a lot of clients at International Business Park nearby. Previously, we were living just down the street, but we had issues with the landlord to be very honest. So we decided not to renew our lease and we moved out during the Circuit Breaker. What was it like moving home at that time? We were in the middle of the COVID lockdown and our end-of-lease was coming up. We really didn’t want to stay another two years in the previous house; I found it difficult to settle there. We wanted to find a home we could live in for at least 10 years, until the girls are done with school and we decide the next steps. It was a tricky time to be relocating as there wasn’t a great selection of homes being advertised due to the Circuit Breaker. Eventually, we came to terms with the idea that we may just have to extend our existing lease and stay put. So we Let’s talk about your lovely home; tell us why you chose to live here?
HOME & PROPERTY
What was it that sealed the deal? Most definitely the outdoor space was the big winner. This house has a very different layout and flow than our previous one, plus we have more open space. The pool is double the size of our old pool. When we saw the kitchen, the maid’s room and bathroom, we were like, “This is perfect.” There’s a better “flow” with this house, from the kitchen to the outdoors. We spendmost of our time in the outdoors area – it’s so private. Sometimes we’ll spend all weekend just sitting out there. The kids will be in the pool, which gets them away from devices too, and we have barbecues and eat our dinners mostly outdoors. And I’ve never been so in love with landscaping. Every now and then, we get little squirrels who visit, and some beautiful birds. Let’s talk interiors; did you have to buy any specific pieces for the house? We were so happy to get the outdoor sofa setup from the previous tenant, because we didn’t have that before. I bought some original artwork from a US gallery for this house and some rugs from irug.com.sg. We also bought a beautiful Chinese cabinet, bookcases and an entire bedroom set. What are your favourite furniture items? I think it’smy newbed andmy reading chair. I also can’t livewithout my “up and down” desk inmy office; and I like the pink armchair in my bedroom and our recent Chinese cabinet purchase from Lims.
Your offi e setup looks great for home-based working. I had to redo my office furniture and layout, as this house has nice walls that I wanted to make use of. I wanted to use the walls as a professional-looking backdrop for video. If I’m being filmed on one side, I have the office with a map behind me. Or, I can be filmed on the other side of the office, and have a “library” look. So I can switch back and forth between backgrounds. I also placed my reading chair in the office, which is one of my favourite spots to hang out. What’s the neighbourhood like? It’s a really “neighbourly” place. We have lovely neighbours who have been here for many years – there’s an interesting mix of locals and expats. We also joined the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club, which is also very close. What do you love about Singapore? My favourite thing is how “international” it is here. I just love that! We could have a dinner party and have a dozen different countries represented. Also, since I’m from California, I do love the climate here. The Danish winters were not easy for me at all – darkness and cold is not my thing. I love that I can go swimming every day here. Finally, what’s on your bucket list for travel? Well, I already have a trip to the Maldives booked! We would also love to head back to Ho Chi Minh City. We just love it there and would even head there just for the weekend to go for dinner.
Restaurant Alati Coffee place Baker & Cook (Faber Heights) Breakfast place Super Loco Hairdresser Calvin Gan at Hairloom Furniture store Taylor B Touristy thing to do Singapore River Cruise Go-to doctors Dr Shiv Gill at My Health Partners Dr Gary Tho at ChiroWorks Clothing shop Style Theory (online clothing rental) Bar Beacon Bar at Republic of Singapore Yacht Club Hike VivoCity to Henderson Waves and Kent Ridge
BY DEE KHANDUJA
According to the company’s floral artisans, designing a beautiful bunch of flowers is as much a science as it is an art. That may explain why they say it takes more than just a “good eye” to create their particular arrangements. The Floral Atelier’s founder LELIAN CHEW is widely regarded as an authoritative figure in luxury events and florals – to the point where she’s been hailed as the “Million Dollar Wedding Planner” on a BBC documentary! Lelian gave us the lowdown about her creative process and how she and the team design their show-stopping products. If you’ve spied an Insta-worthy floral arrangement that immediately had you wondering who designed it and where it came from, chances are you were looking at one of the drool-worthy arrangements of The Floral Atelier.
What was your inspiration behind the launch of the brand? I felt there was a need to elevate the floral scene in Singapore with an emphasis on craftsmanship and creating exquisite floral arrangements. How do you create a perfect bunch of fl wers? Learning how to achieve structure, balance, form and space is key in creating the “perfect” arrangement. Our work embodies our ethos of beauty, luxury and being exceptional. Give us a peek into your creative process. Our arrangements must encapsulate the exquisiteness of flowers, elevating the luxury of a bespoke gift. From the designing and sketching of new arrangements to the careful selection of flowers from our overseas network of farms, the attention is all in the details. Our Master Florist has over 30 years of experience as a florist and is meticulous in every detail. He is passionate about his craft – as all true artists are. We launched our extensive Eternity Collection two years ago, again, aiming to elevate preserved floral arrangements to new heights. Preserved flowers are becoming mainstream as they are real flowers but can last for over a year, if kept in a dry, cool place. Tell us something we may not know about The Floral Atelier. Why do you think fl wers are such a popular gift choice? Flowers create a personal and emotional connection between both the sender and the person receiving the thoughtful gift. Our range of flowers and curated products
Eternity Crystal Cube
HOME & PROPERTY
cater to a wide range of audiences, but all our customers share one thing in common – they have exceptional taste and very discerning needs! That’s why being on the receiving end of one of our floral arrangements is a special moment indeed. As well as catering to individuals, you have a corporate following too; which brands have you worked with? We service mainly luxury brands; Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co and Valentino are just some of the corporates who are loyal customers of The Floral Atelier. What is your best-selling arrangement? Our best-seller is The Ingenue Bloom Box. It features beautiful blooms with cotton candy hues for a pastel-like palette. (It also happens to be our first-ever signature bloom box!) Where can we view your arrangements? Aside from our Paragon store, we have a beautiful 8,000-square-feet atelier in Delta House on Alexandra Road that’s open for customers to browse and better understand our work. There is an all-glass cold room filled with a variety of exotic fresh flowers. We also hold Singapore’s largest vase collection (400 designs and counting). We’re open daily and welcome customers to come and explore. Give us a quick fl wer tip for our homes. A simple arrangement or floral centrepiece on the dining table elevates the entire experience of dining with friends or family, and can make a great conversation starter. Any exciting news coming up? We hope to launch more of our coveted floral workshops. We’re also looking to leverage new technologies to offer our clients a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience, from ordering to receiving our flowers. We are also hosting a Lunar New Year Open House at our Delta House atelier on 5, 6, 7 February, and Expat Living readers are invited to come by. The atelier will be decked out in new year decorations, and festive potted plants, flowers, bonsais and other ornaments that will be available for purchase. Thinking of gifting flowers or buying some for the home? Check out Floral Atelier’s latest collection online at thefloralatelier.co.
Master Series Collection
Petite Bloom Box
Master Series Collection
Jieun Park’s current solo exhibition, Travelogue , at REDSEA Gallery, is an array of striking, abstract, travel-inspired Chinese ink pieces. For the artist, drawing and design have been a passion since she was a little girl growing up in South Korea. She pursued her love of painting by taking a degree in Fine Arts and Design Advertising at Konkuk University in Seoul, majoring in Oriental painting. It was in her second year of university that Jieun went on a two-month trip to the Czech Republic – a trip that ignited her passion for travel. Wanting to express this newfound passion through her favourite medium of Chinese ink painting, she began creating the style of artworks that have been a feature of her work ever since. The Inspiration Towards the end of her solo travels, at the tail end of a bleak Czech winter, Jieun climbed to the top of the Old Town Hall in Prague to take in its signature views of the city. “I remember gazing at downtown Prague. The cold was gone, and I began to feel ecstatic. I think I was there in a daze for hours. After that, I completely fell in love with travel.” The city that has inspired her the most to date is Lyon in France. “I recall fondly how the view from my window was full of red roofs. It was quiet, and the architecture was beautiful during the day. It was a time when my mind was so stable and happy.” She also often paints Singapore, particularly because she loves the city at night. “I love any place where I can enjoy a rooftop bar, a riverside restaurant, a nice walk or a beautiful night view! I love the views from the River Cruise in the evening, too; when you look across to the Marina Bay Sands’ laser show, you know it’s going to be a beautiful night.” Jieun names French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002) as someone she greatly admires – she’s especially in awe of the artist’s “Nana” sculpture series. “I’ve been deeply inspired by their energy and liveliness. The Nana sculptures are dynamic and beautifully coloured; someday I want to visit the park in Tuscany that is full of her artwork.” South Korean artist JIEUN PARK gives us the lowdown on what inspires and drives her passion for her Chinese ink art.
The Process “The start of my work is important and difficult. I begin with an abstract brush movement that is led by an emotion, and I follow this up with meditative painting, while working on the fine details. I think I have the whole thing in my mind, from start to finish.” The painted ink marks she uses in her art can be described as a kind of calligraphy, and they are instinctively spread and dropped on the surface of the paper. Jieun then starts creating comparatively realistic images of various cities within the abstract ink marks, adding colours to convey the stories from her travels, and the emotion she felt at specific moments, be it happiness, loneliness or eagerness.
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Reflections & Tips • “My advice to anyone looking to make a living from art would be to not worry and continue painting.” • “I love books and plants. If I wasn’t an artist, I might have become the owner of a small bookstore or a botanical shop.” • “The best piece of advice I’ve been given is that there is no right answer in life.” Ultimately, peace of mind is her main source of inspiration. “I think peace and quiet are important in every day. That’s the source of my work, so I take a lot of walks. The little things I see – the trees, the sky, the moon, the lights – are all sources of inspiration.” “Small happinesses in everyday life are precious. Eating delicious food with friends and family, talking and listening to each other – that, to me, is happiness. I love to surround myself with family and friends because they’re precious to me and give me a lot of inspiration and energy. On the other hand, I don’t love noise or angry people and situations. It’s hard to watch and listen to.” Over time, Jieun has also experimented with different art mediums, including sculpture and ceramics. “The expression and the stories were the same in those pieces, but the material was very different.” Yet there has always been one constant element in her art, and that is brushstrokes. “The brushstrokes represent my feelings towards different destinations: the cities, the people, the scenes and the music, for example. They also represent the emotions I feel while reminiscing about those places.” The Present With the travel restrictions imposed by COVID-19, Jieun has had to find other ways to keep herself occupied. “I wake up and do my yoga, go to the studio, eat at home with my husband in the evening; it’s a very simple day.”
Jieun Park’s artwork can currently be viewed at REDSEA Gallery (Block 9 Dempsey Road, #01- 10 Dempsey Hill) until 25 February. To find out more, call 6732 6711 or go to redseagallery.com/ exhibitions/travelogue.
From nature backdrops to dinosaur digs, here are some cool finds to create a space where your little one’s imagination can thrive!
HOME & PROPERTY
1 Kids’ bed with play tower in solid pine wood, made in Denmark, convertible to different stages of childhood, from $2,752, Kuhl Home 2 Braided jute rug, from $429, The Cinnamon Room 3 Treehouse double bed with slide from Mathy by Bols, price on request (3-to- 4-month lead time required for orders), House of AnLi 4 Monkey Tree wallpaper and curtain fabric, price on request, Gallery 278 5 Flutterby wallpaper and soft furnishings, price on request, Gallery 278
6 Dino four-in-one kids’ bed in solid pine wood, made in Denmark, convertible to different stages of childhood, from $2,218, Kuhl Home 7 Family bunk bed with storage ladder in solid pine wood, made in Denmark, convertible to different stages of childhood, from $4,529, Kuhl Home 8 Tess bookcase from Mathy by Bols, $3,295 (3-to-4- month lead time required for orders), House of AnLi 9 Hand-woven cotton dhurrie rug, from $595; mermaid hide cushion cover, $120; bone-inlay picture frame, from $50; stationery holder cup, $20, The Cinnamon Room 10 Dusky Amazon wallpaper, price on request, Gallery 278 11 Hand-woven cotton dhurrie rug, from $595; metallic hide cushion, $120; Penan storage baskets (woven by Borneo’s Penan tribe), from $65, The Cinnamon Room
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The Cinnamon Room #02-74 Jalan Merah Saga 9727 3051 thecinnamonroom.com Gallery 278 278 River Valley Road 6737 2322 gallery278.com House of AnLi #02-21/22 Tanglin Mall 163 Tanglin Road 6235 5193 houseofanli.com Kuhl Home 100E Pasir Panjang Road, #08-01 B&D Building 6270 8487 kuhlhome.com
AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO LIFE IN THEIR ’HOOD
JAMES AND SARAH LLOYD (pictured with daughters Sophia, Ava and Freya) From : Wales and Ireland Occupation: Finance and HR
The Specifics What’s the name of your street?
We live in a small condo called Palisades, which is on Pasir Panjang Road in the west of Singapore.
Haw Par Villa
If it’s in another language, what does it mean? Pasir Panjang is a Malay term that literally means “long sand”, a reference to the long sandy beach that once stretched along the coast in this area. Unfortunately, there is no sign of long sandy beaches where we are, but we can see the sea and hear the boats at night, which is fabulous. What’s a common myth or misconception about your neighbourhood? That it’s miles away from anything. In reality, we can get into the CBD via the West Coast Highway in 15 minutes.
West Coast Park
Exact words you tell a taxi driver to get home? “Pasir Panjang Road, near Haw Par Villa.”
Which is your closest MRT station? Haw Par Villa (yellow Circle Line).
How long have you lived here and why? Five years. We realised we could get so much more space for our money going further out of town and it was a seven- minute drive to our children’s amazing school – Dover Court International. It’s walking distance to the MRT, there’s a bus stop right outside the condo, it’s ten minutes to VivoCity, 15 minutes to the CBD by car, and walking distance toWest Coast Park. We spend a lot of time in West Coast Park; so much so that our two-year-old calls it “my park”.
Pasir Panjang port
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CONDO FACTS Name: Palisades Facilities: Pool Size: 18 units Age: 35 years Community vibe: Friendly
and family- orientated
The Scene When you walk out of your place, what’s the fir t thing you see? We’re off the main Pasir Panjang Road, so it’s actually quite a residential outlook from street level. It’s all low-rise houses directly opposite. The view from our balcony is the port, so it’s very industrial and quirky. What’s the closest store to your front door? There’s a petrol station, which has a Cheers shop, and there’s a Starbucks a five-minute walk on Science Park Road (but annoyingly it doesn’t open on weekends!). If your street was chosen for a remake of a film, which would it be? Titanic . It’s a very small condo with amazing neighbours; it really is a lovely place to live. We have a very unique lift – I’m told it’s the only funicular lift in Singapore, one of three of its kind in Asia and ten in the world. There is only one, however, so when it’s under maintenance or you forget something it’s a big pain. When the lift is down the only other option is to walk up the stairs, which run on the outside of the building and are open to the elements. When I gave birth to my third child, two and a half years ago, the day I got out of hospital the lift was out of service and I had to walk up eight flights of stairs – ouch! What’s the unofficial uni orm of your street? Exercise gear! You see lots of people exercising as they make their way to the park. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen on your street? At the beginning of January 2020, a one-armed monkey visited our balcony. In retrospect, I believe he was trying to tell us something! I had never seen a monkey near the condo before then and I haven’t seen one since. We’re sure your neighbours are great, but is there anything you wouldn’t mind a little less of?
View from Palisades lift
The Superlatives What are your three favourite places to eat or drink in the neighbourhood? We don’t dine out locally but just hop in a cab to Duxton, Dempsey Hill or Holland Village. The bare essentials are available from convenience stores but there is no supermarket within walking distance, or any home or fashion outlets. There are facilities within an easy commute, though – for example, VivoCity which is the largest shopping mall in Singapore, is a 10-minute drive away and easily accessible via bus or MRT. What are some fun or interesting things to do in the neighbourhood? Make a visit to West Coast Park or Haw Par Villa. What are the best places to shop at in the neighbourhood? How about one thing you would change? It would be nice to have a supermarket a little closer; a small FairPrice or Cold Storage would do nicely. If the city gave you a million dollars to soup up your street, how would you use it? Move the port so we could have a sea view. What’s one thing you’d never change? The uniqueness of the condo.
Beyond the ’ Hood What are your favourite Singapore spots for taking out-of-town guests? Brunch at Italian restaurant LAVO is the best! Gardens by the Bay is amust, too, as well asMarina Barrage and the BotanicGardens. The kids love the Duck Tour, and we’ve just discovered the Labrador Nature and Coastal Walk – very beautiful scenery with lots of historical information about Singapore to read along the way. When you’re in need of a dose of culture, where do you go? The Asian Civilisations Museum and Chinatown.
If you’re missing home, what do you do? FaceTime!
DO YOU LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD? Share it with others – just email us at contribute@ expatliving.sg with “ Street Talk” in the subject line. Include your name and street, and we’ll be in touch.
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