JUNE 2021

JUNE 2021




EDITOR’SNOTE I’ve just received a book in the post written by my uncle. I know a lot of people used lockdown to write, but his is worth mentioning because he’s 90! Not that he has let age affect him too much – he did his PhD when he was 88. The book is fictional and about football in the UK – when it moved from being local to commercial. It’s set in a small English town (Northwich) where he and mum grew up. I’m looking forward to reading it because he’s got a great sense of humour, but it will also be an insight into the way of life back then. Mum always talks of the dances on Saturday nights. Afterwards, you still had to walk the long walk home, unless you were lucky enough to have a bicycle. My dad lived on the other side of town so he’d have to walk her home … and then walk all the way back to his! Bless him – he was very determined to get her! Anyway, back to the age thing. My brother-in-law, who still plays cricket here in Singapore, sent me a short video clip the same day I got the book. It was of a 92-year- old Australian who’s still playing competitive cricket and plays tennis three times a week. How brilliant is that! It mademe feel better because I’d been grumbling about being classed as a “senior” in a piece on the radio. Since when did being in your 50s make you senior? Can’t believe it’s school holidays soon. Some of you lucky ones may be able to travel! Otherwise, we have some online articles of what to do at home. If you know of anyone in quarantine who wants some mags to read, let us know! In this issue, Leanda tells us about her fun “sailcation” and the team reviews a bunch of afternoon teas – though you may have to wait a little while to try them! We also look at lots of complementary health options and feature some great outdoor activities for the kids.

REBECCA BISSET Editor-in-Chief

Happy reading!

My parents on their wedding day. They were only 22, but he was very keen! They were married 55 years until he died.



Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET



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

Image courtesy of Discover Sailing Asia (discoversailingasia.com)




NEWS 18 Things To Do:

28 A home full of space and style

How to keep busy at home

20 EL Forum:

Our online antics and upcoming events

HOME & PROPERTY 24 News 27 Tech Talk:

Backups and cloud storage

28 Home Showcase:

A rare and renovated bungalow

36 Summer Style:

Tips to bring the tropics indoors

38 Product Spotlight: We visit the Just Anthony warehouse 40 Meet the Artist:

Step in the shoes of Ketna Patel

42 Inside Story:

Readers rate their outdoor furniture

44 Buying Guide:

Top picks for your alfresco space

50 Street Talk:

A guide to living on Kim Seng Road

44 Outdoor furniture and accessories

LIFE & FAMILY 56 News 60 Noticeboard: Furry friends up for adoption 62 Dad’s Day Out: Ideas for a fab Father’s Day 64 Mental Health: Striving for a kinder world 67 Energy Busters:

Four things to do with active kids

70 School Focus:

78 The Singapore Pages:

Helping parents understand early intervention

Exploring the island, past and present

80 Community Corner:

71 Money Matters:

Meet a friendly face from the British Association

Transferring overseas made easy

74 Long-term Expats:

81 Helping Hands:

A Seletar family’s Singapore stint

Empowering women in Cambodia

76 Screen & Page: Top TV and book recommendations

18 We catch up with artist Ketna Patel

82 Environment Focus: Does solar have a dirty secret?




106 What will the new trends in tourism be?

WINE & DINE 90 News 93 Recipe Corner: Asian-style soy chicken 94 Business Profile:

Check out this online butchery

96 Pinkies Up!:

Afternoon tea spots around the island

TRAVEL 104 News 106 Travel Trends:

96 Teatime spots we can vouch for

How holidays will change

110 All Aboard:

Why not a staycation at sea?




Solutions for sensitive skin


STYLE & BEAUTY 116 Style News 118 Dress to Impress:

Daytime dazzlers ideal for brunch

122 Fab Footwear:

Salt-Water Sandals hits stores and shores

Pretty picks for a girls’ day out 118

124 Business Profile:

A mumpreneur’s fine jewellery brand

126 Beauty News 130 Skin Solutions:

Laser treatments for pigmentation

132 Tried & Tested:

Popular picks for sensitive skin

136 Natural & Organic:

We review products free from nasties!

HEALTH & FITNESS 142 News 144 Breast Implants:

Here’s what you need to know 146 Complementary Medicine: Five approaches for mental and physical healing 150 Healthy Gut: A wellness brand founder talks probiotics 154 Fitness Focus: Six outdoor activities to get you going

REGULARS 162 Horoscopes for June 164 Puzzle Pages 166 Numbers & Websites

The face behind this jewellery line 124

167 Advertiser List 168 Parting Shot: The promise of dawn





Art and the Environment Master Class (26 JUN)

In this online master c l as s , ar t i s t and photographer Ernest Goh will share his work exploring the intersection of art and science. His focus is on the intimate, complicated and awe-inspiring web of

interconnectivity between our environment and its inhabitants. He hopes that his work will help change minds about dealing with our environmental problems. Register at ssbymc260621.peatix.com for the free workshop. Move to Beat Parkinson Virtual Charity Run (UNTIL 24 JULY) The Parkinson Society Singapore is celebrating its 25th anniversary with an inaugural virtual charity run. The aim is to encourage people with Parkinson’s disease to stay active and positive, since regular exercise helps them maintain balance, mobility and the ability to perform daily activities. There are four distances – 25km, 50km, 100km, 250km – and you can join as an individual or with your family and friends in groups of two to five. Run, jog or walk the distance at your own time and own pace and use the hashtag #PSS25for25 on social media to show support for the local Parkinson’s community. Register ($20) at justrunlah.com/race/virtual-move- to-beat-parkinson-virtual-charity-run-2021 and visit www.parkinson.org.sg for more info.

Image: Chihuly Studio

Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom (UNTIL 1 AUGUST)

This is the first major garden exhibition in Asia for American multimedia artist Dale Chihuly. For over 50 years, he has reinterpreted museums, gardens and public spaces with his experiments in glass. For Gardens by the Bay, he has curated 25 large-scale installations and 80 pedestal sculptures and two- dimensional works in various locations including the Flower Dome, Cloud Forest and public gardens. Highlights include the Cloud Forest Persians hanging from the viewing deck of the waterfall, and the Float Boat at the Dragonfly Lake. For ticket information, visit chihulyinbloom.com/tickets . Life in Edo – Russel Wong in Kyoto (UNTIL 19 SEPTEMBER) This is a double bill exhibition at the Asian Civilisations Museum spotlighting two different periods of Japanese culture and craftsmanship: the Edo period from 1603 to 1868, and present-day Kyoto. They’re connected by works depicting the Sanjo Bridge – a woodblock print by 19th-century artist Utagawa Hiroshige, and a photograph by Russel Wong taken from the spot where he imagines Hiroshige would have visualised the print. Visitors can discover Japanese culture through workshops, curator tours, woodblock printing and photography activities, and educational videos on Japanese food and art. acm.org.sg




Sikhs in Singapore – A Story Untold (UNTIL 30 SEPTEMBER)

Fashionable in Asia (ONGOING)

Fashion and Textiles Gallery, ACM

The Asian Civilisations Museum has refreshed its Fashion and Textiles Gallery with more than 20 recently acquired pieces, most of which have never before been seen by the public. Titled “Fashionable in Asia”, it includes Chinese painted silks, Indian printed cottons, Javanese batiks and more Asian fashion from the 18th to 20th century. Displayed across three main sections – Competing Threads, Batik Resistance, and Creativity on the Pesisir – the pieces take visitors on a journey of trade and power while highlighting the creat ivi ty, cross-cul tural exchanges, identity, privilege and hierarchy in how people dressed in those times. acm.org.sg

Gain a deeper understanding of Singapore’s Sikh community at the Indian Heritage Centre, in this first- ever exhibition dedicated to Sikh heritage. On display are more than 450 artefacts from 50 local and international private collections, institutional collections of 17 Sikh organisations here, and the National Collection. Through these, visitors can explore the origins of Sikhs in Singapore, from their arrival in the late 19th century from the Punjab region in India. There are also narratives of migrants in Singapore as well as experiences of contemporary Sikhs that highlight the community’s ever- evolving identity and contributions to the nation. indianheritage.gov.sg

Goodman Open House Online (UNTIL 30 DECEMBER)

The Goodman Arts Centre has brought i ts open house onl ine to goodmanartscentre.sg/open- house-2021 . This is so more families can explore what the centre has to offer, from the comfort of their homes. There are conversations with artists on how art and nature can form a symbiotic relationship, a virtual tour of the premises, art-and-craft follow- along videos, and downloadable colouring guides of bugs and plants found at the centre.

Sikhs in Singapore

Image courtesy of Indian Heritage Centre

19 JUNE2021

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

11 JUN 10am 16 JUN 7pm 18 JUN 10am 4 JUN 2pm

Content Marketing Workshop with Digital Direction Content Marketing Strategy – How to get it right


A talk about understanding pre-menopause and menopause with IMC

FASHION • JEWELLERY • INTERIOR Party Secret Garden Osler Health doctors explain everything you need to get on a plane again. Travelling WHAT PRE-DEPARTURE TEST? FOR WHO? HOW? WHEN? during the Pandemic?

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21 JUNE2021


44 Tropical Living: The latest in outdoor furniture

Danish Design Co

28 Home Showcase: Inside a successful bungalow makeover

40 Artist Insight: Ketna Patel reflects on past, present and future

50 Street Talk: What’s it like living on Kim Seng Road?


Summer Scents

R e c r e a t e t h o s e European Summer vacation vibes with Ortigia’s range of soaps, scents and candles, now stocked at Island Living. Each product is formulated using natural ingredients indigenous to Sicily, and the beaut i f u l

product packaging is inspired by the aesthetics, colours and scents of Italy’s historic and tropical region. Their hand soaps also come in beautiful refillable glass bottles that will lift any bathroom décor. Check the range out online at islandliving.sg and enjoy free delivery above $80, or visit the showroom at 5 Eunos Ave 8A, #02-05 . Store Relocation After 30 successful years, Gallery 278 has moved from its River Valley spot to new premises on Henderson Road. The new location promises an expanded showroom, offering an exclusive shopping experience, new innovative designs and a special collection launch with notable brand partners and local artists and designers. It also houses an in-house workroom for customisation and alterations, so customers can see how the furniture gets made. In time, the plan is to run workshops for those who are more “hands-on” and want to be involved with the process, so they can touch and feel the materials used in the making of their furniture. Check out the new spot at 203 Henderson Road, #11-01/02 (Wing A) .

In celebration of Venice’s 1,600th anniversary, Venetian textile brand Rubelli has launched its 2021 collection, Di Varia Natura (meaning “of various kinds”). Exclusively available from Altfield Interiors, the collection celebrates the art of Venetian weaving, colour and light, as well as the passage of time. The variety of textiles in the range includes fanciful patterns and prints, classic jacquards, eco-friendly fabrics, and high- performing textures. There’s an extensive colour palette of vibrant tones and versatile neutrals for all types of interiors. View the collection at Altfield Showroom, #07-10 Central Mall Office Tower, 1 Magazine Road . Venetian Beauties



to Shop


Green & Clean Did you know that over 90 million tonnes of harmful chemicals are used every year for general cleaning and released back into the environment? In 2018, packaging made up one third of the 1.6 million tonnes of domestic waste created. Aquama cleaning products offer a solution to reduce environmental toxicity and waste. A hydrolysis process is used to electrify water and salt to create an antibacterial and antiviral disinfectant solution that offers an all-in-one sustainable alternative to traditional chemical cleaners. It’s also certified to guard against COVID-19. Customers can buy their spray bottle online, on the app or in-store at The Green Collective in Funan Mall, then refill at will at their nearest top-up point. To learn more about the product, go to aquama. Great Summer Sale Arete Culture’s annual summer sale is the perfect time to spruce up your home! Shop and save up to 30 percent off an extensive selection of furniture, soft furnishings and home décor at their showrooms from 1 June to 12 July. There are limited stocks available, so do follow Arete Culture on social media to find out what’s on sale for theweek. For every $100 spent in a single receipt, you’ll also receive one coupon to enter a lucky draw with a grand prize of over $4,600! fb.com/areteculturehomemakeover

The new Heveya by European Bedding outlet in the heart of Orchard Road is the perfect spot to find personalised sleep solutions for a natural night’s sleep. Located in Tangs in Tang Plaza Level 3, the new outlet showcases the company’s award- winning organic latex mattresses, motorised bed bases and bedding accessories. Plus, there are on-site sleep experts ready to advise on which mattress and pillow are the right ones for you. europeanbedding.sg




Tekkie Help’s SARAH and BO break it to us that cloud storage is not a backup. Here’s why that’s the case – and how we can rectify the problem.

Tragic tales We’ve encountered plenty of scary stories in our time. For example, instances where children have been using a phone linked to the parent’s AppleID and deleted a chunk of photos from the phone (and subsequently iCloud) to make space for games. Then there was the time when a lady came to us to help her with her digital photos. When looking for her photos pre-2016, she advised us “it’s all in the cloud”. Actually, it wasn’t, and the old computer that was linked to the cloud had been disposed of – so there was no way of recovering these lost memories. Better backup A data backup is the process of copying computer data or files, so they can be restored to the original, even after that data has been lost. Backups have two distinct purposes: to recover data after it’s lost and to recover data from an earlier time. We always recommend a 3-2-1 backup strategy where you have at least three copies of your data: backed-up data on two different storage types, and at least one copy of the data offsite. This offsite copy is where the cloud can come into play. The bottom line is, if you only have your data in the cloud, we strongly recommend you get another copy.

There is a growing assumption that having all of your personal or business data in the cloud is a safe and streamlined way of working – a storage and backup solution in one. However, cloud storage sites such as iCloud, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive and One Drive are actually storage solutions and not a backup; so they shouldn’t be relied upon to protect your data. So what happens when cloud storage goes wrong? While the cloud does offer a certain level of protection in the event of theft or natural disasters, it’s not a robust backup solution as the data synchronises with data on your devices. For instance, if you accidentally delete data off your phone or computer (or a child using your device does), the device synchronises with the cloud and the data is deleted off the cloud too – trust us, this happens more often than you think! You can lose access to the cloud if your login email is either jeopardised (hacked) or if you change your email address for any reason (such as a job move). Likewise, if you fail to pay the subscription, your data access will go along with the cloud service.

If you need help creating a robust backup solution for your personal or business data, contact Tekkie Help at 8113 8682 or visit tekkiehelp.com.

27 JUNE2021


The team at interior design firm Gallery 278 are no strangers to residential makeovers. Here, principal designerFELICIAKOHrunsus through the details of a recent project

Tell us about your client’s brief and the initial ideas for the project.

The great thing about this project was that we had worked with the client two years earlier, when we furnished their four-bedroom apartment. So there was already familiarity and connection between us. They were familiar with my “common sense” approach, and agreed that we should place strong emphasis on functionality for every pocket of space in their amazing house. We also wanted to achieve a “resort lifestyle living” concept, with the whole family able to gather together and bond. The client wanted to have defined spaces where they could enjoy this dynamic family time, while at the same time maintaining private spaces for their respective work and school needs, as they were all working from home.

they embarked on to upgrade a family from a four-bed condo to a gorgeous spacious bungalow that theywere lucky to secure.




What was the next step? We then had our overall vision for the project, which included the following goals: • to incorporate our client’s existing leased furniture inventory (from Esco, our sister company) as well as the furniture they shipped from the US; • to fill up the sprawlinghousewith functional furniture within an allocated budget in a way that would do the space justice; • to bring the outside in and the inside out – the family wanted a seamless flow of indoor and outdoor space, to fully enjoy their new home; • to create a smart-casual, organic, down-to-earth, natural, comfy, unpretentious and super “chillaxed” feel, with a strong Asian influence (akin to resort- style living in Bali, Phuket and Siem Reap); and, • to find an impressive way of filling the huge poolside wall facing the main entrance (this was one of the biggest challenges for me!). What was different about this project from others? I fell in love with the unique house, with its clever architectural details and the great thought that had been put into its replica vintage construction. The pool strategically embodies the house, in a way that you don’t even need to use the air-conditioning; there is a passive cooling effect with wind drafts coming from all four directions throughout the day, which is lovely.

29 JUNE2021




The feng shui in the home has been carefully considered. Right from the entrance gate, you walk by the sweeping curves and meandering lines that create an alluring landscape, which gently softens the look of the long driveway. As an urban gardener myself, I loved the sense of movement that this driveway contributed within a naturalistic design. It’s a manicured landscape that leads you to the wooden, lattice-cladded main entrance, with its Asian joglo (high-ceilinged roof) design. I’d say filling the swimming pool wall with an artwork that was at least three metres by 2.5 metres in size and had red as the dominant colour. The artwork had to be weather resistant, and also flow seamlessly to integrate with the swimming pool. It took me a week to go through our library of inventory photos. Eventually, I found the ideal piece of art that I could imagine looking fab on the huge wall. Also, 15 years ago, we acquired an Asmat tribal wall carving. It was previously gracing the exit walkway to the immigration check-out at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta. We were able to use this exquisite piece in this project; we were ecstatic that it could finally beautify a home here in Singapore. What was your favourite part of the project?

#1 Develop an understanding of the client’s unmet needs. #2 Define the problems to solve and brainstorm potential solutions. #3 Create design ideas and develop/fine-tune identified solutions. #4 Discuss budget and timeline viability. #5 Implement agreed solutions and budget.

31 JUNE2021

What other challenges did you face? The main one was the timeline. I undertook this project on 28 December 2020, and my intention was to complete it before Chinese New Year in February 2021, while trying to navigate New Year, CNY and pandemic restrictions. My immediate thought for an effective solution was to arrange a 20-foot container of inventory from our factory in Central Java. This was the only sure-fire way to get all the necessary stock to furnish this project, according to my client’s desired timeline and budget, and, most importantly, with the aesthetic of the Asian resort look and feel. We have huge inventory and resources in Indonesia, and we own a factory where we can practically create anything we envisage. It was pretty exciting to successfully mobilise a container-load of inventory, including finding the spectacular artwork for the poolside wall. The container arrived on time, amidst the year-end and festive holidays, which was a little short of a miracle. Phew! What do you think of the end result? The client thought it was incredible that we managed to pull everything together in the specified time and budget! So I’m very happy. The family are enjoying every pocket of space in their new home. I feel we have written a “poem of space” together, and this creates a wonderful feeling. Unlike most staged, “picture perfect” homes, this one has a very liveable feel to it. It’s almost like you’re holidaying at home!

Unlike staged “picture perfect” homes, this one has a very liveable feel to it; it’s almost like you’re holidaying at home!




33 JUNE2021


A word from the home owner Our perspective really changed with COVID-19 and the Circuit Breaker. Instead of our home being a practical spot to drop our bags between trips, we now needed a retreat and a family bonding space to help us navigate the pandemic. We specifically craved the outdoor space we were accustomed to in California, so we went on a mission to find a landed property with just that. When we eventually found our home, we fell in love with the serenity, the breeze and the blend of antique Asian charm with modern conveniences. Our priority for the project was to bring out the beauty, character and charm of the house, while giving it a resort-style vibe. We wanted to create a space for us and the kids, for living, exercise and work; and, since we’re not travelling, we also wanted areas for doing the things we enjoy doing as a family like cooking, reading and playing sports. Another key was working with what we already had in terms of furniture, décor and art. The idea was to somehow use these pieces to fit the house’s Asian character and charm. Felicia was able to use modern and antique art from the region with pieces we brought from California to create a blend of our Singapore and US lives. The design is very functional; we use every bit of the house. Specifically, we’re very happy with the range of outdoor spaces, the home office, games room and kitchen/breakfast space, all of which are beautifully put together. We feel incredibly grateful for this lovely home – each part has been transformed to serve as a true retreat (which we have lovingly nicknamed “The Embassy”). It’s a place for us to ride out the pandemic and create cherished family memories.

For more information and to see more residential projects, visit gallery278.com.





Bring that summer sunshine indoors with these trendy tips for your home. We may not have your regular four seasons in Singapore, but we’re no stranger to summer heat. This month brings us smack bang into the middle of the region’s “dry” season, with climbing temperatures and typically dryer days than normal. So while you’re escaping the heat, why not take the opportunity to give your home interior a summer refresh? Here are a few tips from Altfield Interiors to switch up your style and invite those summer vibes in. Open your home and recreate the sunshine and greenery indoors with big leafy green plants in all shapes and sizes. Play around with ferns or large statement planters. Don’t have a green thumb? Don’t worry! Simply invest in a regular bloom delivery, decorative vases or tropical fabric and upholstery. #1 Go Green

#4 Frame It

This is a great trick for those in rented homes. Find a beautiful fabric or wallpaper that captures your heart and frame it in panels. This way, you can hang it on your wall and enjoy it even after you move, or simply replace it the next season. #5 Take it to the Table Bring a touch of summer style to your dining table with bright and colourful tablecloths, runners and placemats. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor area, try a garden picnic in the shade, or afternoon tea on the verandah.

#2 Be Bold

Just like you would experiment with your outfit, revel in the season’s colour and pattern trends. Be inspired by the catalogues or Pinterest pages and dip your toe into bolder colours and decorative accents around the house. #3 Lighten Up In European grand houses, white slip covers were often used to lighten rooms and bring in a more relaxed vibe during summer. Remember, you don’t always need to buy new; you can often just re-cover. Or, toy with blue and white tones – nothing says summer like the azure blue of the Mediterranean or that Hamptons beach-house look!

Formore colourful ideas and seasonal fabrics, visit Altfield Interiors at #07-10 Central Mall Office Tower, 1 Magazine Road.

6909 2768 | @altfieldinteriorssng



Sometimes the best things in life require effort to find: a hairdresser who “gets you”, a crowd-free hike on a Saturday morning, and furniture that is stylish, stand-out and comes with a sprinkle of history. The range of vintage and reproduced antique Chinese furniture and home décor at Just Anthony ticks all of those boxes. To truly appreciate the company’s impressive collection of well-curated items, it’s worth taking a trip to the sprawling warehouse in Paya Lebar. Your journey into pieces of the past starts the moment you arrive. No faceless furniture store here; Just Anthony is located in a beautiful old house that boasts as much character on the outside as on the inside. At 10,000 square feet, it’s filled with what is arguably the widest variety of Chinese furniture in Singapore and features wardrobes, sideboards, coffee tables, shelving and benches that mingle with smaller accessories like table lamps, ceramic jars, figurines and stunning hand-painted wall coverings. Antiques and reproductions Founded in the 1970s, Just Anthony is helmed by father- daughter duo, ANTHONY and DANIELLE LEE. When the company launched, the focus was on local Peranakan furniture; today, they deal directly with long-trusted suppliers, artists and wood carvers in China’s Guangdong Province who scout out vintage gems, customise historic pieces and build antique reproductions. “When my father started out, people were looking for statement pieces for their home – old wooden stairs, rice mills and stone grinders, for example. For them, it was more important that items were interesting or beautiful. It felt like they bought things to collect rather than just buying furniture,” explains Danielle, who joined the business 20 years ago. “Now, it’s functional buys that are popular, such as our low tables with plenty of storage, and smaller useful furniture that still comes with a unique oriental twist but can be shipped onwards and stay with you for life.” Danielle shares that the pandemic has influenced buying trends. “Over the past year, our reproduced desks and mini bar cabinets have done very well due to everyone working – and drinking! – from home.” We chat with Danielle of Just Anthony to find out why antique Chinese furniture doesn’t have to feel dated. BY JO UPCRAFT




Constantly aware of the competition for Chinese furniture in Singapore, Just Anthony goes to great lengths to provide customers with that little bit extra by sourcing pieces that can be highly personalised. “It’s important to stay innovative while remaining true to an oriental aesthetic,” Danielle says. “We might use old antique doors on a reproduced bedside cabinet, create new designs for door handles, or update the decoration so that items remain individual.” New stock every month To keep the warehouse at Just Anthony looking fresh and exciting, Danielle receives a new shipment of furniture from Guangdong every month. (Before COVID, she travelled there personally, whereas now it’s a case of “some frustrating WeChat video calls!”) Keen to stay ahead of the curve and to cater for an influx of new, younger shoppers, she gets product inspiration from Instagram and Pinterest, from art, and from customers who request bespoke pieces. “In 2021, we’ve moved away from bold and bright lacquer hues to satisfy the need for more dark, rich shades such as forest greens, teals andmidnight blues.” Indeed, the store’s latest selection of shimmering metallic tea trays were influenced by the colours of Gucci and Prada! While Just Anthony also offers a comprehensive ecommerce site, visiting the warehouse provides a huge buzz. Despite showcasing thousands of items, the space feels calm and uncluttered, and as if you’ve stumbled upon hidden treasure. Danielle shares fascinating stories behind older pieces such as a 100-year-old wardrobe that was once part of a Chinese wedding dowry, and ancient sets of doors and side drawers that have been crafted using vintage and new modern materials. “We hope we can show people that antique furniture doesn’t need to be old fashioned, rigid or uncomfortable,” she says. “It has so much character, and can be cool, too!”

379 Upper Paya Lebar Road 6283 4782 | 6283 4722 | justanthony.com

39 JUNE2021


Born in Uganda, Ketna grew up in a conservative Gujarati Indian society in neighbouring Kenya before leaving for London at age 14. Ten years later, she arrived in Singapore to work as an architect, which she shortly gave up to focus solely on her passion for art. Always interested in sociology and culture, she set up a commune at a home studio in Chip Bee Gardens, which she shared with 10 people from various backgrounds. These joint houses became a well-known magnet Whether you’ve recently started buying art in Singapore or you’re a seasoned collector, KETNA PATEL is a name you’re likely to encounter – and that’s because her beautifully vibrant pieces are hard to miss!

for visitors and events, resulting in some pretty organic and creative collaborations and projects. In 2013, after more than 20 successful years in Singapore, she moved away, splitting her time between the UK and Pune in India, and continuing to manage her art business. Other projects included purchasing and renovating a chapel in Wales, focusing on village projects in India, and renovating her grandmother’s home in London (now solely her studio). With the pandemic forcing Ketna’s pace of life to slow somewhat, we took this chance to ask her about her life, her art and more. Why did you first move to Singapore? I arrived for a mere one-year stint to work on an architectural project (The Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay) and ended up staying for 20! Even though I am ethnically Indian, having grown up in East Africa and then the UK, this was my first proper encounter with Asian culture, and I was hooked. Why did you end up making it your home for so long? I believe that unfamiliarity is a necessary prerequisite for creativity, otherwise we run the risk of being shackled by our conditioning. Asia was holding a mirror up to my intrinsic cultural genesis, and I got to know myself better through traversing back in time to the various histories that bind this region together.




Having said that, some of my closest friendships were made and nurtured in Singapore, and this “tribe” lives on through all the wonderful means of communication we are so lucky to have. We visit each other, go on holidays, and cook our favourite Singaporean dishes. A friend of mine and I were even thinking of starting a Singapore expat group in the UK! What do you love about living in the UK? Everything! The changing of seasons, the depth of discussion and debate about current affairs, political awareness, architecture, museums, the countryside, vintage pubs, the proximity of Europe, old friends, family … and British humour! Howhas this life change affected your art and expression? When I moved back to London, Britain was embroiled in Brexit. After two decades of not participating in politics, I found myself really interested in knowing the why and how of what people were thinking and feeling. That led to my usual process of uncovering my truth, by travelling! I went to all parts of the country and Europe, talking to as many people as possible. Ultimately, I’m a storyteller, and as the context has changed, so has my narrative. I still have my art in Singapore and I’m still a pop artist, but Britain’s streets are telling me a different story altogether, so transmuting these complex histories means I have become a student all over again. What’s on the horizon for you? I’ve been involved with initiatives that foster cultural bridges between the UK and India, so that’s going to translate into me splitting time between the two countries. In the UK, I’ve embarked on a nationwide documentation of “invisible” British culture: forgotten villages and towns. For example, I’ve just returned from a week in Suffolk, where I was really taken aback by the medieval “pop” villages of Lavenham and Kersey, to name a couple. There is so much more to discover! What advice would you give the Ketna Patel arriving in Singapore all those years ago? Now that I’m in my early fifties, I would tell her not to take time for granted. Our lives are fleeting, so make the most of them, and honour the gift of experience and change, for that’s the only way to induce inner growth. If something doesn’t feel right, change it. Don’t squander your time.

How did your art in Singapore grow? There was so much to observe and learn; it was the ultimate adventure for my mind, body and soul. Also, all the culinary flavours and non-stop sunshine melted my somewhat pragmatic conditioning, and I found myself bursting with the creative impulse of wanting to travel, explore and experiment. After all, how can anybody be indifferent to the visceral expressions of Asia? The first decade was the one before internet and smart phones, so I ended up with thousands of photographs frommy obsessive documentation of neighbouring countries. That led to a studied “unpacking” of Asian street culture, using colours, layering, photo collage and printing techniques. The rest is history! Why did you move back to the UK? Well, even though I absolutely love Singapore, the creative impulse is always to challenge oneself. I had become too comfortable! My nationality has always been British (read about the East African Gujarati community in the UK; it’s a compelling backstory of colonisation), so it’s home to me; it’s also where all my family lives. Having observed older friends and how difficult it was for them to assimilate into the return home after being an expatriate for so long, I decided to do this sooner rather than later. It wasn’t going to be easy, and I needed the energy and verve to overcome the challenges of relocation. What do you miss about Singapore? It may sound weird, but once I move on, I tend not to miss places. I think about them often, with great affection, but my psyche is immersed in what is going on around me right now, and that happens to be lockdown London!

Ketna Patel Art Studio (Singapore, India, UK) contact@ketnapatel.com | +44 7982654310

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Outdoor Delights BY AMY BROOK-PARTRIDGE PHOTOGRAPHY KEN TAN Why these outdoor furniture pieces became these readers’ must-haves!

Nina Huang, Australian/Taiwanese We had just moved into a new home on Sentosa and were looking for an outdoor dining and lounge set. We had a large balcony and gorgeous views overlooking the ocean and knew that we just had to have an outdoor living and entertainment area! After moving into our new apartment, we called on Arete Culture to help with the interior home styling. They gave us a few options for our outdoor pieces, including other third-party furniture suppliers, but we fell in love with their in-house collection. We loved the casual elegance of Arete Culture’s pieces, and when we found out they were produced in Bali we loved them evenmore. They clearly know how to make good, long-lasting outdoor furniture there. We are very happy with the outdoor pieces we’ve purchased; they are not only functional but look great. Living by the water in Sentosa, we have 90

percent of our meals outside on the balcony, so having the right outdoor furniture was essential! We’ve had many friends over and they have also loved sitting on the lounge set looking out at the beautiful ocean views.

Arete Culture Outdoor Living 20 Depot Lane, #01-01/02 | 6265 4525 | areteculture.com

Nicola Plenderleith, Australian We had recently moved to Singapore and were looking for a sofa set and bar stools for our balcony area. I found out about Boulevard from our leasing agent and decided to purchase from them as we couldn’t find a comparison for the design, customer service and price in other stores.

After visiting their showroom, I was immediately drawn to the range (which we ultimately ended up purchasing) as the pieces were so comfortable, and the design was something a little different than what we would find in Australia. The deep charcoal colour was also ideal for a family with two children and a small dog. They also offered a great discount for a large purchase. I would absolutely recommend Boulevard Outdoor Inspirations to others, not only for the range they sell but also because their customer service was fabulous! Our bar stools were delayed in delivery due to the COVID-19 situation, but the Boulevard team provided us with temporary chairs, which they delivered and collected free of charge while we waited. Boulevard Outdoor Inspirations (various showrooms) 43 Keppel Road, #W1-01/02/03 6781 3211 | boulevardoutdoorfurniture.com




Alicia Seah, Singaporean We were looking for a number of outdoor furniture items, including an outdoor sofa set for our front balcony to enjoy the ocean views, outdoor furniture for our back balcony to take in the greenery, and a day bed for relaxation. I had spotted the OHMM retail outlet in the building where I park my car for work and knew I would make a visit to it once I had my new house. When I finally went to the store, the service was impeccable, and the products were not only high quality but also fitted into our overall interior design and concept – simple and stylish. We purchased the Cala two-seater sofa, which is woven in Rehau fibre materials. As this piece was for our front balcony, an area which gets both the sun and rain, it was crucial for it to be highly water-repellent. Our back-balcony furniture, from the new Pesaro collection, is made from natural top-quality teak wood. Then we have the Calico sun lounger, again a new

collection. This is my husband’s favourite; it’s aesthetically pleasing and a great place for reading, relaxing and snoozing. All products come with a five-year guarantee, which is a great benefit. I would highly recommend checking out OHMM’s products to anyone looking for outdoor furniture.

OHMM #03-09 Riverside Point, 30 Merchant Road 6836 2747 | ohmm.sg

Alexandra Jaritz, German, Shaun Smithson, British/ American, daughter Caroline and dachshund Maxi We were initially looking for more traditional seating arrangements for our outdoor area, but we ended up finding décor pieces that were unique and also gave us different seating areas for different occasions. The space required more thought and planning,

and the pieces we bought make the area feel more customised and whimsical. I came across Woody Antique House while dining in the Dempsey area and was really excited to discover a mix of both traditional and modern Asian designs integrated with Western styles. They helped us curate several pieces that worked well together and helped us ensure that all of the pieces fit with our style and were great value for money.

We purchased two bamboo ladders, a carved wooden standing lamp, a teak root table, a drum-style side table, a traditional four-piece seating table, a moon bed, a hanging swing and some yellow ceramic drums. One of the more special pieces we found was a terracotta warrior that greets our guests at the door and really sets off the entranceway. These pieces were eclectic yet subtle and complemented both the internal and external spaces of our home. We are extremely happy with our purchases as we really feel they embody our journey through Singapore and the Asia Pacific region. They work well with our furniture from around the world as well as our styles, from modern to traditional. The team at Woody Antique House not only made shopping with them easy, but they enabled us to try different items to see how they fit with our space and our home décor.The selections that we made at Woody Antique House were ones that we took to heart, and we are excited that they help us tell our story and bring us comfort and great memories for many years ahead. Woody Antique House Block 13 Dempsey Road, #01-05 6471 1770 | woodyantique.com

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Make themost of Singapore’s tropical climate and style your garden, balcony or rooftop with some of these fantastic furniture finds.







1 Coast outdoor lounge by Diphano, price on request, Danish Design Co 2 Handwoven chaise lounge, $570, The Furniture Makers 3 Nox chair, price on request, Gallery 278 4 Terrace Collection outdoor fabrics by Samuel & Sons, from $48 per yard, Altfield Interiors 5 Cement stool, $149, Island Living 6 Panagia outdoor collection, price on request, D’Galleria



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7 Less armchairs by Cane-line, price on request, Danish Design Co 8 Outdoor lounge chairs in coral, $580, Originals 9 Archipelago Oceana lounge set, $4,685, Arete Culture 10 Linda sofa, from $995, and Foxtrot coffee table, $595, Soul & Tables

11 Outdoor sofa set, from $3,200, Originals 12 Praia lounge, price on request, Gallery 278











13 Outdoor fabrics, price on request, Altfield Interiors 14 Amora dining table, $790, and chairs, $329 each, Island Living 15 Fatboy Toni Tablo dining table set and Fatboy parasol with base, $1,995, House of Anli 16 Lacrosse balcony set, $560, The Furniture Makers 17 Graham outdoor dining armchairs, price on request, WTP 18 Tamaru day bed (complete with seat, back and accent cushions) and side tables, price on request, OHMM


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19 Bolleke LED wireless and rechargeable lights by Fatboy, $165, House of AnLi 20 Iron foiled candle holders, $95 for set of three, The Cinnamon Room 21 Laser-etched iron hurricane lantern set, $250, The Cinnamon Room 22 Weber Spirit SP-335 Gas Grill barbecue, $1,489, Weber-Stephen 23 Outdoor furniture, accessories and styling by Arete Culture 24 Fiesta dining set in herringbone-style weave, price on request, OHMM 25 Hegar outdoor dining chair, price on request, WTP 26 Wicked sofa, $3,495, lounge chair, $1,450, and Tika solar-powered lanterns, from $875, House of AnLi 27 Fermob Balad lamps, from $140, Soul & Tables




Directory Altfield Interiors #07-10 Central Mall Office Tower, 1 Magazine Road 6909 2768 | altfield.com Arete Culture #06-01 Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road areteculture.com The Cinnamon Room #02-74 Jalan Merah Saga 9727 3051 | thecinnamonroom.com Danish Design Co #06-03 B&D Building, 100e Pasir Panjang Road 6270 8483 | danishdesignco.com.sg D’Galleria 43 Keppel Road, #01-01 6781 3218 | dgalleria.com.sg Gallery 278 203 Henderson Road, #11-01 6737 2322 | gallery278.com | escoleasing.com 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 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 Soul & Tables #02-03 & #02-09 Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road 9272 1545 | soulandtables.com.sg The Furniture Makers #05-01 Joo Seng Warehouse,




1 Upper Aljunied Link (by appointment only) 9234 4966 | thefurnituremakers.co Weber-Stephen


224 River Valley Road 3159 1184 | weber.com WTP 3 Kung Chong Road 6235 2760 | wtpstyle.com

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LOUISA HICKEY From: Singapore/Australia Occupation: Founder of Harry & Harriet, Australian baby goods brand The Specifics What’s the name of your street? Kim Seng Road.

Great World City apartments and shopping centre

What’s a common myth or misconception about your neighbourhood? That it’s hard to get around to places; in fact, there are buses around and Somerset MRT is just a walk through Killiney. We’re also close to the expressways so it’s easy to get to the suburbs if you hop into a taxi. The apartment has complimentary bus shuttles to the CBD, Chinatown, Newton Station and even Queenstown, so it’s pretty convenient to get around.

Exact words you tell a taxi driver to get home? “Great World Serviced Apartments!”

Closest MRT station? Somerset Station (red North South Line).

How long have you lived here? Why here? For almost five months now. We used to live near Robertson Quay before we moved and we liked the vibe and convenience around this area.

Did you know? Kim Seng Road takes its name from prominent Peranakan businessman and philanthropist Tan Kim Seng, who lived in the first half of the 19th century. He is said to have supported schools, hospitals and even the public waterworks of Singapore, to improve freshwater supplies. His ancestral home in Malaysia is now a boutique hotel, Hotel Puri Melaka.

Robertson Quay restaurants and bars



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