JULY 2019


JUL 2019


Maldives & India Veggie Burgers Cooking Classes

Designer Shophouse Gyms & Dentists Car Rentals

Hair Salons

& Art Deco Inspiration

EDITOR’SNOTE Taking part in last month’s EL “Career Shifters” event, about successfully changing your career, got me thinking about how many of the tips that were mentioned are relevant to whatever new life stage we are in. I’ve also just attended a high-school graduation ceremony and a lot of what was mentioned in the excellent speeches was about the transition from childhood to adulthood, and the things that can block that from happening effectively. These include not listening to yourself, and staying in a state of wanting to be looked after in a young way. When we become girlfriends, or husbands and wives later on, we need to look at how we can make changes in our behaviour and attitudes to help in the success of that relationship. When we become parents – a role that few of us give enough thought about before actually having children – we need to have goals and guidelines to help direct us. Moving to a new country will involve making new friends, having a different lifestyle and new jobs (including perhaps being a stay-at-home parent for the first time); these things set us a whole new challenge, but also an opportunity to be successful. The key attribute mentioned at the graduation by Stephanie Syptak-Ramnath, the US Chargé D’Affaires in Singapore, was having an attitude of gratitude. So, focusing on what you do have instead of what you don’t. Also, not having the word “can’t” in your vocabulary (though, as we live in Singapore, that should probably be “cannot”!). My own suggestion would be adaptability, focusing on where you are right now, but also being able to adjust your views and existing structures and attitudes. At this time of year, there are often people arriving and leaving, so it’s a time to take another look at how successful we can be in either of those transitions. We’d like to extend a huge welcome to any newcomers; we hope you find the pages of our mag and our website helpful. And, to those who are heading off, take your time to change and adapt to the new life and embrace it. Home is wherever you lay your head!

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

Image courtesy of Originals (originals.com.sg)




NEWS 14 Calendar Updates: 18 Readers’ Letters 20 EL Forum: Our online antics and upcoming events HOME & PROPERTY 24 News 34 Home Showcase: 36 Design Challenge: Adding a touch of Art Deco 40 Street Talk: What it’s like living in Bugis 42 Inside Story: Plop down on a plush sofa 46 Buying Guide: LIFE & FAMILY 58 News 60 Noticeboard: Birth announcements and pet adoptions 62 Reviewed: A luxe shophouse in Newton

What’s on in the coming months

28 We tour a stylish shophouse

Fab finds to transform your living room

36 Experts talk

64 Little Learners:

Art Deco inspo

Fun activities at Dempsey Hill

66 People Profile:

Meet the new director at ICS 68 Advanced Academics: Get uni credits in high school 70 Duty Calls: Our second instalment of Ambassador for a Day 74 Business Profile: Meet a marketing guru 76 Helping Hands: Our latest on volunteer opportunities 79 Far from Home: Dealing with death in a foreign land 80 Car Talk: The benefits of leasing 82 Around Town: Photos from openings, events

Popular podcasts and Netflix shows





114 Escape to

the Maldives

WINE & DINE 92 News 94 City Chow: Three restaurants to try in the CBD 96 Bar Tab:

TRAVEL 104 News 106 Tracing Roots: Visiting an ancestral home 110 Destination Focus: India tips and recommendations 114 Maldivian Magic:

A cool spot with a classic aviation theme

97 Cooking Class:

Learn to create the perfect alfresco meal

Four new and notable spots

116 Niseko Now:

98 Recipe Corner:

110 A guide to incredible India

Plan your next ski trip to Japan

Fail-safe favourites to add to your repertoire

118 Staycation Spotlight:

100 Review Crew:

We put veggie burgers to the test!

What sets the Kempinski apart




STYLE & BEAUTY 122 Style News 124 Dress to Impress: What to wear to high tea 130 Beauty News 132 Tried & Tested: HEALTH & FITNESS 142 News 144 Expert Voice:

We review hair services at top salons

What’s causing that lingering cough?

146 Talking Teeth:

Your dental and orthodontic questions answered

150 Fitness Focus:

Four gyms for feeling good inside and out

124 Fashionable

132 We test

top salons!

finds for high tea

REGULARS 156 Horoscopes for July 158 Advertiser List 159 Numbers & Websites 160 Parting Shot: That time of year



pinterest.com/expatlivingSG instagram.com/expatlivingSG





SHOPPING & FAIRS HotLotz Fine Jewellery Live


The Choir of Christ’s College, Cambridge (3 JUL) One of Cambridge’s finest mixed-voice ensembles, this choir’s extensive repertoire includes Vivaldi’s Gloria and Handel’s Dixit Dominus . Victoria Concert Hall. Tickets from Sistic. The Show – A Tribute to ABBA (5 JUL) This tribute to one of the world’s most loved bands features original ABBA musicians, saxophonist Ulf Andersson and guitarist Janne Schaffer. Look forward to all the classics, from “Mamma Mia” to “Money Money Money”. Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands. Tickets from Sistic. Ballet Under The Stars (5-14 JUL) Look forward to two weekends of a stunning line-up as Ballet Under the Stars returns for its 24th edition. The show includes classic acts from Swan Lake and The Nutcracker . Fort Canning Green. Tickets from Sistic. Jesse McCartney (14 JUL) Don’t miss Jesse live in his first concert in Singapore in July. The American singer-songwriter will perform all his hits including “She’s No You” and “Right Where You Want Me”. Gateway Theatre. Tickets from Apactix. Russ – Live in Singapore (24 JUL) The American rapper and songwriter will be in town for one night only this month, performing his music inspired by 50 Cent and Eminem, as well as the classic rock he listened to as a child. ZEPP@Big Box Singapore. Tickets from Sistic.

Sheena Easton: For Your Eyes Only (28 JUL) Grammy award-winning singer Sheena Easton is performing live in Singapore, showcasing her popular tunes such as “Morning Train”, “Modern Girl” and signature Oscar-nominated James Bond theme “For Your Eyes Only”. Gateway Theatre. Tickets from Sistic.

Auction (18 JUL)

Get your hands on fine jewellery, designer handbags and other luxury goods at this auction. Meet the team of specialists and experience the adrenaline of a live auction. Register online to see the auction catalogues. #01-15 Cendex Center. hotlotz.com

Jesse McCartney

Sheena Easton





FAMILY The Jungle Adventure: A Romp on the Wild Side (UNTIL 7 JUL) Inspired by The Jungle Book , this original musical puppet show tells the tale of Mowgli and his journey through the jungles of Southeast Asia to find who he is and where he belongs. The Pavilion at Far East Square. Tickets from Sistic.

ARTS & CULTURE Guo Pei: Chinese Art and Couture (UNTIL 15 SEP) This exhibition presents a dialogue between historical and contemporary Chinese design, juxtaposing 29 embroidered masterworks by Chinese fashion designer Guo Pei with 20 Chinese art masterpieces in the Asian Civilisations Museum’s collection. Asian Civilisations Museum Wonderland at the ArtScience Museum (UNTIL 22 SEP) This playful and interactive exhibition is based on Lewis Carroll’s stories of Alice and her adventures through Wonderland. Look forward to theatrical sets, eye-catching props and amazing audiovisual artworks. ArtScience Museum

Rose Romance Floral Display (UNTIL 14 JUL)

Enter a romantic European garden setting, featuring more than 40 varieties of roses. Learn about the heritage and variety of this special flower, including unique cultivars that do not resemble the conventional rose. Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay.

Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities (UNTIL 21 JUL)

Cirque du Soleil is back in town with one of its most popular touring shows. Kurios follows an ambitious inventor who defies the laws of time, space and dimensions. Big Top, Bayfront Avenue. Tickets from Sistic.

Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities

15 JULY2019



SSO National Day Concert (10 AUG) Enjoy an evening of familiar tunes and new songs at this concert by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and the Singapore Symphony Chorus in August. Esplanade Concert Hall. Tickets from Sistic. Back for one night only, Irish pop crooners Westlife will be performing brand new songs alongside popular hits in August. Fans will get the chance to sing along to big hits including “Swear It Again” and “If I Let You Go”. National Stadium, Singapore Sports Hub. Beats On Pointe (18 AUG) Look forward to captivating moves, freestyle acts, singing, comedy and more, with performances that merge the energy of street dance with the elegance of classical ballet. Victoria Theatre. Tickets from Sistic. Westlife (10 AUG)

Trevor Noah Loud And Clear Tour (19 AUG)


The host of the award-winning US talk show The Daily Show is coming to Singapore as part of his new stand-up tour, Loud and Clear . The Star Theatre. Tickets from Sistic. Walking with Dinosaurs – The Live Experience (29 AUG – 5 SEP) Seen by over nine million people in more than 250 cities around the world, Walking with Dinosaurs – The Live Experience is coming to town in August. Be thrilled and amazed as you watch the creatures walk, roar and fight for survival and supremacy. Singapore Indoor Stadium. Tickets from the Singapore Sports Hub website.

Bizet’s Carmen (30 AUG – 1 SEP)

This four-act opera tells the story of brave Carmen who gets tangled in a love affair between a jealous corporal and a flirtatious bullfighter. Esplanade Theatre. Tickets from Sistic.

Walking with Dinosaurs

Trevor Noah

: www.expatliving.sg

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






A-ROY THAI ,NovenaSquare The décor here wasmuch nicer – think decent mall restaurant. The pad thai noodles were a bit gummier (which some of us preferred) and had less seafood, but the dishwas cooked very well and was quite tasty. The green curry was curdled, tastingbetter than it lookedwithamore “Western” flavour thanothers.Thecurryalsohad both typesof small eggplants.Theportionswere larger and sowas the totalprice:$30.70.


Singapore has lots of great Thai restaurants, from the fully fancy to fab cheap eats. So, which is best? The kind folks fromWolero chauffeured our Review Crew around town sowe could sample the five most recommended spots,searching for theyummiest pad thai and green chicken curry thatwon’tbreak thebank.

SAWADEE ,238ThomsonRoad Thiswasby far theswankestof the restaurantswe tried,withgorgeousgoldwavesofmaterialon the ceiling and beautifully presented food. The pad

thai had only a few prawns and thenoodleswerewetter, sweeter and a bit bland.

The currywas simply beautiful,madewith long beans rather than eggplant. Sadly, the chickenwas too chewy.$36.30 covered the bill,but theyhave a set lunch for$18.50.

JAI TAI , Various Locations

Thai Food Reviews I’ve just read the “Best Pad Thai and Green Curry” piece featuring your Review Crew, and seen the video, and it’s a total delight! It features fancy

This place is thin on décor, but big on taste. The somewhat sweet pad thai came loadedwith lotsof seafood including abigpiece of fried fish, calamari, prawns andmore. The green currywasvery tasty,witha slightly thick sauceand lots of perfectly cooked chicken. It was $15 total for the smallportion sizes.


Golden Mile is really the “it” spot when it comes to anything Thai and this is the largest of the food outlets there. There’s absolutely nothing fancy about it, including theway the food is served, but looks can be deceiving. Though light on seafood, the pad thai noodles were great. The curry sauce was thick and creamy with lots of dark-meat chicken. $18 bought allweneeded.Deal of theday?Theyhave a set lunch for$8.90. NAKHON , 341HougangStreet21

BEST LETTER We want to hear from you! Send us your thoughts on the magazine, or on any subject under the sun. For best letter, Soumita Bhattacharya will receive

Sitting at sidewalk tables,wedidn’t love the pad thai as it had far toomuch egg and onions in it and only two prawns. The green currywas curdled andwasn’t greateither.One reviewercalled it “ahot mess.”But theprice is right:$14.

Sowhowon? Be sure tocheckout thevideoonourwebsite for theanswer. Longing toeatyourwayacrossSingapore?We’d love tohaveyou join theReviewCrew forournext adventure.Justwrite toeditorial@expatliving.sg.

Looking for theperfect limo for a greatnight out?Easy! Just log on to wolero.com and booknow.



restaurants but also budget-friendly ones, mentioning prices, locations and ambience as plus points. Being a food lover myself, and one who doesn’t have any dietary restrictions, it makes me want to embark on this gastronomical adventure myself. Thank you. – Reamy Ed: Thanks! We’re enjoying trying different things too. We’re reviewing veggie burgers in this issue, with bubble tea and durian both coming up soon, so keep reading! And, if there’s something you’d like our Review Crew to test, do let us know. Mags in the Mail It’s surprising to hear that you received complaints about spoilt magazines when distributed in paper envelopes, causing you to revert to plastic sleeves. While your magazines are heavier than the average letter, it seems surprising that the Post Office can’t deliver them without damage – unless the envelopes are of inadequate quality. Yet, I would guess that 99% of all mail worldwide is sent in regular paper envelopes. As for the large number that allegedly got wet in transit, since most post seems to survive, could it be a failing and lack of water-tightness of the recipients’ mailboxes? While on the subject, if you’re seeking to reduce plastic waste, maybe it’s time to lose the plastic laminate film on the cover, which is apparently difficult to recycle and even contaminates the entirety, unless separated from the magazine. Best regards. – David Landau Ed: Thanks for the email. Yes, mailboxes may be the issue; often our mags get left on top of condomailboxes because they don’t fit (which can annoy some people). The cover is recyclable plastic and we don’t wrap them for the retail and free copies. But we will look at other options. Regarding the laminate, I hadn’t actually thought about that. We initially did it because people often keep the issues for years and it helps the cover to last. We’ll check with our printers on alternative options.

a divine candle from To Be Calm. Each month, there’ll be one of their signature candles to choose from tobecalm.com .


HuiYueXi (Joyce), 18,Singaporean School: St.Andrew’s JuniorCollege Ambassador: MargrietVonno,Netherlands

SofiaGenato, 13,Filipino School: SOTA Ambassador: MagdalenaBogdziewicz,Poland Whydid youwant thisopportunity? Becauseaprofessionasadiplomathasalways interested me.Even at averyyoung age, Iwanted towork for the UN; this once-in-a-lifetime opportunitywas a taste of what itwouldbe like. Howdid you spend your time together? We spent our time talking about currentworld issues, aswell as Poland’s connectionswith Singapore. Iwas alsovery fortunate to join in a luncheonwith theother female ambassadors and I got to talk to them, too. What did you expect from the day?Whatwas thebiggest surpriseof theday? I expected it to be a very fun, enriching and special learning experience and it reallywas. Thebiggestsurprisewas the luncheon.Theexperience was amazing – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.Who gets to say, “I’ve eaten amealwithpeople Iwould like to growup tobe like”?And, to top it off, the foodwas verydelicious. Before this experience, all Iknewwas that Iwanted to work for theUN.Spendingadayat thePolishEmbassy showedme the different responsibilities of a diplomat and the team she relies on. As such, I now have a better picture ofmy role or entry point to thisworld, working in the communications department. She also encouragedme that,with hardwork, Iwould be able toachievewhatever Iwant to,and that I should takeall these experiences and learning opportunities tomake apositive impact on ourworld. Do you think thisexperiencemight affectwhat you choose todo for a career?

What’s it like to be a strong woman who represents her country abroad? Thirteengirlswhowon our Ambassador for a Day contest

Whydidyouwanttobe Ambassador foraDay? To find out more about the career track of becomingadiplomatand the ambassador of my countryas I’mconsidering takingPoliticalScience at university. Howdid you and the ambassador spend your time together? Firstly, ImetMsVonno at

gotaonce-in-a- lifetimechance tofindout.

theDutchEmbassy; she’s a verypleasant and amiablewoman. Herdriver then tookus toour firsteventof theday,TulipMania atGardens by the Bay.Whenwe arrived,wewere treated as VIPs, and cameras started flashing in front of us – itwas an eye-opening experience forme.Wewere given a tour of the FlowerDome andwelcomedby thedirectorofGardensby the Bay; I even received a special gift fromRoyalDutchAirlines. After lunchwith the other ambassadors and girls from the Ambassador for aDayprogramme,wewent to an eventwhere technological startup companies shared details about their innovations and new technologies; Iwas greatly awed by the presentations. After a stop atMs Vonno’s residence,where she gaveme a thorough tour of her home and showedmemany important artefacts,weheaded to a final event at theBotanicGardens, for apresentationby theArgentinianambassador regarding flowers and fauna fromArgentina that aredisplayed in theGardens. I thought I would probably attend one or two important events, but I ended up at events throughout the day, so itwas muchmoremeaningful than expected. Iwas surprised to get a customised lanyardwithmyname on it at one of the events; I never expected the organisers tobe so thoughtful amidst their busy schedules. Whatdidyouexpect from theday?Whatwas the biggest surprise? Do you think thisexperiencemight affectwhat you choose todo for a career? The insight I’ve gained into the career of an ambassador and working in the foreign service has enhancedmy interest in Political Science, and I’d like to continue pursuing this track in the future.


In ourMarch issue, as a salute to InternationalWomen’sDay,we launched a contest for girls ages10 to18 to spend adaywithoneof Singapore’s female ambassadors.Much toourdelight,wewereburiedwithapplications fromgirls ofallagesandnationalities.Narrowing itdown to thirteenwas incrediblyhard as theywere all excellent applicants. Andwhatdays theyhad!Eachwinner’sexperiencewasunique,withall the ambassadors and their staff really rollingout the red carpet for their “minis”. Thegirls learnedaboutdiplomacy,attendedeventsandmet interestingpeople – one evenmet the President of Singapore,Halimah Yacob! The Canadian HighCommissioner alsoplanned a luncheon for allwho could attend.Some girlsdescribed theirday as a life-changing experience. We’re incrediblyproud tohavebeenapartof this initiative,and in this issuewe presentPartOneof thegirls’experiences.Besure toreadour July issue formore!





Mini Ambassadors I’m sure your “Ambassador for a Day” project has involved plenty of sweat and toil, especially as it included so many embassies and diplomats. But your team came out with rainbows – lifestyle magazines rarely feature articles that fuel the dreams of youngsters this way. The prosperity of any nation depends on how well its administrative system and public service work, so well done for empowering these young girls with insight into this hugely important domain. Some of them may become diplomats in the future, and deep in their hearts they’ll thank your team for this initial ignition of interest. This is truly responsible journalism! Kudos to Melinda Murphy for being so innovative in her special project topics in each issue – they really give Expat Living an edge over other mags. – Soumita Bhattacharya Ed: Yes, it grew into a big project for Melinda, with a lot of coordination, but it’s a great result. I’m glad we’re on the right track with these kind of articles and I do think it’s important to be linking up people and inspiring people of all ages!

Email us at info@expatliving.sg


JULY 2019


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Designer Shophouse Gyms & Dentists Car Rentals


Maldives & India Veggie Burgers Cooking Classes

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Looking to make the most out of living in Singapore or know someone new in town who needs a helping hand? Whether you’ve just arrived or have been here awhile, you’ll find loads of handy tips and advice on neighbourhoods to live in, property, education, health and more.




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21 JULY2019



Home Showcase: Inside a chic Newton shophouse

23 Product Updates: New collections and helpful home hacks

36 Design Challenge: Discovering Art Deco style

42 Inside Story: Our readers and their much-loved seats



Clean It Up Here at EL , we are all for trying to make our lives a little easier. We recently discovered these great dishwashing tablets from Somat. Combining a rinse aid, cleanser and protector, Somat 10 not only cleans and protects your cutlery (including stainless steel!) to bring back a glorious shine without the need for polishing, but it also helps to make sure your dishwasher runs smoothly. We also love that Somat is phosphate-free. Available at supermarkets and online stores; $20.30 for 25 tablets.

Trawling around multiple furniture shops all weekend might not be your idea of fun, so Courts has a solution. Its two newly launched collections, Ashlynn and Graham, are great if you want a consistent look across your home but don’t want to go through the hassle of finding different furniture pieces that work together. Both collections come in sets for the living room, dining room and bedroom. The Ashlynn Collection mixes wood and steel with horizontal grooves at the front and black steel legs to add a trendy industrial look to the brushed tundra-grey modern design. • Living room: 3-plus-1 seat sofa, coffee table, TV console and console table, $2,999 • Dining room: dining table and six chairs, $2,099 • Bedroom: queen-size bed frame, bedside table, chest of four drawers and chest of six drawers, $2,799 The Graham Collection is more timeless with its carved and rounded handles. It would fit all kind of interiors thanks to the smooth brown finish and the tapered legs that give the collection an elegant finish. • Living room: 3-plus-1 seat sofa, coffee table, TV console and console table, $3,299 • Dining: non-extendable dining table and six chairs, $1,799 • Bedroom: queen-size bed frame, bedside table, chest of four drawers and chest of six drawers, $3,099 For more details, visit courts.com.sg . Coordinating Collections

Cool and Comfy Sheets European Bedding has announced a new addition to its organic latex mattress range: sheets in 100 percent bamboo lyocell, a renewable and sustainable plant source. Bamboo is naturally cooling and perfect for the hot weather in Singapore, plus it feels smooth and soft on the skin. Available in three different colours and different sizes, these easy to maintain, anti-microbial and hypoallergenic sheets are available online at europeanbedding.sg or at European Bedding’s Tiong Bahru store, at 32 Eng Hoon Street, Level 2 .




Fly, Fly Away! Can’t seem to get rid of pesky flies and creepy cockroaches? Together with good housekeeping practices and preventive methods, there is a solution! The team of experienced technicians at A-Flick Pest Management will be able to carry out an on-site survey and closely monitor any evidence of pests after a routine pest control has been carried out. Expat Living readers receive a complimentary on-site survey. Call or WhatsApp 9168 1898 or email aflick.sg@gmail.com .

How gorgeous are these new lanterns from OHMM? Great for your garden or balcony, day and night, they’re hand-woven in a traditional open hex weave to let the light through, and come with a cordless and rechargeable fully waterproof outdoor LED light. You don’t even have to get up to change to a different setting – just use the remote control! The lanterns hang from the attached “S” clip, or simply place them on the ground. They’re available in three heights (52, 62 and 72cm) from 30 Merchant Road, #03-09 or at ohmm.sg . Shinea LittleLight

Clean as a Whistle Are you finding there aren’t enough hours in the day? Clean Clean provides domestic services for busy people who could use some extra help with the endless chores at home. Its housekeeping services include school runs, babysitting and grocery shopping. For only $100 for 4 hours, there are no hidden service charges, commission or transportation fees. Call 9793 1512 or email cleancleansingapore@gmail.com .




Rejuvenated Raffles We’re very excited to see stores starting to open up ahead of the Raffles Hotel official relaunch in August. One of our favourites is a brand collaboration, The AC Raffles. Bringing together locally designed products, it’s a great place to deck out your house, fill your wardrobe or find Singapore gifts to send home. Brands such as Layard Interiors, Temple Candles, artist Louise Hill and more are featured. Check them all out in the Raffles Arcade, 328 North Bridge Road, #02-36 or at facebook.com/ theattabycollectiveraffles .


Under the

We expats never say goodbye – cannot, lah !

Breaking News! Come to our LIVE

When friends at home ask what being an expat is really “like”, I say it’s similar to going to university, albeit you have more knowledge (and drink slightly less alcohol!). Our shared expat experiencemeans connections are formed quicker, and most of us would agree our lives are infinitely richer because of the friendships we’vemade in our adopted home. Sadly, like uni, nothing lasts

auctions at Singapore International Jewellery Expo at MBS from 18 to 21 July.

forever and often we have to say goodbye. My go-to gift for returning friends is an antique map of the region; they fit into any décor style, hold their value and everyone loves them. If you’re lost, HotLotz can help you find your way! We have a single-owner collection of antique regional maps, all framed and ready to hang. The timed auction closes on July 30 and they can be viewed in the saleroom or online. And, if you’re nervous about bidding – or you just can’t wait – each map also has a fixed price.

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

27 JULY2019





O pening the gate to an ultra-modern shophouse in Newton is a very petite, fit and beautiful woman. Maria-Rosa greets me with a warm hug, a kiss and an apology about drinking her smoothie. I instantly regret not making it to the gym that morning. As we walk into the lounge, which is straight off the entry courtyard, a wallpapered wall is the first thing I notice – large pink peonies on a black background. It’s bold and striking, and I love it (though I’m a bit freaked out at the bugs that are also depicted, larger than life, on the petals!). This is the second time that Maria-Rosa and her partner of 16 years, David, have lived in Singapore. In the six years since they left Amsterdam, the couple have lived here twice and also recently in Hong Kong. They returned just a few months ago. Slinging it to Singapore As we both curl up on her wide and comfy sofa, Maria-Rosa freely admits she wasn’t sure about the original move to Singapore from Holland. David worked for a large multinational Dutch dairy company and was offered the opportunity to relocate. But it was a really difficult decision for them, as they were both happy with their lives and careers (Maria-Rosa was working for a large fashion brand). Modernising a shophouse from the 1940s but keeping the original features might be a challenge, but this gorgeous home in Newton manages to do both, adding rich and sophisticated décor for a luxurious feel and elegance.

Who lives here: Dutch couple Maria-Rosa Vyskocil and David Heijkoop Time in Singapore: Four years Size and type of home: Three- bedroom, two-storey modern shophouse Décor style: Relaxed luxe

29 JULY2019

“We bought this picture in Chiang Mai six years ago. It was in the window of a shop and we fell in love with it. When we went inside, the artist was there and she told us so many things about herself – it was painted in a really happy moment in her life. And we’re still in touch with her – when we move to a new house, we take a picture so she can see where we’ve hung it!”

“This is my favourite item in the house – we’ve had it for more than 12 years and it’s looked so different in all our houses!”

“I strangely have a degree in nursing, as I had loved working part-time in a retirement home when I was in school. But, during my degree, I realised nursing was a lot different to what I’d expected.” After she graduated, much to her family’s horror, she decided to go into fashion, working as store manager for an international fashion brand. Maria-Rosa quickly made her way up the brand’s promotion chain andwas soon responsible for opening up new Wolford stores all over the Netherlands. This career path lead her to work for another iconic Dutch fashion label. “I was livingmy dream life inAmsterdam. I loved my job as the retail director for SuperTrash. I started there at the beginning and the brand was expanding so quickly. The company was led by a group of passionate young women, all in our twenties. I was responsible for the retail department and opened stores for them across the world – from London and New York to Stockholm, and across The Netherlands and Belgium. I even lived in New York for a while. “It took me seven months to decide if I wanted to give everything up and move to Singapore.” Did she ultimately followDavid and love? “No, not at all. That’s why it took me so long! I really felt I had to make my own choice. I didn’t want to end up resenting my husband formakingmemove! That wouldn't have been good for either of us and I believe you only regret the things you don’t do. Although it was scary to let go of everything, I decided I wanted to go on this adventure. Still, Maria-Rosa tells me she was still sad when she arrived. “I missed my dynamic job. Suddenly, I was

living in another country without work. I felt low for a few months. But then I decided if I wanted to feel better I needed to change things myself. So I decided to start my own fashion agency with the objective of bringing Dutch brands to Asia.” In the first month, she got in touch with Dutch celebrity Nikkie Plessen who had just started her own fashion brand, Nikkie. “I became the Managing Director for Nikkie in Asia Pacific. The business went really well andwe had stores in Indonesia, Singapore and China. It was around the same time that KateMoss became the face of the brand.” But then David was offered a position in Hong Kong, and they were off. “Again, it was emotionally hard for me to settle in. The first year we were missing Singapore so much that we didn’t see and appreciate Hong Kong the way it deserves.”




Career Goals Maria-Rosa faced the similar problem inHong Kong as when she first moved to Singapore. “I was still working for Nikkie but my days weren’t filled with meetings and people anymore. I was travelling a lot in between Amsterdam, Singapore and Shanghai but back in Hong Kong I felt lonely, and it was hard to manage everything from there.” Realising she wasn’t fulfilled, she decided to start her own business. The couple also felt it was time to move back to Singapore. “It’s funny; when I was working for a big company, I felt alone. Now I’m working on my own, I don’t feel lonely!” Maria-Rosa has recently launched her own activewear brand, House Of GraVity. “While I was working in Fashion, I saw somany people working in their yoga pants, with biker boots combined with a cool top, vintage leather jacket or a designer bag.” Using this as her inspiration, Maria-Rosa wants to bring the activewear trend, which is already popular in LA, Singapore andHong Kong, also to Europe. “Now I have creative and inspirational people around me all the time. I’m connected to people I’ve chosen to work with, and I have a feeling this is meant to be.”

31 JULY2019

When I was working for a big company, I felt alone. Now I’m working on

my own, I don’t feel lonely!




Finding a Home When they came back to Singapore, they searched for over a month to find a place. “We wanted somewhere with a bit of character this time. We didn’t want to live in a standard condo again,” Maria- Rosa tells me. Then she stumbled upon this house. “It looked like nothing from the listing – just a picture of the outside. But when I walked in, I knew it was right!” Having just been rejuvenated, restored and refreshed, this 1948 shophouse was just what they’d been looking for. The couple loved everything about the décor – including the original structural features, like the kitchen that opened up onto the rear courtyard and the outside bathroom. “It had been renovated so meticulously – even the tiles throughout the home were original. The builders had removed each one by hand and coated them before relaying them.” The house is filled with unique pieces they’ve collected during their expat journey. “We have some expensive designer items but some from markets in Bali and even Ikea. Every piece has a story. We moved so often we needed to buy storage to fit in any interior – Ikea always works for that and I love the combination. It’s all blended together and I don’t think I have more than one piece from any one store!” The décor, which is Art Deco-inspired, also appealed. “It’s so unusual to have wallpaper in a rental, especially in Singapore. The same goes for the carpet going up the stairs but we love it, even though it’s orange.” I ask about the paintings that are dotted throughout the house. “They’re from all over the world. My dad is from Prague, so I have a piece from there. There is one from Amsterdam above our bed, and a Hong Kong piece in the dining room (pictured, left) . The paintings tell a story of our life.” With a genuine promise to check out the House Of GraVity’s online store, I head off thinking about how Singapore is such a supportive place for passionate, smart female entrepreneurs.

“I convinced David to let me turn it into the walk-in closet! We don’t have any storage space at all and this room is perfect.”

33 JULY2019

“I have a lot of favourite places in the house. I like to sit in the sunshine in the front courtyard in the early morning with a coffee and juice, but I also love to work at the dining space next to the kitchen in the afternoon when it’s hot.”

WINE & DINE Latteria Mozzarella Bar (“I love the outdoor courtyard”) 40 Duxton Hill Don Ho (“the music, palm trees and great ambience”) 1 Keong Saik Road Tanjong Beach Club (“I work from here during the week”) 120 Tanjong Beach Walk, Sentosa

HOME Elements Concept The AC Boutique, 420 Joo Chiat Road 9727 8169 / 9177 6043 | elementsconcept.com Originals #02-03 Sime Darby Centre, 896 Dunearn Road 6471 9918 | originals.com.sg Journey East #03-02 Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road 6473 1693 | journeyeast.com

Employees Only 112 Amoy Street

CUT by Wolfgang Puck (“great for cocktails”) Galleria Level, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

ALSO House Of GraVity houseofgravity.com

Olivia Restaurant & Lounge 55 Keong Saik Road, #01-03



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WHO THEY ARE A young couple who’ve just arrived in Singapore. It’s their first overseas posting and they aren’t

Art Deco is a trend that just keeps resurging.

Bu t how can you integrate it into your

cur rent sty l e? We ask four home décor

sure how long they’ll be here, so they don’t want big-ticket items. However, as they’ll be entertaining a lot, they want their home to look elegant. WHAT THEIR STYLE IS She loves Art Deco – luxury fabrics and gold, for instance – but he would like more subtle design styles and isn’t convinced Art Deco is for them.

exper ts what they would suggest to help these two different types of shoppers. esign C hallenge!

VictoriaCheung, Sales&Marketing Manager, Altfield Interiors The colour palette I propose for this young couple is an elegant and subtle neutral palette with metallic accents, which is a popular Art Deco colour scheme. By focusing the décor efforts on soft furnishing items such as cushions, trimmings and chairs, they can easily refresh the look and feel of their home, without spending too much money on permanent fixtures. These can all be easily transported when they move in the future, too. Since they love entertaining, I would suggest creating a feature wall in the lounge or dining room. By covering one wall in a geometric wallcovering they can add visual interest and depth. In the lounge or their bedroom, Donghia’s Jazz fabric would be ideal for a statement chair; it has a fun and dynamic design interpreted in a timeless and neutral colour palette.

Naazli Somjee, Owner, WTP I wanted the dining room to have a fresh retro vibe with Art Deco-inspired styles. This wooden-topped dining table with a stainless-steel base and the red velvet dining chairs are striking, youthful and definitely on-trend. In the bedroom, we wanted to create a luxurious, but comfortable environment. Elegant and comfortable, the Capri Bed is the perfect focal point for a deluxe but serene space. The channel-tufted upholstered headboard will help to make the bedroom the warmest space in the house, while the gold trim accent adds an Art Deco vibe to this pair of bedside tables, for some lasting character. I love this Misa Bar Cabinet for the couple’s lounge. It’s made from reclaimed wood and has a smooth finish with brass metal legs, which brings an artistic flair to the living room. I would complement it with a pair of Twinkle armchairs, upholstered in rich purple velvet, providing a nice touch of texture with base in matte brass finish.

Florence Goh, Taylor B We would suggest The Cat’s Meow sofa set for this couple. It’s one of our smaller sofas, and the metallic accents give a subtle hint of Art Deco bling. The classic Chesterfield design is a popular choice and beautiful for guests and the couple to rest on. The material allows them to clean stains easily if they’re entertaining a lot and there could be spillages of food or drinks. The Table of Contents by Caracole coffee table would definitely be a conversation piece for their guests. We love the Art Deco

PanagiotisLynas, Co-Founder, HouseofAnLi As this couple love entertaining, our range is perfect for them. We also wanted to suggest items that would be easy to take to their next location. For the living room, these round cluster coffee tables are perfect as they can pull them out and move them around when they have people over. A couple of square lamps will definitely add that luxe feel they’re looking for. And how about these fun peacock cushions? So Art Deco! I would also suggest this brass birdcage pinboard, for all their new Singapore memories, which could be hung anywhere in the house. Having a beautifully laid table is often where memorable dinner parties start. The cutlery from Laguiole (which was started in the 1920s, just as Art Deco was beginning), adds a luxurious and elegant finish to any table. Combined with timeless linen from Libeco and these statement gold inlay trays, their dining table will be ready for entertaining!

WHO THEY ARE A family of four (with children aged three and five) who have just moved into their second home, a two-storey shophouse. They

Florence Goh, Taylor B We think the Avondale Sectional sofa would be great for the family. The cushioning and smooth edges make it quite child-friendly, especially when the kids are running around the living room! The large curved style will also fit the whole family on to watch a movie, and the material is easily cleaned with a washcloth in case of spills. We would pair it with the Hoxion cocktail table – the marble top makes a statement but is sturdy and large enough to fit big bowls of popcorn, drinks and other family necessities!

expect this move to be more permanent, so they’d like to add some luxury elements to the home and incorporate more quality pieces. WHAT THEIR STYLE IS Workable elegance, given they still have young children and run the risk of things being damaged!



VictoriaCheung, Sales&MarketingManager, Altfield Interiors For a family with young children, I suggest a vibrant, lively and joyful colour scheme, which incorporates popular Art Deco colours such as royal purple and brilliant red, as well as metallic accents. These fabrics feature Art Deco shapes and motifs, such as triangles, squares, diamonds and zigzags. The Reflection and Cocktails fabrics from Donghia would make for fun and effortlessly elegant curtains. Weitzner’s Moonstone wallcovering made of clean vinyl would be great for the lounge and dining areas, and it’s easier to clean and more durable than paper wallcovering – essential when you have kids! These high-performance fabrics from Rubelli, available in a kaleidoscope of shades, are perfect for homes with young children. They have outstanding strength, are flame-retardant, colourfast and easy to clean. Donghia’s Parade multi-purpose fabric featuring geometric triangles is great for beanbags or large floor cushions! For the master bedroom, this Innovations Facet wallcovering will give a modern Art Deco feel.





Naazli Somjee, Owner, WTP I wanted to create an elegant living room and the Grace sofa certainly does this! The soft sea-green upholstery complemented by brass metal legs makes it a sophisticated yet comfortable choice. The high tufted headboard of the Bristol Bed creates a stylish focal point that instantly elevates your bedscape. Its neutral shade and bold button tufts add a touch of chic to the bedroom. The details of the upholstered dining chairs and the wood tone on the dining table add a casual feel to the rest of the elegant furnishings. Plus, they’re nice and practical for a young family, with no sharp edges!

Panagiotis Lynas, Co-Founder, HouseofAnLi We felt we could have a bit of fun with the family and really inject some Art Deco glamour into their new home by adding more silver tones. Adding a bit of Art Deco style to a timeless sofa is easy with this fun set of cushions from FS Home. They even have great family-friendly mottos on them. A few of these gorgeous silver photo frames would be lovely for some family pictures. Also, silver Flamant lamps come in such a classic Art Deco style; I would suggest using two small ones for the lounge and the tall version for the dining area. We have some fun accessories too, like this clock. You can never have too many clocks in the house, especially when trying to get a young family out of the house in the morning! If they were feeling really daring, how about this Flamant light as a centrepiece above the dining room table?


Altfield Interiors #07-10 Central Mall Office Tower 1 Magazine Road 6909 2768 | altfield.com.hk House of AnLi #03-17 Tanglin Mall 163 Tanglin Road

6235 3851 | houseofanli.com Taylor B 43 Keppel Road

9420 4000 | taylorbdesign.com WTP 3 Kung Chong Road 6235 2760 | wtpstyle.com


NADIA ALLEYNE AND DEREK BURKE From: Nadia’s from Barbados where they met and got married, and Derek’s from Ireland Occupation: Nadia is an Attorney-at-Law, Derek is the CEO, Singapore and Malaysia of an e-commerce company

What’s the name of the street where you live? Fraser Street. Exact words you tell a taxi driver to get home? “Duo Residences, 1 Fraser Street, next to the Andaz hotel.”

What’s the name of your neighbourhood? Bugis. Closest MRT station? Bugis (East West Line).

When you walk out of your place, the first thing you see is: Parkview Square, which is very beautiful and impressive.

The closest store to your front door is: 1855 The Bottle Shop.

Your street would make the perfect backdrop for a remake of: Anything Gotham City-related because of Parkview Square! Your neighbours are great, but you wouldn’t mind a little less: Our neighbours are great – no complaints here. The unofficial uniform of your street is: Athleisure wear – there’s a Virgin Active Fitness Club downstairs so I guess it’s comfortable for running errands while looking chic.

How long have you lived here? Just over one year. Why here? It’s five minutes away from the CBD. We love the location and we feel it’s close to everything we need – work, shopping and dining options like Bugis Junction, Bugis Plus, Haji Lane and Arab Street.

Parkview Square and Andaz Hotel

Haji Lane

Blu Jaz Cafe





North East




South West

1 Fraser Street

Your hands-down favourite neighbourhood joints are: Alley on 25 and Blu Jaz Cafe.

You won’t find better local food than at: Bugis Junction and Haji Lane. The strangest thing you’ve ever seen on your street is: A guy wearing a veil during his stag party in Bali Lane. We love a good bargain. The best deals in your neighbourhood are: Blu Jaz Cafe and Good Luck Beerhouse for drinks, TheHangar and Juice Clinic formeals, andHYGGE for handmade trinkets and personalised gifts. The guiltiest pleasure in your area is: Mr Stork on the top floor of the Andaz hotel next door, and the lap pool at our condo. Also, getting your nails done with a glass of wine at The Nail Social on Haji Lane. One thing you’d never change is: The juxtaposition of Duo Residences’ modern honeycomb design and architecture with the old shophouses on Haji Lane and Arab Street. We hope those old shophouses stay forever.

When you’re in need of a dose of culture, you visit: The National Library, Singapore Art Museum and the historic Kampong Glam district. If you’re missing home, you: Well, since I (Nadia) am from Barbados, I play some Rihanna tunes, but when my husband is missing home, we go to an Irish pub for a few pints of Guinness. A mandatory stop for out- of-town guests is: Haji Lane.

CONDO FACT FILE Name of condo: Duo Residences Facilities: Herb garden, outdoor cook-out deck, grill terrace, party lounge, spa pool, 50-metre lap pool, outdoor sitting lounge, games terrace, swing terrace, hobbies terrace, sauna, gym, kids’ pool, sky pool, aqua gym and jacuzzis Size: 660 units Supermarket: Cold Storage at Bugis Junction Community vibe: Relaxed Kid-friendly: Yes

But one thing you wouldn’t mind seeing go is: People who don’t clean up after their dogs! The city gives you $5 million to soup up your street. You use it to: Assist with the preservation of the old shophouses.

Masjid Sultan

41 JULY2019

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