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EDITOR’SNOTE Well, it would be weird not to comment on the current situation. I was sure it would have vaporised by now, and we’d have all gone back to life as we know it, or knew it. But it doesn’t look like anything is going anywhere quickly. Another element I hadn’t foreseen was the impact on business. I wasn’t too concerned about the health implications of the virus for myself – and I’m still not (whether that’s wise or not!). But, I hadn’t thought that it could come to most countries around the world being in limbo. We should have known that a year called 2020 was not going to come and go quietly. The good news is that the signs of World War III that I was vaguely worried about at the end of last year have faded. Everyone is too busy thinking of how to get hold of toilet paper! Joking aside, I was heartened recently while watching The Crown . It was an episode set in the mid-70s during the miners’ strikes, when there were massive electricity cuts and Britain was in chaos. Prince Philip was talking about what a mess the world was in, and something along the lines of how it will never be the same again. Clearly my crystal ball isn’t working very well – so my words might not be comforting. But we will get through this. Every decade seems to have its “thing”. I think it’s a reminder for us all not to be complacent, or to think we have everything planned. I shall go now before I make any more wrong predictions, but I do wish you a Happy Easter. And remember to get those Easter eggs before they sell out too! Otherwise you might be in trouble at home.
REBECCA BISSET Editor-in-Chief
In light of COVID-19, events promoted in this issue may be cancelled or rescheduled. Please double check online.
PS I was looking for away to tie in the great toilet roll panicwith Easter. And would you believe here’s something that does. You can make this Easter- themed collage fromtoilet roll insides. Start saving them now!
Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET
Group Editor SHAMUS SILLAR Editorial Team HOME & PROPERTY: KEL FLANDERS EDUCATION: KATE MARSDEN
WINE & DINE, HEALTH: AMY GREENBURG LIFE & FAMILY, TRAVEL: LINDSAY YAP HAIR & BEAUTY, FASHION: ANTHIA CHNG Copy Editor JULIET KEYS Online & Digital Content MICHAELA BISSET IT &Web Support RENE YUTIAMPO | HANADDI REY DIAZ MAMBA Client Services & Production LEANDA RATHMELL | LIANA KEDDIE | NUR HANANI KAMAL LUDDIN Graphic Designers MICHAEL BERNABE | JEANNE WONG Marketing, Circulation & Administration ANNA TSERLINGAS | VEENA GILL SITI SHAHIRAH KHIRUDEEN Advertising Sales KARIN GALLEY | DANIELLE ROSSETTI | LARA SAGE | JACQUI YOUNG Events Curator SUSAN KNUDSEN-PICKLES
Special Projects MELINDA MURPHY Chief Operations Officer COLIN PURCHASE Contributing Writers HARSHARAN KAUR | GRACIE STEWART | ERIN TAYLOR
Contributing Photographers KEN TAN (KENKHT@GMAIL.COM)
CONTACT US General Enquiries: +65 6812 1780 | firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Sales: +65 6812 1781 | email@example.com Subscription: +65 6812 1783 | firstname.lastname@example.org Production: +65 6812 1787 | email@example.com Editorial & Media Releases: firstname.lastname@example.org Calendar of Events: email@example.com Events: firstname.lastname@example.org Websites: expatliving.sg | expatliving.hk
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NEWS 18 Calendar Updates: 22 Readers’ Letters 24 EL Forum: Our online antics and upcoming events 26 Singapore Pages: 28 Join our EL Readers Survey: Fantastic prizes to be won! HOME & PROPERTY 32 News 36 Home Showcase: A look at an art collector’s Peranakan home 44 Store Spotlight:
What’s on in the coming months
Unique crafts and services at Cluny Court
Exploring the island – past and present
This mattress guru take us to the source
46 Artisan Aboard:
Behind the scenes of a Europe buying trip
48 Buying Guide:
Picks for kitchens and bathrooms
55 Inside Story:
Customised furniture recommendations
60 Street Talk:
Find out what it’s like living on the East Coast 62 Serviced Apartments: Looking for a home away from home? LIFE & FAMILY 68 News 70 Fair Frenzy: Boutiques is back this May 72 Noticeboard: Birth announcements and pet adoptions 74 On the Screen: Self-care books and TV shows! 78 One-stop Shop: Cluny Court has it all
80 Car Talk:
We chat to a convert to leasing
82 Bright Futures:
GEMS introduces Innovation Week
84 Green Education:
Inside Stamford’s outdoor initiatives
87 Crafty Kids:
The benefits of art for little ones
a fresh look! 48
88 Talented Teens:
Give your bathroom
Meet a 14-year-old drawing star
89 Kids & Climate:
Fun ways to engage students
94 Around Town:
91 Death & Dignity: The last portrait 92 Money Matters:
Photos from openings, events and more
96 Helping Hands: Our latest on volunteer opportunities
Investments with a positive social impact
122 Meet the Baker:
“Miss Muffet” shares her story
124 Recipe Corner: Favourites to add to your repertoire 126 Cooking Classic:
adventure- fuelled holidays
Learn to make Italian classics
TRAVEL 130 News 132 Staying Put:
Staycation picks and promos
134 Cambodia Calling: Bring the brood! 140 Adventure Awaits: Ideas for the thrill-seekers 144 Botswana Diaries: Rocking the Okavango
WINE & DINE 104 News 106 Tried & Tested: The hottest spot on Sentosa 108 Bar Tab: A new spot for a tipple 109 Booze Bargains: French wines at wholesale prices 110 Global Eats: Dempsey dishes up world delights 112 Bubbly Brunch: Rounding up some of the top spots in town 118 Butcher’s Best: Where to get quality meat
110 A guide to global dining in Dempsey
Top wines at wholesale prices 109
STYLE & BEAUTY 152 Style News 154 What’s Hot: Capsule by Juliette’s new collection 156 Find Your Fit: Fashionable finds for all figures
160 Beauty News 162 Skin Solutions:
These are backed by science!
164 Five Facials:
For targeting pigmentation HEALTH & FITNESS 172 News 176 Expert Voice: Ways to improve your gut health 178 People Profile: Why this eye doctor loves her job 180 Sleep Deprivation: How a chiropractor can help REGULARS
Take a peek at this new collection 154
182 Horoscopes for April 184 NEW! Puzzle Pages 186 Numbers & Websites 187 Advertiser List 188 Parting Shot: A Brush with the Virus
Skincare with a seal of approval 162
SHOPPING & SOCIAL HotLotzOriental Ceramics andWorks of Art (20 APRIL – 3 MAY) At this auction, check out stunning silver, porcelain, pottery, netsukes, antique Indian paintings, snuff bottles and more. Over 300 lots will be exhibited in the saleroom for viewing and offered for sale at accessible price points. Online bidding closes on 3 May from 8pm. Register online to see the auction catalogue. hotlotz.com The Executive Homes Black andWhite Tour (22 APR) Executive Homes is organising its annual black-and-white home tour for its seventh year. Visit impressive colonial homes in Mount Pleasant, Adam Park, Ridout Road and Nassim Road. Email email@example.com to book a spot.
ARTS & CULTURE
2219: Futures Imagined (UNTIL 5 APR)
Go on a journey into imaginary future worlds at this special exhibition showcasing the works of over two dozen artists, designers, architects, filmmakers, musicians and theatre companies. ArtScience Museum Kim Jaeil: Visual and Perception (UNTIL 11 APR) At the Korean artist’s first solo show in Singapore, feast your eyes on amazing sculptural paintings cast from resin. Sundaram Tagore Gallery Spotlight – Dance to Art (24 APR – 3 MAY) At this solo exhibition by professional-dancer-turned-artist Lydia Janssen, check out 15 paintings featuring faces and limbs tangled and flowing over each other like in an improvised dance. REDSEA Gallery
SPORTS Singapore Badminton Open 2020 (7-12 APR) Watch top shuttlers compete for over US$400,000 in prize money, and a spot at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Popular local players Yeo Jia Min and Loh Kean Yew will also be making appearances. Singapore Indoor Stadium. singaporebadmintonopen.com.sg
Spotlight – Dance to Art
A-ha Hunting High and Low Tour
DANCE, THEATRE & CONCERTS
National Theatre’s War Horse
National Theatre’s War Horse (FROM 24 APR)
This award-winning play tells the story of young Albert and his mission to find his horse Joey, who is sold to the cavalry during World War One. It features amazing life-sized puppets that bring the horses to life on stage. Esplanade Theatre. Tickets from Sistic. To Broadway with Love (3 APR) Enjoy an evening of Broadway tunes by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, including those from popular musicals such as The Sound of Music , The Lion King and Les Miserables . Esplanade Concert Hall. sso.org.sg Tori Kelly (17 APR) The two-time Grammy award-winning singer is set to perform for the first time in Singapore this April. Look forward to catching her powerful vocals live. Capitol Theatre. Tickets from Sistic. The Stradivari Quartet Plays Beethoven (19 APR) To celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, this talented quartet will be performing two popular pieces by the famous composer. Victoria Concert Hall. Tickets from Sistic.
Boutique Fairs Spring/Summer 2020 Edition (8-10 MAY) Over 300 independent Singapore-based design- led labels will be showcased at the fair, selling everything from fashion and accessories to home and décor, art and lifestyle products. Over 80 percent of the brands identify social responsibility as a key focus. You can also attend exclusive launches, meet charities and other non-profit organisations, pick up new skills at workshops and enjoy a variety of F&B options. F1 Pit Building. boutiquefairs.com.sg AWA Night at the Races (15 MAY) Watch live horse racing while enjoying a delicious buffet dinner with great company. Come dressed in your fanciest race wear and look forward to a fun evening of mingling. Tickets from the AWA website. Singapore Turf Club Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) (15-31 MAY) The country’s annual arts festival, SIFA, is back! It’ll feature performances and activities across theatre, music, dance, film and visual arts. sifa.sg Matisse and Picasso: Friends, Rivals (15 MAY – 16 AUG) View over 100 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, illustrated books and ballet costumes and learn more about two of the most popular 20th- century artists. National Gallery Singapore 98 Degrees (“98°”) (19 MAY) Catch the popular American boy band live this May as they belt out hits like “I Do (Cherish You)” and “The Hardest Thing”, which have helped them sell 10 million records worldwide. The Star Theatre. Tickets from Sistic.
98 Degrees (“98°”)
For even more things to do every week, go to our online calendar or sign up for our newsletter : www.expatliving.sg
BEST LETTER We want to hear from you! Send us your thoughts on the magazine, or on any subject under the sun. The writer of our best letter receives a divine candle from
Bamboo Delight I bought the bamboo sheet set from an event at European Bedding last year because it looked really pretty and felt great. But, I hadn’t used it because it was quite silky and I thought it might be hot... and a bit slippery! I just put them on this week and they are amazing. Really soft, but also cool and not slippery at all! The pillow cases feel so nice on your skin. I’m sorry I waited so long! – Rebecca S Ed: I bought some too and love them – and they’re sustainable too!
To Be Calm. Each month, there’ll be oneof their signature candles to choose from tobecalm.com .
“Everybodyneeds to find that one thingwhich is just yours;not about the house, the kids, the husband,” saysHARSWEEN BEDI. “Everybody needs some sense of individuality and satisfaction.” ForHarsween, that one thing is decoupage, a hobby she picked up after movingtoSingapore.And, insomeways,hernew-foundhobbysavedhersanity. When she first arrived here,Harswen found life very different to back home in Indiawhere she andherhusbandhad justbought their firsthome together.She’d just landed anew job in thedigitalmarketing space,having worked in thebusiness for14 years.Their sonwas still very young and the familywasclose tohelp raisehim.Theywere in “defaultmode”,as shecalls it.Thenherhusbandgotabigcareermove thatwouldofferhim international exposure.The catch?The jobwas in Singapore. Adjusting toanew life “Whenwe came here initially, I felt very odd. Itwasmy firstmove out of India,”saysHarsween.“Indiansareused toa lotofhelparound thehouse,but ahelperhere seemed soexpensive– in India,youcouldhave fourhelpers for thesameprice!Myhusbandwasalways travelling.Ourstuffhadn’tyetarrived from home. So, for tenmonths, Iwas cooking and cleaning andmarketing andcookingandcleaningandmarketing,and Iwasalone,withoutmy family, doingnothingbutdrudgery.” Relocating is always a challenge. Who are you inyournew country?Howdoyoufit in?For this Indian expat, the answer lay in apotofglue.
Shaping a Nation
Dear Melinda, thank you for the copy of Expat Living which arrived today, and for the nice write-up on my late mother Shirin Fozdar (March 2020 issue). Keep up the good work! – Jamshed Fozdar Ed: It was a pleasure to do the piece on your mother, and so interesting to read about women who have made a difference.
Thank You! It was an absolute delight to get a beautiful write- up in Expat Living (page 39, March 2020 issue). A very special moment for me ... a moment to savour. I have loved your magazine right from the time I discovered it, for its brilliant and useful content and classy presentation, month after month! And I am a happy subscriber to the mag. Much love and gratitude to Team Expat Living! – Harsween Bedi Ed: Thank you. It’s always nice and useful to know how expats make use of the change of environment and lifestyle.
The wife of Singapore’s first Anglican Bishop, Charlotte Ferguson-Daviewas amedicaldoctor at a timewhenmany womenwere not yet practisingmedicine. She founded the St Andrew’sMedicalMission in 1913, with a dispensary on Bencoolen Street to providemedical care for destitute women and children. Duringher time in Singapore,DrFerguson-Davie setup two hospitals: St Andrew’sMission Hospital forWomen andChildren (1923)andStAndrew’sOrthopaedicHospital (1938) forchildrenwithmusculardeformities.Shewasalso instrumental in spearheading nursing training courses for localwomen. ThisBritishdoctor’s legacyofcaring for thedisadvantaged and underserved in Singapore has inspired the medical mission togrow.Today,StAndrew’sMissionHospital’s stable ofservices includeacommunityhospital,seniorcarecentres, nursing homes and an autism centre comprising a school and adult services.
ShirinFozdar, Indian 1905-1992
One of themost prominent advocates of women’s rights in Singaporeduring the1950s, ShirinFozdar played a key role in securing better legal protection forwomen. She began speaking out aboutwomen’s rights as a teen in India and continued activism in Singaporewhen she and her husbandmoved here in1950 to spread theBaha’i faith. Polygamywas common in Singapore at that time, and successfulmenoften showedoff their latestwife atsocietyevents. In theMalaycommunity, thedivorce rate was 60 percent becausemen could arbitrarily divorce theirwives.Appalled by this, Shirin helped create the SingaporeCouncil ofWomen (SCW). Throughout the 1950s, the SCW campaigned for a ban on polygamy and for better legal protection forwomen. The SyariahCourtwas set up in 1958 and new procedures led to a dramatic fall in the divorce rate in the Muslim community. In 1959, the People’s Action Party (PAP) included women’s rights in itselectionmanifesto; in1961, theWomen’s Charterbecame law.Amongother things, thecharter outlawed polygamy for non-Muslims. Shirin also lived in Thailand for ten years, working to help destitutewomen and girls.
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DATE: 22 April 2020 TIME: 7pm – 9pm PLACE: Willow Mattress @ Emperor’s Attic PRICE: $35, including refreshments How to analyse your dreams and find out what they mean – with Danielle Van de Velde
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THE SINGAPORE PAGES Investigating the island past and present, with tips, trivia and time travel – and the occasional tricky challenge for readers!
QUIRKY SINGAPORE MUSEUMS It’s a great time to explore more of the interesting things that are right on our doorstep; so, why not start with a museum? Here are a handful of the island’s more unusual ones.
SINGAPORE MUSICAL BOX MUSEUM Yep, there’s a museum devoted wholly to musical boxes! Why? Well, musical boxes – instruments that make sound when pins on a revolving cylinder pluck at a steel comb – were popular in Europe in the 19th century; a precursor of the jukebox, if you like! And Singapore played a prominent role in bringing the instruments to Southeast Asia. The ticket price of $12 includes
a compulsory 40-minute tour showcasing a variety of musical boxes: big, small, each with its own story. When you’re done, pop next door to Thien Hock Keng (Tianfu Temple), built in 1839. Where: 168 Telok Ayer Street When: 10am to 6pm daily (pre-booking required on Tuesdays) Web: singaporemusicalboxmuseum.org
Photos: Singapore Tourism Board
Any idea of the name of this red structure? It’s Cavenagh Bridge, located close to the Fullerton Hotel. In October 2019, it was gazetted as Singapore’s 73rd national monument. Here’s what else we know about it: • The structure was built in 1869 from parts that weremanufactured in Scotland. • It was originally called Edinburgh Bridge. • The bridge replaced an old ferry service that cost passengers 1 duit (a copper Dutch coin) to use. • Cavenagh became a pedestrian bridge in 1910, and the police sign erected to warn vehicles of a certain size from crossing is still visible today. • Lighting was added in 1990 to show off the bridge’s architectural features by night. • The area around the bridge is notable for its sculptures, including one of boys leaping into the river, and another of Singapura cats, one of the world’s smallest cat breeds. A “NEW” NATIONAL MONUMENT
NUS BABA HOUSE This three-storey townhouse was once the ancestral home of a Peranakan Chinese family. It’s been meticulously restored so that a walk through the open courtyard, reception hall, kitchen and private spaces feels like stepping back in time. A third floor was added to the original dwelling around a century or so ago; it’s now used as a gallery for exhibitions and projects pertaining to traditional Peranakan culture. Where: 157 Neil Road When: Heritage Tours by appointment only, Tuesday to Friday, 10am; self-guided tours Saturday, 1.30, 2.15, 3.15 and 4pm Web: babahouse.nus.edu.sg
THE BATTLEBOX Second World War buff? You’ll love the Battlebox. Built in 1936, this was the former WWII British command centre buried inside Fort Canning Hill – it was inside the Battlebox that the Britishmade the decision to surrender to the invading Japanese on 15 February 1942. Entry to the Battlebox is by ticket and tour only; there are several tours available – “A Story of Strategy & Surrender” runs for 75 minutes and takes you nine metres underground and into a maze of rooms. Where: 2 Cox Terrace, Fort Canning Park When: Daily, 9.30am to 5.30pm Web: battlebox.com.sg
8 THINGS WE DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT PULAU UBIN
IMAGES OF SINGAPORE LIVE Ever wonder what Singapore looked like long before MBS and
Takashimaya were a part of the landscape? Images of Singapore LIVE shows you just that by taking you on a journey from humble fishing village to 21st-century powerhouse. Experience the sights, sounds – and, yes – even the smells of yesteryear. The 45-minute, actor-led attraction features 11 themed areas with live action, special effects and even a boat ride.
#1 You cou l d f i t approximately 70 Pulau Ubins onto the Singapore mainland. #2 In the 25th season
Where: Sentosa (next to Madame Tussaud’s) When: 11am to 8.30pm daily, last show at 7pm Web: imagesofsingaporelive.com
of TV show Amazing Race , contestants flew from Malta to Singapore, where they took a bum-boat across to Pulau Ubin. Once there, they had to find a coconut stand and drink a full coconut to get their next clue, before flying on to Manila. #3 The island is shaped like a boomerang. #4 Bin Kiang School operated on Pulau Ubin from 1952 to 1985; at one point it had as many as 400 students. It was demolished 20 years ago this month. #5 The German Girl Shrine on Ubin commemorates the teenage daughter of German plantation owners who lived there. The girl is said to have died while attempting to flee British soldiers during WWI. #6 According to legend, a frog, a pig and an elephant raced each other to be first to reach Johor. When the elephant and pig failed to finish, they were turned to stone, forming Pulau Ubin in the process. #7 Granite from Ubin’s quarries was used to build the Singapore-Johor causeway. #8 The wetland area of Chek Jawa consists of seven separate independent ecosystems, and is home to a huge range of sea creatures, rare plants, migratory birds and more.
SINGAPORE SPORTS MUSEUM Dedicated to telling the stories of the nation’s sporting history, achievements and aspirations, the Singapore Sports Museum is the first sports-related museum on the island – a great one for fans of the Olympic Games, football and some less traditional sports. You can also tour Shimano Cycling World, with a collection of bicycles you can pull out one by one. There are also some cool interactive digital exhibitions. Where: Singapore Sports Hub When: Weekdays 10am to 8pm, weekends and holidays 10am to 9pm Web: sportshub.com.sg/museum Also... Three more of Singapore’s quirkiest museums are currently getting a makeover. • Singapore Philatelic Museum: Set to reopen in 2021, the SPM is converting to a dedicated children’s museum aimed at ages 12 and under, with stamps being just one feature. • The Air Force Museum: A great spot for anyone into fighter jets, missiles and more, this museum is closed for renovations until further notice. • MINT Museum of Toys: Known for its 8,000 items of vintage toys from around the world, MINT is upgrading “toprovide youwith a better experience”.
Think you know Singapore well? Name this shopping mall! Click!
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Last month: The purple koala from our February issue can be found at Haw Par Villa
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HOME & PROPERTY
Guide: Picks for your kitchens and bathrooms
32 New & Notable: Hot shops and what to buy right now
46 Home Showcase: Art meets history in this collector’s tasteful home
64 Italian Inspiration: We join this shopowner on a buying trip aboard
HOME & PROPERTY
Win! ONE OF FIVE DREAMSKIN PILLOWCASES
EL Competition & Exclusive Offer
Did you know that moisture loss is the leading cause of facial wrinkles? Nor us! But Glowella has a solution to help us all wake up feeling more hydrated: the DreamSkin Pillowcase. This physician-formulated anti- wrinkle pillowcase has been clinically proven to reduce facial fine lines, wrinkles and sleep lines. The pillowcase even keeps themoisture Listen Up, Singapore! If you’re over bulky black sound systems, then you need to check out the cool, luxury retro style of Ruark. The British brand has just launched here and will definitely add a touch of Mad Men glamour to your home. The Class A-B amplifiers and custom-tuned drivers are enclosed in hand- crafted wood cabinets. The warm, full-bodied systems sound as good as they look. Available from $4,999 at Musica Boutique @ ION and iStudio .
locked into your hair. It works like a night wrinkle cream – but without any creams or chemicals; it’s non-toxic and, of course, not tested on animals. The DreamSkin retails for $89.90, but we have five to give away! Head to expatliving.sg/competitions to enter. As an EL reader you’ll also get 30 percent off all pillowcases at glowella.com , just enter “GLOWELLA30” at checkout.
Artful House Artful House has not one but two new containers arriving from India! The new pieces covering the store’s range of consoles, tables, sideboards, mirrors and more are all largely transformed from beautifully carved Indian doors and windows. As always, the Artful House focus is on fine craftsmanship, finishes and aesthetics, and it continues to result in exceptional pieces. These are complemented by a range of beautiful furniture with gorgeous accent chairs. If you’re looking for a boutique, fun and personalised shopping experience, then head to the store on the eighth floor of the Tan Boon Liat Building .
HOME & PROPERTY
Win! ONE OF TWO SONOS SOUND SYSTEMS
Designer Gifting If you’re looking for a special gift or a wedding present, how about a piece from the 2020 Georg Jensen collection? Just launched, it includes stunning contemporary-designed vases, bowls and candleholders – the Bloom Botanica, Duo and Lumis collections. They’re available for you to lust after at the Georg Jensen flagship store in Takashimaya Shopping Centre, plus TANGS at Tang Plaza and Robinsons The Heeren.
“Hey, Google ... No, wait; hi, Alexa!” As the first to bring multiple voice assistants to the same sound system, Sonos lets you decide who you want to answer your questions. Not only will you get a brilliant audio experience but you can also access your Google Assistant as well as Alexa on the Sonos Move, Sonos One and Sonos Beam. You can start a song, queue a TV show, check the weather or control your smart home, all on the same system. You can even choose which assistant you want for each speaker. Want to try one in your home? We’re giving away two, worth $329 each! Visit expatliving.sg/competitions to enter.
This month at HotLotz, we’re delighted to announce that we are holding our first sale of Animal Art. You may think “there’s nothing new about pictures of animals” but these are pictures made by animals. Featured lots include three pieces by BabyThing, who is also known as “the Feline Banksy”. I recently met her and can report she’s a very spirited seven-year-old ragdoll who has garnered an international reputation for her geometric, monochrome works – all painted with her feet! Also on view in the saleroom this month is a 300-plus lot sale of Oriental Ceramics & Works of Art. This timed auction will be published between Monday 20 April to Sunday 3 May. All bidding is via our international partner, the-saleroom.com. Highlights include a large selection of Chinese “Famille Rose” porcelain and a collection of Chinese export silver. This fantastic late-nineteenth-century bowl by the Cantonese master silversmith Cumshing is chased with chrysanthemums and joined with a trailing dragon stretcher. MATTHEW ELTON is the founder of HotLotz, which holds curated auctions of hand-picked, eclectic items every week. Visit hotlotz.com for auction catalogues, download the app, or pop in for a visit at 120 Lower Delta Road, #01-15 Cendex Centre.
Consign Now HotLotz is looking for designer handbags as well as good jewellery andwatches for our upcoming sales – contact the saleroom for a valuation.
Two historic shophouses sit side by side. One is a home and the other a contemporary art gallery. We talk to one of the owners about the area and what’s inside these beautiful properties. S pottiswoode Park Road is located in the residential historic district of Blair Plain, just west of Duxton Hill. It takes its name from the merchant Charles Spottiswoode, who established the trading firm Spottiswoode & Connolly in Singapore in 1824. The area is lined with beautiful two- and three-storey Peranakan shophouses and the neighbourhood has been eloquently preserved, offering a rare glimpse into the past. BY GRACIE STEWART
French art collector, gallery owner and artist Guillaume Lévy- Lambert and his partner Mark Goh are lucky enough to call 64-1 Spottiswoode Park Road home. Guillaume was an investment banker at BNP Paribas, and former Asia CEO of Publicis, before realising art was his true calling. He’s been living in Singapore for 25 years and Asia since he was 24, when he first moved to Tokyo.
HOME & PROPERTY
Initial restoration The home was originally built sometime between 1910 and 1920 when it was used as a warehouse on the ground floor. Today, the double-storey transitional shophouse turned live-in museum boasts old-world charm while providing a haven from bustling city living. When the property was first renovated, the team at Eco-id Architects were tasked with restoring the residential front of the house, building up the rear with a double-storey extension and adding a mezzanine level with what’s known as a “jack-roof” at the attic. The restoration was such a success that in 2003 the property was presented with an Architectural Heritage Award, which recognises well- restored monuments and conserved buildings in Singapore, and the people behind them. Comprised of a front and rear block, the shophouse features a central open courtyard complete with a garden plunge pool, climbing creepers and sculptured frangipani trees in a floating planter. In the front block you’ll find the main living quarters, a study and a guest bedroom; housed in the rear are the kitchen, dining room and master bedroom.
Our regular changes to the interior keep the house pulsing with new energy
HOME & PROPERTY
Annual changes While the dramatic spiral staircase – a lightweight metal- framed structure with timber planks – is a standout feature of this property, one can’t help but notice the amount of work that has gone into the interiors. The couple has brought in furnishings from French luxury brand Liaigre and artwork from The MaGMA Collection, their ongoing joint project of more than 20 years. “Once a year, we completely curate a new look, exhibiting a different collection of works. One year after we rearranged everything, it felt like we had moved house. The regular change keeps the house pulsing with new energy, as if a feng shui master has intervened,” explains Guillaume. On t h e s e c ond f l oo r, cantilevered bay windows take full advantage of the courtyard sanctuary and a lightweight glass block bridge links the front of the house to the rear, while full-height glass panels on the ground floor allow for seamless boundaries between indoor and outdoor. Prior to restoration, the property was missing the two casement windows flanking a door that’s typical of most terrace houses in the area. This façade was reconstructed, and bat-shaped vents symbolising good luck were added above the windows to return the residential character and to help ensure the old-fashioned house could beat to the rhythm of a brand new heart.
HOME & PROPERTY
Art takes centre stage The adjoining terrace shophouse, 64 Spottiswoode Park Road, is one of the few retail licensed shophouses in the area; it’s also owned by the couple. Inside, the property has been transformed into a contemporary art gallery known as Art Porters. Together with Sean Soh, co- founder of Art Porters, and Singapore-based design studio Wynk Collaborative, Guillaume set about creating a space that would be a blank canvas for a constant rotation of art. Divided into an upper gallery at the front and a lower gallery at the back, the property can also be easily converted into an events space. The material palette is purposefully spare, with a patterned tile flowing from the “five-foot way” into the gallery, and transitioning into cement floors and white painted walls with the original brick wall showing through at the top. The upper and lower galleries are connected via a short flight of stairs that are hidden behind amirrored door. A small kitchen and counter space sit at the end of the lower gallery bookending the space. Outside on the rear wall, Guillaume and Sean commissioned Patcharapol Tangruen (better known as Alex Face), an influential graffiti artist in Thailand, to create a mural featuring his signature character, Mardi. According to Patcharapol, Mardi – a child dressed in a rabbit costume – was inspired by his daughter and represents “every child who has to face the troubled world upon birth.” For Art Porters, the street artist decided to showcase one Mardi wearing a nyonya kebaya with flowers in her hair to celebrate Peranakan culture, while the other Mardi character is dressed in a traditional Chinese changshan and is riding a Segway as a nod to the present day.
Visit the gallery website (artporters.com) for details of upcoming exhibitions.
HOME & PROPERTY
Street art in the area
Straits Clan (Guillaume is a member of the private club and often goes to the gym there) 31 Bukit Pasoh Road 6320 9180 | straitsclan.com Kith Café (having a great café right next door is sometimes a little too convenient!) 69 Spottiswoode Park Road 6221 5569 | kith.com.sg Baba House (a museum offering a look at Peranakan history, architecture and heritage) 157 Neil Road 6227 5731 | babahouse.nus.edu.sg Liaigre (Christian Liaigre’s Singapore showroom of French luxury furnishings) 9 Purvis Street 6333 9388 | liaigre.com Space Furniture (Guillaume’s sofa is a Poliform from Space) 77 Bencoolen Street 6415 0000 | spacefurniture.com.sg
HOME & PROPERTY
Here’s a riddle for you: How is a latex mattress like maple syrup? They both come straight from a tree! Nobody knows this better than CHANTAL TRAVERS, the owner of Willow Mattress. Chantal took her team to visit a rubber plantation in Thailand, the plantation where the organic latex for their Willow mattress line comes from. They all came back sold on latex mattresses more than ever. “It was a fascinating trip,” says Verity Dibben, Chantal’s right-hand person. “We took a truck out to the middle of this plantation, a long way from Bangkok. The guy got out of the truck, stripped back the bark, and latex just started seeping out of the tree into a little cup. When the cups were all full, they poured the latex into a tank and sent it off to the factory to be made into a mattress. It’s that simple. Latex is the most natural thing you can think of. It’s just juice from a tree; plus, harvesting it doesn’t hurt the tree at all – they live for decades!” In other words, in a very similar way you tap a tree for maple syrup, rubber trees are tapped for latex. And make no mistake: memory foam is not latex. Foam is manmade; latex is made by Mother Nature herself. Latex is truly Mother Nature's gift to sleep. Read on to find out why! WHATDREAMS AREMADE OF BY MELINDA MURPHY
A little background Over 99 percent of the world’s natural latex is tapped from the Hevea brasiliensis tree, which originally came from Brazil. In the early 20th century, the tree was introduced to Southeast Asia, primarily in Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma, Cambodia and China. By the 1920s, latex was known regionally as “white gold”. Here in Singapore, approximately 40 percent of the land area in 1935 was occupied by rubber plantations, driven by the demand for rubber tyres. Today, most natural rubber still comes from Southeast Asia where the trees continue to be grown on large rubber plantations. And you know what? All those rubber trees are actually good for the environment. Chantal explains: “Everybody knows that trees keep our air clean, so all those plantations are doing their part to help the environment. In addition, if the rubber tree plantation wasn’t there, its employees would likely be turned over to other industries less friendly to the planet.” They need those employees too, because it takes a lot of rubber trees to make one mattress! For example, to make a queen-size latex mattress, a whole day’s output of twelve acres of rubber trees is required. That’s a lot of trees working to clean the air while making the farmers money at the same time. Organic versus natural WillowMattress now carries two kinds of latex mattress: natural and organic. What’s the difference? Well, to you and me, not all that much. The product you sleep on is pretty much the same either way, providing the same health benefits and comfort; and the latex from the tree goes through the same process at the factory. The difference between natural and organic latex is really in how the trees are grown. As you might suspect, trees on organic plantations aren’t treated with pesticides or chemical fertilisers. Because it’s a bit harder to grow trees this way, there’s a higher price tag associated with organic mattresses. If you buy one, though, you can rest easy knowing that you’ve done your part for the planet and the organic farmer, too.
Learn more about Willow Mattresses at willowmattress.com.sg.
BY KEL FLANDERS
Tell us about your latest sourcing trip. Where did you go, and why? I went to the ancient town of Vietri Sul Mari (“Vietri by the sea”) on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. This is an important location in the history of ceramics; it was known for making the best ceramic tiles for the palaces, baths and holiday mansions of the Roman emperors. As other places in the world began to discover large- scale ceramic making, this quiet remote town became somewhat forgotten. Over recent decades, though, as travellers have started uncovering the beautiful holiday destinations of South Italy, the artisans of Vietri have been rediscovered. DENISEKAUR is theowner of gorgeous rugs and homeware store Living DNA, andshe’spassionateaboutherproducts being truly “hand-picked” and artisanal. But what does this mean? We caught up with her after a trip to the Amalfi Coast, where she went on the hunt for beautiful ceramics.
How do you get there? There are lots of idyllic stopovers on the long drive along the Amalfi Coast. Everyone knows about the Instagram-perfect destinations of Positano and Capri, but few know the secrets of Vietri. To get there, you need to drive for two more hours down those idyllic winding scenic roads. When we arrived there, I was amazed by how the town walls were covered in ceramic tiles painted with pastoral scenes, biblical stories and everyday life. The streets come alive with old storefronts and their colourful ceramic signage.
HOME & PROPERTY
The Vietri collection is available now, both online and in-store. Living DNA is located at Space@Tampines, 18 Tampines Industrial Crescent, #01-10B. livingdna.sg Who would the ceramics suit? These are items that are meant to be put in the spotlight, and what better opportunity than when entertaining? Our Italian ceramic collection includes large serving plates, modular platters for dips or starters, dinner plates and cutlery holders. Everything is hand-painted, dishwasher-safe and meant to be used over and over again for generations. It’s part of the “buy less, buy well” sustainable living practice we cultivate at Living DNA. My last trip to Italy was a six-month study trip 12 years ago, so I had to revise my Italian skills very quickly to be able to work with an artisan family who didn’t speak a word of English – that was a fun challenge! It was also a feat managing a carsick toddler along the dizzying drive. Luckily, there was no shortage of splendid secluded beaches – plus gelato and granita stops – to refresh the whole family. Out of many old families making ceramics we met, I felt most at ease with a workshop run by two brothers. One of them, Carlo, admitted to me that the master painter in the family is their “Papa”, Egidio. Watching his effortless work was mesmerising; he would skilfully paint vines on platters while watching Italian football at the same time! Needless to say, Egidio worked on all the ceramics I chose for Living DNA on this trip. What did you like most about his work? Traditional Vietri ceramics are painted with rustic elements like animals, trees, fruits and vegetables typical of the southern coastal Italian climate. I’m sure many people will agree the prettiest would be the lemon trees that you see on the region’s picturesque cliffs. So, I chose lemons as the main design theme of our collection as I loved Signor Egidio’s depiction of them, with thick brush strokes against the recognisable Mediterranean blue and white. Tell us about some of the artisans you met.
I had to revise my Italian language skills very quickly to work with this artisan family who didn’t speak a word of English!
&Bathrooms The most used rooms in the house are often the ones we overlook! But it’s easy to dial up your kitchen and bathroom style, be it with stunning storage options, chic accessories or other striking pieces.
HOME & PROPERTY
1 Levante kitchen, price on request, Miton, available from W.Atelier 2 Skyros serving cart, price on request, Black & Walnut 3 Blue-and-white ceramic jars with metal handles, $605, WTP 4 Spring pattern mango-wood-and-enamel salad bowl (comes with a set of salad servers), $90, Hacienda Blue 5 Two-tier lattice door kitchen cabinet from Shanghai, China, price on request, Just Anthony 6 Antique blue Jiangsu kitchen cabinet, $2,800, Emperor’s Attic 7 White Indian cabinet with glass doors, $1,280, Originals 8 Hand-painted round tray with cover, from $150, Lim’s Holland Village 9 Teak foldable bar counter on wheels from Thailand (90 by 180cm), price on request, Woody Antique House 10 LUNA Storage Cabinet, price on request, Black & Walnut
11 Full-body mirror with mango-wood frame, $524, WTP 12 Hand-painted soap dispenser, $28, soap dish, $18, Lim’s Holland Village 13 ZL fitting, price on request, TOTO, available from W.Atelier 14 Tall laundry basket, $99, The Cinnamon Room 15 Interior design and concept by Arete Culture 16 White Indian shelf, $1,080, Mud Australia Homewares vases from $145, plates and bowls from $55, cups from $25, platters from $125, Originals
HOME & PROPERTY
17 Rattan rim trays, $33, $35 and $38, The Cinnamon Room 18 Bone-inlay mirror in a royal-blue leaf pattern, $750, Hacienda Blue 19 Apricot Washlet, $3,490, TOTO, available from W.Atelier 20 Interior styling by Arete Culture; accessories available from Arete Culture 21 Ikat boxes, $50, $55 and $59, The Cinnamon Room
Directory Arete Culture #06-01 Tan Boon Liat Building Black & Walnut 43 Keppel Road, #01-01/02/03 6781 3218 | blackandwalnut.com.sg Emperor’s Attic #01-10 Tan Boon Liat Building 315 Outram Road 9011 0380 | emperorsattic.com Hacienda Blue 17 Woking Road, #02-04 9866 1024 | haciendablueshop.com Lim’s Holland Village #02-11 Holland Road Shopping Centre and #02-141 Great World City 6466 3188 | 6219 8110 fb.com/limshollandvillage Originals 1 Bukit Batok Street 22, #05-02/03 6471 9918 | originals.com.sg The Cinnamon Room 43 Jalan Merah Saga #02-74 Holland Village 9727 3051 | thecinnamonroom.com W.Atelier 201 Henderson Road, #01-01 and #03-01 6270 8828 | watelier.com Just Anthony 379 Upper Paya Lebar Road 6283 4782 | justanthony.com 315 Outram Road areteculture.com
Woody Antique House Block 13 Dempsey Road, #01-05 6471 1770 | woodyantique.com
WTP 3 Kung Chong Road 6235 2760 | wtpstyle.com
22 Kitchen Cabinet in sand-blasted finish from India, price on request, Woody Antique House 23 Rafter wood ladder, $139, WTP 24 Elm foldable bar counter on wheels from China (90 by 180cm), price on request, Woody Antique House
HOME & PROPERTY
Design It ... BY KEL FLANDERS So, you have an idea in your head of that perfect piece of furniture for your home, but you just can’t seem to find it anywhere. Don’t fret! We have the solution. Pop along to one of these stores and get it made especially for you.
Katrin, Pascal and Peanut the dog, German
We didn’t want our living room to just have sofas and a coffee table. So, we chose to have a hand-carved and crafted bench made by Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing . It’s sculptural yet functional, serving as extra seating in our living room. It’s also a conversation piece for anyone who comes into our home. We originally started leasing furniture from Gallery 278 when we came to Singapore but we fell in love with the pieces so we bought them! The store’s principal designer Felicia not only designed this bench, she also space-planned and helped with our home colour scheme. When you buy from Gallery 278, you get to see where the wood was sourced and its sustainable background. We like that we can make responsible purchases and yet have custom-designed items that are unique. Our Welle Bench is made completely from reclaimed solid wood. The design resembles a draping silk fabric carved out of a thick piece of wood plank to look soft and flowy. The master artisan has wonderfully captured the essence of a soft look, even with hard wood material. The effect is artistic and mesmerising, and the bench looks organic, blending in with our tranquil garden. Our whole family loves it, and it’s now Peanut’s favourite posing spot! If you’re new to Singapore and unsure, you can always opt for leasing first and then buy. You’re sure to fall in love with their pieces – we’re about to add a bed frame to our Gallery 278 collection!
Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing 278 River Valley Road 6737 2322 | gallery278.com
HOME & PROPERTY
Cindy de Oude, South African
I’ve been looking for the right coffee table for years! Why is it such a difficult thing to find? I was in Hacienda Blue and the sales assistant mentioned they offered custom-made pieces, and I started thinking about my coffee table. I was looking for a small one, and ideally oval-shaped to fit into my small lounge. We lived in India previously and I like the bone-inlay “Rajasthani” feel. I also like unique mix-and-match items. So, I simply love Hacienda Blue products. It’s not often two items in my house come from the same shop. Hacienda Blue hadn’t done many coffee tables before, but they assured me they could make pretty much anything I could dream up. This in itself was a bit daunting, and also not being able to see
what the product would actually look like in advance. But I am thrilled with it! I also have a chest of drawers from the store, and a few home items like platters and frames. I often intend to give them for gifts but then end up keeping them for myself because they’re just so gorgeous.
I love the option of custom-making items. You can get pieces that perfectly fit your rooms, or drawers that are the perfect depth for different items. Hacienda Blue 17 Woking Road 9866 1024 | haciendablue.com
Sophie Edwards, Australian
Sarah at European Bedding personally tested and matched us to our perfect mattress type. They then made the mattress for us with “his and her” sides so we each get a top night’s sleep. We can also adjust our own bed base separately to personalise our own sides. Even with all this, somehow the join between the two sides works seamlessly. We couldn’t be happier with our bed, and our two little boys love the extra space for them! The service provided by Sarah and her team was outstanding. Sarah spent a couple of hours with us while we chatted and tried out different mattresses. She also gave us lots of advice about getting the perfect blend of comfort and style – all while keeping us fuelled with gorgeous snacks, teas and coffees. The team that delivered and installed the bed couldn’t have been more professional and gave us great advice about maintenance. Level 2, 32 Eng Hoon Street 6735 6658 | europeanbedding.sg
We were looking for a European-sized super king bed so that if (or when!) we move home, it’ll be easy to find the right bedding. My husband and I love the simple and elegant design of the European Bedding pieces, and the fact we could have a natural organic latex mattress individually tailored to each of our needs. So, we chose to shop there for our new customised bed.
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