January 2017


JAN 2017



What 2017 has in store for you Workwear Special Inside!

Pro-tips and treatments for happy, healthy hair Frizz Fighter

Get your health and fitness in check

Function & Flair 50+ décor ideas for your dining room

Cruising the Rhine Bali Retreats Luxury Stays Travel Experiences


Fancy a free trip to San Francisco for you and a friend? If you don’t have a friend, I’m happy to come with you – I promise I’ll be quiet on the plane; you won’t even know I’m there! We’re trying to get an idea of the financial lie of the land, so we do have a few questions for you to answer in order to be in with a chance to win the pair of return tickets. Yes, I know there’s always a catch, but I promise it will only take you a few minutes! See page 32 for details. Well, what can we say about 2016? Glad it’s over? Bring on 2017? Numerologically speaking, it was a number nine year, which marks the end of a cycle, whereas 2017 is a “one” year, which means the start of a new cycle – the chance to learn from the last cycle, perhaps? (It does feel like Groundhog Day sometimes...) In this issue, we’ve got all sorts of things to help you be the new you, plus find out what’s in store for your Chinese zodiac sign in this Year of the Rooster (page 114). Apparently, there is romance in store for me! I will let you know at the end of the year if it came true… As usual, we also have plenty of ideas for giving your home a fresh new look. Speaking of homes, our annual Home & Property Guide will be out very soon, with even more tips and choices. To secure your own copy, head to expatliving.sg/shop. If you’re new to Singapore, make sure you follow what’s happening each week – visit us on Instagram (@expatlivingsg), and also keep an eye out for our coffee mornings and newcomer nights, which are always fun. Happy, Happy New Year: wishing you all that you wish for this year!

REBECCA BISSET Editor-in-Chief



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Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET


Contributing Photographers KEN TAN (WITHINIMAGES.COM)

CONTACT US General Enquiries: +65 6812 1780 | info@expatliving.sg Advertising Sales: +65 6812 1781 | sales@expatliving.sg Subscription: +65 6812 1783 | subscription@expatliving.sg Production: +65 6812 1787 | production@expatliving.sg Editorial & Media Releases: editorial@expatliving.sg Calendar of Events: calendar@expatliving.sg Events: events@expatliving.sg Websites: expatliving.sg | expatliving.hk I exmag.sg Printed by Ho Printing Singapore Pte Ltd (hoprinting.com) Published by Expat Living Publications Pte Ltd 18 Howard Road, #08-10 Novelty Bizcentre, Singapore 369585

COVER: Originals (originals.com.sg)




NEWS 18 News Headlines 20 Calendar: 28 Readers’ Letters 30 EL Forum:

What’s on in Singapore this month

Online happenings and upcoming events 32 Win an Overseas Adventure: Enter our Reader Survey and you could be off to San Francisco HOME & PROPERTY 36 News 39 Home Showcase: How a well-travelled family made Balmoral their home 50 Product News: Striking furniture for your home 54 Shopping News: A look at the new House of AnLi Interiors 56 Home Showcase: Exploring an eclectic home near Stevens Road 66 Shopping News: A snapshot of Dempsey’s furniture stores and more 66 Reader Recommendations: Why these readers love their dining tables 68 Buyer’s Guide: Our roundup of dining room furniture 82 Street Talk: Living on Namly Estate

A glamorous Draycott Park apartment 56

ARTS & LEISURE 92 On the Wall: What’s on in the art scene 94 Exhibition Preview:

66 Asiatique

Collections at Dempsey Hill

What to expect from this year’s Singapore Contemporary

96 On the Stage:

The latest in live music, dance and theatre

98 From Page to Stage:

Meet best-selling children’s author Julia Donaldson

100 Great Gigs:

A chat with music entrepreneur Priya Dewan

102 On the Screen:

Big and small screen highlights of the month

104 On the Page:

Recent book releases




LIFE & FAMILY 108 News 112 Noticeboard: New births 114 Chinese Zodiac 2017: 118 Charitable Causes: A social enterprise based on gift-giving 122 Ten Feet Tall: Building a business in black school shoes 126 Enriching Minds: Clever activity ideas for kids 128 Flexible Arrangements: How the workplace is changing 130 Test Drive: Whether you’re a Rat or a Rooster, find out what’s in store this year

We take a look at the Hyundai Tucson

133 Legal Talk:

Updates from those in the know

136 Open House:

Social snaps from about town

WINE & DINE 150 News 156 Bar Tab:

Reviews of new watering holes

158 Outram Eats:

We taste test some of the area’s most popular restaurants

174 Exploring Europe by riverboat

164 Recipe Corner:

Healthy meal ideas to kick-start 2017

TRAVEL 172 News 174 Roaming the Rhine:

Family adventures on a river cruise in Germany

BEST OF BALI 180 What to do, buy and try in Canggu 184 A luxury retreat near Ubud


Destination dining in Outram Park





The inside scoop on a new fitness movement

COVERFEATURE 190 Fit & Fab: Three female entrepreneurs talk body image FASHION 196 News 198 Office-wear Edit: Spruce up your work wardrobe for the new year BEAUTY 212 News 207 Breast Surgery: The all-important facts 208 Happy Hair: Tips for keeping your locks in top condition

HEALTH & FITNESS 218 News 221 Five-minute Workout:

UP Fitness outlines a super-short circuit tutorial

222 Getting Started:

10 tips for achieving your health goals this year

227 Get that Check:

The essential health screenings you need to know about

236 Tootsie Trouble:

How to remedy three common foot conditions

REGULARS 239 Numbers & Websites 240 Horoscopes for January

198 Getting that polished and professional look

242 Advertiser List 244 Parting Shot:

On geckos and empathy



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Cock-a-doodle-dooooo! Chinatown is ready for its annual flamboyant display of lights, lanterns and decorations to mark the Lunar New Year, which falls on 28 and 29 January. The festivities and contagious atmosphere will draw locals and tourists to celebrate the start of a year of good fortune and prosperity under the Rooster zodiac sign. The official light-up is on 7 January, and the display runs until 25 February in the Chinatown precinct. Activities run most nights, including a street bazaar and nightly stage shows from 7 to 27 January. chinatownfestivals.sg Ruling theRoost

Photo by STB

New Year’s Resolutions Along with those standard resolutions we all make – getting into shape, giving up the booze and sticking to a budget – how about adopting a few that push us to make the most of everything Singapore has to offer? Here are five things you could resolve to do in 2017 for a healthy dose of fun: #1 Fly a kite at Marina Barrage #2 Pack a picnic and catch the ferry to St John’s Island #3 Grab some friends and sing your lungs out at a karaoke bar #4 Enjoy the lights as you walk the circuit around Marina Bay, any night of the week #5 Give back to the community by volunteering at a local charity

Get Some Air Learning to fly has to rate as one of the more ambitious New Year’s resolutions. If it’s on your list (or if you think it sounds fun), check out FlightSchool.sg , a private flight school operating from Seletar Airport. Opened at the end of last year, the school offers programmes for all ages, from children to adults, and from amateur aviation enthusiasts to those seeking formal training. The school boasts a full-motion Redbird MCX flight simulator. 8405 0939 | flightschool.sg




SHOPPING & FAIRS Home Planner Furniture & Renovation Expo (UNTIL 8 JAN) Calling all new homeowners, and those who are looking to revamp their homes! This expo features both local and imported furnishing and services, as well as experts on hand to provide advice for your individual needs and preferences. Look out for discounts and attractive packages. Singapore Expo, Hall 5. myhomeinternational.com.sg Glamorous Giving (14-15 FEB) Back for its seventh edition, this fashion and homeware fair and clearance sale is organised by Stones That Rock. Explore more than 50 local boutiques, brands and independent designers, all of whom will be offering great bargains in support of the Singapore Committee for UN Women. Orchard Parade Hotel. stonesthatrock.com Singapore Motorshow 2017 (12-15 JAN) The Singapore Motorshow returns for a third consecutive year, with two floors worth of vehicles, automotive accessories, lifestyle products and services. Also, expect to be wowed by the driving skills of British stunt driver Russ Swift. Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre, Levels 3 & 4. motorshow.com.sg

Run For Light 2017


Run For Light 2017 (14 JAN)

Support and empower the less fortunate by taking part in the Run For Light event. You can choose to tackle the full 10km distance, a 5km fun run, or even a special blindfold walk. runforlight.com SMBC Singapore Open 2017 (19-22 JAN) Witness the skills of some of the world’s best golfers at the SMBC Singapore Open from 19 to 22 January, including three-time winner Adam Scott, from Australia, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia. What’s more, two players finishing in the top 10 will secure their place in the field at the 146th Open at Royal Birkdale, to be held later this year. Sentosa Golf Club. smbcsingaporeopen.com




DANCE, DRAMA & THEATRE Passenger – Live in Singapore (13 JAN) Performing in Singapore for the first time, English singer- songwriter Passenger will bring his brand of reflective and relatable pop indie-folk music to the stage, including the phenomenal worldwide hit “Let Her Go”. The Star Theatre, 1 Vista Exchange Green. Tickets from Sistic. Two Door Cinema Club – Live in Singapore (16 JAN) Don’t miss indie-pop sensations Two Door Cinema Club performing in Singapore this month. As schoolmates in Northern Ireland, band members Alex Trimble, Sam Halliday and Kevin Baird were inspired by the pop-rock sounds of Foals and The Maccabees. The Star Theatre, 1 Vista Exchange Green. Tickets from Sistic. I Hate Music! (19 JAN) Appreciate the talent of soprano Khor Ai Ming as she performs a selection of songs by 20th-century composers, including Leonard Bernstein’s I Hate Music!, So Pretty, Piccola Serenata and Peter Pan , and songs by Charles Ives, Irving Berlin and Marc Blitzstein. Esplanade Recital Studio. Tickets from Sistic. St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival Singapore 2017 (21 JAN) Back for its seventh instalment, Laneway will this year feature an eclectic line-up of around 30 international bands playing across four stages, plus a myriad of food and drink options for a great night of music and partying. The Meadow, Gardens by the Bay. Tickets from Sistic. Classics by Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam (23 JAN) In this one-off show, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, based in the Netherlands, will be performing a selection of Impressionist and Romantic symphonic works. With over 100 musicians representing more than 25 countries, its distinctive sound has received plenty of praise from critics. Esplanade Concert Hall. Tickets from Sistic. Azpirasi & Dian Dancers (27-28 JAN) In collaboration with Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, dancers from the Azpirasi and Dian groups present Deruma , which follows the folktale of Si Tanggang, a man who returns to his village after gaining wealth and success, but is ashamed of his humble past. Enjoy this story about filial piety and gratitude told through Malay dance and traditional poetic forms. Esplanade Theatre Studio. Tickets from Sistic.

Two Door Cinema Club

FAMILY Collecting Magic: From Stamps to Wands (UNTIL 30 JUN) Get those little Harry Potter fans excited at this magical exhibition. They’ll be able to feast their eyes on beautiful Harry Potter stamps, movie memorabilia and collectibles from all around the world. Singapore Philatelic Museum. spm.org.sg KidsFest 2017 (11 JAN – 12 FEB) Expect a series of world class productions at the upcoming KidsFest. This year, there will be nine different shows over five weeks at two different venues. It’ll be an exciting time as characters come to life, nurturing children’s love for language and literature. Victoria Theatre and KC Arts Centre – Home of SRT. kidsfest.com.sg




Clay Travels by Singaporean ceramist Iskandar Jalil


Marlborough College Malaysia Information Afternoon (18 JAN)

IN Exhibition (UNTIL 15 JAN)

SOCIAL Galette des Rois Networking Event (10 JAN) At the French Chamber Singapore’s New Year networking event, enjoy drinks and finger food while making meaningful connections. Oasis, Grand Hyatt Singapore. fccsingapore.com Duplicate Bridge at the AWA (23 JAN) Enjoy a fun afternoon of duplicate bridge at the American Women’s Association of Singapore (AWA). Bring along a girlfriend or pair up with someone new during the games. Non-members are welcome to play as a guest twice, but must join the AWA to continue playing beyond that. Bishan Community Club. awasingapore.org. expat-kitchen.com Find out more about school life at Marlborough College Malaysia, with an opportunity to hear from teachers and enjoy a tour of the grounds, including the boarding house. Marlborough College Malaysia, Jalan Marlborough, Johor. marlboroughcollegemalaysia.org

For the sixth year running, the IN Exhibition will be showcasing the works of as many as 140 artists from 14 different international schools in Singapore. It aims to develop a passion for art and encourage creativity island-wide. Australian High Commission, 25 Napier Road. Golnaz Fathi: Contemplations (UNTIL 22 JAN) Drop by Sundaram Tagore Singapore to view the works of Iranian artist Golnaz Fathi, well known for her abstract paintings that are rooted in the rich traditions of Persian calligraphy. Sundaram Tagore Gallery, 5 Lock Road. sundaramtagore.com Singapore Biennale (UNTIL 26 FEB) Titled An Atlas of Mirrors, this year’s Biennale will present a range of artworks by more than 50 artists. The works featured will reflect on shared histories and current realities in and beyond the region. Singapore Art Museum. Tickets from Sistic or the Singapore Art Museum. Iskandar Jalil: Kembara Tanah Liat (Clay Travels) (UNTIL 28 FEB) Don’t miss the first exhibition that maps prominent Singaporean ceramist Iskandar Jalil’s artistic practice, detailing his travels and exploring his role as a teacher. National Gallery. nationalgallery.sg Singapore Contemporary (19-22 JAN) Look forward to the second edition of Singapore Contemporary, which offers a vibrant collection of investment-grade art with a strong secondary market and auction following. Browse and buy original paintings, limited editions, sculptures and photography. Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre, Level 4. singaporecontemporary.com

Singapore Contemporary




Great Australia Day BBQ (5 FEB) Enjoy pies, great coffee and fairy floss at this Aussie-themed barbecue. Relax in the tent and groove along to your favourite Antipodean tunes from the live band, while the little ones are well entertained and supervised in the play area. Australian International School. anza.org.sg

Rise & Shine Play Festival (17-19 FEB)

Grammy Award winner as he performs alongside his All-Star band. The Star Theatre, 1 Vista Exchange Green. Tickets from Sistic. Guns N’ Roses Concert – Not in This Lifetime Tour 2017 (25 FEB) Rock legends Guns N’ Roses will be playing next month in Singapore for the first time. Fresh from filling in as AC/DC’s frontman, Axl Rose and other former Gunners members Slash and Duff McKagan are regrouping for one of the most hotly awaited world tours ever. Changi Exhibition Centre, 9 Aviation Park Road. Tickets from Sistic. Terry Fox Run for Cancer Research (26 FEB) Raise funds to support local cancer research in the upcoming Terry Fox Run. Join in the 6.30am warm-up before walking or jogging either 10km (flag-off at 7.30am) or 5km (7.45am) with friends and family. Angsana Green, East Coast Park. terryfoxrunsg.com

Explore, learn and have fun at Rise & Shine, Asia’s largest enrichment and play festival for children and families. Try a range of enriching activities, including sports and dance, and grab some bargains at the toy and book fairs. Marina Bay Sands Expo Hall A & B. riseandshine. com.sg SuperMom Baby Fair (17-19 FEB) Calling all mums-to-be and those with newborns to Singapore’s biggest and grandest baby fair, which this year is featuring over 200 exhibitors and 8,000 brands, and loads of essential baby products. Gain insights and tips from local and international experts at the SuperMom Pregnancy Summit. Marina Bay Sands Expo Hall A & B. babyfair.supermom. com.sg NZCC Waitangi Day Family Celebrations 2017 (19 FEB) Celebrate Waitangi Day in Singapore with Kiwis and friends. Enjoy an afternoon sampling tasty New Zealand produce and drinks, while the kids are entertained with face painting and a bouncy castle. Australian International School, 1 Lorong Chuan. James Taylor in Concert (21 FEB) Don’t miss the triumphant return of American singer-songwriter James Taylor in Singapore this February. His music is always personal and articulates moments of pain and joy, so you can expect an emotional tour de force from the five-time

Boutique Italian Wine Fair by Bacco (11 FEB) Explore a variety of boutique vino from all over Italy at this exclusive fair. Try rare varietals, enjoy speciality wines and discover the benefits of choosing organic. The APS Gallery, 9 Muthuraman Chetty Road, Robertson Quay. baccowines.com MetaSprint Series Aquathlon (12 FEB) Ease into the challenge of multi-sport races with the MetaSprint Series Aquathlon, to be held at idyllic Palawan Beach. You can choose either to swim 250m and run 2.5km, or to swim 750m and run 5km; kids can take on a 150m swim and a 1.5km run. Palawan Beach, Sentosa. metasprintseries.com

NZCC Waitangi Day Family Celebrations 2017

: www.expatliving.sg

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




FACING DISASTER I have been a subscriber to your great, very helpful magazine for the past six years, living in Singapore as a “trailing spouse” and enjoying every moment. However, all this ended tragically when my wonderful husband suddenly and unexpectedly died at the end of July 2016. Firstly, know who to call in an emergency. Even then, everything seemed to happen in slow motion and was fraught with language and other difficulties. It took a total of around two hours, including a 45-minute wait for medics, to get to Changi Hospital from nearby Siglap. And then, though I knew my husband was dead, it took them four hours to officially confirm it. The next day, I had to sit for four hours at the coroner’s office to collect the death certificate, and the coroner continually referred to my husband as “cargo”. These people made my nightmarish situation even worse. Now that I’m back home in Scotland, I hope you can use my story to warn any other readers who might find themselves in a similar situation. – Angela Janssen Ed: We are currently researching an article on this sad subject. If anyone would like to contribute his or her thoughts or experiences, please contact katie.roberts@ expatliving.sg.

Best Letter We want to hear from you! Send us your thoughts on the magazine, or on any subject under the sun. To drink a toast to the success of her new business, Konstanze Hartmann and friends win a bottle of champagne.

LADIES’ NIGHTS My girlfriends and I are great fans of ladies’ nights in Singapore, and we have spent quite some time over the past two years on “researching” the best offers. So as to share this information with others out there, we decided to build

a website – ladiesnight.sg – that compiles the best

offers for a girls’ night out in Singapore. You simply check the criteria (such as the area, or the day of the week), and all offers that match them will show up.

– Konstanze Hartmann

Ed: What a good idea!

FAN CLUB I chanced upon Expat Living in 2006 at Gleneagles Hospital, waiting for my gynae check- up while pregnant with the second of my four children. For me, it brought to life the Little Red Dot where I had been living since I came here as a child. Through you I have discovered so much history, insights, plus endless fun and possibilities! Highlights for me include the articles on expats’ homes in Singapore, trendy places, cute knick-knacks and fashion items – it’s a unique magazine. And, for the first time ever, I won a lucky draw – for my family to attend the Wild Rice production of Jack and the Bean Stalk . My daughter Alicia, whom I was expecting when I read that first magazine, now reads EL with me and enjoys it as much as I do. Kudos! – Angela Chan

Email us at info@expatliving.sg



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Whatwe’reup toon…

INSTAGRAM Follow us @expatlivingsg for all our behind-the-scenes antics!

Playing tourist at the weekends. The National Museum is beautiful in the sunlight.

Posting envy-inducing travel pictures (all in the name of a good story, of course!)

Hosting events for our fabulous readers – we’re loving new rooftop bar Monti.

Let’s Get Ready for the Year of the Fire Rooster!

DATE 24 January 2017 TIME 10am – 12pm PLACE Ni-Night

Tickets: $15 $25 for 2 includes refreshments & goodie bag

7 Joo Chiat Place Singapore 427742 CONTACT susan.knudsen-pickles@expatliving.sg

31 JANUARY2017



WE WANT TO GET TO KNOW YOU! Simply fill in our Reader Survey for the chance to win the trip of a lifetime. We’ll also give you six months of Expat Living absolutely FREE*.

Survey ends 31 January 2017

*Terms & Conditions: Open to Singapore Residents only. Verification of a valid Singaporean address from the winner is requiredtoconfirmvalidityoftheprize.Thewinnerofthegiveawaywillreceiveapairofticketsvalidforround-tripbetween Singapore and San Francisco only. The winner will be liable for all applicable taxes, fees and surcharges (to be paid by credit card). Thewinnerwill be responsible for relevant visaanddocumentation for the travel. The ticketswill bevalid for 6 months fromthe date of issue. The tickets are for Economy class. Accommodation and all other expenses are not covered byExpat Living. For current subscribers, the free six-month subscriptionwill beused toextend their existingsubscription.


75 Buyer’s Guide:

Dining room furniture to feast your eyes on

Ethnicraft Online

39 Home Showcase: Tour a stunning penthouse apartment near Bukit Timah

50 Product Spotlight: Three retailers highlight their striking furniture collections

54 Shopping News: A look inside House of AnLi’s new Tanglin Mall showroom


Hanging Out Be the envy of your friends when you pitch up at the next outdoor event with this free- standing, foldable hammock from Airmocks . The stands can be packed into a compact carry bag, and no tools are required for assembly. Priced from $158; find out more at airmocks.com .

Cool Collections Two new furniture collections, Hunter and Louis, have just joined Castlery . They include beds, television consoles, dining and coffee tables, each made from environmentally sound reclaimed wood with its own individual features, be they knots, colour variations or nail marks. castlery.com

TheCinnamonRoom has takenupresidence ina prime Chip Bee Gardens spot in Holland Village, displaying its range of chic, contemporary hide rugs and unique home accessories. Owner Visha Nelson has carefully curated the products in her store, which also displays limited edition Diana Francis prints and pieces from Elephant Parade. The showroom is open Tuesday to Saturday; call 9727 3051 for opening times, and head down to #02-74 Chip Bee Gardens, 43 Jalan Merah Saga .

OUTDOOR EXPANSION With its new showroom exclusively carrying Archipelago outdoor furniture, Arete Culture has taken on even more space in the Tan Boon Liat Building. Products include all- weather lounge and dining sets, coffee tables and chairs. The new shop, Arete Culture Outdoor Living, will also carry rugs, lighting and accessories, and offer a range of bespoke pieces. Find out more at areteculture.com , or in person at #06-04 Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road .

Art in Residence The first Oakwood-branded s e r v i c ed apa r tmen t s i n S i n g a p o r e h a v e o p e n e d their doors, with curated art photography by LUMAS Gallery helping to create a funky, welcoming lounge space. All 98 apartments and common spaces are vibrantly designed and furnished, and offer a full range of amenities. oakwoodasia.com




When the Akerbooms moved to Singapore from the Netherlands in 2014, they were excited to be setting up home in a new country once again. They told Aimee Fordos how they created a modern, relaxed feel in their stunning four-bedroom penthouse apartment. Sky-highHome PHOTOGRAPHY MICHAEL BERNABE

39 JANUARY2017




W ith Hans Akerboom’s role as Deputy Head of Mission for the Dutch Embassy and his wife Karen’s work as a flight attendant, it’s clear that travel runs in the veins of this international family. They’re old hands at uprooting themselves and starting over. In fact, they thrive on it, and their children, Alexander and Eva, are great examples of how being a third-culture kid can bring extraordinary opportunities. I met them at their Cyan apartment, a sky-high, four-bedroom penthouse overlooking the lush greenery of MacRitchie and Bukit Timah. I could immediately see why they’d fallen for it, and that’s without even seeing the fabulous rooftop. “We arrived on the first day of August and found this place on the second,” explained Karen as we sat and chatted in the light- filled living room. “We actually looked at a lot more properties, and saw one that totally bowled us over. But then we came back here and the other one seemed to lose its charm.” They were to be the first tenants of the brand new apartment; six weeks later, they were in. In their previous diplomatic postings, the Akerbooms lived in Yemen, Ethiopia and Angola. “Whenever we’re looking for a home, we like to find a place that reflects the regional style,” explains Hans. “In Africa and other places, we’d lived in houses with nice gardens, and seeing as we’re in the big city here in Singapore, we thought, why not live in a condo?” They love the apartment for its amazing views, but also for its contemporary design which complements their personal style. Modern with an ethnic twist, it’s filled with contemporary art and peppered with artefacts collected during their time in different countries.

Top right: Karen enjoys having her two children at home when Alexander flies in from the Netherlands. Left: The gorgeous dining chairs were made by burning and then refinishing the wood.

41 JANUARY2017


International Outlook Hans and Karen met in India. Hans was studying there and Karen was working full-time as a flight attendant. “I thought I’d met this beautiful Indian lady…,” says Hans, before Karen finishes the story with a smile: “… and it turned out I was only half-Indian and didn’t live in India at all!” Born in London and raised inWatford, Karen continued to live in the UK for the first year of their relationship, her airline job allowing her to make regular visits to Holland. “My job made it very easy for me to travel around, and it’s still a major advantage now, especially with Alexander studying in the Netherlands.” Through her work, Karen is able to visit her son regularly in Holland, where he is attending university. In turn, he takes advantage of the cheap flights and standby tickets that come as perks of the job to visit Singapore whenever he gets the chance. Both Alexander and Eva seem very at ease with their family’s itinerant lifestyle, though it isn’t always easy to move around so much. “It’s a bit disruptive at the beginning,” says Karen, “but you know that already, and it all pans out in the end; you soon have school and work sorted out, and your days are quickly filled with the things you would normally do, whether you were in the UK, Holland, Singapore or anywhere else.” Plus, the benefits of being here are huge, especially for the kids. “It’s opened up so many good opportunities,” continues Karen. She’s quite right. Both children are tri-lingual, speaking Dutch, English and German. They’ve travelled in Africa, Eva has been all over Southeast Asia with the school swim team and will soon go to Bali on an art trip, and Alexander is already planning out a future that involves doing a Masters in London and some kind of travel-related career. “It’s funny,” muses Karen. “They have a totally different perspective on life from ours. I’m from a mixed background, but they really are third-culture kids.”

Top: The light-filled study is perfect for

working and for practising music – Karen and the kids all play instruments. Left: Contemporary Dutch art fills the walls of the Akerboom home. Three rows of miniature Dutch houses from KLM attest to the Akerboom’s frequent-flyer status.







Whenever we’re looking for a home, we like to find a place that reflects the regional style.

Modern Art and Memories With its lofty height and floor-to-ceiling windows, the open-plan living area is the hub of the home. It’s dominated by twin abstract paintings by the famous Dutch artist Armando, while a collection of large wooden sculptures, vases and other artefacts on the balcony add another layer of interest to the view. A rug in the form of smooth “stones” is deceptively soft underfoot and forms an appealing centrepiece in the lounge area; it’s a cosy but modern space. In the dining area, it’s impossible to miss the bright orange sculpture of a bulldog perched on a tree stump. A limited-edition piece by Belgian artist William Sweetheart, this is one item that doesn’t get all-round admiration. “The kids hate it,” says Karen with a laugh. Another stand-out feature is the unusual dining chairs by Dutch designer Maarten Baas. Carved from wood and then burned and re-finished, each has its own unique, charred allure. Alongside the modern elements are older and ethnic pieces. A wall at the entrance is covered with antique maps of all the places where they’ve lived, and an Indonesian cabinet is topped with figurines from Angola and Cameroon. Still, they’re very selective about their purchases: “We buy things in auctions and galleries, but not ‘dust collectors’, as I call them,” explains Hans, “I study them a bit and choose them carefully.” Their collection of art and photography is present in every room, and features collages of images and paintings collected from the Netherlands and beyond. This includes the master bedroom, which they converted into a study; with its corner windows and bright, airy feel, it’s definitely more conducive to daytime activities than to sleeping.

Clockwise from top left: Eva’s room is a vibrant mix of colour. They collect local art and artefacts from wherever they go. When Karen found the middle painting of this set of three, she loved it and commissioned the Ethiopian artist to paint two others on the theme of travel.

45 JANUARY2017


Up in the Clouds Finally, we head up the spiral staircase to see the pièce de résistance : the rooftop. Split across two levels, it has an unobstructed and breath-taking view. A dining and barbecue area occupies the lower part, while on the upper deck an outdoor lounge set is a comfy spot to settle in and watch the sun go down over the sparkling blue pool. The architecture creates a sense of glassless windows, framing the sky, and the whole terrace is edged by planters, where the family have started their own garden of palms and banana trees, blown gently by the breeze. It really is quite something. The Akerbooms clearly agree: “You almost get used to places like this when you’re in them,” says Karen, “but every time I come back after being away, I see it with fresh eyes again.”

Top: The Akerbooms planted the garden themselves, including a coconut tree grown from a young coconut they found on Tioman Island.

47 JANUARY2017



Food LeVeL33 (“For just $33, you get a three-course lunch and great views of Marina Bay Sands”) #33-01 MBFC Tower 1, 8 Marina Boulevard 6834 3133 | level33.com.sg The Rice Table Indonesian Restaurant (“for an authentic Dutch rijsttafel ”) #02-09/10 International Building, 360 Orchard Road 6835 3782 | ricetable.com.sg Bollywood Veggies (“for organic veg and non-veg options and a walk in the gardens”) 100 Neo Tiew Road, Kranji 6898 5001 | bollywoodveggies.com Dervish (“for Turkish and Lebanese food”) 60 Bussorah Street 6298 8986 Alba 1836 (“for great Italian food and beautiful wines”) 28 Duxton Hill 6222 2048 | alba1836.com

Indian Palace (“a favourite for delicious Indian food”) Newton Food Centre

Shopping Tekka Wet Market (“for fresh produce and Indian spices”) L1 Tekka Centre 665 Buffalo Road Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle and Dragon Kiln (“for pottery”) 85 Lorong Tawas (via Clean Tech View) 6265 5808 | thowkwang.com.sg Gillman Barracks (“for art”) 9 Lock Road Weekends St John’s Island (“Take the boat from Marina South Pier to escape Singapore”)



Often, all it takes is one or two really striking pieces of furniture to complete a room – it could be its colour, shape or unique style that makes it stand out. With this in mind, we asked three stores to put forward a few select pieces to add that all-important “wow” factor to your home. from the Crowd

Wooden deer sculpture, $3,388.

“This decorative sculpture was carefully carved from recycled teak wood. Placed by the entrance, it will surely put a smile on your face every time you come home.”


Union Jack sofa, $2,888. EDD+ assistant director Nadya Masli: “This sofa is a modern take on the iconic Chesterfield. It’s crafted using fine materials, and could easily be the hero of the living room.”

Canopy chair, $1,188. “Our canopy chair captures the essence of classic style with a modern twist. While its sculptural quality makes a bold statement, the bright green fabric and white carved wooden frame instantly brighten any space.”


Temasek coffee table, $888. “This unique coffee table tells a story about a journey. The Temasek print reminds us about the early

history of Singapore, shrouded in myth and legend. Functionally, this coffee table can double as storage.”

#01-07 B Central 994 Bendemeer Road 6392 1088 | eddesign.com.sg




Hacienda Blue

Grey leaf pattern bone- inlay entrance hall or dining table, $1,600; bone- inlay cylinder side tables (under main table), $450 each. “The main table can be made in several sizes. It works as an elegant standalone piece, or in a larger size as a striking dining room table. The cylinder tables


leaf pattern bone-inlay four- drawer chest, $2,200. Hacienda Blue’s founder, Josephine Blunk: “This is beautiful for the bedroom, or as a standout piece in your living room. The timeless pattern and colour will add both an elegant and electric feel to your space.”

add a touch of interest to your

living space, and can be used as either side tables or stools.”

Pink fish-scale pattern bone-inlay side table, $650 “Plenty of little girls dream of having a pink bedroom; this bedside table is the perfect size for small spaces and will add fun and colour to any room.”

Blue geometric pattern bone-inlay side table, $1,150. “The geometric pattern in the royal blue adds a highlight to a bedroom space while being versatile in terms of storage.”

9061 9446 haciendablue.com

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Rimba Gallery

Malaga TV console, $2,200; Cancun wall panel, $1,600. Rimba Gallery consultant Vianna Tan: “Reminiscent of waves crashing on to the sandy beaches of Malaga, our handcrafted panels blend perfectly in this TV console.”

Dublin wall panel, $1,600; Amsterdam television console, $1,650. “These handcrafted cedar panels can add an air of chic to any décor. The console is reminiscent of the tree-lined canal city that it

Mykonos coffee table, $2,200. “The combination of petrified wood and mosaic enhances the simple, understated elegance of this coffee table.”

takes its name from, and the handcrafted panels blend

Rimba Gallery #01-29 UB One 81 Ubi Avenue 4 6444 8488 rimbagallery.com

seamlessly together.”



Stylish European homeware store House of AnLi Interiors has just taken a bigger retail spot in Tanglin Mall. We talk to owner ANNE-JEAN LIÉTAER about what the new space has to offer. MovingHouse dining tables to amazing kids’ bedroom furniture – as well as bespoke pieces such as sofas, bed headboards made with our linen, made-to-measure latex mattresses and other bedding products. In our first store, the space was too limited for our linen rolls and our furniture; but the area we have now gives us the freedom to set up our full range in a welcoming ambience.

Why are you moving into this space after just 18 months in your first Tanglin Mall location? We were already eyeing a bigger unit when we moved into Tanglin Mall in May 2015. The idea of merging our upholstery products and our in-store collections, and being able to showcase everything we have under the same roof, was very tempting. What’s different for your customers? Our new space is three times bigger than the previous one, and we have large bay windows which bring in some much-appreciated natural light. We’ll be able to display more of our in-store collections, as well as the larger furniture from our showroom – from

How will this enhance the customer experience?

Having everything at hand – both our linen upholstery collection and in-store home décor collections – will make it easier for our clients to browse, and to imagine their ideal home while shopping for their interior pieces. The new set-up will also complement our interior styling services. For instance, for bespoke projects using our linen, we will be able to roll out the linen on the spot and show clients examples of what we can make; they can sit down and talk about their plans with our project manager.




Why did you decide to add a café? At the back of the store, there is an amazing bay window overlooking the Myanmar Embassy, so you don’t feel you’re in a mall! That’s where we decided to set up a stylish bistro serving Belgian-inspired food, including some of my own family recipes. We hope our customers will enjoy their shopping, and then relax with some gourmet European food. Why does this location suit you? Tanglin Mall is an absolute favourite among expats and young families, and it gathers a mixed crowd. It’s also centrally located within a stone’s throw of Orchard Road, and it has a great choice of family- oriented shops and cafés; so it’s the ideal spot for us. Will you be adding any new products to your collection? We have our staple brands and products, which are our signature items – fine Belgian linen, artisanal French Laguiole cutlery and beautiful tableware from Portugal. These reflect our taste for refined yet cosy and practical home interiors. At the same time, as with anyone who has a keen interest in home interiors and design, we’re always on the lookout for new trends and products that fit with our style and ambience. COMPANY HISTORY In 1999, Belgian Anne-Jean Liétaer started designing and creating handbags, before moving into home décor in 2010 and establishing House of AnLi. After four years of working out of her historic black-and- white home in Mount Pleasant, she opened her flagship store in Tanglin Mall in 2015. House of AnLi also offers expert bespoke interior services by appointment. We’re always on the lookout for new trends and products that fit with our style and ambience

House of AnLi Interiors #03-17 Tanglin Mall, 163 Tanglin Road 6235 3851 | houseofanli.com

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The new and improved linen area




BY AMY BROOK-PARTRIDGE PHOTOGRAPHY KEN TAN Told to “make an effort” and “get dressed up” when I mentioned to my colleagues I was off to interview philanthropist CHRISTINE AMOUR-LEVAR, my anxiety is raised a little more as her security guard sighs, “Ah, the beautiful Christine”, when I tell him which unit I am visiting. My nerves are quickly allayed when I meet her, though. Yes, she’s glamorous and beautiful; she’s also open, warm and funny, particularly when discussing her home, the condo where she and her family have been living for almost 11 years. She talks with infectious enthusiasm about her not-for-profit organisation, Women on a Mission , and shows me around her luxuriously styled and eclectic apartment. Dreams Eclectic

Who lives here: Christine Amour- Levar and husband Steven, daughters Yasmine (16) and Angeline (7), and sons Malcolm (14) and Louis (7) How long in Singapore: 11 years Size and type of home: Four-bedroom apartment just off Stevens Road

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I catch Christine just a few days before she leaves for her sixthWomen on a Mission expedition, this time to Iran for a desert crossing, a far cry from last year’s trip to Siberia where the group experienced sub-zero temperatures. “This time, we’re actually going to the hottest place on earth, the Lut Desert (or Dasht-e-Lut); though luckily not at the hottest time of the year when the temperature can reach 70 degrees Celsius!” The group of 12 women will head there at the start of “winter”, when daytime temperatures will be more like 40 degrees Celsius. They will cover 200km on foot in aid of Women on a Mission, the not-for-profit organisation which Christine co-founded four years ago. Its aim is to raise funds for and awareness of women survivors of war, as well as to support women who have been subjected to violence and abuse. Usually, potential participants are invited to take part in the expeditions, which are self-funded by each team member, and all money raised goes to a specific charitable group. For this current expedition, the money will go to Women for Women International UK, an independent humanitarian organisation that provides women survivors of war, civil strife and other conflicts with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self- sufficiency.

Right: This artwork was a birthday present to Christine from Steven. “I’m a big fan of Winston Churchill,” she says, “as was was made by a Singapore- based French artist, Gabriel Dufourcq, using original pieces of newspaper.” my father. This piece



“My office is very special to me because I work from home most of the time, so it’s important that I enjoy the space and feel I can also have meetings here.”

Left: This mirrored cupboard from Finn Avenue has a lovely Moroccan feel to it. “It complements some other furniture and

decorative pieces that I purchased years ago in Marrakesh.” The shell- inlay chest comes from Mindanao in

the Philippines and works well with the blue ceramic jar from FairPrice Antique.




In addition to expeditions like this, which can take from two to three weeks, Women on a Mission has also launched its “mini” expeditions. The first was a biking trip in Cambodia with 14 women in early 2016; the next will be a six-night trip to Bhutan, which will include stand-up paddle boarding, rafting and camping. Each trip is aimed at challenging the participants, and fitness training is integral to the run-up to each expedition. A lifelong fitness fan herself, Christine has managed to combine her passion for adventure and sports with her other passion for helping those in need. Singapore life Christine and her family have lived in this condo in the Stevens Road area ever since they arrived, in 2005. The convenience of its location is key. “Whenever it’s time to renew the lease, we do have a look around, but I love the location. We’re members of the American Club, and my husband’s business is in the Shaw Centre. We’re just very happy here.”

Other big plus points are the facilities within the condo, as well as its French heritage. “It’s a beautiful condo, with lovely grounds and a listed protected heritage building – currently used as the function area – that used to be the French School of Singapore. Being partly French, I thought it was perfect!” The four-bedroom apartment is ideal for Christine, her husband Steven, their children Louis and Angeline, and Christine’s children Yasmine and Malcolm from her previous marriage. The boys share a room, and the girls do the same; thankfully, she says, this doesn’t cause too many issues. (“Sometimes the girls can get a little hyper, but the boys are a bit more low-key.”) Christine and Steven had thought about renting a house, but the ease of readymade play-dates downstairs in the condo was a strong draw. This year, they plan to look at buying a property, either here or in Steven’s home country of Australia. “I’m even open to building something; it really just depends on what we can get and where we want to go.”

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Top: The Ivan Acuña painting above the bed is one of Christine’s treasured possessions. The rug is from Finn Avenue, and she requested this same pattern when she had the new curtains and roman blinds made. Christine collects shells – they can be seen throughout the home. These are from the Philippines, and she had the stands made in Manila. “I love my bathroom – it’s my favourite part of the house.”




Right: “I love this white cupboard from Woody Antique House; it’s practical, great to put the children’s toys in and really works well in this bedroom.” Bottom: French influences are seen throughout the home, including this Tin Tin print in the boys’ bedroom.

Mixing it up Christine describes her own background as “a bit mixed”. “My mum is from the Philippines, my dad is French-Swiss, I was married for ten years to a Scot, and now I’mmarried to an Australian of Croatian descent!” This diverse background is reflected in her home style; as we take a walk around, she points out her own artwork, mixed with everything from Indian-flavoured pieces by Ketna Patel and furniture picked up from French flea markets, to family heirlooms, décor from South Africa and shells from the Philippines. Christine refers to her home style as eclectic. “It’s important to me that it’s a warm and welcoming place, so I use a lot of colour and texture to reflect that.” This mix can be seen throughout, from the Parisian gold-plated lampshades in the living room and the mirrored cupboard from Finn Avenue in the dining room, to the striking bone-inlay chest of drawers purchased fromHacienda Blue. Then there’s the opulent use of colour, for example in her purple and silver-grey office, and in the warm, almost rose-silver hues of the master bedroom’s throw, chairs and rug (another purchase from Finn Avenue). It’s a home with many layers and facets to it – not unlike the multi-talented Christine herself, who has turned her hand to everything from marketing and fashion retail to penning books, and, of course, philanthropy, and who is most definitely a woman on a mission.

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