AUG 2018

Foundations Short Breaks Car Companies August 2018 Issue 193 HOME OFFICES • SRI LANKA • ITALIAN FOOD S$6.90 MCI (P) 074/02/2018 Schools & Enrichment HealthChecks Staycations

Roof-top bars Atripto the vineyards Sri Lanka with kids

EDITOR’SNOTE Someone told me it only takes seven days to break a habit, and I think I believe them. This is most evident whenever I rent a car. The indicator is invariably on the “wrong” side and I spend the first week of my trip (and my return) with very clean windows. It’s annoying for the adult driver, but apparently quite amusing for children. Standard scenario: you’ve navigated leaving the airport after a 14-hour flight with little sleep. The windows have been “wiped” a few times, but you’re sure you’ve “got it” now. Then, as you’re on the 14th roundabout looking to turn off the B21234 onto the B21235, you realise this is the spot. Barbara (the lady inside the GPS) is starting to really wind you up, a massive truck is homing down on you from behind, and the windscreen wipers start waving madly in front of you – again. This is when the children crack up; “Oh mum, you’re so funny.” It’s said like I am doing all this for their entertainment. After a week, I have usually got the hang of it but then when you get back to Singapore, you have to go through it all again. So, if seven days is all it takes, we should be able to get rid of bad habits if we really want to. I’ve worked out a way to help another habit I seem to have got into (as I am sure we all have): binge-watching a series. What you have to do is stop in the middle of an episode, not at the end. The ends are always too exciting, and it’s too easy to think “just one more”. So, I have changed it to “just half a one more” – and it seems to be working. Have you had any luck with breaking bad habits? Write to us at If it’s not illegal, we’ll share it! P.S. Thanks to all who bought a mag subscription linked to ACRES ( – this raised $1,800 for them and will go to helping with animal food and utilities so they can keep up the great work!

In the wilds of the UK

REBECCA BISSET Editor-in-Chief

An endangered tortoise at ACRES



Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET



CONTACT US General Enquiries: +65 6812 1780 | Advertising Sales: +65 6812 1781 | Subscription: +65 6812 1783 | Production: +65 6812 1787 | Editorial & Media Releases: Calendar of Events: Events: Websites: |

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

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NEWS 16 Calendar Updates: 26 Readers’ Letters 28 EL Forum:

What’s on in the coming months

48 An apartment transformed

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

HOME & PROPERTY 32 News 36 Home Showcase:

Tour this Mount Pleasant black- and-white

45 Dempsey Décor:

Antiques and oriental-style home furniture

46 Improving Snooze: Why choose a natural latex mattress? 48 Home Showcase:

LIFE & FAMILY 72 News 78 Party People: The Podium Lounge is back! 80 Musical Theatre: Our chat with the director of Souvenir 82 Noticeboard: New births, plus pets up for adoption 84 Singapore Page: Exploring the island’s past and present 85 Preschool and our adult lives 87 The power of music in learning 88 The rainforest as a classroom 90 Choosing a university EDUCATION FOCUS

Inside a modern and masculine East Coast condo

57 Ideas for a home work space

54 Business Profile:

A home service company with a heart

57 Buying Guide:

Fitting out the ideal office in your home

64 Street Talk:

What it’s like to live in Charlton Park

92 Couples & Careers:

Reflecting on five years as a trailing spouse

94 Money Matters 96 There is Hope:

Insights into depression and suicide

99 Car Talk:

Readers reveal their vehicles

110 Around Town:

Photos from recent openings, parties, festivals and more




WINE & DINE 110 News 114 Bar Tab: A night spot with a salute to New Orleans 116 Delizioso Dining: We review Italian specialties at six great restaurants 122 Sourcing Wine: A visit to the vineyards of Italy 126 A Tanglin Bistro: Part retail, part restaurant 128 Recipe Corner: Fail-safe favourites to add to your repertoire 130 High Times:

Ten rooftop venues to check out in Singapore

116 Great Italian eats

144 Doing Sri Lanka in style

TRAVEL 140 News 144 Sri Lanka Sojourn:

A family trip with a luxury touch

150 Destination Focus: Super short breaks in the region 154 Weekend in Bangkok 156 Staycation Update: Checking in at two new Singapore hotels 160 Western Australia: An outback event with a difference




HEALTH & FITNESS 188 News 190 Expert Voice:

STYLE & BEAUTY 168 Style News 170 Ace Accessories:


Five procedures that could save your life

Previewing the new collection at White Ginger 172 Sustainable Fashion: An ethical online marketplace

196 The Right Step:

Three common foot and ankle problems

198 Martial Arts: Six reasons to try taekwondo 199 Fitness Focus:

174 Beauty News 178 Tried & Tested: 180 Top Anti-ageing Treatments

Our favourite foundations

A twist on the traditional squat

REGULARS 203 Numbers & Websites 204 Horoscopes for August 206 Advertiser List 208 Parting Shot: Crashing the party

178 New

makeup reviews





HotLotz Live Monthly Interiors & Antiques Auction (30 AUG)

SOCIAL & CHARITY ANZ Aotearoa Ball – Into the Wilderness (25 AUG) Celebrate the natural beauty of Aotearoa at the ANZ ball this August. This year also marks the 35th anniversary of the NZ Chamber of Commerce. There’ll be plenty of entertainment including a great musical line-up and a feast of the finest NZ food, wines and craft beers. Shangri-La Hotel Singapore. Tickets from baby fair, which kicks off at the end of August. Register for the three- day event and receive exclusive updates and deals. Singapore Expo. On the last Thursday of the month, enjoy complimentary glasses of wine and experience the excitement of a live HotLotz auction. View your favourite lots in the flesh and browse upcoming auction offerings. #01-15 Cendex Centre, 120 Lower Delta Road. SuperMom Baby Fair 2018 (Singapore Expo Edition) (31 AUG – 2 SEP) Don’t miss this comprehensive

ANZ Aotearoa Ball

Black & White Houses Tour (27 AUG)

Join Jane’s Singapore Tours for a visit to beautiful colonial black-and-white houses in Singapore. Learn about their history, architecture and role in the island’s heritage, plus the stories of who lived in them. Back to Work: Summer Social (30 AUG) At the British Chamber of Commerce’s annual summer networking evening, catch up with friends, connect with new contacts and strengthen existing business relationships while enjoying free-flow drinks and canapés. Members can each bring a guest along for free. Treetops Terrace, The British Club.

SPORTS & FITNESS Nee Soon FUNtARTstic Fiesta 3Ten Run 2018 (25 AUG)

Choose from three categories in the race’s fourth edition, 1.5km, 5km and 10km, with courses and challenges suitable for all different fitness levels. Registration closes 5 August; sign up at Orchid Country Club. Run For Inclusion 2018 (26 AUG) With the aim to nurture an inclusive Singapore, this race has four running categories to choose from – 12km, 6km, 3.5km and below 3.5km (personalised distance). Registration ends 12 August. Bishan Park.





Paramore Live in Singapore (21 AUG)

Grammy-Award winning rock outfit Paramore hits Singapore this month, seven years since their last performance here. They’re touring on the back of recently-released fifth studio album After Laughter . Zepp@BigBox Singapore. Tickets from Sistic. Mike Shinoda’s Post Traumatic Tour (22 AUG) The Linkin Park songwriter, guitarist and vocalist is coming to town as part of a solo world tour. Look forward to tracks from his recent EP and full-length album, both titled Post Traumatic . Zepp@BigBox Singapore. Tickets from Sistic. Ballet Under The Stars by Singapore Dance Theatre (31 AUG – 9 SEP) Ballet Under The Stars celebrates its 23rd anniversary, with a performance that includes George Balanchine’s “The Four Temperaments”, François Klaus’ “Midnight Waltzes” and Edwaard Liang’s “13th Heaven”. Fort Canning Park, Fort Canning Green. Tickets from Sistic.

Bob Dylan and his Band (6 AUG)

Catch the legendary Bob Dylan for one night in Singapore this July as part of his Asia Tour. Songs from the star’s Triplicate album from last year are likely to feature, along with hits from his six decades of folk, rock, blues and country music recordings. The Star Theatre. Tickets from Sistic. SSO National Day Concert (11 AUG) Celebrate Singapore’s 53rd birthday at this all-Singaporean concert. Conducted by Darrell Ang, it will feature composer Kelly Tang’s arrangement of classic National Day theme song “Home”. Esplanade Concert Hall. Tickets from Sistic. Clean Bandit Live in Singapore (15 AUG) Don’t miss the chance to catch British electronic band Clean Bandit live in concert, on the eve of their second album release. Songs from 2014’s New Eyes – including the massive “Rather Be” – will also feature. The Star Theatre. Tickets from Sistic.


Photo credit: Lindsey Byrnes





Singapore Garden Festival (UNTIL 3 AUG)

Feast your eyes on beautiful horticultural and signature garden displays in this 14-day show, which brings together award- winning international designers, well-established local names, community gardeners and plant enthusiasts. Gardens by the Bay. Marvel Studios: Ten Years of Heroes Exhibition (UNTIL 30 SEP) Calling all Marvel fans! The interactive exhibition features installations on all the major characters from the first decade of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and Guardians of the Galaxy. ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands. Tickets from the Marina Bay Sands website. The Bird who was Afraid of Heights (11-26 AUG) Bring the kids for this production adapted from the children’s book of the same name. Watch as Eddie the mynah saves Matt the rat from a crow. A sensory-friendly version of this production is also available on 24 and 25 August. Esplanade Theatre Studio. Tickets from Sistic. The Rainbow Fish (20-29 AUG) Little ones will enjoy this fun and exciting play by ACT 3 International. Go on an adventure with The Rainbow Fish as he ventures out to explore the deep sea and make new friends. Victoria Theatre. Tickets from Sistic.

Imaginarium: Into the Space of Time

ART (Re)Collect: The Making of Our Art Collection (UNTIL 19 AUG) Uncover the untold history behind the collection of the National Gallery Singapore. Showcasing over 130 works, the exhibition includes pieces by pioneering local artists such as Georgette Chen, Liu Kang and Cheong Soo Pieng. SingTel Special Exhibition Gallery, National Gallery Singapore. Imaginarium: Into the Space of Time (UNTIL 26 AUG) Enjoy immersive and interactive works by 10 artists and art collectives from around the world at Singapore Art Museum’s annual family-friendly exhibition. Take part in artist-led tours, poetry reading sessions and more. SAM at 8Q.

The Rainbow Fish




Swapaholic (1 SEP)


At this fashion swap, declutter your closet and refresh it with unique finds. Catering to women, men, teens and children, the items are quality-checked and beautifully curated. Register online. Marina Barrage. Marlborough College Malaysia Admission Event (5 SEP) Find out more about school life and boarding at Marlborough’s admission session in Singapore. Enjoy drinks and canapés while hearing from the Master of the school and meeting senior members of the Common Room, housemasters and housemistresses. Glamorous Giving (12-13 SEP) Featuring over 55 local fashion brands, designers and artists, the tenth edition of this fair by Stones That Rock offers an eclectic mix of fashion, homewares, accessories, art and furniture, while continuing to raise funds and support the Singapore Committee for UN Women. Antica Ballroom and Foyer, Orchard Parade Hotel. The Podium Lounge Singapore 2018 (14-16 SEP) Held over the F1 weekend, The Podium Lounge is a glamorous after-party featuring three nights of impressive entertainment. The tenth year of the event features Joel Madden, Taboo, Brian McFadden and Keith Duffy, among other international stars. Tickets from The Podium Lounge website. The Ritz- Carlton, Millenia Singapore, The Grand Ballroom.

The Piano Guys

Dan and Phil Interactive Introverts Tour (15 SEP)

and a penguin. SOTA Drama Theatre. Tickets from Sistic. Metta Charity Run 2018 (29 SEP) Metta returns with a special Singaporean edition to celebrate the differences in the community and spur the spirit of an inclusive society. Choose from a 5km, 10km or 1.5km parent and child fun run. Angsana Green, East Coast Park. Wind Walkers: Theo Jansen’s Strandbeests Exhibition (UNTIL 30 SEP) Theo Jansen’s world-famous moving sculptures have arrived! This exhibition is a huge retrospective of Jansen’s life work – the 28 years he’s spent developing the Strandbeest series. Of the 13 large-scale Strandbeests on show, Animaris Siamesis is the largest, measuring 10 metres in length and weighing over 240kg. ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands

Iconic YouTube duo Dan and Phil are bringing their World Tour to Singapore. Catch them for an epic interactive experience of rants, roasts, battles, stories and surprises. Kallang Theatre. Tickets from Sistic. The Piano Guys (25 SEP) YouTube sensations The Piano Guys have made over 50 music videos since 2011, including a version of One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” and a reinvention of “Let It Go” from Frozen . The Star Theatre, The Star Performing Arts Centre. Tickets from Sistic. Lost and Found (28-30 SEP) Based on the children’s book by Oliver Jeffers, Lost and Found is a funny and charming tale of friendship between a boy


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 Delvene Beaumont a bottle of champagne for starting her reading journey with us.

Bureby the sea So,beganablissful–and, formuchof the time,child-free – stay in paradise. Theway the resort staff immediately familiarise young ones with the kids’ club on arrival is ingenious.No ice-breakers required;nonervous clinging toparents’ legs; juststraight into the fun!Children fiveand under are assigned adedicatedNanny for thedurationof their stay,andages six to12areput in smallgroupswitha Buddy.This isallcomplimentary,by theway, from8.30am to 9pm every day, so you don’t have toworry about the hours tickingby and the costs addingup. While the girls were hunting crabs with Chicagoans, Gill and I took ourselves off toBure4, our spacious two-

bedder,with an impressive thatched roof, generous bathroom, a hammock out front, and a 10-metre walk to thewater. JMC is a luxury resort, but it’s not one of those shiny,perfectlymanicuredplaceswith abook-sized listof rules.Youalsowon’t findeverymod-conunder the sun;nophonesorTVs in the rooms, for instance, and no air-con. (Nor is it needed: the bures have blissfulceiling fansandwall-to-wallwoodenshutters for oceanbreezes.) It’s adeluxe rustic vibe that feels in keepingwith the property’s strong emphasis on eco-tourismand its slewofawards for “goinggreen”. We found it completely charming. The resortspa is located inaseasidebure rightnear ours, sowith the kids occupiedwe swiftlymade a beeline for it. I’mnomassageconnoisseur,but Iknow anamazingonewhen Ihave it,because it relaxesme to the point that I’m incoherent for an hour or two afterwards.That’swhathappenedhere– lucky Ihad nokids tokeep in line!

“Oh, they’ll be at the BulaClub,” said amember of staff,with abeaming smile. Theywere right.Aswewerebeinghanded thekey toourbure,our twodaughters re-emerged.Standing next to them was a cheeky-looking 20-something staffmembernamedWilliam. “Mum andDad, this isWilliam.He’s our Buddy at theBulaClub andhe’llbe looking afterusduring our stay.We’ve met two girls our age – they’re from Chicago.We’re going to playwith them this afternoon.AndWilliam is takingus to look forcrabs and frogs.Well, that’s after we try the waterslide and have awater-balloon fight.Okay, I think that’s everything. See you later!” And off they scampered. “But ... theydon’t evenknowwhereour room is,” saidGill tonobody inparticular. “Williamwill show them!” said anothermember of staff, equally as friendly as the first.

Istheresuchathing as the ideal family holidaydestination? SHAMUS SILLAR thinks he might have found it. S omething intriguinghappenswhenyou first arrive at Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort (JMC), set on exotic Savusavu BayonFiji’ssecond-largest island,Vanua Levu.Your childrendisappear. Well, ours did. A few minutes into check-in (which includedwelcomedrinksandacousticguitar accompaniment), I noticed thatmywifeGill and I were alone at the counter. “Iwonderwhere the girls are,” Imumbled.





GETTING THE EL FIX I absolutely love the magazine and would have withdrawal symptoms if I missed one – haha! Thanks ever so much. – Pania Ed: No problem, Pania; we’ll make sure your renewal is seamless!

EDITOR’SNOTE As we gather all the stats from our Reader Survey, and try to see how much things have changed in the eight years since we last asked readers those specific questions, it got me thinking about our own stats as a company. Outofour team,64percent aremarried,88percent are female,50percent areSingaporeanorPR, 60percenthave beenwithme formore than five years, and 32percent formore thannine years. Over our16-yearhistory, our ad rateshavenever increased. Ina fairly transient societyandchanging times, I think this isprettyamazing.Another interesting stat is that at the last count (we’ve lost tracknow)over40babieshavebeenborn toEL staffduring the16 years!Wehave an in-house joke that thewaterhas something in it; evenpeoplewhodidn’t think they couldhavebabies orhadn’tplanned tohave any seem tomiraculously conceive. For thoseofyouwith school-age children rather than littleones,youmaybe looking forward to the longbreak (ornot...).We’vegotplentyof ideas forkeepingkeep themandyouhappy, including some great travel tips onVietnam if you feel like a shortbreak. Thismonth, I’m going tomy niece’swedding inCornwall,which I’m really looking forward to (now that I’ve found a dress that fitsme!).My grandfather’s family lived in the area until the late 1800s so Iwill enjoydoing some info “digging”.Maybewewere smugglers orpirates of old! If you’ve got a nice adventure planned, remember we are always interested to hear from you aboutplaces you’ve visited and arekeen to recommend. Just emailus at; it canbe a couple of lines or awhole article –whatever suits. Happy travels!


I’m sitting by the pool on a relaxing Sunday a f t e r noon wi t h a wine and the June issue of Expat Living magazine; it’s one of my favourite things to do on the weekend. How amazing are the statistics on page six? 88 percent of your team is female and 60 percent have been with you for over five years; it must be an amazing place


FRESH PASTURES Dear team, it’s with great sadness that I have to unsubscribe to my monthly Expat Living delivery as I’ll be leaving Singapore soon. I have enjoyed and learned a lot from your publication and your events, and I’m going to miss all the guidance provided. Keep on doing the good work you all do! Best wishes. – Susana Martin-Garea Ed: Thank you, Susana – we’re glad we helped in some way. All the best for the move.



to work! It was great to read these stats, especially as my friend has just launched his new business in Australia, PPLYTX (“people-lytics”), which promotes a message of inclusion and equality for all through measurement and automation. Have you got a job for me?! Terrific effort by your team; very well done! – Delvene Beaumont Ed: Thank you, Delvene; we’ll be in touch to find out what you could do!

Email us at


AUGUST2018 Fresh event updates and great content to help you make the most of living here

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August2018 Issue 193

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Recommendations Foundations ShortBreaks CarCompanies


Schools &enrichment HealthChecks Staycations

Becoming a potter

Roof-top Bars Attriptothe vineyards Sri Lanka with kids

Italian Eats





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29 AUGUST2018


57 Buying Guide: Home office furniture to get you (productively) drooling

Slat Secretary Desk‚ Scanteak

36 Home Showcase: A stunning black- and-white to cast your eyes over

46 Mattress Choice: Why natural equals a healthy night’s sleep

64 Street Talk: The lowdown on living in Charlton Park, Upper Serangoon


Bespoke Style Each of us is u n i q u e , a n d s o m e t i m e s we need our furniture to be t oo . Gre y & Sanders has a range of dining tables that can be customised

Dreamy Daybed Interior design firm Elliot James has partnered with luxury bespoke shoemakers Septième Largeur to launch its first ever furniture collection, Patine. The first piece in the collection is this elegant daybed crafted in muted suede, leather strapping and a slim black chrome frame. Each item in the collection will be bespoke and made to order. Email .

to fit into specific spaces, at certain heights, and in a variety of styles and materials. It’s not just dining options on offer, but also open-concept wardrobes and Italian leather sofas; head to #06-02 Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road , to see for yourself.

Online greenery merchant Noah Garden Centre is partnering with a host of wholesale garden and landscape vendors to offer customers even more garden product choice. World Farm, Ming Sing Flowers and stone importer Pee Huan are all joining the fold, increasing the range on offer. Find out what you can get your hands on at . GREENERY AT YOUR FINGERTIPS

Home Help Discount!

Celebrating its 14th year in business, A-Team Amahs & Cleaners would like to offer EL readers $120 off its agency fees for the month of August, simply quote “Expat Living” when booking. Call 6100 6122 , or go to for more information.




Shop Till You Drop The unassuming Tan Boon Liat Building (TBL) has become a one-stop-shop for anyone looking to update and refresh their home, and now it has a handy new shopping guide, which you’ll find inside this magazine. TBL is packed full of diverse and unique stores, from antique furniture, to vintage finds and modern designs, as well as a kids’ lifestyle shop, gourmet food outlet and party supplies store. You can find everything under one roof at 315 Outram Road .

Cultural Collection Ethnicraft Online has launched its latest range, the Ancestors Collection, a premium teak furniture line inspired by geometrical shapes and symbols found in cultures around the world. The first series of the collection, Tabwa, is inspired by Africa’s rich cultural heritage, and includes this coffee table and high sideboard. Find out more at , or call 9272 1545 .

Under the Hammer! Why consign with us? We pride ourselves on the diversity of our sales. From pre-owned antiques, and contemporary and vintage furniture, to home décor and accessories, watches, jewellery, art, designer fashion, wine and spirits, the list goes on. If the quality is top notch, we will sell it for you. How do we sell? There’s our weekly “Interiors & Antiques” sales, usually run online. We also hold a regular monthly live auction on the last Thursday of the month in our saleroom, with a complimentary pop-up wine bar – always a fun night out! We also host over 25 curated specialist sales throughout the year, across various different categories. Our aim is to make things as simple as possible for the seller. Send us an email or fill out our online form with a brief description and photo of what you want to sell. We value and photograph it, and advertise the auction; all you have to do is get your item to us (though we can arrange collection, if you prefer). There are no costs upfront. If we agree to sell your items, we take a commission of 19.5 percent on the final hammer price. We charge the buyer, then deduct our commission before transferring the balance directly to your bank account.

Matthew Elton, HotLotz owner and chief auctioneer.

WHAT’S NEW? HotLotz hosts its monthly live auction on the last Thursday of every month, so grab your friends and head over to the HotLotz saleroom for a fun-filled evening with a few glasses of wine on the house. Go to for auction dates and more information. Hand-painted repurposed side tables, recently sold at auction.




The whole family needs to use Wi-Fi throughout the house, but sometimes it’s weak or non-existent. How can we improve this? TECH TROUBLESHOOTING!

Sizeable Sofa Whether you all like bundling onto the sofa together, or have that one tall person who can’t get comfy on a couch, here’s one piece that should fit all. House of AnLi has recently added a grey linen four- seater to its collection. Measuring 270cm in length, the Belinda sofa has removable and washable slipcovers, making it even easier to keep clean. Contact 6235 3851 , or visit #03-17 Tanglin Mall, 163 Tanglin Road .

Wi-Fi black spots, intermittent service and buffering are all fairly common issues here in Singapore, partly due to the dense structure of the concrete and reinforced steel buildings here. There are a number of different techniques that we can implement to ensure you have seamless coverage throughout your home. The best option is to have hard-wired access points in strategic locations. This can be achieved using data points, or we can sometimes convert telephone sockets into data points. Computers and televisions can also be hard-wired into data points for maximum internet performance. If your home doesn’t have such sockets then an option would be to lay new cables and position data points where required. Another option is to implement a “mesh network”. In the right situations, mesh networks can be very effective, however, it is essential that the mesh “nodes” are within Wi-Fi range of each other so that they can piggyback the signal. Concrete walls can hinder this so it may be necessary to install additional nodes in corridors and stairwells to bridge the signal between rooms or floors; it can be tricky finding a place with power, and costs increase considerably adding nodes. As a last resort, wireless repeaters or extenders can be installed. These don’t produce optimum results as repeaters use half the bandwidth to receive signal and half to transmit, and extenders plug into the wall and use the power cables to transmit the signal, which aren't capable of taking high speed data.Wi-Fi optimisation can be complex – there is no universal solution. If you need help resolving your internet issues, give Tekkie Help a call on 8113 8682 and quote “Expat Living” for a complimentary site visit and advice on the most appropriate solution.

Keeping You Cool If you’re tired of constantly battling to find the perfect temperature in your home, Ambi Climate may be your answer. Its AI-enabled smart air-con controller takes into account factors such as humidity, sunlight, weather and your daily metabolic cycle, and learns from your feedback and your comfort level (through its smartphone app). Ambi Climate’s AI engine develops a personal comfort profile for you, and automatically adjusts the air-con, boosting comfort and saving up to 30 percent on energy consumption. Find out more at .

Sarah Pinel Tekkie Help

35 AUGUST2018





ROSALIND BOOTS explains the thinking behind her career change after 28 years in the corporate world, and her desire to live in a heritage home.


Who lives here: Singaporean Rosalind, Dutchman Onno Boots and their four Siberian huskies. Teenage daughter Layla studies in Holland and visits often. How long have they lived here: Two years. Size of house: Two-storey, four-bedroom black-and-white house. Style of home: East meets West, drawing on their Dutch and Singaporean roots, with a warm, masculine edge.

37 AUGUST2018

R osalind has very distinct memories of black-and- white houses from her youth. “When I was little, my grandfather wo r k e d a s a c h e f for a colonial British family, and my grandmother would sometimes come along to take care of their children, and take me with her. I remember looking around at these big houses and thinking it was just so ‘jungle’, and wondering how someone could live here,” she laughs; it’s an ironic laugh, given that, as we speak, we are sitting in the heritage home she now rents in the jungle. Growing up, Rosalind lived in Sembawang, then she and husband Onno moved to a house off Dunearn Road, within a cluster house complex.

The kitchen is from IKEA. The Scruffy- and Chesterfield- inspired Westminster leather sofas are from Timothy Oulton (“They just get better with age!”). All the lights are also from Timothy Oulton.




“It was a lovely semi-detached, with a great community and all the facilities we needed, but after a while Onno felt it was too close to everything and we needed more space with our huskies.” Scouting around, they stumbled across a black-and-white house that was part of a group of similar properties in Gymkhana Avenue, in the Mount Pleasant area. “It was in a very sorry state; these homes fall into disrepair very quickly, and you could see walls cracking, animals’ nests and droppings everywhere, but Onno was able to see through this.” Taking the house on, they carried out some work (with SLA approval), including changing the kitchen and bathrooms, as well as the flooring. “We loved the space, and I loved being woken by the birds and wild chickens in the morning because they were making so much noise amongst the peace and quiet.” Making a move At this time, Rosalind had been working in logistics for the pharmaceutical and life sciences sector for 28 years, spending 50 percent of her time travelling for business. “Onno travels a lot as well, but it was what we were used to.” However, in 2013, the family relocated to Turkey as Onno was appointed group CEO of a global aviation company headquartered in Istanbul. Making the tough decision to leave her highly successful career,

“This is the beautiful part of the house that we love the most; we so enjoy having a coffee or tea and just sitting here.” The outdoor rug ( below right ) is from Affordable Style Files, the two wicker chairs from Pasardina Fine Living in Dempsey. “I’m Hainanese, hence the pillow. It’s about time we have nice souvenirs like this!”

39 AUGUST2018

“I love having my studio space here. When I get inspired at 11pm at night, I can come in here, play my all-time favourite jazz from Ben Webster and while the night away, and no one gets disturbed.” Just some examples of Rosalind’s By Ros ceramics. She works with her clients to develop customised bespoke pieces.

Rosalind jumped into a new life in Turkey with both feet. “You really need to speak the language, otherwise you feel lost, so I went on an intensive crash course, which meant I was able to go out bargaining in the markets. I busied myself visiting the old town and travelling to the nearby areas in the Balkans, I did some work with charity organisations, and was quickly involved in a few international women communities in Istanbul.” Rosalind still felt “structureless”, and she knew she needed something else, having gone from being in the corporate world for 28 years, to this. So, she decided to study pottery, learning from two different ceramic artists in Turkey. “I was surprised that I could remain calm and stay focused making pottery.” She quickly found her passion, and her influences were drawn from Chinese blue-and- white ceramics, and Dutch Delft pottery. “I started doing my own blue pieces, and I created my company, By Ros. It really just began with friends seeing the pieces and wanting me to make pottery for them too.” After the first year, things became much more volatile in Turkey, with Rosalind and Onno living through a political uprising and coup (“it was the last straw”). She called Crown Relocations and managed to get a slot for them, their belongings and their dogs to be relocated from Turkey back to Singapore. “Having to get everything ready within those two weeks was a big challenge!”

The lamp is from Curio by Timothy Oulton and the print shows Onno and Rosalind. relationship. We were living apart when we first met, travelling between Holland and Singapore. We flew with KLM, and each time you fly they give you one of these. For us, there’s a deeper meaning to this display!” “This is the story of our




Rosalind and Onno tend to eat outdoors, so this area is used for more formal dinners, as well as when Rosalind needs to display her ceramics for private client viewing. The dining table is made from Indonesian wood, and the large white Chinese scholar chair is from Just Anthony. The striking mirror frame is from Laura Ashley. The master bedroom is a comfortable, masculine mix of textures and layers.

Back to black-and-white In view of their passion for living in heritage properties, it’s no surprise they were soon on the hunt for another black- and-white home. Rosalind carried out a recce, initially not looking for a two- storey property. However, she found this house, and once her dad had given it his stamp of approval, she took it on. Negotiating with the previous tenant, they agreed to keep the attap, some lights and the decking. Once they moved in, they renovated the kitchen and bathrooms, and reworked the decking area again. Rosalind stresses the importance of promoting these heritage homes to locals,

and feels it’s vital to educate people about their history and inherent value. After we meet, she’s scheduled to welcome a group from Jane’s Tours; she’s happy to open up her home to groups if it will help foster a more positive perception of these properties. “I’m a Buddhist, and I thought I would have a bad feeling about living here – there are connotations about it being spooky as it’s close to the cemetery; but I sleep very well!” S i nc e re t ur n i ng t o S i ngapo re , Rosalind has focused on her pottery business, and has converted one of the ground-floor rooms into a studio. Enrolling in a local pottery school to learn a different skillset, she then

brought in her own clay, and now she works with a “glaze chemist”. Besides the commissioned work she receives from her regular customers, her pieces are now available in Bungalow 55 and Badger & Fox, and she is also about to supply a well-known bakery chain with her work. She shows me some of the pieces that are to be stocked at said bakery chain, and I can see that they are unique and bespoke. Talking in her studio, it’s hard to imagine Rosalind the corporate high-flyer. And, when she begins talking about the peace and tranquillity of living here in “the jungle”, it’s clear she’s heading down a very happy, albeit different, path.

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An Eck&Art print of a black-and-white house and a map of Southeast Asia hang in the entrance hall; Rosalind uses Framing Angie or Merlin Frame Maker for the majority of her framing.

RECOMMENDATIONS HOME DÉCOR By Ros Ceramics 96810399 | ByRosBespokeCeramics Curio Home Block 14C Dempsey Road 6479 7619 | Framing Angie #03-02 Holland Road Shopping Centre 211 Holland Avenue 6466 0800 | Just Anthony 379 Upper Paya Lebar Road 6283 4782 | Merlin Frame Maker (various locations) Originals #02-03 Sime Darby Centre 896 Dunearn Road 6471 9918 |

“I was surprised that I could remain so calm and focused making pottery.”

LEISURE & LIFESTYLE Crown Relocations 6861 6818 | Jane’s Tour’s 9777 9549 |

WINE & DINE Baker & Cook (various locations) Huber’s Butchers 22 Dempsey Road 6737 1588 | Merci Marcel 56 Eng Hoon Street, #01-68 6224 0113 |




ANTIQUE & ORIENTAL TREASURES On the hunt for some unique finishing touches for your home? There’s a whole treasure trove of antiques and curios to be found at Dempsey Hill. F or those in search of bona fide antiques, Shang Antique (block 26) is an address to remember. It started out selling Buddha statues from Indochina and has since furniture and ornaments, as well as custom-made pieces. Next up is Maywell Lifestyles where the emphasis is on unique, handcrafted natural wood products and décor. From decorative birdcages to dining tables, there’s a plethora of items to explore, plus it also offers furniture design, carpentry and restoration services. Pasardina Fine Living specialises in high-quality teak furniture, which is all handcrafted in Indonesia. Clockwise from top: British vintage- inspired décor at Timothy Oulton by Curio Carpets from Central Asia at Hedger’s Carpet Gallery

At family-owned Lotto Carpets (block 26), the gorgeous weaves are more than just floor coverings; they’re works of art. Sourced from all over the world, including India, Kashmir, Nepal, Turkey and Iran, the collection of superfine and antique carpets is worthy of your floors and walls. Hedger’s Carpet Gallery (block 13) is another must for carpet lovers. The range of traditional, classic and contemporary designs from Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia, Pakistan and India all come with a Certificate of Authenticity guaranteeing their origins. The store also offers a handy “try before you buy” service so you can see how a carpet works in your home before making any big decisions. If you’re looking for something beyond Asia- inspired décor, then head to the West. At British furniture and interiors company Timothy Oulton at Curio (block 14C), you’ll find vintage-style furnishings and accessories in luxurious leather, reclaimed timber and other materials. There are some serious statement pieces to be had here, as well as smaller, unusual knick-knacks, knockout lighting and accessories.

Statues of Buddhist monks from Shang Antique Restored Chinese cabinet from Woodfarm Lifestyle Reproduction cabinets from Woody Antique Lao woven pillow and scarf from Emgallery Fine and antique carpets at Lotto Carpet Gallery All kinds of Asian treasures at Maywell Lifestyles

expanded the business to include a range of Asian curios, art and paintings, and unique one-off antique furniture. The store is known for fair, reliable pricing and great customer service, so even rookie collectors will feel at ease. Just next door is Emgallery (block 26), an airy haven of reworked traditional fabrics. Founder Emiko Nakamura specialises in textiles for the home and works with weavers in Laos and Cambodia to reinterpret traditional styles with her own modern twist. From cushion covers to wall hangings, jewellery and more, this is a great spot to pick up gifts as well as something a little bit special for your home. Across the street at block 13, you’ll find an enclave of furniture shops. Woody Antique House is an Aladdin’s cave of restored and reproduction antique furniture from around Asia, including China, Tibet, India and Indonesia. It also has a line of unique suar-wood dining tables and a wide range of outdoor furniture. At neighbouring Woodfarm Lifestyle , you’ll find carefully restored authentic Chinese

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GoodNight, Struggling to get enough Z’s? European Bedding’s THIJS VEYFEYKEN talks us through the advantages of choosing the right mattress. What makes your latex mattresses a good option for Singapore? They’re well-suited for the warm and humid weather – the latex core inside is naturally resistant to dust mites and mould. They’re also designed with an open cell structure, pinholes, and no glue to promote proper air circulation. Every mattress is clothed in a removable cover, easily unzipped all around and dry-cleaned. And the ease of keeping the entire mattress free of allergens makes it perfect for allergy sufferers. Tell us a bit about the materials used in them. We use only 100 percent certified natural organic latex in our mattresses. From soil to rubber sap to final product, every step in the process is strictly controlled; that means no pesticides, fertilisers, heavy metals, VOCs (volatile organic compounds) or other chemicals that put your health in harm’s way. Natural latex comes recommended by professionals as the best material for support. And our mattresses have seven firmness zones across their core that acknowledge and accommodate the body’s natural contours; that means your hips, back and neck can all enjoy just the right firmness.

What are some tips for choosing the right mattress? Each person has a different body build and this determines the right mattress type for you. At European Bedding, we have different firmnesses for each mattress model to better suit individual preferences. We can even combine different firmness levels in one king-size mattress, so both you and your partner can sleep in comfort. Besides carrying Singapore and EUmattress sizes, we can also arrange for a custommattress of any dimensions. Whether it’s a super long family mattress or a uniquely shaped boat mattress, we can make one for any size and space needed. The journey to that heavenly rest begins with shopping for a great mattress. We want to make that experience pain-free, personalised and thoroughly enjoyable. You can have all the space and time you need in the privacy of our sleep studio; you can ask us anything, and lie down for as long as you like! What’s more, service doesn’t stop once you make your purchase. We offer a 100-night trial on our mattresses and bed bases, and we’re confident that our sleep system will transform your night for the better. What else can a shopper expect from a visit to European Bedding?

European Bedding is at 32 Eng Hoon Street, Level 2. 6735 6658 |






Above: Warren sits in one of his favourite spots in his home, which looks out onto the peaceful communal

condo area. The built-in cupboards

Interior designerWARRENFOSTER-BROWN is more used to taking on huge hotel projects for a living, but here we find out how he transformed his own apartment to create a contemporary but comfy home.

behind the sofa are covered with custom-dyed shagreen leather, and keep plenty of clutter hidden away. Opposite page: The Barbara Barry chairs were bought from Proof Living, and the home is dotted with décor pieces picked up from his travels.


Who lives here: British expat Warren Foster-Brown Size of home: Three-bedroom condo owned by Warren How long has he lived here: Since July 2011 Style of home: Modern, with a warm masculine edge

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O riginally from the UK, Warren has now spent over two decades working and living in Asia. After finishing his degree in interior architectural design in London, he first moved to Hong Kong, joining a top architectural firm for four and a half years before being headhunted to work for another firm in Singapore in 2000. After he decided to take the plunge and set up his own company in 2005, the creatively titled FBEYE was born, and the studio now works for well-known hotel brands such as Four Seasons, Marriott, Amari, Shangri-La and InterContinental, kitting out their interiors across Asia-Pacific. In fact, you can spot his handiwork in The Westin Resort in Nusa Dua, Bali, and in The Westin here in Singapore – just two examples of the many award-winning projects his company has had a hand in. One of the more personal projects Warren has been involved in is his own home, having purchased his originally three-bedroom apartment in 2011. Along with replacing walls between the lift lobby and the living room, he also removed one of the walls between the second and third bedrooms, making it a larger, more accommodating space. There are plenty of custom-made pieces seen throughout this apartment, including a large, fun drinks cabinet in the open-plan kitchen area, and a unit in the master bedroom that hides a pop-up television.




Putting down roots Warren hasn’t always lived on the East Coast; he started off his Singapore life in a condo near Holland Village. He then moved to a black-and-white on McNair Road, where he stayed for seven years. “But I then went through a traumatic event in my life, which saw me have brain surgery,” he admits, “and I decided I needed to go from a dark to a light house.” After renting a house in Siglap, he found this apartment. “Typically, the landlord wanted to hike up the rent of the place I had in Siglap. The company was well-established by then and I just felt it was the right time to buy.” Warren also has a house in Limoges in France, close to where his parents have retired to. “It’s in the middle of nowhere and it’s just been renovated.” He admits that his own home style changes a fair amount, as trends come and go, and his home here is quite different from his property in France. “Here I wanted a place to come back to and chill out in, as I travel a lot. I wanted a casual feel to it, and comfortable too.” With much of his time spent travelling for business, he finds his biggest design influences are found while he’s abroad. “I don’t think there’s a day goes by when you’re not influenced by something. If, say, we’re working on a project in Myanmar, we explore the area and its architecture and artefacts, we talk to the locals, and try to get a sense of the space around us.” Warren’s plan is to stay put in Singapore for the foreseeable future; “I’m a PR, I have my business with a head office in Singapore and an office in Manila, and we’re growing into other areas.” This includes opening an office in Shanghai, and possibly looking at European expansion down the line. Asked if he sees himself ever returning to the UK, his response is doubtful. “I’ll admit I sometimes miss it in the summer, but definitely not in the winter!”

Left: Warren brought the bed with him from Hong Kong, but it’s originally from Indonesia. It used to have cross-bracing across the top, but he removed it to fit with the current space. On the right, just seen, is a custom-built unit that hides a television. Bottom: The collection of photos on the wall are from Warren’s 40th birthday celebrations.

“One of the reasons I bought the apartment was the peaceful aspect of the condo. The pool is cool, with hammocks hanging across it, and the landscaping is really beautiful.”

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