MARCH 2023

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MAR 2023







As we all know, rents have gone crazy over the last few years – a combination of a shortage of decent properties after a fewbigapartmentswent enbloc, returning residents to Singapore during COVID, and a little dash of something else, perhaps? I looked online at an apartment I rented six years ago and it’s doubled in price! However, I was reminded that when we moved here in 1998, it was a pretty similar situation. There was nowhere south of Yio Chu Kang Road we could afford then. And it did come down after a few years, so I am hoping it is cyclical. It’s the same with stores; a lot of businesses are finding it hard to find a rental that feasible. Let’s hope that some common sense or empathy rises up from the ashes! Can you believe it’s nearly Easter? Since it’s in early April, we’ve included someEaster triviaand famous Easter foods in this issue. And, speakingof food, there’s a big roundup of local desserts you might like to try. We have plenty of fashion and beauty info in this issue, too, if you need new highlights, makeup advice or a wardrobe declutter! Plus, discover a whole range of Pilates and yoga options to join togive your body a revamp. Men, you might want to think about a couple of new tailored shirts to liven up your life! I spent my teenage years living in Botswana so I loved looking at Lara’s Okavango story; and you can also experience another adventure with our regular contributor Christine – this time toKyrgyzstan. For a travel storynearer to home, Karin tells us about her long weekend in Phuket; and, even closer, read the latest news about one of our favourites, Telunas Resorts. The winners of our Readers’ Choice Awards will be revealed later in March, so keep an eye out! Have an enjoyable month – make sure you take time to walk and explore. We’ve got some good walks coming up – see page 32, and please join us!

REBECCA BISSET Editor-in-Chief

Happy Marching!

This Botswana adventure on page 116 remindedme of my years living there.

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Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET Group Editor SHAMUS SILLAR Managing Editor Singapore


SECTION EDITORS Health & Fitness:


Cover: Island Living (

CONTACT US Call or WhatsApp: +65 9112 0652

Online & Digital Content MICHAELA BISSET

General Enquiries: Advertising Sales: Subscription: Production: Editorial: Calendar of Events: Events: Websites: | Printed by Times Printers Pte Ltd ( Published by Expat Living Publications Pte Ltd 36 Carpenter Street, #02-01 Carpenter Haus, Singapore 059915




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Upfront 18

What’s on in the coming month


Win luxury bedding worth over $6,000! Photos from events around town



Singapore Pages: History, trivia, culture and more Things to Do: Hangout spots for teens


Inside a six-week home makeover 40


Subscribe or join us at an event!

Home & Property 36 Décor news and styling advice 40 The transformation of a landed property 46 Tips for setting up technology 48 Inside a grand home in Kilburn Estate 54 Readers recommend beds and mattresses

56 A buying

guide for the bedroom


Set up your bedroom for sweet dreams! Street Talk: Living in Yio Chu Kang


Life & Family 68

The latest news for parents and kids Noticeboard: Pets for adoption



The retail collective doing things better together Gifts for International Women’s Day IB results for AIS’s 2022 cohort What makes a great teacher? Why Elena Holloway started a new school Recommended books, films and series


74 Meet the team at A Raft of Otters





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A Thai retreat 112

Wine & Dine 92

Restaurant openings and other foodie news Easter eats from around the globe


98 Recipe Corner: Three new dishes to try 100 A roundup of delicious local desserts

Travel 104 Hotel hotspots and destination news 108

A guide to visiting sakura blossoms in Japan EL’s Karin reviews a Phang Nga resort Botswana, a wonderland of water and wildlife The celestial mountains of Kyrgyzstan




All-day buffets!


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162 Where to get started with Pilates

Style & Beauty 128

The latest shopping and fashion news


We try renting designer clothes Need a new tailored shirt, gents? A name change for a popular fashion capsule Beauty products and skin savers




138 Behind clean beauty business The Bared 140 We review eight salon facials 146 Breast reduction and lifting in Singapore 148 Blonde highlights, lowlights and balayage 151 Makeup makeovers and wardrobe decluttering Luscious lipsticks and lip glosses Health & Fitness 158 Medical news and wellness events 162 Where to do yoga and Pilates around town 168 Our chat with urologist Dr Fiona Wu 170 Counselling support for toddlers to teens 172 Why varicose veins are more than a cosmetic issue 154

154 Our lipstick picks


Burning questions about bunions


Regulars 178

Challenge yourself with our Puzzle Pages March horoscopes – what’s in sight? Important contacts and this month’s advertisers Parting Shot: A spiritual awakening


Revamp your wardrobe!



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Voice of Art – I (3 TO 8 MARCH) Taking over the exhibition halls of ION Art Gallery, Voice of Art – I is set to showcase talents spanning generations. From young winning artists, expect to see Singapore redefined through the works of 80 artists. The free exhibition organised by Be One Gallery will immerse viewers in a emerging prodigies to established award

Reopening of the Peranakan Museum (ONGOING)

Refreshed after a three-year revamp, the Peranakan Museum reopened to the public on 17 February. This intimate museum explores the art and culture of Peranakan communities in Southeast Asia through one of the world’s most comprehensive public collections of Peranakan objects. Explore the rich cultural traditions and distinctive arts of diverse Peranakan communities through themes related to origins, home and style, across nine galleries.

melting pot of culture and art that depicts the diversity and interconnectivity of Singapore under one roof.

NATURI – A sound installation and performance (4 TO 12 MARCH)

Looking for something to do with young kids? This sound installation and performance is specially designed for ages 18 months to four years, and children with additional needs with psychomotor

skills of up to four years, along with their carers. The story is set inside a tree trunk, where a forest nymph spends its day. Combining puppetry and sound exploration, it’s a soundscape of sunny and stormy days – plus a forest rave! Book tickets (from $18) at .

Van Gogh Alive (MARCH TO MAY)

Ever wanted to step into an artwork? After touring Europe and the USA, Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience is coming to Resorts World Sentosa. This 360-degree digital art exhibition includes 300 of Vincent Van Gogh’s sketches, drawings and paintings, and new segments featuring Japanese art styles that influenced his works. Spend a day in the life of the famed artist through virtual reality goggles, and look out for themed activities. Tickets: $24, adults; $15, children.

Van Gogh Alive

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One World International School Open Houses (4, 8, 27 MARCH) These Open House events let parents and children learn more about OWIS’s vibrant campuses in Singapore. At the OWIS NanyangandSuntecOpenHouses (4&8March), alongwith a school tour, you’ll also meet the Head of School and hear about the school’s education approach. At theOWISDigital CampusOpenHouse (27March), you'll get updates fromthe Admissions Teamabout the proposed site for a new international school opening in August 2023, subject to regulatory approvals. Venues and times for each event differ; register your interest at .

Australian International School Singapore Open House (23 MARCH, 20 APRIL, 18 MAY) Open Houses are an opportunity for parents to learn how their child can become the best version of themselves at AIS. The school’s LeadershipTeam will bepresent toanswer your questions and share their insight and expertise. Register your interest at .

Pichvai Tradition and Beyond (16 TO 19 MARCH) Reviving a 400-year-old traditional Indian art form called Pichvai, this exhibition brings to life intricate paintings on cloth. Visually fascinating illustrations tell stories of love, happinessandcelebrationthathave been re-interpreted for the modern day. Headalong to theArt PortersGallery and see for yourself the merging of traditional Pichvai art techniques with contemporary application.

EL Event Pasir Ris Beach Clean-Up (24 MARCH)

This free exhibition has been curated by 7 Stories to raise money for charities inSingaporeand India.

Join the Expat Living team for our next beach clean-up with One Planet! We’ll explore breezy Pasir Ris Beach and collect rubbish we see along the way, finishing with a cold drink or a coffee. We’ll provide everything for this clean-up – all you need to bring is some water and sun protection! EL Event She Brilliance: International Women’s Day Celebration Gala Night (31 MARCH) In celebration of IWD, She Brilliance is hosting a glamorous, fun-filled evening at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre. The dinner event will bring community members and partners together for networking, performances and special speakers and panels. This year’s themes are “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality” and “EmbraceEquity.” Twenty percent of profits will go to supporting local non-profit organisations “Daughters Of Tomorrow” and “Sewing Mums.” Tickets: $288 for members and partners; $338 for non-members.

Boutiques at the Pit Building (17 TO 19 MARCH)

Boutiques returns to the F1 Pit Building for a fresh and exciting line-up of over 250 of Singapore’s best independent designers andbrands. This one-stop shoppingdestination features exclusive launches across women’s and men’s fashion and accessories, furniture and home décor, lifestyle products, and children’s toys, décor and fashion. Beyond shopping, you can also find opportunities to give back to various communities, unwind with food and drink, and pick up new skills at workshops. Get tickets online to skip the queues! They’re $5 for unlimited entry throughout all three days of the event (free for kids under 12). Boutiques

at the Pit Building

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Here’s your chance to win a mattress, pillows, duvet sheet set and fitted sheet set fromHeveya, worth over $6,000! Take part in our competition and you’ll stand the chance to win ALL of the following: • one Heveya Natural Organic Latex Mattress II , queen size, in your preferred firmness; • two Heveya Organic Latex Pillows inyour preferredmodels; • one Heveya Bamboo Duvet Sheet Set , queen size, in the colour of your choice, including a duvet cover and two pillow cases; and • one Heveya Bamboo Fitted Sheet Set , queen size, in the colour of your choice, includinga fitted sheet and twopillowcases.

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Heveya 32 Eng Hoon Street | 9628 9610 | The store’s 100 percent bamboo lyocell sheets in theHeveyaorganic range featurea silky smooth and soft feathery texture. The bamboo fibre is naturally anti-microbial andhypoallergenic, while alsobeingbreathableandtemperature regulating. So, they’ll keep you cool in the Singapore heat! About the company Heveya is a one-stop bedding store carrying natural organic latexmattresses, adjustableslatted bed bases and accessories, all made of natural and sustainable materials. The brand provides a customisable sleeping systemwhereby bedbase, mattress and pillow work together to provide excellent back support for all builds, sleeping positions and personal preferences. About the products The elasticity of Heveya’s natural latex mattress provides excellent sleeping comfort as it moulds to the contour of your body; it also ensures proper spinal alignment for a restful sleep. Heveya uses only 100 percent certified natural organic latex – no pesticides, fertilisers, heavy metals, VOCs or other chemicals. The mattress is naturally anti-mould and dust mite-resistant, and comes with a removable and cleanable cover of luxurious and soft bamboo fibre. Made with the highest quality material available in the mattress industry, Heveya’s latex pillows have an open cell structure that ensures breathability and moisture regulation for a comfortable sleeping temperature. They’re naturally anti-microbial and dust-mite resistant, perfect for people prone to allergens.

... simply go to and let us knowwhyyouthinkanorganic latexmattresswill helpyou sleepand livebetter. Increase your chances of winningby following @heveyasg on Instagramand share the post!

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Amazing Art The inaugural edition of the highly-anticipated ART SG was a great success – Southeast Asia’s largest ever art fair, in fact, with over 42,000 collectors, industry professionals and art-lovers in attendance at Marina Bay Sands.

Cleaning the City Together with EL readers and the good people at One Planet, we picked up trash around the Orchard area and all the way to Great World City. Join us on 24 March for our Pasir Ris Beach Clean-Up!

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EL Coffee Morning Our first “Mums of Teens” coffeeandchatwas amazing – such incrediblewomen! Thanks to Psych Connect and CafeMelba too. Look out for the next get-together soon.

Cultural Festivals The Indian Heritage Centre gave thanks for a bountiful harvest with its Pongal Open House; this year’s “Farm-tastic” theme included a parade with dancers and cows through Little India, traditional food and craft, folk performances andmore! The Bay Spring Carnival opened its doors with a lion and dragon dance performance to celebrate Lunar New Year. Families enjoyed fun rides and games as they celebrated the Year of the Rabbit inside the cherry blossom-themed wonderland.

Celebrating 75! SPCA recentlynotchedup75 years of animal welfare in Singapore, launching the Youth Ambassador Programme for children aged seven to 16 as part of the commemorations.

Rifle Range Nature Walk We enjoyed exploring Singapore’s newly opened green space with our readers – it’s the island’s first net-positive-energy nature park, with energy harvested from solar panels.

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Trading Talk City Index came to Expat Living HQ to teach our beautiful readers how to trade with CFDs; thanks to them and our friends TTGWine and The Plattering Co. We’re now ready to make some money!

Night of Glamour

Nearly 400 people attended the 87th George Washington Ball last month. One of the oldest fundraiser events in Singapore hosted by AAS, the ball had a “Hollywood Glamour” theme this year – and it was definitely a red carpet event to remember!

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Investigating the island past and present, with tips, trivia and time travel – and the occasional tricky challenge for readers!

OPEN AGAIN! Good news for culture vultures: Singapore’s Peranakan Museum reopened last month after closing back in April 2019 for a major revamp. Thecompletely refurbishedbuilding featuresninegalleries across three floors, with each floor dedicated to a particular theme around an aspect of Peranakan identity. Along with well-loved artefacts that featured in themuseumbefore itsmakeover, there’s abunchof newobjects acquiredor donatedover the last 10 years. Physical displays aside, interviews and stories will showcase living cultures within the broader Peranakan group, including those of Arab Peranakans, Chinese Peranakans, Chitty Melakans (or Peranakan Indians) and Jawi Peranakans, while anchoring these cultures within the context of the Malay-Indonesian world. Here’s a glimpse at the three floors of the new-look museum and what to expect. First Floor Gallery name: ORIGINS

Third Floor Gallery name: STYLE

Theme: A glimpse into fashion, glamour and personal adornment, through batik textiles, needlework, jewellery anda variety of dress styles – including the kebaya. Sample display: A Chitty Melaka addigai necklace of the early 20th century, adapted fromSouth Indian examples. Did You Know?

• The impressivemuseumbuildingwasoncehome toTaoNanSchool,whichopenedonNorthBridge Road in 1906 before moving into the purpose built school on Armenian Street in 1912. There, it became the first Chinese school to change its teaching language from Hokkien to Mandarin. After 70years, in 1982, the schoolmoved toMarine Parade (where it still operates today). • The building was gazetted as a National Monument on 27 February 1998. • Two well-known sculptures remain at the front of the museum after the revamp: one shows a grandfather who is being tugged along by hand by his excited granddaughter; the other is the so-called “ACM cat”, a cat lying on the museum steps, apparently commemoratinga real cat that used to frequent the area in the late 1990s. ThePeranakanMuseumisadepartmentof theAsian CivilisationsMuseum, operatingunder theNational HeritageBoard.FB@PeranakanMuseumSingapore| IG@peranakanmuseum.

Theme: Exploring the origins of Peranakan identity, tracing how this hybrid identity emerged, and encouraging visitors to ask, “What is Peranakan?” Sampledisplay: Hand-paintedphotographof a Batavian born Peranakan woman named Lie Pa-toe Nio. Second Floor Gallery name: HOME Theme: Objects from various family homes in Singapore and the region, touching on customs, lifestyles, furnishings, food, faith, language and art. Sample display: Radiogram (combination radio/recordplayer)withPlesseyautochanger and two 78rpm records. Records were colloquially referred to as piring hitam or "black dishes"!

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No, not the one with the cream cheese frosting … we’re talkingabout thepopular hawker stall variety: chai tow kway.

#1 Chai tow kway is unrelated to the other carrot cake – it doesn’t even have carrot in it. (A Singapore street food guide published in 2010 is called There’s no Carrot in Carrot Cake .) “Chai tow” in Teochew dialect can translate as radish, which is the main ingredient of the dish, but also as carrot – hence the confusion. #2 Chai tow kway is made by frying pieces of steamed radish cake (made with radish and rice flour) with garlic, eggs and preserved radish (chai poh). #3 The dish comes in “white” and “black” varieties. White is the original fried version, while black has the addition of sweet dark soy sauce. Every hawker cooks carrot cake differently; we especially like the ones with lots of charry bits! #4 There areno “rules” aroundwhenandhowto eat carrot cake. It’s a particular favourite at breakfast, but also gets ordered for lunch and dinner, and to share or as a meal on its own. #5 Favourite stalls include Ghim Moh Carrot Cake, Fu Ming Cooked Food and Bukit Merah View Carrot Cake. Expect to pay around $3.

Think you know Singapore well?

What’s the name of the building in the foreground of this photo? And what building just behind it is home to the impressive clock tower?

Last month: Our February issue showed an aerial photo of the ArtScience Museum.


SINGAPORE’S MILITARY PAST TheNational HeritageBoard’s “Battle for Singapore” initiative is underway again, this year marking the 81st anniversary of the Fall of Singapore in 1942.

HeldannuallyinFebruaryandMarch(Singapore fell on 15 February 1942), the commemoration includes tours and talks touching on this momentous occasion in the island’s history. Events thismonth include “LestWeForget”, a tour of variouswarmemorials (5March); “Light Amidst Adversity”, examining rare war photos and personal documents in the National Library (11 and 25 March); a guided tour of WWII vintage toys at MINT (3-5 March); and a screeningat OldhamTheatre of TheBridge on the River Kwai (5 March). Oneevent thatcaughtplentyofattentionthis year (and booked out in minutes as a result!) was aguided tour of Fort Connaught – the first ever public tour since the fort’s construction in 1878. The fort has remained hidden away in a jungle-covered piece of private property on Sentosa, until it was revealed to the lucky event-goers. Those who missed it will have to make do with this photo ( left ) – until next year!

Visit for more information.

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hangout spots for teenagers 10

Not onl y i s our city an incredibly safe one to be out and about in at practically any hour, there are some great enclaves and laid-back locations for teenagers to hang out at . We roped in a couple of expat teenagers to share some of their favourite spots.

#1 Holland Village Holland V is right near an MRT stationandbus stops, andwhile it’s calm during theday, once the sungoesdown it livens right up. There are loads of cafés and restaurants, and you can also hang out on the main street, as the police close it off atnight tomake itpedestrian friendly. Grab a vegan-friendly acai bowl at Project Acai, a local favourite acai exclusive café in Singapore, or head for Whether you’ re looking for clothes, makeup, or anything for that matter, OrchardRoadwill have it. Scape is a popular gathering spot – it was set up specifically as a youth hub, and is undergoing amajor refurb in 2023. The skate park at Somerset is also popular and will soon have a new neighbour in the form of an amazing-sounding ski, skate, snowboarding and surf “resort” calledTrifecta, due toopen this year. For adifferent vibe, headtoPlazaSingapura, which has a Timezone gaming arcade, Five Guys for burgers and Din Tai Fung for xiaolongbao. ice cream at Sunday Folks. #2 Orchard Road

#3 Sentosa

Want a relaxing beach day with friends? Take the cable car from Mount Faber or VivoCity and enjoy the views during the journey across. The Sentosa boardwalk is another great way to get to the island – and also the cheapest! Sentosa has three beaches – Siloso, Tanjong and Palawan – where you can have a swim, do water sports or chill. They’re linedwith tons of places to get food and drinks, including Coastes and Tanjong Beach Club. You can ramp up the fun with a visit to Universal Studios, the Skyline Luge, iFly or the MegaZip! #4 Clarke Quay If you’re in your later teens and looking for a top night out, Clarke Quay has plenty of bars and restaurants. Even if you’re underage, however, this is still a goodchoice for hangingoutwith friends in Singapore. Daredevils can takeon theGX-5 Extreme Swing that operates daily from 4.30pmuntil late, shootingyouthroughthe sky at 120 kilometres per hour. For a more mellow experience, do what the tourists do and take the Singapore River Cruise (40 minutes; book online for cheaper tickets).

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#5 East Coast For those craving some physical activity, East Coast is a perfect hangout spot. This breezy coastal haven looks out over the Singapore Strait. Stroll along the beachorhireawidevarietyofbikes, in-lineskatesandsegways for a ride on the designated pathways – or, for skateboarders, head to Xtreme SkatePark. Keen for a shop? TryCat Socrates, a sweet knick-knackshop inside one of Joo Chiat’s colourful townhouses, or Egg3onEast Coast Road for fashion and accessories. If you’re hungry, head to Awfully Chocolate. #6 Kampong Glam Unique vintage and indie clothing stores line the little alleys of Singapore’s Arab Quarter – and it’s easy to find a bargain. In the evenings, it’s a cool place to meet friends, but bewarned that a lot of the restaurants get full to thebrim. Haji Lane is definitely a favourite street here; have awander and see what you find but there are some shops that stand out, including SSFW, which has fab accessories and local jewellery designed in its Haji Lane studio, and Hygge for home and lifestyle goods.

#7 Gardens by the Bay The Gardens are home to a huge varietyofplants fromeverywherearound the world, and the two conservatories – the Flower Dome, the world’s largest greenhouse, and the Cloud Forest – are fun to explore (not just for the flora, but for waterfalls, high walkways and misty nooks). They’re air-conditioned as well, which is definitely a major plus! A great diningoptionnearby is Satayby theBay, with individual food stalls selling local and international snacks and meals. #8 Tiong Bahru T i ong Bahru has become something of a hipster paradise in recent years. It has an “old Singapore” feel thanks to the Art Deco shophouses, while foodies and shopaholics canenjoy cafésandshopsgalore.We’reasucker for thegreenteaalmondcroissantsat Tiong BahruBakery, acaféchainthat started in this area and is now found island-wide. Other top places for a bite or a sweet treat include PS.Cafe Petit and Plain Vanilla Bakery. At Monument Lifestyle, meanwhile, you can order a NYC-style bagel, sip on coffee fromCalifornia, and browse accessories, homewares and clothing from Singapore, Los Angeles and Oregon. The neighbourhood also has some interesting street murals by Yip Yew Chong.

#9 Marina Barrage You can sit here and admire the Singapore skyline, or have an active day out. Bring friends, a picnic, a ball to throw around and a kite, and you’re set. If you’re lucky, you might even catch some stars at night – never an easy feat with the bright lights of the city. From the Barrage it’s a short walk to Gardens by the Bay, or stroll along the water’s edge to Marina Bay Sands and the ArtScience Museum to make it Once a red light district, Bugis has transformed into a shopping and dining paradise, and one of the most culturally rich areas of Singapore. Bugis Street Market, right next to the MRT, is a fun spot to browse cheap souvenirs, clothes and accessories. For slightly pricier (and more air-conditioned!) shopping, head to Bugis+ and Bugis Junction. Carry on down Victoria Street to Chijmes, a pretty and historic complex (it was once a convent) with grassed areas and great food at places like Privé. a full day out. #10 Bugis

Discover more things to do in Singapore with kids of every age at .

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6 MAR / 11am

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International Women’s Day #EmbraceEquit – Lunch with BritCham

MacRitchie Boardwalk Trail Come exploring with us!

17 MAR / 10am

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Starting your own business Learn the new rules and updates

Reinventing Yourself Is it time for a change?

24 MAR / 9am

31 MAR / 7pm

International Women’s Day Celebration Gala Night

Pasir Ris Beach Clean-Up With One Planet Singapore

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Known as the “King of Flowers” in Asian culture, the peony has graced the gardens of imperial palaces for centuries and is regarded as a symbol of prosperity and elegance. This floral scent blooms with the fragrance of peony petals laced with African violets, bergamot, lemon citron and jasmine with notes of wild rose and dewy green fern. Inspired by the garden city of Singapore and romantic travels of the Far East, TEMPLE Candles create premium Oriental botanic inspired scents for the home. Their range of essential oil-based Candles, Diffusers, Hand & Body products and classic home décor uplift and add a touch of luxury to the everyday.

Your gift will be delivered to you within a week of your order. Subscription orders received after 15 March will start with the May issue. You can cancel your subscription at any time by logging into your account on our website. Our annual guides are published at different times in the year and will be mailed with the monthly issue.

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40 An Aussie family who called on experts to style their home 56 Sleep easy with our shopping guide for the bedroom 62 What it’s like living in Yio Chu Kang

Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing

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Bigger & Better Scanteak is going from strength to strength with its expansion. The furniture company is opening its 11th showroom in Singapore ( #B1-56/56A United Square ) and has added a gallery for its Scankomfort mattress brand in its current Toh Guan showroom. The Toh Guan space ( 8 Boon Lay Way ) has recently been revamped with a whole new look and experience for customers, including a mattress gallery located on level 2 of the showroom, with a dedicated customer area for trying out mattresses. Outdoor Designs Island Living has just launched its extensive new range of outdoor furniture, from functional and classic outdoor teak dining tables and chairs, to on-trend chairs and sofas that are designed to take a battering from the Singapore elements. The new range of cement furniture, including dining tables, coffee tables and benches, alongside the store’s new pots and planters, are suitable for both indoor and outdoor spaces. They come in a great range of colours and sizes whether you’re looking to maximise the functionality of a smaller space or fill out a luxuriously spacious patio. Browse the website at or head over to the showroom at 8 Kaki Bukit Avenue 1 for a look and feel.

Growing Collection Just Anthony has taken delivery of another huge shipment of antique, vintage and new furniture and décor pieces. With this delivery, the furniture experts have focused more on small and medium pieces, along with decorative items. They have also spruced up some older furniture favourites with new colours such as ecru and duck egg blue, which work well in both traditional and contemporary interiors. Visit them at 379 Upper Paya Lebar Road and explore the vast collection.

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Rentals on the Rise It will probably come as no surprise that condo rental prices have continued to rise over the past 12 months, however the figure sits at a whopping 34 percent, according to property portal ’s December 2022 Flash Report. Rental prices rose steadily month by month throughout 2022, starting at 0.5 percent in January to three percent by December. Central region rental rose the highest, at 3.9 percent in December. Despite the price hike, the number of units rented also rose by year end, from 5,013 in November to 6,345 in December.

Striking Lighting Lighting is such a simple yet effective way to elevate a room’s aesthetic, so the new collection of lights arriving at Sol Luminaire in April will be welcome news to anyone looking to lift their home décor. Brands joining the collection include Forma Rosa, designed in New York City and handcrafted in Peru, and Czech brand SkLO ( pictured ). The glass lights are handblown and range from pendant lights to wall and table lamps. Sol Luminaire is also renovating its galleries at 395 Guillemard Road , with the new look to be completed in June.

Ikea Additions Never shy of a new launch, Ikea has added home accessories range Varmblixt to its collection. Designed in collaboration with Netherlands-based Sabine Marcelis, the pieces are inspired by light and include wall and mirror lamps, and glass bowls. There are also plenty of new products to help organise that clutter at home, and décor pieces and accessories in unique and quirky styles, including the cushions pictured here. Find out more at .

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An Australian expat family were lucky to find this fabulous landed property in Barker Road. They then enlisted the help of Arete Culture to make the most of the home’s old-world charm – and the result is spectacular! WhenNicole andCharliewalked into this expansive landed property, they just knew in their bones that itwas their new home. Recently renovated by the landlords, it offered a clean slate to inject their own personality. So they engaged AreteCulture tohelp transformthe house into a home. The result is an abode that feels at once luxurious, worldly and whimsical. The perfect place to rest your head. We were given carte blanche to conceptualise, design and style the entire property, inside and out. As the clients were travelling extensively for work during the project, Arete Culture worked remotely over Zoomcalls and emails to transformthe property into a timeless family home. We envisioned an open plan, fluid living space with intimate seating areas to add warmth and comfort. We wanted to elevate the home with a colour palette that suited the light and bright modern aesthetic. To achieve a decadent but relaxed vibe we used rich, jewel-toned hues, and really focused on bringing in layers of texture, pattern and shine for a cosy, opulent effect. Designing and building the stylish yet functional murphy bed in the study was a highlight, as was fashioning the perfect entertainers’ bar cabinet in a discrete space just outside the dining room. But the delightful surprise of this project was bringing to life Nicole’s vision for a glamorous “woman cave”. OVERVIEW The team from Arete Culture talk us through the project

About the home Who lives here: Australian couple Nicole and Charlie and their son Kingston Style and size: 4,800-square foot landed house Style brief: “To create a glamorous and timeless home with a sophisticated worldly feel” Makeover time: Six weeks for an entire home transformation (plus four weeks for the custom carpentry for the murphy bed and bar cabinet)

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SPECIFICS 9 ways Arete styled and transformed this stunning landed property

#1 Living Featuring soaring double-height ceilings, the living room affords light-filled spacious living. To anchor the space, we introduced two custom-made wall panels in a rose gold crane fabric. Pairing the hangings with a statementmirror helped to create an immediate focal point for the room.

#2 Dining For this sophisticated formal dining area, we took inspiration from an artwork our clients had collected from a London gallery. We balanced the bold, vivid tones of the paintingwith a neutral palette, and rounded out the look with brushed goldaccentsand luxenaturalmaterials likemarble.

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#4 “Woman cave” Designed to be an alluring, private space for Nicole, the affectionately dubbed “woman cave” is equal parts feminine and glam. The striking turquoise and gold wallpaper sets the tone. And, in keeping with Nicole’s chic style, the space is adorned with her jewellery and fashion collections.

#3 Stairway Engagedtocurateplayful,whimsical interiors,we put a lot of thought into the finer details and final flourishes of this home. The staircase showcases heavilypatterned jungle-themewallpaper,which is accentuated by the geometric mirrors and artwork on the landing.

#5 Study / Guest bedroom A study in refined simplicity, the guest bedroomdoubles as a homeoffice for Charlie. AreteCulturedesigneda space-saving murphy bed, which cleverly offers both storage and shelving to display the family’smemorabilia and books. The distinctive sunburst design is a talking point in the room.

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#6 Family room The focus in this room is on functionalitywith the useof low-maintenance materials and minimal décor, which means Kingston i s f ree to hang out with family in this space without fear of spills and stains. Comfort is key here! The neutral palette is enhanced with layers of texture and pops of blue as a homage to the waterfront views of their Australian residence.

#7 Master bedroom Recreating the look and feel of a luxury hotel suite, themaster bedroom is a restful place to relax and recharge for this globe-trotting couple. Nicole’s favourite colour is pink, so the scallop sofa is for her! The remainder of the bedroom uses a contemporary palette of sand, duck egg blue, barley, and dove grey, punctuated with gold metals.

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#8 Kitchen Tastefully renovatedby the landlord, thekitchen only needed very minor styling attention. We pulled together an intimate dining nook with new bar stools from Arete Culture’s Bespoke Boutique Collection, contrasting woody tones against the crisp white island bench.

#9 Exterior Spaces Perhaps the most interesting of all the outdoor spaces we workedonwas thebackgarden. This is anareaoftenoverlooked by landed homeowners, andwewanted to ensure the vision of this home was clearly articulated from all angles. We created a cosy and comfortable lounge area to unwind at the end of the day, or toentertain friends. Theornategeometricmirror reflects the lushgreensurroundsandechoesold-worldcharm. Amedley of natural textures is subtly balanced with lush colour accents.

A final word from the Arete makeover team We had an incredible time workingwithNicole andCharlie to create their dream home. They’ve recently taken the plunge and bought a penthouse apartment. Arete Culture is thrilled to be working on their new design concept, andaround90percent of their furniture and furnishings will migrate to thenewspace. Exciting times ahead!

Atelier by Arete 20 Depot Lane, #01-01/02 | 9640 3829 Arete Culture #06-01 Tan Boon Liat Building | 9640 3829

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Moving House? for getting your technology set up Moving house (or country) can be stressful and disruptive. But if you can get your technology in order without any headaches, you’ll quickly feel settled and connected. Here, SARAH and BO from Tekkie Help share five things to prioritise when setting up a new home. 1 Getting seamless Wi-Fi throughout your home

2 Maximising your experience Youwant to really experiencemusic and video – not just see and hear it! Whether it’sbeingable to listen tomusic in several rooms, all seamlessly controlled by your phone, or sitting out on your veranda watching your favourite movie in your outdoor cinema, there shouldbeno limit to your imagination when it comes to home entertainment these days! What next? Tekkie Help are on hand to setupyourhomeentertainment theway you want it (or dream it!) by providing advice and supplying and configuring equipment. 3 Setting up access to international TV How do you watch your beloved ABC, BBC or other channels in Singapore? Living away from home, many expats miss their favourite TV shows. Andwhile you can watch some content on Singtel and StarHub TV, the choice is limited and the most recent shows are rarely available. home entertainment

Black spots, intermittent service and buffering are all fairly common Wi-Fi issues in Singapore, partly due to the dense structure of the concrete and reinforced steel buildings here. There are a number of different ways to get seamless coverage at home. The best option is to have hard-wired Wi-Fi access points (routers) in strategic locations using existing data points; or, if these aren’t available, telephone sockets can usually be converted into data points. Computers and televisions can also be hard-wired intodatapoints formaximuminternet performance. Another option is a “mesh network” such as Google Wi-Fi. In the right situations, these can be very effective. However, the mesh “nodes” must be within good Wi-Fi range of each other so they can piggyback the signal. Concretewalls canhinder this, so it may be necessary to install additional nodes in corridors and stairwells tobridge the signal between rooms or floors. But finding places with power is tricky, and costs do increase considerably when adding nodes. What next? Wi-Fi optimisation can be complex – there’s no universal solution. Tekkie Help can conduct a complimentary site survey to provide recommendations to enhance your coverage.

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4 Installing a home security system Home camera systems aren’t just for deterring burglars; they also provide excellent homemonitoring for thosewhowant peace of mind when working full-time or travelling overseas. Many people install an IP camera system so they can check that childrenare safeat homeor that thedogs arebehaving! The latest technology provides the convenience of having real-time access on your phone, motion sensing, night vision and recordings of historic events. What next? Tekkie Help have a wealth of experience installing home IP camera systems, tailored to different requirements and budgets. 5 Setting up your home office With many of us having to adapt to working from home, it’s essential we’re set up with an efficient and comfortable work environment. Having a stable and strong network connection will significantly enhanceproductivitywhenworking fromhome. There’s nothingmore frustrating (not tomentionunprofessional!) than having conference calls frequently dropping in and out. For a home office, you should also consider printing, scanning, video conferencing, access to your company files and data backup. What next? The teamcanget youset upandalsoprovide support for your company too, if required. If youneedhelpsettingupyourhome technology, giveTekkieHelp a call on8113 8682 or visit tekkiehelp.comtobook anappointment and see all the services they provide.

More and more people are installing an IP camera system to check that the children are safe – or that the dogs are behaving! The most common workaround for regional restrictions on your fave overseas content is to install aVirtual PrivateNetwork (VPN) orDomain Name System (DNS). Both, in their own ways, work by masking your location and making it look to the external world like your computer is actually in the UK, Australia or anywhere in the world that you choose. What next? If this all sounds like jargon and you’re perplexed about finding a solution, don’t fret: we can set it all up for you in about an hour.

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Philanthropist PATRICIA RODRIGUES JONES is a long term expat living a full and active life in Singapore. The Brazilian subscribes to a waste-not-want-not ethos, and is living well, the conscious way. In a rare spare moment, she showed us around her grand home in Kilburn Estate!



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Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey to Singapore. Iwas bornand raised inBrazil, but I’vebeen livingabroad for over 25 years. I moved first to the UK in 1997, where I lived for 12 years and met my husband Rob. We moved to Geneva soon after our first daughter was born, in the beginningof 2009.Wewerehappy living inGeneva, had twomore children, andevenbought aproperty there. In 2013, when I’dbarely finished refurbishing thehouse,my husbandsaidweweremovingtoSingapore. I didn’twant to come! That was almost 10 years ago (how time flies), and I love Singapore now. Our dogs Coco and Chip also love the outdoor lifestyle that this sunny country affords.

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With three very small children at the time, the house needed to be spacious, have a good size garden and a pool. Being Brazilian I do love a good barbecue, so a spacious outdoor area was essential. Also, it was a non-negotiable that the pool be fenced for peace of mind. How would you define your interior style? When it comes to decorating, I don’t have just one style, which can be problematic. I may like something very rustic, something very classic, and something with animal print at the same time. What remains a constant is my love for bling!My styledepends on themoment, but Iwill always have golden accents in the house. Since moving to Singapore, I’ve also developed a taste for Asian furniture. Do you have any recommendations for budding interior designers? As hinted at above, I’m very indecisive when it comes to mixing styles, so I’ve always engaged an expert for interior design services. In my first house I usedDesign Intervention, but since 2017 I’ve been working with Karin Rysgaard from Cocoon Styling. I like the idea of restoring and upcycling furniture, and I’m opposed to the culture of throwing out and buying new. Karin has helped me to realise this dream and we’ve also added selective pieces to complement the house. Her advice has saved me money, and she’s also

Tell us about your career and charity work. During my London days, I owned a fashion boutique, but aftermoving toGenevaandhaving kids, I stopped working in paid employment. Since coming toSingapore, I’vebecome involved with charities and non-profit organisations that supporthumanitarianandenvironmental causes – one of which, Green Bees Social, I founded a few years ago. I love travelling and discovering new places, especially getting off the beaten track! Two of the non-profits I’m involved with, Women on a Mission and HER Planet Earth, take women on expeditions to remote locations. I’ve been fortunate to go on quite a few of the trips. I’m also writing a children’s book about climate change, written in a non-confronting, accessible tone to encourage the next generation of environmentalists. Tell us about your experience house hunting – what was it about this place that sealed the deal for you? When we first arrived in 2013, I was shocked by rental prices – the market was quite high at that time (as it is again now!). Luckily, we were able to find a beautiful modern house in Raffles Park. I wasn’t looking for anything specific, but I knew as soon as I saw the house that it would be ideal. It was the same for our current place in Bukit Timah; I just knew immediately that this wasmy family home.

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pushed me out of my comfort zone (beyond “bling vibe”) in different designdirections. For example, she encouragedme to buy palmprint cushions, which I wouldn’t havedonebymyself, despite liking them. Theproject I’mmost proudof ismy leather sofa, which is now 20 years old. The leather was very stained, but the basewas still in excellent condition. So I had it re-upholstered with beautiful Italian leather, and it was transformed into new again. I’ve also recycled somebeautiful vintagemirrors given tomeby a friend. What three décor pieces would you save in a fire? My dining table, my four-poster bed and my blue and green Asian cabinets. Favourite thing about Singapore and the region? Singapore is a place that grewonme slowly. At first, I thought life here would be too limited, but then I started appreciating itmore andmore. Coming fromSao Paulo, safety is a big issue for me; Singapore’s a great place to bring up childrenwithout worrying that they are going to get mugged on the MRT! I also like that everything is organised, works seamlessly and is relatively clean compared to other big cities. I think Singapore is a good introduction to Asia – other places like Bangkok and Bali may be more fun, but they’re also much more chaotic! The best thing about living here is that it gave us an opportunity to discover other countries in this region, which would have been much more difficult from Europe. What do you do for fun? What makesme tick is organising events and parties. There’s nothing I love more, apart frommy family, of course! I adore playing tennis, which I do every single day. Cycling around Singapore is another activity I enjoy.

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