APRIL 2018


APR 2018


WHAT’S ON Down At The Quays CELEBRATE LIFE WITH A Champagne Brunch

HEALTH & FITNESS Need Your Eyes Looked At?

Play Netball! Cool Workout Clothes

PLUS Jazz, Theatre & Girlguiding


EDITOR’SNOTE So, I have reverted to being a teenager! I’ve been watching shows featuring Betty and Archie, and episodes of stuff on zombies, and I’m enjoying it. It’s even starting to push me into a teenage sleep pattern – a bit of a worry! My youngest recently posted videos on Facebook of me skipping around shops, dancing in front of the TV and generally looking like a real dork. If I ever had any street cred, I lost it all that day. The point of my letter today is about not being bound by age, time or what other people say. In 1963, Stephen Hawking was told he would possibly live for another two years. In March this year, he died at the age of 76 – and what an incredible life he led. NASA tweeted that Hawking’s theories unlocked a universe of possibilities that we, and the world, are exploring now and will continue to explore. While we definitely need to be responsible and reliable, I think we should also have the openness and flexibility of a child’s way of thinking – not be fearful of others, especially the bullies, or those who put themselves out there as “experts” or grown-ups. I’m not advocating watching teenage TV – it’s incredibly time-wasting and I’m hoping it’s just a “phase” (as my mother used to say) – but I am enjoying this little part of the universe for now… not being bound by any perception of what an adult should be. In the words of Hawking: “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” And keep dancing – even if it’s in your living room. It’s good for you!

REBECCA BISSET Editor-in-Chief



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Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET



Partnerships & Events SUSAN KNUDSEN-PICKLES



CONTACT US General Enquiries: +65 6812 1780 | info@expatliving.sg Advertising Sales: +65 6812 1781 | sales@expatliving.sg Subscription: +65 6812 1783 | subscription@expatliving.sg Production: +65 6812 1787 | production@expatliving.sg Editorial & Media Releases: editorial@expatliving.sg Calendar of Events: calendar@expatliving.sg Events: events@expatliving.sg Websites: expatliving.sg | expatliving.hk Printed by Ho Printing Singapore Pte Ltd (hoprinting.com) Published by Expat Living Publications Pte Ltd 37 Jalan Pemimpin, #07-06 Mapex Building, Singapore 577177

HER Planet Earth Antarctica Expedition (herplanetearth.com)




79 Ideas for some of your most important rooms

NEWS 18 Calendar:

What’s on around town 26 Readers’ Letters 32 EL Forum:

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


HOME & PROPERTY 32 News 36 Home Showcase: Tour this heritage house in Robertson Quay 45 Changing Names:

Product News: Pretty new things to put on your table

A new phase for FairPrice Antique

46 Product News:

Previewing the growing collection at Teak & Mahogany

48 Business Spotlight:

How inner harmony helps create a beautiful home

50 Home Showcase:

Find out how East Coast living suits this family

58 Case Studies:

Arete Culture shows us four very different projects

64 Expert Voice:

Advice on custom-made furniture

50 Exploring an East Coast penthouse

67 Inside Story:

Why these readers chose to customise their furniture 71 Serviced Apartment Roundup 76 Street Talk: Living on Rasok Drive 79 Buying Guide: Kitchens and bathrooms

46 New and

notable furniture in stores now




LIFE & FAMILY 92 News 102 Noticeboard: New births, plus animals for adoption 104 Rated PG: Our regular parenting column 106 Live Music: Singapore’s annual jazz festival returns 109 Best of British: This year’s celebrations have a royal touch 110 Shakespeare in the Park 112 Profile: We meet a Girl Guide extraordinaire 115 School Report: Is your child old enough for Facebook? 116 Fighting for Justice: Help is at hand for foreign domestic workers 122 Around Town: Photos from recent openings, parties, festivals and more WINE & DINE 132 News 136 Bar Tab: A new spot for a tipple 137 Chef Chat: Mixing Italian and Japanese flavours and techniques 138 By the Water: Sampling six restaurants across Singapore’s three quays 142 Recipe Corner: Fail-safe favourites to add to your repertoire 144 Super Sundays: We try some of the island’s best bubbly brunches

144 Isn’t it time you indulged in a Sunday brunch?

TRAVEL 154 News 156 Travel with a Cause: An all-female team tackles Antarctica 162 Family Getaway: Discovering Borobudur and Central Java 166 Jakarta Weekender: Get set to shop at this year’s Inacraft Fair




STYLE & BEAUTY 170 Style News 172 Style Hunter:

Fashion on Singapore’s streets

174 Buying Guide:

Expert advice on activewear

178 Beauty News 182 Top Nail Salons 184 Expat Profile:

Managing an aesthetics business in Asia

186 Tried & Tested:

Sampling some of Singapore’s best clinical facials

New mum Manon Allano talks cosmetics 184

174 The latest in

fabulous fitness fashions

HEALTH & FITNESS 196 News 198 Energy Healing:

REGULARS 211 Numbers & Websites 212 Horoscopes for April

222 Advertiser List 216 Parting Shot: Sustainable Souvenirs

We meet Pankaj Gupta and learn about tapping

200 Charity Ride: Cycling to help others 202 Practising Pilates:

Why it’s great, plus four beginner moves to try



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Singapore Yacht Show

Pet Expo (6-8 APR)

Shop pet products and services galore and take part in competitions at the annual Pet Expo. There’ll also be educational talks to attend. Singapore Expo Hall 7. petexposg.com Singapore Yacht Show (12-15 APR) Explore some of the world’s most luxurious superyacht and international boat brands at this annual event, with plenty of high-end entertainment and displays for like-minded boating professionals and aficionados. ONE°15 Marina Club. singaporeyachtshow.com Interiors & Antiques Auction (19 APR) HotLotz Auction House will be holding its 100th Interiors & Antiques Auction this month. At this no-reserve auction, bid on a mix of contemporary, antique and traditional items and paintings, including a decorative Indian elephant made from tin. Browse the catalogue online from 13 April. HotLotz Auction House. hotlotz.com


MetaSprint Series Triathlon 2018 (15 APR)

Get your cycling, running and swimming on in the MetaSprint Series Triathlon; the event features roads that are wide and relatively straight – ideal even for those with only basic cycling skills. metasprintseries.com The Music Run (21 APR) Enjoy the latest hits as you take on a 5km or 10km route. Choose from a 5km fun run, 5km timed run and 10km timed run. After the run, party at the Main Stage or relax and soak up the festival atmosphere. Registration closes 13 April. Sentosa. themusicrun.com Tri-Factor Bike & CycleRun Challenge 2018 (22 APR) This annual race returns with exciting cycling and running events – you can choose to take on both disciplines or just one. There’s also a Tri-Factor Bike 5km category for kids. Republic Avenue / Nicoll Highway. trifactor.sg HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens (28-29 APR) Expect two days of fast and frenetic rugby during this year’s Sevens, with 45 matches featuring 16 of the world’s best men’s teams. There’s also live musical acts and a FunZone with great food and activities for the whole family. National Stadium. singapore7s.sg

HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens




SOCIAL & CHARITY The Executive Homes Black & White Tour (19 APR)

Giselle by Singapore Dance Theatre (12-15 APR) This tale of romance and betrayal features stunning choreography by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot and is set to a rich score by Adolphe Adam. It remains one of the longest-standing and best-loved classics in Singapore Dance Theatre’s history. Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. Tickets from Sistic. Johnny Hates Jazz “Turn Back The Clock” 30th Anniversary Tour (14 APR) Love 80s tunes? Catch this British trio as they perform nostalgic tracks from their best-selling debut album Turn Back the Clock , and relate stories and memories from the album and its songs. MES Theatre at Mediacorp. Tickets from Sistic. OneRepublic Live in Singapore (23 APR) Popular American rock band OneRepublic return to Singapore this April after performing at the Singapore F1 Grand Prix last year. Expect to hear all their hits, including “Counting Stars” and “Apologize”. The Star Theatre. Tickets from Apactix.

Explore historic black-and-white mansions during this tour with real estate agency Executive Homes. Guided by historical homes expert Diana Chua, you’ll visit beautiful locations in Ridley Park and Nassim Road. Proceeds go to the Netherlands Charity Association (NCA). For tickets, contact hestercalkhoven@ehc.com.sg.


Sing Jazz (6-8 APR)

Enjoy 30 hours of live music by 12 amazing acts set across multiple stages and three days. Accompanying event The Late Show is also back on 6 and 7 April for some after-hours partying. Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre. Tickets from Sistic. Katy Perry Witness: The Tour (8 APR) Sing along to catchy hits by American pop sensation Katy Perry such as “Firework”, “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” and “Roar”. Singapore Indoor Stadium. Tickets from the Sports Hub website. The Script (12 APR) The Script will be in Singapore as part of their Freedom Child tour, with a show that’s bound to include popular tracks “Breakeven”, “Hall of Fame”, “Superheroes” and “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved”. Singapore Indoor Stadium. Tickets from Sistic.

Fall Out Boy

Yiruma Live in Singapore (28 APR)

Korean contemporary classic composer and pianist Yiruma will be in town this April to play signature classics such as “River Flows in You” and “Kiss the Rain”. The Star Theatre. Tickets from Sistic. Fall Out Boy (30 APR) Hailing from Chicago, long-standing rock band Fall Out Boy are touring on the back of their latest album, Mania , which includes the singles “Champion” and “The Last Of The Real Ones”. Zepp@BigBox. Tickets from Sistic.





ARTS Treasures of the Natural World (UNTIL 29 APR)

The Nightingale (UNTIL 20 APR)

Hans Christian Andersen’s well-loved fairy tale tells the story of the Emperor of China who captures and keeps a nightingale in a gilded cage for his daily entertainment. The nightingale eventually loses her voice and is replaced by a singing mechanical bird. KC Arts Centre Home of SRT. Tickets from Sistic. Pinocchio: A Whale of A Tale! (7-15 APR) Take the kids to this fun and education musical that is adapted from Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio . Incorporating values of integrity, courage and appreciation for loved ones, it involves an epic adventure of exploration. The Pavilion at Far East Square. Tickets from Sistic. Circus 1903: The Golden Age of Circus (18-29 APR) The circus is coming to town this April, with a show that features some amazing acts, including contortionists and acrobats. Grand Theatre, Mastercard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands. Tickets from the MBS website. SJI International Scholarship Information Evening (25 APR) Learn more about the merit-based and means-tested scholarships on offer at SJI International. Catering to students enrolling in the IB Diploma programme in 2019, there are five tiers of scholarships to choose from. Visit the school website or email admissions.hs@sji-international.com.sg for info and registration. SJI International School.

Explore artefacts and invaluable specimens that have shaped our understanding of the natural world at the ArtScience Museum’s latest exhibition. Over 200 objects from the world-renowned Natural History Museum in London will be showcased. ArtScience Museum. Art from the Streets (UNTIL 3 JUN) Featuring nearly 200 works by 50 well-known street artists – from on-site projects and paintings, to installations, videos, archives and sketches – this exhibition is the first major retrospective of street art ever shown in Southeast Asia. ArtScience Museum. Singapore International Festival of Arts 2018 (26 APR – 12 MAY) Look forward to a three-week line-up of world- class works from India, Palestine, Israel, Germany, France, the US, Singapore and more at this year’s instalment of SIFA. You can also take part in artist talks, music salons, masterclasses, workshops and a book club. Multiple venues. Tickets from Sistic.

The Nightingale




Squeeze Live in Singapore (4 MAY) As part of its upcoming tour, British new wave band Squeeze is performing in Singapore in May, playing tracks from its 70s and 80s heyday including “Cool For Cats”, “Up The Junction” and “Tempted”. Singapore Indoor Stadium. Tickets from Sistic. The St Petersburg Ballet – After sold out seasons in 2015 and 2016, the St Petersburg Ballet returns this May with the famous Swan Lake , telling the love story of Prince Siegfried and the beautiful Swan Princess Odette. The MES Theatre at Mediacorp. Tickets from Sistic. Swan Lake (8-13 MAY)

Legally Blonde (10-27 MAY) Direct from New York, this internationally-acclaimed play follows fashionista Elle as she defies expectations with the help of new friends Paulette, Emmett and chihuahua Bruiser. Grand Theatre, Mastercard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands. Tickets from Sistic. BonANZA (12 MAY) Dress up and enjoy a night out at BonANZA, the ANZA annual black tie ball this May. The event will be supporting Melrose Children’s Home and Babes Pregnancy Crisis Support. Shangri La Hotel Singapore. anza.org.sg

2 Singapore Kindness Run 2018 (13 MAY) With the aim to promote good running etiquette and graciousness, this race is held in partnership with the Singapore Kindness Movement. You can take part in the 10km Ambassador Run, 3.5km fun run or sign the kids up for the 800m Kids’ Dash. Angsana Green, East Coast Parkway. singaporekindnessrun.com The Consultant (17-27 MAY) Heidi Schreck’s play follows a group of unlikely colleagues who are drawing paychecks at Sutton, Feingold and McGrath, a small pharmaceutical advertising agency in New York. It’s an exploration of what we owe to others when everything around us is falling apart. Drama Centre Black Box. Tickets from Sistic. TORUK – The First Flight (24 MAY – 3 JUN) Be transported to the world of Pandora from Avatar in this spectacular Cirque du Soleil event. Expect typically cutting- edge visuals, puppetry, stagecraft and an amazing cinematic score. Singapore Indoor Stadium. Tickets from the Sports Hub website. Peter & Blue’s Forest Adventure (31 MAY – 3 JUN) Enjoy the magic of a fairy-tale and learn about morals at this production by the Singapore Dance Theatre, which tells the story of Peter, his dog Blue, and Calico the cat. Great for kids aged three years and above. SOTA Studio Theatre. Tickets from Sistic.

TORUK – The First Flight

: www.expatliving.sg

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




Best Letter We want to hear from you! Send us your thoughts on the magazine, or on any subject under the sun. We’ll be sending Serene a bottleof champagne for her feedback on our recipes and restaurant reviews.


Thank you so much for coordinating the recent event, The Pursuit of Happiness. The insights were great and it was awesome meeting so many wonderful people. Looking forward to attending the next one. All the best. – Marie Recalde Bersch Ed: Thanks for joining us; we love holding events like this where we can all learn something and meet great people. BACK AGAIN We have recently moved back to Singapore after eight years and wow – what a difference! We were pleased to see Expat Living is still here, though, and looking good. Do you have any stats on the change between then and now? – J Henson Ed: Welcome back! Our upcoming Readers’ Survey will compare results from our 2006 survey, so we’re really excited to see what the changes will be. Look out for details in the May issue – there are some great prizes to be won too.

FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD I love your Wine & Dine section and I never fail to try all your suggestions! We had dinner at Artemis recently and it was amazing. I also spend my weekends trying to create the dishes in your Recipe Corner. Thanks for all the simple and healthy selections. Can’t wait to try out the roast beef with caramelised onion, herbs and mushroom stuffing for my guests at my house party next Saturday! – Serene

CORRECTION There is an error in our recently released Home & Property Guide – our apologies; this fabulous interior design project was furnished and styled by Arete Culture.

Ed: That’s brilliant, thanks for the feedback. We love making our readers happy!

Email us at info@expatliving.sg




Online now... Don’t miss our weekly curation of the best events happening across town each week.



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April2018 Issue 189



HEALTH & FITNESS NeedYour Eyes LookedAt?

WHAT’S ON DownAt TheQuays CELEBRATE LIFE WITH A ChampagneBrunch


PlayNetball! CoolWorkout Clothes

PLUS Jazz, Theatre &Girlguiding

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29 APRIL2018


58 Case

Studies: Four very different home styling projects

Arete Culture

50 Home Showcase: Take a tour around this East Coast penthouse

64 Expert Tips: Getting it right with custom-made furniture

79 Buying Guide: Cool kitchen and beautiful bathroom décor



Moving fairly frequently is a fact of life for expats, so it’s always a bonus to find a special offer out there. Allied Pickfords Singapore is offering EL readers a special insurance premium of three percent, inclusive of complimentary cover for mould and mildew, “pairs and sets”, and mechanical derangement. To take advantage of this offer, call 6862 4700 to book an international move by 31 May 2018 and mention this ad.

Spring has sprung at Kuhl Home, with the recent addition of the Bolia 2018 Spring Collection to the store. The collection includes the pretty-in-pink Fuuga sofa and armchair ( pictured ), with clean lines and structured shape. You’ll also find Freud and Como coffee tables, the latter of which is available with a terrazzo top, and the Saga lounge chair. Find out more at #08-01 Century Warehouse, 100E Pasir Panjang Road. kuhlhome.com

Pesky Pests If the sound of scuttling cockroaches is driving you mad, or you think those bites might be bed bugs, it’s time to call pest management. Rentokil is offering EL readers a ten percent discount on its services, with a minimum spend of $500, through to 31 December. To find out more about how they can help, as well as the terms and conditions of this offer, call 6347 8138 .

New Additions Ever-expanding Ethnicraft Online has taken stock of more pieces, including the N701 sofa, available as a one- or three-seater, making it flexible for all areas. There are also new additions by Notre Monde, along with the Oak Bok dining table, which comes in five sizes. Go to ethnicraft-online.com.sg for more information, and to get the scoop on how the people behind the brand style their own home, turn to page 36.

Curated Space P5 Studio has recently opened its doors, housing an eclectic range of furnishing brands including Stellar Works, Sancal and Saba Italia ( New York sofa, pictured ). Its aim is to offer collections that are niche, versatile and affordable. See for yourself at #01-08 Henderson Industrial Park, 213 Henderson Road. p5.com.sg





AUCTION: 100th Interiors & Antiques Auction WHEN: 8pm, Thursday 19 April WHERE: #01-15 Cedex Centre, 120 Lower Delta Road

Ipse Ipsa Ipsumhas launched the Peranakan Moderne collection, featuring three design lines. Straights Reflection includes a desk ( pictured ) and floor-length mirror, both of which are embedded with air quality and temperature sensors. Diantara is a three- piece furniture line with bone inlay and vibrant colours, and Magnetica Mixgrid includes five pieces playfully dotted in intricate bone inlay, and housing multiple hidden compartments. Ready to view now at #11-02 Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road , the pieces will be available to purchase from June. CULTURAL Collection

WHAT TO EXPECT: Plenty of contemporary and antique items, including a decorative tin Indian elephant, as well as a variety of traditional andmodern paintings. Complimentary drinks will be served at the HotLotz pop up bar. The cataloguewill be available to view fromFriday 13 April, and, with many items having no reserve, what’s there to lose? WHAT ELSE: HotLotz’s weekly Interiors & Antiques auctions are a great place to pick up some stylish bargains to help fit out your home, particularly if you’ve just arrived in Singapore and don’t know where to start. Not only is it a fun way to shop for your home, but it’s social too, with plenty of other people to bid against. You never know, you might even make a friend or two.

Go to hotlotz.com to register and find out more.








I ’d coveted this property many years ago, when I first arrived in Singapore. Our first two years here saw us live in a condo overlooking this particular row of shophouses – three of them to be exact, attached to a small condo just off Mohamed Sultan Road. Walking down the road with my little girl in her buggy, I’d slow down as we passed this house with its high gates, and I’d try to get a peek in to see what it looked like on the inside; now, finally, I get my chance. Its owners, Jonathan Roelandts and Katrien Bollen, run Ethnicraft Online in Singapore, Jonathan as its managing director, and Katrien as its marketing director, alongside her other job, a full-time position with Google. The couple purchased the property three years ago, having lived in the East for the majority of their eight years here. “We’d always lived in condos,” explains Katrien, “and although you can have nice furniture in condo apartments, and try to Find out why this couple moved from Singapore’s East to buy their gorgeous River Valley house.

Who lives here: Belgians Jonathan Roelandts and Katrien Bollen, their 17-month- old son Louis, and helper Rose. Size and type of home: Four-storey, three-bedroom heritage house that they purchased three years ago. Style of home: Contemporary combined with the original elements of a shophouse.

37 APRIL2018

dress them up in the way you want, they can miss the mark when it comes to adding your own character. We really like a modern touch on an authentic style, and we felt we could bring that to life here.” “We’re far more used to living in houses than one- storey units,” continues Jonathan, “and ultimately we always wanted to come back to a more central location.” Finding the house on Property Guru, the couple almost immediately fell in love with it. “We visited it out of curiosity at first, as it was a little over our budget, but once we’d seen it we decided to make an offer pretty much there and then,” says Jonathan. The house was tenanted for the first two years following its purchase. “This was ideal, to be honest, as it gave us time to think about what we wanted to do with it. Then, when the lease was up, we had two months of renovation before we moved in,” says Katrien, who also happened to be seven months pregnant at the time. The Works As the house is a heritage building, there are plenty of retained elements such as the lattice-work above the windows and doors; however, the downstairs flooring, lighting, kitchen and all the bathrooms were completely renovated. “We actually met our contractor by chance, while we were shopping for tiles. He was good, very responsive, and went that extra mile for us. He was also very conscious that Katrien was pregnant so he made sure the works got done in time.” The couple brought only one suitcase with them when they moved from Belgium in 2010, so all the furniture in this house has been purchased during their Singapore stay, much of it from Ethnicraft Online. “This house is different from our previous homes in that we used to have teak Ethnicraft pieces, but this space suits oak better as it’s lighter,” says Katrien. She points to the coffee table and sideboard in the living room as examples, and there are many more to be seen throughout the house. For accessories, Katrien is a keen online shopper, favouring sites such as Etsy, Cluster-Cluster and 3LittlePicks. There are also plenty of pieces picked up from their travels, as well as soft furnishings from The Grey House and outdoor furniture from Fermob, two brands that Ethnicraft now stocks as well. “We bring these pieces in because we like them ourselves – we’re our own target market,” says Jonathan. Aside from the property’s interior, the couple also love the exterior, including the amenities on

its doorstep. “We rarely use the car as a family now, because everything can be done on foot. Louis’s preschool will be within walking distance, and we love going for coffee, brunch or dinner nearby,” says Katrien. “We have lots of friends in the area, and on the weekends we often sit out the front, and people walk by and say hi. Some look in, but we don’t mind,” she adds. (Having been one of those nosy people many years ago, I’m glad I’ve finally managed to get an official invite to see the place for myself!)

Above: The kitchen cabinets were custom made, to work with the difficult configuration

of the space. Bloomingville

accessories can be seen on the kitchen wall shelf.




Clockwise: Making use of this potentially lost space, Katrien added shelving units from Ethnicraft Online – which now houses accessories from Bloomingville, House Doctor and OYOY – and photos from their Bali wedding. The French bistro-feel patio furniture is by Fermob, a brand Ethnicraft Online has just added to its collection. The Oak Slice extendable dining table is from Ethnicraft Online, and the chairs are by Kartell. The Orb coffee table is from Ethnicraft Online, the coasters from Etsy, and the rug and pillows from The Grey House.

39 APRIL2018


Clockwise from top: The oak Madra bed from Ethnicraft Online can be seen in the master bedroom. Louis’s changing table is from Ethnicraft Online, the accessories gifts from friends. The freestanding bath in Louis’s bathroom is from Luma; it can also come off its stand and sit on the floor as the baby gets older and more mobile.

41 APRIL2018


Home Ethnicraft Online #05-01 Singapore

How the business began

The concept of an online furniture store was sparked when we found it challenging to find great-looking, high-end yet affordable furniture in Singapore that was immediately available when we moved here. It was brought to fruition with Ethnicraft, a reputed solid- wood furniture manufacturer that produces sustainable, contemporary and high-quality furniture pieces. In 2012, Ethnicraft Online made its entrance into Singapore, as the first online branch of the international furniture brand. We offer functional, beautiful and eco-friendly solid wood furnishings, such as the contemporary teak and oak collection, the playful Universo Positivo series, vintage-inspired Mr Marius range and sophisticated Notre Monde collection.

Handicrafts Building 72 Eunos Avenue 7 9272 1545 ethnicraft-online.com.sg Heavenly Homespace (contractor) #01-06 LHK 2 Building 76 Playfair Road 6282 0880 heavenlyhomespace.com.sg Drinks Potato Head 36 Keong Saik Road 6327 1939 | ptthead.com Super Loco #01-13 The Quayside 60 Robertson Quay 6235 8900 super-loco.com/robertsonquay Brunch Common Man Coffee Roasters 22 Martin Road, #01-00 6836 4695 commonmancoffeeroasters.com Kith Café #01-28 Watermark @ Robertson Quay 7 Rodyk Street 6341 9407 | kith.com.sg Dinner Bakalaki 3 Seng Poh Road 6836 3688 | bakalaki.com Cicheti 52 Kandahar Street 6292 5012 | cicheti.com Don Ho Social Kitchen & Bar 1 Keong Saik Road The Working Capitol Building 6223 5001 | don-ho.com Kilo 66 Kampong Bugis 6467 3987 | kilokitchen.com Leisure “We love biking along the river to Kallang Riverside, walking in the Botanic Gardens or taking a short break to Bali.”



Verity (left) and Chantal (right).



Owner of FairPrice Antique , CHANTAL TRAVERS, gives us the lowdown on renaming the business. Why have you changed the name? When I took over the business in 2016, it was never my intention to change the name. It’s been around for over 17 years and has a fantastic reputation, but it became apparent there was some confusion. Some felt it was linked to NTUC, or they expected a dusty old antique shop; and they definitely didn’t think we sold handcrafted northern Chinese furniture! I realised we needed a name that customers could connect to on an emotional level, and be proud to tell others they had purchased from. It needed to be a name that wasn’t about me as the owner, but rather about the experience and products we sell, and where they come from. How did you shortlist the entries? I generally shortlisted ones that were related in some way to Chinese culture, that talked to our artisan product, that was unique, and, of course, that I liked because I have to live with it and believe in it. The shortlist, including one name from myself and one from my colleague Verity, was sent around to a panel of advisors including artists, long-term partners and customers of the shop, interior designers we work with and branding experts.

So … drum roll … what did you choose? Emperor’s Attic! Verity, my right-hand woman in all things FairPrice Antique, and nowWillowMattress, came up with this name. She looks after a lot of the marketing, operations and admin, allowing me to focus more on the product, social media and sales side, which are the bits I love most. Emperor’s Attic is a name that says exactly who we are today. The first word speaks to our northern Chinese heritage and it implies quality, select and artisan pieces. When combined with the word “attic” it gives it that sense of grounding, with the implication of affordability, while also hinting at a place to find unique and hidden treasure. It’s perfect, and I absolutely love it! I’ve never worked harder, and never been happier. It’s more than I ever expected in terms of everything – more hours and so many different balls to juggle, but more satisfaction and more happiness. There is nothing better for me than when a customer recognises the difference in quality of construction and finish, and when they themselves fall in love with a piece that I love too. It’s been almost two years since you took over the business; is it everything you expected? When you’re not at the shop, where do you go close by for a great bite or drink? We do love Bakalaki for dinner! If you’re visiting the Tan Boon Liat Building, we are about an eight-minute walk from Tiong Bahru, where you’ll find spots like Forty Hands and Plain Vanilla, plus the Tiong Bahru Bakery for coffee and the best croissants in town!

Emperor’s Attic (formerly FairPrice Antique) #01-10 Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road 6270 2544 | fairpriceantique.com

45 APRIL2018


POSITIVEEXPANSION BY AMY BROOK-PARTRIDGE Wefindout howonecompany is counteringachallenging retail climate with new product development.

When it comes to challenging times, some batten down the hatches and weather the storm, and some sail straight into it. KRIS JENSEN, managing director of Kris Jensen Design and Teak &Mahogany (T&M), freely admits that last year was a difficult year for retail in Singapore. “External and internal factors in the economy, and uncertainty in general, made consumers hold back on new purchases. Also, changes in the expat community had an impact on the business.” He also

points out that new apartments coming onto the market are smaller, and therefore require not only smaller-sized furniture but less of it, impacting the sector further. To address these developments, Kris has spearheaded the company’s product development. “This means we can introduce new and exciting products that we hope will attract more customers. New materials available have made it possible for us to create two new collections, Minori and Sorrento, which will be gradually introduced in the upcoming months.”

MINORI Made from cast aluminium powder-coated frames, the furniture’s weaving is done with a weather resistant rope-weave. Combined with outdoor weather-resistant foam and fabrics, this new line is fully suitable for outdoor or indoor use. The line has been designed to give a light, elegant look, and the tapered casted legs are a new development for T&M. “This technique gives us possibilities to create designs that were not possible before,” says Kris. The Minori line will be expanded to include lounge and pool furniture as well.

SORRENTO The frame is made from powder-coated cast aluminium, and the fabric is a knitted outdoor fabric woven into long tubes. The tubes are stuffed with poly-fill and woven in a braided pattern onto the frames to create a striking effect and a soft and comfortable seat. The collection includes lounge chairs and ottomans, two- seater and three-seater lounge sofas, side tables, and round, square and rectangular coffee tables, while a two-seater daybed is also in production. “We’re excited about this new material, and it brings in a whole new style that we haven’t seen before,” says Kris. “We’re confident our customers will appreciate this new collection. In fact, we’ve already received our first order from a property agent for a new building.”

#02-02 Century Warehouse 100E Pasir Panjang Road 6270 1912 | teakandmahogany.com



HARMONY THE HOME & We find out from this business owner why balance and harmony are equally important in her work life as they are in the home. When VISHA NELSON, founder of The Cinnamon Room , left her job working as a capital markets lawyer, there was little regret. “It didn’t give me a decent balance in my life,” she says. “I was so consumed with work and stressed all the time, I felt little peace or clarity within, which was very disempowering because it made me feel disconnected to myself.” While she admits that she was never passionate about being a lawyer – “I did it because I could rather than because I loved law” – one thing she does feel real passion for is her home décor business. Rather than it feeling like work, it’s something that inspires her on an ongoing basis. “My family is hugely important to me and my kids take priority over anything else, so I feel my chosen career path of running my own business, although it certainly has its challenges, enables me the flexibility to work around my priorities of looking after my family and myself.” Customer Care Recently, Visha has begun offering home consultation services, visiting client’s homes and finding out how she can best help them achieve the right look and feel of a space, to help them feel more comfortable in their own environment. “Our own wellbeing is fundamentally important to how we live our lives, and how we feel is crucial in every respect,” she says. Visha emphasises to clients that it’s not just about the appearance of an interior, but also how it makes you feel. Never wanting to impose a certain look on a client, she focuses on getting a bigger picture idea of their personalities and preferences, to show them that they can create a look that reflects their own character, is comfortable and creates a good vibe and that is aesthetically pleasing as well. “Ultimately, they’re seeking to create a space that evokes a sense of comfort and ease for them, and which they will want to hang out in. It’s not the designer’s home but their BY AMY BROOK-PARTRIDGE PHOTOGRAPHY MICHAEL BERNABE




Visha’s unique hide rugs can be customised and are easy to care for.

This lamp is part of a new range for The Cinnamon Room.

home; so, my aim is to always achieve a beautiful and comfortable space that is for them to feel good in.” For Visha, the most important connection of all is to ourselves; “when we have this connection, we feel truly empowered. The home should be a reflection of who you are; yet I feel that many people, especially expats who move around all the time, don’t necessarily ever make their rented house a home. This is understandable, but my aim is to help people choose items to buy not just for functionality, but because they innately love them – pieces they feel connected to and which they will therefore look forward to incorporating into any home they move into, whether here in Singapore or back in their home countries.” Brand Inspiration Visha finds herself inspired by brands that are about more than just selling a product, but also promoting and creating a lifestyle. “We’re about to launch a Sri Lankan linen label – called Barefoot – at The Cinnamon Room. The Barefoot store in Colombo has always been a huge inspiration to me as it incorporates a wonderful range of lifestyle

products, an art gallery and a gorgeous café with a great vibe. It’s always been my dream to create something similar, a happy place that gives customers a sense of wellbeing, offering them an inspired space to come to and enjoy!” To this end, The Cinnamon Room already hosts various wellbeing events, including a free Thursday morning meditation session held every week. The next event, “Balancing your Home Décor with Good Feng Shui”, is on 17 April, while a session on “Nutrition and Women’s Health and Hormones” is planned for 9 May. Visha is also in the process of building a retreat in Sri Lanka, which will be used as a family holiday home and serve as a venue for holistic retreats. “There’s a lot to look forward to!”

#02-74 Jalan Merah Saga Block 43, The Worklofts@Chipbee 9727 3051 | thecinnamonroom.com

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Find out why this East Coast penthouse is the perfect home for KAVITA DASGUPTA and her family.

Who lives here: Indian expats Kavita and Rana, their seven-year-old son Akhil, and three-year-old daughter Diya. Size of home: Four-bedroom, five-bathroom penthouse. How long have they lived here: The family moved into the apartment in June 2017; they’ve been in Singapore for 11 years. Style of home: Pared back with lots of neutral colours such as greys and blues, and subtle pops of colour; Kavita is a big fan of earthy textures and natural elements too.

K avita has lived in Singapore undermany different guises. Originally from India, she and husband Rana moved here shortly after they got married, before relocating to Hong Kong for a year. They returned in 2010, when she then studied for her MBA at the National University of Singapore (NUS), before securing a position within a large multi-national company. However, with a background in fashion product development (she studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York), Kavita was always keen to start her own business. It was in between having her two children that her textiles brand Feroza Designs was born. “I’d bought all of Akhil’s bedding from the US, but it was so hot here I couldn’t use it. I kept looking for pieces to buy him here, but didn’t like all those baby prints.” The business was launched in November 2013, when Kavita was five months pregnant with daughter Diya. What started as a baby brand, including swaddles and dohars (traditional Indian summer blankets made of three layers of soft cotton voile), has grown into a collection that includes adult bedding, cushion covers, table linen and now dresses. The hand block-printed pieces are made by skilled artisans in India on 100 percent cotton, perfect for this hot weather. Kavita’s designs follow her familiar colour palette of greys, blues and touches of pink. The hand-printed dresses are a departure from the current “home” collection. The emphasis is on slow fashion, and the dresses work for wearing in the city or on holiday.

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West to East During their first year in Singapore, Kavita and Rana lived in Tiong Bahru; “It was a different kind of life to the one we have now, that’s for sure.” When they returned to Singapore from Hong Kong they chose to live in the East because Rana worked in the Suntec area, and it was easy for Kavita to get to NUS. “The whole area has really changed since we’ve been here, particularly around Joo Chiat. There are some great little shops here now.” Looking for more space for her business, the family moved into this particular condo in the middle of last year. “The minute we walked into this place we knew we wanted it; we didn’t have a balcony in our last apartment and this view really won us over.” The apartment was unoccupied for a while prior to them moving in, and Kavita says it took a fair amount of work to get it into the style they wanted – the biggest job being to add the guards across the living and dining area balcony. Kavita had already started replacing key furniture pieces bit by bit before the move, including buying the dining table from Originals, andchairs fromHongKong. The striking yellowcabinet in thedining area is fromHock Siong, and the shelving unit behind the new sofa

is from Ethnicraft Online. To help with the finishing touches, Kavita booked in Hong from Affordable Style Files to carry out a “shop the house” on their home. “She uses the existing pieces and works with these to style your home. She turns upwithher handyman andworks around the rooms, putting up artwork but most importantly helping with the layout and pulling it all together.” When the family isn’t at home in their beautifully styled apartment, they take advantage of the myriad activities right on their doorstep. “Of course, there’s the East Coast Parkway, and we also hang out at 112 Katong a lot. The children do their Taekwando at JH Kim, my son goes to Centre Stage as well, and then there’s the favourite Din Tai Fung, or Café Melba, where you can just hang out while the kids have fun on the bouncy castle.” Loving life inSingapore, andwith the business successfully growing its loyal fan base, Kavita has found more recently that she’s had some time on her hands, and so she has trained to be an executive/life coach. “I’m keen to help people going through transitions in their lives, whether fromworking to not working, changing career paths or relocating, so that they can find their purpose and reinvent themselves with confidence.” In many ways, like Kavita herself.

Kavita stocks her Feroza Designs pieces in the guest room, including the dresses, swaddles and dohars. The bed has been chalk painted by Kavita, and the headboard material was purchased from FabIndia.

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Clockwise from top: Rails haven’t been added to the balcony, “so the children are definitely not allowed in!” The rug is from the US, and the bed and side tables are custom made by Gallery 278. The shelving unit is from Ethnicraft Online, Kavita painted the mirror above the shelf with Annie Sloane paint, and the plant stand is from Maissone. The cabinet is made from mango wood, and was a wedding present. On top is a tray from Hacienda Blue, and above this hangs a vintage map of India.




Left: The drawers, from

Hacienda Blue, are the perfect addition to Kavita’s love of blue décor. Below: The beds and drawing table are all from Ikea, the rug and bedding is by Feroza Designs.

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Food & Drink Café Melba (“weekend breakfast with the kids”) #01-56 Goodman Arts Centre, Block N 90 Goodman Road 6440 6068 | cafemelba.com.sg Cheek by Jowl (“amazing food”) 21 Boon Tat Street 6221 1911 | cheekbyjowl.com.sg Kilo Kallang 66 Kampong Bugis 9830 6252 | kilokitchen.com Penny University (“delicious coffee and breakfast – if you can fight the crowds”) 402 East Coast Road 6345 9055 Home Affordable Style Files 9101 6903 | affordablestylefiles.com Blinds (“call Alan”) 9005 5377 Boutique Fairs boutiquefairs.com.sg Ethnicraft Online (“their customer service is outstanding”) #05-01 Singapore Handicrafts Building 72 Eunos Avenue 7 9272 1545 | ethnicraft-online.com.sg Feroza Designs 8189 3265 | ferozadesigns.com Legate legate.com.sg Originals #02-03 Sime Darby Centre, 896 Dunearn Road 6471 9918 | originals.com.sg

Leisure Blonde Boudoir (“see Joe”) #1-16/17 Central Square, 20 Havelock Road 9231 4434

The bright yellow cabinet is from second-hand store Hock Siong.

JH Kim Taekwando 123 East Coast Road 6348 1390 | jhkim-singapore.com



CAROLINE CHIN-GEYLER of Arete Culture talks us through four recent styling projects that helped her clients achieve the dream look for their homes.

Arete’s Gilstead Road project





Client: The clients were a young couple with a daughter about to turn six. They wanted a luxe hotel feel, a home that felt rich and moody with lots of shiny surfaces that would add opulence and glamour. This was a collaborative partnership, with the clients fully involved from start to finish. Arete Culture was the third interior firm they chose after the first two didn’t work out. Scope: The project involved makeovers for the master bedroom and ensuite, daughter’s bedroom, lounge, dining, whiskey bar, kitchen, and outdoor balcony. As well as styling, the Arete team selected materials used for the kitchen and bathroom, and all lighting in the house. They also chose materials for the built- in media unit in the master bedroom, whiskey bar and daughter’s bedroom, and finished with wall and window treatments for the home. Challenges: Arete had to manage and work around feng shui requirements, plus their clients’ love for shiny, reflective surfaces and deep, dark interiors. “This project was about managing expectations,” says Caroline, “as well as guiding and holding our clients’ hands to reassure them that we didn’t need to be excessive or lavish in design to achieve that rich, inviting look they wanted.” The space was compact, so they also had to be clever with the space planning and furniture selection to ensure the pieces could accommodate friends and family, without dominating the space during everyday use.

The blue sofa – deep and plush – is softened with more contemporary touches in the art and soft furnishings. The variety of textures used helps create the desired luxe look.

The makeover successfully married the clients’ love of shiny, reflective surfaces and deep, dark interiors, to create a rich and inviting look. With clever spatial planning, the team was able to create balance in the master bedroom. The symmetry of the lamps, and the cohesive and neutral palate, softens the room.

All the lighting in the home was selected by Arete, including these pieces to light up the whiskey bar and surrounding area.

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