FEB 2020


Brunch & Beyond Swimmers Lingerie&

Cool Kids’ Rooms

Readers’ Choice


Adventures by Boat & Malaysia Hotspots

EDITOR’SNOTE It seems frivolous to be thinking about Valentine’s Day this month – and the fact that it’s a leap year has hardly been mentioned! Even the big arrival of 2020 was overshadowed by other world events. That’s understandable, too. But I think if there’s one day that needs even more attention at the moment, it should be one about love. There’s plenty of attention being given to the opposite end of the spectrum just now, that’s for sure. It’s so easy to let love slip, especially in a marriage – and I don’t only mean the romance or passion. Just normal everyday kindness to each other and being nice and “loving”. I don’t want to sound preachy, but I’ve been there, done that – and I know how with just a little bit more effort it might have been a completely different outcome. It doesn’t have to cost a lot, either. We’ve got a lovely article online about the best places for watching sunsets, and also one on great walks and hikes – perfect for holding hands and smiling at each other a lot! Speaking of smiles, we have some very smiley businesses around town at the moment. Over 7,500 voters contributed to our Readers’ Choice Awards, telling us which companies they thought were the best. We also have several smiley winners of the prizes on offer – especially the one who got the lucky draw for the Maldives stay! As I write this, I’m in Southeast Gippsland in the Australian state of Victoria, and the sun has been trying to shine through the haze all day. Our thoughts are with all the people and the creatures who have been affected by the fires in Australia – and everyone who has been affected by natural disasters and manmade ones too. My motto for the month? If we can do one thing – whatever we are going through – we should just try. Try to shine, try to be nice.

REBECCA BISSET Editor-in-Chief

Visit us online for great ideas for sunset views, nature walks and more.

View from the top



Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET


Special Projects MELINDA MURPHY Chief Operations Officer COLIN PURCHASE Contributing Writers HANNAH COULSTOCK | HARSHARAN KAUR


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

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

Wild Honey (wildhoney.com.sg)





Inside this renovation success

NEWS 18 Calendar Updates: 22 Readers’ Letters 24 EL Forum:

What’s on in the coming months

Our online antics and our upcoming events 26 Readers’ Choice Awards: Find out who won! 28 Singapore Pages: Exploring the island’s past and present HOME & PROPERTY 32 News 34 Home Showcase: Peak into a newlywed’s renovated home 42 Store Spotlight: Catching up with the team at JANUS et Cie 44 Buying Guide: Kit out your kids’ room! 50 Street Talk: What it’s like living on Sentosa 52 Tech Troubles: A helping hand for Wi-Fi woes

LIFE & FAMILY 56 News 59 Ambassador for a Day: We’re back with the boys’ edition! 60 Noticeboard: Birth announcements and pet adoptions 62 Cupid’s Corner: Indulgence at Cluny Court 64 On the Screen & Page: Romantic books and TV shows! 67 On the Stage: Macbeth is coming to Singapore


Cool finds for kids’ rooms


Parents reflect on early learning Transitioning to “big school” Why STEAM equals success Helping kids with anxiety Meet a new face at Dulwich


81 Expert Advice:


Top tips on insurance in Singapore

82 Around Town:


Photos from openings, events and more 86 Fostering in Singapore: Could it be for you? 88 Environment Focus: The magic of mangroves 90 Helping Hands: Our latest on volunteer opportunities



Children take on climate change!



Celebrating love at Cluny Court




A family staycation with a view 131

Festive foods in town or at home 131

Fun-filled family adventures! 128

WINE & DINE 96 News 99 Bar Tab: A Vietnam craft beer fave hits Singapore 100 Date Night: Readers reveal their top spots 102 Table for Two: Enjoy a romantic dinner in Dempsey 104 Recipe Corner: Favourites to add to your repertoire 106 Going Greek: Where to meet and mezze!

TRAVEL 112 News 114 Destination Focus:

Malaysia insights and readers’ tales

118 Adults Aboard:

A cruise just for the grownups

124 Desk to Deck:

The couple who quit their jobs to sail 128 Fun with the Family: Three trips to do with kids 131 Singapore Stay: Right in the heart of Haji




Swim in style with these hot picks 138

STYLE & BEAUTY 134 Style News 136 Buying Guide: Lycra and lace that we love! 140 Sparkle Spotlight: Our readers’ favourite jewellery 143 Glamorous Giving: Back for the 13th edition 144 Beauty News 145 Scent-Sational: Make your own perfume! 146 Trim & Tone: Non-invasive slimming treatments to try HEALTH & FITNESS 154 News 158 Health Checks: Four to get you started 160 Expert Voice: A look into sex addiction 164 Talking Tickers: How diabetes is linked to heart health 166 Veins 101: Treating the unsightly 168 Keeping on Track: Tips on staying motivated to work out


REGULARS 171 Numbers & Websites 172 Horoscopes for February

Diabetes and heart health

174 Advertiser List 176 Parting Shot:

Being a Third Culture Kid

Frocks and accessories for your Christmas bash! 170

The latest in lingerie 136




pinterest.com/expatlivingSG instagram.com/expatlivingSG





SHOPPING & SPORTS HotLotz Online Chinese Works of Art Auction (14 FEB – 2 MAR) The auction will feature stunning antique porcelain, jade, bamboo carvings and ancient bronze mirrors from the Quek Kiok Lee Collection, which was gathered by a local collector (who has since passed away) from the 1960s. Over 350 lots will be exhibited in his home on 22 and 29 February. Auction closes at 8pm on 2 March. Register online to see the catalogue. hotlotz.com Glamorous Giving (20-21 FEB) In support of United Women Singapore (previously the Singapore Committee for UN Women), Glamorous Giving returns with 60 brands showcasing local fashion, furniture, children’s clothing, swimwear, jewellery, accessories, art, food and wine, all at markdown prices. Money raised will go to promoting women’s initiatives in the region. Antica Ballroom and Foyer, Orchard Rendezvous Hotel. facebook.com/ Glamorous.Giving

Glamorous Giving

Run for Hope 2020 (23 FEB)

This annual charity run aims to raise awareness, funds and support for cancer research. Participants can choose to take part in a 3.5km family walk/run, or a 10km run. Marina Barrage. runforhope.sg


Pentatonix (11 FEB)

98 Degrees (“98°”) (20 FEB)


The Grammy award-winning vocal group return to Singapore after last performing here in 2016. The a capella stars are known for their amazing arrangements of modern tunes. The Star Theatre. Tickets from Sistic. Stiff Little Fingers (13 FEB) The Irish band makes its way to town this month, fresh off their recent UK tour. They may have formed as far back as 1977, but audiences can expect a super-charged performance from these punk legends. The Pavilion @ Far East Square. Tickets from Sistic. Tony Hadley (16 FEB) Singer-songwriter Tony Hadley will perform for one night only in February. The ex-lead singer of classic 80s band Spandau Ballet will take fans through the band’s hits such as “I’ll Fly For You”. The Theatre at Mediacorp. Tickets from Sistic.

Catch the popular American boy band live this February as they run through hits like “I Do (Cherish You)” and “The Hardest Thing”, which have helped them sell 10 million records worldwide. The Star Theatre. Tickets from Sistic. Lady of the Camellias by Hamburg Ballet (21-23 FEB) The production tells the tale of Marguerite, a beautiful courtesan who falls for Armand Duval, a young man from a wealthy family. Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. Tickets from the Esplanade website. RuPaul’s Drag Race: Werq The World Tour (27 FEB) As part of the Asian leg of the tour, the queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race will be in town for a new production. Among them are Aquaria, Kim Chi and Plastique Tiara. The Star Theatre. Tickets from Apactix.

Yiruma (29 FEB)

World-renowned pianist Yiruma returns to Singapore with a brand new concert for one night only this February. The South Korean star will play classics such as “River Flows in You” and “Kiss the Rain”, along with other pieces from his many albums. The Star Theatre. Tickets from Sistic.






Disturbing Narratives (UNTIL 8 FEB)

Featuring over 30 artists from around the world, this exhibition showcases a variety of works, from paintings, drawings and photography to videos, sculptures and installations, all of them exploring emotions of fear, uncertainty and irrationality. The Parkview Museum Suddenly Turning Visible: Art and Architecture in Southeast Asia (1969-1989) (UNTIL 15 MAR) The exhibition features more than 50 artworks from the 60s to the 80s, revealing the relationship between art and architecture in the region at the time, and how artists responded to increasing urbanisation in the 1970s. National Gallery Singapore Living with Ink: The Collection of Dr Tan Tsze Chor (UNTIL 22 MAR) Check out over 130 treasured Chinese paintings and porcelains, including ones by modern Chinese masters and artists in Singapore from the 1930s to 1980s. Asian Civilisations Museum If Walls Could Speak (1-11 FEB) This exhibition by Mayinart and ART PODium showcases the work of up- and-coming Indonesian, Indian and Singaporean artists. They will be placed alongside pieces by award-winning and master artists including Kartika Affandi and Budi Ubrux. ION Art Gallery

Shaws PreSchool Open House

Shaws Preschool Open House (15 FEB) Take the kids along for fun water play activities at the school’s open house this month. All six of their campuses will be open for visits, where families can take tours, meet teachers and ask questions about the curriculum. Find out more on the school website. shaws.com.sg SJI International Open House (15 FEB) SJI International’s Open House and Pedagogical Morning is happening in February. Learn how the IB curriculum and the school’s holistic values-driven approach encourages academic and personal development. Suitable for prospective Grade 7, 8 and 9 students; pre-register on the school website. SJI International School. sji-international.com.sg Waitangi Day (16 FEB) Enjoy all things Kiwi at this annual celebration. Look forward to an afternoon of fun activities and entertainment including face-painting, bouncy castles, arts and crafts and a slip n’ slide. Also, dig into classic NZ eats and drinks like pies, sausages and beers. Australian International School Junior Campus

classrooms and get a feel of the school community at this Open House. The school’s cohort has over 60 nationalities, with students able to choose from four IB programmes. Register at gwa.edu.sg/ contact-us/open-house . GEMS World Academy (Singapore) Fly High (19 FEB – 28 MAR) This fun production tells the story of Poppy and Mo, who decide to build their own flying machine. Enjoy loads of laughs, original songs, and puppetry. KC Arts Centre – Home of SRT. Tickets from Sistic. Peppa Pig Live – Perfect Rainy Day (22-23 FEB) Our favourite pig is coming to town! At this new live show, watch Peppa Pig, friends and family get up to all kinds of antics. The Theatre at Mediacorp. Tickets from Sistic. Sixth Form Open Evening (27 FEB) In Tanglin Sixth Form, students can take the A Levels or IB Diploma. The school encourages students not only to excel academically, but to find their passions, embrace opportunities and become lifelong learners. During this Open Evening, you can meet with the Head of Sixth Form, guidance counsellors and current Sixth Form students. Tanglin Trust School

GEMS World Academy (Singapore) Open House (18 FEB)

Tour the facilities, meet the Education Leadership Team, observe students in the

Living with Ink




Midori & Festival Strings Lucerne (10 MAR)

SuperMom Baby Fair (20-22 MAR)

Geronimo Stilton Live – The Return of the Kingdom of the Fantasy (22 MAR) Geronimo Stilton embarks on a mission to find the Heart of Happiness and is reunited with Scribblehopper. This show uses multimedia effects, music and animation to bring the popular children’s book to life. The Theatre at Mediacorp. Tickets from Sistic.

This baby fair will feature over 200,000 products for babies and parents. Shoppers can look forward to great deals, cashbacks and freebies. Singapore Expo A-ha Hunting High and Low Tour (21 MAR) Norwegian band A-ha will perform live in Singapore for the first time this February. The concert will be their only stop in Southeast Asia. The day’s activities include an 80s theme party and a festive beer garden with loads of food and drinks. Singapore Turf Club. bit.ly/aha-sistic

Enjoy a selection of Beethoven’s works by Festival Strings Lucerne and Japanese- American violinist Midori. Esplanade Concert Hall. Tickets from the Esplanade website. Lea Salonga (19-22 MAR) Singing star Lea Salonga will be accompanied by a full band and 11-piece string ensemble for this show, as they perform everything from Broadway musicals to Disney favourites. Tickets from the Esplanade website.

Slipknot (24 MAR)

As part of their We Are Not Your Kind Tour, the long-standing American heavy metal outfit are returning to Singapore for what promises to be another impressive live show. Fort Canning Park. Tickets from Sistic.

A-ha Hunting High and Low Tour

: 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. For best letter, Geetika Chadha will receive a divine candle from To Be Calm. Each month, there’ll be

one of their signature candles to choose from tobecalm.com .

Congratulations, Readers’ Choice winners

Life’s a Breeze with EL! Dear Rebecca and the team, what a breeze it has been for me for the past six months. I’ve been completely immersed in the colourful and enlightening world of your monthly issues. I’m indebted to you for choosing me to be a free receiver of the magazine, and I’ve had the best moments and created some of the best memories reading

We were so excited to be included in your Readers’ Choice Awards. Thank you to all for voting, and to the team at Expat Living for continuing to provide a great publication each month. After 15 years on the Little Red Dot, we still enjoy reading every issue. Big congratulations to all the winners in all the categories; wishing every business a successful 2020! – The Cocoon Styling team Ed: Thank you for the great feedback, and yes, all the best for your business and all businesses in 2020.

the stories with my family, especially on holidays. May this new year be the beginning of the best of memories for you, too. Cheers! – Geetika Chadha Ed: We love that we’ve given you happy memories. And yes, it’s still nice to readmags – especially on holidays!

Makeup Masterclass Thanks very much, Susan from Expat Living and Ellie from The Big Blow for hosting the masterclass at Cluny Court. It was a very informative and inspiring event. It was also very generous of Ellie to give us some one-on-one time afterwards – I really appreciated that. Thanks again, ladies, and hope you have a wonderful year! – Karen Lucas Ed: I couldn’t get to this one, unfortunately, but I heard lots of good things. I think I need to get out from behind my computer and get some makeup tips too!

Email us at info@expatliving.sg




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February2020 Issue211 S$6.90 CHILDREN’SROOMS •LINGERIE&JEWELLERY •SCHOOLS MCI (P)031/02/2019 Cool Kids’ Rooms Readers’ Choice Brunch&Beyond Swimmers Lingerie&


FebCoverFinal.indd 2 expatliving.sg/print Scan the QR code or visit


AdventuresbyBoat &MalaysiaHotspots

14/1/20 2:22PM



Our upcoming events! Visit expatliving.sg/ELevents to register.



DATE: 5 February 2020 TIME: 9.30am – 11.30am followed by lunch PLACE: SPRMRKT at Cluny Court PRICE: $25 for 1 person, including coffee/tea and lunch $40 for 2 people, including coffee/tea and lunch FOOD AS MEDICINE DISCOVER HOW FOOD CAN CURE ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING

Singapore St Andrew’s Society welcomes all to its annual

BURNS SUPPER AND CEILIDH Saturday 1 February 2020 from 7.00pm in the Island Ballroom Shangri-La Hotel dress code is black tie, jackets optional and cocktail dresses tickets at: burns2020.peatix.com Saturday 1 February 2020 from 7.00pm in the Island Ballroom, Shangri-La Hotel dress code is black tie, jackets optional and cocktail dresses tickets at: burns2020.peatix.com DATE: 1 February 2020 TIME: from 7p PLACE: Island Ballroom, Shangri-La Hotel Tickets at burns2020.peatix.com Saturday 1 February 2020 from 7.00pm in the Island Ballroom Shangri-La Hotel dress code is black tie, jackets optional and cocktail dresses tickets at: burns2020.peatix.com BURNS SUPPER AND CEILIDH Singapore St Andrew’s ociety elcomes all to its annual

BURNS SUPPER AND CEILIDH Singapore St Andrew’s Society welcomes all to its annual Singapore St Andrew’s Society welcomes all to its annual BURNS SUPPER AND CEILIDH

Saturday 1 February 2020 from 7.00pm in the Island Ballroom, Shangri-La Hotel

dress code is black tie, jackets optional and cocktail dresses tickets at: burns2020.peatix.com



DATE: 19 February 2020 TIME: 10am – 12 noon PLACE: Cafe Melba, Mediapolis PRICE: $35, including refreshments

$25 for CRCE members, including refreshments

Boost your professional success in Singapore



Elevating your Business with Instagram DATE: 28 February 2020 TIME: 10am – 11.45am

BODY IMAGE, EATING DISORDERS AND NUTRITION DATE: 21 February 2020 TIME: 10am – 11.45am PLACE: International Medical Clinic (Orchard), 9th Floor, Camden Medical Centre PRICE: $10, including refreshments

PLACE: Dulwich College (Singapore) PRICE: $25, including refreshments


Congratulations! Results are inandwe’redelighted to announce the winners of the Readers’ Choice Awards 2020 . We’ve highlighted everything from furniture stores to the best brunches in town, so look out for the “Expat Living Readers’ Choice Awards 2020” seal on store windows or websites to spot the best products and services that Singapore offers. A BIG thank you to all voters for your recommendations, and our partners, Four Seasons Resort Maldives , Avani+ Samui Resort and Mandarin Oriental , Singapore for sponsor ing amazing prizes for our voters.

HomeDecor Best Interior Designer or Home Stylist 1 ST PLACE ARETE CULTURE

Best Living Room Furniture 1 ST PLACE ORIGINALS Best Outdoor Furniture 1 ST PLACE OHMM Best Antique & Asian Furniture 1 ST PLACE EMPEROR’S ATTIC Best Lighting 1 ST PLACE TAYLOR B. Best Carpets & Rugs 1 ST PLACE THE CINNAMON ROOM Best Art Framing 1 ST PLACE FRAMING ANGIE Travel Best Travel Booking Website 1 ST PLACE BOOKING.COM Best Hotel for a Romantic Getaway in Singapore 1 ST PLACE CAPELLA Best Spa & Resort Hotel in Singapore 1 ST PLACE SOFITEL SENTOSA RESORT & SPA Best Hotel for a Staycation in Singapore 1 ST PLACE W SENTOSA Best Family Resort or Hotel (Overseas) 1 ST PLACE NIKOI PRIVATE ISLAND Wine & Dine Best Romantic Dining 1 ST PLACE ODETTE Best Family-friendly & Value-for-money Restaurant 1 ST PLACE DIN TAI FUNG Best Restaurant with Out-of-town Guests 1 ST PLACE JUMBO SEAFOOD Best Champagne Brunch 1 ST PLACE COLONY @ THE RITZ-CARLTON Best Wine Bar 1 ST PLACE WINE CONNECTION

expatliving.sg/readerschoice Here are some of our winners! For the full list of readers’ choices, visit

Grocers Best Supermarket 1 ST PLACE COLD STORAGE Best Online Grocer 1 ST PLACE REDMART Best Organic & Health and Gourmet & International Food Store 1 ST PLACE LITTLE FARMS Best Butcher 1 ST PLACE HUBER’S BUTCHERY

Beauty & Spa Best Hair Colouring & Styling 1 ST PLACE EXPAT HAIR STUDIO Best Manicure & Pedicure 1 ST PLACE THE NAILIST Best Facials 1 ST PLACE SKIN FITNESS

Best Anti-ageing and Slimming & Shaping Treatments 1 ST PLACE CUTIS MEDICAL LASER CLINICS

Services Best Dry Cleaning & Laundry 1 ST PLACE PIING! Best Movers & Storage Facility 1 ST PLACE SHALOM MOVERS Best Relocation Agent 1 ST PLACE ASIAN TIGERS MOBILITY Best IT Support 1 ST PLACE TEKKIE HELP Best Photography Studio 1 ST PLACE LITTLEONES PHOTOGRAPHY

Health & Medical Best Gym or Fitness Studio & Personal Trainer 1 ST PLACE ATP PERSONAL TRAINING Best Yoga Studio 1 ST PLACE PURE YOGA Best Pilates Studio 1 ST PLACE OPTIONS PILATES Best GP & Family Doctor 1 ST PLACE INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CLINIC Best Dentist & Orthodontist 1 ST PLACE SMILEFOCUS DENTAL CLINIC Leisure & Kids ' Activities Best Social & Sports Club 1 ST PLACE SINGAPORE CRICKET CLUB Best Indoor Activity for Kids 1 ST PLACE SUPERPARK Best Outdoor Activity for Kids 1 ST PLACE FOREST ADVENTURE Best Performing Arts Programme 1 ST PLACE CENTRE STAGE, SCHOOL OF THE ARTS

Retail & Fashion Best Women’s Independent Fashion Outlet 1 ST PLACE WHITE GINGER Best Women’s Jewellery 1 ST PLACE ASHEPA LIFESTYLE

Best Swim & Resort Wear 1 ST PLACE SEAFOLLY

Best Formal & Cocktail Wear 1 ST PLACE COVETELLA Best Tailor 1 ST PLACE JOE'S TAILORING Best Kids’ Shoes 1 ST PLACE TEN FEET TALL

Best Kids’ Holiday Camp 1 ST PLACE CAMP ASIA

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


THE BIRDS OF SINGAPORE Singapore has some stunning birds. Take a read so you’ll be in the know the next time you spot one.

Oriental Pied Hornbill This large black-and-white bird lives high in tree canopies, mostly on Pulau Ubin and near Changi. Its trademark bill has a knob on top known as a casque, made of honeycombed tissue. The bird’s loud call has been described as a cross between a cackling witch and a monkey! Hornbills mostly eat fruit and small critters such as lizards. Unfortunately, this beauty is listed as critically endangered. Did you know? The male hornbill


helps to seal the female into a suitable hole in a tree, leaving only a slit for slipping food in, protecting the chicks until they’re strong enough to leave the nest. Javan Mynah The most common bird in Singapore was brought to Singapore as a pet in the 1920s. Now? You can find them everywhere – to the point that some people hate them. The early bird gets the worm, and mynahs get up early to scavenge insects, fruit and leftover human food and hawker scraps. They can be aggressive about food, boldly working an area as a group. Did you know? Researchers believe the prevalence of the mynah may be contributing to the decline of other Singapore bird numbers. Black-naped Oriole You can recognise this stunner by its bright yellow colour with black on its wings and over its eyes – like a masked crusader. They’re fun to watch, too. Courtship is like a chase scene from a Tom Cruise movie, taking place at high speeds with the male in hot pursuit of the female. Their songs can be melodious and beautiful; at other times, they sound more like a cat. And, like cats, they chase other birds and often raid their nests. Did you know? This oriole has been featured on Singapore currency in the past. Little Egret Though these are Singapore’s smallest egrets, they make a sound more like a big turkey. The species faces no threat of extinction, maybe because of their cool hunting technique: they stalk prey in shallow water, often running with raised wings or shuffling their feet to get small fish moving. On land, they do the same thing to snag an occasional reptile or insect. Did you know? You can find them in wetland areas, often in flocks.

The 1920s While we ponder what the 2020s might bring to Singapore, here’s a glimpse of what the island looked like a century ago, through the words of founding prime minister Lee Kwan Yew reflecting on his 1920s boyhood: The population was less than a million and most of Singapore was covered by mangrove swamps, rubber plantations and secondary forest because rubber had failed, and forests around Mandai/Bukit Timah took its place.

Taking the Leap 2020 is a Leap Year, which means this month is a day longer than usual (Saturday 29 February). And all those people who were born on 29 Feb can

enjoy their once-in-every-four-years chance to celebrate their birthday on the actual day!

Did you know? The film The Leap Years , which came out in 2008, is considered Singapore's first English-language romance movie.





Asian Glossy Starling Ever been on Orchard around sunset and heard what feels like millions of birds chirping all at once? Those are starlings. They’re kind of lazy (or smart maybe?), nesting in manmade spots such as abandoned buildings, before congregating in trees or on high wires for their nightly party. They often swallow fruit whole, helping to distribute seeds. Did you know? On first sight, they look black, but they’re actually an iridescent green, with red eyes.

The Istana, a 106-hectare estate at 35 Orchard Road, is the official residence and workplace of the President of Singapore. (The word istana means “palace” in Malay.) It’s off-limits to sightseers, except for a select few days when the doors are thrown open for the public. In 2020, there are five days when you can visit the Istana: #1 Sunday, 26 January (2nd day of Chinese New Year) #2 Friday, 1 May (Labour Day) #3 Sunday, 24 May (Hari Raya Puasa) #4 Sunday, 26 July (two weeks before National Day) #5 Saturday, 14 November (Deepavali) Entry (8.30am-6pm) is free for Singaporeans and PRs, and $2 for others, with some additional fees for tours and so on. Enter via the main gate on Orchard Road (nearest MRT: Dhoby Ghaut). For info, see istana.gov.sg/Visit- And-Explore/Istana-Open-House. Istana trivia: • Built between 1867 and 1869. • The grounds include a nine-hole golf course. • For a 360-degree view of the building and gardens, see istana.gov.sg/360- tour.

Olive-backed Sunbird These beautiful small yellow songbirds are common in Singapore and really share the load when it comes to child-rearing. Together, they build a cool, flask-shaped nest where the female will lay one or two blue-green eggs. After the chicks hatch, both the male and female bring them food. Did you know? You can tell the male apart from the female as he has a beautiful blue breast.

Coppersmith Barbet These multi-coloured beauties are related to woodpeckers and are quite common in Singapore. If you’re lucky, you can find a pair who are courting, a process that involves an entire dance routine, with singing, puffing the throat, bobbing the head, flicking the tail and more. Did you know? They didn’t get their name for their copper-coloured heads, but rather because their call sounds like a coppersmith striking a hammer.

Kingfishers There are two stunning but rare kingfishers found in Singapore. The first is the blue-eared kingfisher with its striking royal blue body and copper-coloured undercarriage. And then there’s the oriental dwarf kingfisher that you can sometimes spot in the winter. This little guy looks like he flew through a Holi festival as he’s covered with so many beautiful, bright colours. Did you know? Singapore is home to a total of eight different types of kingfisher. Want to learn more and even hear what these birds sound like? Check out singaporebirds.com. There’s also a helpful free app for iPhones called “Birds of Singapore”.

Think you know Singapore well? Where’s this purple Aussie fellow found? (Hint: he’s kept company by a bunch of other crazy statues.)

See these pages in our April issue for the answer!

Last month: The festive shopping mall featured in our December issue was ION Orchard.



44 Children’s Corner:

Furniture finds and accessories

House of AnLi

34 Showcase: Newlyweds show us around their renovated digs

50 Street Talk: Find out what it’s like living on Sentosa

52 Tech Troubles: Handy tips for Wi-Fi connectivity at home


It’s now possible to recreate that dreamy weekend away at your favourite Balinese villa in your very own home! Online furniture store INBALI provides trendy rattan and teak furniture, along with exotic lampshades and cosy outdoor daybeds – all handmade in Bali and delivered direct to your door. So, you can surround yourself with beautiful island- inspired homeware, without the hassle of Holiday at Home

overloaded luggage. With a custom-made service specialising in sourcing and creating (often from little more than an inspiring holiday photo), INBALI offers quality and affordable bespoke products exclusively to Singapore. Need something special? The founders are just a DM away! Visit inbali.co and check out the store’s dreamy inspiration lookbook.

From Village to World ... Great World City, that is! Lim’s Holland Village has been a must-stop destination in the Village for antique, reproduction and home décor for the past 40 years. The store has recently opened a second outlet at the newly refurbished Great World City. This outlet focuses on home décor, soft furnishings and delightful gifts for friends and family. Look out for them on Level 2, Great World City, 1 Kim Seng Promenade .




An Inspiring Start Originals has settled into its new 15,000-square- foot warehouse with over 30 home scenarios to get you inspired in 2020! Along with this newly founded space come many new arrivals from the store’s collections from Europe, Africa, India and Indonesia. Originals also now offers styling consultations to help streamline your interior design process with the expert in-house stylist. That means you can create a beautiful home that is uniquely yours easier than ever before. Pop in and see the team at 1 Bukit Batok Street 22, Level 5 . originals.com.sg

Don’t miss Part 2 of our record-breaking single-owner collection,

Stylish & Sustainable? Yes, Please!

Designer & Luxury (think handbags and other luxury branded goods) – both will be sold in an international timed auction format via the-saleroom.com. We love that more buyers are rejecting high retail prices and thinking about sourcing from the secondary market, which says something about both their style and their sustainable choices. So, if you’ve got jewellery, watches, handbags or designer pieces that you’d like to give a new home, why not consign them to us? Email hello@hotlotz.com to start the ball rolling. Deadline for consignment is Friday 6 March. Finally, do you need a Valentine’s Day gift? Pop into the saleroom on Thursday 6 February between 6pm and 9pm for a glass of bubbles to view (and try!) jewellery from our Valentine’s sale.

“Chinese Works of Art from the collection of Quek Kiok Lee”. The catalogue is out on 14 February and bidding ends on 2 March.

We’re noticing at HotLotz that more and more millennials are bidding online and walking through our doors looking for vintage luxury items. It’s a trend being repeated around the world. Consigning items you no longer need is a brilliant way to extend the life of luxury, giving a new chapter to designer pieces (as well as providing a useful return for you!). So, if the millennials think buying sustainably is cool, then it must be, right? This demand for high-quality pieces from buyers across the world has inspired us to work with our international partner, the-saleroom.com , once again. We are currently looking for consignment for two sales in April: Jewellery & Watches, and

MATTHEW ELTON is the founder of HotLotz, which holds curated auctions of hand-picked, eclectic items every week. Visit hotlotz.com for auction catalogues, download the app, or pop in for a visit at 120 Lower Delta Road, #01-15 Cendex Centre.






Talk about a passion project! This stunning home makeover carried out by a pair of newlyweds is nothing short of a love letter to one another. I t’s a love story really, this place at Mimosa Park. Two newlyweds, LISA OAKE and her husband SANJAY MIRCHANDANI, share a passion for home makeovers and their newly renovated apartment is their unexpected masterpiece. Unexpected because they live in Mimosa Park. Built in 1976, it’s one of the oldest condos in Singapore. So, what lies behind the front door seems a bit incongruous with what you might expect as you walk through the condo parking lot. In fact, the combination of the real stone walls and the custom-built kitchen feels more like something you’d find back in Lisa’s home country of Canada – not Seletar. “Google was our architect,” the couple laughs. Lisa adds, “We knew we wanted a cosy and rustic feel, so we both spent a lot of time online, researching what we liked. We’re so lucky that we have exactly the same taste – we agreed on absolutely everything.”


The stone wall Even though Sanjay had renovated another home previously, sourcing things in Singapore was no easy task. For starters, there’s the impressive stone wall that sets the tone for the entire home. “We went to eight different places to look at walls, but nothing was quite like the one we wanted,” explains Sanjay. “We finally found a gigantic granite boulder at a place called Hot Spring Stone. They used this big burner and a stone-cutting machine and started chiselling it off for us. The pieces had to be thin so they would go on the wall properly. I think the guy thought we were a little crazy,” says Sanjay, with a twinkle in his eye. His love for this project is as apparent as Lisa’s. They hired two contractors to execute the renovation and bring their designs to life. Richard Pang from Square Room Interior Design oversaw most of the work, including the installation of the stone wall. Lisa wanted an arch and she also wanted every stone to have a slightly different shape. That meant the artisan who installed the wall had to further re-cut and shape each piece by hand before cementing it into place. “If all the stones are too uniform, it loses that cosy feel and doesn’t look authentic,” Lisa explains. “We also wanted to extend the wall out to the balcony to make the space feel larger. We were lucky that the condo management let us do it. The arch was the trickiest bit, by far.”

The kitchen The second contractor, Calsia Lee from Mu Dian, focused on the navy blue kitchen and master bedroom closet. An open layout was important to Lisa and Sanjay, so they hired an engineer to confirm they couldmove the kitchen from its original location, taking out both a bathroom and bedroomtomake it happen. Moving the pipes and drainagewas a difficult task, but the result was worth it: a beautiful, open-concept kitchen. “Lisa is a fantastic cook,” beams Sanjay. “I wanted her to have the kitchen of her dreams so we designed every detail, including the butler’s pantry and wine shelves. We found this giant slab of South American suar wood in Mandai and we knew we wanted to use it for the island countertop. Calsia did an amazing job and custom-built the island specifically to fit that piece of wood.” Figuring out where the island should go was trickier. “We originally wanted it to run parallel to the cooker, but realised it wouldn’t fit. So, we put tape on the floor and kept rearranging it until we had just the right placement. We didn’t want people to keep bumping into each other in the kitchen. It had to feel spacious.”





Thanks to an incredibly powerful vent with a booster installed above the stove, the family can cook favourites such as sausage and roasted red pepper pasta or lamb chops with fresh rosemary, cumin and chilli without food smells permeating the living room furniture. Their favourite touches A lot of the details that make the kitchen – and the rest of the home – truly special were shipped from overseas. Sanjay, a captain with Singapore Airlines, had the 42-inch farmhouse copper sink custom- designed in India. The 300-year-old firebacks – cast-iron pictures that were once used to retain heat at the backs of fireplaces – were imported from France. They were made by carving scenes into wood, with the planks then placed into sand, and molten metal poured on top. You can tell a true




antique fireback because you can still see the lines where the boards would have joined up. “I was searching for backsplash ideas because I wanted something a little different. I saw a photo of a fireback being used as a backsplash and fell in love with the idea,” says Lisa. “We located two perfect pieces at a warehouse in Paris. As it happened, Sanjay was flying to Paris the very next day.” Sanjay picks up the story: “It turns out the antique dealer was only a half-hour walk from my hotel. I bought them both and then had to figure out how to get them back to Singapore. They’re not only heavy, but also very old. TNT agreed to ship them for us. The package total weight was 213kg.” It took five men to lift and hold the firebacks to install them. One was placed behind the stove and the other at the entrance to the front door. The fireback behind the stove is flanked by ceramic tiles that closely resemble old tin tiles. The difference is the ceramic is easy to clean, as is the fireback, which only needs to be wiped down and occasionally oiled. The floors throughout the apartment are also ceramic, a tile that looks like hardwood. “I love the look of hardwood,” explains Lisa, “but wood scratches easily and termites can be a problem in Singapore. The ceramic is sturdy enough for an apartment full of teenagers and pets.” She’s referring to Logan, 16, a student at the Singapore American School, Evan, 19, who’s at Western University in London, Ontario, and the couple’s Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and two rescue cats. The extras Some things, such as crown moulding, were easy to find in Singapore, whereas the thick baseboards they preferred were not available here and had to be imported from Belgium. “We renovated every inch of this 2,154-square- foot apartment,” Sanjay laughs. There are now three bedrooms, an office and a nice space for Lisa’s helper Flora who’s been with her for almost 20 years. Sanjay even made sure that Lisa, the former co-host of CNBC’s Squawk Box and nowCEOof OakeMedia, had a custom- built makeup table in the bedroom. They also added shortened twelve-inch grills to each window ledge to keep their beautiful, large plants from sliding off. As for furnishings, some – such as the sofas from Taylor B – are new, but a lot of things came from their two lives prior to their marriage. They melded together perfectly, just like the couple themselves. “We’vehadsomuch fundoing thisproject together,” said Lisa. “It consumed the six months that it took us to do it, but we loved every minute. We’re ready for the next one!”


Master contractor Richard Pang, Square Room Interior Design squareroomid.com Kitchen/closet contractor Calsia Lee, Mu Dian Pte Ltd mudian.com.sg Stone supplier Mr Monjurul & Mr Ah San Hot Spring Stone Private Limited hotspringstone.com Wooden island supplier Anthony Xu, Wood Capitol woodcapitol.com Brass supplier in India Mr Kamlesh Mehta, Shree

Charuba Stores +91 93244 06167

Plants Ji Mei Flower | jm.com.sg

Lisa’s media training company Oake Media | oakemedia.com




D e s i g n e r f u r n i t u r e s t o r e JANUS et Cie is named after the Roman god Janus, whose two faces look forward and back. We caught up with founder and CEO, JANICEFELDMAN, andVPof Sales, STUART DUDLEY, to see how the brand’s progressive designs are influenced by its history.

Stuart: The extraordinary effort we put into our designs allows them to easily be mistaken for indoor furniture. The added durability of each piece coupled with the development of softer materials and fabrics blurs the edges between indoor and outdoor design. How is the design process different for residential and commercial use? Janice: A homeowner may be very involved in the furniture selection for their home, while hotels and corporate entities have teams that must consider the different uses and needs for the many people who’ll be enjoying the furniture. The clients’ values, how long they anticipate keeping their products, and what they hope to experience throughout the lifetime of their investment all factor into this process. Stuart: The scale is quite different from a volume perspective between residential and commercial projects, which affects requirements for logistics solutions, lead time and the fit-out process. You’re more likely to have elements of customisation in commercial designs, too, requiring different approvals from decision makers!

The store’s roots are in outdoor furniture – who were your pieces for in those early days? Janice: When I opened the first JANUS et Cie showroom at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles 42 years ago (wow, was it really that long ago?!) we catered for

both residential and commercial clients. At that time, we hadn’t branched into the hospitality sector. Still, whether a piece is for a living room or a corporate rooftop, it’s equally important to me. Was there a significant project that first took the business indoors? Janice: There was a need for incredibly durable pieces that retained their quality in high-traffic hospitality environments, and we were a natural fit to fill the gap. Our furniture is engineered to withstand the elements while retaining the elegance and beauty that’s so sought after in indoor furnishings. As we expanded into Asia, we saw the need to have exclusive indoor options. This led to the launch of luxurious rattan versions of some of our most iconic collections that had been offered solely in our exterior JANUSfiber material.




Is working on outdoor furniture more restrictive due to the materials and durability they have to have? Janice: Not at all! By emphasising creativity and ingenuity, we’ve put ourselves at the forefront of enduring, innovative materials. Our JANUSfiber has the aesthetic of traditional woven furniture with the ability to maintain its stunning design over time and in any weather – it’s resistant to UV light and moisture, and won’t tear or fade. Stuart: There are very few restrictions. While outdoor conditions may be more demanding, requiring fabrics and materials that will endure the elements, the technological developments we’ve made enable us to meet the needs of clients for their outdoor furniture without sacrificing style. Janice: We often work with other luxury brands to create custom pieces and finishes for large-scale projects; these have included the Amazon Spheres in Seattle, Washington, and The St. Regis Hong Kong. These collaborations are unique to each environment and circumstance, and we’re proud to offer this kind of bespoke service. Our furniture is also outfitted on over half of all ocean-bound cruise lines, which speaks to the extreme conditions that those items can endure. Stuart: We recently completed a project at the Halekulani Okinawa hotel in Japan that included a lot of custom pieces. The furniture height was adjusted and tabletops were chosen for added durability to withstand the direct summer sun. We’ve also introduced the Alta collection, which has been modified to meet the standards required for senior living environments. These designs are incredibly functional yet distinguished. Have you worked on any unusual projects recently?

11 Beach Road, #01-02 6333 0060 | janusetcie.com



Glacier bed with pull-out, $699, Star Living at The Furniture Mall

From neutral pieces to colourful combinations, here’s our round-up of children’s furniture and furnishings in the stores now.






1 Samuel & Sons Cirque trimming collection, price on request, Altfield Interiors 2 Donghia Garden Pets fabric upholstered chairs, price on request, Altfield Interiors 3 Tri design hide rug, 1.6m x 2.3m, $1,750, customisable to any size, The Cinnamon Room 4 Slat Secretary desk, $649, Scanteak





5 Nomad India medium cabinet with cane webbing, $1,280, Originals 6 Rhino-N Junior Set bunkbed, $790, Star Living at The Furniture Mall 7 Fermob Adada rocking horse, $370, Soul & Tables 8 Nomad India small cabinet with pink interior, $520, Originals 9 Mathy by Bols tree bookcase, $1,395, House of AnLi











10 Ringa bedframe, $539, and Klass chest of drawers, $1,259, Scanteak 11 Mathy by Bols tent bed, $2,995, House of AnLi 12 Ethnicraft Marius Origami desk in oak, $1,550, Soul & Tables 13 Nomad India shelf, $380, Originals 14 Weitzner Expressions wallcoverings, price on request, Altfield Interiors 15 Tipis leather tribal tent, price on request, Black & Walnut 16 Union Jack leather hide rug, 1.2m x 1.8m, $1,050, customisable to any size, The Cinnamon Room





Altfield Interiors #07-10 Central Mall Office Tower 1 Magazine Road 6909 2768 | altfield.com.hk Black & Walnut 43 Keppel Road Level 1 6781 3201 | blackandwalnut.com.sg

House of AnLi 163 Tanglin Road, #03-17 6235 3851 | houseofanli.com

Originals 1 Bukit Batok Street 22, #05-02/03 6471 9918 | originals.com.sg Scanteak 60 Sungei Kadut Drive 6368 2802 | scanteak.com.sg Soul & Tables #02-01/03 Tan Boon Liat Building 315 Outram Road 9272 1545 | soulandtables.com.sg The Cinnamon Room 43 Jalan Merah Saga, #02-74 Holland Village 9727 3051 | thecinnamonroom.com


The Furniture Mall #01-06 (Star Living) 10 Toh Guan Road thefurnituremall.com.sg




CELINE HIVET Nationality: French Occupation: Aqua Coach

What’s the name of the street and neighbourhood where you live? Ocean Drive, Sentosa. Exact words you tell a taxi driver to get home? “Sentosa Cove, please.” Closest MRT station? HarbourFront station (purple North East Line and yellow Circle Line). Why here? Because of the sea view, and also because I work at Tanjong Beach, in, on and around water (pools, too). I do life coaching, paddle boarding, aqua fitness and aqua massage. SENTOSA OVER THE YEARS 1970: Sentosa gets its modern name 1974: Cable car links the island to the mainland How long have you lived here? Almost four years.

FOC Sentosa

When you walk out of your place, the first thing you see is: The sea! The closest store to your front door is: Cold Storage and Jasons The Gourmet Grocer. Your neighbours are great, but you wouldn’t mind fewer: Crows?

1992: Causeway bridge opens 1998: Passenger vehicles are granted access 2000: ZoukOut debuts on Siloso Beach 2010: Resorts World Sentosa opens 2011: Sentosa Boardwalk footbridge opens 2018: Sentosa hosts US-North Korea summit 2019: Sentosa Merlion closes



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