FEB 2018


K ids Furniture Schools Trips

omance Valentine’s Day, Dining, Lingerie + Gifts

Want To Know About Slimming & Shaping?

Designer HOMES

Maldives Bootcamp Malaysia Road Trip Finding Santa in Lapland Crossing an Ethiopian Desert

EDITOR’SNOTE Although I don’t make the most of it, and I’m nervous about some of it, I acknowledge that new technology is (mostly) wonderful. There are times, though, when it’s not as helpful as it should be. Take, for example, the GPS, whether it’s an individual gadget or in your phone. There are some real “funnies”, and I don’t just mean the way it pronounces some of the road names. It’s when it tells me to head “southwest” or “north” that I struggle; it’s just not helpful. Unless the sun’s setting or I know a place pretty well (and therefore don’t need a GPS), I wouldn’t know what direction was what; left and right is a lot better! When I first moved here nearly 20 years ago, the Street Directory never left our side, even if it was bulky and you had to jump several pages forward to find out where you needed to go next. I remember spending nearly an hour trying to get out of Tampines (or “tam-pynes” as the GPS says) with two very teary toddlers in the back. And we would find phone numbers by looking in phone books or by calling 100. Sixteen years ago this month, I brought out the first Expat Living mag! All we had to manage was getting the stories and ads in and off to the printers. Sales contracts were handwritten and kept in files. Now we have numerous products from social media to video, newsletters and online articles and it’s all connected by a couple of systems that live in the “cloud”. We’ve come a long way, baby! We’ve had some great feedback from the recent Readers’ Choice Awards and we will endeavour to give you more of what you want. In the meantime, enjoy this one, with a story on a group of exceptional ladies who mountain-biked across an Ethiopian desert, a Christmas adventure to Lapland, two beautiful homes and even some ideas for Valentine’s. Happy Chinese New Year!

REBECCA BISSET Editor-in-Chief



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Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET



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 I exmag.sg Printed by Ho Printing Singapore Pte Ltd (hoprinting.com) Published by Expat Living Publications Pte Ltd 18 Howard Road, #08-10 Novelty Bizcentre, Singapore 369585

Kanuhura, Maldives (kanuhura.com)




NEWS 16 Calendar Updates: 24 Readers’ Letters 26 EL Forum: HOME & PROPERTY 30 News 32 Shopping Roundup: What we’re up to online, plus our upcoming events


What’s on in the coming months

Living the coastal life

Show your home some love with these products

34 Home Showcase:

A stylishly curated Tanglin pad

43 Product Spotlight:

Why we all love natural wood furniture

44 Business Profile:

Woody Antique House at Dempsey

46 Home Showcase:

A renovated Sentosa retreat

53 Inside Story:

Readers tell us about their favourite children’s furniture

34 xxxxx

56 Buying Guide: Cool rooms for kids 62 Street Talk:

Living on Kim Tian Road


LIFE & FAMILY 68 News 74 Environment News 76 Noticeboard: New births, plus dogs up for adoption 78 Business Profile: Ten years of iconic scooters in Singapore 81 Ready for School? 83 Kids & Enrichment:

85 Becoming Bilingual 87 Charity Spotlight:

Mountain-biking across an Ethiopian desert for a cause

92 Rated PG:

Our new parenting column

94 Around Town:

Photos from recent openings, parties, festivals and more

Why out-of-classroom activities are essential



WINE & DINE 106 News 112 Bar Tab: A new spot for a tipple 113 Meaty Feast: Singapore’s latest NYC-style steakhouse 114 Love at First Bite: The top romantic restaurants in town 120 Valentine’s Treats 122 Business Focus: 124 Great Greek Eats! 128 Recipe Corner: Delicious dishes to make this month 130 Cooking Classes for Helpers We meet a philanthropist and restaurant chairman


Women on a Mission tackle an epic adventure

114 Where to dine on Valentine’s Day

TRAVEL 134 News 136 Breaks with the Brood: Family-friendly destination ideas 140 Road Tripping:

Four Malaysian spots to explore by car

142 Searching for Santa:

An fabulous family holiday in Lapland, Finland

148 Singapore Staycation:

Five reasons to take a break at The St. Regis

150 Maldives Magic:

Exploring a recently renovated five-star resort

156 Paradise Updated: What’s new at Amilla Fushi?





STYLE & BEAUTY 160 Style News 162 Style Hunter:

Great getaways for families

Fashion on Singapore’s streets

164 Buying Guide:

Sweet surprises for Valentine’s Day 166 Upgrade Your Lingerie

170 Beauty News 174 Tried & Tested:

Our beauty editor visits The Lash Company

176 EL Reviews:

Slimming and contouring treatments 180 Collagen & the Skin


Fab gifts for Feb 14!

HEALTH & FITNESS 186 News 187 Health Matters: Are we too clean? 188 Expert Voice:


What’s on the horizon for your 2018 travels?

From cancer screening to removing tattoos

190 New Vision:

A cataracts case study

REGULARS 195 Numbers & Websites 196 Horoscopes for February

198 Advertiser List 200 Parting Shot: Terminal Issues



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SHOPPING & FAIRS Designer Fashion Online Auction (UNTIL 20 FEB) Get your hands on designer fashion at this online-only timed auction by HotLotz. Choose from new and pre-loved designer dresses, jackets and shoes from leading designers, including Escada, MaxMara, Armani, Diane Von Furstenberg, Marc Jacobs and Saint Laurent. The catalogue was out on 26 January and pieces are available to try at the saleroom until 20 February. Place your bids on the HotLotz website or app. hotlotz.com

Glamorous Giving Fashion & Homewares Clearance Sale (21-22 FEB)

Get your shopping face on as Glamorous Giving returns for its ninth edition. You’ll find over 50 fabulous local independent brands featuring fashion, activewear, swimwear, jewellery, accessories, homeware, art and furniture. The Ballroom, Orchard Parade Hotel. facebook.com/Glamorous.Giving

Russell Peters Deported World Tour 2018


Evita (23 FEB – 11 MAR)

This Broadway and West End musical tells the story of Eva Peron, wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Peron, from her humble beginnings to extraordinary wealth and status. It features powerful songs such as “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” and “On This Night of a Thousand Stars”. Grand Theatre, Mastercard Theatres. Tickets from Sistic. Russell Peters Deported World Tour 2018 (24 FEB) Canadian comedian Russell Peters brings his world tour to Singapore this February, with all-new material plus his signature interactions with the audience. Catch him before he’s deported! Singapore Indoor Stadium. Tickets from the Singapore Sports Hub website. Chris Botti (26 FEB) After performing with some of the best in music, including Sting, Barbra Streisand, Michael Bublé, Yo-Yo Ma and even Frank Sinatra, Grammy Award- winning trumpeter Chris Botti is now making his way to Singapore for a solo show. Esplanade Concert Hall. Tickets from Sistic.


Marina Run 2018 (10 FEB)

Race through the scenic Marina Bay district in this annual run, with a choice of 10km, 21km and 30km routes and a 5km fun run. marinarun.com.sg





The King’s Singers with the Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir (23 FEB) This British a cappella vocal ensemble was founded in 1968 by choral scholars at King’s College in Cambridge, England. The group will perform with the Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir this month, with all genres of music on display, from sacred renaissance scores to familiar tunes. Victoria Concert Hall. Tickets from Sistic. Kumar50 (28 FEB – 11 MAR) Get ready for a night of laughter with Singapore’s famous drag queen Kumar. Joined by his showgirls, he’ll be dancing and lip-syncing to top hits from Whitney Houston to Taylor Swift as well as dishing out some hilarious hard truths. Capitol Theatre. Tickets from Sistic.

Singapore Airshow 2018 (10-11 FEB) Feast your eyes on stunning aircraft, aerobatic flying displays and more at this popular annual airshow. Be sure to catch a photo op in the planes, and with pilots from around the region and beyond. Changi Exhibition Centre. singaporeairshow.com

KidsFest 2018 (UNTIL 11 FEB)

KidsFest returns for a seventh year with a host of great theatre productions adapted from well-loved children’s books. Little ones can look forward to classic tales such as Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling and The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson. Victoria Theatre and KC Arts Centre – Home of SRT. Tickets from Sistic. CIS STEAM Fair (3 FEB) Invent, design and create during fun hands-on activities and workshops for all ages at the Canadian International School’s annual STEAM Fair. There’ll also be a bazaar, carnival rides, yummy food, live music and more. CIS, Lakeside Campus. cis.edu.sg/steamfair18


KidsFest 2018




AIS Early Years Experience

AIS Early Years Experience (14 FEB)

ARTS Perfect Stranger by Dawn Ng (UNTIL 22 FEB)

SOCIAL George Washington Ball: Cirque Spectacular (10 FEB) Enjoy a fabulous four-course meal, live music, a lucky draw and a silent auction at this annual ball by The American Association of Singapore. Proceeds will go to the Singapore Children’s Society. W Singapore – Sentosa Cove. aasingapore.com Blood Donation – American Women’s Association & Expat Living (23 FEB) Join AWA Community Service and Expat Living for a community blood drive, to help provide blood to those in need of transfusions from illness, surgery or the kinds of unfortunate circumstances that can affect any of us. Register online at the AWA Event Registration Calendar. (Note: Pre-screening criteria must be met to donate blood.) 10am to 1pm, Bloodbank@HSA, 11 Outram Road. awasingapore.org Experience the Australian International School’s Early Years program for yourself at this exclusive taster session. Bring your kids along to enjoy the purpose-built Reggio Emilia environment and find out more about the school’s inquiry-based curriculum. Book a spot on the AIS website. Australian International School. ais.com.sg

Part of Dawn’s study of colour, emotion, nostalgia and time, this exhibition is a re-imagination of a self-portrait. The galley is transformed into a sea of colours across a single plane, consisting of 48 large pieces of paper of various shades laid parallel to one another. Chan + Hori Contemporary. chanhori.com All the King’s Horses by Lydia Janssen (UNTIL 25 FEB) The fascinating work of American artist Lydia Janssen makes its Singapore debut in January. A former professional dancer, Lydia suffered various injuries that left her unable to dance, and her paintings illustrate her emotional and physical journey of becoming an artist. REDSEA Gallery. redseagallery.com Ancient Religions (UNTIL 28 FEB) Located on the second floor of the Asian Civilisation Museum, this new exhibition features sculptures and paintings that explore the early styles and motifs of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism in India and how they spread to China and Southeast Asia. Asian Civilisation Museum. acm.org.sg




Century of Light (UNTIL 11 MAR)

2 Fifth Harmony PSA Tour – Live in Singapore (14 MAR) American all-girl pop group and former X Factor contestants Fifth Harmony are playing in Singapore this March on the back of their self-titled third studio album, which was released in August 2017 and includes lead single “Down”. Zepp@BigBox Singapore. Tickets from Sistic. Disney On Ice celebrates Everyone’s Story (14-18 MAR) Look forward to meeting Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Disney Princesses including Cinderella, Rapunzel, Ariel, Snow White and Tiana at Disney On Ice, and sing along to over 30 songs from your favourite Disney movies. Singapore Indoor Stadium . Tickets from the Singapore Sports Hub website. Swan Lake by American Ballet Theatre (15-18 MAR) Expect brilliant choreography and captivating storytelling in the American Ballet Theatre’s adaptation of Swan Lake . This most-loved ballet will be accompanied by the Singapore Lyric Opera Orchestra. Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. Tickets from Sistic. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (29 MAR – 8 APR) This award-winning production tells the story of 15-year-old Christopher Boone who has an extraordinary brain but is ill- equipped to interpret everyday life. When Christopher is suspected of killing his neighbour’s dog, his detective work to identify the true culprit takes him on a life-changing journey. Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. Tickets from the Esplanade website.

View masterpieces from 19th-century Europe and Asia at this international blockbuster of an art exhibition. You’ll have the chance to see more than 60 paintings from the renowned collection of the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, including key pieces by Monet, Renoir, Manet, and Cézanne, as well as works by key Indonesian and Filipino painters of the period. National Gallery. nationalgallery.sg RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Kim Chi and Naomi Smalls (4 MAR) Join iconic drag duo Kim Chi and Naomi Smalls for a night of madness and laughter. The finalists from Season 8 of RuPaul’s Drag Race will be bringing their hilarious comedy and lip sync show to Singapore. Kallang Theatre. Tickets from Sistic. Peppa Pig Live! Peppa Pig’s Celebration (9-11 MAR) Peppa Pig is back with a new musical show this March. Take the kids along and look forward to songs, games, surprises and more. MES Theatre at Mediacorp. Tickets from Sistic. Relay For Life (10-11 MAR) Organised by the Singapore Cancer Society, this overnight walk aims to raise awareness and funds for the fight against cancer. Form teams and take turns to walk around a designated path. Each team is to have one member on the path at all times, signifying how cancer never sleeps. National Stadium. singaporecancersociety.org.sg Terry Fox Run for Cancer Research (11 MAR) Returning for its eighth edition, this race for cancer helps support research in Singapore. Choose to run the 5km or 10km individual event, with the option of a donation. You can also choose to just contribute a donation and not participate in the race. Registration is through the purchase of a Terry Fox Run T-shirt and/or a donation. Angsana Green, East Coast Park. terryfoxrunsg.com

: 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 asking our advice, we’ll be holding on to a bottle of champagne for Erica Brinkman to toast her new life in Singapore.

HOME AND AWAY I found Expat Living magazine online, and I hope you can help me with a few questions. My husband Andrew and I have just been told we’ll be relocating to Singapore for his new job. It’s all been a bit sudden and frankly overwhelming, so there’s a lot to get our heads around in the next few weeks! Browsing your amazing website has been incredibly useful already. But I feel I need some more information and maybe personal opinions on the various neighbourhoods, on the

SO LONG AND THANKS FOR ALL THE MAGS Sadly, I have to cancel my subscription because we’re moving on from Singapore. To your team, may I say: Many thanks for all the help your magazine has given me over the years, and do keep up the good work! I have especially appreciated the free magazines sent to me at various times; for example, after I’d participated in your annual reader survey. I will miss you! – Li Wen Soh I’m writing in response to your article last month regarding extra-curricular activities for children, which gave many great suggestions but missed out a couple of the best: the first is the Ice Dragons Singapore (part of the Singapore Ice Hockey Association: siha.org. sg), a fabulous organisation for young people who love the sport; and the second is the touch rugby programme offered by Centaurs – for a small club they do a wonderful job. Thanks for this, and for all the great articles. – L Workman Ed: Thank you for these; Centaurs won the bronze position in our Readers’ Choice Awards for Favourite Holiday Programmes, so well done to them too! OTHER SPORTY OPTIONS FOR KIDS


types, sizes and costs of rental homes, what’s available right now, etc. Would you be able to help me with that? – Erica Brinkman, Sydney

Ed: Congratulations, and good luck for your upcoming move. Our neighbourhood guides under “Living in Singapore” and the accompanying videos do give an idea of prices in the different areas; you can also click on “Magazine” to browse back copies of the print issue in digital form. Our annual City Guide and Home & Property Guide both give an overview on different neighbourhoods too; the 2018 edition of the latter, which is on the shelves this month, also provides a glimpse into different types of expat homes, from a stunning high-rise condo, to a historic black-and-white colonial home, and even a boat! Finally, I would suggest that you start off in one of Singapore’s many very good serviced apartments while you find your feet and search for your perfect nest.

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February2018 Issue 187

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K ids Furniture Schools Trips

ROMANCE •KIDS’ROOMS •SLIMMING&SHAPING Romance Valentine’s Day, Dining,Lingerie + Gifts

WantTo KnowAbout Slimming &Shaping?

Designer HOMES

MCI (P) 100/02/2017

MaldivesBootcamp MalaysiaRoad Trip FindingSanta in Lapland CrossinganEthiopianDesert

Visit expatliving.sg/print



Get travel inspiration from our EL team as they travel the world! Follow us @expatlivingsg for all our behind-the-scenes antics! Hear about the latest bars and restaurants before anyone else Join in on our amazing giveaways Don’tmissour upcoming events! Visit expatliving.sg/ELevents to register.



32 Home

Shopping: Décor to ramp up the romance at home

Bed Bath n’ Table bedding

56 Buyers’ Guide: Kids’ furniture that will turn adults green with envy

62 Street Talk: The highlights of living in Tiong Bahru

44 Business Profile: We put the spotlight on Woody Antique House


As sleep is a time when y o u r b o d y r e p a i r s , rebuilds and restores itself, it’s vital to get a good night of it! Danish Design is now retailing the DUX bed, engineered to keep your spine in its natural position, with interchangeable spring LUXE BEDS

Design Winners Locally grown interior design firm Design Intervention has added another award to its growing collection. Taking home the “Best Architecture – Single Residence in Asia-Pacific” award at the recent International Property Awards 2017 held in London, for its Ridout Road project, the firm’s partner Nikki Hunt collected the award on behalf of the team. designintervention.com.sg

Cleaning Up Portable, lightweight and easy to use, Soluball capsules are a new alternative to floor cleaners; you just throw one into a bucket of water and wait for the magic to happen. The capsule ingredients are anti-bacterial, anti- allergy, rinse-free, baby-safe and 100

cassettes underneath, in three different support strengths. It can be adjusted to your own needs and, separately, those of your partner, and altered while your body changes during pregnancy, injury or ageing. Find out more at danishdesignco.com.sg , or head to #06-03 Century Warehouse, 100E Pasir Panjang Road .

percent biodegradable. Priced at $6.90 for 30 capsules, they can be purchased from FairPrice stores or online at soluball.com .

UNDER THE HAMMER! AUCTION: Online timed auction of designer fashion WHEN: Auction closes Tuesday 20 February WHERE: hotlotz.com WHAT TO EXPECT: More than 400 lots of lightly or never worn designer dresses, tailoring, leather jackets and shoes. Everything has a reserve of $50, and will be available to try on in the HotLotz saleroom, until 20 February. Head to #01-15 Cedex Centre, 120 Lower Delta Road – the saleroom is open six days a week. WHAT ELSE: With Chinese New Year looming, for many it’s a time to enjoy a little home spring-cleaning. HotLotz is always on the lookout for pieces to add to its auctions, and in particular art, jewellery, watches, designer handbags, as well as homewares such as glass, china and flatware, decorative items and collectables. If you think you’ve got somethingworth consigning, just get in touch with them to find out more. What are the bene f i t s o f c o n s i g n i n g with HotLotz? Th e r e ’ s n o charge if the i t e m i s n ’ t sold; HotLotz will look after everything, so

it’s hassle-free, and there’s an all-inclusive sellers’ commission, with no hidden charges. With its weekly Interiors & Antiques sale every Thursday, andmonthly specialist sales throughout the year, the demand for desirable consignments is a constant. hotlotz.com



Open pyramid- shaped lantern, $64.95, Crate & Barrel

The Milano Blush linen quilt cover is woven in finest French flax and has a soft, relaxed, romantic look, Bed Bath n’ Table

Light up your love’s face, metaphorically, with this handcrafted glass and antique silver finish votive, $42.95, Crate & Barrel

They do say home is where the heart is, so if you’re looking for something a little different to give as a gift this Valentine’s Day, here are some ideas. Romancing Hom the

Clicquot rose lamp pendant, $198, Sam & Sara

Give your crush a hint with this Lumière Tropical Crush candle by Morgan & Finch, Bed Bath n’ Table

Handmade metal hearts, priced at $10 and $8, The Cinnamon Room



Lumière Tropical Crush triple-milled hand soap by Morgan & Finch, Bed Bath n’ Table

Ensure your loved one can stare at a picture of you all day long with this handcrafted aluminium, glass and engineered- wood frame, $89.95, Crate & Barrel

This metallic silver and white floral rug is a unique way to shower your loved one with flowers, $850 (1.5m diameter), The Cinnamon Room

Gift your precious one this semi- precious rose-quartz bookend, $433, Sam & Sara

Rose quartz

side table, $655, Sam & Sara

Directory Bed Bath n’ Table (various) #B1-41/41A/42 Parkway Parade 80 Marine Parade 6344 0427 | bedbathntable.com.sg The Cinnamon Room #02-74 Jalan Merah Saga, Blk 43 The Worklofts@Chipbee 9727 3051 | thecinnamonroom.com Crate & Barrel (various) #04-21/22 Ion Orchard 2 Orchard Turn 6634 4222 | crateandbarrel.com.sg

Create a romantic setting

with these silver finish laser-cut hurricane

lanterns, $250 for a set of five, or

$30 to $80 individually, The Cinnamon Room

HotLotz #01-15 Cendex Centre 120 Lower Delta Road 6254 7616 | hotlotz.com

Sam & Sara #11-02 Tan Boon Liat Building 315 Outram Road 9271 7176 | samandsarahome.com

If your Valentine is a history lover, this one-of-a-kind silver salver, given to the winner of the Singapore Turf Club’s Gold Cup in 1932, is up for auction with a reserve of $2,000, HotLotz



SCHEZENE KHANwalks us through her carefully curated home pieces, and explains how moving to Singapore over a decade ago gave her the confidence to set up her interiors store.




T he exterior of Schezene Khan’s Tanglin home is seriously impressive – all contemporary white Bond-style chic – and it paves the way for what’s on the inside. There, huge glass windows lead out to the garden, and each room is impeccably styled. Schezene and her husband Faisal arrived here almost 11 years ago, with the three sons they’d had in their home country of Bangladesh. Though this was their first and only move away from home, Singapore was not new to them. “My husband did business here, and the family and I used to come across quite often. However, it’s very different visiting a place to living in it,” she says. The family started off in the Four Seasons apartments, which afforded her the comfort

and safety of apartment living, a necessity as she was also pregnant with twins. For Schezene, Singapore is very much suited for the family. “It gives you such a sense of security, and I feel it’s more cosmopolitan than when we first arrived. It’s also close to my home country, and the education and medical care is second to none.” The couple found they needed more space so that eldest son Faiz could have his own room, and it was actually Schezene’s husband who found this Tanglin home; he’d visited it before and knew the previous tenant. When it became available, the family took it on. “It’s a very modern house, and it affords us a bit more space. The two middle boys share, and the twins now also have their own rooms.” Faiz is now at boarding school, and this has helped spur on the most recent and exciting development in Schezene’s life.


Starting a Dream With Faiz off to school in London, Schezene realised she was beginning to have more time and opportunity to throw her energy into something new. “I felt that, even for my children, I needed to do something; they don’t really understand that parenting and being a mother is a big job. In that same period, I also turned 40, and I think I changed a lot in my mindset. Moving to Singapore had already meant I had to step out of my comfort zone; then, with the huge support of my husband and friends, I had the confidence to invest my energy into something new.” Schezene came from a family who loved to entertain, and she grew up watching her mother and grandmother organising

events, from creating floral arrangements using flowers from their own garden, to making the streamers and putting together the dining settings. “I remember always watching them do these things for themselves, and it inspired me. As I grew up, I also always entertained, and when we arrived here I carried on, albeit with smaller groups.” Over time, she found herself carefully curating all her unique dining and entertaining pieces, from cake stands, to cutlery, candlesticks and trays, and it was the admiration from friends that spurred her on to set up Bespoke Living . “I wanted to offer something more in the middle ground; it’s a balanced business in terms of time, so I can give as much of myself to it as I’m able.”

Starting with a pop-up shop in Scott’s Square in December 2016, Schezene soon realised she would need a more permanent space, and sourced one in the basement of the same building. From the outset, she’s been very hands-on, from the store’s concept, to the look and feel of the space. There’s always been a clear vision of how she wanted the store layout to look; that is, “without stacks and stacks of products everywhere.” The products you will find in store are sourced from all over the world, with some items customised by suppliers, making them unique pieces. Schezene offers delivery to her customers, and she also helps with spatial planning and product placement in their own homes, should they require it.




As the business has continued to grow over the past year, Schezene has added online retail to its offerings. “First it was the physical store opening, and then going online – it’s been a series of little goals for us, but the online retail is important, particularly for those people who mightn’t have time to go into the store initially, but who want to see what products we have.” House and Home Schezene’s own house clearly reflects what you expect to find in her showroom. Her style is a blend of larger, more neutral pieces, along with pops of colour and some luxe touches in the mirrors and textiles. Bespoke Living carries many semi-precious stone items, such as lapis lazuli, quartz, agate and malachite, and many of these you can spot in her own home. “I used to love a more traditional style;

then when we started travelling I found I was drawn to more modern pieces. Now my main advice to clients is to blend pieces – don’t buy everything at once, and understand that just because you think something is pretty, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will go with your own home style.” When Schezene isn’t busy curating décor and advising clients, she still enjoys spending plenty of time with her family. “I have to have the right balance between my family and my work, and I don’t ever want my kids to feel that I’m not giving them enough time.” This doesn’t mean that she hasn’t got a clear vision for the future of the business. “My focus is to ensure Bespoke Living makes its mark in the online business, and ultimately for the company to go global; I’mpinpointing Dubai and London as the next places to open our doors to.”

Left: This living room is used for formal

entertaining. Many of the

larger items have been purchased from Singapore, including pieces by Christopher Guy, and the Goodrich wallpaper sourced by an interior design firm, who also created the custom-made coffee table.


The agate pieces and the flowers are from Bespoke Living. “I like adding a pop of colour into a setting, and I feel that blue is really soothing.” The family room is the one that they use the most; the house is not just decorative but functional, providing the perfect space for five children and Schezene’s two cats, Chloe (a white Ragdoll) and Max (a grey British Shorthair).




Above: “I love seeing photographs up; there should always be a space to place all your pictures like this.” Schezene had an interior pond to the left covered with these Murano- style coloured pieces. “You can change them around – it’s a great way to add colour.” Far left: My father was an industrialist, but he always said if he hadn’t gone down that path he would have been an artist. He painted this piece with birds in it, and one dove, which he used to always say was me. I grew up with that painting, and ended up using this for my company logo.”






Opposite: When the family moved into this house, daughter Rania said she wanted butterflies and flowers to be the theme of her room. Above: Schezene’s father-in-law purchased a series of Lalique pieces for herself, her husband and their children, on their 15th wedding anniversary, which are kept in the glass boxes behind the family.

Bespoke Living #B1-18 Scotts Square 6 Scotts Road 9424 4967 | bespokeliving.sg

Framing Angie #03-02 Holland Road Shopping Centre 211 Holland Avenue 6466 0800 | framingangie.com

Sky Pilates #09-01 Forum Office Tower 583 Orchard Road 6100 7597 | skypilates.com




AU NATUREL When it comes to choosing home furniture, natural wood proves an ever-popular choice of material. The team from Scanteak give us some reasons why.

Wood and its rich hues are a great way to introduce nature into the home. Wooden furniture adds warmth and variety to the home’s textures and colour scheme. Each tree has a unique grain and pattern, and no two wood pieces can be identical. Different timbers come with their own subtle, natural fragrances – bringing home that close-to-nature feel. Wood is an easy material to maintain. Durable hardwoods such as teak are rich in natural oils, which not only help maintain their natural beauty over years, but also help the timber resist moisture and insects. To maintain a teak piece, occasionally clean it using a soft rag dampened in a mild soap solution. A layer of teak oil can be applied once every three months, using a dry, soft rag and a few drops of teak oil, to help maintain and develop its shine. Hardwoods rich in natural oil such as teak are more resistant to moisture compared to others, but it’s still recommended not to leave spills and cold cups unattended for too long as natural materials can still absorb water. Similarly, they can be scalded. Over time, wood deepens in colour to become a richer golden brown. Materials such as teak also become glossier after years of use and care. Wood exposed to the elements will grow lighter in colour, until a silvery, grey patina is achieved.

The Island daybed can be used as a low sofa or for sleepovers, and is available in natural teak, $1,659

This natural teak adjustable Skott writing table works for children and adults, $699

The Tetra shelf has five tiers and is lightweight yet sturdy, $1,190

Scanteak (various locations) #02-04/05/06 Liang Court 177 River Valley Road 6336 1741 | scanteak.com.sg

The Fiske chest of five drawers comes in natural teak, $1,299


Family Keeping it in the We chat to CHRIS ANG from Woody AntiqueHouse about how the business has grown over the past 18 years, and why Dempsey Hill provides a unique shopping spot. Husband and wife team, Chris and Wei Chin Ang BY AMY BROOK-PARTRIDGE PHOTOGRAPHY KEN TAN

When was Woody Antique House set up and why? The business was started bymy parents-in-lawback in 2000. They came to know about Dempsey froma relative who’d been involved in some tourism business here back in the 1990s, and although the area was not that well known then, it was popular among the expat community for Asian furniture and carpet shopping. Their plan was to focus on Asian furniture, so they felt it would be a good place to start as it’s easily accessible and close to our expat customers who stay in the Orchard, Holland, Farrer and Bukit Timah areas. Our first showroom was at Block 7, the farthest block inside the Dempsey Hill area. About nine years ago, we shifted to our current locations, and we now have the largest furniture showroom floor space in Dempsey. What products can customers expect to find when they visit? Our origins are in selling Burmese teak, Chinese, Tibetan and Mongolian vintage antique and reproduction furniture – my parents-in-law have a friend in China who helps them with the sourcing and restoration of these pieces. Since then, we’ve increased our product range by bringing in teak wood and synthetic wicker outdoor furniture, rustic recycled elm, natural suar wood, recycled teak and vintage Indian collections, as well as our powder-coated aluminium frame outdoor range. Why the name Woody Antique House? We felt that it worked as we are dealing in antique and solid wood furniture, and the word “house” is to represent that we have a wide collection for our customers to choose from.




How have you seen the Dempsey Hill area change?

Have you noticed your customer base change? When we first started, we had more customers looking for antique and vintage pieces, and in their original condition. While some people do still look for these same things, we also see them mixing traditional furniture style with modern colours such as blue, yellow, green, grey and turquoise. Many are interested in eco-friendly furniture pieces, like the recycled teak-wood range and the rustic recycled elm range. They’re also more knowledgeable about décor, and tend to have done extensive research into what they want in their homes before coming to the showroom to choose a piece they like. My wife and I work throughout the week, and when we do have some downtime, we spend it with the kids. We have three lovely girls and Dempsey Hill has been part of their growing up. They come here every weekend and our youngest girl is starting kindergarten classes here. What do you like to do in your downtime, away from work?

This bar counter would make a perfect leaving gift, and comes in a variety of colours

The surroundings and location of Dempsey are unique in Singapore. It’s near to the Orchard area, one of busiest locations on the island, yet surrounded by greenery, so it offers our customers a quiet and pleasant shopping experience. It’s an old military barracks with a rich history that has been conserved, which makes it a unique shopping area. There have been many changes over the past ten or so years. More blocks are being tenanted out and more stores are coming in. There are plenty of food and beverage outlets now, unlike in the past, and while this brings us more walk-in customers, it also makes the place more crowded and it loses some of its nature and authentic charm from before. Also, because there are so many outlets for dining and drinking, customers tend to think that there are fewer retail shops than there were previously, but the truth is that we are all still here. Also, there is this misconception among some customers that things are expensive in Dempsey due to its location and their experiences at the restaurants and bars. This is not necessarily true. Our furniture is priced reasonably when you consider the style, condition and quality of the pieces.

Woody Antique House #01-05 Block 13 and

#01-12 Block 15, Dempsey Road 6471 1770 | woodyantique.com


Coastal Life We inviteourselvesover tothehouse of interior designer and mother-of- three HEGE TORGERSEN, to find out how she’s created her ideal family abode.





Who lives here: Norwegian Hege, her husband, and their three children, Cecilia (15), Amelia (13) and Nicholas (10). Size of home: Three stories, five bedrooms Style of home: “I’d say it’s almost resort style, but with a mix of older pieces. I like to keep my own style simple rather than messy.”


H ege and her husband started their Singapore life together in 2000, initially living centrally in St Martin’s Drive. They then purchased a house on University Road near the Botanic Gardens, before selling up and buying their first home on Sentosa. “As soon as Sentosa opened up we came here. We were one of the first families to live here and we honestly haven’t looked back. Nothing beats that Friday afternoon feeling of coming home across the water; I love it.” After three years in their first house onOcean Drive, they decided to sell up and move again, to this larger property just down the road. “What I love with this house is that it grows with us; it’s easily adaptable. It’s not really that big, but it’s very well done.” Although she studied bio-technology, Hege’s career in Singapore took a somewhat different direction. Looking for help to finish off the design and styling of her University Road house, a friend recommended she get in touch with Nikki Hunt, partner at Design Intervention. With a keen eye for design, and looking for a job that afforded her time for both a career and a family, Hege then began assisting Design Intervention with projects. Design Intervention has had a hand in the look of each of Hege’s subsequent family homes, including this one. “They don’t just design a house; they make a home,” she says. “Also, they don’t do what everyone else is doing; they’re distinctive, and they put their souls into their work.”

Sentosa Style Moving to this current home, Hege was keen to work around the furniture she already had. “In the previous house we went all out, even matching the tables to go with the sofa. When we bought this place, and it was much bigger, I decided to see how we lived in it first before designing it inside and out.” Hege added pops of colour in each room, such as pink cushions or a vibrant chair, and she felt it was important to ensure the rooms could be easily downscaled and neutralised, particularly as she enjoys regularly changing up the design and style. “To make a place feel bigger you need to add contrast to it, not make it neutral and plain, otherwise the mess will stand out; but it’s also important to make sure you can downscale easily if you know you’ll want to change the style over time.” Asked where she spends most of her time, Hege jokes that it’s in the car, “driving the children around.” In the house, she says they spend a lot of time outside on the decked area, in the living area or in the kitchen. “When we moved in, the kitchen wasn’t a room with a heart, but adding a central unit has made such a difference.” Apart from all the extra-curricular activities the children are involved in, Hege admits they are very much homebodies. “We go out for lunch on a Saturday, but to be honest we also love to stay at home.” And with such a beautiful home, why wouldn’t you?

Above: Hege extended the deck a little when they bought the property, and admits this is one of the more popular spaces in the house.




The living area is another popular space for the family. The interior has plenty of contrasting textiles, but with a cohesive colour palette that not only brings it all together inside, but also works perfectly with the bright colours outside.


Kitchen units and a central island were added, as well as the Andrew Martin wallpaper, which gives it a designer edge. Behind this kitchen is a wet kitchen, which has also been fully renovated for the family’s two helpers.




Hege’s Recommendations

JH Kim Taekwondo (“my children do competitive taekwondo and we love this new school”) 27 West Coast Highway, #01-14/15/16/17 6255 2363 | jhkim-singapore.com

LEISURE The Big Blow #02-21 Cluny Court 501 Bukit Timah Road 6465 4836 | thebigblow.com Carolyn Strover photography carolynstrover@gmail.com carolynstrover.com Fisk Seafood Bar and Market 30 Stevens Road, #01-01 6732 0711 | fisk.com.sg

The Vagabond Club 39 Syed Alwi Road 6291 6677 hotelvagabondsingapore.com HOME Design Intervention 75E Loewen Road 6506 0920 designintervention.com.sg

Hera Hair Salon #01-20 Quayside Isle

Flower Addict 9859 7127 floweraddict.com

31 Ocean Way Sentosa Cove 6268 8949 | herabeauty.sg



Bedtime Here are three readers’ accounts of how they picked their children’s furniture.


Zhu Hong, Chinese

We discovered FLEXA about three years ago when we were moving to our new home. We had some concerns about safety and the use of chemicals such as formaldehyde in children’s furniture. I found FLEXA by accident on the internet, and when I saw that the store was close to our home, our family went to take a look. To our surprise, we were easily able to find and purchase something that we all liked – a classic pine bunk bed with a slide. Not only did it solve our issue of two children sleeping in a small room, it was even able to entertain them. The store’s shopping assistant Ivy gave us extra understanding of their production standards and quality assurance. Sure enough, after installing the bed, we could feel the difference. In addition to the professional delivery and installation service, there was no odd smell, even with the whole set of furniture in a small room; we were able to move in immediately with no worries. After this experience, we’ve developed a trust in the store and its team. We’ve not only bought other products from them, such as bookshelves, but we’ve also introduced the company to our friends. We’re expecting another child soon, and they need their own room in the future, so we will definitely be going back to FLEXA.

FLEXA (various locations) #01-33/34/35 United Square 101 Thomson Road 6354 1310 | flexaworld.com



Jen Windred, daughter Emily and son Jack, Australian

We were looking for a durable, well-built single bed that would last for our three-year- old son as the next step up from his baby bed. We also wanted it to be aesthetically pleasing and provide a soft feel to the room, and we were adamant we didn’t want a white bed. We live in a condo and our son’s room is quite small, so we also didn’t want the bed to be too bulky and take over the whole room. We found House of AnLi while shopping in Tanglin Mall, and we walked in to take a look. There are some great beds on display, so we asked to see the full range; that’s how we found the bed we wanted in one of the brochures. It had to be ordered and delivered from overseas, so there was a wait time, but that was OK for us. The customer service and general experience was good, and the House of AnLi team was adept at putting the bed together in our home. It’s a very solid piece so this would have been a great challenge if they hadn’t have helped.

We bought a wooden single bed in a mushroom tone, with a trundle to match, as well as a mattress. One of the great things about it is that it’s not too high for little ones to get in and out of – or if they fall out it’s less distance to fall! It’s also very easy to change when they have accidents, unlike my daughter’s bed. It has a unique look, too, which gives it a soft designer feel. The House of AnLi has some unique and special pieces, and I would buy the same bed again if I needed to; it’s a very good option.

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

Tracey Collins, Australian, husband Simon, British, and son Lucas

Lucas was transitioning from his cot to a bed, so we were looking for something suitable for an active 18-month-old that would last for a number of years. The Kuhl Home kids’ showroom is near where we live on Pasir Panjang Road, so we drive past it daily. Our experience with the staff was excellent; I highly recommend them. They have a number of gorgeous designs for beds, but they helped us settle on the perfect one for our needs. The Wild Child bed was exactly what we wanted, with a low futon setting that’s perfect for our little adventurer; plus, it will transition into a single bed with various add-ons when he’s older. We love the design and colours; it has great pockets for his toys and books along the back wall, along with safety rails and a great tent canopy that makes bedtime an adventure. We chose white-washed pine, but the bed is available in a number of different colours and wooden finishes. We’re very satisfied with the furniture quality and the service we received, and we’ll definitely be back for more purchases. We now have number two on the way, and I have my eye on Kuhl Home’s beautiful white changing unit with built-in drawers that converts into a junior desk when your child is older. Not only is the furniture in the store beautiful, it’s also practical and allows for years of use in each piece.

Kuhl Home #08-01 Century Warehouse 100E Pasir Panjang Road 6878 0180 | kuhlhome.com



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