JAN 2018







Got the blues? Dining rooms that will woo HAPPINESS Homes Interior design magic Black &White


It’s a sign when you start getting excited about wearing big jumpers, boots and leggings for an overseas trip. It means you’ve been living here for a while! Even if it’s a visit to Hong Kong, when it’s a moderate 16 degrees Celsius, I pull out all the gear. But there are a few drawbacks to travelling in winter clothes. For example, I always have to take my boots off for the x-ray machines, which means I have to remember to wear “acceptable” socks. I once wore my daughter’s Percy Pig ones that I’d grabbed in the rush to the airport, and I felt like a bit of a plonker! I’ve also been caught out wearing different coloured socks. Still, it’s a reasonable price to pay for the chance to step out of the standard Singapore gear for a while. In our latest Readers’ Choice Awards, we changed the format and asked you to name any company that you felt had “stepped out” from the standard services and offerings – the ones you would feel comfortable recommending to a friend. The results of the Awards are now out, and we’re thrilled to give you a snippet of these on page 34. We’ve only mentioned those businesses who took home first prize, but if you go online (expatliving.sg/winners), you can see the full list of winners. A big thank-you to everyone who voted; we know it took some of your time, but we do want to reward those who you feel have excelled. What do you want to excel in this year? I can’t believe it’s 2018! It feels like we’re in a sci-fi film; Artificial Intelligence is on the agenda, and what else? Whatever’s going on in the world, let’s keep an element of excitement, an openness to change and learning, and kindness in our personal worlds. I think it’s the only way forward.

REBECCA BISSET Editor-in-Chief

Happy New Year!



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Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET



Partnerships & Events SUSAN KNUDSEN-PICKLES



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 37 Jalan Pemimpin, #07-06 Mapex Building, Singapore 577177

Zoe Hawkins’ Bukit Batok home; Photo by Michael Bernabe




NEWS 22 Calendar Updates: 30 Readers’ Letters 32 EL Forum: HOME & PROPERTY 38 News 40 Real Homes:

What’s on in the coming months

What we’re up to online, plus our upcoming events

Touring a black-and-white bungalow in Bukit Batok

50 Business Profile:

Meet Aussie expat and handyman, Campbell Carey

53 Home Décor: Beat the January blues with these cool finds 56 Business Profile:

The creative mind behind E&A Interiors

60 Inside Story:

Why these readers picked their dining furniture


65 Buying Guide:

Dining tables and accessories

Stylish settings for eating in

71 Property Market:

Looking for a home down under?

72 Street Talk:

Living in Clementi


Interior ideas in brilliant hues of blue




LIFE & FAMILY 78 News 83 Environment News 84 Noticeboard:

New births, plus dogs up for adoption

86 Expert Voice:

Advice for mums-to-be settling in Singapore

89 Kids’ Enrichment:

Learn to swim, paint and dance! 96 HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens 98 Zero Latency: A new virtual-reality fun zone 101 International Schools: Outreach and community service 107 Expert Voice: How to build a brand and expand your business Exploring Singapore with your new wheels 117 When Life Gives You Lemons 120 Around Town: Photos from recent openings, parties, festivals and more WINE & DINE 134 News 137 Bar Tab: New and notable spots for a tipple 138 Recipe Corner: Fail-safe favourites to add to your repertoire 140 Japanese Restaurants: Great spots to get your sushi and wagyu fix 110 Legal Advice 114 Rental Cars:

148 Travel news that will get you hot and steamy!

140 Our roundup of seven sensational Japanese restos

TRAVEL 148 News 150 Pictures of a City:

48 hours in Bairro Alto, Lisbon

154 Swiss Bliss:

Five family-friendly adventures in Europe

156 Thai Time:

Three new luxury villas on Koh Samui

160 Singapore Stays: Two hotels just off Serangoon Road




STYLE & BEAUTY 168 Style News 172 Retail Update:


What’s in store at this new pop-up?

StyleTribute.com’s new pop-up store

174 Style Hunter:

Fashion on Singapore’s streets

176 Buying Guide: The Workwear Edit 180 Beauty News 182 Tried & Tested:

Hair makeovers, treatments and take-home serums

176 What to wear in the office in 2018

212 An expat excelling at the fast- paced sport of fencing

HEALTH & FITNESS 196 News 198 Medical Focus: Essential health checks for grown-ups 206 Fitness Regimes: 212 People Profile: Fencer and US Navy microbiologist Rebecca Pavlicek 214 Tried & Tested: A diet with a difference

REGULARS 219 Numbers & Websites 220 Horoscopes for January

Great ways to kick-start your 2018

222 Advertiser List 224 Parting Shot:

Canine care gone crazy!



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Blissful Outdoor Wedding Show (5-7 JAN) Planning to tie the knot? Drop by this annual wedding show and you’ll be serenaded by live musicians as you browse the booths. The event includes handy workshops covering topics such as financial planning and buying your first home. Tan Quee Lan Street. bows.sg

SMBC Singapore Open (18-21 JAN) Great golf returns this month with the SMBC Singapore Open, and a grand prize of US$1 million up for grabs. Sports fans can look forward to seeing Spanish superstar Sergio Garcia, the reigning US Masters champion, in action. Sentosa Golf Club. smbcsingaporeopen.com Run For Hope (21 JAN) Show your support for cancer patients and their families, keep fit, have fun and make a difference. Participants can choose to take part in the 10km race or the 3.5km Fun Run. Registration closes on 9 January. runforhope.sg Safari Zoo Run 2018 (27 JAN) This event includes categories for all ages and abilities, from a 10km competitive challenge to a 2.5km dash for younger runners. Race participants can choose to join a team that champions a threatened species from the region, such as the hornbill, elephant, manatee and orangutan. Registration closes on 7 January. Singapore Zoo. safarizoo.run

No Reserve Online Designer Fashion (26 JAN – 13 FEB)

Get your hands on vintage and contemporary fashion at this online- only auction by HotLotz. All bidding starts at zero and there will be no reserves. Take your pick from more than 200 dresses (worn only once or twice) from designer brands including Chanel, Versace and Victoria Beckham. Place your bids on the HotLotz website or app. hotlotz.com

SMBC Singapore Open





Imagine Dragons Evolve World Tour (7 JAN) Grammy Award-winner and multi-platinum-selling band Imagine Dragons will be performing in Singapore this January. Known for their anthemic alternative rock sound, the band will be ripping through hits from recent album Evolve , including “Whatever It Takes”, “Walking the Wire” and “I Don’t Know Why”. Singapore Indoor Stadium. Tickets from the Singapore Sports Hub website. Vienna Boys Choir (13 JAN) This world famous Austrian choir has been singing at Vienna’s Imperial Chapel since 1296. Their diverse repertoire includes everything from medieval and traditional Viennese music to contemporary and world music. Victoria Concert Hall. Tickets from Sistic. 007 In Concert (19-20 JAN) Direct from London, this show features the soundtracks from every James Bond film – from Dr No and Goldfinger to Skyfall and Spectre – played by a live band consisting of world-class musicians from the UK and Singapore. Grand Theatre, Mastercard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands. Tickets from Sistic. Magic! Live in Singapore (26 JAN) Fans of Canadian reggae-pop fusion band Magic can look forward to a fun night of live music, including hits “Let Your Hair Down” and the global chart-topper “Rude”. The Coliseum, Hard Rock Hotel Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa. Tickets from Sistic.

Imagine Dragons

LOL With Biswa Kalyan Rath (27 JAN)

Expect clever jokes and a night of laughter as popular Indian stand-up comedian Biswa Kalyan Rath comes to Singapore this January. His onstage rants and unique perspective turn every topic into comedy gold. SOTA Concert Hall. Tickets from Sistic. Singapore International Violin Competition 2018 (28 JAN – 8 FEB) You’ll be in awe at the talent of 34 of the world’s best emerging violinists at this prestigious competition. These young musicians will be competing for more than US$100,000 in prize money. Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. Tickets from Sistic. Foster The People (30 JAN) Famous for catchy 2011 single “Pumped Up Kicks”, Foster The People perform in Singapore for just one night this month. The American indie band has received multiple Grammy nominations, including for best alternative album. Zepp@Big Box Singapore. Tickets from Sistic.





FAMILY Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in Concert (19-20 JAN) Relive the magic of the Harry Potter world at this concert, where the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra will perform the incredible score of the entire film of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets . Esplanade Theatre. Tickets from Sistic. KidsFest 2018 (19 JAN – 11 FEB) KidsFest returns for a seventh year with a host of great theatre productions adapted from well-loved children’s books. Little ones can look forward to classic tales such as Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling and The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson. Victoria Theatre and KC Arts Centre – Home of SRT. Tickets from Sistic. This group exhibition features five artists – Angie Seah, April Ng, Chua Chye Teck, Delia Prvacki and Izziyana Suhaim – each representing a different discipline. They’ll also be hosting hands- on workshops on weekends. Jendela (Visual Arts Space), Esplanade – Theatres by the Bay. esplanade.com Perfect Stranger by Dawn Ng (19 JAN – 22 FEB) Part of Dawn’s study of colour, emotion, nostalgia and time, this exhibition is a re-imagination of a self-portrait. Handmades (UNTIL 7 JAN)


Tastes of Asia (8-29 JAN)

Impress the family with a whole new repertoire of Asian dishes with this series of cooking classes. You’ll learn how to make tasty dishes from Thailand, India and Vietnam. Expat Kitchen. Register on the Expat Kitchen website.


The galley is transformed into a sea of colours across a single plane, consisting of 48 large pieces of paper of various shades laid parallel to one another. Chan + Hori Contemporary. chanhori.com All the King’s Horses by Lydia Janssen (27 JAN – 25 FEB) The fascinating work of American artist Lydia Janssen makes its Singapore debut in January. A former professional dancer, Lydia suffered various injuries that left her unable to dance, and her paintings illustrate her emotional and physical journey of becoming an artist. REDSEA Gallery. redseagallery.com

All the King’s Horses




Ancient Religions (UNTIL 28 FEB)

Relay For Life (3-4 FEB)

Singapore Airshow 2018 (10-11 FEB) Feast your eyes on stunning aircraft,

Located on the second floor of the Asian Civilisation Museum, this new exhibition features sculptures and paintings that explore the early styles and motifs of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism in India and how they spread to China and Southeast Asia. Asian Civilisation Museum. acm.org.sg CIS STEAM Fair (3 FEB) Invent, design and create during fun hands-on activities and workshops for all ages at Canadian International School’s annual STEAM Fair. There’ll also be a bazaar, carnival rides, yummy food, live music and more. CIS, Lakeside Campus. cis.edu.sg/steamfair18

Organised by the Singapore Cancer Society, this overnight walk aims to raise awareness and funds for the fight against cancer. Form teams and take turns to walk around a designated path. Each team is to have one member on the path at all times, signifying how cancer never sleeps. National Stadium. singaporecancersociety.org.sg George Washington Ball: Cirque Spectacular (10 FEB) Enjoy a fabulous four-course meal, live music, a lucky draw and a silent auction at this annual ball by The American Association of Singapore. Proceeds will go to the Singapore Children’s Society. W Singapore – Sentosa Cove. aasingapore.com

aerobatic flying displays and more at this popular annual airshow. Be sure to catch a photo op in the planes, and with pilots from around the region and beyond. Changi Exhibition Centre. singaporeairshow.com Blood Donation – American Women’s Association & Expat Living (23 FEB) Join AWA Community Service and Expat Living for a community blood drive, to help provide blood to those in need of transfusions from illness, surgery or the kinds of unfortunate circumstances that can affect any of us. Register online at the AWA Event Registration Calendar. (Note: Pre-screening criteria must be met to donate blood.) 10am to 1pm, Bloodbank@HSA, 11 Outram Road. awasingapore.org Evita (23 FEB – 4 MAR) This Broadway and West End musical tells the story of Eva Peron, wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Peron, from her humble beginnings to extraordinary wealth and status. It features powerful songs such as “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” and “On This Night of a Thousand Stars”. Grand Theatre, Mastercard Theatres. Tickets from Sistic. Chris Botti (26 FEB) Look forward to a night of jazzy tunes with Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Chris Botti. He has performed with some of the best in music, including Sting, Barbra Streisand, Michael Bublé, Yo-Yo Ma and even Frank Sinatra. Esplanade Concert Hall. Tickets from Sistic.

Chris Botti

: www.expatliving.sg

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




HOME is where the heart is…

Best Letter We wan t to hear from you! Send us your thoughts on the magazine, or on any subject under the sun. For sharing


Expat author Karien van Ditzhuijzen and her team of volunteers at HOME have been working hard on an exciting book that gives a voice to migrant domestic workers. The result is Our Homes, Our Stories – Sketches by Migrant Domestic Workers in Singapore , to be published in March 2018, on International Women’s Day. Profits from this authentic collection of stories will go to HOME, the registered charity that provides shelter for runaway domestic workers. You can support this wonderful project by becoming a crowd-funder – go to page 159 to find out how. home.org.sg

the Christmas joy of Expat Living across the world, we’ll be sending Karen Clifford a bottle of champagne to toast the new year.

We have an error in our December issue – our apologies, the hand-printed silk dress in this picture is actually from Cluny Court’s only Italian fashion store, Alfie Browns.

101 Uses for Expat Living Magazine

Having read the December issue of your fabulous magazine, I just wanted to say how great it was, and how useful we found it for making our Christmas cards this year! You can see from the photo that my daughters Phoebe (4) and Rosie (2) did a lovely job, and we all had great fun in the process. I thought you might be interested to know how your magazine was effectively recycled in order to send joy (and glitter) across the world. Thank you, and happy Christmas to the Expat Living team!

– Karen Clifford

Email us at info@expatliving.sg



Home Decor Favourite Interior Designer or Home Stylist 1 ST PLACE ARETE CULTURE Favourite Living Room Furniture 1 ST PLACE TAYLOR B FINE DESIGN Favourite Kids’ Furniture Store 1 ST PLACE NI-NIGHT Best Outdoor Furniture Store 1 ST PLACE TEAK & MAHOGANY Best Antiques Store 1 ST PLACE FAIRPRICE ANTIQUE Favourite Carpets & Rugs 1 ST PLACE THE ORIENTALIST

Votes are in and we’re delighted to announce the winners of the 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards . Do look out for the award decal on the windows or websites of these businesses to spot the winners. A BIG thank you to all those who voted this year and to our partners, British Airways and Grand Hyatt Singapore for contributing amazing prizes. Congratulations!

Services Favourite Car Dealer / Leasing Agent 1 ST PLACE PRESTO EXPAT MOTORING Favourite Moving Company 1 ST PLACE SHALOM MOVERS Favourite Dry Cleaners 1 ST PLACE PRESTO DRYCLEANERS Favourite Photography Studio 1 ST PLACE LITTLEONES PHOTOGRAPHY Recreation Favourite Social & Sports Club 1 ST PLACE THE BRITISH CLUB Best Indoor Kids’ Activity 1 ST PLACE BOUNCE INC. Favourite Kids’ Enrichment Programme 1 ST PLACE THE LEARNING LAB Favourite Kids’ Holiday Programme 1 ST PLACE CAMP ASIA

expatliving.sg/winners Here are some of the winners. For the full list of readers’ votes visit

For the full list of winners and runners-up, visit expatliving.sg/winners

Groceries Best Grocery Store 1 ST PLACE COLD STORAGE Best Online Grocer 1 ST PLACE REDMART Favourite Butcher 1 ST PLACE HUBER’S BUTCHERY Favourite Wine Retailer 1 ST PLACE WINE CONNECTION Retail & Fashion Favourite Tailor 1 ST PLACE CYC MADE TO MEASURE Favourite Women’s Fashion Store 1 ST PLACE ZARA Favourite Jewellery Store 1 ST PLACE TIFFANY & CO. Favourite Swimwear / Resortwear 1 ST PLACE SEAFOLLY Favourite Champagne Brunch Venue 1 ST PLACE TOWN RESTAURANT, THE FULLERTON HOTEL Favourite Wine Bar 1 ST PLACE THE WINE CONNECTION Wine & Dine Favourite Date Night / Romantic Venue 1 ST PLACE SALT GRILL & SKY BAR Favourite Family-Friendly Restaurant 1 ST PLACE CAFÉ MELBA

Beauty Favourite Hair Colouring & Styling 1 ST PLACE EXPAT HAIR STUDIO Favourite Manicure / Pedicure 1 ST PLACE SNAILS Favourite Facial 1 ST PLACE CLARINS SKIN SPA Favourite Aesthetic Treatments 1 ST PLACE THE AESTHETICS CENTRE

Health & Fitness Favourite Gym / Fitness Outlet 1 ST PLACE FITNESS FIRST Best Alternative / Complementary Therapy 1 ST PLACE UFIT CLINIC Favourite GP & Family Doctor 1 ST PLACE INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CLINIC Favourite Paediatrician 1 ST PLACE KINDER CLINIC Travel Favourite Travel Booking Website 1 ST PLACE EXPEDIA Favourite Airline 1 ST PLACE SINGAPORE AIRLINES Favourite Hotel Chain 1 ST PLACE GRAND HYATT Favourite Cruise Line 1 ST PLACE ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES Favourite Hotel – Beach Break 1 ST PLACE ANANTARA MAI KHAO PHUKET VILLAS

Favourite Hotel – Romantic Getaway 1 ST PLACE CAPELLA SINGAPORE


Online now... Visit our website today to check out gorgeous clothes to wear to your next big party



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35 JANUARY2018


65 Buying Guide: Dining

tables and accessories

Ethnicraft Online

53 Colour Coordinated: Beat the January blues with this shopping roundup

40 Home Showcase: Why this reader loves her Bukit Batok black-and-white

50 Expert Help: Trying to find a handyman? Look no further!


Stress-free Rental Are you looking for somewhere new to live, but getting frustrated with the process? Dwellease offers property searches with no agents required, giving you the ability to communicate directly with the landlord; it also offers online contracts. Think Airbnb for long-term home rentals. Find out more at dwellease.co , or email info@dwellease.co . Stool Giveaway Lee’s Antiques is giving away one of these striking butterfly stools to a lucky reader. Simply turn to page 53 and read our “January Blues” feature article, where you’ll also find out which month Laura from Lee’s Antiques celebrates her birthday. Let us know via expatliving.sg/competitions to stand a chance to win!

Altfield Interiors has arrived on our shores. Founded 35 years ago, with showrooms in London, Hong Kong, Macau, Beijing and Shanghai, Altfield has established itself as a supplier of international interior furnishing brands. Its Central Mall showroom features products including contemporary American wall coverings from Innovations and Weitzner, to fabrics from Loro Piana Interiors. Then there are the decorative home accessories, which include hand-painted screens and cushions. Take a look at #07-10 Central Mall, 1 Magazine Road . New Opening




A specialist in antique and reproduction furniture, Just Anthony has launched its new online store, as well as a new logo and visual identity. The reboot gives customers a much-improved online experience, and for first-time sign-ups to itsmailing list, the store is offering a $50 voucher for use in the physical store. If you spend above $300, a limited- edition lacquered tissue box will also be yours, available in six different colours. Check out the new siteat justanthony.com , andheadto 379UpperPaya LebarRoad tospendyourvoucheronceyousignup.

Online Offerings

Mega Revamp Courts has redesigned its flagship megastore in Tampines. This includes a revamped bedding area, an interactive Samsung experience where customers can visualise how appliances might look in their homes, an expanded range of furniture customisation options and a bigger gaming zone. Check out the newly launched online store at courts.com.sg , or go to the megastore in person at 50 Tampines North Drive 2 .

Home from Home Following the openingof itsHendersonRoad showroom, W. Atelier has reopened its Bukit Timah showroomas the revampedHouse of W. Atelier. Designed to replicate the layout of a house, it includes furniture collections fromDanish brandRepublic of FritzHandsen, as well as German kitchen brand SieMatic. Have a nose around at #01-01/02, 75 Bukit Timah Road .

39 JANUARY2018




We explore this beautiful black-and-white bungalow next toBukit Batok’sNature Park, and find out how ZOE HAWKINS combines a love of colour with her more traditional pieces. Hidden Gem


41 JANUARY2018

Who lives here: Brits Zoe and James, children Rosie (8) and Sammy (6), helper Susannah, and dogs Bingo and Monty. Size of home: Four-bedroom bungalow, with swimming pool. Style of home: Modern eclectic. Zoe’s favourite room: “Our favourite family outside by the pool, under our attap . But my favourite room is the guest room – it’s just lovely to sit on the bed and look out of the window.” area on the weekend is

C oming off the Upper Bukit Timah Road and heading towards Zoe’s black- and-white bungalow, you’re quickly transported from the hustle and bustle of amajor artery road into the low-level buzz of the jungle. “A friend likens coming here to that feeling you get on a ski lift, when you’re suddenly transported into peace and quiet,” says Zoe. It’s a pretty accurate description! There are only 12 houses in this part of Bukit Batok where Zoe and her family live. The size of this cluster is ideal, she says; “It’s a dead-end road, the kids can play in the area, and everyone knows each other.” The only slight downside to its seclusion is the fact you do have to drive everywhere, with the closest grocery store being a ten-minute car ride away. “I think I’ve probably only had around three taxi drivers who’ve actually known this road in the last five years – it’s quite off the beaten track.”

Zoe, husband James, and children Rosie and Sammy moved to the bungalow five years ago; it’s been the longest the family has lived in a single place since moving to Singapore in May 2007. Zoe and James started their Singapore lives both working full time and living in the Balmoral area, he in advertising, and she as an interior designer for Design Intervention. After having the two children, Zoe began working as a consultant, and the family moved first to Namly Gardens, then to Coronation Drive, the latter at the peak of the property boom in 2012. “Rents were going crazy, and our landlord wanted to increase ours by over 50 percent. We knew of this Bukit Batok area through friends, and all the houses had been renovated and were empty. I started trawling the SLA website and this place was up for rent; so, bearing in mind the guide price, we put in a bid, and got it by about $300.”




Zoe had the cupboards made, painted them blue, and added the pineapple handles.

43 JANUARY2018

Working Designs With Zoe’s background in interior design, it comes as no surprise that her home is a reflection of her skills. It also reflects her upbringing as an expat child; Zoe’s parents met and married in Hong Kong before travelling all over Southeast Asia, settling back into Hong Kong, and moving to the UK four years ago. Zoe inherited some pieces from their relocation, including an old Chinese gong, an elephant chair, lamps and cupboards, which all mix with her colourful interiors palate of pink, her favourite colour, and current preferences of greys and blues. You’ll find very little black in her home, “I don’t wear it, and I don’t tend to use it in the house.” M o v i n g f r o m D e s i g n Intervention to Affordable Style Files, she continues to help clients with interiors, as well as covering the Dempsey shop two days a week. “It’s a small shop selling all sorts of homewares, including cushions, pots, bedding and towels, which are quite contemporary and mostly from Australia. Our staples are the pots and rugs, including outdoor rugs; put one of those in an outdoor space, and it can transform the whole place.”

Right: “This used to be such a horrible corner – it was so hot and there was no coverage, so we had this attap made, and I got my guy to make us the bench as well. The cushions are the lounger covers, and I painted the floor pink." Zoe’s a fan of traditional pieces, and tends to re-cover the sofas every couple of years, giving a new lease of life to her older Minotti furniture and John Erdos sofa.



Zoe inherited some pieces from her parents’ time in Hong Kong, including this elephant chair at the end of the bed. She’s also earmarked the headboard to be re-covered; “it makes such a difference to a room, my advice is to always go with a headboard.” Zoe proposes a lot of wallpaper styles for her clients and admits that she often ends up ordering some for herself as well. “I love this one, it’s really calming.”




Expat Adventures Zoe’s experiences as an expat child have seen her live across Southeast Asia, including in Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea. She spent much of her childhood growing up in Kuala Lumpur, before heading off to the UK to boarding school. “I used to come back out to Asia and travel around the islands for my holidays; it was just brilliant,” she says. She and James met at school, and fate saw them end up going to the same University in the UK as well. James and Zoe had already decided they wanted to live overseas, and although they had considered Hong Kong, James’ company was looking for someone to set up a Singapore hub, and so the decision was made. “For me, home is where my family are. I’m technically from England, but if you ask the children where they’re from, they say they’re Singaporean; they have no concept of being British. Home is much more about where our little family unit is, and for now that’s right here.”

Rosie and Sammy’s shared bedroom. The animal heads on the wall are from Cuckoo; “when they first went up, Monty wouldn’t stop staring and barking at them!”

47 JANUARY2018

Zoe’s Recommendations

The Dempsey Cookhouse & Bar (“fab new restaurant”) 17D Dempsey Road 1800 304 5588 | comodempsey.sg Employees Only 112 Amoy Street 6221 7357 | employeesonlysg.com E-Sarn (“for cheap delicious Thai food”) Various locations esarn.com.sg

HOME Affordable Style Files 6A Dempsey Road 8200 0627 | affordablestylefiles.com Cuckoo 6B Dempsey Road 9111 3598 | cuckoolittlelifestyle.com Ji Mei (“for fresh flowers and plants”) 5 Joan Road 6285 0017 Shiva Designs #04-02 Cluny Court 501 Bukit Timah Road 9184 6049 | shivadesignsbespoke.com

TRAVEL & LEISURE Holiday in Perth, Australia

(“it’s under five hours flying time, and there’s no time difference”) Momentum Bootcamps 8332 7805 momentumbootcamps.com

WINE & DINE Baker & Cook

Willow and Huxley Various locations willowandhuxley.com

Various locations bakerandcook.biz





If you’re looking for a handyman who can turn his hand to anything, meet Aussie expat CAMPBELL CAREY. From polishing flooring to plumbing and electrics, if you need a man who can, read on!

With decades of experience as a marine teak decker, you’d be forgiven for wondering why Campbell might have “dumbed down” his career to handyman services. He explains why. Why are you in Singapore? I’m one of those husbands who’s following the clever wife. Luci’s a maritime lawyer, and was offered a position at the National University of Singapore (NUS), and a scholarship to do her masters there last year. I have a rather unusual background as a marine teak decker for super yachts, but I’m 50, my eyes are going, my knees are going, I’m just over it! Now I’m happy to get my hands dirty and just help with odd jobs around people’s homes. How did you get started here? I was none the wiser about what I was going to do. At first I was bored, and I just started fixing people’s stuff for the hell of it, then people began approaching me saying they needed help fixing pieces before handing their place back to their landlord; it really was word of mouth.




What can you help with? I can prefabricate pieces and reinstall them for people moving out of their homes. Parquet flooring is also my strength, and I can help with damaged pieces. I’ve also just invested in a marble polisher, which is really great fun, and you get a good result from that. Then there’s electrics and plumbing; to be honest, I’m happy to help with anything – I like to get my hands dirty! Apart from working on site projects, I love being stuck in my workshop all day, building my gear; that’s what I really enjoy. I’m about to start manufacturing high-quality outdoor furniture using my CNC (computer numerical control) equipment, and I’m finding inspiration for a new range in Singapore’s ultra-modern design. When you see my workshop you can tell I’m a bit of a tool junkie!

Hit us with it; how much do you charge? As a general note I’d charge $50 per hour’s work. However, if the project moves into services such as buffing floors, the price does go up as I’m incorporating equipment that wears over time. What do you enjoy about living in Singapore? I love the cultural diversity here, the mix of architecture is amazing, and Singapore’s location in terms of travel is brilliant. We also enjoy going down to East Coast Park for satay, and I love watching our son Hamish learn to sail at the National Sailing Centre down at 5 Pipes. I’ve been in the position before when I have months and months of contracts and you can’t get out of it. Now I have the ability to do this, and I’m loving this part of my life.

If you want to contact Campbell for a quote, call No Worries Home Repairs on 8201 7660, or go to facebook.com/noworrieshomerepairs to find out more.

51 JANUARY2018



Just because Christmas has been and gone, doesn’t mean the shopping has to be over. Beat the Januaryblues andcast your eyes over these beauties.


Blue cabinet, $390

Ceramic garden stools, $150 for plain round, $240 for hexagonal

Turquoise shoe cabinet with lattice detail, $680

Original kitchen cabinet, $1,600

T he January blues are as real as real can be. They’re like an overhanging cloud screaming ‘take me back to the festivities!’ One way I beat the blues is coffee, coffee, andmore coffee! Of course,a good workout – some spring cleaning, for example – will break the moodiness; so, getting ready for Chinese New Year, including the cleaning and organising, is like killing two birds with one stone. Chinese New Year is exciting and something to look forward to anyway, with all the decorations, family reunions and the food, so reds and golds are my way to fight the blues head on! – Audrey Lim, Lim’s Holland Village

High leg console in blue, $450, round jar lamps, $130 (inclusive of shade, available in white and linen grey)

Original old-piece cabinet in elm, $900

Lim’s Holland Village #02-01 Holland Road Shopping Centre 211 Holland Avenue 6466 3188

Left to right: Hand-painted peach blossom tea pot, $63, and cups with tray (sold separately), $55, octagonal teapot six-piece set in mineral glaze from Vietnam, $150, pineapple design six-piece set, $49

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Dipped-blue bone-inlay salad servers and coasters, from $35

Bone inlay mirror in quatrefoil shape, $250

Seven-drawer flower patterned chest in pale blue grey, from $2,900

L ucky us to be living in Singapore where the sun shines every day and the skies are blue! To best those January blues I’d advise indulging in all the offerings on our great island, including heading to Sentosa for a spot of sun and sea.Watch the sun go down with a Pimm’s in hand, and enjoy the quiet time before the year starts to rev up again. – Josephine Harrison, Hacienda Blue

Large royal-blue bone-inlay tray in a Moroccan pattern, $350

Pale-blue bone-inlay geometric-pattern four- drawer chest, from $2,200

Bedroom side table in a royal-blue geometric pattern, from $850

Hacienda Blue Jalan Tupai (by appointment) 9061 9446 | haciendablue.com

Medium-sized bone-inlay tray dipped in blue ink with white resin background, $275

Navy-blue scallop-pattern side table, from $875

Royal- blue two- drawer side table in a leaf pattern, from $650




Intricately carved screen on camphor wood featuring birds and flamingos, intertwined with Chinese flowers of happiness, $1,088

Nightstand with double- happiness Chinese motif and traditional hand- painted dress, $300

T o be honest, I don’t really get the January blues, because my birthday is in January so I always have that to look forward to! Then, of course, there’s Chinese New Year, so there’s always another big celebrationonceDecember isover. – Laura Lee, Lee’s Antiques

Baby-blue jewellery cabinet with floral and bird motif, and doors that open on both sides to hang necklaces, $680

Lucky gong with a dragon carving on elm wood, $388

Ladies console with three drawers and inlaid shutters on both sides, $628

Traditional Oriental medicine cabinet in a rustic turquoise colour on elm wood, $388

Lee’s Antiques #06-08 & #06-09 Citi Link Warehouse Complex 102E Pasir Panjang Road 8100 0428 | leesantiques.com.sg

Unique medicine cabinet with 91 drawers, $2,888

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From London magazine editor to establishing a successful interior design firm in Singapore, we find out how CHLOE ELKERTON has grown her business, E&A Interiors , and what really makes her tick. BUILDING A BRAND BY AMY BROOK-PARTRIDGE C hloe Elkerton had always harboured a passion for design and textiles, cemented when she studied textiles at Goldsmiths, a university in London. Knowing she wanted to pursue a career in interiors, she held a work experience position at IPC Media, assisting magazines such as Country Homes and Living Etc. , before working as a stylist, then project manager on advertorials across all the home-related titles within the company. “I really wanted to get into editorial, and a friend recommended me to Best magazine, where I ended up as the Homes Editor.” Deciding to go freelance, and working across titles such as ELLE Decoration and House & Garden magazines, Chloe had also just purchased a flat in Twickenham, which she’d started to renovate. By 2008, however, the big recession had hit the UK, her father had passed away, and she had split up with her boyfriend of eight years. “Work-wise everyone was cutting budgets, and it was tough times for freelance stylists, so I decided it was time for a change.” Singapore Bound A good friend of Chloe’s was already living and working in Singapore, and when they met up on one of her UK visits, she mentioned coming here for work. “I did some research into magazines, and I just thought sod it, why not. I rented my flat out and came across.” Moving in with her friend just off Farrer Road, Chloe set up her sole proprietorship, and started freelancing for titles such as Home & Decor , The Peak and our own Expat Living . Then, being in the right place at the right time while sourcing products for a shoot, Chloe found an opportunity




Heading up your own business is

tough at times but ultimately

extremely rewarding

57 JANUARY2018

at an established interior design firm in Dempsey. Learning on her feet, she spent four years within the company before reaching a point where she decided she wanted to work for herself again. “I’d hit my mid-thirties and had contemplated moving back to the UK. Although I knew I wanted to continue my career with interior design, now was the time to really decide whether to firm up my roots in Asia or move back to London.” An old friend of Chloe’s had just purchased a barn in Verbier and approached her to design the interiors before the ski season started. So she headed to Switzerland to

so he wasn’t hopeful. I made him show it to me, and although it was a bit of a hellhole, it had gorgeous pink mosaic flooring and was a nice size with high ceilings; oh, and at that time it was only around $1,500 per month to rent!” Chloe snapped it up, and added a new bathroom, kitchen cabinets and sink. “That place, over the years, has been such a blessing: walking distance to work, in the best neighbourhood of Singapore, and, even though it’s gone up a bit, still reasonably priced.” Two years ago, Chloe decided to put more roots down. She sold her London flat to buy a plot of land in Thalpe near Galle, Sri Lanka. She first went to Sri Lanka seven years

work on that project for a few months. “With some time away and reflection, I decided that I wanted to put to use all of what I’d learnt in Asia the past years and set up my own business in Singapore.” When she returned here, Chloe touched base with a former colleague, Elizabeth. They shared a similar vision for the Singapore market, feeling it was lacking in an interior design company that created beautiful and comfortable homes. Together they launched E&A Interiors in 2013, deciding to take a studio space at The Herencia, just off River Valley. “These past four years, we’ve really discovered who our market is – clients come to E&A for our European and North American design aesthetic and our unique and beautiful artisanal fabrics. Although we are now focusing mainly on renovations and larger furniture projects, we’re always still happy to help with smaller bits and bobs too.” Noting that both Elizabeth’s priorities and her own were taking different directions, they decided to go their separate ways last year, and Chloe has now taken the helm of the business. At its core, it maintains the same vision of creating timeless, beautiful homes. “Heading up your own business is tough at times but ultimately extremely

ago with her mother, and immediately fell in love with the country’s south coast; she ended up going back several times a year. “I really couldn’t see myself living in Twickenham again, so I made the brave decision to sell up and buy a wonderful plot a few minutes from the beach, overlooking the paddies.” Now, after years of designing homes for others, it’s finally time to design her own, with the ultimate aim of creating a holiday home in Sri Lanka; it’s somewhere she sees herself spending more time in in the future. “The works have started and we are looking to complete in 12 months, which is really exciting – I can’t wait to have a second home there.” She also met someone 18 months ago, Gishan, who’s moving from Australia to Singapore in the New Year. “After almost two years of long-distance back and forth to Sydney, it will be great to finally be together.” Chloe has just started to see a personal trainer, too, and she’s already seeing the benefits. “It works because I used to try to get out of exercise at any opportunity, just by being too busy, but now I see my trainer twice a week; it’s scheduled like a meeting, so I know I’ll go! It’s really working for me and so important to make this time for myself.” Then there’s her new business start-up, Braganza House, which sees her producing signs made from flexible neon

Things feel like they’re

going in the right

direction for me, and I’m excited about the future

rewarding – you really do get out what you put in. It can be challenging, but that’s what makes you strive for more – it keeps me driven. In these last few months, we have built a really strong team and I’m lucky to have such a supportive and talented group of people behind me.” Work Aside Chloe has lived in Tiong Bahru for most of her time in Singapore. “The agent toldme eight years ago that he had one place, but it was a block that he’d never rented out to expats,

– great gifts for adults or children. With all of the above going on, you’d be forgiven for assuming Chloe would be feeling just a little anxious, but that’s clearly not the case. “Things feel like they’re going in the right direction for me, and I’m excited about the future!”

E&A Interiors is at #04-24 The Herencia, 46 Kim Yam Road. 6702 4850 | eandainteriors.com



Happy Diners! Whether it’s for eating, studying, crafting or chatting at, we find out why these readers love their dining tables.


Jane and Ron Martin, US We’ve lived in Singapore previously with our two daughters, but this time round we didn’t bring any furniture with us. Our plan was to buy pieces that would eventually be moved home to a beach house when we finish our stay here, and we were choosing blues, greens and lighter, natural wood colours. We stumbled upon House of AnLi one night on our look-see. Ron saw the table in the window and we loved it right away because it was extendable and could accommodate lots of people, yet could also be used as a smaller table. They were about to close so we had to come back to purchase later. The sales staff were very friendly and helpful! We purchased a Versailles dining table in weathered oak, which can be used as a round table, or extended to seat up to 16 people. We also bought 12 Urbino

weathered-oak dining chairs with upholstered linen seats in a neutral colour. We love the pieces we bought! The owners came to our home, sanded down the table-top and applied a wax since the table was in their showroom and had a few minor scratches when it arrived. It’s so easy to care for and I’m happy that I can “refinish” it when there are any marks or water stains by lightly sanding and waxing the table. The linen is also holding up well and is quite comfortable. We couldn’t be more pleased with our purchases; I just wish I needed more furniture so I could shop for other items! House of AnLi #03-17 Tanglin Mall, 163 Tanglin Road 6235 3851 | houseofanli.com




Choi Jiseon, Korean We were renovating our new Japanese restaurant, and looking for an exquisite dining table for our sushi bar counter concept. The dining table is an important element of the restaurant as it’s the next closest thing on which our food is being served. We needed something that would resonate with the quality of food and the dining experience that our restaurant offers diners. We had received a few recommendations from friends, but finally decided to go with EDD+ as we were very impressed with their sincere approach, personalised service, professional advice, and a product range that fit with our requirements. We purchased two customised solid suar- wood dining tables for the two sections of our sushi bar counter. The wood grains and colours give off a graceful feel with the naturally curvy edges, and we are certain our diners will be able to enjoy our food on these stunning tables. We also bought modular

textured wall panels made of natural wood materials, which connect very well with the overall restaurant theme, while giving the entire space more energy. We are delighted with the uplifting effect that the tables have given to our restaurant. Most importantly, the pieces wooden dining table that was extendable, modern, strong, well-crafted and would last decades. The funny thing is that in my last home my furniture was from Ethnicraft Online too. I was so impressed by both the design and the quality of their products that when I moved I decided to buy everything from them all over again. I guess that’s the

are able to bring out the concept and brand integrity we strongly believe in.

EDD+ #01-07 B Central, 994 Bendemeer Road 6291 0990 | eddplus.com

Bambos Kaisharis, British Cypriot

strongest endorsement I can give! I first looked at the 2017 range on their website (including the brochure) followed by a trip to their Eunos store to finalise all the details and make decisions between a few competing options. Impressively, even after they delivered, their post-sales service was first-class; I discovered a defect in a couple of items and Ethnicraft replaced and repaired the items within a few days. I love the fact they have lifetime maintenance as part of their offerings. I was going for a natural, minimalist and modern feel in my new home. I ended buying all the furniture in my new home from Ethnicraft, including the extendable dining table and eight chairs, all in minimalist teak, with straight edges and with a light, matte protective coating. I recommend Ethnicraft’s products to all my friends who are thinking of buying new furniture. I’m a huge fan, clearly! Ethnicraft Online (various locations) #05-01 Handicrafts Building, 72 Eunos Avenue 7 9272 1545 | ethnicraft-online.com.sg

I moved home recently and it was the chance for a fresh start, so I decided to replace all of my furniture. I’m a fan of natural wood, clean lines and high-quality craftsmanship, and it was important that I buy from a brand I could trust. I wanted a

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Harriet Bick and William Nicholson, British

We found out about Gallery 278 from Expat Living magazine, which was given to us by both our serviced apartment and our estate agent. We enjoyed visiting the store and looking at all the items on display. When we saw the table, we were instantly drawn to it. The staff were incredibly hospitable, and helped us pick options for wood type, stain and fabric material. We bought a recycled teak dining table, with six suar-wood web chairs and two matt armchairs. The decision to buy this table was helped by Felicia, the creative director, showing us how it would look on our floor plan. We loved the recycled teak because of the personality in the grain, and how you could see its age. The chairs weren’t available in the same wood straight away, so we went for suar wood with a raw satin stain. By doing this, we were able to keep the consistency of the look, but also have the chairs ready to use within ten days. We picked a more unusual moss-coloured fabric for the web chairs, and we bought two grey armchairs as well, so that we could host eight people around the table. The dining area is a really important place for us, so we are thrilled that we have such a beautiful, stylish and well-made set. We are first-time buyers, and so we feel more at home with our own furniture than we’ve ever felt.

Elisa Mallis and Gerasimos Mattios, Greek-American We moved to Singapore from Beijing three months ago and didn’t bring furniture with us. We were looking for a table to comfortably seat eight people for family dinners. As there is a view to the sea from where the dining table is situated, we were looking for a light and airy style – casual yet good, high-quality wood. Arete Culture came highly recommended by a friend of a friend who lives in Singapore. As we both work and have a fairly large apartment, we were looking for some help to select furniture in our transition to Singapore, so Arete helped us select many pieces for the apartment, including the dining table. The table is solid teak with stainless steel legs, and, as it’s part of Arete’s bespoke collection, the size can be customised. The solid teak gives a high-quality and rich, yet light look and it’s complemented very nicely by the steel legs, which also give a very modern and contemporary look. We also selected two host chairs from Arete that were customised, and selected colours and fabrics to blend with the rest of the living area.

Gallery 278 278 River Valley Road | 6737 2322 | gallery278.com

Arete Culture (various locations) #06-01 Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road | 9640 3829 | areteculture.com



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