DEC 2018

Schools The ins & outs HongKong Where to stay, what todo Tables & Chairs HEALTHY KIDS Win a painting worth $8,000!

Getting dressed for brunch Holidaywine & dine GREATGIFT IDEAS

Pet Talk

Does your dog have itchies? Adopting a fur-kid

Last night, as I lay on the mat moaning and groaning, I suddenly knew what I wanted for Christmas. To clarify: I was doing a yoga class and I hadn’t done one for over a month. My joints and muscles were screaming “No! No!” but I persevered until blissful “ shavasana ” came at the end of the hour. Afterwards, I felt like a new woman, and I swore I’d do this a couple of times a week – as I always do. But there was also a bit of a revelation around just not wanting to ever feel that stiff again. In the news this morning, it says there’s a sitting epidemic – and I believe it. I reckon on weekdays I sit for 15 hours a day (including driving) and I’m horizontal for another seven. That leaves me with two hours where I potter, sometimes do exercise, or walk to the kitchen to get a cup of tea or some food and back. I did do some grooving on Saturday night at the COURTS 1980s charity bash – but that’s rare! It’s all a bit out of whack. So, as a Christmas gift to myself, I’m going to write myself “to do” notes – and maybe actually follow the activity app that I downloaded six months ago... Our bodies need to move; all they really need is a daily walk to keep everything flowing, but the majority of us aren’t even doing that. The Expat Living team received a lovely gift in November: we won eight awards at the Media Publishers Association of Singapore (MPAS) gala awards event – including Best Website and Best Integrated Brand. We are very happy! If you’d like to gift yourself something (and you’re a woman), we’d like to give four of you a makeover. You’ll feel brand new afterwards and all set for 2019! Email us at for all the details. I’m heading to South Africa for Christmas and the New Year to see my mother-in-law – hope you all have a lovely time whatever you’re doing! EDITOR’SNOTE

Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays!

We had an early Christmas present and party with our recent wins – well done team EL !



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: |

Printed by Ho Printing Singapore Pte Ltd (

Christina Jensen’s Novena Home

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




NEWS 18 Calendar Updates: 24 Readers’ Letters 26 EL Forum:

What’s on in the coming months

Our online antics and our upcoming events

28 Singapore Page:

Exploring the island’s past and present

30 Around Town:

Photos from openings, parties, festivals and more

HOME & PROPERTY 36 News 44 Win a Painting Worth $8,000! 46 Home Showcase: Check out this festively decked- out home 55 Store Spotlight: A new face for this furniture favourite 56 Expert Voice:

46 A Novena home gets Christmas- ready

Behind the antique restoration process

LIFE & FAMILY 80 News 84 On the Page: 89 Shopping Focus: Christmas gifts for all! 100 Animal Shelters: What’s on their wish lists 102 Ask the Vet: Pets and skin issues 104 Christmas Traditions: Expats explain their celebrations back home 106 Positive Education: The effect it has on learning 108 Smart Moves:

60 Our guide to shopping at Tan Boon Liat

Recent releases and an author spotlight

58 Inside Story: The magic of a carpet 60 Retail Roundup:

Great stores to explore in the Tan Boon Liat Building

66 Buying Guide:

56 Chic and elegant bedroom furniture

Cool chairs and stools in store now


Life in Johor Bahru for an Aussie expat

72 Street Talk:

112 Funeral Planning: The questions to consider

Find out what it’s like living at Eden Grove




125 Ideas for your Christmas celebration

WINE & DINE 120 News 125 Festive Feasting:


Best bubbles and other party picks


Train adventures in Europe

Hotel spread or turkey at home?

140 Wine Picks:

10 bottles for your holiday season soirées

142 Christmas at Dempsey 143 New Year’s Eve: Two great countdown ideas 144 Italian Ideas:

Learn how to recreate healthier classics

146 Review Crew:

We rate five pizza deliveries

TRAVEL 154 News 156 Train Travel:

158 An encounter with Mongolia’s eagle hunters

See Switzerland in style 158 Destination Focus:

Hong Kong insights and recommendations

168 Healthy Cruising:

Sydney to the South Pacific




STYLE & BEAUTY 176 Style News 180 Summer Wardrobe: New ready-to-wear line, India Song 183 Trends & Launches 184 Belles who Brunch: 190 Beauty News 194 Tanglin Tresses: Sneak peek at a new salon

What to wear for a get-together

HEALTH & FITNESS 202 News 204 Expert Voice:

Tips on staying fit during the holidays

206 Fitness Focus:

Three arm-toning moves to try now

208 Family Health:

Check-ups for the kids

215 Breast Cancer: Four surprising facts 216 Varicose Veins:

Minimally invasive treatments to consider



Our readers get a Cluny Court makeover

New fashion and products for summer

REGULARS 219 Numbers & Websites 220 Horoscopes for December

222 Advertiser List 224 Parting Shot: Frequent Flyer





House of AnLi

Tanglin Mall Level 3 #03-17

Reservations for breakfast, lunch & dinner: 6235 3851 or

2/7/18 12:16 PM Open daily 9am onwards

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2/7/18 12:16 PM

2/7/18 12:16 PM



SHOPPING & FAIRS Cluny Court’s Christmas Fair and Market (2, 7, 8, 9 DEC) Browse an eclectic mix of stalls carrying gifts, decorations, party outfits, festive goodies and more at this annual Christmas fair. Also, don’t forget to drop by Santa’s grotto until 16 December for a photo op. The fair is open 10am to 7pm, Friday and Saturday, and 10am to 5pm, Sunday . Level 2, Cluny Court. HotLotz Live Christmas Enjoy complimentary wine and experience the excitement of a live HotLotz auction sale this festive season. The auction will feature champagne and whiskey bottles, branded jewellery, colourful porcelain dinner services, silver and a stunning selection of artwork. Register online to view the auction catalogue. #01-15 Cendex Center, 120 Lower Delta Road. SOCIAL & CHARITY End of Year Cocktail Function (1 DEC) Enjoy free-flow wine and beer paired with South African delights as you network at this cocktail evening by SAiSG (South Africans in Singapore). Registration required. 1927 Rooftop Pool and Bar. Auction (4 DEC)


Cluny Court’s Christmas Fair and Market





Judas Priest Firepower World Tour (4 DEC)

Judas Priest

Don’t miss the chance to catch British heavy metal act Judas Priest live this December. Japanese band Babymetal will also be making an appearance. Zepp@BigBox Singapore. Tickets from Sistic. Sleeping Beauty by Singapore Dance Theatre (6-9 DEC) This timeless classic is suitable for all ages, and features charming sets, a rich score by Tchaikovsky, stunning costumes and elegant choreography. Esplanade Theatre. Tickets from Sistic. Shangela is Shook (12 DEC) Diva Shangela from RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3 will be in town for her brand new live show, Shangela is Shook , this December. She’s best known as the only contestant to compete on three different seasons of the reality series. Shine Auditorium. Tickets from Sistic.

The Kevin Hart Irresponsible Tour (13 DEC)

Enjoy a fun night as Kevin Hart’s latest comedy world tour comes to Singapore. The popular stand-up comedian has sold out many venues worldwide. Suntec City Convention & Exhibition (Hall 601-604). Tickets from Apactix. Faith & Freedom: Music of George Michael (14-15 DEC) Celebrate the incredible musical talents of George Michael, with songs spanning his days as frontman of Wham and his incredible solo career. You’ll hear massive hits “Faith” and “Careless Whisper”, and much more. Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands. Tickets from Sistic. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope Film Concert (14-15 DEC) At this official Star Wars concert, look forward to over 70 musicians performing live as the legendary film is played on the big screen. Esplanade Theatre. Tickets from Sistic. Singapore Symphony Orchestra Christmas Concert 2018 (14-16 DEC) Soak in the Christmas spirit at the SSO’s annual Christmas concert. This year’s edition will include the popular singalong segment. Victoria Concert Hall. Tickets from Sistic.




FAMILY Corporal Crumble’s Christmas Crisis (1-2 DEC) Take the kids to catch this exciting interactive production this Christmas season. Witness a heroic escapade and an epic showdown with a villain! Sands Theatre, Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands. Tickets from Sistic. GEMS Open House (1 & 11 DEC) Join the Open House at GEMS World Academy (Singapore) to speak with the Head of School, learn about the school’s core values, curriculum and extra- curricular activities, and experience the facilities. Times: 10.30am to 12pm, 1 December; 10am to 11.30am, 11 December. Register online or call 6808 7300. Hi-5 Supers (7-9 DEC) Kids will love this action-packed superhero themed show by Hi-5! Through song and dance, it teaches children to express and believe in themselves. Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands. Tickets from Sistic. The Night Before Christmas (7-9 DEC) Join Eddie the mouse on an adventure as he searches for Father Christmas. This heart-warming production will feature live music and songs and is perfect for the whole family. SOTA Drama Theatre. Tickets from Sistic. Singapore Symphony Orchestra Babies’ Proms 2018 (8-9 DEC) SSO Babies’ Proms returns for its 16th year this December, so join Uncle Peter and the SSO for an amazing musical adventure to explore the world of the orchestra and its different instruments. Victoria Concert Hall. Tickets from Sistic. White Lodge River Valley Preschool Open House (13 DEC) Meet the leadership team and tour the brand new facility at River Valley at this Open House, which also includes the opportunity to meet teachers and experience classroom activities to gain an understanding of the curriculum and school culture. Register for a spot at openhouse . 262 River Valley Road

GEMS World Academy

ARTS Singapore International Photography Festival 2018 (UNTIL 9 DEC) Back for its sixth edition, the festival will feature 11 exhibitions and 50 public and education programmes. Highlights include works by local photographer Nguan. Intriguing Uncertainties Exhibition (UNTIL 5 JAN) This contemporary art exhibition brings together 42 artists from Europe, Asia, Africa and North and South America. Each of the works focuses on socio-cultural constellations and situational meanings. The Parkview Museum IN Art Exhibition (UNTIL 18 JAN) Hosted by the Australian High Commission each year, this art exhibition features a collection of outstanding artwork from talented students from 17 international schools in Singapore. Australian High Commission

Singapore International Photography Festival 2018

Photo Credit; Nobuyoshi Araki, courtesy of Yoshiko Isshiki Office, Tokyo





All About Dogs Exhibition (UNTIL 13 JAN) Learn more about dogs and the bonds between them and humans at this fun exhibition. Admission costs $8 for adults and $6 for children. Singapore Philatelic Museum OMM Goes to the Movies 3 (11 JAN) The Orchestra of the Music Makers (OMM) returns this January with music from iconic films such as Star Wars , Harry Potter , Lord of the Rings , Star Trek and The Avengers . Esplanade Concert Hall. Tickets from Sistic. Vienna Boys Choir: Fly With Me (12 JAN) Catch the Vienna Boys Choir this January; their impressive repertoire includes everything from medieval to contemporary music, and children’s operas to world music. Esplanade Concert Hall. Tickets from Sistic. GEMS Open House (15 & 26 JAN) Head to GEMS World Academy (Singapore) and learn more about what’s on offer for your child. You’ll speak with the Head of School, learn about the school’s core values, curriculum and extra-curricular activities, and experience the facilities. Times: 10am to 11.30am, 15 January; 10.30am to 12pm, 26 January. Register online or call 6808 7300. M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2019: Still Waters (16-27 JAN) The 2019 edition of the Fringe Festival will showcase a total of 13 works by local and international artists across different


SMBC Singapore Open

ANZ Australia Day Ball 2019 (25 JAN) Get excited for the ANZ Australia Day Ball this coming January; It’s a glamorous night that will evoke the experience of a first-class rail journey through the East Orient in a bygone era. Tickets from the AustCham website. Fairmont Ballroom, Swissotel the Stamford. My Little Red Dot Exhibition (18 JAN – 17 FEB) The exhibition showcases the collaborative illustrations of Edmund Chen and son Chen Yi Xi, highlighting the journey of a little fish in search of its identity. It also features Edmund’s 31-piece pen illustration, along with animation by Artisan’s Atelier and more. LivingwithArt Singapore, #02-04/05 Tan Boon Liat Building.

genres. The theme originates from the title of a performance piece by Australia-based Singapore artist Suzann Victor. Multiple locations. fringe2019 SMBC Singapore Open (17-20 JAN) Catch defending champion Sergio Garcia from Spain, golf legend Davis Love III from the US, and top golfers from the Asian and Japan tours as they compete in the prestigious US$1 million tournament. The Serapong, Sentosa Golf Club. SSO 40th Anniversary Gala (18 JAN) Join the Singapore Symphony Orchestra as they celebrate their 40th birthday and pay tribute to Leong Yoon Pin, one of Singapore’s prominent pioneering composers. Esplanade Concert Hall. Tickets from Sistic.


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




Tourist to expat I moved to Singapore from India a year back. My early days were spent feeling wonderfully fresh, like a tourist, mostly in all the museums, on walking tours, and hogging out at the hawker centres. I identified myself more as a long-term visitor and the word “expat” didn’t enter my mind. But then I started looking for work here. My field of work hires locals and PRs, and, since I’m neither, I didn’t land a job. I realised … I’m an expatriate . And it opened doors to a whole new world: Expat Living! I first noticed the magazine while waiting for an interview, and since April 2018 I’ve been an ardent lover of it. I’m a digital reader and have downloaded some print editions too. I can’t wait to look through to see beautiful images of homes, antique furniture and travel destinations. Being an interior décor enthusiast, I particularly loved the July 2018 edition! The icing on the cake are the City Guide and Kids’ Guide publications. The City Guide (better than Lonely Planet!) is my all-time SOS for Singapore “hacks”. I find the schools sections in both the guides is extremely helpful as my child will go to one of those from next year. I’ve also sought many ideas from the “Active & Inspired” section, and the story on “island hopping” has been our companion on enjoyable trips to Kusu and St John’s Islands. My love for Expat Living has made my thoughts flow long, but kudos to the EL team for such an absorbing publication every month. I look forward to it! – Soumita Bhattacharya Ed: What a lovely letter! So glad you’ve found us useful and helpful – that’s our aim! CITYG

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

Active dads I’ve been living in Singapore for three months now. After my wife got a job in a school here, I took on the role of expat dad. I’ve had some amazing experiences and the time I am getting to spend with my son is amazing. Through my own


research, and together with one other guy in the same position, I’ve managed to find numerous activities to do with my son, most of which take advantage of Singapore’s many free facilities. One thing I’ve noticed, however, is the distinct lack of material out there about stuff to do for dads and kids. After seeing your Review Crew articles, I was wondering if you have a group that reviews stuff for dads to do with their little ones (my son is two). If so, I’d love to have the opportunity to contribute and hopefully pass on some of the things I’ve found. – Martin McAllister Ed: Years ago, we had a playgroup for expat dads, but the main organiser left and no one took his role on. I think it would be great to do a regular event or column, or one of our Review Crew spots, as you’ve mentioned. We’ll look into it!



Remember to vote for your favourite shops, restaurants, hairdressers and more in our Readers’ Choice Awards. Give them the boost they deserve! Head to to vote now!

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December2018 Issue 197


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Schools The ins&outs HongKong Wheretostay, whattodo




Win apainting worth$8,000!

Pet Talk Doesyour doghave itchies? Adopting afur-kid

Getting dressedfor brunch Holidaywine &dine GREATGIFT IDEAS

MCI (P)074/02/2018





Our upcoming events! Visit to register



DATE: 5 December 2018 TIME: 10am – 12pm or 2pm – 4pm PLACE: Flower Addict Showroom 17 Woking Road, #01-02 ‘Tangier’ PRICE: $150 includes materials, refreshments & goodie bag


DATE: 10 December 2018 TIME: 10am – 12pm PLACE: Dulwich College (Singapore) 71 Bukit Batok West Ave 8

Price: $80 includes materials, refreshments and goodie bag


DATE: 12 December 2018 TIME: 7pm – 9pm PLACE: The British Club 73 Bukit Tinggi Road PRICE: $65 includes buffet dinner, wine & goodie bag

with Be Inquizitive


A N Z A U S T RA LI A DA Y BA LL 2 01 9 D A T E : 2 5 J an ua ry 2 0 1 9 TI ME : 7p m – 2 a m P L A C E: F ai rm ou nt B a l l r o o m Sw is sô te l The St a m fo r d

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LIFE & FAMILY Investigating the island past and present, with tips, trivia and time travel – and the occasional tricky challenge for readers! THE SINGAPORE PAGE

Great Gifts


Heading home for the holidays and want something unique to take as a gift? Check out these quirky ideas!


#1 SuperMama Store: This website has upscale Singapore-themed gifts, including a big colouring scroll for kids, and a porcelain plate covered in Singapore icons that comes in two sizes, with a box for sticking in your luggage.

Where we flick through our magazine from ten years ago to see what we can find... End-of-year contemplation Our Christmas issue was full of fun festive ideas, but we also said this... Christmas is a time to stop, breathe and acknowledge all that’s happened in the year, both good and bad. Have we given sufficient time, love and money to others? Have we given ourselves the appropriate amount of care and attention, and not allowed others to take too much from us? Are we satisfied that this year we have balanced the books – physical, emotional, spiritual and material? Rub it in! Our Wine & Dine section featured this simple Cajun seasoning for festive roasts, and we think it has stood the test of time nicely: 2 teaspoons of white pepper 2 tablespoons each of black pepper and cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, dry thyme and mustard powder 1 teaspoon each of ground fennel, dry oregano, ground cumin “Mix all the ingredients thoroughly in a bowl and rub onto meat or even seafood. Grill or bake in the oven.”

#2 Little Nyonya Batik: Want to take home a beautiful piece of Peranakan porcelain? This is your spot. Each piece is custom-made so you can choose just what you want.

#3 Lim’s Holland Village : This old standby has started carrying a line of cute Singapore-themed stuff, from tin cups to little zipper pouches to big bags and more. Each is emboldened with brightly-coloured Singapore art. #02-01, 211 Holland Avenue #4 Sticky Candy: It’s hard to find something made in Singapore for kids back home. Luckily, there’s Sticky Candy, beautiful rock candy handmade right here in the Lion City. #5 Naiise: This website supports local artists, though some of the gifts are so Singapore that your friends at home may not get it! But you can’t go wrong with Singapore Sling marmalade or the Singapore LEGO set.

Asian Christmas

For more great ideas on what to do (or buy!) in Singapore, go to

Christmas is big business in many parts of Asia, not just Singapore. Match the piece of trivia below with the Asian country it applies to!


1. Santa is often seen dressed in a blue outfit 2. The Christmas countdown begins on 1 September 3. KFC is ritually eaten as a Christmas meal 4. Apples are given as a gift of peace 5. Chicken feathers are used to make Christmas trees

Indonesia (particularly Bali) China

Think you know Singapore well? What does this image show? See next month’s page for the answer!

South Korea

The Philippines Japan

Last month: View of Johor Bahru (“JB”) from the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve.



Correct order: South Korea, The Philippines, Japan,





New in Town Everyone had a great time at the recent AWA Welcome Fair. The association’s social, sports, special interest and community service volunteers were on hand to talk event-goers through their variety of activities and to get them rooted in the community. There was also the chance to find out more about upcoming events for the year.




Work it Out Everyone had a great time at EL ’s recent event with BOUNCE Singapore. Event- goers had the chance to try out two 20-minute workouts: ABT, a high-intensity aerobic workout targeting the abs, butt and thighs, and Combat, a high-energy cardio fitness workout involving punching and kicking. Clarke Enda Patrick, a physiotherapist at Gleneagles Hospital, was on hand to offer tips on jumping technique and preventing injury.

All About Business There were plenty of valuable tips taken on board by guests at EL and Hawksford’s talk about growing and running a business. Speaker Veronica Lim, co-founder of digital marketing agency CEO Solutions, spoke on useful topics including why SEO is important, comparing SEO and SEM (Search Engine Marketing), how to optimise websites and more.



Set Sail Polish three-masted tall ship Dar Młodziezy (“Gift of Youth”) was docked at the Singapore port from 9 to 12 October. The visit was part of the ship’s year-long cruise around the world to showcase Poland and celebrate 100 years of Polish independence. The event was graced by Poland’s Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation Mr Marek Gróbarczyk and Singapore’s Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Mr Khaw Boon Wan.

Eye for Design Ryan Tan from Ngee Ann Polytechnic was named the winner of the Young Designer Award 2018 (YDA) in October for his entry “Biophilic Modernism”. The winning designs were selected from eight finalists representing local design colleges. The Young Designer Award was started four years ago by Singapore design studio Design Intervention to inspire and cultivate residential design among Singapore-based interior design students. The award presentation was held at Design Intervention’s studio in Tanglin Village.




Sweat it Out UFIT was the official fitness partner for the Spartan Race in Singapore in October. Held on Sentosa, the race had a huge team of 92 UFIT community members, trainers and therapists involved, participating in either the Spartan Sprint (5km) or Spartan Super (13km). The race featured 20 to 30 challenging obstacles set on the sandy beaches and jungle trails of the island.

Conquering Cancer EL teamed up with Parkway Cancer Centre for a session of Flower Yoga in October. Participants were given flowers and mason jars to form beautiful bouquets, all while doing yoga. They also had the option of donating their bouquets for presentation to a cancer patient with a message of good wishes. Dr Wong Chiung Ing, Senior Consultant of Medical Oncology, was on hand to answer questions about breast cancer, while cancer survivor Aly Khairuddin generously shared her own story.



46 Home

Showcase: A delightful Danish Christmas

Christina Jensen’s Novena home

56 Store Spotlight: More than just antiques

58 Inside Story: Reader’s get carried away on their carpets

66 Buying Guide: Sit down in style



A Gift for the Home Are you looking for a one-of-a-kind piece to impress your guests this Christmas? Moss Living specialises in bespoke handmade furniture, Italian lighting andnatural decorative wall coverings, with a reputation for quality, affordable and unique homeware products designed and crafted by artisans around the world. Visit the showroom during December and receive 25 percent off all items. Check out for more information or visit 1 Keng Cheow Street, #01-04 .

This Christmas, Retro Dec is giving away a customised storage bench worth $688. This mildly distressed showpiece would be a great conversation piece in any living space and is a perfect storage solution. Simply like and share Retro Dec’s Facebook page and the lucky winner will be announced on Christmas Day. (Poodle not included!)

Need a Little Help? NurtureConnect specialises in transfermaids from the Philippines and other countries approved by the Ministry of Manpower. The company aims to provide a fast, efficient and ethical service, and has become a well- known source of domestic help in Singapore.

Festive Freebie

To celebrate the festive season, latex mattress r e t a i l e r E u r o p e a n Bedding is spoiling its customers, offering a free latex travel pillow with every mattress purchased during December. Terms and conditions apply. Try the range at 32 Eng Hoon Street , or visit .




With the humidity often going above 90 percent during December, Ambi Climate helps your home stay comfortable no matter the weather. Equipped with smart sensors, the air-conditioner controller takes into account humidity, sunlight, time of day, weather and personal preferences, then automatically adjusts your AC to create an optimal environment, boosting comfort and reducing energy consumption up to 30 percent. S$199. TheGift of Comfort

Art Deco Outdoor OHMM has recently launched its new Art Deco-inspired Cala collection, featuring an intricate two-by-two herringbone weave. OHMM also offers a free design service to help you choose collections, elements, fibre and fabric colours to suit your style and space. Visit the store at 30 Merchant Road, #03-09 or call 6836 2747 .

Family Gatherings Just in time for Christmas, Natural Living has launched a stylish outdoor furniture range, designed to be as desirable as it is functional, with sleek aluminium frames and all- weather cushions. The Concept Dining Collection easily fits ten people and is available now at .




Tech Troubleshooting SARAH & BO, TEKKIE HELP Q: What’s the best way to make sure I don’t lose all my personal photos and documents?

Up in Lights If you fancy seeing your name up in lights, these flexi-neon signs could be a great addition to your home. The Braganza House pieces work as wall decoration, night-lights or, of course, a Christmas gift. The lights can be crafted into a cheeky phrase, a child’s name or meaningful symbol to reflect you and your home. To find out about pricing and lead times, email , o r che c k ou t t he i r p roduc t s on Instagram (@braganzahouse).

It’s vital that you have a backup strategy. We are increasingly being called to the rescue when people have had major disk failure and don’t have a backup. A backup is a second copy of data, which can be onsite and offsite.

Onsite backup is where a copy of the data is stored at the same physical location as you on a device such as an external hard drive or USB stick. Offsite backup is where data is stored in a different geographic location. This can be a virtual copy in the Cloud using web-based services like iCloud, DropBox, Google Drive and so on, or it can be an external hard drive stored in your office, a safety deposit box, or your home country. Onsite backup is fast, simple and cost-effective but can be destroyed along with the source data due to fire, flood or theft. Offsite backups can work out to be expensive over the long term (due to monthly subscription fees), but they mean you’ll still be able to access your data in the case of a catastrophe, which destroys the source data. The optimum solution is to keep both an onsite and offsite copy, which includes both a live backup and historical backup of your data at particular points in time. If you do this, you’ve cracked it – a resilient solution that should deal with most eventualities! If you need help implementing a robust backup solution, give Tekkie Help a call on 8113 8682. Quote “EXPATLIVING” for a complimentary telephone consultation. Formore information, visit

Energy Savings iSwitch has now made it even easier for customers to take advantage of its Open Electricity Market (OEM) in Singapore, offering a competitive price plan to suit different household lifestyle needs. To learn more about how you can switch and save, visit .




Danish Design

Now available at various outlets across Singapore, Ro is a Danish-designed i n t e r i o r s b r and , started by former h e a d o f d e s i g n at Georg Jensen Living, Rebecca Uth. Rebecca’s aim is to create objects of art, craft and design wh e r e ma t e r i a l , professionalism and sensuality merge. Find out more at , or on the brand’s Instagram and Facebook pages.

Customised Courts With the launch of its 2019 furniture collection, Courts has also announced the introduction of a customisation option. Withminimal wait times and prices starting from just $399, you can now choose your style of lounge, dining set, bed or wardrobe, and then customise the materials, configuration and more. Visit .

Under the Hammer!

Matthew Elton, HotLotz owner and chief auctioneer.

WHAT’S NEW? HotLotz is currently seeking consignments of art and jewellery for their auctions on 29 January and 12 February respectively. Call the saleroom for a valuation on 6254 7616 and download the catalogue via the HotLotz app. Looking for a unique gift this Christmas? Join HotLotz at our annual live Christmas Auction (and drinks) on Tuesday 4 December, at 7.30pm. We have lots of items including a large consignment of champagne and many one-of-a-kind items that make perfect gifts. This artwork by Singapore-based British artist Piers Bourke, called Soon To Be Removed , is one of the most significant pieces we will be auctioning. Also being sold in December are selected pieces of furniture from the elegant home of the late Kerry and Ruth Hill. Kerry Hill AO was an award-winning architect – one of the most influential of his generation – with projects including Langkawi resort The Datai and nine properties for Aman Resorts across Asia.

Download the HotLotz app to view the catalogues.



This month, we’re giving you the chance to win Sentosa Sea , an original painting from Charlotte Elizabeth Fine Art. ...apaintingworth more than$8,000

This one-of-a-kind piece of art is part of Charlotte Elizabeth’s new collection, “Singapore Seas”, motivated by the powerful and often-changing waterways that surround our island. The series is a follow-on from the artist’s popular debut collection, “Singapore Skies”, which was inspired by the incredible sky-high architecture of Singapore and its dramatic and tempestuous climate. These stunning, tactile pieces bring the rich, complicated skies and seas right into the home and make a focal point of any room. Many of us in Singapore aren’t able to redecorate our walls with paint or wallpaper, but a painting can bring a touch of personal style. Art is easily transportable, can fit into any size of room and is often a lifetime investment.




About the artist After completing her Bachelor of Arts in Drama, Charlotte Lane-Thomas received her postgraduate training in Theatre Design and Scenography at the prestigious Motley Theatre Design School in London. The majority of Charlotte’s busy career has been as a scenic artist, working at the very top level – West End Theatre, the Royal Opera House, The ENO, the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony and Broadway Theatre. Examples of her work can be seen on stage and screen all over the world. Following a move to Asia, Charlotte exhibited her first personal collection of work. She works in an organic and liberating way using layer upon layer of colour and texture to create real depth and drawing heavily upon techniques learnt from some of the best scenic artists in the world.

Leanne Jackson Photography

“Artists have long drawn inspiration from the ocean,” says Charlotte, “a unique living, mysterious entity, constantly moving and so difficult to wrestle with and capture on canvas. I hope my new works reflect the colours, power and depths of the sea around Singapore.”

To enter, simply go to Prize details: Sentosa Sea, 2018, 6 feet by 4 feet, mixed media on canvas | Instagram @charlotteelizabethfineart






W ith over a dozen years in Singapore under her belt, CHRISTINA JENSEN has lived in the East, then close to Orchard Road, and now in this Novena home; and she has seen both her daughters grow up here and since fly the nest. Getting used to the house being so empty is tough, she admits, and she’s certainly excited about the family being back together, here in their Singapore home, this Christmas. When they relocated from Denmark to Singapore in 2006 for husband Anders’ job in shipping, their daughters Josephine and Victoria were ten and six respectively. Their first home was on the East Coast, where they stayed for five years. “We liked it in the East; we had a lovely house, but the landlords wanted to move into it themselves. We were also looking to move more centrally anyway as the girls were attending the Overseas Family School, which used to have a campus just off Orchard Road.” The family found a 1950s shophouse on Emerald Hill, which they called home for another three years, before moving again to this Novena home. “We’ve always lived in houses, which I know some people say makes it harder to meet people, but we’ve not struggled. It’s also meant we’ve made more local friends; we even went to the wedding of one of our neighbours’ children.” We find out how this Danish artist injects some Christmas spirit into her home.


Clockwise from top right: Christina makes her Danish cookies every year. Here she stores them, along with candy canes, in Georg Jensen vases. Christina purchased the Galanga Living (now closed). The family supports classic Danish design; the majority of the tree decorations are from Georg Jensen, and an Erik Jørgensen Corona chair sits in the middle of the room. Scandi-style house from




Christina’s earlier career in banking was put on hold while the children were still small, so when she arrived in Singapore she had the chance to re-evaluate what she wanted to do. “Even my parents used to question why I worked in banking, as they knew I had a very creative side too.” She met Caroline, the owner of interior styling and design house Arete Culture, through mutual friends, and began assisting her on some early home projects. “I definitely have an interest in décor and design, and had already studied material and styling online.” With Caroline’s business going from strength to

Left: The wooden reindeer is from Galanga Living, and silver stool from Emperor’s Attic. The lantern, from Emperor’s Attic, makes a useful Christmas décor vehicle. Family dog Chili, and the Christmas tree.


strength, Christina says it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person, whom she now calls a close friend. “I really am so proud of her and what she’s done with her business.” Dabbling in photography and painting as well, Christina’s works are now sold in the Arete Culture showroom, and are used in home interior projects. The acrylic-on-canvas pieces are often large and sometimes in a series. “I just like to be creative, in whatever way I can,” she says. Christina’s Christmas This spills over into her home, particularly at Christmas time. When the Jensens first moved to Singapore, they travelled back to Denmark in December for the first five years. “I’d promised my grandmother we would do so, but since she passed away we’ve always spent Christmas Day here. The girls have grown up with Christmas in a tropical environment, but with plenty of our Danish traditions.”

Below: The outdoor furniture is from Arete Culture.




Christina buys a fresh tree from Thomson Nurseries every year and she has it decorated and up by early December. She also buys foamcones andmoss tomake centrepieces, and pine cones for more festive décor. “A lot of my decorations have come fromDenmark, and I will always buy something new each year.” The family celebrate Christmas on 24 December; they have a big dinner, including turkey, in the evening and then sing Danish Christmas songs around the tree before opening their presents. “My parents come here every Christmas, and my mother makes the dessert, ris alamand , a rice pudding with almonds and cream. The person who finds the single whole almond in the pudding gets an extra gift.” They usually do the bare minimum the next day, before having a Christmas lunch on the 26th instead. Sometimes they travel abroad after this time, though this year Christina is very happy to stay firmly put, content to just have the whole family back together again.


HOME Arete Culture #06-01 Tan Boon Liat Building 315 Outram Road 9640 3829 | Emperor’s Attic #01-10 Tan Boon Liat Building 315 Outram Road 6270 2544 | Georg Jensen (“for lovely Christmas ornaments and home pieces”) The Ro Collection (“beautiful Danish tableware and décor”) 9179 1227 | White Emotions by Christina Jensen 9736 4706 LIFE & FAMILY Botanic Gardens (“the perfect Sunday walk spot with Chili”) COMO Shambhala Urban Escape RECOMMENDATIONS 6304 3552 | Danish Seamens Church (“best Christmas bazaar”) 10 Pender Street WINE & DINE The Bakery By Woodlands Sourdough #01-05 Serene Centre 10 Jalan Serene Common Man Coffee Roasters Kitchen by Food Rebel (“the best Buddha bowls”) 28 Stanley Street 6224 7088 | Little Farms | Din Tai Fung | (“great yoga studio”) #06-01 Orchard Delfi 402 Orchard Road

Just one example of Christina’s artwork, in a home styled by Arete Culture.




What’s in aName? BY KEL FLANDERS offer one-off pieces and share our quality standards,” says Katrien. “These include European brands such as Notre Monde – a range of furniture, mirrors and trays creatively inspired by cultures from around the world – and Fermob, a renowned French brand bringing bright style and function to your outdoor areas. We’ve also introduced rugs by The Grey House, handcrafted in northern India, offering contemporary subtlety with touches of luxury and ethnicity.”

A favourite Singapore furniture store takes on a new moniker. Co-founded by Belgian expat couple Jonathan Roelandts and Katrien Bollen, Ethnicraft Online has been furnishing homes across Singapore with unique pieces sourced from around the world for the past six years. Over that time, they’ve continued to grow their range beyond the initial core Ethnicraft products. Now, they’re relaunching the brand as Soul & Tables , with a new 560-square-metre flagship showroom set to open in the Tan Boon Liat Building in December. Katrien explains: “Since starting Ethnicraft Online in 2012, we’ve been able to introduce lots of new products to our clients and we felt it was now time for our name to represent our whole range.” The pair went through quite a long process to come up with “Soul & Tables”, adds Katrien – it involved talking not only to customers but to focus groups too. “We really felt the new name represented something we could all identify with,” she says. “The right furniture can give your home its soul, and we all know tables can become the heart of a home.” At the same time, the ethos of Ethnicraft Online will remain: an emphasis on innovative designs and quality sustainable products. “We’ve sourced brands from around the globe that

Jonathan believes Soul & Tables “creates a balance between the convenience of online shopping with the ability to see and experience products in a showroom.” This combination of a bricks-and-mortar presence and a retail website has been one of the keys to the business’s longevity. “The new showroom will help us offer an enhanced visual experience and showcase how the Soul & Tables range can inspire our customers to see what they can achieve in their own homes,” he says. Katrien and Jonathan are encouraging customers old and new to visit the Tan Boon Liat showroom from mid-December to experience the Soul &Tables range. They’ll also have lots of exciting events and giveaways in the next few months – stay tuned! #02-01 & #02-03, Tan Boon Liat Building 315 Outram Road | 9272 1545 |




Skilled restoration can bring old pieces back to life and make them cool again! MARIE-HÉLÈNE and PIETER VAN HOUTEN first started collecting colonial antiques that intrigued them during their posting to India in 2002. A move to Singapore in 2007 saw them turn this passion into a thriving antiques business, The Past Perfect Collection, with a range of antique colonial furniture from the British, Dutch and Portuguese eras in India. Their skill is knowing what is authentic and what has value, and part of the joy of their job is the search for exclusive pieces. But how do they take items from looking like throwaways to becoming signature pieces that haven’t just been restored to their former glory but, in most cases, look even better? Pieter talks us through the process used to turn the pieces they unearth into the sleek furniture you see in The Past Perfect Collection showroom. A lot of in-depth knowledge is needed with restoration of very old pieces; for example, wood screws were never used during the construction process of these chests as they could damage or split the wood. Nails and tacks were used in such a manner as to “curve the tip” as it penetrated the wood; this kept everything secure, but didn’t cause any damage. The same process is used today in India, where all our pieces are restored before being shipped to Singapore. The traditional handicraft of furniture restorers still exists and many of the team we work with there are sons of pioneer craftsmen who pass down their skills through the family. We only select pieces that are in good condition and that don’t need much repair – just some inlay work to be re-done, for example, or handles replaced. We wouldn’t select a piece if the legs were missing or the wood was damaged and needed replacing, as it could compromise its integrity. So, we ensure authenticity in our antique restorations by using the exact same tools and practices used by the original craftsmen, with as much of the original there as possible, and the result is a beautiful piece of furniture that can last for generations.

Above: Pieter van Houten at their treasure trove, The Past Perfect Collection Showroom




This antique chest was originally found in an old mansion in South India. The entire body of the chest was covered with a layer of dust, mould and mildew. The hardware was scratched and had corroded, and the ebony mouldings were dry and in need of a good sanding.

A lot of care and attention goes into antique restoration, and it takes many hours of craftsmanship to finish a piece. Here are the five main steps in the process: 1. The beginning of any restoration consists of removing all brass straps and handles. 2. The wood is washed in a special non-toxic solution to kill and remove dust, mould and mildew; then, both the wood and hardware are lightly sanded. 3. If necessary, we do repairs using the same types of tools, nails, tacks and craftsmanship as when the piece was first made. 4. The next step is to restore and seal the wood using special non-toxic restorative oils and varnishes in a slow, repetitive manner to bring out the beautiful lustre and patina that only 100-year-old wood can achieve. 5. The last step is to bring the metal hardware (locks, hinges and so on), fixtures and any sheathing back to their original colour.

Found in good condition, this chaise longue probably was once used in the “boudoir” of a British expatriate during colonial times in India.

#11-05 Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road 6737 3078 |


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