February 2017


FEB 2017


Finding &Making a Home

Beat the Bulge! Treatments to tone and firm

Set the Mood Dining spots, candles, lingerie and more

Plan Your Escape Finland Maldives Hong Kong


Back in the 60s, the Beatles sang “All You Need is Love”, but by the start of this new century the Black Eyed Peas were singing “Where is the Love?” … I think we’re still looking. The world seems split between those who are working towards being loving and those who are looking for someone to blame. At home and work it’s just so easy to fall into the trap of getting annoyed and grumpy if you can’t find something, or if something doesn’t work. On a more global scale, there seems to be an eagerness among people today to blame certain things on skin colour or race. It’s a weird term, “race”. There are “nationalities” – that is, where our passports are from – and these usually consist of people of dozens of different skin colours; and most of us have several countries of origin in our DNA; but we are all the human race. All this other labelling is just another excuse to point a finger at someone else rather than ourselves – and none of it is “loving”. Maybe it’s time for another worldwide concert where we can sing “We Are The World” again! Or maybe we can just start singing it more around the home and hope that it trickles upwards into the workplace and then globally. Fifteen years ago this month, I wrote my first editor’s letter as a way of helping people living away from home find their feet, meet people and make the most out of their new surroundings. What will the next 15 years bring, for you and me, for Singapore and for the world? To quote another song (by UB40), it’s “The Way You Do The Things You Do” that I think might help us all move in the right direction.

REBECCA BISSET Editor-in-Chief



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Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET


Contributing Photographer KEN TAN (WITHINIMAGES.COM)

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COVER: Cold Storage Singapore Recipe by Sarab Kapoor




NEWS 12 News Headlines 14 Calendar Updates: 22 Readers’ Letters 24 EL Forum: HOME & PROPERTY 28 News 30 Shopping Guide:

Events happening around town

What’s online and this month’s events

Cool candles to up the romance stakes

32 Home Showcase:

A simple yet stylish bungalow in Bukit Timah

46 Shopping Spotlight:

A one-stop furniture hub in Outram

51 Expert Voice:

Tips on creating a stylish children’s bedroom

55 Buyer’s Guide:

Kids’ room furnishings you’ll love

98 Street Talk:

Living on Punggol Way


Décor ideas for children’s rooms

ARTS & LEISURE 74 On the Wall:

What’s on in the art scene

76 On the Stage:

30 Light things up with a romantic candle or two

The latest in live music, dance and theatre

78 On the Screen:

Big – and small – screen highlights of the month

80 On the Page:

Recent book releases




LIFE & FAMILY 84 News 92 Treat Yourself: Valentine’s at Tanglin 94 Noticeboard:

New births, plus pets for adoption

96 New Mum Essentials:

Great products to help you through the first year

99 Expert Voice:

Talking sport education with Danny Tauroa

101 Education Updates: What’s new at Stamford? 102 Animal News:

Maggie Anderson on her work with stray dogs

105 Making a Home:

The importance of settling in

108 Social Scene:

Readers recommend Singapore clubs

113 Get Covered:

Do you have adequate health insurance?

WINE & DINE 120 News 124 Love at First Bite:

Singapore’s most romantic restaurants

134 Bar Tab:

New nightspots to check out now

124 Super

136 Chef Showcase:

spots for Valentine’s Day dinner

What to expect from the Art at Curate dining event

158 Cocktails and coral

138 Recipe Corner:


Delicious dishes to make this month

TRAVEL 148 News 151 Serviced Comfort: We review Hong Kong’s 8KwaiFong 152 European Stopover: A whirlwind trip to Finland 158 Cool Coral: A look at Maldivian reef conservation





Our interview with an expert on relationships and sex

165 An Intimate Chat:

We meet sex therapist Erin Chen, founder of Lila Sutra

FASHION 172 News 174 Shopping Edit: BEAUTY 180 News 182 Tried & Tested:

Bras and briefs for all shapes and sizes

The EL team test-drives cleansing products

185 Toned & Trim:

Hi-tech treatments to banish those wobbly bits

HEALTH & FITNESS 194 News 196 Health Matters:

A look at different types of diet

200 Fab Abs:

Five tummy tighteners to do with a workout buddy

202 Never in Vein

Expert tips for healthy and beautiful legs

174 Top lingerie shopping picks

REGULARS 211 Numbers & Websites 212 Horoscopes for February

214 Advertiser List 216 Parting Shot:

How relocating can affect kids



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How will you say “I love you” to your special person on 14 February? Will it be the simplest gesture – a heartfelt message on a card, or perhaps a traditional bunch of roses? If you’re planning a romantic dinner for two, then check out our dining suggestions for a candlelight celebration at home (page 30) or choose from one of our 10 hand-picked restaurants (page 124). Valentine’s Day

Fashion at Boutiques Look out for the “Singapore and Beyond” edition of Boutique Fairs , to be held next month in collaboration with the Textile and Fashion Federation Singapore. The fashion-focused event features over 150 independent designers, plus a wellness corner with nutritionists and sports coaches, craft and styling workshops, charity and social enterprise booths, a café by Violet Oon, and lots more. 10 March (9am to 8pm) and 11 March (10am to 8pm) at the F1 Pit Building, 1 Republic Boulevard. Free admission and parking. boutiquefairs.com.sg

Live and Loud If you enjoy live performances, a cultural smorgasbord awaits you. The annual Chingay Parade (10 and 11 February) is the largest street performance and float parade in Asia and an extravagant reflection of Singapore’s vibrant multicultural community. In March, the Singapore Jazz Festival returns with top-notch international and local performers. Or, if jazz is not your genre, take a step back in time when the Village People , supported by Bjorn Again , perform on 18 and 19 May.

Singapore Tourism Board




SPORTS & FITNESS MetaSprint Series Aquathlon (12 FEB) Ease into the challenge of multi-sport races with the MetaSprint Series Aquathlon, to be held at idyllic Palawan Beach. You can choose either to swim 250m and run 2.5km, or to swim 750m and run 5km; kids can take on a 150m swim and a 1.5km run. Palawan Beach, Sentosa. metasprintseries.com The Roar of Singapore (17 FEB) Get hyped for a night of thrilling boxing action at The Roar of Singapore. Witness the skills of some of the best boxers from around the world, including Canada’s Ryan Ford as he takes on New Zealand’s Sam Rapira for the UBO Light Heavyweight World Title. #04-01 Foo Chow Association Building, 21 Tyrwhitt Road. Tickets from Peatix. Relay for Life (18-19 FEB) Support the Singapore Cancer Society at the island state’s first Relay for Life, which provides the community with an opportunity to participate in the fight against cancer. The event involves teams walking or running laps for the duration of a certain time slot – either 5 to 8pm, overnight from 8pm to 6am, or 6 to 10am. Caregivers as well as cancer survivors will be participating in the event. Bukit Gombak Sports Stadium. singaporecancersociety.org.sg Terry Fox Run for Cancer Research (26 FEB) Raise funds to support local cancer research in the upcoming Terry Fox Run. Join in the 6.30am warm-up before walking or jogging either 10km (flag-off at 7.30am) or 5km (7.45am) with friends and family. Angsana Green, East Coast Park. terryfoxrunsg.com

Boutique Italian Wine Fair by Bacco


Boutique Italian Wine Fair by Bacco (11 FEB)

Explore a variety of boutique vino from all over Italy at this exclusive fair. Try over 300 rare varietals and speciality wines and discover the benefits of choosing organic. The APS Gallery, 9 Muthuraman Chetty Road, Robertson Quay. baccowines.com Glamorous Giving (14-15 FEB) Back for its seventh edition, this fashion and homeware fair and clearance sale is organised by Stones That Rock. Explore more than 50 local boutiques, brands and independent designers, all offering great bargains in support of the Singapore Committee for UN Women. Orchard Parade Hotel. stonesthatrock.com SuperMom Baby Fair (17-19 FEB) Calling all mums-to-be and those with newborns to Singapore’s biggest and grandest baby fair, which this year is featuring over 200 exhibitors, 8,000 brands and loads of essential baby products. Gain insights and tips from local and international experts at the SuperMom Pregnancy Summit. Marina Bay Sands Expo Hall A & B. babyfair. supermom.com.sg




DANCE, DRAMA & THEATRE Journey – Live in Singapore (10 FEB) American rock icons Journey are on their way to Singapore for a one-night-only show this February. Fans can expect a bunch of the band’s rock anthems such as “Any Way You Want It”, “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” and the timeless hit, “Don’t Stop Believin’”. The Star Theatre, 1 Vista Exchange Green. Tickets from Sistic. Wonderfruit Festival (16-19 FEB) Thailand’s eco-friendly art and music festival retreat returns this month for its third year. Enjoy a relaxing weekend of activities for the whole family including live bands, yoga and art sessions. The Fields at Siam Country, Pattaya, Thailand. James Taylor in Concert (21 FEB) Don’t miss the triumphant return of American singer- songwriter James Taylor to Singapore this month. His music is always personal and articulates moments of pain and joy, so you can expect an emotional tour de force from the five- time Grammy Award winner as he performs alongside his All-Star band. The Star Theatre, 1 Vista Exchange Green. Tickets from Sistic. Joe Satriani Surfing To Shockwave Tour (21 FEB) Be sure to catch Joe Satriani, one of the world’s most successful solo guitarists, as he comes to Singapore as part of his Asian tour, and rock along to hits including “Bigfoot” and “Oh Yeah”. Kallang Theatre, 1 Stadium Walk. Tickets from Sistic. Guns N’ Roses Not in This Lifetime Tour 2017 (25 FEB) Rock legends Guns N’ Roses will be playing in Singapore this month for the first time. Fresh from filling in as AC/ DC’s frontman, Axl Rose and other former Gunners members Slash and Duff McKagan are regrouping for one of the most hotly awaited world tours ever. Changi Exhibition Centre, 9 Aviation Park Road. Tickets from Sistic. Yiruma Live in Singapore (25 FEB) Korean contemporary classical composer and pianist Yiruma will be performing here this month. With popular pieces such as “River Flows in You” and “Kiss the Rain”, he is considered one of the most successful composer-pianists in the world. The Star Theatre, 1 Vista Exchange Green. Tickets from Sistic.

Guns N’ Roses Not in This Lifetime Tour 2017

FAMILY White Lodge Toddler Play Club Sessions (VARIOUS DATES) Bring your little one for free monthly play sessions at White Lodge. Children from 15 to 24 months will enjoy a fun hour of play, Mandarin, art and sensory activities. Look out for session updates on the website or contact admin@whitelodge.edu.sg. East Coast (102 Guillemard Road, #02-01) and Loewen Gardens (75E Loewen Road) branches. whitelodge.edu.sg Rise & Shine Play Festival (17-19 FEB) Explore, learn and have fun at Rise & Shine, Asia’s largest enrichment and play festival for children and families. Try a range of enriching activities, including sports and dance, and grab some bargains at the toy and book fairs. Marina Bay Sands Expo Halls A & B. riseandshine.com.sg

White Lodge Toddler Play Club Sessions




Singapore Biennale (UNTIL 26 FEB)

NZCC Waitangi Day Family Celebrations 2017

Titled An Atlas of Mirrors, this year’s Biennale will present a range of artworks by more than 50 artists. The works featured will reflect on shared histories and current realities, both in and beyond the region. Singapore Art Museum. Tickets from Sistic or the Singapore Art Museum.


Singapore Biennale

Great Australia Day BBQ (5 FEB)

Iskandar Jalil: Kembara Tanah Liat (Clay Travels) (UNTIL 28 FEB) Don’t miss the first exhibition to map prominent Singaporean ceramist Iskandar Jalil’s artistic practice, detailing his travels and exploring his role as a teacher. National Gallery. nationalgallery.sg Symphony in Colours (3-8 FEB) Be sure to see Symphony in Colours, an exhibition featuring works by both established and emerging Singapore-based artists. Expect a diverse collection of styles and media including acrylic, watercolour, Chinese brush painting and mixed media. Visual Arts Centre, 10 Penang Road. symphonyincolours.com

ART In this new exhibition, sculptor Sam Jinks highlights the limitations of the human experience due to our vulnerable and ageing bodies. Sullivan+Strumpf Singapore, 5 Lock Road. Out of the Box by Rohit Chawla (UNTIL 19 FEB) Admire the stunning works of Indian photographer Rohit Chawla, one of the most eminent fashion and commercial photographers of his time. Experience intimate glimpses into the lives of the people he photographs, including a nomadic tribe from Northern India. REDSEA Gallery, Block 9 Dempsey Road. redseagallery.com Enjoy pies, fairy floss and great coffee at this Aussie-themed barbecue. Relax in the tent and groove along to your favourite Antipodean tunes from the live band, while the little ones are well entertained and supervised in the play area. Australian International School. anza.org.sg NZCC Waitangi Day Family Celebrations 2017 (19 FEB) Celebrate Waitangi Day in Singapore with Kiwis and friends. Enjoy an afternoon sampling tasty New Zealand produce and drinks, while the kids are entertained with face painting and a bouncy castle. Australian International School, 1 Lorong Chuan. Immortality Project I (UNTIL 12 FEB)

Out of the Box by Rohit Chawla




21st Century Calligraphy Exhibition (UNTIL 12 MAR) Drop by The Private Museum to admire the skills of prominent Chinese calligraphers. In conjunction with Singapore Art Week, 19 works from Wang Dongling, Sun Xiaoyun, Wang Tiande, Wei Ligang and Guan Jun will be on display. The Private Museum, 51 Waterloo Street. theprivatemuseum.org After playing to a 4,000-strong audience in 2013, Explosions in The Sky returns to Singapore for its first-ever headline concert here. Popular in the post-rock scene, the Texan band will be joined by American-Kiwi rockers, Unknown Mortal Orchestra. The Coliseum, 1 Garden Avenue. Tickets from Peatix. St Joseph’s Institution International School Open House (4 MAR) Come to SJI International’s open house day and find out more about how the International Baccalaureate curriculum encourages both academic and personal development. Go on guided tours and take part in experiential activities. Limited spaces are available and pre-registration is required for entry. St Joseph’s Institution International, 490 Thomson Road. sji- international.com.sg SingaPlural 2017 (7-12 MAR) An annual celebration of all things design, SingaPlural returns with a new theme (Stories – A New Perspective) and more Explosions in The Sky (3 MAR)

Featuring over 150 independent designers and loads of the latest brands, the fashion- focused fair will have you mingling with the creators of your favourite local lines. F1 Pit Building. boutiquefairs.com.sg Disney On Ice (4 MAR) Watch Disney stories come to life at Disney On Ice this March. Great for the whole family, it’s a chance to meet favourite cartoon characters from movies like Alice in Wonderland , Peter Pan , The Little Mermaid and Frozen . Singapore Indoor Stadium. Tickets from the Singapore Sports Hub website. Race The Dead (18 MAR) Race The Dead returns with a whole new survival challenge. Experience a genuine adrenaline rush as you try to escape the mass of zombies and manoeuvre through their traps as night falls. Siloso Beach. racethedead.sg MetaSprint Series Duathlon (19 MAR) Run, bike and then run again during this challenging duathlon. Enjoy views of the Singapore city skyline as you sweat it out with friends and family in one of several race categories. F1 Village, Republic Boulevard. metasprintseries.com

SJI International Open House

design elements on show, including architecture, interiors, furniture, urban planning and fashion. The festival celebrates creativity in individuals and in collaborations. F1 Pit Building. singaplural.com Those Who Can’t, Teach – The Necessary Stage (9-19 MAR) First staged in 1990, this Singaporean theatre classic by Alvin Tan and Haresh Sharma is set in a secondary school, and looks at the daily lives of teachers and students between bell times. Drama Centre Theatre, National Library Building. Tickets from Sistic.

Singapore and Beyond

Singapore and Beyond 2017 (10-11 MAR) Get your shopping fix as Boutique Fairs returns with its annual spring edition.

MetaSprint Series Duathlon

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




We want to hear from you! Send us your thoughts on the

EL Eventgoers

magazine, or on any subject under the sun. To welcome her to a new life in Singapore, we’ll be delivering a bottle of champagne to Nicole Shepps .

Thank you for organising the Monkey’s Trail event a couple of months back – my children loved it, especially the storytelling session. And thank you verymuch to both EL and HomesToLife for the opportunity to win tickets to go and see Charlotte’s Web – that was very enjoyable too. – Claudie Gauthier Thank you again for November’s amazing session on photography for social media, held at Dreamweave Concepts. It was fun, creative, interactive, and I found it extremely useful. What a fantastic venue, and what great speakers! A huge accolade to Susan for organising a really excellent morning, and to photographer ElvinaWolf. I’ve already started to implement the things I learnt for our villa in Bali (facebook.com/ villaumahdaun). I’m still only just starting to learn, but we all have to start somewhere! I hope to join more of these types of sessions. – Conny Jamieson Ed: We’ve got a great line-up of events in the pipeline, starting with a “makeover for mums” with makeup artist Samina Malik on 10 February, and a Coffee Morning on personal branding on the 24th – for more, go to expatliving.sg and click on EL Events. We’d love to see you there!

My husband and I are considering a move from London in March, with our eight-month-old, so I’ve been doing some research to put my mind at ease. I just wanted to let you know that I have really appreciated and valued your website. You have some great information and have made me feel better about our decision. – Nicole Shepps

Another Bouquet

I love the new-look website! Everything is much easier to find now, with lots of beautiful pictures, and all my favourite sections are covered. I really like theHomes andTravel sections: they are so inspiring. Thanks for making life in Singapore feel a little more like home! – Mary-Anne Vicente Ed: Thank you all for your accolades on our revamped website. Apart from great content, we’ve worked hard to make expatliving.sg easier to navigate – and much easier to read on your mobile phone, too.

Email us at info@expatliving.sg



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Whatwe’reup toon…

INSTAGRAM Follow us @expatlivingsg for all our behind-the-scenes antics!

Reviewing great restaurants around town for you to try.

Recommending our favourite spa spots on the island!

Checking out the latest beauty launches – we love these new cleansing shampoos.

Personal Branding & Content Marketing

includes refreshments & goodie bag

DATE 24 February 2017 TIME 10am - 12pm PLACE The Past Perfect Collection 896 Dunearn Road #02-01D Sime Darby Centre Singapore 589472 CONTACT susan.knudsen-pickles@expatliving.sg



55 Buyer’s Guide: Gorgeous kids’ furniture and furnishings

Wood Collection junior bed, Danish Design

30 Product Ideas: Candles to get you in the mood for romance

32 Home Showcase: Check out this artist’s Greenwood Avenue home

64 Street Talk: The pros and cons of living in Punggol Way




If you appreciate the beauty of the sea but quite rightly worry about the environmental impact of using shells or coral for décor, the Big Blue Company has a solution. It employs 3D technology to create replica pieces cast from stone resin. Products range from a small glass jar with seven little sea urchins in white or hand-painted pink for $66, to a 75cm clam at $425 and a one-metre clam at $1,500. See for yourself at #01-07, 72 Loewen Road .

Bright & Light Inject a pop of colour and a sense of fun into your glassware with one of these pieces by Joe Cariati . His collection includes the

District Eight has released part of its Compass collection – a dining table ($3,100) and a desk ($2,970). Each has a handcrafted, solid oak top fastened to a hand-cast blackened steel base, accentuated with brushed brass collars. The pieces maintain District Eight’s signature industrial look, while moving away from its usual heavy, masculine proportions. Available at Journey East, 315 Outram Road, #03-02 Tan Boon Liat Building .

tall, fluted cone decanter and the low arc decanter; it’s available at Vanilla Home, 63 Club Street .

Whatever your views on Brexit, if you’re looking for an investment property or a pad to eventually repatriate to, now is still a great time to buy in the UK. Jackson Potter , an independent mortgage broker with 20 years in the business, can help with mortgages as well as assist with the refinancing of existing properties. Email london@ jacksonpotter.co.uk or visit jacksonpotter.co.uk to find out more. BorrowtoBuy



Light Up Your Life Creating a welcoming ambi ence wi th one or more candl es i s something that pleases all the senses, and with Valent ine’s Day just around the corner, what better time to find some candles to help get your home in the right mood?

This Rose essential oil candle is a great mood-booster. Small (4oz) candle, $18; large (8oz) candle, $32; Hush .

French fragrance house Galimard was founded in 1747, in Grasse, the birthplace of perfumery. Each of its candles comes in a glass holder, and the range includes fragrances such as Fig Tree, Jasmine, Rose and Vanilla. $43 each, Dreamweave Concepts .

The Jasmine Orange essential oil candle is rich and intoxicating. Small (4oz) candle, $18; large (8oz) candle, $32; Hush .




Lafco New York’s Rose & Elemi candle exudes exotic peppers, elemi wood, incense and wild rose petals; its burn time is up to 70 hours. $80, Lemongrass & Aubergine .

This Honey Blossom candle from Lafco New York evokes deep notes of honey, freshened with citrus and zesty bergamot; it will burn for 90 hours. $110, Lemongrass & Aubergine .

Alongside Big Blue ’s core products of replicated eco-friendly giant clams, shells and corals are its own 100 percent pure soy and essential oil candles. The double-wick lights have scents inspired by famous coastal towns, including the Amalfi, which blends the fresh, exotic aromas of Italian lemon groves. $55, with 75 hours of burn time.


Big Blue 72 Loewen Road bigblueco.com Bungalow 55

#01-05A Cluny Court 501 Bukit Timah Road 6463 3831 | thebungalow55.com Dreamweave #02-24/25 Shaw Centre 1 Scotts Road 6836 9495 | dreamweaveconcepts.com Hush hushcandle.com Lemongrass & Aubergine #02-26 Cluny Court 501 Bukit Timah Road 6463 0752 | lemongrass-aubergine.com

Hut & Manor’s Peach and Cream candle combines the scents of fresh peaches and coconut cream, while its Violet and Lime candle creates a complex aroma. Both are hand-poured with 100 percent natural soy wax and cotton wicks, have a burn time of approximately 40 hours, and come in stylish black-and-white glass. $49.95, Bungalow 55 .

Lumira’s Cypres de Provence candle exudes woody notes and the sweet essence of orange blossom. The Sicilian Citrus candle draws inspiration from the Italian landscape, its smooth but zesty fragrance infused with neroli, tuberose and orange blossom. Both have an 80-hour burn time. $69, Bungalow 55 .





Tucked away atop a steep hill just off Greenwood Avenue, there’s a simplewhite bungalowsurrounded by greenery. This is the long-time home of Dutch couple MARIJKE BÖHM and her husband PAUL. They live here with their three children, Bo (9), Sara (6) and Faber (8 months), their helper Mary, and Yip, an excitable, sandy- coloured labradoodle. You can feel immediately this is a warm, carefree family home – carefully considered, yet not toomanicured. We take a look at the eclectic but comfortably styled home that seems to reflect Marijke herself.

The cosy living room features earthy tones and textures.


A digital artist and photographer, Marijke has lived with her family in Singapore for the past seven years. Excluding the first few months, when they lived on the East Coast, this house has been their base for the entire time. They found it with the help of a Dutch real estate agent: it had exactly the kind of space and greenery they were looking for. “The outdoor area was really important,” explains Marijke. “We love to live outside – that’s one of the nicest things about Singapore.” With a lovely, large covered terrace and dining area and a good- sized garden, it was exactly what they wanted. “But it’s not quite so good if it rains!” she says with a laugh. Home is where the heart is The house is one of the older ones in the neighbourhood, many of which have been demolished and replaced with imposing, modern mansions that are a little at odds with the older homes. Having previously lived in Egypt and Tehran, the family had no qualms about living in a well-worn house. “Of course, we would like a fancy kitchen and modern bathrooms, but a spacious terrace and lots of greenery are more important to us. And we were used to living in old houses.” In Tehran, she explains, your house is also a social hub. “Like everywhere in Iran, you had to wear a headscarf in public and be covered up. Things were very restricted outside, so all your social life happened at home.” That didn’t stop her getting out and travelling though; she explored Iran, Syria and Lebanon with Paul and her friends. “Of course, the Middle East was very different then. It was still very good for travelling, even for women alone. It’s very hard to imagine doing that now.” Inside, the house is open-plan, the living space demarcated by a few pillars and arches. A brick wall hung with a striking red painting of a Vietnamese woman adds texture and interest to the cosy living room, and light floods in through the high windows and French doors. The central sofa is backed by a huge trunk that is a souvenir from Iran, and the walls are lined with cabinets and hung with art. Artist at home An artist herself, Marijke has a constant flow of new pieces, and her colourful photographic collages are a highlight of her home. While some, like the cloud collage that hangs above the desk, are more artistic, personal pieces, others are great examples of the mainstay of her work: Singapore memory boards. Featuring photographs of typical local scenes and themes, such as colourful shophouses or Peranakan tiles, each memory board is a tribute to her adopted home. A keen photographer, Marijke started making these for herself when she arrived in Singapore. She first established it as a business in 2012, having discovered a demand from other expats looking for mementos of their time here, as well as from Singaporeans who appreciated her perspective of their homeland. She has made her studio in the entrance hall, a large, light-filled space that’s ideal for the purpose. The walls are lined with various works that combine photographs and painting. Although she has previously exhibited at the




Top: Marijke’s studio fills the entrance lobby with colour and life. Bottom, from left:

A mix-and- match style that comes together beautifully. The vase is

from Iran, the glass cabinet from Originals. Marijke’s memory boards are vibrant mementos of the city.


Indoor- outdoor

living is a highlight of life in Singapore.






Affordable Art Fair and elsewhere, her main focus these days is on memory boards. As such, the floors of the house are edged with carefully wrapped stock. “My husband is always telling me it’s a big mess, but I have nowhere else to put them!” The human touch Marijke hasn’t always worked as an artist. Her background is in law, and she has a special interest in human rights. In Egypt, she volunteered with an NGO that provided legal aid for refugees from Sudan and other African countries. In Iran, too, her work brought her into contact with asylum seekers, Christian groups, journalists and other persecuted communities. Finding similar work in Singapore was not easy, and so she began volunteering with HOME, an independent organisation dedicated to upholding the rights of migrant workers here. Marijke dealt mainly with domestic workers who had experienced injustice or abuse, and for two years she worked as a first point of contact for those seeking help. These days, her main project is the HOME Sewing Team, a group that she established to help the women develop skills, serve as a distraction for them, and earn money for HOME at the same time. “There’s a lot of sitting and waiting,” she explains. “Some cases take so long to be settled. There are volunteers that run courses, yoga classes, arts and crafts workshops, and so on. I came up with the idea of making and selling fabric bunting; it’s been going well for five years now.” They began offering the products at fairs, giving Marijke a boost to start her own business: “While I was selling the bunting, I thought that I should bring a few collages to see if other people liked them.” It turned out they did, and the rest is history!

Opposite page: Fabric bunting raises funds for HOME and adds personality to daughter Sara’s bedroom. The beautiful tapestry from House of AnLi was a special birthday gift and hangs pride of place in the bedroom. Above: The painting above the blue chair is by Dutch artist Caspar Faassen.


Marijke’s Recommendations

Belouk.com (“For lovely chairs and lamps”)

MacRitchie Reservoir (“Lovely nature and away from the city – a run around the lake is a great way to get active”)

Blue Bali (“Beautiful restaurant by the Botanic Gardens”) 1D Cluny Road, NUS Evans Road

PARK at Holland Village (“Nice hangout”) 281 Holland Road 9721 3815 | facebook.com/PARKathv

Bukit Timah Campus 6733 0185 | bluebali.sg

HOME (“Personalised fabric bunting can be ordered at funkyfairtrade.org, with proceeds going to support HOME”) home.org.sg

Slappy Cakes (“Bake your own pancakes – a fun activity with the kids”)

200 Turf Club Road, #01-20/21 6465 1814 | slappycakes.com.sg

Kinki (“Best sushi”) #02-02 Customs House, 70 Collyer Quay 6533 3471 | kinki.com.sg Kinokuniya (“Favourite bookstore for browsing”) #04-20 Takashimaya Shopping Centre 91 Orchard Road

Marijke’s memory boards can be bought as is, or customised with your personal photos. For more details, visit facebook.com/Memoryboards.info.







Whether you have something special in mind, or just fancy browsing what’s hot for the home, the Tan Boon Liat Building is a great one-stop furniture shop. Unassuming on the outside, the building holds a treasure trove of furnishing styles, from Asian to Scandinavian, including tribal rugs, objets d’art and other one-of-a-kind accessories. Here’s our go-to list of stores in this Outram Road haven.




The showroom carries a variety of Asian-inspired antique and vintage furniture, art and accessories including hand-painted Chinese cabinets, sideboards, chests, ceramic stools, foo dogs and more. The store has built a strong relationship with its small pool of suppliers in Northern China, ensuring a flow of quality, authentic

d-Bodhi Mondrian bookrack

pieces; a new shipment arrives every three months. There are also some great gift ideas available, from as little as $10. What’s more, FairPrice has recently featured works by Singapore-based artists, including Julie Williams and Gloria Keh, in line with its goal of supporting expat- owned businesses and local causes.



The pieces here are sourced from across South and Southeast Asia, and restored using age-old wood- working skills and hand-craftsmanship. These architectural and vintage finds, such as antique doors, window frames and carvings, are creatively transformed into one-of-a-kind furniture items that are suitable for everyday use. Expect to find both vintage and contemporary pieces as well as recycled wood furniture in vibrant colours. If you’re looking for some additional

This store is known for its teak furniture and Southeast Asian vintage finds. Collectors will love the restored pieces, hand- picked in Java, Indonesia; and, if you’re looking for something contemporary, the store also carries industrial and modern furniture, accessories and gifts. Keep an eye out for the Southeast Asian-inspired PLAYplay collection, designed by Francesca Lanzavecchia and Hunn Wai, which includes bright, casual pieces that are sure to inject a sense of fun into your home. Up to 90 percent of Journey East’s products are eco-friendly and made from sustainable sources, including reclaimed wood and recycled iron. And don’t forget to say hi to the resident cat, Ginger, who roams the showroom!

Eastern flair, you can opt for the store’s customised upholstery service, which focuses on fabrics with an Oriental inspiration and a contemporary twist.


Well-known for its solid wood furnishings, Ethnicraft Online offers contemporary teak pieces that are crafted from sustainably harvested teak that has been recycled or FSC-certified. The oak range is equally modern and environmentally friendly. All Ethnicraft pieces are both functional and aesthetically appealing. Keep an eye out for the Universo Positivo series, which has a playful feel, and the vintage-inspired Mr Marius collection; or, for a little artistic flair, take a look at the Notre Monde handmade trays and tables.

Double- extendable teak dining table




One of Singapore’s longest-established carpet shops, Hassan’s Carpets offers an extensive collection of quality, handmade woven rugs. From traditional classics and tribals to contemporary designs, all of the gallery pieces here are handmade. The traditional collection is sourced piece by piece from South Asia, Central Asia, Iran, Turkey and Russia, while the contemporary collection boasts the latest in rug design, including some of their own in-house creations.

POMELO #13-02

This home-grown furniture store stocks an extensive selection of furniture from all around the world, including items from Spanish brand Punt, Muuto from Denmark and Mattiazzi from Italy. Those looking for some nostalgia and a vintage touch will love the range of designs that harken back to the 1950s, while those who are into modern chic will also find plenty that appeals. Among the collection are classic and contemporary pieces by design luminaries such as Sir Terence Conran and Norman Cherner. With Pomelo’s emphasis on timeless design, you’re sure to find the right piece for your home.


Using natural and certified organic materials, bedding specialist Dormiente offers a comfier, healthier and greener sleep. Choose from 100 percent natural latex mattresses and individually adjustable sleeping systems to ensure perfect body alignment and optimal back and hip support. Its best-selling Natural Classic Orthoform mattresses are recommended by the Association of Back Posture Trainers, and can help with the regeneration of your spine while you’re sleeping. You can also complement your mattress with more than 40 custom-crafted bed-frame designs. What’s more, those with allergies can rest easy in the knowledge that all the products are tested for harmful chemicals.


iLLusion room divider

Specialising in solid recycled teak wood furniture, Golden Teak has a variety of pieces for living and dining rooms, bedrooms, studies and outdoor spaces. Explore an extensive range of styles for any home, including contemporary, Scandinavian, industrial-chic, minimalistic and even retro. All products are sourced from and manufactured in Indonesia, with strict attention to quality control. This family-run shop also provides bespoke services, so if you’re looking for a one-off or have something specific in mind, they will customise an item for you in your preferred finishing, colour and design, at no additional charge.





Carrying both international and own-brand lines, Arete Culture has an extensive range of soft furnishings and furniture, as well as original artwork by local and international artists, including Singaporean watercolour artist, Davi Beschizza. It offers a range of styles: industrial, contemporary, modern or rustic – you name it! Pick out an oversized ornate mirror for a touch of Hollywood glamour or some simple textiles to enhance a neutral space. The showroom is refreshed with new stock every two weeks, and custom-made pieces can be ordered and delivered to your door in three weeks. If you’re not the shopping type, you can turn to the store’s signature styling services to help you create your dream home.

SINGAPORE TRADING POST #07-01 You’ll find all things tropical and vintage at Singapore Trading Post. Inspired by East Indian Trading routes and local history, it stocks a plethora of décor items, furniture and memorabilia, including jungle- and tropical-themed cushions, Hawaiian floral furniture and brass pineapple gift boxes. Collectors will love the original vintage memorabilia, such as framed beer labels and photographs from the 1930s. The store also carries antique and collectible pieces like Chinese consoles and Indian carvings that date back 100 years or more.

Directory Arete Culture 9640 3829 areteculture.com Artful House 8112 6127 artful-house.com

Dormiente 9748 4468 dormiente.sg Ethnicraft Online 9272 1545 ethnicraft-online.com.sg FairPrice Antique 6270 2544 fairpriceantique.com Golden Teak 6737 0890 goldenteak.com.sg Hassan’s Carpets 6737 5626 hassanscarpets.com Journey East 6473 1693 journeyeast.com Mountain Teak 6224 7176 mountainteak.com Pomelo 6226 4663 fb.com/pomelohome Singapore Trading Post 6221 4619 singaporetradingpost.com


This store has been offering beautifully crafted and sustainable wood furniture since 2011. Among its exclusive brands are Karpenter from Italy, and Square Roots, whose products include live-edge solid wood furniture crafted in the traditional way from sustainably managed French oak. There’s also Wendelbo, a modern Danish sofa brand; or, for something rustic, explore the Mountain collection’s teak pieces in rich, natural colours.

To minimise their environmental impact, selected collections from Karpenter are made of certified reclaimed teak, while pieces by White Lofty use a coating that is free from VOCs (volatile organic compounds).



H omesToLife is the retail venture of HTL International, one of the world’s largest integrated sofamanufacturers that trades in 35 countries globally and has been making sofas for over four decades. It counts the demanding Japanese, US and UK markets among its biggest successes and prides itself on product and service excellence in an industry that, according to CASE (Consumers Association of Singapore), attracts more complaints than any other. Aside from the quality and variety of choice on offer, customers can expect personalised attention from in-house Style Advisors, and a warranty to ensure they continue to be happy with their choice after it has made its way to their home. Custom-made comfort Step into the 45,000-square-foot HomesToLife flagship at 65 Mohammed Sultan Road and you’ll find a showroom filled with a vast range of customisable sofa designs from four in-house brands. HomesToLife recognises that people these days want their furniture to say something about them, and blending styles to create an eclectic and personalised look is right up its street. Whether you’re after a tidy two-seater, a versatile modular set or a sprawling L-shaped sofa, you can mix and match styles and upholstery to your heart’s content. Luxurious leathers Although there are fabrics and textiles to suit every taste, it’s the leather sofas at HomesToLife that really stand out. There’s even a “Leather Institute” on the third floor of the showroom to help customers understand the craft of tanning. With an introduction to the store’s different leather offerings, you can choose with confidence the type that suits your needs. The material comes in two broad categories: full aniline is the finest leather around, and minimal treatment highlights the unique beauty of each individual hide; semi-aniline, on the other hand, is coated with an additional protective finish that extends the lifespan of the leather but leaves the grain looking natural and untouched. From there you can branch out into four additional categories, with leathers suited to different needs and preferences. There’s the high grain, durable and easy-upkeep Family option; the super-supple, thickly cut Luxury; the lightly protected, classically beautiful, two-toned Natural; and the earthy yet supple Masculine. All come in a host of colour choices. Inspiring concepts The HomesToLife showroom has been specifically designed to allow customers to visualise and experience different sofas in a home-like setting. The four in-house brands (Gallery, Fabbrica, Muse and Relax Studio) each have their own unique charm and, as you wander around the store, you’ll find them in inspiring settings that appeal to a range of style preferences. There are the clean lines and Zen simplicity that attract the minimalist; the trendy, luxurious and sensual styles that recall European luxury; the warm, textured and homey feel of the Scandinavian aesthetic; and comfortable, relaxing recliners that simply scream functional living.

NotAll Sofas Are Created Equal Sink-in comfort or simple, sleek lines? Your sofa is a centrepiece of your living space and a deeply personal choice. It’s a place to kick back and relax, but also to entertain family and friends, so finding the perfect fit is not always easy.With over 40 years of experience in the industry, it’s safe to say that furniture lifestyle brand HomesToLife is pretty sofa-savvy. Their considerable range of sofa solutions will have you sitting pretty in no time.

Opposite: Make an impression with the luxurious Cetus sofa.

The Libra sofa is all about maximum impact, original style – and comfort, of course! Maia Sofa: contemporary style that doesn’t compromise on comfort. The Lockern is the ultimate in ergonomic comfort.



TOP SOFA PICKS Muse Collection, Cetus Sofa Both classic and modern, the Cetus is a real statement sofa. Its clean lines and stylishly shaped arms (padded with goose feathers for ultimate comfort) are a great example of HomesToLife’s assured craftsmanship. Luxurious and comfortable, this is a sofa for champagne celebrations as well as a cosy night in with friends and loved ones. Prices start from $2,899 (2-seater, leather) to $5,628 (L-shape, leather). Muse Collection, Libra Sofa Edgily styled, this is another statement piece. The Libra sofa is specially designed to make an impact in any room and its natural finish leather upholstery and solid hardwood legs give it a slightly retro feel. The high backrest adds comfort and is a great way to delineate your space. Prices start from $3,349 (2.5-seater, leather) to $3,709 (L-shape, leather). Muse Collection, Maia Sofa The embodiment of the functional, contemporary style of the Muse Collection, the modular Maia sofa has been designed to fit into any space, with various configurations available. The adjustable headrest and thick, cushioned padding mean there’s no compromise on comfort either, making this a sleekly neat and stylish sofa that’s as good for cuddling up for storytelling as it is for entertaining. Prices start from $3,359 (2-seater, leather) to $6,228 (L-shape, leather). Relax Studio, Lockern Sofa Over three decades of engineering research has gone into creating the Lockern. An ergonomic marvel of a sofa, its different sections recline to your desired height at the touch of a button. With adjustable headrests adding the finishing touches to the personalised experience, this is a classic sofa for all the family to enjoy. Prices start from $1,419 (2-seater, fabric) to $4,679 (2.5-seater, leather). HomesToLife (flagship) 65 Mohamed Sultan Road 6635 5050 | homestolife.com *HomesToLife home décor promotional feature




CAROLINE CHIN-GEYLER of Arete Culture passes on some useful tips on how to create a stylish bedroom that your child will grow into, not out of! 1 It has become increasingly common for parents to create bedrooms for their children that are timeless and sophisticated, and that they won’t grow out of. This can be done by keeping the colour palette clean, and adding a few crisp pops of colour. To start, give the room a fresh coat of paint. I love the look of feature walls in kids’ rooms; and for something with a little more drama, complement a painted feature wall with wallpaper. 2 Design your colour palette with longevity in mind, but remember: longevity doesn’t have to mean boring neutrals! I like to use a base of grey or soft grey- blue as a foundational neutral, which works in both girls’ and boys’ rooms. Inject colour with splashes of fresh yellow or tangerine for a modern twist. 3 Children’s bedrooms can get messy fast, so storage is essential. Functional storage options like baskets to hold all their bits and bobs will keep the bedroom clear and free up floor space, thus reducing the visual clutter. Baskets also give younger children easy access to their toys, while making tidying up less of a hassle. Steps to a Stylish Bedroom for Kids

Above: Artwork helps children

express their individuality.


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