Let’s go inside!

EDITOR’SNOTE So, I was having “writer’s block” with this editor’s letter… and then I realised that the block was in fact the perfect subject. The past year has really stopped the flow, blocking business, halting plans and putting obstacles in the way of goals and dreams for many – especially those just starting out in adult life. It’s also blocked income to thousands of families who depend on the income from tourism, and those working in foreign countries to support their families. Blocking of freedom of speech in many countries has come to the fore, too; even Speakers’ Corner in London, a pivotal point of freedom of speech in the world for centuries, was affected. So, at the start of this new year, it would be great if we can focus on keeping the flow going. Not rushing to do what we’ve missed, or striving to catch up on any losses, but just to keep going in the business of life. I say this as I sit amongst the building site that is my home. After waiting nearly a year for the painters to be able to do the house, I didn’t want to say no. My daughter and I are trapped in the study and even the Christmas tree is wrapped in a painter’s sheet. It might be a good time to get out and do some Christmas shopping! Once it’s over, I will have to “redo” my home. But it’s a good opportunity to give it a good clean, clear some rubbish, and get it all going better than it was before! And that feels in sync with this coming year, too.

REBECCA BISSET Editor-in-Chief

Wishing you all a happy and “flowing” 2021!

A beautiful flow to focus on: the Huai Mae Khamin Waterfalls in Sri Nakarin National Park, Thailand



Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET Managing Editor LEANDA RATHMELL Editorial Team





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Printed by Times Printers Pte Ltd (timesprinters.com)

Published by Expat Living Publications Pte Ltd 36 Carpenter Street, #02-01 Carpenter Haus, Singapore 059915

Rohan and Divya Singh’s Cairnhill home




NEWS 18 Things To Do:

From biking fun to keeping busy at home

20 EL Forum:

Find out about our upcoming events and more


24 News 26 Win!

A home décor set, worth $7,000!

28 Home Showcase:

Time stands still in this corner of Cairnhill

35 Smart Technology:

Update the lighting in your home

36 Shopping Guide:

17 stores in the Tan Boon Liat Building


LIFE & FAMILY 66 News 72 Noticeboard: New babies for the new year! 74 Screen & Page:

Colourful carpets our readers love

Top TV and book recommendations

76 Gift Guide:

42 Home Makeover:

Ideas for every occasion

A package worth the price

78 Art Attack:

44 Talking Tables:

A fun activity for the family

Why wood is a timeless trend

80 Mind over Matter:

46 Inside Story:

Adrian Bennett’s world record attempt

Two table recommendations

82 Singapore Pages:

49 Buying Guide:

Exploring the island’s past and present

Top picks for your dining space 55 Cluny Court Spotlight: Meet the labels 56 One-Stop Shop: Party planning at Dempsey Hill 57 Product Spotlight: Durable designer threads for your home 58 Inside Story: Cool carpets and where to find them 60 Street Talk: What it’s like living at Sentosa Cove

84 Inside School PTAs: What’s it all about? 86 Fun for Kids: Activities to keep young ones learning 92 Expert Advice: Helping children cope with COVID fatigue 94 The Secret to Happiness: It’s right in front of you! 96 Helping Hands: The profound benefits of giving back

49 Deck out your dining room




114 Four tasty vegetarian diners

WINE & DINE 104 News 108 Bar Tab:

Where to head for a world-class beverage!

109 Bali Bites:

What to order at Rumours on Sentosa

TRAVEL 122 News 124 Sentosa Staycay:

110 Pizza Picks:

Find out which brand has two new outlets!

112 Health Kick:

Grocers that make clean eating easy

We review a night at Capella Singapore


114 Veggie Bites:

126 Classy Camping:

Favourite spots for meat-less meals

Glamping spots for the bucket list

116 Recipe Corner:

128 Looking Forward:

What to expect at this Sentosa staycay spot

Favourites to add to your repertoire

What we’re excited for when borders open




STYLE & BEAUTY 134 Style News 136 Back to Corporate: Office attire for the new year 138 Smart Shoes: Italian-made comfort 140 Beauty News 142 Bright Beginnings: Signature facials to kick off the year 144 Tried & Tested: Face masks and acne treatments HEALTH & FITNESS 152 News 154 Check Your Engines: Five health checks to prioritise this year 158 Heart Health: The latest in cardiac screening


How to stick with your fitness goals!


Fab facials for a fresh start

144 We review the latest beauty buys

160 Expert Voice:

What is functional medicine?

162 Super Fruit:

The benefits of blackcurrants

REGULARS 182 Horoscopes for January 184 Puzzle Pages 186 Numbers & Websites

164 Kids & Stress:

How to help them cope 166 Childhood Struggles: How this psychological test may help 168 Unlocking Potential: The benefits of brain mapping 170 Fitness Focus: Sticking to your goals

187 Advertiser List 188 Parting Shot: The weight of things



pinterest.com/expatlivingSG instagram.com/expatlivingSG





GESS – International School Open Houses (19, 26 AND 28 JAN) Learn more about GESS, a not-for-profit school that offers an English IB education to students aged two to 18 years old. Speak with academic experts and consult their Admissions Team during the virtual events. Held from 3.30pm to 4.30pm, the sessions on 19, 26 and 28 January will be for Preschool, IB Primary and Secondary and the German curriculum (Primary and Secondary) respectively. Sign up at gess.sg/en/admissions/open-houses . M1 Singapore Fringe Festival (20-31 JAN) With the theme “Quiet Riot”, the 17th edition of the festival will consist of nine events of various genres. Put together by Singaporean and international artists, the works will address relevant topics such as climate change, censorship and cultural identity. singaporefringe.com/ fringe2021 Singapore Art Week (22-30 JAN) The annual event celebrates visual arts and offers artists, collectives and other organisations a visible platform to showcase a range of projects, discussions and exhibitions. This year’s edition will span physical and digital platforms and offer over 100 programmes. artweek.sg


Singapore American School Admissions Virtual Events (26 AND 28 JAN) Find out more about the Early Years and Chinese Immersion programmes at the school through panel discussions with principals and teachers. The Early Years event will take place on 28 January (2pm to 3pm), while the Chinese Immersion sessions (9am to 10am) will be on 28 January for Kindergarten, First and Second Grade and 26 January for Third and Fourth Grade. Sign up on the school website. sas.edu.sg Shaws Open House (6 FEB) Shaws Preschool offers a stimulating and vibrant learning environment for Pre-Nursery to Kindergarten Two children. Sign up for an Open House session and you can check out the school’s classrooms and learn more about the teachers’ experience and care for their students. All five campuses will be open for visits, with limited slots available from 9.30am to 2pm. Sign up by emailing dana@shaws.com.sg or calling 9789 2255 .

CIS Shaws

CIS Kindergarten Open Houses (15-17, 23-25 FEB) Nurturing children’s curiosity is at the heart of CIS’s inquiry- and play-based learning approach. To find out how this applies to concepts like literacy, mathematics or STEAM, attend the school’s Kindergarten Open Houses (9am to 10am) for a fun morning of hands-on teacher-led activities. They will be held from 15 to 17 February (Tanjong Katong campus) and from 23 to 25 February (Lakeside campus). Book at cis.edu.sg/admissions/ kindergarten-open-house .

Singapore Art Week





Enjoy fresh air and a workout by going on a fun cycle at one of these great spots in Singapore!


#1 Punggol Rent bikes at SAFRA Punggol or the Punggol Settlement and take a coastal ride that’ll find you cruising not only along boardwalks but also the dirt roads on popular Coney Island. There are loads of great places to eat in the area once you’re done, too. #2 Mandai Track 15 This trail next to the Singapore Zoo is perfect for beginner mountain bikers due to its gentle terrain and downhill sections. The 12km route also has handy signage to guide you along the way. Want a little more exercise? Pick up the Mandai Park Connector and check out the trails in Chestnut Nature Park. #3 Pulau Ubin Catch a bumboat to Singapore’s wilder side where you can rent bikes. Try one of the easier trails or test your strength at the Ketam Mountain Bike Park, a challenging path for advanced riders.

Pulau Ubin

#4 Bukit Timah One of the oldest trails in Singapore, the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve has a range of medium to difficult bike tracks. They’ll bring you around the edge of the reserve, passing quarries and forested areas on the way. Parts of the 7km route can be difficult to navigate, with rocky terrain, steep slopes and sharp corners, so it’s perfect for more advanced bikers.

Labrador Nature Reserve

#5 Labrador Nature Reserve Looking for a less crowded spot? This seaside park has plenty of paths, trails and quiet back lanes for the kids to burn off some energy on two wheels.

19 JANUARY2021

Don’tmissourmonthly events! Register at expatliving.sg/ELevents

9.30am 13 JAN

F or T on i ng P I LATES w i t h U F I T ETIQUETTE CHINESE NEW YEAR Rituals, Traditions & More

9.30am 27 JAN 29 JAN 10am 26 JAN 10am 20 JAN 10am

the power in healing your biochemistry Nutrient Therapy & Personalised Treatment:



Chalk Paint with Cluny Court & Big Blue Trunk AnnieSloan




to your door Get your favourite mag delivered each month! and enjoy free access to the digital edition on the Magzter app! $50 Subscribe for just $82.80





January2021 Issue222






Shophouse Let’s go inside!

Shophouse Let’sgo inside!

expatliving.sg/subscribe Scan or visit Subscription offer ends 31 January 2021

Are you looking to make the most out of living in Singaporeorknow someone new in town who needs a helping hand? Whether you’ve just arrived or have been here a while, our City Guide offers loads of handy tips and advice on neighbourhoods to live in, property, education, health and more!

Scan the QR code to read the digital edition or get a copy delivered to you. expatliving.sg/guides

21 JANUARY2021


56 Shopping Guide: Furniture finds in Dempsey Hill

Bungalow 55

26 Gorgeous Giveaway: Win a home décor set, worth $7,000!

36 Retail Mecca: What’s inside the Tan Boon Liat Building?

60 Street Talk: Check out the neighbourhood at Sentosa Cove


Boujie Basins Add a spot of functional art to your bathroom with these colourful concrete basins by Lux Crete. Just launched in Singapore, each basin is designed and handcrafted in South Africa, using a special GFRC concrete mix that’s both light in weight and high in strength. Handcrafted in various shapes and styles, no two pieces are the same. Available in 11 colours from charcoal to mint to a gorgeous dusty pink. Email info@luxcrete.sg for more details or follow @lux_crete_singapore on Insta.

We’ve been stalking Celson homeware on Instagram since 2018, so we were thrilled to hear of its new space in Kallang. Brainchild of talented mumpreneur Sonam Singh, Celson is a product of passion. Hailing

from Uttar Pradesh, India, Sonam’s love for local art and design began at a young age and led her to a career in Delhi. After a decade in the industry supplying Indian furniture and accessories to buyers around the world, Sonam moved to Singapore and opened up shop. From bohemian and vintage vibes to industrial chic, the eclectic collection of furniture comes in various wood finishes and statement styles. Shop from stock or get something custom-ordered to your choice of colour, size and finish. We love the range of home accessories, too – from copper mugs and lanterns to bone-inlay trays andmarble cheese boards. Drop by 30 Kallang Place, #05-04 or visit celson.sg to shop online.

Love for Local Started by college pals Jessica Wong and Pamela Ting, Scene Shang is a furniture and lifestyle label driven by the belief that home is where culture begins. Determined to tell the tale of Singapore’s rich history through their work, their pieces are heritage-inspired with a contemporary twist. We love the recent collaboration with local brands Binary Style, Onlewo and Minor Miracles, which sees local prints and fabric married into their cane chair collection. sceneshang.com

Bright Idea! Smart living provider VIO has launched Singapore’s first smart lighting subscription plan! Creating affordable and hassle-free lighting solutions, each smart light comes with swift set-up and easy- to-control Bluetooth-Wi-Fi technology. From downlights to LED strips, users can dim the lights for cosy movie nights or boost the white lights for work-from-home productivity through VIO’s smartphone app. All lights are compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home and come with a lifetime guarantee when purchased with VIO’s subscription plan. vio.com.sg




NewYear’s Tech Resolutions #3 Put down your phone!

Tekkie Help experts SARAH and BO are here to help guide you with the essential tech resolutions – some that need adopting and some that need breaking! In no particular order, here are a few to get you started. #1 Back up your data What would you do if you lost all your family photos, important documents and files? Data loss is a real issue and the consequences can be devastating. A backup is, at minimum, a second copy of your data. Ideally you will also have a third copy in a different location – physical or in the Cloud – to mitigate fire/flood damage. But remember, a “backup drive” is not a backup unless it is also somewhere else! #2 Organise your photos You’re not alone if your photo collection is in a state of chaos. Photos on multiple devices, photo libraries full of duplicate photos or lack of order or labelling are the most common issues. If this sounds like you, it’s time to start bringing order to your files. Set aside time each month to import photos and add labels to them, to make finding them quick and easy. Why not create annual photobooks so you can share your memories with family and friends? If you need help with developing a good photo management strategy and a secure backup, you can join one of the Tekkie Help workshops to learn how! Lose weight, save money, stress less – these are the usual vows we make to ourselves. But what about our digital deeds for 2021?

Be conscious of the time you spend on your phone – whether it’s standing in line, in the back of a cab, at the dinner table or in bed. Phones are incredible tools, sure, but they can suck up all our spare time and reduce quality time spent with family and friends. Cutting back on screen time may be the hardest of these resolutions to keep, but it will be one of the most rewarding! One tool that may help is “Moment”, an iOS app that tracks overall phone usage and teaches you how to reduce it. (Android users should check out QualityTime.) #4 Detox your inbox How much time everyday do you spend swiping away junk email? Instead of just deleting, try to unsubscribe from five unwanted mailing lists each day. In any given email, look near the bottom for an “unsubscribe” link. Each one should take all of about 20 seconds, so you should be able to knock them out in under two minutes. After a few weeks of this, the flow of junk mail will have decreased significantly. If you’re looking for something faster and more automated, check out Unroll.me, a free service that will scan your inbox for subscriptions and let you ditch unwanted ones with a single click. It works with everything from AOL to Gmail to Yahoo and also has apps for Android and iOS. The trade-off: Unroll.me does get to scan your email and extrapolate data for market-research purposes. Be sure to read the service’s privacy policy and terms of service if you have concerns.

If you need a hand kicking these resolutions into action, Singapore-based and expat-run IT support company Tekkie Help is on hand to assist. Call 8113 8682 or visit tekkiehelp.com to find out more.

25 JANUARY2021

worthover $6,500!

In addition to its popular home styling and interior design services, Arete Culture is a one-stop shop for home décor, with an extensive range of furniture and soft furnishings that have been designed and curated to reflect a timeless, elegant aesthetic. Now, to start the new year off with a bang, the brand is excited to give one lucky winner a home décor essentials package to refresh their space! If you’re the lucky winner, you’ll be able to create a grand entryway or give your living room a boost with this fabulous set: • 1 pair of ornate mirrored panels, worth $2,300 • 1 pair of lucite art deco table lamps, worth $1,050 • 1 classic ceramic vase with faux orchids, worth $351 • 1 luxe scented reed diffuser, worth $102 • 1 Ruige carpet in abstract gold and silver design (240x340cm), worth $2,850 Three-time Gold Winner in the Expat Living Readers’ Choice Awards (Interior Design and Home Styling category), Arete Culture wants to thank you for your votes! ... aglamorous homedécor set fromAreteCulture.

To stand a chance to win, simply go to expatliving.sg/competitions .



About Arete Culture

Arete Culture is an interior decorating firm specialising in fast, affordable and fuss- free home makeovers. Having completed more than 950 projects in Southeast Asia, the team works closely with clients to understand their lifestyle needs and bring their dream homes to life. It’s the Arete team’s belief that “a beautiful, thoughtful space has the potential to positively impact and improve the life we lead”. The company also offers a full interior design service (design, build and reno) and operates three retail showrooms embodying its core philosophy of affordable luxury. You’ll find a wide range of home accessories and soft furnishings, from handmade mirrors and affordable art to hand-built console tables and lighting solutions.

9640 3829 areteculture.com

Note: Winner is responsible for arranging delivery of the prize at their own expense from Atelier by Arete, 20 Depot Lane, #01-01/02.

Entries close on 31 January.

27 JANUARY2021

AHome This conservation home is brought to life with an eclectic mix of carefully curated art and furniture. BY FAITH CHANDA PHOTOGRAPHY KATIE MARTIN-SPERRY




A pproaching ROHAN and DIVYA SINGH’s nearly century-old conservation house is like going back in time. With its crisp white exterior and black wrought-iron gate, it feels a bit like walking into a vintage photograph. Already a little breathless from having scaled the steep stairs from the street level gate, visitors are sure to be further awestruck looking up at the towering facade of this three-level terraced home. Stepping in through the impressive front door leads to a glorious living room featuring lofty ceilings, warm wood tones and museum-quality artwork. Everything Has a Story It’s easy to see that Divya and Rohan have taken their time collecting unique pieces to fill their space. Rohan says, “We try not to spend money on little souvenirs when we travel; instead, we splurge on one significant piece that reminds us of that place and time. It takes more effort, but we’re willing to compromise elsewhere so that we can be surrounded by things that bring us joy and hold precious memories.” Most of the furniture, artwork and handicrafts in this house come with a story. For example, there’s the cheerful porcelain fish sculpture that travelled 300km in a pizza box strapped to the back of their rented motorcycle as they toured New Zealand. Miraculously, the indomitable fish made it back to Singapore in one piece. Divya and Rohan’s tasteful styling of their furniture and art combines the quiet reverence of an intimate gallery with all the comforts of a well-decorated home. The effect is one of both awe and ease. I wasn’t surprised to learn the pair enjoys soaking up the past by visiting museums. In fact, Divya has a degree in Museum Studies and has worked at a museum in Toronto. She makes it a point to include at least one museum on their itinerary wherever they go. In Singapore, their favourites are the Asian Civilisations Museum and the Peranakan Museum (currently closed for renovations).

Shopping Globally Much of the décor has been acquired on far-flung trips. There’s a gilded glass lamp fromMurano, Italy, which they stretched their budget at the time to afford. At the centre of the dining table lies a massive and irregularly-shaped bowl carved from burled myrtle wood found on a trip through Tasmania. A totem sculpture from Vanuatu provides a tribal tone to the formal living room. One of the most secluded locations they’ve been to is Haida Gwaii, Canada’s furthest north-western point. Its inhabitants, the Haida, are First Nations people who have retained much of their traditional heritage, including artistic skills and handicrafts. Divya says visiting the area was like stepping into a mystical place, forgotten in time. The residents like it that way, too, eschewing too much modernity or tourism in favour of reclaiming their history and culture. The carved shield symbolising the Haida Creation myth was purchased on Rohan and Divya’s 2013 trip. It’s one of their absolute favourites, reminding them of the quiet pride, humility and reverence for nature espoused by the Haida people.

29 JANUARY2021

Search for Treasures The Singhs suggest being selective about the pieces you choose for your home. For example, they acquired an exquisitely carved wooden statue in Bali only because they ignored new works the gallery owner presented. For them, peeking into dusty, dark, cobweb-laden nooks and crannies is a great way to discover oft-overlooked treasures. The carving on the piece depicts the myth of the churning of the ocean, featuring the Hindu god Vishnu and his vehicle Garuda, a mythological creature also known as the national emblem of Indonesia. “With our Nepali and Indian heritage, we connected instantly with the symbolism, but it was the fine craftsmanship in the intricately carved details that really appealed to us,” Divya says.




Look for What Speaks to You Another bit of advice they offer is to be open to whatever speaks to you, regardless of the art form, function or style. The first significant painting they purchased is by Quebec artist Jean-Pierre Lafrance. Rohan discovered it by chance while cycling through Toronto’s distillery district, having never particularly been drawn to modern art. The artist’s pull was magnetic – within a year and a half, they’d met Lafrance in person at another exhibition of Quebec artists and bought another of his paintings. This second piece still nearly brings tears to Divya’s eyes. Lafrance’s inspiration was a river that runs near his home, and the strong line interrupting it represents the death of a beloved pet, something they both have experienced. For this couple, art isn’t about collecting and amassing value. “We buy what we connect with – eclectic as it is. Everything we bring home is here because it spoke to us.” So, a pair of Tibetan calligraphic artworks by a Scottish ex-monk is dear to them because these were commissioned to commemorate the lives of their two Lhasa Apsos.

Don’t Just Collect… Connect Some of their pieces come from somewhat less adventurous sources. Divya is just as proud of her online purchases like the carved wooden desk Rohan works at and the original kopitiam table that looks right at home in the breakfast nook of this old black-and- white. “I love to scroll through Carousell. The old pieces have so much more to offer by way of aesthetic sensibility and workmanship”. She is particularly fond of the vignette of two Chinese tapestries flanking an old console table in the den – all Carousell finds. The clean-lined Scandinavian-style dining table (almost the only “modern” piece in the home, from Prestige Affairs) is juxtaposed with the rest of the transitional furniture, culminating in a visual symphony. A repurposed cabinet featuring antique Chinese doors (from Woody Antique House at Dempsey Hill) serves as a music cabinet for these audiophiles. There are also a couple of Mughal miniature paintings that belonged to Rohan’s father. A small Buddha from Nepal gifted by a friend is as beloved for its source as much as for the fine details of its hands and feet. The way such details are formed and positioned in statues is a habitual focus of Divya. “I pay particular attention to face, hands and feet as well as the folds of garments, elements which only seasoned carvers take the time to perfect,” she says. “That’s where true artistry lies.”

31 JANUARY2021

Travel Tips Rohan and Divya love travelling, and when the world is once again open to inspirational adventures, they suggest considering these destinations and ideas. Favourite Trip “Trekking in Nepal. People are focused on Everest, but there are so many other amazing treks that are much less commercialised. The raw, untouched wilderness and the humble hospitality of the local people are what make it worthwhile.” Bucket List Trip “We’ve always wanted to visit Patagonia and the Galapagos Islands; we’re saving it until we eventually return to live in North America.” Best Travel Advice “Don’t focus onwhere youwent, how high, which basecamp, who to tell. Focus on the journey and surrender to the reality that not everything is in your control. Letting go is the best thing – let life dictate what it wants for you as opposed to you deciding how you want things to be.” Favourite Regional Hotel “Bali Bagus Jati. Very quiet with beautiful chalets surrounded by greenery, its ideal location on the outskirts of Ubud allows you to go into town easily when you want.” Best Regional Destination “The old part of Luang Prabang, Laos, a UNESCOworld heritage site. Visit Ock Pop Tok, a social enterprise that showcases and preserves ancient weaving techniques and other traditional handicrafts. The Living Crafts Centre offers tours as well as classes in natural dyeing and batik in addition to weaving. You can even stay overnight!”




Furniture Stores • The Past Perfect Collection (“for restored Indian colonial-era furniture”) • Just Anthony (“for discovering interesting old pieces”) Craft Shops • Golden Dragon in the People’s Park Centre in Chinatown (“for all things crafty”) • Mix & Match, also in People’s Park (“for jewellery-making supplies”) • Spotlight (“a great resource for crafters and hobbyists”) Restaurants & Cafés • Real Food at Orchard Central (“for vegan food”) • Chop Suey at Dempsey Hill • Providore at Mandarin Gallery (“for brioche and coffee”) • Tiong Bahru bakery at Tangs (“best butter croissants in Singapore!”) • Brunetti’s at Tanglin Mall (“our absolute favourite sugar doughnuts; they’re light and airy, and super popular – call in the morning to reserve your order!”) • Blue Ginger (“for Peranakan food – the beef rendang is to die for!”) • Privé at the Asian Civilisations Museum (“for the view”) Love at First Sight As you stroll through the three levels of the terraced house, you notice the home’s traditional architecture is as much a piece of artwork as the décor. From the spindles below the stair railings to the individually patterned transoms above the doorways and atop the walls, every detail reflects the building’s heritage. Divya explains: “Since we arrived in Singapore from Toronto in late 2012, we’ve been fascinated by the gorgeous shophouses. We started off in a condo near the river on Rodyk Street, but ultimately wanted to find a historic home to rent within our price point.” “We used to take walks around neighbourhoods dotted with these beauties, fromEmeraldHill and Blair Plains near the CBD to Katong in the East Coast. I’d go for a viewing every time one that tickled my fancy became available, just waiting for the opportune time to move into one. Our lease wasn’t up when we first viewed this place at Cairnhill, but we fell in love with it at first sight. The opportunity came rather serendipitously in 2019 and we jumped at the chance to make history a part of our lives.” Recommendations

33 JANUARY2021


Don’t stay in the dark about smart technology. Here’s how to use it to light up your home – and your mood! – with the press of a button. Let There BeLight!


Putting a cool-white beam in your office that mimics daylight increases serotonin in your body, helping to keep you focused and energised. Avoiding blue light waves in the bedroom will produce the melatonin needed for a good night’s sleep. In the dining room, a calmer, dimmer hue will project a relaxed atmosphere that will stop the kids from fighting over the last slice of pizza. Of course, any bulb plugged into a socket can be turned on or off by flipping the switch, but Planar also provides a James Bond-style of light management. Simply scan the QR code on the in-house Planar Control Intelligent app (available on the app store) and you can manipulate the lightbulbs in your home via Bluetooth from your phone or iPad. No installation, wiring or even internet connection needed: you’ve literally got a bespoke home backdrop at the click of a button. Convenient & cost effective Smart bulbs may be a little more expensive than traditional bulbs, but they use less energy and last longer, so you can be super-modern while saving money. Using them with the convenience of the home lighting control system means they can be switched off remotely from afar (within a 100-metre range), which is great if people forget to turn the lights off before leaving the house. What’s more, with additional accessories your lights can also be customised to a schedule to make them even more cost- effective. Get the timing right and they make a gentle alternative to your morning alarm clock. They can even be programmed to subtly dim as the day progresses, so come Gin o’clock, you can be insouciant and ready for the evening ahead!

When it comes to furnishing your home, good lighting is everything. It affects the ambience of a room. It stops dinner guests seeing the stress on your face after hours of cooking before their arrival. It can help make a lounge more welcoming, cosy corners more snuggly, and office areas more productive. Most of us don’t think about how much the light around us impacts our mood, too. But science has shown that the different kinds of light and intensity we’re exposed to can have a real impact on our emotional health, wellbeing and even appetite! The good news is that illuminating your home has come a long way. These days, it’s not about popping out for the first bulb and jaunty lampshade that you can find. Now, you can replace your standard incandescent bulb with a variety of high- tech lighting solutions that are tailored to your personal needs. Take the smart home lighting control system from Planar . Not only do you get to choose the exact level and shade of luminosity throughout your rooms, but you can also directly control the magnitude of your lightbulbs via Bluetooth. Create the right environment

Whether you’re a homeowner, interior designer or lighting a property for a client, you’ll want to ensure you’re creating an environment that’s just right. Smartbulbs from Planar are tunable white (white, warm white, cool white), while their smart RGBW bulbs emit practically every colour of the rainbow (16.7 million, to be exact!).

To find out more about Planar’s home lighting control system via Bluetooth, log onto planarasia.com.

35 JANUARY2021

Journey East … for vintage delights

What’s Inside the Tan Boon Liat Building?

This old favourite is turning 25 years old and we’re proud to have been working with them for the majority of that! Journey East stocks lovely restored vintage pieces of furniture hand-picked from Java. Beautiful traditional craftsmanship is a key feature in these restored

pieces. Plus, you can mix and match them with contemporary collections – including, for example, the Celebes dining table with rustic bench from the hardy d-Bodhi range. Other top picks include casual, bright pieces from Qeeboo, and the timeless design of the District Eight Distrikt Bed in natural North American oak and with matching bedside tables. Over 90 percent of the products at Journey East are eco-friendly, with sustainably sourced reclaimed wood and recycled iron used to create new pieces. The store also carries gifts and accessories, so it’s a good idea to check it out for birthdays and special events!

#03-02 Tan Boon Liat Building | 6473 1693 | journeyeast.com

Soul & Tables … for contemporary collections Known for its multi- brand collections, Soul & Tables (formerly Ethnicraft Online) offers a wide selection of stylish furniture and accessories, including contemporary teak and oak

If you want a one-stop furniture and accessories hub in Singapore, the Tan Boon Liat Building at Outram is the place to go. Modest and unassuming on the out s i de , the bu i ldi ng i s home to stores selling all types of furniture, home décor accessories, carpets, art and soft furnishings – it really is “everything under one roof”!

pieces. The teak range is crafted using FSC-certified, sustainably harvested wood; the oak range is equally modern and environmentally friendly. Looking for something different? Pick up handcrafted trays and tables from the Notre Monde collection or the latest decorative cushion covers by Mae Woven; they’re handmade using a globally-sourced fabric called African mud cloth. Originating in Mali, the mud cloth is made from cotton, and dyed using traditional methods. All Mae Woven cushion covers are hand-woven and hand-printed in Africa by local artisans. Other notable items include the Woven+ range of indoor and outdoor furniture that combines rope, resin, aluminium and teak in some gorgeous designs, and the Blackbird collection, which delivers timeless charm by mixing original-coloured natural oak with black painted oak. All products in store also come with complimentary delivery, lifetime warranty and maintenance services. Plus, there’s a free 30-day return and one-for-one disposal of items.

#02-03 and #02-09 Tan Boon Liat Building 9272 1545 | soulandtables.com.sg




Emperor’s Attic … for quality Chinese antiques and more

With 20 years of history in Singapore, Emperor’s Attic (formerly FairPrice Antique) carries antique, vintage and new Chinese furniture, as well as Asian- inspired art and accessories. Expect to find colourful hand-painted cabinets, elegant sideboards, classy chests, ceramic stools and foo dogs – all selected for looks and storage needs. Sourced from dedicated artisans in Northern China, these are quality, authentic pieces. There’s always something new to check out, too, as a fresh shipment arrives every few months. And you can also buy everything online now! Emperor’s Attic supports local and expat artists including Louise Hill, Deborah McKellar, Diana Francis, Samantha Redfern and John J Mathis. Look out for the new range of custom-made lamps, too, in addition to the already wide collection of handmade ceramics, candles, cards and books. The store is also home to Willow Mattress, whose comfy and luxurious mattresses aremade fromEuropean-certified 100 percent natural and organic latex.

#01-10 Tan Boon Liat Building 6270 2544 | emperorsattic.com

Vitra … for designer Swiss designs

Located in a large, bright 400-square-metre space is Swiss brand Vitra. It’s known for furniture classics by Verner Panton and Jean Prouvé, as well as contemporary designs by Ronan and Eric Bouroullec, Hella Jongerius, Jasper Morrison and Konstantin Grcic. Check out the different settings that showcase the store’s furniture; from living and dining rooms and home offices to formal and informal office systems. The Vitra team believes that home and office environments should be made up of a “collage” of old and new, high and low, classic and contemporary. And you can certainly achieve that when shopping here, with classic designs from the 20th century and key modern contemporary pieces. There’s also the Vitra Accessories Collection to browse, encompassing a growing portfolio of design objects, accessories and textiles. The playful collection is based on classic patterns and objects conceived by designers such as Jean Prouvé, Alexander Girard and George Nelson, and eclectic pieces by contemporary designers.

Fritz Hansen … for Danish designs

If you prefer the clean, pure lines and high-quality craftsmanship of mid-century Danish furniture, then head to the Tan Boon Liat store of Danish brand Fritz Hansen. Founded in Denmark in 1872 with the mission to craft beautiful, timeless designs without compromising comfort, the company believes that a single piece of furniture can revamp an entire room or building – and then influence the minds of the people living or working in that space. With iconic designs such as The Egg and the Swan Chair, eagle-eyed design aficionados can come, hang out and relax in the new lifestyle-centric space. Besides chairs and lounge chairs, you can also own a piece of Fritz Hansen with accessories that will enhance any space. The exquisite Ikebana and Ikeru vases by Jaime Hayon lend a touch of beauty and nature to a room, while rugs and poufs by Cecilie Manz set the tone for a cosy and welcoming atmosphere.

#14-08 Tan Boon Liat Building | watelier.com/living/vitra

#13-08 Tan Boon Liat Building 6637 9602 | watelier.com/living/fritz-hansen

37 JANUARY2021

Arete Culture … for designer interiors

The diverse collections of interior styling firm Arete Culture are spread across two retail showrooms. The main showroom is a one-stop lifestyle shop – furniture, textiles, home accessories and lighting. The dedicated Outdoor Living showroom is now located at the new Atelier by Arete showroom; it’s ten minutes by car from Tan Boon Liat. Choose from an extensive selection of styles or explore the in-house line of made-to-order furniture. New stock arrives every two weeks with globally sourced and limited-edition pieces. Need help putting your dream home together? Just turn to the store’s signature styling services (Expat Living Readers’ Choice Winners in 2020) to get your dream look. Among the collections are cushion covers and table accessories, including photo frames, vases, storage boxes, ceramics, and more. You’ll also find oversized mirrors and customisable furniture including headboards, dining table sets, sofas, coffee tables and sideboards.

Living with Art … for every style of art

This is a great discovery: a physical gallery in the Tan Boon Liat Building, plus an online gallery that lets you select images based on colour, price range and type of art, whether it’s a painting or photography! There are also heaps of sub-categories to consider, from abstract and landscape, to modern art, fine art, Singapore- themed works and more. Prices for a print on canvas start from an affordable $144. Can’t find something that’s just right? You can also request to commission an artwork, and have it painted by the gallery’s in- house artist. Or, if you’ve seen an image you really like online, you can get it printed on canvas. The possibilities are endless – and you can choose the style and colour scheme of the art to match the décor of a particular room in your home. Living with Art supports local artists such as the award-winning Aaron Gan, celebrity painter Jaime Teo and budding young talent Norman Selamat. The Singapore-themed art is great if you’re choosing leaving gifts for expats, and the prices are right. There’s also a range of sculptures and cool metal artwork to add a touch of elegance to your interiors.

#06-01 Tan Boon Liat Building 9640 3829 | areteculture.com

#02-05 Tan Boon Liat Building 9826 4172 (WhatsApp) | livingwithart.com.sg

Nasser Nishaburi … for carpets with a difference

This shop is about a long journey – a personal quest to follow a rich tradition and deep passion for oriental rugs. From this, a fascinating collection of carpets and rugs has been curated. Nasser Nishaburi represents the sixth generation of a family that’s been in the carpet business since 1750. He’s a designer, producer and collector; he really wants people to learn about carpets and rugs and see the wide range of beautiful pieces without feeling any obligation to buy. He wants you to feel the difference the minute you walk into his store. The showroom offers a wide range of carpets, from inexpensive rugs for daily heavy use to highly collectable masterpieces, classic and modern – and some truly fascinating ones! But all are very different from other carpets in Singapore.

#04-05 Tan Boon Liat Building | 6970 5000 nassernishaburi.com | Instagram @carpetsandrugs




Grey and Sanders … for minimalist and industrial

Grey and Sanders carries a wide range of furniture made with fine workmanship and high-quality materials. The store is particularly known for stocking furniture made from prized American black walnut wood. Choose from an impressive collection of beautiful wood slabs of various lengths to custom-make your own dining table. Then pair your table with a sleek wooden bench or a range of chairs to create an irresistible dining setting that’s bound to impress your guests. This local brand also offers open-concept wardrobes, and sofas in both fabric and leather. Among the latter is the Ashby Sofa, the epitome of “form meets function”, with an adjustable headrest so you can configure your sitting position according to your day’s mood. It comes in a wide selection of imported leather.

Gaya Alegria … for a little of everything home décor This international retail company specialises in home décor, home textiles, lighting, art and furniture. The products are sourced from Fair Trade suppliers, and all are personally and carefully selected by the team to ensure the highest quality. They’re designed with an individual personal touch reflecting the range of sustainably managed manufacturers. In short, the Gaya Alegria mission and aspiration is to assist clients to decorate their homes with exclusive and beautiful designs. The handmade collections are eco-friendly, too, with the guarantee of sustainable quality. Among the highlights are cushion covers in an array of colours, designs, sizes and fabrics, plus accessories such as elegant throws, table linen, lampshades, and beautiful cases and bags. #07-06B Tan Boon Liat Building 8113 8030 | gaya-alegria.com

#06-02 Tan Boon Liat Building | 8371 8864 | greyandsanders.com

Dormiente … for bedroom bliss

If you’re looking for a safe and pure organic natural latex mattress for babies and children or an orthopaedic back- care mattress for adults, pop in and see the Dormiente team. Made with organic latex, organic cotton and pure new wool quilting, these mattresses are

handcrafted in Germany and tested free of 200 types of harmful chemicals, making them perfect for allergy sufferers. The best-selling Natural Classic Orthoform Female and Male Mattress has been recommended by the German Association of Back Posture Trainers, as it can help with the regeneration of the spine. Add to that the 50 different custom-crafted, toxic-free bed frames made from FSC-certified sustainable European hardwoods and 16 types of adjustable bed slats, and you’ll be sleeping soundly in no time. You can book an appointment for a trial consultation to experience the different ranges. Relax and take a power nap during the one-hour sleep trial!

#11-10 Tan Boon Liat Building | 9748 4468 | dormiente.sg

39 JANUARY2021

Rooma … for rattan and solid wood

Hassan’s Carpets … for reams of rugs

Rooma (formerly known as Dwell)isafurnituremanufacturer and retailer specialising in rattan and solid wood pieces. Its first showroom opened in 2018 in the Tan Boon Liat Building; today, it occupies three showrooms across more than 7,000 square feet of space! T h e s t o r e i s h e l me d by Hazlee Suip, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the European furniture trade; that’s why you’ll see glimpses of modern European design

As one of Singapore’s oldest leading rug companies, Hassan’s Carpets offers an extensive collection of quality handwoven rugs. From traditional classics and tribals to contemporary designs, all the gallery pieces here are handmade. In the store’s traditional collection, each piece is individually sourced from South Asia, Central Asia, Iran, Turkey or Russia. Alternatively, if you’re looking to make a statement, illuminate your space with a rug from the contemporary collection – an abstract rug from the Celestial Abstracts Collection, for example, or a handmade rug from the Urban Loom Collection, perfect for Scandinavian-inspired spaces. There’s a customised service, too, so you can have a rug made in any style, size and colour.

in some of Rooma’s furniture pieces. Most of the pieces are designed in-house by Hazlee and his team to suit a wide range of looks – from shabby chic to modern and Scandi. Apart from a huge selection in the showrooms, Rooma also specialises in custom furniture; a whole apartment of furniture can be customised according to individual specifications. The store also supplies to cafés, hotels and restaurants. The Rooma team believe that businesses should use better materials so that things not only look good, but also last longer. The versatility, affordability and lowmaintenance of rattan make it a very appealing material; and design-wise it’s timeless.

#02-06 Tan Boon Liat Building 6737 5626 | hassanscarpets.com

#13-01 Tan Boon Liat Building 9105 6210 | rooma.business.site

Singapore Trading Post … for “olde worlde”

A passion for the bygone days of Singapore, age-old charm, and a nod to the style of the 40s and 50s are all at the heart of Singapore Trading Post. The store has a wealth of different products from old trading routes through India, China, Indonesia and Vietnam. Sourcing direct from the manufacturer, STP has built lasting relationships with businesses that have safe working conditions for their staff and absolutely no child labour. Having steadily grown from a humble warehouse in Pasir Panjang, STP now has a flagship store in the Tan Boon Liat Building, with a specialised gift outlet in Jelita, too, and a new shophouse store in Joo Chiat. Plus, there’s an extensive online shop offering home delivery. The romantic style of old Singapore is the backbone of the store – think plantation chairs, pineapple lamps, classic bar accessories. And there’s a fab Singapore- inspired memento range, too.

#07-01 Tan Boon Liat Building 8891 9950 | singaporetradingpost.com



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