In the Home
SENTOSA SPLENDOUR LOVE YOUR LIVING ROOM SOFA PICKS
TOP SALONS & PRODUCTS KIDS’ SHOES & BABY CLOTHES
AN AL QAEDA HOSTAGE A BRITISH SCULPTOR
Foodies GROCERIES & RECIPES WHAT’S GMO ALL ABOUT?
EDITOR’SNOTE Who says there’s no adventure in our lives at the moment? I did something new the other day – I fell out of bed! I rolled over to get a sip of water and hadn’t realised my body was right on the edge. It was very strange, that moment of “oh, no… there’s no way to stop”. All I could think afterwards was “thank goodness no one saw me”! Not sure if you do this, but sometimes when I’mwatching people playing sport, I wonder what aliens might think if they were watching it. They’d see odd creatures with hair trying to hit a tiny ball into a faraway hole with a metal stick, or pinging a fuzzy ball back and forward while running around a fenced rectangle. But, sport is such an important part of our human lives, and I’m longing for the day we can watch a Springboks versus All Blacks game again. Mum is very happy the French Open is on! Since our lives do tend to be lacking adventure these days, we have bought you a little bit of dream content in this issue: my neighbours’ story of their three overland trips between London and Singapore, on page 110. Speaking of which, you’re welcome to share with us a great trip that you’ve done in the past. It doesn’t have to be as big as this one, but hopefully more exciting than bed to floor… If you’re stuck in quarantine or expecting to be in it after your hols, or if you’re just arriving in Singapore or know someone who is, we can get mags to you to read! Just message us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, the American Association of Singapore has a special Welcome Kit for those in quarantine – details are at aasingapore.com. Need to keep the kids entertained through the holidays? There are always some good ideas on our website, expatliving.sg.
REBECCA BISSET Editor-in-Chief
thousands of kilometres of this in front of you!
Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET
Managing Editor LEANDA RATHMELL Editorial Team HEALTH & FITNESS: AMY GREENBURG LIFE & FAMILY, TRAVEL: PATRICEA CHOW WINE & DINE, HAIR & BEAUTY: ANTHIA CHNG FASHION & HOMES: REBECCA BISSET Copy Editors Production Coordinator NUR HANANI KAMAL LUDDIN Graphic Designers MICHAEL BERNABE | JEANNE WONG Marketing, Circulation & Administration ANNA TSERLINGAS | VEENA GILL | SITI SHAHIRAH KHIRUDEEN Advertising Sales KARIN GALLEY | DANIELLE ROSSETTI | LARA SAGE | JACQUI YOUNG Events & Partnerships SUSAN KNUDSEN-PICKLES IT & Web Support RENE YUTIAMPO | HANADDI REY DIAZ MAMBA Chief Operations Officer COLIN PURCHASE Contributing Writers AMY BROOK-PARTRIDGE | CATHIE HEARNS | DEE KHANDUJA | JULIA MAYWALD | HARSHARAN KAUR Contributing Photographers BEATRICE CONTRINI (BEATRICECONTRINI.COM) KEN TAN (MISTERKENTAN.COM) SHAMUS SILLAR | JULIET KEYS Online & Digital Content MICHAELA BISSET | YIMIN HUANG
CONTACT US General Enquiries: +65 6812 1780 | email@example.com Advertising Sales: +65 6812 1781 | firstname.lastname@example.org Subscription: +65 6812 1783 | email@example.com Production: +65 6812 1787 | firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial & Media Releases: email@example.com Calendar of Events: firstname.lastname@example.org Events: email@example.com Websites: expatliving.sg | expatliving.hk
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Published by Expat Living Publications Pte Ltd 36 Carpenter Street, #02-01 Carpenter Haus, Singapore 059915
Land Rover (lastoverland.com)
NEWS 16 Things To Do:
34 Behind the work of this British sculptor
How to keep busy at home
18 EL Forum:
Our online antics and upcoming events
20 Readers’ Letters HOME & PROPERTY 24 News 25 Tech Talk:
Tips for accessing great TV content
26 Home Showcase:
A stylish Sentosa crib with epic views
34 Meet the Artist:
How animals inspire Stephen Page’s sculptures
38 Inside Story:
Readers rate their sofa suppliers
41 Buying Guide:
Top picks for your living room
50 Accent Armchairs: Seats that make a statement 52 Street Talk: A guide to living in Tanglin
LIFE & FAMILY 58 News 60 Noticeboard: Furry friends up for adoption 62 Shopping Highlights: What’s new in Dempsey Hill? 65 School Focus:
Why collaborative parenting works
66 Flip & Fly:
How to master trampoline techniques
68 Screen & Page: Top TV and book recommendations 70 Human Spirit: The amazing story of an Al Qaeda hostage 72 Financial Planning:
76 The Singapore Pages: Exploring the island, past and present 78 The GMO Debate:
A look at genetically modified food and labelling
Advice on investing and more
80 Donation Directory: Where to bring your pre-loved items
75 People Profile:
Meet an equestrian coach
110 One family’s adventure of a lifetime
90 Take your BBQ to the next level!
WINE & DINE 88 News 90 Grill Guru: Meet chef William Lum 92 Great Grocers:
Top websites to help stock your kitchen
100 Recipe Corner:
Favourites to add to your repertoire
102 At The Bar:
A new and noteworthy spot for a tipple
TRAVEL 106 News 108 Arty Escapes:
Some cool hotel art around the region
110 Global Nomads:
Land Rover adventures between Singapore and London
126 The latest threads for your tots
STYLE & BEAUTY 120 Style News 122 Comfort Undies:
A solution to sweaty thighs and chafing
124 People Profile:
Meet bespoke jeweller Aarti Sonawala
126 Kids’ Clothing:
Playful picks for your little ones
130 Beauty News 132 Hair Heroes:
The EL team and readers review top salons
136 Tried & Tested:
Hair products we swear by!
HEALTH & FITNESS 142 News 144 Find Your Fit:
Gyms that take a holistic approach
146 Teeth Talk:
How your teeth are linked to your overall wellbeing
150 Mental Health:
Finding the strength to keep looking forward
REGULARS 154 Horoscopes for July 156 Puzzle Pages 158 Numbers & Websites
124 We chat to a gem and jewel pro
159 Advertiser List 160 Parting Shot:
Hitting the sweet spot on the tennis court
New World’s End (ONGOING)
Put on a headset and explore the rich history of Jalan Besar through this immersive art experience. Combining an audio walk, multimedia and spatial design, the experience follows the love story of Kiran, a cinema projectionist, and Rosa, a dance hostess, set against the backdrop of Singapore’s famous old theme park, New World Amusement Park, in the 1960s. Participants will be guided to a range of hidden arty spaces, after which, they can stay on for supper and late-night shopping in the area. New World’s End is on every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 4pm to midnight. Each session lasts up to two hours. Tickets are $35 at ohstories.sg . Street Corner Heritage Galleries: Kampung Gelam (ONGOING) Businesses and trades that have museum” initiative. Launched by the National Heritage Board, the galleries will feature historical documents, photographs and artefacts that tell the story of the businesses. A total of seven businesses in Kampong Gelam are featured; they include Bhai Sarbat at 21 Bussorah Street, famous for pulled tea, including teh sarabat (ginger tea) and teh tarik ; Rumah Makan Minang at 18/18A Kandahar Street, renowned for its nasi padang ; and Sin Hin Chuan Kee at 796/798 North Bridge Road, a haberdashery shop. (Image: National Heritage Board) at least 30 years’ history are being featured in this “mini
Street Corner Heritage Galleries
Children’s Biennale (ONGOING) The third edition of the National Gallery Singapore’s popular children’s art programme has launched a digital experience via a microsite. Nine commissioned artworks form the basis of interactive online games, animated stories, sonic and somatic workshops and digital art making. Children from two to 12 years will be guided by the inquiry, Why Art Matters. This event seeks to inspire children to navigate the changing times with empathy and confidence by using art experiences that explore topics such as home, diversity, time and the environment. The online experience will be followed by an on-site experience at National Gallery Singapore in September 2021. childrensbiennale.com
Stephen Page at REDSEA Gallery (ONGOING)
British artist Stephen Page uses the lost- wax process when sculpting minimalist animal forms in bronze. Trained at the University of Southampton, he draws inspiration from how art and artefacts reflect the changing relationship between humans and animals. His work develops organically, beginning with a sketch that’s refined until it becomes something he’s happy to develop into a sculpture. After colour is applied to the sculpture, cooled layers of wax are applied to protect the colour and provide the final finish to the sculpture. View Stephen’s works at REDSEA Gallery, 9 Dempsey Road, #01-10 Dempsey Hill. redseagallery.com Don’t miss our interview with Stephen on page 34 of this issue!
Afterwords Travelling Exhibition (UNTIL 31 DECEMBER) Can a used piece of paper still have purpose? Calligraphy artist Malik Mazlan and haiku poet Dave Tai believe so – they’ve given new perspectives to past projects and personal items by transforming them into canvases for calligraphy and haiku. Afterwords explores paper that is recycled to become the foundation of new creations, spotlighting the longevity of the written word. The exhibition will travel to public libraries across Singapore – Ang Mo Kio in July, Clementi in August, Cheng San in September, Bedok in October, Toa Payoh in November, and Woodlands Regional in December. How are the animal stars of the Singapore Zoo trained? Who cares for all the animals? What different things do they eat? Find out through these live Zoom sessions ($10 per screen) that give a behind-the-scenes look. On 24 July, you can meet the baby rhinoceros that was born in March this year. His keeper Indah will share how she cares for him and all his antics. On 30 July, animal trainers Natalie and Hanna will show how they train the parrots, cats and dogs that appear in the Zoo’s Animal Friends Show. They welcome any questions you have about training your own pets too. Each session begins at 10am and lasts for 20 minutes. Book your slot at wrs.com.sg/en/hello-from-the-wild-side or email firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire about private or corporate group virtual tour sessions. Zoo Explained! (24 & 30 JULY)
Afterwords Travelling Exhibition
Transitional spaces and key entrances at the National Gallery are reimagined through a series of unique artwork commissions in this ongoing exhibition. Through their work, artists from around the world provide new interpretations and narratives about these spots. Each commission will be displayed for at least three years, acting as landmarks to guide visitors through the Gallery while highlighting features of the building. Artists with commissions currently on display include Jane Lee (Singapore), Gary Carsley (Australia), Jeremy Chu (Singapore), Maria Taniguchi (Philippines) and Yee I-Lann (Malaysia), amongst others. nationalgallery.sg/outbound Festival of Women, N.O.W. 2021 (UNTIL 31 JULY) Following the success of its first all-digital edition in 2020, N.O.W. (“Not Ordinary Work”) returns a second time as a completely digital experience. It will explore taboo topics that are seldom heard or seen within diverse communities of women. The 15 programmes include four live stream productions, three digital exhibitions, and online conversations and workshops. Audiences will see and hear from collaborators who are diverse in age and life experiences – from 19 to 82 years, and from transgender and gender non-conforming performers. Programme details are available at notordinarywork.com . ArtScience on Screen: Wondrous Worlds (UNTIL 1 AUGUST) The ArtScience Museum presents a collection of films that show how the young and young-at-heart use inventive means and technology to make sense of the world around them. There are four films, including Maidentrip , a documentary that follows 15-year- old Laura Dekker as she sets out to be the youngest person to sail around the world alone, and Big Hero 6 , an animated story about the bond between a personal robot and a robotics prodigy. Free admission with online pre-booking at marinabaysands.com/ museum/events/wondrous-worlds .
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July 2021 Issue 228 S$6.90 MCI (P) 076/02/2021 HAIR SALONS • LIVING ROOMS • OVERLAND SG TO UK AN AL QAEDA HOSTAGE A BRITISH SCULPTOR SENTOSA SPLENDOUR LOVE YOUR LIVING ROOM SOFA PICKS TOP SALONS & PRODUCTS KIDS’ SHOES & BABY CLOTHES In the Home Hair&Wear Meet
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BEST LETTER We want to hear fromyou! Send us your thoughts on the magazine, or on any subject under the sun.
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The writer of our best letter receives a Bamboo Candle and Diffuser set, worth $168 from Temple Candles ( templecandles.com ).
Rebecca and Expat Living when my son Sid was interviewed for the November 2017 issue. He was advocating stray animal rights, and had also started making soaps and selling them to raise funds for the SPCA. It’s been three years now and, as Sid’s relationship with the SPCA continues, we’re taking the fundraising a step further to help animals in need. Lavender Forest – Sid’s soap brand – now has a range of essential oil candles too, and with the Circuit Breaker last year we had the chance to set up a website (lavenderforest.org). I’m writing to thank you for giving Sid encouragement three years ago when he was still finding his feet in this arena. Indrani Ed: Thanks for the follow-up – we’ll have to have him back for another article!
How EL Has Helped Hi team! We moved to Singapore this month and, as luck would have it, our serviced apartment had copies of Expat Living. While my husband has been busy with work, the magazine has been my friend, guiding me through Singapore. In the true manner of a friend, it has told me how to deal with the humidity and my crazy frizzy hair, where to
READERS’ CHOICE AWARDS
February 2021 Issue 223 S$6.90 VALENTINE’S DAY • KIDS FURNITURE • GREEK CUISINE MCI (P) 032/02/2020 + GREEK CUISINE WHERE TO DINE IN DEMPSEY KIDS’ ROOMS VALENTINE’S JEWELLERY KEEPING IN Shape May 2021 Issue 226 S$6.90 MCI (P) 076/02/2021 BLACK & WHITE HOUSES
BIG INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS PULLOUT!
HOLIDAY CAMPS • BOATING • STRENGTH TRAINING
WHAT’S A CRUISE
18/1/21 10:47 AM STRENGTH TRAINING FIX YOUR SUN DAMAGE GET YOUR KIDS SAVING FAB RESORT WEAR HOME-DELIVERED DRINKS NEW BRUNCH SPOTS TO NOWHERE REALLY LIKE? KIDS’ HOLIDAY CAMPS
TO THE DRESS! Say Yes
IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE
A BOAT TRIP FOR 6! WIN
Rwedding February COVER4.indd 2
get some really chic furniture and decorate my new home, and the best places to satiate my inner foodie. It’s only been a few days since our Stay Home Notice ended, but every day since then I’ve been picking neighbourhoods to explore from your pages. Dempsey was absolutely amazing – I even discovered a cool pet store to buy stuff for my rescue dog, who has moved with me. I believe adopting pets is the best way to go and seeing your page full of bunnies for adoption made me really happy too.
I’m already looking forward to the next month’s issue and more suggestions on restaurants and activities. Until then, I’ll be walking around taking photos of black-and-white houses and spamming people’s Insta-feed! Komal Lakhani-Shankar
Something to Sing About Hi Expat Living, just l e t t ing you know that since the online feature story about
Ed: This letter really cheered us up – thank you and happy exploring!
Health Story Dear Expat Living, I always read your magazine with great interest – and the nice photos put me in a happy mood! I came across the article regarding breast implants and BIA-ALCL in your June issue, and I was wondering if you would be willing to run a story about BII (Breast Implant Illness)? This sickness almost ruined my life, and even a year and a half after explant surgery, I’m still struggling and not fully healed. Tanja
Songbird appeared, I’ve got 10 new student trials! It’s been really worth the investment in the magazine and your article – thank you again! Nikhil Hogan, Songbird Music Academy Ed: Always good to get feedback like this, thanks!
Ed: Sorry to hear about that – and yes, we will definitely look into a story about BII. Thanks for your great comments on the mag too.
Email us at email@example.com
HOME & PROPERTY
26 Sentosa Style: Vibrant vibes and views at this chic landed home
Erika Franco’s Sentosa home
34 Meet the Artist: A British sculptor who captures animals through art
41 Buying Guide: Fabulous finds for a cool and cosy living room
52 Street Talk: What to expect from the Tanglin neighbourhood
HOME & PROPERTY
WHAT’S NEW Pretty Pots Adding striking planters is a simple way to really style up a home. They add an extra design dimension, give you the chance to incorporate greenery, and highlight that indoor-outdoor living we love so much. Outdoor furniture specialist OHMM has just launched a range of distinctive planters created by chief designer Kevin Boland. Suitable for indoor and outdoor use, they have highly textured handcrafted woven bases, come in five colourways, and are designed with removable inserts with handles. Find out more at ohmm.sg .
Time to Invest Fancy investing in a London pad? Barratt London has just announced its Western Circus development in Acton, West London. The project will consist of 365 new homes, including 142 affordable and 223 private apartments, together with a supermarket and community café. The development is due for completion in February 2022, and also offers a rental guarantee scheme with a five percent gross return for 12 months. Off-plan apartments start from £484,000. Head to barrattdevelopmentsplc.co.uk to find out more.
Smart Water Sleek and slim, with smart design features, this water purifier by Wells would fit in perfectly in any cool cont empor a r y s e t t i ng . Featuring an LCD colour screen with touch panel to select water temperature (six settings, no less!) and water volume, the purifier comes in three colours and boasts eco-friendly credentials. Ca l l ed “The One” , the product is available at Tangs in Tangs Plaza , or go to wellssingapore.com for more information.
Flexible Furniture Gone are the days when a sofa was just something stylish to sit on; now we can use it for storage, sleeping … even charging our devices! King Living’s Jasper II sofa is adaptable to all kinds of needs; you can opt for under -seat storage, and you can add a timber media console to the middle of the sofa or a side table for smart charging. Check it out, and many other flexible products, at kingliving.com .
HOME & PROPERTY
What’s on the Box?
Television choice is limited here, and decent on demandnon-existent. TekkieHelp’s SARAHandBO talk us through what options we have to make sure we can watch what we want, when we want.
The benefit of a DNS is that it can be configured directly on computers, as well as Apple TV, without any impact on performance; this negates the need to connect every time you wish to watch anything. As Apple TV can be configured with a DNS, it means that you’re able to access region-specific apps such as BBC iPlayer, directly on your TV. Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV and Roku These are devices that have content apps pre-loaded. Access will be dependent on the region of your account and the location the device was purchased. They also need to be used in conjunction with a DNS or VPN service to access content from other regions. Which to choose? The solution you choose will ultimately depend on what you want to see and what equipment you have. It may be that you use a combination of methods to let all the family get their television fix!
Virtual Private Network (VPN) A common way to work around regional restrictions and watch international content is to install a VPN. This lets you connect through a third-party server and makes it look, to the external world, like your computer is actually located in the UK, Australia or anywhere else. If you have a Smart TV or Apple TV, you can connect it to the VPN; in order to do this, the VPN needs to be configured on the router or the device. A downside of watching through a VPN tunnel can be bottlenecks in the streaming path, resulting in buffering or reduced picture quality. To avoid this, we recommend investing in a dedicated VPN router and connecting the devices to it, rather than using your main router. Domain Name System (DNS) You could subscribe to a DNS service, such as GetFlix. After set-up, when you access sites with geo-blocks, it automatically bypasses the blocks by providing you with a local IP address. A DNS service offers a more seamless viewing experience as streaming speed is generally higher.
Tekkie Help can set up a tailored solution for you in around one hour. The cost is $152 for the first hour and $112 for each subsequent hour; mention Expat Living when booking to enjoy a 10 percent discount.
Call 8113 8682 or visit tekkiehelp.com to find out more.
HOME & PROPERTY
This family tell us how they styled up their gorgeous island abode and managed to make it feel like home in just a few short months.
BY AMY BROOK-PARTRIDGE PHOTOGRAPHY BEATRICE CONTRINI
FACT FILE Who lives here: Erika Franco, husband Luis Nava, five-year-old son Mateo and dog Luka Size of home: Five- bedroom landed home Where it is: Sentosa Cove
HOME & PROPERTY
O riginally hailing from Mexico, Erika, husband Luis and son Mateo moved from Boston to Singapore in October 2020. One could assume that such an upheaval from a settled four years in the US would be stressful given the pandemic swirling around the globe. However, for Erika, the move has been truly positive. “Living here has been an amazing experience for us so far; this is really one of the best places we could be at this time.” Having lived in and loved Boston’s city life for those four years (not to mention 10 years in the metropolis of New York City before that), Erika and her family were keen for a more relaxed pace of living in Singapore. “We were looking for a spot with a laid-back vibe; somewhere for our son to enjoy riding his bike, and where we could easily head to the beach.”
HOME & PROPERTY
Sentosa Cove fitted their requirements of beach and waterside living, as well as offering the kind of space they wanted. “We wanted something that resembled a house as much as possible. This has just the right layout for us. It’s split-level, which makes it interesting; you come through the basement and you have the kitchen and office one level below, the dining and living area one level above, and then the bedrooms and the attic above that.” Making a home Erika left the majority of their key furniture pieces behind in Boston. It had taken her the four years they lived in their home there to find the perfect pieces for every space, and she didn’t want to risk them getting damaged during shipping. “I only brought some very special artworks with me. One is a commissioned watercolour painting of our eyes (Mateo, Luis and myself) made by one of my teachers from architecture school. Another is a commissioned piece by the same artist of a Frida Kahlo portrait that was shipped from Mexico once we were established here.” The Sentosa home, then, was something of a blank canvas at the beginning. With a keen eye for interior design, Erika knew to start off with some in-depth research, rather than making any rash purchasing decisions. “I’ve always loved the design process, and I really like taking my time finding special pieces,” she says. “When I buy a piece, whether it’s a small item or large piece of furniture, I get it because I fall in love with it; it calls my name. It makes a space feel like home. No matter what part of the house you’re in, you end up loving every bit of it.”
HOME & PROPERTY
HOME & PROPERTY
The Tan Boon Liat Building was one of her first ports of call when Erika started her furniture hunt. “In those first few weeks, I really took time to explore different places; when I visited Tan Boon Liat, I spent two or three days visiting every shop in the building!” On one of these visits, she met Chantal Travers, owner of Emperor’s Attic. It was Chantal who pointed Erika in the direction of The Cinnamon Room for her rugs. “I love antique rugs, but this time I was keen for a mix of contemporary with more traditional pieces.” Erika had already visited The Cinnamon Room looking for artwork, but she headed back on Christmas Eve, where she met Visha Nelson to discuss a few rugs she had her eye on. “I saw them and fell in love with three of them; but I didn’t want to rush a decision. Visha allowed me to take them home and trial them in situ to see what really worked. This was the perfect way to make a decision because until you see them in place you really don’t know which one works the best for you.” Style advice This spurred on the start of a professional relationship, with Visha brought on board to advise Erika on the styling of her living and dining areas, and her master bedroom; Visha helped with artwork and rug placement, soft furnishings, accessories and accent pieces throughout those spaces. “We worked very closely together,” says Erika. “She never pushed me to go in one direction or the other, but rather encouraged me to choose pieces that made me feel like I wanted to be in that room.” The only furniture that was shipped was for Mateo’s bedroom, as Erika wanted him to feel at home straight away. The initial pieces purchased were a sofa and dining table from Knock Knock, Erika’s bedroom pieces from Soul & Tables, and a television console from China Collection. “Doug, the owner, was so helpful, and his expertise really came into its own when it came to finding me something unique.” The large striking screen in the master bedroom is from Lee’s Antiques, as is the green sideboard in the dining area. “This was really the first piece of the puzzle in that area; the other décor items had to work around it.” Erika was also struggling to find side tables that fitted her requirements, looking for pieces that weren’t big or bulky, but also functional. She happily found the perfect items at The Cinnamon Room as well, buying a set of nested and hexagonal side tables. The most recent purchases for the home have been outdoor furniture from OHMM, and an outdoor rug from The Cinnamon Room. One important factor for Erika has been sticking to a budget. “It’s easy to assume that people always have a lot of money to work on their homes and with interior designers, but I think it’s good to realise you really can get some home pieces at reasonable prices. It’s possible to have a beautiful home with a smaller budget – there are always options.”
I truly love every room in the house!
HOME & PROPERTY
The Stylist’s Story – Visha Nelson Erika came to us just before Christmas 2020; she was initially looking for rugs and artwork, but this soon extended to other décor pieces. She really wanted to add warmth, character and colour to their home to make their first Christmas in Singapore a special one. We looked at images of Erika’s home to work out which artworks and rugs would suit her space. Since she had all the functional pieces of furniture, including a sofa, dining table, bed and armchairs, she was looking for the softer touches to complete the space and turn it into a family home. The house is architecturally stunning, with great views, and they wanted to bring the space inside alive with an eclectic range of home décor. The open-plan living and dining room needed grounding by defining each area. Rugs were an integral part of this; we used them to define each area by function, and create a focal point, while addingwarmth and texture to the room. Artworks were chosen to bring colour and vibrance to the open-plan space, and finishing touches such as candle holders, runners and bowls added interesting accents around the room. In the dining area, we chose artwork and a rug that worked together with Erika’s distinctive emerald green sideboard. The black and white rug is perfect with the colourful artwork and sideboard. The master bedroom has the most breathtaking views of trees and open greenery, so styling it was a real pleasure. Erika has a beautiful gold and red antique screen; to tie that in, we placed a metallic hide rug as the focal point. We also added complementary cushions and candle holders to pick up the colours across the room, to bring the large bedroom space together andmake it cosy. When the sunlight hits our metallic hide rug, it makes the whole room shimmer – it’s a stunning way to complete the room. Side tables were something Erika was finding hard to shop for, but our range of unique nested side tables worked for her, fulfilling both functionality and aesthetics. We needed to have rugs customised to fit in the space, so we worked closely with Erika on a home visit to ensure each area had a rug of the correct proportions. It was a very collaborative effort. The family have a real appreciation of different styles of aesthetics, and what they loved about our unique range of home décor is how eclectic it is – reflective of their own personality and style.
HOME & PROPERTY
A smart move When asked which room in the house is her favourite, Erika hesitates. “That’s a really hard question to answer, because I truly do love every room in the house. But I think the living and dining room area is my favourite; it’s colourful but calm, it makes me feel good, and I love the mix of different styles, from antique to modern.” Sentosa as a location is also working out for the family. “We really love living here. It’s been easier for me to make friends and connections than any other place I’ve lived in.” Having busied herself putting the house together, it’s now also time for Erika to focus on setting up her own business. As a makeup artist, hair stylist and image consultant, she also has past experience selling jewellery from high-end Mexican designers – this is in stark contrast to her studies at college in engineering and architecture! Right now, she’s unsure of which career path she should go down. But, looking at her home, she may want to consider home interiors and styling as another avenue to pursue!
Erika’s Recommendations Home The Cinnamon Room 9727 3051 | cinnamonroom.com Emperor’s Attic 9011 0380 | emperorsattic.com Knock Knock 6222 8851 | knockknock.com.sg Soul & Tables 9272 1545 | soulandtables.com.sg Originals 6471 9918 | originals.com.sg China Collection 9858 6889 | chinacollection.com.sg OHMM 6836 2747 | ohmm.sg Island Living by Cocoon 8028 2571 | islandliving.sg Shang Antique 6388 8838 | shangantique.com.sg Just Anthony 6283 4782 | justanthony.com Lee’s Antiques 9188 8866 | leesantiques.com.sg Dining Mykonos On The Bay 6334 3818 | mykonosonthebay.com Publico 6826 5040 | publico.sg EM by the Marina 6271 2802 | embythemarina.business.site Chopsuey Cafe at Dempsey 6708 9288 | pscafe.com Little Farms littlefarms.com Hair Toni & Guy 6835 4556 | toniandguy.sg
STEPHEN PAGE is a British artist living and working in rural Mid Wales. He trained at the University of Southampton and today specialises in sculpting minimalist animal forms in bronze throughwhat’s known as the lost-wax process. His latest sculptures are on display at REDSEA Gallery at Dempsey Hill. What’s been your biggest inspiration for your artwork? The main one comes from an interest in art and artefacts from throughout human history that reflect our changing relationship with animals. Although we can never fully understand the reason behind the creation of the cave paintings of aurochs and bison, for instance, they do reflect something of how these hunter-gatherer communities viewed these magnificent wild beasts; they were presumably a large part of their belief systems and maybe respected as another group of equal beings. As societies became more agriculture-based and the relationship more master/servant, this was reflected in the beliefs, myths and art of those early farming cultures. Animals became further marginalised from our daily life by mechanisation and urbanisation, and the appetite for realistic and dramatic representations of animals in art became more commercially popular. The sculptures I make draw directly and indirectly on these ideas. The aim of the work, though, is to create sculptures that are both ancient and contemporary, and offer a positive view of our future relationship as we enter into a new era of rewilding, improving animal protection laws and finding a new respect for these magnificent entities that have roamed and toiled alongside us for millennia and helped us get where we are today. What’s your favourite animal? Is it also your favourite animal to sculpt? I’m always drawn to the big powerful mammals and I suppose the ones that we have coexisted with more closely over millennia such as bulls, boars and horses. My favourite one to sculpt is usually the one that I’m working on at the time!
Can you tell us more about your sculpting process from start to finish? For some unexplainable reason, I’m able to make images and sculptures specifically of animals without any direct reference material – I work in an intuitive way until the piece looks and feels right. I start off by sketching, often with no predetermined outcome, until I come up with something that I’m happy to develop into a sculpture. Next, I make a template of the profile of a piece and transfer this onto a block of dense carving foam, then I cut the profile out on a bandsaw. I then carve the foam to create rounded forms and crisp edges, finally sanding and sealing the surface to create
Photography by Lowri Page, Bethan Page and David Roberts
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the completed pattern. This is now ready to be taken to the foundry where a series of stages result in a casting in bronze. The final part of the creative process involves applying a patina or colour to the sculpture. The bronze is heated with a blow torch and layers of chemicals are applied with a brush to create different hues, tones and textures. Once it’s cooled, layers of wax are applied and buffed back to protect the patina and give a final finish. The initial sculpting is the best part. I can completely lose myself in the process as the piece emerges from the block; hours can pass and it’s difficult to stop! I try to put a finished piece to one side for a week or two so I can see it with fresh eyes – anything that needs changing or refining will stand out. I’m usually quite keen for the next stage though, as sculpting is just a part of the process. It’s not really finished until the piece is cast and patinated. Patinating can be the most challenging part – and, if it goes well, also the most rewarding. It’s a combination of chemistry and art with the aim of creating marbling, mottling and colour that are stable and make each piece sing. What’s the most enjoyable part of your process? And the most challenging?
Why did you start working with bronze? A few years after I moved to Wales, I was working as a freelance artist doing commissions and workshops in schools when a job came up at a nearby fine art foundry. There aren’t that many foundries around, so for one to be close by in a small village in rural Mid Wales was pretty remarkable. I applied and got an interview, not really knowing what to expect. It was a small business back then, with only five employees; I was shown around and was instantly hooked – the bronze-casting process was so interesting. Thankfully, I was successful. As it was a small team, I got towork onmost of the process; my favourite areas were metalwork and patina, which eventually I specialised in. Inmy spare time, I would make small sculptures inwax and cast themdirectly in bronze. This eventually led to the animals that I make today. I’m now a full-time sculptor.
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How has your art developed over time? Have your subjects always been animals? At art school, my work was mainly big, heavy, abstract pieces in different materials. Shortly after graduating as part of an artists’ residency, I made a fairly abstract, chainsaw-carved bison with real cow horns. I felt it was a fairly successful piece and years later at the foundry I revisited it and made a more refined version in bronze. A lot happened in the years between the two pieces, but I see that original wooden bison as the ancestor of my current work. How do you envision your portfolio developing in the next five years? How do you think your art might change from today? That’s a tricky one; one piece often leads to another so it’s a slow evolution, really, and you never knowwhich direction things will go. I would like to put some time aside to develop the drawings to complement the sculptures and possibly some printmaking. I’m pretty sure that it will still be animal-based artwork though. When you’re not sculpting or sleeping, what do you do? As well as learning Welsh and going jogging, I have a small veg plot in the garden and try to grow as much as possible in a fairly small space. I have to be organised and plan ahead, but I quite like the challenge; it makes you much more aware of the weather and the changing seasons and what is possible to grow and when. It also makes me much more appreciative of having quality fresh produce to cook with. Do you have a favourite artist/sculptor? It’s probably a toss-up between Tony Cragg and Richard Deacon; they both combine materials in a witty and intuitive way. If you hadn’t been a sculptor, what path do you think you’d have taken? I can’t imagine doing anything else!
To see Stephen’s art at REDSEA Gallery, visit block 9 Dempsey Road, #01-10 Dempsey Hill. 6732 6711 | redseagallery.com/artists/stephen-page Make your own art, and do it because you want to. It takes time to discover and develop your own voice and language but you need to put the time into experimenting, failing and learning without the pressure of trying to make it pay. What positives have you taken from the current pandemic? It may not have been the best timing in the middle of an international pandemic but I was still working part-time at the foundry. I decided it was time to completely cut the cord, give up the secure income and go full-time as an artist. Thankfully, it’s working out really well and I get to spend every working day doing what I love. I’m very lucky. Can you share with us what makes you happy? A happy family life is the best thing ever. I love seeing my children growing up and discovering their own passions and career paths. On a different tack, I recently found out that in the Netherlands they have been working to recreate the aurochs, the wild ancestors of all modern-day cattle and one of the most important animals in human history. Their aim is to “back breed” from existing cattle that still contain the aurochs’ DNA and use them in rewilding areas of natural woodland in Europe where these beasts once roamed wild and were a keystone in maintaining the biodiversity of these ecosystems. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given, not just in art but in life? One of my university lecturers with reference to my work told me to take my sense of humour seriously. Lastly, what piece of advice would you give somebody who wants to make a living from art?
Why these sofas make the perfect perches for their owners.
PHOTOGRAPHY KEN TAN
Diane Friedman, French, daughter Talia, French-American, and helper Emely from the Philippines
We’ve lived in Singapore for nine years, but we’re leaving this summer for Geneva, Switzerland. I was looking to have a current sofa reupholstered, and Gallery 278 was my first choice. I’ve purchased a lot of furniture from them in the past, including two teak twin beds, a teak queen bed, shoe cabinets, a beautiful blue pouf, rugs, lamps and a big teak mirror. As you can tell, I love this store and I feel like I’m bringing Singapore with me when we move through the furniture I’ve bought! Once I’d booked the upholstery, the team came to pick up the sofa – and they did a great job. They were fast and efficient, and delivered
it back in just a few weeks. The material the sofa is upholstered in is velvety soft and a beautiful grey. It gives a lovely cosy feeling to the sofa and the room. I appreciate the time that the team spends with you in the store, and they’re very kind and helpful. Gallery 278 is my first choice for furniture shopping, and I would definitely recommend them for furniture and upholstery services.
Gallery 278 Henderson Road, #11-01 203A 6737 2322 | gallery278.com
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Aw Chung Yi, Singaporean We were replacing an old sofa and were on the lookout for a nicely designed piece with an automated feature. We discovered Ritz Houzz in passing and found that they were really service-orientated. Not only that, but their prices are also reasonable. We ended up purchasing a three-seater and two-seater beige-coloured sofa, with automated inclination. I like the colour, as it makes my house look brighter, and we chose the Aquaclean material as it’s easy to maintain. We simply use water and vacuum to clean, which is great as we have a lot of children in the house! We’ re def initely happy with our purchase and would look to Ritz Houzz if we needed to buy other home pieces.
Ritz Houzz #01-06/#01-08 Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road 6224 0368 | ritzhouzz.com
Matt Parkey, American I had recently relocated to Singapore and moved into a new condo, so I needed to furnish it. I was looking for a sofa with the perfect mix of form and function – it had to be modern with clean lines, and comfortable. WTP was referred to me, and I found almost everything I needed there to furnish the entire four-bedroom home. In terms of the sofa, I purchased a modern off-white piece with contemporary metal legs. It had the combination of modern aesthetic along with comfort that I was seeking. I’m 100 percent satisfied with my purchase and would highly recommend the store to others. Shopping with WTP’s Naazli is the best time-saving decision anyone can make! The store is a one- stop-shop for both form and function throughout your home, and they also offer flexible financing options to suit your long-term or short-term stay in Singapore.
WTP The Furniture Company 3 Kung Chong Road | 6235 2760 | wtpstyle.com
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Give your living space a breath of fresh air with these inspiring new collections and statement pieces that wi l l turn your house into a home.
1 Trace wallcovering by Innovations, Altfield Interiors 2 Oliver three-seater sofa in velvet and chrome, WTP The Furniture Company 3 Beranice lounge set, Black & Walnut 4 Great Lift sofa by Eilersen, Danish Design 5 Margaux trimming collection by Samuel & Sons, Altfield Interiors 6 Calvia sofa, Gallery 278 7 Fredericia Spanish lounge chairs, Danish Design 8 Opportunity accent chair, available in two wood finishes, Nestify 9 Living room furniture, accessories and styling by Arete Culture 10 Sideboard by House of Finn Juhl, Danish Design 11 BonBaron lounge chair by Fatboy, available in four colours, House of AnLi
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HOME & PROPERTY
12 Mikado coffee table in solid oak, Soul & Tables 13 Hattan peelable patchwork wallpaper, Honpo 14 Sofa and coffee table, Grey and Sanders 15 Dongbei TV console, Woody Antique 16 Natural teak chest coffee table and Moroccan silk cushion covers, Originals 17 Sunshine rattan chair, Island Living 18 Canggu coffee table, Island Living 19 Elm wood offering table (mid 19th century) from Shanxi Province, China Collection 20 Three-drawer console, Emperor’s Attic 21 Medicine cabinet (late 19th century) from Shanxi Province, China Collection 22 Hattan peelable patchwork wallpaper, Honpo 23 Side table in elm and camphor wood, approximately 120 to 130 years old from Shanxi Province, Just Anthony
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24 Ashby sofa, Grey and Sanders 25 Antique Dongbei cabinet, Emperor’s Attic 26 Carved wall hangings from Fujian Province, Just Anthony 27 Portobello armchair in milk, Originals 28 Mara cushions, WTP The Furniture Company
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29 White sofa set, Ritz Houzz 30 Kiki Cocoon lounge chair, House of AnLi 31 Laser-etched iron side tables, The Cinnamon Room 32 Blue adjustable sofa set, Ritz Houzz 33 Rylander carpets, House of AnLi
34 Noa coffee table and padded sofa, Soul & Tables 35 Etched cushion covers and dhurrie rug, The Cinnamon Room 36 Tanjong classic loveseat, Nestify 37 Latitudes modular collection, with fibre and cushion colour customisation, OHMM 38 Havana collection, with fibre and cushion colour customisation, OHMM 39 Zen TV console in teak, Woody Antique 40 Scallop armchair, The Furniture Makers 41 Jellyfish stool, The Furniture Makers
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Directory Altfield Interiors #07-10 Central Mall Office Tower, 1 Magazine Road 6909 2768 | altfield.com.sg Arete Culture #06-01 Tan Boon Liat Building, Black & Walnut 43 Keppel Road, #W1-01/02/03 6781 3201 | blackandwalnut.com.sg China Collection 252 Joo Chiat Road 9858 6889 | chinacollection.com.sg The Cinnamon Room #02-74 Jalan Merah Saga 9727 3051 | thecinnamonroom.com Danish Design #06-03 B&D Building, 100E Pasir Panjang Road 6270 8483 | danishdesign.com.sg Emperor’s Attic #01-10 Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road 9011 0380 | emperorsattic.com 315 Outram Road areteculture.com
Nestify 2 Woking Road #01-01 8261 4138 | nestify.shop OHMM #03-09 Riverside Point, 30 Merchant Road 6836 2747 | ohmm.sg Originals 1 Bukit Batok Street 22, Level 5 6471 9918 | originals.com.sg Ritz Houzz #01-06/#01-08 Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road 6224 0368 | ritzhouzz.com Soul & Tables #02-03 Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road 9272 1545 | soulandtables.com.sg Woody Antique House 13 Dempsey Road, #01-05 Block 13 6471 1770 | woodyantique.com WTP The Furniture Company 3 Kung Chong Road 6235 2760 | wtpstyle.com
The Furniture Makers #05-01 Joo Seng Warehouse, 1 Upper Aljunied Link (by appointment only) 9234 4966 | thefurnituremakers.co Gallery 278 278 River Valley Road 6737 2322 | gallery278.com Grey and Sanders #06-02 Tan Boon Liat Building 8371 8864 | greyandsanders.com Honpo #09-14 Proxima @ Gambas, 50 Gambas Crescent 9089 3266 | honpo.com.sg House of AnLi #02-21/22, #03-17 Tanglin Mall, 163 Tanglin Road 6235 5193 | houseofanli.com Island Living #02-05 Henry Design Centre, 5 Eunos Ave 8A 8780 5139 | islandliving.sg Just Anthony 379 Upper Paya Lebar Road 6283 4782 | justanthony.com
Mara in sunshine waterproof fabric with rose gold legs, $1,200
Rolf in teal velvet with iron legs, $1,258
Beach in turquoise woven fabric with iron legs, $1,406
Fraser in amber textured velvet with iron legs, $1,294
Be Bold! A budget-savvy solution t keeping your interior on trend.
Bun in teal velvet with iron legs, $1,607
Blair in yellow woven fabric with iron legs, $1,169
With many expats at the mercy of rental properties, decorating a neutral palette is a common challenge when setting up a home in Singapore. Rather than radical renovations and buckets of paint, it’s all about finding creative ways to inject some colour and character into our living spaces without breaking the bank. From rugs and accessories to art and potted plants, home style expert NAAZLI SOMJEE of WTP The Furniture Company reminds us that there are plenty of ways to stick with the seasonal trends and add a pop of colour. This month, we round up some bold and beautiful accent armchairs that are guaranteed to do just that.
Betty in yellow linen with iron legs, $1,160
WTP The Furniture Company is located at 3 Kung Chong Road. 6235 2760 | wtpstyle.com
Charles in chartreuse velvet with iron legs, $1,294
Beth in textured peach with iron legs, $1,026
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