JUNE 2018


JUN 2018





Health & Beauty


EDITOR’SNOTE As we gather all the stats from our Reader Survey, and try to see how much things have changed in the eight years since we last asked readers those specific questions, it got me thinking about our own stats as a company. Out of our team, 64 percent are married, 88 percent are female, 50 percent are Singaporean or PR, 60 percent have been with me for more than five years, and 32 percent for more than nine years. Over our 16-year history, our ad rates have never increased. In a fairly transient society and changing times, I think this is pretty amazing. Another interesting stat is that at the last count (we’ve lost track now) over 40 babies have been born to EL staff during the 16 years! We have an in-house joke that the water has something in it; even people who didn’t think they could have babies or hadn’t planned to have any seem to miraculously conceive. For those of you with school-age children rather than little ones, you may be looking forward to the long break (or not...). We’ve got plenty of ideas for keeping keep them and you happy, including some great travel tips on Vietnam if you feel like a short break. This month, I’m going to my niece’s wedding in Cornwall, which I’m really looking forward to (now that I’ve found a dress that fits me!). My grandfather’s family lived in the area until the late 1800s so I will enjoy doing some info “digging”. Maybe we were smugglers or pirates of old! If you’ve got a nice adventure planned, remember we are always interested to hear from you about places you’ve visited and are keen to recommend. Just email us at editorial@expatliving.sg; it can be a couple of lines or a whole article – whatever suits. Happy travels!

REBECCA BISSET Editor-in-Chief



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Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET




Contributing Photographers KEN TAN (WITHINIMAGES.COM)

CONTACT US General Enquiries: +65 6812 1780 | info@expatliving.sg Advertising Sales: +65 6812 1781 | sales@expatliving.sg Subscription: +65 6812 1783 | subscription@expatliving.sg Production: +65 6812 1787 | production@expatliving.sg Editorial & Media Releases: editorial@expatliving.sg Calendar of Events: calendar@expatliving.sg Events: events@expatliving.sg Websites: expatliving.sg | expatliving.hk I exmag.sg

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Published by Expat Living Publications Pte Ltd 37 Jalan Pemimpin, #07-06 Mapex Building, Singapore 577177

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NEWS 16 Calendar Updates: 24 Readers’ Letters 26 EL Forum: HOME & PROPERTY 30 News 32 Home Showcase:

54 Enticing ideas for the home

What’s on in the coming months

What we’re up to online, plus our upcoming events

62 Inside Story:

84 Anorexia Nervosa:

EL readers on home service providers 64 Business Spotlight:

Signs, treatment and prevention

Nosing around an impeccable River Valley house

87 On the Page:

41 Product News:

Recent book releases and reviews

A rental portal to ease the search stress

The smart way to control your home climate

91 Pipe Dreams:

66 Street Talk:

42 Business Spotlight:

A big new addition to a school music programme

Living on Merryn Road

Variety and choice at this art gallery

93 Finding Solutions:

Students tackle the UN’s Global Goals


LIFE & FAMILY 74 News 80 The Singapore Page: NEW! Exploring the island past and present 82 Rated PG: Our regular parenting column

94 Language Barriers:

Transitioning into an English- speaking school in Asia

44 48 50 53 54

Reader Recommendations Expert Voice New Collections Eco-designs & More Buying Guide

96 Charity Spotlight:

All about animal welfare group ACRES

98 Shopping Receipts:

Bad for your health, bad for the planet!


101 Final Journey:

54 Alfresco furniture finds

When someone you love dies in Singapore 102 Couples & Careers: Two expats sharing a love of drama 104 School’s Out: Six ways to keep kids entertained this summer 105 Operation Ocean: A new conservation group on Sentosa 106 Party Time: Great locations for birthday bashes 110 Around Town: Photos from openings, parties, festivals and more




WINE & DINE 122 News 124 Bar Tab: New and notable spots for a tipple 126 Tea Time: Some of the top afternoon teas in town 134 Going Green: Vertical gardening the easy way 136 Drinks to the Door: Websites with quality wines for delivery 138 Recipe Corner: Fail-safe favourites for your repertoire 140 Dempsey Dining: Some of the neighbourhood’s best eats


Enjoy an afternoon indulgence


158 A villa stay in Thailand

Easy wine deliveries

TRAVEL 148 News 152 Africa Adventure: Five fab safaris 154 Destination Focus: Vietnam tips and travel tales 158 Beach Getaway: We check out The Pavilions Phuket 160 Staycation Spots:

Two iconic hotels get a makeover




HEALTH & FITNESS 188 News 190 Heart Myths: A cardiologist sets the record straight 192 Alternative Medicine: We explore three different types 196 Fitness Finds: Five boutique gyms to check out

STYLE & BEAUTY 166 Style News 168 Style Hunter: 170 Beauty News 174 Tried & Tested: Mascaras under the microscope! 175 Business Profile: Outfit inspiration and shopping tips 176 Salon Focus: We meet waxing guru Diana King 178 Going Organic: Facials and skincare

Chatting with the founder of Pixi Beauty

REGULARS 203 Numbers & Websites 204 Horoscopes for June

206 Advertiser List 208 Parting Shot: Mum’s the word


New product roundup


174 Beauty brands reviewed


Finding style inspiration



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Boutique Italian Wine Fair

SHOPPING & FAIRS Boutique Italian Wine Fair (9 JUN) Try rare grapes, discover unique Italian wines and enjoy the benefits of organic vino at this fair – plus, enter the lucky draw and try your luck at winning a bottle of bubbles. You can also buy wine, glasses and fridges at exclusive sale prices. Book a spot online. The Herencia, 46 Kim Yam Road. baccowines.com SPORTS & FITNESS Super Rugby (30 JUN) World-class rugby returns to our shores, with Singapore’s adopted home team, the HITO-Communications Sunwolves, taking on South Africa’s Bulls. Support your own favourite and revel in the vibrant atmosphere! National Stadium. Tickets from the Singapore Sports Hub.

SOCIAL & CHARITY 4th of July Celebration (30 JUN) Celebrate life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness at the American Association of Singapore’s annual 4th of July event. Guests will enjoy music, food, drinks, carnival games, formal ceremonies and a spectacular fireworks display. Singapore American School. aasingapore.com DANCE, THEATRE & CONCERTS Underclass (UNTIL 3 JUN) Exploring poverty, inequality and human dignity in Singapore, Underclass tells the story of Xinyi, who finds herself in a downward spiral after losing her job and her flat. The Necessary Stage Black Box. Tickets from Sistic.

Dragonflies (UNTIL 3 JUN) This play tells the story of a

family fighting for survival, and looking for a place to call home. Written by Stephanie Street and directed by Tracie Pang, it has a stellar cast including Adrian Pang, Tan Kheng Hua, Fanny Kee and more. Victoria Theatre. Tickets from Sistic. Colorful Mosaics for Violin and Piano (10 JUN) Don’t miss musical duo Miroslav Hristov (violin) and Chih- Long Hu (piano) as they visit Singapore as part of their East Asian tour. Performances will include Five Melodies for Violin and Piano by Sergei Prokofiev. Esplanade Recital Studio. Tickets from Sistic.




TORUK – The First Flight

FAMILY TORUK – The First Flight (UNTIL 3 JUN) Be transported to the world of Pandora from Avatar in this spectacular Cirque du Soleil event. Expect typically cutting-edge visuals, puppetry, stagecraft and an amazing cinematic score. Singapore Indoor Stadium. Tickets from the Sports Hub website.

Niall Horan Flicker World Tour 2018 (12 JUN) You won’t want to miss ex-One Directioner Niall Horan in Singapore this June, so you can sing along to global hits such as “This Town” and “Slow Hands”. The Star Theatre. Tickets from Apactix. Ultra Singapore (15-16 JUN) Returning for its third edition, this music festival will be the first in Southeast Asia to debut the Worldwide Stage, straight from

Miami. Past line-ups have boasted the likes of Above & Beyond, Afrojack, Axwell, among many others. 1 Bayfront Avenue. ultrasingapore.com Suzhou Symphony Orchestra 2018 Asia Tour (18 JUN) Maestro Chen Xieyang leads China’s Suzhou Symphony Orchestra on their Asian tour, with a concert line-up featuring the three Prokofiev suites of Romeo and Juliet . Esplanade Concert Hall. The Lion King (27 JUN – 26 AUG) Returning to Singapore for a limited season this June to August, this spectacular production features some of the world’s most recognisable music, composed by multi award-winning artists Sir Elton John and Tim Rice. MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands. Tickets from Sistic.

Peter & Blue’s Forest Adventure (UNTIL 3 JUN)

Ultra Singapore

Enjoy the magic of a fairy-tale and learn about morals in this production by the Singapore Dance Theatre, which tells the story of Peter, his dog Blue, and Calico the cat. Great for kids aged three years and above. SOTA Studio Theatre. Tickets from Sistic.




Tabby McTat (8-10 JUN)

ART Art from the Streets (UNTIL 3 JUN) Featuring nearly 200 works by 50 well-known street artists – from on-site projects and paintings, to installations, videos, archives and sketches – this exhibition is the first major retrospective of street art ever shown in Southeast Asia. ArtScience Museum. Tatinis Art Show – A Love Affair with Art (1-3 JUN) Showcasing local and international artists, this edition of Tatinis will feature over 400 pieces of art spanning a variety of styles and mediums. All pieces displayed will be available for purchase in person as well as via the Tatinis website. F1 Pit Building. tatinis.com Anna Berezovskaya: Voyages (UNTIL 10 JUN) This solo exhibition by the Look forward to a fun rhyming story of music, friendship and loyalty. KC Arts Centre Home of SRT. Tickets from Sistic. acclaimed Russian artist explores the symbolism, metaphors and processes behind her canvases, with a focus on themes associated with the sea, food and home. REDSEA Gallery. Meet Tabby McTat, Fred the guitar-playing busker’s cat.

Anna Berezovskaya: Voyages

The Great Race (UNTIL 30 JUN)

This new Asian-themed art exhibition features 46 artworks, ranging from paintings to sculptures. Inspired by the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac, the artworks are by 12 European artists, including Stéphane Pencréac’h, Vincent Corpet and Laurina Paperina. Mazel Galerie Singapore. Parallel Collaborations (UNTIL 29 JUL) This unique exhibition by Instinc Art Space features two series of collaborative paintings by three artists, Alba Escayo (Spain), Kim Kei (USA) and Yeo Shih Yun (Singapore). Moyem Medical Aesthetics.




Celebration In Dance by Singapore Dance Theatre (29 JUL) In this one-night-only collaboration between Singapore Dance Theatre and the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), enjoy performances of Double Contrasts by Choo-San Goh and Napoli Tarantella by August Bournonville. Esplanade Theatre. Tickets from Sistic. (Re)Collect: The Making Of Our Art Collection (UNTIL 19 AUG) Uncover the untold history behind the collection of the National Gallery Singapore. Showcasing over 130 works, the exhibition includes pieces by pioneering local artists such as Georgette Chen, Liu Kang and Cheong Soo Pieng. Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery, National Gallery Singapore.

The Jungle Adventure: A Romp on the Wild Side (21-29 JUL) Explore the jungles of Southeast Asia in this enthralling musical puppet show. It’s an action- packed production that delves into a world of wonder and excitement, with captivating characters and spirited music. The Pavilion at Far East Square and Goodman Arts Centre. Tickets from Sistic. Singapore Garden Festival (21 JUL – 3 AUG) Feast your eyes on beautiful horticultural and signature garden displays in this 14-day show, which brings together award- winning international designers, well-established local names, community gardeners and plant enthusiasts. Gardens by the Bay. singaporegardenfestival.com 2018 International Arsenal, Atlético de Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain will fight it out at the International Champions Cup in Singapore this year. Now in its sixth instalment, the event features 18 of the best clubs in the world playing 27 matches across the United States, Europe and Singapore. Singapore Sports Hub. Tickets from the Sports Hub website. Champions Cup (26, 28 & 30 JUL)

Philadelphia Boys Choir and Chorale

Celine Dion Live 2018 (3-4 JUL)

Don’t miss the famous diva as she performs in Singapore for the first time as part of the Sands Live concert series at Marina Bay Sands. Her performance is also part of the Celine Dion Live 2018 Tour, which will bring her to other Asian cities including Tokyo, Jakarta, Bangkok and Taipei. Sands Grand Ballroom, Marina Bay Sands. marinabaysands.com

Singapore Theatre Festival 2018 (5-22 JUL)

This season features a thrilling line-up of eight brand new plays, including seven world premieres, such as former Straits Times journalist Tan Tarn How’s Press Gang and Thomas Lim’s Supervision . Lasalle College of the Arts. singaporetheatrefestival.com Philadelphia Boys Choir and Chorale (7 JUL) In this performance, the Emmy-winning and Grammy- nominated choir (established in 1968), showcases a line-up that includes American favourites, spirituals, hits from Broadway musicals and commissioned songs. Esplanade Concert Hall. Tickets from Sistic. Happy Ever Laughter – Standup Comedy Madness (11-29 JUL) Looking for a laugh? Witness 12 of Singapore’s best comedians go head to head against each other in this ultimate comedy battle. Capitol Theatre. Tickets from Sistic.

(Re)Collect: The Making Of Our Art Collection

: www.expatliving.sg

For even more things to do every week, go to our online calendar or sign up for our newsletter




INSPIRATION I first came across your magazine when I moved to Singapore in 2010 and it has been a favourite local read of mine ever since. (I’ve been meaning to reach out to you since last year but something unusually wonderful happened – I started to paint!) Expat Living continues to entertain and inspire many of us here in the Little Red Dot, and I wish to thank you for all the articles that have helped me get oriented in the country since Day 1. Thank you so much. Wishing you and the entire team continued success in all your endeavours – onward and upward! – Cherie Altea Bitanga Ed: Thank you for your lovely email, and congratulations on your very cool artwork. I can see why it’s sold out so quickly!

Best Letter We want to hear from you! Send us your thoughts on the magazine, or on any subject under the sun. We’ll be sending Marije a bottle of champagne for her story of an enduring love affair.

YOU JUST KNOW A long time ago, there was a girl who was 13 years old. She had a crush on this boy two years older. They saw each other many times during the week at the Sports Club. Two years later they started dating. Best thing that ever happened to the girl. But being so young and still wanting to do somuch, they broke up. The girl was sad, but she told her mum it was okay because she knew they were meant to be together. Both the boy and girl went their separate ways and even though they lived in the same town, they never saw each other. Then, one day about 10 years later, the boy showed up at the office where the girl was working. He asked if the girl was seeing someone. She was not. “That’s good,” the boy nodded. Later, he asked her out on a date and from that day the boy and girl have been together. They got married and had two sons. I was right: sometimes you just know. Happy 13th anniversary to the love of my life! – Marije Eichhorn

Our wedding picture from 13 years ago

Ed: What a refreshing email; it’s very easy to get complacent in a relationship. Thank you and congratulations!

MAKEUP WORKSHOP Thanks Susan for organising this event. I really enjoyed it and I felt I left with a new “me”! Have a nice weekend. – Sara Fredaigue Susan, I really enjoyed the makeup class yesterday – thank you so much! – Delvene Beaumont

Ed: Glad you enjoyed it; I really wanted to do that one too – and the truffle one! Hopefully next time! (We have more events this month – see page 27 for details.)

Email us at info@expatliving.sg




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June2018 Issue 191

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Unrealised Pressures o f Modern Li f e


DATE: 8 June 2018 TIME: 10am – 12 noon PLACE: The Cinnamon Room 43 Jln Merah Saga Singapore 278115 PRICE: $20 includes refreshments & goodie bag


POPUPFAIR Stunning collection of home décor, fashion, art, jewellery, kids, beauty & lifestyle 30 Vendors

1 st Edition

DATE: 9 June 2018 TIME: 10am – 4pm PLACE: W Hotel 21 Ocean Way, Sentosa Cove Singapore 098374


DATE: 10 June 2018 TIME: 12.30pm PLACE: The British Club Elizabeth Suite 73 Bukit Tinggi Road, Singapore 289761 PRICE: $98+ Member & $108+ Non-Member Cooking Demo and Lunch with UK Celebrity Chef Lesley Waters

QUIZ with Be Inquizitive NIGHT


DATE: 13 June 2018 TIME: 7.30pm – 9.30pm PLACE: Cafe Melba Mediapolis 1 Stars Avenue #03-01, Singapore 138507 PRICE: $30 includes free flow of bubbles, martinis and cosmos & goodie bag

with Dream Cake Studio and Expat Kitchen Unicorn Cupcake Workshop


DATE: 19 June 2018 TIME: 10am – 12 noon PLACE: Expat Kitchen 9 Norris Road, Singapore 208252 PRICE: $50 includes workshop, materials, refreshments & goodie bag

27 JUNE2018


54 Buyer’s Guide: Striking outdoor

furniture for any space

Manutti San bench, Danish Design

32 Home Showcase: Take a tour around this River Valley house

44 Inside Story: Reader recommendations on home services

66 Street Talk: What it’s like to live in Dunearn Estates


More Mattresses In response to customer demand, European Bedding has added two new models to its Heveya Natural Organic Latex Mattress range. Combining the quality of a latex mattress with affordability, the new 19cm model is a good choice, while the luxurious 31cm mattress includes three supportive layers of 100 percent natural organic latex. All three models (19, 24 and 31cm), come with a removable organic cotton and bamboo fibre cover, and promise a healthy night’s sleep. Try one out at 32 Eng Hoon Street .

On the Move

Fledgling indoor-plants business Tumbleweedhasmoved into newpremises at 33 Tembeling Road . In store you’ll find a wide range of indoor plants, as well as accessories such as planters and hanging pots and tools to help you get started. The company also assists with plant installations at events, and runs workshops for small groups in its showroom.

Em Gallery has moved to another Dempsey spot, creating a light and airy “gallery” feel in its new showroom, found at Block 26, #01-03A Dempsey Road . With a strong focus on textiles, including silk, ceramics, wood, paper and lacquer, its home pieces continue to reflect owner Emiko’s arts and cultural influences.

London Calling A new boutique property development has just been launched in London, W1 London. Located in the central area of Marylebone, the development will transform the former BBC Radio London headquarters into a collection of nine apartments, including three penthouses and five townhouses. For more information on investment opportunities, go to thew1london.com .




Online Revamp Property Guru has rolled out an online refresh, including revamped websites, mobile apps and a new brand identity. The new websites and apps leverage artificial intelligence to make every property search highly personalised and intuitive. Go to propertyguru.com.sg to find out more.

Courts has refreshed almost half of its existing range of furniture, factoring in smaller living spaces, with one in five pieces now either space-saving or multi-functional. Lighter materials have been incorporated, as well as practical washable materials, and cool fabrics to suit this climate. Many of the living, dining and bedding pieces can be made to order, with wait times starting from just two weeks. Visit Courts’ recently re-launched megastore at 50 Tampines North Drive 2 . Floor Fashion Journey East has added a new rug brand to its ever- increasing collections. Curator and creator of d e s i g n e r r u g s Na s s e r Nishaburi joins the fold, with pieces that bring together Persian craft, values and tradition with moder n interpretations; these include upcycled rugs and items by Spanish designer Luis Eslava. Find out more at journeyeast.com . Practical &Stylish

31 JUNE2018


Who lives here: Farah and Javad, daughters Aysha (12), Medina (8) and Safiya (5), and puppy Ryo Size of home: Four-bedroom, two-storey house How long they’ve lived here: Just over one year Style of home: Classic with a luxe edge




We find out how this Azerbaijani couple ended up in Russia, then the UK, and now Singapore, with nine years in River Valley and counting. W h i l e t h e y ’ r e bo t h o r i g i n a l l y f r o m Azerbaijan, FARAHand JAVAD MOVSUMOVA actuallymet inMoscow, while studying. Javad moved to London to do his A-Levels and Farah followed soon after graduating from university. Five years on and their next move saw them in Singapore with their daughter Aysha, and Farah pregnant with Medina. Moving first to River Gate condo, they stayed there for eight years. “We loved living there, and I still think it’s one of the best condos in Singapore; the facilities are amazing, you can get to Great World City and the river really easily, it’s a good, safe area for parents with young kids to choose to live.” Eight years on and, although reluctant to vacate the area, Farah knew they had to leave the condo in search of more space. “We arrived here with one child and ended up with three – we had simply outgrown the place.” Having always lived in major cities, Farah still wanted to remain in a central area. The family did look in Bukit Timah and Holland Village, “but that wasn’t our neighbourhood; our roots were already here,” she says. “I feel connected to this area, I know every corner of it.” Home & Away They discovered this four-bedroom house in early 2017, and moved in in May. Both the location and the size suited their family perfectly, and then it was just up to Farah, with some help from Affordable Style Files, to turn it into their perfect home. “I think that when you’re an expat with young children it’s really important to create a home for them, to help them stay grounded.”

Affordable Style Files suggested a kids’ table for the larger space at the back, and helped with the wallpaper and paint. The kitchen table is from Originals.

33 JUNE2018


Above: The two Andrew Martin chairs are from Taylor B. They were originally grey velvet, but Farah had them reupholstered through Affordable Style Files. The console, just seen, is from House of AnLi, and the Belinda Fox artwork was a gift from Javad. Left: The sofa is from King Living: “It’s amazing, a great investment – such a good use of space.” The chandelier is from Design Intervention, the coffee table from Maissone. Below: This is where Farah spends much of her time. The children also have their messy corner outside where they can do pretty much whatever they want!

35 JUNE2018

Top left: The playroom includes a great study area that can be sectioned off. The lights are from Cuckoo and rugs from Ruby Slipper. Left: The master bedroom is large and leads in from the central atrium of the house. The headboard was custom-made by Affordable Style Files; the rug is from Ruby Slipper. Top right: The older girls still enjoy sharing a room. “Our Moroccan collection rug is on the floor. They’re crafted in the Atlas Mountains – each is unique as the ladies collect pieces of cloth and, once they have enough, they make these.” The beds are from Australian brand The Family Love Tree, and the llamas were Aysha’s choice. “She designed the room herself – she loves interiors.”




and the three friends took it over in April 2016. “I don’t think we’ve moved it in a completely different direction, but we have added our touch to it in quite a few ways. We’re carrying out a lot of home visits, and advising clients on what should work.” The friends have also brought in new designs and patterns, including a range of Moroccan boho-style products, modern wool rugs and accessories from India, including poufs, doormats, placemats and cushions, as well as bed throws, wedding blankets and cushions from Morocco. “We’ve also made cushions out of some of our rugs; they’re so durable – great for families and everyday life.” All the rugs as well as many of the accessories seen in Farah’s home are from Ruby Slipper, mixed with personal pieces including wedding gifts from Azerbaijan, vintage products and even the odd IKEA piece here and there. “I’ve always loved interior design and fashion, my second passions after medicine,” she says. Now, with her family home complete, she can finally give these passions the focus they deserve.

Farah points to being an only child as one of the reasons why she has put so much focus on being a mother and homemaker to her own children for many years. It wasn’t always the path she was going to follow, however. Studying to be a doctor in Russia, she then spent two years in a medical attachment position at St Bart’s Hospital in London, before she fell pregnant with Aysha. “I come from a family of doctors; I grew up with it and loved it, but I also love being a mum. Once you’ve stopped working in the medical profession it’s very difficult to go back, and, for me, the hours you have to put in are just not realistic when you have a young family. I didn’t want to sacrifice my kids for my job.” But when Safiya turned two, Farah felt she had time to commit to something else. She had carried out an interior design course with Design Intervention, but also had a passion for food and healthy eating, so was being pulled in two directions. She and her two best friends and now business partners, Nicole Treffert and Lonnie Kelsey, initially looked into opening a healthy food café, but there was so much bureaucracy around it they turned their attention towards an interiors and décor business. Having met the previous owner of Ruby Slipper, Lucy, at a fair, they understood she was selling the handmade rugs and home accessories business,

Bottom: Farah shopped at

Cuckoo and Children’s Showcase for much of Safiya’s room décor. The furniture is from Taylor B, and the curtain behinds the shelving cleverly block off a large atrium window.

37 JUNE2018



HOME Affordable Style Files 9101 6903 | affordablestylefiles.com Ruby Slipper 9171 1251 | rubyslipper.com.sg WINE & DINE House of AnLi Bistrot (“one of my favourite places, great for a girly get together”) #03-17 Tanglin Mall 163 Tanglin Road 6235 3851 | houseofanli.com/the- bistrot

Carrotsticks & Cravings 75E Loewen Road 8356 3331 carrotsticksandcravings.com

LIFE & FAMILY Tanglin Trust School (“our three girls go there; it’s such a switched- on school with the right amount of support”)

95 Portsdown Road 6778 0771 | tts.edu.sg





We speak with JULIAN LEE, CEO and co-founder of a smart new way of controlling your climate indoors. ClimateControl many scenarios of discomfort, and Ambi Climate can help keep your home under optimal conditions.

To find out more about this product, visit ambiclimate.com. What if we move? Is it portable? It’s a small device that works with almost any air conditioner, whether it’s window- or wall-mounted, or split or portable. As long as you have an LCD-screen remote, you’re probably good to go! We are now compatible with over 50 brands and 1,200 models of remote-controlled ACs, and we constantly add more remotes into our database. How much is it? Ambi Climate is S$199 per unit and there’s no subscription fee or any additional cost. Just remember that since it uses infrared to communicate with your AC, you will need one Ambi Climate device for each AC unit, which will also ensure ideal optimisation and tailor-made comfort for each room.

any scenario and maintaining an optimal, energy-efficient environment for anyone, year-round. Is it easy to use for a non-techy person? Definitely! Ambi Climate is super simple to set up. All you need to do is plug it in, download the app, connect to Wi-Fi and you’re all set. After taking ten minutes to install, it’s easy to control with your smartphone or via voice control with Amazon Alexa. How is it going to benefit me? We all know how hot and humid Singapore can get. When the humidity is high, it’s warmer than usual; when there’s a thunderstorm, indoor temperatures drop drastically – it’s hard to keep up with such fluctuating weather. We’re sure many of you set your AC before going to sleep, and either wake up in the middle of the night or freeze under your blanket come morning. This is just one of

Describe your product in 60 seconds.

Ambi Climate was born out of a need to solve the common comfort issues we struggle with when using the air conditioner (AC). Singapore has a perpetually tropical climate, so you’re probably familiar with these issues! How many times have you set your AC to a certain temperature only to wake up cold or feel a sudden change when the weather fluctuates? Your AC only takes temperature into account, and you end up suffering. Ambi Climate revolutionises the usage paradigm of air conditioners by considering all the factors, besides temperature, that affect our comfort – whether indoor or outdoor – ultimately delivering personalised and constant thermal comfort and a perfect home environment. How does it work? Enhanced by AI technology, Ambi Climate leverages data from onboard sensors and external sources to analyse how different factors such as humidity, sunlight, outdoor changing weather and your dailymetabolic cycle affect your thermal comfort. By simply reporting your comfort level – whether hot, cold or comfortable – in different seasons and times, our AI algorithms will intelligently learn from your feedback to build a personal comfort profile and auto-adjust your AC based on your preferences and needs. Ambi Climate’s various “smart modes” can be used to match different use cases and homes, providing smart solutions for

41 JUNE2018


VARIETY With more than 2,000 works spread across three locations, this art business offers plenty of oppor tun i ty for f i nd i ng something ideal for the walls and spaces of your home . Show

With a career already in the financial world, ZAK LO, a passionate and practicing artist himself, set up LivingwithArt in 2003, believing that affordable art could and should be brought into all living spaces. The flagship gallery in the Tan Boon Liat Building comprises over 1,000 artworks, vases and sculptures, while there are more than 850 two- dimensional art pieces in the Toa Payoh Showroom, and an additional 200 items at SwingBy at Thomson Plaza. The sheer volume and variety on offer means there is fantastic choice for homeowners, with no limitations in terms of style, design or size. How is LivingwithArt able to supply such variety? “I work alongside 15 talented full-time consultants, designers and artists to create unique pieces to suit different spaces,” says Zak. “We incorporate feng shui elements, we frame customers’ art, and we do not inflate prices to boost artists’ egos.” While pieces are selected from around the world, there is a particular emphasis on supporting the work of local artists. Walk around the Tan Boon Liat space and you will see colourful Murano glasswork from Italy alongside textural pieces by Singaporean artists, large traditional canvases, triptychs, bronze sculptures and much more. Pieces can be customised by colour, theme, size, style and medium, giving much greater flexibility to buyers. “We particularly love bright, cheery colours and interesting sculptures,” says Zak. “They make great conversation pieces.”

#02-05 Tan Boon Liat Building 315 Outram Road 6917 6503 | livingwithart.com.sg



From balcony to backyard, the outdoors can provide another living space for many of us in this tropical country, and picking the right furniture is a must. utdoors Inspir ation

Karen and Charles Ferguson, and children Madeline and William, Chinese-American We’d had our home redecorated a year ago and Ronnie from Retro Dec came highly recommended by the firm who did our house. He and his team did an amazing job with our indoor furniture, so we were thrilled to have Ronnie refresh our outdoor furniture as well. Most of our outdoor pieces had been purchased from Teak & Mahogany several years ago, save for the solid teakwood coffee table, which we’d bought from an antique furniture shop in Siglap. They’re great quality and perfect to use in the outdoor area. However, with the strong sun, the pieces had slowly turned dull and become damaged, so Ronnie helped us transform them,

including adding extra layers of protection, making the furniture look brilliant and future-proof. We are extremely happy with Retro Dec’s services. They created a unique look for our tropical-style terrace, and their attention to detail and commitment to our satisfaction make them second to none. Ronnie is a true professional and a craftsman, and we’d highly recommend him to people who would like to recycle, re-use and protect their furniture, as well as the general redecoration of your home.

Retro Dec | 9823 1248 | retro-dec.com




Anna Wihtol, Finnish

We already had an outdoor dining table and lounge chairs, and were looking to buy a new sofa group suitable for our balcony. I was in Tanglin Mall, chatting to a lady in a shop, and I just so happened to ask her if she knew of a place where you could buy good-quality furniture for a good price, as we were new to Singapore and looking to buy quite a few pieces of furniture for our home. She pointed me to Laura of Home Essentials, which I am really grateful for. Laura came to have a look at our home and then we looked at her furniture together to find nice pieces that would fit. The great thing about Laura is that she can also custom-make anything, to any size and colour. We ended up buying an L-shaped sofa for the balcony, and a glass-top table to go with it. I would usually go with white or greyish tones, but Laura convinced me to buy a dark brown sofa with turquoise fabric instead, which is more funky and colourful, and a little different from what everyone else has. It gives the balcony a bit of colour and fits well with our more neutral interior.

Home Essentials #06-01 Citilink Warehouse 102E Pasir Panjang Road 6476 7600 | homeessentials.com.sg

Jennifer Ilkiw, with daughters Halia and Georgie Marsden, Canadian I’ve lived in Singapore for over 15 years now, and last year I finally bought an apartment. I wanted somewhere my kids could call home, rather thanmoving every few years. I gutted and renovated it, and

while I had furnished everything inside, I hadn’t done much to the outdoor area. Usually the kids and I would get a picnic blanket to sit outside or we would use it to dry laundry, so I wanted something more. I wanted a set of furniture that was durable, provided a separate living space, and was somewhere the girls and I could sit together and read as they grew older.

I did a lot of online research, and OHMM was by far one of the best-rated stores. I read reviews that said their pieces and the cushions sat out in the elements for over eight years and still looked good, and that was important to me. I didn’t want to be forever dragging the cushions in and out of the house. I ended up getting the Mantra collection. I chose the platinum finish as it went really well with the tiles I had installed outside. I chose the charcoal cushion covers so I didn’t have toworry about the kids staining anything. For accent pieces, I picked beige and blue – I figured I could change the blue accent cushions to something else in the future and get a new look quite easily. I appreciate someone helpingmewith design and colour, and the folks at OHMM were good. They showed me a number of styles in other houses in Singapore so I could get an idea of what it would look like. We love our new furniture; it’s like having an additional living room, and when my parents were visiting recently they practically lived out there!

OHMM #03-09 Riverside Point 30 Merchant Road 6836 2747 | ohmm.sg

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Cynthia Sanvicente, American, husband Daniel, Spanish-American, and daughter Emma The outdoor furniture we had in our apartment in Shanghai was dark, so we wanted to lighten things up this time. We wanted pieces that would help merge the living room and balcony area into one comfortable space without blocking the surrounding greenery. I was determined to find an outdoor set that was contemporary yet comfortable, without competing with the interior aesthetic. We came to know Originals during our first stint in Singapore from 2004 to 2009, so we were excited to look them up again when we moved back last summer. The company has evolved over the years and even changed location, but they have stayed true to their original style and outstanding level of customer service. It’s easy to become distracted fromone’s missionwhile

wandering through their showroom, but the welcoming and knowledgeable staff is always around to answer questions or offer new ideas and suggestions. We chose a pair of Bromo two-seater sofas from the outdoor furniture collection, complemented by one of the store’s distressed-teak coffee tables. This furniture stood out because, while it’s contemporary in nature, the design is timeless. The sofas sit a bit lower than conventional outdoor

seating, and they are armless and virtually backless, making them ideal for lounging or casually entertaining friends. We are really happy with our new furniture, and it gives us yet another reason to spend time together outside!

Originals #02-03 Sime Darby Centre 896 Dunearn Road 6471 9918 | originals.com.sg

Ong Chong Ching, Singaporean

We first met with owner Caroline two and a half years ago, and hit it off straight away. She is fantastic to work with – artistic and customer-centric, and she made us feel special and looked after. She also knew instinctively what we would like in terms of style and aesthetics. Caroline was an obvious choice to go back to when we moved into this current place. We bought quite a few pieces of outdoor furniture, but they assisted us with so much more than this. For example, the Arete Culture team helped us to position every piece of furniture and decorative item in our home in the right place, to create what you see today. If we move house again, I will call Caroline immediately for her assistance. My advice on buying outdoor furniture would be to invest in pieces that are sturdy and weatherproof, as well as timeless in design, and don’t be afraid to accessorise; it makes the world of difference. Arete Culture #06-01 Tan Boon Liat Building 315 Outram Road 9640 3829 | areteculture.com

We moved from an apartment with four balconies to our current house, which has a patio and outdoor space. The outdoor furniture came with us to our new home, but it wasn’t enough. We also needed help to leverage the entire outdoor space to create a functional and beautiful entertainment area where we could hang out to relax or host parties, while reusing all our existing furniture. As Arete Culture had helped us before, naturally we called them again. They designed the flow of the area and the overall concept, and they advised us on the pieces that would help us achieve our goals.



PERFECT PICKS Furniture expert KEVIN BOLAND passes on his tips for choosing the right pieces for your outdoor area. Do some planning How much outdoor space do you have and how do you want to spend the time there? Will it be for morning coffee, evening aperitifs, full-on alfresco dining or lounging, or a combination? Look at the finishes, colour schemes and style of your home. What type of outdoor furniture materials and colours would work and appeal to you? Also, think about maintenance and, finally, budget. Buying products of quality that last versus cheap products that we end up throwing away after a short period makes far better sense, and it’s good for Mother Earth too.

What are the key material choices out there?

There are several categories to consider; each has its pros and cons, and each fits particular spaces, décors and tastes. We are firm believers that furniture should add character to a space and not just blend in. Teak designs are typically very traditional, and the wood will soon patina – that is, turn greyish and not look premium. It requires a lot of maintenance (and chemicals) to restore its colour, but it does fit in some spaces such as a garden area in a black-and- white house. Stainless steel is not actually stainless and requires maintenance, especially in the Singapore climate with the humidity. It works well in a very modern environment and gives an industrial polished look.

“A simple test to check the quality of rattan is to turn the item over and look underneath at the finishing and frame – is it clean or messy?”




Synthetic rattan can be badly woven, but if you invest in well-built pieces, you will have a product that will give you many years of service. A simple test to check the quality is to turn the item over and look underneath at the finishing and frame – is it clean or messy? How tight and well finished is the weave? Check the brand – Rehau is the world leader, and the best synthetic rattan is made by the Cebuano weavers in the Philippines. Mesh , used in armchair designs, has a light and airy feel. It’s not so robust and is difficult to replace outside a factory environment. It also attracts mould over time in our humid climate. Powder-coated aluminium designs are usually clean, modern and very rectilinear. It’s a warmer material than stainless steel and comes in a choice of powder-coating colours. It’s also very low maintenance.

Kevin is CEO and designer at outdoor furniture specialist store OHMM. Visit the store at #03-09 Riverside Point, 30 Merchant Road. 6836 2747 | ohmm.sg Check out the warranty period and what exactly it covers; a one-year warranty is worthless, and two years is not much better. Beware of the warranty trick of one year on the synthetic rattan and two years on the frame! If the rattan fails, the product fails and you have wasted your money. Three years and you’re getting into good territory, five years and you know the company stands behind their brand and their build, and you have peace of mind. A word on cushions Acrylic fabrics perform the best; avoid polyester as it will fade and stain quickly. Acrylics are not waterproof but very water and stain resistant – Sunbrella is the world leader. With foam, you want high-density, which is actually nothing to do with softness or firmness but the amount of actual foam in the foam. Low-density foam (less foam) will sag in a short period of time. There is also “quick-dry foam” available, but it’s not actually quick-dry and, in our climate, will develop black mould inside over time. Finally, the warranty

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Find out how you can get your hands on these striking, stylish pieces o f ou tdoor f u r n i t u re that boast sustainable credentials too.


Ethnicraft Online has added another brand to its portfolio, in the shape of French outdoor furniture producer Fermob . Think bistro seating, châteaux lounging, all sleek, versatile, brightly coloured pieces, treated so they can be used outdoors and versatile enough to be used indoors too. With 24 colours available, Fermob’s furniture gives a different flavour to the array of outdoor pieces you generally see in Singapore. The brand uses eco- friendly methods such as recycling rawmaterials, and employing solvent-free powder paint and recycled outdoor technical fabric. This makes them the perfect partner for Ethnicraft Online. “Our philosophy has always been to offer beautiful furnishings built to last,” explains co-founder Katrien Bollen. “The wood furniture Ethnicraft Online carries is made efficiently from sustainably harvested teak and oak wood that are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified.” Each piece of Fermob furniture is also completely recyclable, from the aluminium or steel metal frames to the powder-coat finishes and even the PVC-coated polyester outdoor technical fabric. Katrien and her fellow co-founder (and husband!) Jonathan Roelandts came across the brand while shopping for furniture for their own outdoor area – and they fell in love with it. “In recent years, we’ve seen a rising demand for stylish and versatile outdoor pieces that will also look and feel just as good indoors. It’s versatile in how you can style it – the materials and colours that have been used look great when placed in contrast with a wooden table, for example.” Display or Away For space-strapped Singapore, multi-functional furniture like Fermob’s range is a great fit. The Bistro Folding Tables and Chairs, the stackable Luxembourg Chairs and the 1900 Chairs are particularly flexible – have them out on display, or pack them away when need be. “If you’re looking for something fun and kid- friendly, we will also be introducing the children-

Bistro metal folding table, from $260, and chairs, $110

friendly Adada Rocking Horse and Luxembourg Kid collection. For clients who have their eye on Fermob pieces we don’t carry in stock, they’ll be glad to know that we can order them in.” One big concern when you splash out on any outdoor furniture is how long it might last. Fermob’s pieces undergo two treatment processes to prevent them from corroding due to outdoor usage. The product used during these treatments is 100 percent polyester, anti-UV powder paint. The furniture is also covered by a two-year guarantee against corrosion and any other deterioration in appearance. Ethnicraft Online’s Eunos showroom will be housing an extensive collection, while its showroom in the Tan Boon Liat Building will feature a few selected pieces. Head to the website for location details.

9272 1545 | ethnicraft-online.com.sg

Cocotte photo: Stephane Rambaud; Bistro photo: Claire Curt



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