JAN 2019

Reviving Facials Hair Makeovers Fitness Goals Health Tips New You






After you’ve lived in the tropics for a while, your perception of “normal” changes. Twice recently I have been in cooler climes and instinctively looked for the air-con remote to adjust the flow – until I realised that the cold air swirling around me was natural. Then there’s the water temperature of the sea and the swimming pools in other parts of the world. How did I ever swim in the South African sea? Go in up to your knees and your calves are frozen in a couple of minutes! After 20 years in Singapore, I like my swimming pools and sea lukewarm – no shock, lah! The weather gets talked about quite a bit here, as everywhere. It’s blamed for colds, and it causes our hair to frizz and our make-up to slide. The rainy “season” I am pretty sure varies very little from other seasons: it rains a lot. In fact, I think the weather is the same every day of the year no matter how many times the radio announcers try and make it sound different. You can also have three different weather patterns on the island at any time, so no one is ever going to get it right. And I love it. I love being able to get out of the shower and not shiver. I don’t believe the weather causes colds – I believe it’s just our body getting rid of stuff it doesn’t want. I love not having to carry around a jacket or a jersey for when I go into the shade, or when the sun goes down. My winter wardrobe fits fairly neatly under my bed and it’s exciting to see it and wear it (especially boots) when I travel. But I am very happy for it to stay there most of the year. The mosquitoes at the moment? Now that’s another issue… If you’re new to Singapore, there’s a lot to learn to love. If you’re an oldie, I hope you’ve enjoyed some time in chillier climes and are back ready to embrace the heat, home help, roti prata and bare feet again! EDITOR’SNOTE

REBECCA BISSET Editor-in-Chief



Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET


Contributing Photographers KEN TAN (WITHINIMAGES.COM)

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

Puglia, Italy Photo by Marco Saracco (shutterstock.com)





A look inside a 1950s home

NEWS 16 Calendar Updates: 22 Readers’ Letters 24 EL Forum:

What’s on in the coming months

Our online antics and our upcoming events

26 Singapore Page:

Exploring the island’s past and present

HOME & PROPERTY 30 News 36 Home Showcase:

LIFE & FAMILY 70 News 74 Noticeboard:

51 Readers’

Check out this entrepreneur’s Siglap pad

Recommendations: Why they love their dining furniture

44 Bright & Bold:

Add some pizzazz to your home

57 Buying Guide:

New births; plus, dogs up for adoption

48 Store Spotlight: Learn to live sustainably 50 Family Business: Furniture with a story

Tables for eating, entertaining and working

76 Urban Polo:

What is it and how can you get involved?

64 Street Talk:

What it’s like living at Telok Kurau

78 Coming Up:

Great golf at the SMBC Singapore Open

80 Fun & Learning:

Awesome enrichment activities for kids

90 Trampoline Time:

Bouncing around with the family

93 People Profile:


Meet the head of UWCSEA Dover

94 Expert Voice:

Is your child struggling at school?

Chic chairs and tables

96 Legal Advice:

Readers share their experiences

98 Menstrual Cups:

Why they’re a smart choice

100 Around Town:

Photos from openings, parties and more




136 Dive sites to

explore this year

WINE & DINE 112 News 116 Bar Tab: New and notable spots for a tipple 118 Going Green: A guide to vegetarian dining on the island 122 Meatless Movement:

TRAVEL 136 News 138 Destination Focus:

Europe insights and recommendations

140 Rome to the Rhine:

Touring Italy and Germany with the kids

146 France with Family: Taking teens on a river cruise

We look at the role Singapore is playing 128 Taste Master:

The man adding punch to your beverages

130 Recipe Corner: Fail-safe favourites for your repertoire 132 Review Crew: We test chocolate!

128 What does a flavour developer do?




STYLE & BEAUTY 152 Style News 154 Best Bling:

Top jewellery picks from Maarz Pearls 156 Working Wardrobe: 158 Beauty News 160 Salon Spotlight:

Threads for the office and beyond

The EL team reviews hair services

164 Fresh New Year:

Rejuvenating facials to start 2019 right


Accessorise with these looks from a local brand

170 Do you need a

nutritional assessment?

HEALTH & FITNESS 170 News 175 Open Doors:


Outfits to take you from office to bar

A new clinic’s multidisciplinary approach

176 Tummy Talk: Is your gut healthy? 178 Expert Voice:

REGULARS 187 Numbers & Websites 188 Horoscopes for January

Achieving your fitness goals this year

181 New Gym:

Five reasons to try this CBD spot

190 Advertiser List 192 Parting Shot:

182 Tackling Taboos:

Physiotherapists talk postpartum problems

Expat life through a local lens



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SHOPPING & FAIRS HotLotz Live Monthly Interiors & Antiques Auction (31 JAN) On the last Thursday of the month, enjoy complimentary wine and experience the excitement of a live HotLotz auction. View your favourite lots in the flesh and browse upcoming auction offerings. #01-15 Cendex Centre, 120 Lower Delta Road. hotlotz.com

Taking Back Sunday


SMBC Singapore Open (17-20 JAN)

M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2019: Still Waters (16-27 JAN) The 2019 edition of the Fringe Festival will showcase a total of 13 works by local and international artists across different genres. The theme originates from the title of a performance piece by Australia- based Singapore artist Suzann Victor. Multiple locations. singaporefringe.com/ fringe2019 SSO 40th Anniversary Gala (18 JAN) Join the Singapore Symphony Orchestra as it celebrates its 40th birthday and pays tribute to Leong Yoon Pin, one of the island’s prominent pioneering composers. Esplanade Concert Hall. Tickets from Sistic. Taking Back Sunday (19 JAN) Touring to mark 20 years since forming, American rockers Taking Back Sunday are in town this January. The Long Island band will play their debut album Tell All Your Friends in its entirety. The Pavilion @ Far East Square. Tickets from Sistic.


DANCE, THEATRE & CONCERTS OMM Goes to the Movies 3 (11 JAN) The Orchestra of the Music Makers (OMM) returns this January with music from iconic films such as Star Wars , Harry Potter , Lord of the Rings , Star Trek and The Avengers . Esplanade Concert Hall. Tickets from Sistic. Vienna Boys Choir: Fly With Me (12 JAN) Catch the Vienna Boys Choir this January; their impressive repertoire includes everything from medieval to contemporary music, and children’s operas to world music. Esplanade Concert Hall. Tickets from Sistic. Catch defending champion Sergio Garcia from Spain, golf legend Davis Love III from the US, and top golfers from the Asian and Japan tours as they compete in the prestigious US$1 million tournament. The Serapong, Sentosa Golf Club. smbsingaporeopen.com

SOCIAL & CHARITY ANZ Australia Day Ball 2019 (25 JAN) Excitement is mounting for the ANZ Australia Day Ball this coming January! It’s a glamorous night that will evoke the experience of a first-class rail journey through the East Orient in a bygone era. Tickets from the AustCham website. Fairmont Ballroom, Swissotel the Stamford.

ANZ Australia Day Ball 2019





GEMS Open House

GEMS Open House (15 & 26 JAN)

Head to GEMS World Academy (Singapore) and learn more about what’s on offer for your child. You’ll speak with the Head of School, learn about the school’s core values, curriculum and extra-curricular activities, and experience the facilities. Times: 10am to 11.30am, 15 January; 10.30am to 12pm, 26 January. Register online or call 6808 7300. gwa.edu.sg All About Dogs Exhibition (UNTIL 13 JAN) Learn more about dogs and the bonds between them and humans at this fun exhibition. Admission costs $8 for adults and $6 for children. Singapore Philatelic Museum

ARTS Intriguing Uncertainties Exhibition (UNTIL 5 JAN)

This contemporary art exhibition brings together 42 artists from Europe, Asia, Africa and North and South America. Each of the works focuses on socio-cultural constellations and situational meanings. The Parkview Museum IN Art Exhibition (UNTIL 18 JAN) Hosted by the Australian High Commission each year, this art exhibition features a collection of outstanding artwork from talented students from 17 international schools in Singapore. Australian High Commission My Little Red Dot Exhibition (18 JAN – 17 FEB) The exhibition showcases the collaborative illustrations of Edmund Chen and son Chen Yi Xi, highlighting the journey of a little fish in search of its identity. It also features Edmund’s 31-piece pen illustration, along with animation by Artisan’s Atelier and more. LivingwithArt Singapore, #02- 04/05 Tan Boon Liat Building.

i Light Singapore (28 JAN – 24 FEB)

Featuring sustainable light art installations centred on the theme “Bridges of Time”, this year’s festival will extend beyond Marina Bay to the Civic District, Singapore River and Raffles Terrace at Fort Canning. ilightsingapore.sg

Intriguing Uncertainties Exhibition





Off Centre (7-17 FEB) The Necessary Stage’s Off Centre returns, 26 years after its premiere in 1993. Written by Haresh Sharma and directed by Alvin Tan, it offers an honest look at mental illness and the stigma surrounding it. Victoria Theatre. Tickets from Sistic. Best known for her Tony Award-winning role in Miss Saigon and singing voice of Princess Jasmine from Aladdin , the world- renowned Lea Salonga will be bringing her powerful vocals to town this February. Esplanade Concert Hall. Tickets from Sistic. Run For Hope (17 FEB) Returning for its 26th edition, this annual run offers two distances, 3.5km and 10km. It’s organised by Four Seasons Hotel Singapore and the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCSS) to raise awareness and support for cancer research. Registration closes on 10 January. Singapore Sports Hub. runforhope.sg Glamorous Giving (20 & 21 FEB) Organised by Stones that Rock, the 11th edition of Glamorous Giving will offer an eclectic mix of fashion, homeware, accessories, art and furniture. Browse products from over 50 local brands, designers and artists. The event continues to raise funds for the Singapore Committee for UN Women. Antica Ballroom and Foyer, Orchard Rendezvous Hotel. facebook.com/Glamorous.Giving Lea Salonga: The Human Heart (13-14 FEB)

Glamorous Giving


Years & Years

Matilda The Musical (21 FEB – 10 MAR) Multi-award winning production

Matilda The Musical tells the story of an extraordinary little girl who dares to take a stand and changes her own destiny. Sands Theatre, Marina Bay Sands. Tickets from Sistic. Years & Years (27 FEB) British synth-pop trio Years & Years are touring this February, on the back of their second album, Palo Santo , released in July 2018. The Star Theatre. Tickets from Apactix.

Still Life (28 FEB – 10 MAR)

Still Life offers an affecting look at life and art-making. In this personal performance, Dana Lam rediscovers and reclaims her journey from the 1950s to the present through writing and painting. 72-13 Home of TheatreWorks. Tickets from Sistic.

: 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 us, or on any subject for that matter. We’ll be sending Conny a bottle of champagne for her feedback on our Christmas Wreath Event.

This month, we received so many great reviews for our events, we thought we would focus on the letters that came through for our Events Curator, Susan.

Business Events

Christmas Wreath Event

Susan, I wanted to take this opportunity to drop you a line regarding this morning’s event. I just want to say it was great! The information provided by Hawksford was so valuable and it was so refreshing that they were able to answer questions to give Dependant’s Pass holders a more positive view, along with options to consider. Hopefully, I’ll be able to attend other Expat Living events in the future. – Jane Martin Hey, Susan, thank you so much for the session today! While it was a little less helpful for me personally, it was nonetheless great and well organised. You are really amazing at these events – thank you. I love how you send reminder emails ahead of time and then the day before, with your phone number. Then the rooms are so beautifully set out – and with gifts! Totally unexpected and what a lovely and thoughtful gesture. I can feel the heart and care that has gone into the planning and organisation. – Mishell

I cannot thank you enough for an absolutely fantastic afternoon making Christmas wreaths today – it has only taken me 56 years to make one! I’m thrilled not only by what I created, but by what a wonderful experience it was. The cake, the coffee, the sparkling wine, the mince pie and the lovely

company – what a great event. You do a fantastic job and it’s a pleasure to attend. I wish I could do more, but timings and dates aren’t always optimum – so I’m also glad that you made this one

an afternoon event. Have a lovely Christmas season, and thank you again for the stunning experience. – Conny Ed: Will make sure we mix up the event times when we hold them – in fact, we will keep changing things up on all levels, so be sure to check under “What’s On” at expatliving.sg for all the details.

Ed: Thank you both so much for coming! Wow, those are very nice compliments – how kind!

Email us at info@expatliving.sg



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Year of Feng Shui Talk What does the new year have in store for us? the Pig

DATE: 16 January 2019 TIME: 10am — 11.30am PLACE: Emperor’s Attic 315 Outram Road, #01-10 Tan Boon Liat Building Price: $20 incudes refreshments and goodie bag


DATE: 23 January 2019 TIME: 7pm — 9pm PLACE: SPRMARKT Price: $45 includes a three-course dinner, two glasses of wine and goodie bag


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25 JANUARY2019


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


With ocean all around, Singapore has plenty of places to go salt-water fishing. The folks at MFFA (My Fishing Frenzy Academy) offer nifty classes and fishing trips – and a little advice about where to land the big one.



Where we flick through our magazine from ten years ago to

see what we can find... Going Green?

#1 Bedok Jetty This is an old favourite, with plenty of experienced anglers casting their line on a weekly basis. Why? Because some massive whoppers have been caught here over the years, including several huge stingrays. #2 Changi Boardwalk Fancy catching a squid? Then head over to this scenic spot facing Pulau Ubin on a moonless night and use fresh sashimi or calamari for bait. #3 Punggol Point Jetty If you want the kids to give it a go, this is a great spot as there are restaurants and a playground if they get tired of waiting for a bite. Prawn cubes are the perfect bait for catching the spotted sicklefish here. #4 Woodlands Waterfront Park Jetty Because this spot sits right next to the causeway, the water is calm and still. It’s also pretty shallow, so use a float and try to catch a barramundi. #5 East Coast Park Breakwaters The many breakwaters along the coast are great spots to catch fish that like to hang near the shore. Don’t cast too far to catch your prize. mffa.com.sg For more great ideas on what to do in Singapore, go to expatliving.sg

In our first issue for 2009, we encouraged readers to take a positive eco-conscious stance for the year: “Help save the planet, one plastic bag at a time!” we wrote. Sadly, while we’re sure most of our readers fully embrace the idea of protecting the environment, on a global scale the picture isn’t so rosy. Back then, we revealed that a trillion new plastic bags were used around the world each year. Today? The figure is thought to be closer to five trillion! Similarly, the amount of bottled water consumed each year has just about doubled from the figures we quoted a decade ago.

Hail? In Singapore?!

Last year, we had a crazy January for weather. It included: the longest cold spell in 10 years; flash flooding in the east; temps as low as 21 degrees; t rees fe l l ed ; a waterspout off the coast; winds that


sent sailing boats flying through the air; and even a hailstorm in northern Singapore. Yep, hailstorms do happen here, despite the heat. But they’re very rare – often five years or more apart. January is looking less exciting this year, though, with long-term forecasters predicting normal or slightly low rainfall, and normal or slightly high temperatures.

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

Last month: Rooftop detail of the Esplanade.




Hacienda Blue

52 Inside Story: Readers tell us about their tables

57 Buying Guide: Satisfying your dining desires

46 Décor Spotlight: Enjoy a bit of bright and bold!



Buying & Renovating Milk Chocolate offers Australian expats a buying, renovating andpropertymanagement concierge. The team will manage the entire end-to-end investment process, including researching the location, due diligence, purchase, liaison with financiers, renovation and tenanting, and their unique digital platform helps you to review data, suburb insights and suggested properties and then monitor the progress of purchases and any renovations. Milk Chocolate is currently offering a 10 percent discount on professional service fees. milkchoc.com.au

Living DNA is known for its picturesque rugs – bedroom, kids’, outdoor and more, as well as bath carpets, runners and homewares – all as aesthetic as they are ethical. In the chic and bright Tampines flagship store, you can find the perfect rug or homeware item made by artisans from around the world. If you’ve been eyeing off a design, there’s a Chinese New Year promotion this month, with 30 percent off selected rugs and runners. The sale runs to 3 February at #01-10B Space@ Tampines, 18 Tampines Industrial Crescent .

Rental Reservations? Paying three months rent in advance as your security deposit when you move into a property in Singapore can be tough. But Sing-Guarantee has a solution to help your cash flow. Purchase a rental deposit certificate online at sing-guarantee.com.sg .

Odour Buster Why does your laundry smell, even after you’ve washed and dried it? Certain bacteria break down sweat (which is odourless) and emit a foul smell. Help avoid this by ensuring your laundry is totally dry before you put it away. Kruger’s Laundry Dryer completely dries your laundry – in rain or haze, and by day or night. All you need is a small, enclosed room to hang your items and then turn on the dryer. Visit kruger.sg for a free trial, and mention Expat Living for 10 percent off any orders.





Easy Like Sunday Morning Looking for luxurious, sustainable, natural bed sheets? The easily washable bamboo and cotton sets from Sunday Bedding (for single, queen and king beds) are currently available in muted whites and greys. Look out for two new colours launching soon – blush pink and cream – as well as a teens’ and kids’ range. With free returns within 30 days and a two-year warranty, why not snuggle up to a set? sundaybedding.com

Deck the Outdoors Make your outdoor spaces more liveable by adding a composite deck fromLandedHome. The patented German clip-lock decking system is laid on an adjustable aluminium frame ensuring there is no structural damage to the land or house. Manufactured from recycled plastic, the decking will not warp, rot or splinter and is zero maintenance. Priced from $195 per square metre. Contact Campbell at 8201 7660 or landedhome.net .

Taylor B is having a 20-percent-off storewide promotion. With new arrivals coming in every week, there’s always something new to add a touch of elegance to your home. The store also has a large inventory of available furniture ready for pickup or delivery. Did we mention there’s also up to 50 percent discounted off selected items? Levels 3 & 4, 43 Keppel Road.

Little & Loud Just launched by French sound makers Devialet is the new Phantom Reactor speaker. Four times smaller than the iconic Phantom, the Reactor weighs just five kilograms. You can hold it in your hand, yet it’s as loud as a symphony orchestra! Available at ION Orchard, Marina Bay Sands or devialet.com/en-sg from $1,890.




Just launchedbyGallery 278 i s the opulent Dani Collection, and EL readers can enjoy 20 percent off all orders TABLE TALK

Like to Move It, Move It? Ever wished you could just pick up your home and move it somewhere else? Well, now you can. Pod Structure has launched Movit Homes, offering affordable, safe, strong and intelligent prefabricated homes, made in Singapore, with patented state-of-the-art technology. Designed to be self-contained and transportable, the bespoke residential and holiday homes dismantle easily and can be rebuilt at your new location. An expat’s dream! podstructures.com

made in January. Combining cool white marble with modern jet-black metal legs, the collection can also be customised with wood or granite, as well as by size and shape. Pair with a matching coffee table, side table or stunning dining table to bring a touch of warmth and glamour to your home. 278 River Valley Road.

Under the Hammer!

Matthew Elton, HotLotz owner and chief auctioneer.

Thinking of attending your first auction? Here are my top tips for first- time buyers: #1 If you can, always view in person. Items may look different in the flesh and the auction staff can often tell you more about it. #2 Decide what you’re prepared to pay and leave your highest bid. Our systems will ensure you never pay more than is necessary. #3 Remember, if you win, a 19.5 per cent Buyer’s Premiumwill be added to the “hammer price”. All auction houses charge a Buyer’s Premium, so factor it into your budget.


Art In-room auction, Tuesday 29 January, 8pm

Highlights include a very large abstract work by Singapore’s most famous living female artist, Eng Tow. The painting, from the private collection of the world-renowned Australian architect Kerry Hill, is of folded silk and measures 179cm by 262cm.

Jewellery & Watches In-room auction, Tuesday 12 February, 8pm

Highlights of this auction include a limited-edition Nicolas Rieussec automatic chronograph Mont Blanc watch with an estimated value of $3,000 to $5,000.

Download the HotLotz app to view the catalogues.







As the co-owner of White and Black Trading, JUSTINNAPANK has proven herself a savvy business woman. As it turns out, the queen of Micro scooters also has a knack for feathering the nest.

37 JANUARY2019

W hen Justinna Pank and her husband first arrived from London in 2007, they spent two years on Chancery Lane with two little kids, but it all felt very temporary. They didn’t have a car and their house didn’t really feel like family living. After realising how convenient Singapore is, Justinna decided she wanted to move further out. The real estate agent took her to see a house on a hill in Siglap that he’d always loved. “I remember driving out here on the PIE; I kept asking howmanymore exits it would be. It felt like we were driving forever, but when I walked in the front door, I knew I’d found my home.” They’ve been living in what used to be the Siglap Kampong ever since, almost ten years now, and have come to think of their 1950s home that was once used as a local doctor’s surgery as a sort of retreat. “Living here provides me with a slight sort of freedom, away from it all. At night, you can hear the fog horns from the ships and we get a really nice coastal breeze because we’re on a hill. And we have wild civet cats walking around, which I just love. This is my escape.”

A House Becomes a Home Justinna went about putting her own stamp on the 50s throwback. “The dog came. Another child came. Furnishings came. Bit by bit, Singapore became my home.” Not only is the house a getaway from the hustle and bustle of central Singapore, but it’s also been a great palette for Justinna’s passion: decorating with colour. “I look at shapes. If I like the shape of something, I’ll buy it and just paint it the colour I want.” And what colours she has: pink and orange dining chairs, a hot pink bench, a purple sitting chair, a turquoise cabinet – the list is as varied as a colour wheel itself. “When it comes to choosing colours, you can’t believe the colour charts. You have to try and see how it works. And yes, there have been a few mistakes along the way,” Justinna laughs. “But then I just paint them again.” She recommends acrylic paints for Singapore. Justinna is also abig fanof reupholstering items to make them more contemporary. “It may not be themost economical choice, but some items have sentimental value so I figure out a way to make them work.” Her go-to for reupholstering is Joo




Chiat Sofa & Cushion. But there are a couple of items she’s never touched. One is an old Peranakan cabinet in a pale green she picked up from a local vintage shophouse, which has since closed. “I haven’t done anything to it and I just love the imperfections.” The other piece belongs with the house: a vintage, screened Chinese food safe that sits proudly in the kitchen, like an old friend, complete with saucers for the feet. The saucers used to be filled with water to keep ants from crawling up the legs to get the food. Clever, eh? Relatives of the Chinese owners who built the house long ago still own the property. From time to time, the owner visits and they catch up over tea and she recounts snippets about

living there in the past. And she fondly checks out the old food safe every time. If those walls could talk... even Justinna has repurposed the rooms several times. As her children have grown over the years, she’s reinvented the rooms to fit her needs at the time. Finding Treasures “One mistake newbies make is to shop for large pieces on vacation and then ship, which is expensive and you have to pay added taxes on imported items. I pick up smaller items when I travel and buy the bigger pieces locally.” Justinna finds items all over Singapore, but she warns that it can be hard to tell the difference between true antiques

and reproductions. Some places say their items are made from old reclaimed wood just to make a sale. Emperor’s Attic (formerly FairPrice Antiques) is a favourite of hers for old items as she trusts the source. The end tables she got there go nicely with the bed she bought from another expat and painted white for her daughter. She’s also had several larger pieces made, such as her dining table. “We went to Woody Antique House in Dempsey and they had an old door, but we wanted something bigger. The Woody’s team found it for us and made it into our dining table, which we just love. I especially love the legs with their old English flare.” Her four-poster

39 JANUARY2019

teak bed was made by The Shophouse. Over it hangs a piece of art she picked up in Myanmar, painted on material. Justinna also chooses very bright colours for her art, sourced from several vendors including Hanoi Art (a big Buddha), REDSEA Gallery (the painting in the entry to the home) and Ketna Patel (several acrylics). She has also done amazing things with the garden, planting a fruit and vegetable orchard that the children really loved as they each grew some special plants such as chillies, papayas and pineapples. There are also three large rambutan trees. “The garden gave the children something to make the house feel even more like a home.” A frangipani tree, grown from just a cutting, now shades the terrace.




The art is in mixing the things you buy here with other items from elsewhere.

Worldly Goods People often think Asian furniture only looks good in Singapore, so they often worry about investing too much. Justinna, however, believes that items from this part of the world look fabulous back in the UK or wherever you live – the art is in the mixing of things you buy here with other items from elsewhere. Believe it or not, she isn’t as much worried about moving her Asian-style furniture home one day as much as she is about the colourful items. “I would love to bring all this colour back to London one day, but it just wouldn’t fit into our place there.” In truth, Justinna has come to think of Singapore as home. “I stopped calling London home a long time ago. Home is where you make it. Family is the heartbeat, isn’t it?” And, for Justinna, her heart is in an old house in Siglap.

41 JANUARY2019

JUSTINNA’S RECOMMENDATIONS Emperor’s Attic (antiques) emperorsattic.com Hacienda Blue (bone-inlay table) haciendablue.com Hanoi Art Gallery hanoi-artgallery.com Joo Chiat Sofa & Cushion 275 Joo Chiat Road Ketna Patel (acrylic art) ketnapatel.com

The Shophouse (four- poster bespoke bed) theshophouse.com REDSEA Gallery redseagallery.com Woody Antique House (bespoke dining table) woodyantique.com



So Bright, So Bold! We spoke to some of our favourite interior experts about a trend for 2019: turning a room from drab to dramatic through the use of colourful furniture and accessories.

This oriental-style jewellery box opens up into many small compartments and a fold-out mirror. It provides compact storage for small accessories like rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Also available in black, red, green and blue, with similar painting, from $120.

In recent years, we’ve found that it’s actually our customers who are driving the bright and bold colour trend. As we specialise in custom-made pieces, often we’ll make something, and then more people will come in and ask for the same or similar. I love how antique Chinese furniture and classic reproductions can work with contemporary furniture or how brightly painted homeware can add character to a space and create a statement look. The use of bright and bold accessories gives you room to play around with colours. It’s an easy way to add personality to a room without dictating or changing the overall look of the house. It’s also an easier way to include colour than by painting a wall.

These wooden kettles originate from the southern part of China, where they would be dark reddish brown or red. These have been re- painted in bright, cheerful colours. Also available in yellow, red, light blue, black and white, from $90.

– Danielle Lee

This is a very small version of a Ming- style cabinet, but made into a table- top box for storage of all kinds of accessories, or simply for décor. Also available in black, yellow, green and blue, and all with gold painting, from $90.

This beautiful turquoise kitchen cabinet is from China’s Zhejiang Province where it would have been reddish brown in colour. It has been updated by Just Anthony as it was quite damaged (and not easy to restore). The slatted doors allow for air circulation – ideal for keeping food. The lattice doors below slide open to reveal slatted shelves, which make great slots for wine bottles. Also available in cool grey, white, lime green and dusty pink, from $1,400.

Just Anthony 379 Upper Paya Lebar Road 6283 4782 | justanthony.com




With a nod to the quintessential jockey uniform, the Pollack Jockey fabric features a gridded pattern of alternating shapes – triangles to squares and solid to dotted. Available in four colourways, from $232 per yard.

Crafted from Sunbrella yarns, the Pollack Big Flower indoor/ outdoor fabric features a bright, saturated colour and bold pattern. A simplified graphic highlights the crepe flower’s weave construction. Available in eight colourways, from $154 per yard.

I love using colourful, abstract prints year-round; they never seem to go out of style. Try combining printed fabrics with solid colour and textured fabrics for a striking look. However, if you have an existing neutral-toned scheme, you can simply introduce splashes of bright accessories, like an accent cushion, a custom throw, or an eye-catching border on soft furnishings. To combine colours with patterns, a fail-safe choice is geometric patterns; they’re contemporary, fun, and easy to mix and match and play around with different scales and textures for interest and depth. Indoor/outdoor fabrics are now available in a rainbow of bright and delicious colours. Long gone are the days of dull and drab performance fabrics, as they now combine high- performance properties with fantastic design!

This bold yet playful Weitzner Expressions wallcovering was inspired by the abstract artwork of Smilow Mathiesen. Though digitally printed, it is tactile and features the feel of brushstrokes in the artwork. Available in three colourways, from $197 per yard.

– Victoria Cheung

Large-scale and multi-coloured, the Weitzner Aviary indoor/ outdoor fabric stays true to the whimsical quality of the Smilow Mathiesen mural it’s based on. Available in two colour ways, from $176 per yard.

Altfield Interiors #07-10, Central Mall Office Tower 1 Magazine Road 6909 2768 | altfield.com.hk

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This bedside cabinet has an intricate flower lattice design, which was traditionally used as a decorative element on beds, windows, doors, and ceiling partitions. Available in Chalky Red and eight other colours. From $450.

I absolutely love working with colour and I take my inspiration from the natural world. If a colour doesn’t appear in nature, then we don’t use it. A few years ago, most of the furniture we sold was in more muted colours. Now, we’re really experimenting and having fun with colour – be it furniture or accessories. A bright object can become a great focal point of a room and goes really well when combined with more traditional items. One of our best-selling items are drum stools – they’re so versatile and, in fact, they’re often shipped back to home countries as bright, traditional gifts from Singapore!

These bright yellow leather boxes come in lots of sizes and have countless uses: tissue boxes, remote control holders, trunk boxes and more. Available in pink, orange, blue, green, white, red, black, yellow and more, from $29.

Commonly used as a bedside table, this piece is known as a Mini A-Cabinet due to its shape. Available in Prussian Blue and eight other colours, from $280.

– Audrey Lim

Traditional Indian crafts and handiwork can be mixed and matched with new bright colours on top of their original colourways to give a modern touch. Covers, including cushion inserts, start from $25 and are available in countless colours – every production run is different.

Lim’s Holland Village #02-01, Holland Village Shopping Centre, 211 Holland Avenue 6466 3188 | facebook.com/limshollandvillage



Wouldn’t it be nice if we left the planet in a better condition than when we found it for those who follow behind us? The Move to Mindfully Made BY KEL FLANDERS PHOTOGRAPHY KEN TAN

DENISE KAUR is the founder of rugs, furniture and homeware store Living DNA , and she practices a philosophy of mindful living; she also aims to help to change the world by buying one sustainable, artisanal product at a time. Why is it important we live more mindfully? Since I’ve had children, my view of the world has totally changed. Now, I really feel we have a responsibility to consciously help future generations have the luxury of clean water, plentiful food and fresh air to breathe. If we can save resources, consume more carefully and be good examples to our children, we can ensure the world they live in will thrive.




How do you ensure your products are sustainable? I have the luxury of being able to travel to the locations where the products are created, expose myself to the culture there, and see first-hand the impact my purchase has on the community. Caring for their customs and traditions, and forging a human connection during these visits, allows me to understand the needs of the people and how I can continue to support them. There are also reliable certifications of sustainability; I look out for products that are Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance and GoodWeave. I’ve also seen a rug-dying system where the vast amount of water needed was purified and recycled. These examples fill my heart with hope for the future. Still, I also have to understand the needs of the consumer, which is why I work with the artisans to tweak their products to infuse more modern

trends and fit the needs of today. We need to create functional products if we’re to make handmade the way forward. How can we support these artisans? As consumers, we can educate ourselves on fair trade, lessen our consumption of mass-made goods and respect traditional methods. Handmade goods are not perfect; they have imperfections unique to the maker. By supporting and encouraging their skills, we can have an appreciation for the time it takes to make these products, which are as individual as the artisans themselves. Other than purchasing sustainable and mindfully sourced goods, what else can we do? Care for your things! Mindfully made items last longer, but it’s also up to us to use them less harshly. I try to use all our consumable goods before we buy more. (It can make for some very interesting meals at home!) In Singapore last year, we threw away 800,000 tonnes of food waste and we are

Sustainable products – and by that I mean those made using traditional methods with minimum impact on the environment – are key to the success of the next generation. Even though the small artisan workshops and mass production factories are far from us, we are more connected than we think. The effect they have on their local environment will eventually make its way to ours. Goods made by artisans have a story and are made with heart and soul, as well as their obvious aesthetics. They are truly beautiful, well-made products, which can be on display proudly in your home. We also tend to hold on to them for longer becausewe feel a connection to them, which in turn reduces waste.

How will buying sustainable products change the lives of those who create them?

all responsible for helping to reduce this. Asking yourself “How can I live and buy more mindfully?” will help you to question your wastage and any unnecessary purchasing. I also like to surround myself with people who share our philosophy – giving time or using up-cycled items as gifts, using and reusing items between us, and sharing sustainable living tips; it all helps.

By bridging the gap to the artisan, we can promote sustainable living practices and protect their livelihood. Recently, we commissioned a stunning cabinet from the Philippines containing multiple different panels, all of which required weaving. The artisan who we engaged to do this sourced help from his uncle, grandfather and cousins, as they’re all skilled craftspeople in their own right. They each worked on their panels at home then came together to assemble the finished product. Hearing about their renewed bond and shared experience was a very special moment that I’ll always remember. Thoughtful purchases help you feel connected to other cultures and locations – the products are more meaningful and have a story.

Visit the Living DNA flagship store at Space@Tampines, #01-10B, 18 Tampines Industrial Crescent. 8511 3584 | livingdna.sg

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MoreThanJust WoodenAntiques

We have a dig around a popular 6,000-square-foot furniture store in Dempsey.


F or 18 years, the family behind Woody Antique House has been scouring Asia for vintage, reproduction and contemporary furniture for the Singapore market. Their store is a treasure trove of colour, texture, history and passion, with furniture now sourced by CHRIS ANG and his wife WEI CHIN from China, Tibet, Malaysia, Myanmar, India, Indonesia and Thailand. One of the company’s strengths, according to Chris, is their customisation process, which is particularly useful if you’re looking for something unique and interesting for your home. “Often our customers are inspired by something they may have seen, but it mightn’t be the right size, colour or finish they want. We work closely with them to design and make a truly one-off piece they can display proudly in their home. We also take repurposed and vintage furniture and give it a modern twist.” Over the past two years, Chris and Wei Chin have noticed a trend towards coloured pieces. “A few years ago. it was all black and white, but now we’re finding our customers are requesting brighter, more daring colours,” says Wei Chin. The range of outdoor furniture they stock has also seen a change in style and taste, different from the standard synthetic rattan wicker products commonly found in the market today. “Our customers are looking for metal- and powder-coated furniture, which is more modern, with clean lines. These new designs are stylish and elegant – the frames and cushions add colour to your balcony or garden.”




Do you have a piece in store with a fascinating background or story?

In the past, these kitchen cabinets were a standard item in every home in China. The top compartment was used to store plates, bowls and ceramic pots while the chopsticks, spoons and soup ladles were stored in the drawers. The lower compartment stored dried food items, vegetables and food ready to be cooked. These days, they are repainted in bright colours like red, blue, green, orange and white to blend with modern décor, and they’re used for storage – of wine, for example, or even shoes.

What’s the oldest piece that you have? It’s difficult to pinpoint the oldest – we have a number of them. But this wedding bed is definitely one; it’s over 150 years old! We found it during one of our sourcing trips to China’s Zhejiang Province. There were actually two of them in one house; the owner was moving to the city and wanted to sell the beds due to the lack of space in their new place. When we first saw them, they still had

Are there any challenges in running a business as husband and wife? What advice would you give? We don’t always see eye to eye on work matters! When it happens, we sit down and list down the pros and cons of our differing viewpoints and decide on the best way forward for the company. Also, we make a point of discussing any commitments to external parties first so we can reduce the chances of any disagreements later. There’s a tendency for company matters to carry over after work when we’re at home. We try not to talk “work” at home unless it’s absolutely necessary, so we don’t affect the quality of our family time with the kids.

From top: Chinese kitchen cabinets; 150-year- old bed; Chinese wedding cabinet

stickers of Chinese pop singers on the inner panels. We bought both beds back to Singapore and sold one of them to an expatriate couple who use it as a daybed in their study now.

Do you remember the first piece of furniture you sold?

Although it was 18 years ago, I can still remember it clearly! It was a red Chinese wedding cabinet with carvings – a signature piece of furniture from Zhenjiang, China. It’s a traditional gift to a married couple from their parents as a blessing and is used as a wardrobe in their room. There are ones with simple designs and ones with elaborate carvings; it all depends on the wealth of the family. These days, like the kitchen cabinets, they’re also repainted in different colours depending on the customer’s preference and décor. They’re also reproduced in various sizes and with different shelving and compartment configurations.

Woody Antique House is at #01-05, 13 Dempsey Road. 6471 1770 woodyantique.com

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TheVersatile As thesizeofour livingspacesdecreases, diningroomsno longer operate as just eating areas. They’re now work and meeting places, homeoffices, craft benches, homework spaces andsmall business production areas! We spoke to several readers who use their tables for more than just a dining room centrepiece.


Mike Soldner, American My business, B28, has become synonymous with all things whisky in Singapore – whisky investment, education and appreciation. I was looking for a significant and striking table for private whisky tastings, dinners and events. It needed to seat at least 20 people but also have the flexibility to be reduced to six for smaller events. We found a long, heavy, wooden 22-seater at Gallery 278 . We worked with the team there to design a dining table that looked seamless when joined together but equally as stylish when used separately. It’s now perfectly placed in our events space beneath our skylight with a projector wall at the end. It was a perfect solution to our business and aesthetic needs. I loved that all the pieces at Gallery 278 are made from recycled teak; which has beautiful wood patina and is sustainably sourced according to good forestry practices. We selected the classic Element Dining Table for B28, which brings a touch of warmth and organic style to our space. Gallery 278 has also given us the option of storing one or more of the dining table pieces when we have different dinner setting arrangements as an additional service.

Penny and Craig Considine, Australian When we moved to Singapore from the UK, we didn’t bring all of our furniture. We like entertaining and wanted to have an excellent table that would act as a centrepiece for the household. Having seen a number of print and online references to Grey and Sanders , we decided to visit their showroom near Tiong Bahru. The store was brilliant, as were the staff – so helpful and welcoming, and nothing too much trouble for them. We purchased a handcrafted American black walnut slab-topped “live edge” table and bench. It’s a delightful natural addition to the hard marble floors in our condo. We really love our table – it’s a beautiful piece of wood and creates a warm and inviting ambience. We have a large family, with two children in the UK and three in Australia. They all travel a lot and we look forward to them staying with us frequently. The fun of cooking and eating together has always been a key part of our lives. Many friends also visit us, so having a great space to entertain is important. We found the support and understanding of the young team at Grey and Sanders was unparalleled. #06-02 Tan Boon Liat Building 315 OutramRoad | 8371 8864 | greyandsanders.com

278 River Valley Road 6737 2322 | gallery278.com



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