June 2017


JUN 2017


Hoi An, Saigon & Luang Prabang

40+ Outdoor Décor Ideas GreenUp Your Beauty Routine Your Guide To Counselling

Street Style, p200


After three guitar lessons, I’m ready to start a girl band – anyone want to join? No, seriously, my fingertips are forever numb (that sounds like a good first single title...) and I’ve realised that all those rockers made it look a lot easier than it is. Even when I was suitably comfortable (another title, perhaps?) with a few chords and the strumming, when I started singing, everything else fell to pieces. Yep, I will keep my day job… but I’ll keep having a bit of fun on the side with music, too. Did you send in your photos or videos for our Photo Competition? We dressed our dogs up in little shark outfits and put them in our swimming pool, but the video has my stomach in it so I can’t enter it! Also, the little fins kept flopping over, so they looked a bit pathetic. Still, it gave us a good laugh – at their expense. The winners will be announced in the July issue, so look out for that. Lots of great stuff in this issue and online, so make sure you read it all, or take it with you if you’re going away anywhere. Happy holidays to those who are heading off!

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

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NEWS 16 News Headlines 18 Calendar Updates: What’s on in the coming months 26 Readers’ Letters 28 EL Forum:

What we’re doing online, plus our upcoming events

30 Social Snaps:

Photos from parties and happenings around town

HOME & PROPERTY 34 News 39 Competition Time: Victoria Currie talks home décor and business 52 Consciously Made: Check out this environment-friendly furniture 54 Real Homes: Meet the Winklers in their Bukit Panjang condo 60 Back to Nature: Striking pieces for the home in solid wood and more 62 In the Hot Seat: A chat with the founder of OHMM 65 Reader Recommendations: Where and how they chose their outdoor furniture 69 Buyers’ Guide: Stylish furnishing for alfresco living 74 Shopping Edit: Entertain with perfect outdoor accessories 76 Street Talk: Win! A child’s bed and mattress worth $2,500 40 Real Homes:

Step inside this home on Stevens Road 40

ARTS & LEISURE 85 On the Page: Recent book releases and reader reviews 86 On the Wall: What’s on in Singapore’s art scene 88 On the Stage: The latest in live music, dance and theatre 90 On the Screen: Cinema and TV highlights for the month

69 Get inspired by these outdoor

décor picks

Life at Beechwood Grove




LIFE&FAMILY 96 News 100 Learning at Loewen: An educational enclave at Dempsey Hill 102 Noticeboard: New births and more 104 Let’s Celebrate: Great places for your kid’s birthday party 108 Charity Drive: Doing good in tuk tuks 110 Changing Lives: Healing through art therapy 113 Get Protection: Choosing a health insurance policy 115 On Divorce: Where do children fit in? 116 Sharing Spaces: Check out this cool co- working space 120 School Scoop: The latest education news 126 Active Agenda: Students and their favourite sports WINE & DINE 136 News 143 Cuisines on High: We chat with Me@OUE’s new executive chef 144 Bar Tab: Watering holes worth checking out 147 Pinkies Up! Top afternoon teas around town 156 Aprons On: We put cooking classes to the test 160 Recipe Corner: Fail-safe favourites for your repertoire 162 Ingredient Focus: Top-notch pork from Ryan’s Grocery

156 See what our team

cooked up this month

177 Discover cool tours you can take in Saigon

TRAVEL 166 News 170 Vibrant Vietnam: How to have a great girls’ getaway in Hoi An 177 Saigon Highlights: A beginner’s guide, plus four fantastic tours 180 Perfect Luang Prabang: A laidback long weekend in Laos 186 Across the Water: We review a Bintan family favourite




198 Top gift picks for Father’s Day

Strength & Survival: Lurata Lyon’s story 188

HEALTH & FITNESS 222 News 224 Getting Physical:

The power of touch for healing

228 Wise Counsel:

Pyschotherapy for wherever you are

234 Fit Resolution:

Boutique gyms with a fresh take on fitness

237 Circuit Tutorial:

A workout to melt the calories

238 Mind the Gap:

The 101 on abdominal separation 242 Symptoms & Solutions: A doctor’s advice on tackling acid reflux REGULARS 247 Numbers & Websites 248 Horoscopes for June

FASHION 196 News 198 Father’s Day Gifts: Presents he’ll love 200 Style Hunter Special: Your style, your way

BEAUTY 208 News 210 Shape Up:

Top barbers around town

250 Advertiser List 252 Parting Shot: Comfort in friendship

215 Green Beauty:

Natural, vegan and cruelty-free skincare



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The DBS Marina Regatta is back from 1 to 4 June with a bigger and better line-up of fun-filled, water-related activities. The region’s top dragon boat teams will row the glassy waters of Marina Bay for prizemoney, plus there are opportunities to play skipper on an 18-metre- mast sailboat. On land, the outdoor activities range from Singapore’s largest giant inflatable water obstacle course to an enormous interactive art dome, a pop-up beach complete with Potato Head’s Coconut Bar, giant games, a food village and lots more. dbsmarinaregatta.com



Downton Comes to Town If you fell captive to the charms of blockbuster British period drama Downton Abbey , this exhibition is for you. Singapore is the first date on the global tour of an exhibition that brings fans up close and personal with the leading characters, storylines, costumes and sets: Mrs Patmore’s hectic kitchen, the gossip-fuelled servants’ quarters, and the glamorous staterooms inhabited by the Earl of Grantham and his family. From 17 June at Marina Bay Sands. downtonexhibition.com

Love All Show your support for an inclusive, discrimination-free Singapore at the annual PinkDot event on 1 July. It’s one of the largest get-togethers at Hong Lim Park, and everyone, regardless of gender or sexual The Magic of Music Being in hospital is tough for anyone, but it’s especially tough on kids. That’s why the SingTheatre bedside initiative to bring music, storytelling and good cheer to paediatric wards at National University Hospital (NUH) is so heart-warming. Called Sing-Me-A-Story, this programme by the non-profit theatre company runs until December. singtheatre.com

o r i e n t a t i o n , is encouraged t o g a t h e r f o r a n e v e n i n g o f mu s i c and entertainment in aid of the LGBT community. 43 N o r t h C a n a l Road. From 5pm. pinkdot.sg




SHOPPING & FAIRS Premium Wine Tasting with Bacco (15 JUN)


DBS Marina Regatta 2017 (1-4 JUN)

Gather friends and family for the return of this popular and exciting regatta. Hang out at the iconic pop-up beach, enjoy drinks at the Potato Head Coconut Bar, or have a blast on the inflatable, WipeOut-style water obstacle course. The Promontory@Marina Bay. dbsbythebay.com/marina-regatta DreamWorks Run (24 JUN) Be part of the first-ever DreamWorks Run in Asia. Interact with the characters of Shrek , Kung Fu Panda , How To Train Your Dragon and Madagascar , and have your picture taken with them. Run 5km, or register your little ones for the 800m kids’ dash. Gardens by the Bay, Bay East Garden. dreamworksday.sg

Taste delicious and heathy vino from family-run, small- production Italian estates. Try a range of premium wines including a rare white grape from Friuli, an ancient blend from Sicily, and Barolo, an aged red dessert wine. #02-09 The Herencia, 46 Kim Yam Road. baccowines.com HotLotz Auction House: Designer Handbags, Costume Jewellery, Fashion and Accessories (20 JUN) Don’t miss this evening fashion auction at HotLotz, featuring leading brands like Chanel, Cartier, Bulgari, Prada and YSL. Browse the full catalogue at the HotLotz website. #01-15 Cendex Centre, 120 Lower Delta Road. hotlotz.com

Premium Wine Tasting with Bacco




Shaws Little League Sports Holiday Camps


FAMILY Shaws Little League Sports Holiday Camps (UNTIL AUG) Kids aged three to ten can enjoy four days of fun-filled sport, cooking, and arts-and- craft activities during the holidays. Each day’s three-hour session will introduce little ones to a range of sports including rugby, baseball, hockey and ultimate frisbee. Shaws Little League @ The Cage, 38 Jalan Benaan Kapal. shawslittleleague.com Go on an adventure with Pluck, the fairy protector of music. In the Harp Kingdom of Enchantia, people are forgetting how to make music, so Pluck embarks on a journey to find out why. Sota Drama Theatre. Tickets from Sistic. Pluck and the Magical Banyan Tree – Harp Musical (25 JUN)

Magic Piano & The Chopin Shorts (10-11 JUN)

Magic Piano tells the story of 10-year-old Anna, who misses her father while he’s working abroad. Having decided to run away, she stumbles upon an old piano that transforms into a magical flying machine. The show is presented in a new live format alongside four short animated films (“The Chopin Shorts”). Victoria Concert Hall. Tickets from Sistic. Hansel and Gretel (16-17 JUN) Young and old will enjoy the classic story of Hansel and Gretel , staged here as a concert performance featuring an international and local cast backed by the Orchestra of the Music Makers. Esplanade Concert Hall. Tickets from Sistic. Boeing Boeing (23 JUN – 22 JUL) This Wild Rice favourite returns, directed this time by Pam Oei. The hilarious production tells of Bernard, a modern-day Casanova whose three beautiful air stewardess girlfriends are all happily unaware of each others’ existence. His perfect plan falls apart when his friend Robert comes to stay. Victoria Theatre. Tickets from Sistic.




ARTS Chicken and Egg: A Fowl Tale (UNTIL 25 JUN)

Peter & Blue’s Birthday Party (8-11 JUN)

SOCIAL Swiss Chamber Gala Dinner 2017 (3 JUN) Enjoy an evening of fine food, drinks, entertainment, and the presentation of the first Swiss Business Award. Swissotel Merchant Court. swisscham.sg expat-kitchen.com Excite the kids at Singapore’s largest outdoor family party with more than 30 games and activities across five themed zones – Circus Centre, Speedy Zone, Dream Castle, Pirate Island and Jungle World. Enjoy great food and entertainment all day, including movies. The Meadow, Gardens by the Bay. Tickets from Sistic. Interweaving dance with the magic of fairy tales, this children’s production tells the story of the ever-inquisitive trio: Peter, his dog Blue and his cat Calico. You also have the chance to meet with the dancers after the show. Esplanade Theatre Studio. Tickets from Sistic. Baby Baby 2017 (9-11 JUN) The ultimate baby fair returns this June with more great products and promotions. Check out the latest baby items, watch demonstrations and get tips from professionals. Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre. babybabysg.com Aviva Superfundae (10 JUN)

In honour of the Year of the Rooster, this family- friendly stamp exhibition traces the historical journey of the humble chicken – said to have originated from the tropical forests of Asia – across civilisations, and examines the many roles it plays as food, in recreation and in medicine. Singapore Philatelic Museum. spm.org.sg On Sharks and Humanity (UNTIL 26 JUN) Explore over 20 artworks from local and international artists at the newly opened Parkview Museum, addressing the environmental issues of shark protection and ocean conservation. 600 North Bridge Road. Collecting Magic: From Stamps to Wands (UNTIL 30 JUN) At this magical exhibition, watch the excitement on the faces of those little Harry Potter fans as they feast their eyes on beautiful stamps featuring the child wizard, along with movie memorabilia and collectibles from around the world. Singapore Philatelic Museum. spm.org.sg

Aviva Superfundae




Healthy Wine Tasting with Bacco (5 JUL)

Say goodbye to morning-after headaches with organic wine from Bacco, sourced from family-run Italian estates. #02-09 The Herencia, 46 Kim Yam Road. baccowines.com Masterpiece in Motion (7-8 JUL) Witness the premiere of The Four Temperaments by George Balanchine at Masterpiece in Motion. This Singapore Dance Theatre show will also feature other renowned international choreographers including Edwaard Liang. Esplanade Theatre. Tickets from Sistic. BANKS – Live in Singapore (11 JUL) Catch alternative R&B star BANKS as she performs

live in Singapore. Expect to hear singles such as “Gemini Feed” and “Trainwreck”, with their powerful and seductive vocals and soul-baring lyrics. Capitol Theatre, Capitol Piazza. Tickets from Sistic. Cirque du Soleil Kooza (13 JUL – 13 AUG)

The xx – Live in Singapore with special guest Sampha (25-26 JUL) UK indie phenomenon The xx returns to Singapore after a four- year hiatus, and will perform live with British singer Sampha (who has worked with the likes of Drake and Kanye). It’ll be a night of eclectic electronic tunes, including recent singles “On Hold” and “Say Something Loving”. Singapore Sports Hub. Tickets from the Sports Hub website. Voices of the Amazon (28-29 JUL) Follow the story of Beleza, a water spirit from the Amazon River, as she goes on a journey to cure her dying sister. Performed by Brazilian songwriters and percussionists, this stunning production will feature a mix of live music and dance. Sands Theatre, MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands. Tickets from Sistic. Nee Soon Fiesta 3TEN Run 2017 (29 JUL) Join Singapore’s first night golf-course race this July and run through the beautiful grounds of the Orchid Country Club. Sign up for the 10km race, the 5km fun run or the 1.5km family run. Registration ends 14 July. Orchid Country Club. 3tenrun.com

Cirque du Soleil returns to Singapore with more thrilling acrobatic performances. The international cast of 50 acrobats, musicians, singers and actors will take you on a journey in which you’ll meet a host of eccentric characters. Under the Big Top tent, next to Marina Bay Sands. Tickets from Sistic. Sungha Jung Live (22 JUL) Popular Korean guitarist and YouTuber Sungha Jung performs in Singapore this month. Expect beautiful renditions of contemporary, jazz, Broadway and classical tunes from one of the finest fingerstyle guitarists in the world. Kallang Theatre, 1 Stadium Walk. Tickets from Sistic.

: www.expatliving.sg

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




MONEY MONEY MONEY I wouldn’t miss my monthly EL for the world – thank you for an excellent and informative read! Problem is we’re here on a local package

Best Letter We want to hear from you! Send us your thoughts on the magazine, or on any subject under the sun. To help Megan Thorpe celebrate her fifth wedding anniversary, we’ll be send her a bottle of champagne.

and finding Singapore increasingly expensive, so a lot of what I see on your pages is frankly unaffordable right now. What about some advice on where to find value for money? – Christie Badenhorst Ed: That’s not always easy, but we’re working on it! Take a look at our website (expatliving.sg/6-flea- markets-singapore) for a great roundup of five local flea markets. What’s more, our upcoming July issue has a feature on vintage and secondhand outlets that is sure to be useful.





It may sound bad, but I’m already dreading the summer holidays. We’ve got a pair of super-energetic (to put it extremely mildly!) six-

MCI (P) 167/02/2014



year-old twins who start driving me crazy after the first week – much as I love them. Both of us work (me only part-time, but still), so we really could do with some help. Someone mentioned holiday camps – are they worth the money, and would you recommend them? – Elena Rodriguez Ed: You’re right that holiday camps generally don’t come cheap, but there’s definitely something out there to suit each child – from Camp Asia (at the Stamford American International School) with its multi-activity and sports approach, to Centre Stage, where the focus is on the creative and performing arts. For these and other options, check out the May issue of EL or go to our website, expatliving.sg/exciting-holiday-camps- kids-summer.


WHICH GETAWAY? Our fifth wedding anniversary is coming up in July – our first one in Singapore! So I’m looking for the perfect long-weekend getaway to celebrate our special milestone. Which destination

would you recommend – Luang Prabang in Laos, or Siem Reap in Cambodia? Being Aussies, we’ve been to Bali numerous times and I’m looking for something completely different, preferably with oodles of culture! – Megan Thorpe Ed: Both Luang Prabang and Siem Reap are great for a romantic and cultural long weekend, and you can find out all the reasons why in our brand new EL Travel Guide, out this month. Happy travels!

Email us at info@expatliving.sg



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May2017 Issue 178

PullOut&Keep! International Schools Guide S



Spanish& Australian Fare




Black &White HOMES

40+ Outdoor Décor Ideas GreenUp YourBeauty Routine

HoiAn,Saigon&LuangPrabang H

Resort-worthy fashionpicks WardrobeUpdate:

MCI (P) 100/02/2017


Fabbeachbreaks GetBooking:

YourGuideTo Counselling

MCI (P) 100/02/




Whatwe’reup toon…

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

Getting inspiration from real reader homes

Taking in Singapore’s gorgeous cultural sights

Shopping up a storm at our favourite boutiques Don’tmissour fantasticevents in JUNE! Visit expatliving.sg/events to register.

29 JUNE2017

Evening Indulgence Expat Living’s recent Guilt-free Wine with Friends evening was fun for all. Gathered amid the gorgeous contemporary home accessories at The Cinnamon Room, guests drank a special selection of wines from Bottles XO. Each of these specific wines had a low residual sugar count, allowing for guilt-free enjoyment!

Sharing Some Love On 12 April, New Zealand All Blacks Sevens players and AIG Singapore joined forces with non-profit charity Food from the Heart to pack and distribute food to the less- privileged in the Geylang Bahru area. This initiative was under the charity’s Community Food Pack programme and was supported by Uber, who ferried volunteers to the homes. All Blacks Sevens players Sam Dickson, Vilimoni Koroi and Tone Ng Shiu and the other volunteers brought many smiles to the families they visited.




All Things Outdoors Congratulations to the team at OHMM as they celebrate their 10th year of offering quality outdoor furnishing. Everyone had an enjoyable time at their recent anniversary party, held at the beautiful OHMM showroom at Riverside Point.

Going Dutch More than 600 people gathered at the Hollandse Club Singapore to celebrate King’s Day, the Dutch national holiday held to honour the birthday of the King of the Netherlands, King Willem-Alexander. The guest list was a veritable who’s who of Singaporean officials and members of the diplomatic corps, including Minister of State Mr Heng Chee How, and Members of Parliament Dr Lim Wee Kiak and Dr Lily Neo. Ambassador Jacques Werner gave a rousing speech as everybody lifted their Heinekens to toast the occasion before enjoying Dutch specialities such as herring, bitterballen and poffertjes . Hiep hiep hoeraah!

All That Jazz The recent Singapore International Jazz Festival boasted big names from the world of jazz, including Corinne Bailey Rae, Adam Hall & The Velvet Playboys, Esperanza Spalding and David Foster. A group of lucky students from the Sing Jazz Academy, School of the Arts (SOTA) and 10 Square had the chance to get up close and personal with Bailey Rae, and hear about the British singer-songwriter’s career and musical journey. The three-day festival also treated event-goers to The Late Show, featuring Indonesia’s Saxx In The City, British band Incognito and more.

31 JUNE2017


Arete Culture

40 Home Showcase: The owner of décor store Tatty Marsh shows us her Stevens Road house

52 Product News: How Mountain Teak maintains its green credentials

62 In the Hot Seat: Kevin Boland from outdoor specialist OHMM answers our questions


There are lots of new table designs at The Cinnamon Room, including this grey marble-top side table in iron with a copper finish, $590.

Now there’s even more reason to head to the Tan Boon Liat Building, with the recent addition of colonial antique specialists The Past Perfect Collection . Dutch owners Pieter and Marie-Hélène van Houten hand select and import each piece, and also carry fine bone china and bed linen from Indian design house Good Earth. Go to #11-05 Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road , to see what’s in store. Antiques Hot Spot for

Ethnicraft Online has welcomed its first- ever leather sofas to the store: the N501 collection. Made in cognac leather and featuring slender metal legs, it’s simple and contemporary in style. Also available is the Oak Bok dining table, with a “slice” top – great for smaller homes. Go to ethnicraft-online.com.sg to find out more. New ADDITIONS

Stone Art Combining art and sustainability, OnStone

Italian Designs Artisanal furniture by Italian company

Mirror Mirror

is a service t ha t s c an s and prints photographs or artwork onto stone. Handmade in Australia

Barel is now available i n S i n g a p o r e . Distinctive to the brand is its use o f f o r g e d i r o n ; products include the Pamplona extendable table ($6,500) and the Aretha armchair

With the smart M i r r o r b y Fred , you need never feel lonely again. Built-in speakers let you

listen to music or watch the news, its motion sensors light up when you enter a room, and it has an air-purifying system – even more excuse to stare at yourself in the mirror! Find out more at frednology.com .

from only natural and recycled material, the products are available at onstone.sg , and you can view samples at LittleRedDot, #02-35 The Forum, 583 Orchard Road .

and cushion ($1,250). View these items and more at Level 1, Krislite Building, 9 Loyang Way .




More for Less

Under the Hammer!

You’ll find loads of ceramic stools to choose from at Just Anthony , and with storewide discounts of up to 70 percent off during the Great Singapore Sale (GSS), there are some great bargains to be had. The new stools feature hand-painted designs, and are priced at $150. The GSS runs until mid-August – head to 379 Upper Paya Lebar Road for some cut-price shopping. Outdoor OPTIONS

AUCTION: Designer Handbags, Costume Jewellery, Fashion and Accessories. WHEN: Tuesday 20 June, previews from 11am, auction at 8pm. The catalogue is available online. WHERE: HotLotz, #01-15 Cendex Centre, 120 Lower Delta Road. WHAT TO EXPECT: Big name vintage bags, clothing and accessories at great prices – think Chanel, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Mui Mui, Tom Ford, Hermès and Bulgari. If you’re in the market to buy your loved one or yourself a gift or three, this should be a great night out, buoyed with a pop-up champagne bar to ease you into the bidding process. The catalogue, with online bidding, can be viewed at hotlotz.com . TOP TIPS: Matthew Elton, owner and chief auctioneer at HotLotz, passes on his pearls of wisdom to make sure you get a top-quality bargain on the night: #1 “Go early and view the catalogue in person. Talk to the staff; they can often provide information about the previous life of the item.” #2 “Decide on a number you’re comfortable with; then, if you get the item for less, even better.” #3 “Don’t bring your partner if you’re buying them a gift, but do bring them if you want to lay down some serious hints!” HotLotz holds an Interiors & Antiques sale every Thursday at 7.30pm. View upcoming auction catalogues at hotlotz.com.

The Mantra collection of outdoor furniture from OHMM adds a touch more style to your lounging. Its industrial look can be styled as you prefer, with a range of colours and materials to choose from. OHMM is also offering 35 percent off “indent orders” – that is, pieces made to your specifications. Check out the collection at #03-09 Riverside Point, 30 Merchant Road .




UP FOR GRABS! FLEXA kid’s single bed and mattress, worth $2,500

As parents, keeping our children happy and out of harm’s way is of the upmost priority, and when it comes to bedtime, keeping the peace becomes a familiar battle! FLEXA addresses all of these issues with its children’s furniture; not only are the pieces fun and safe, but they can also grow with your child. So, put yourself in the running to win a single bed and mattress and take the battle out of bedtime!

About FLEXA FLEXA’s products are designed to create a safe and stimulating environment that adapts, grows and transforms to meet children’s on-going developmental needs. The company creates functional, playful and sustainable room solutions, from bunk beds that separate into twin beds and loft beds with study space and trundles, to a wide range of textile themes including pirate, princess, jungle and circus. The textiles bear the OEKO-Tex mark, a certification system that indicates the products don’t contain dangerous levels of harmful chemicals. FLEXA also only uses eco-friendly UV-lacquer on its PEFC- certified wood, meaning it’s free from solvents and toxic colourants.

FLEXA Shop United Square #01-33/34/35, United Square 6354 1310

FLEXA Shop Katong #03-38 112 Katong, 112 East Coast Road 6604 8559


To enter, visit expatliving.sg/competitions

39 JUNE2017




This is Expat Living’s second visit to the home of VICTORIA CURRIE. The first was in early 2011 when the family had been in Singapore for just 18 months, and Victoria’s home décor store Tatty Marsh was up and running in Tanglin Mall. Fast forward six years, and the family are about to move, both out and away, while the store is staying put. We find out from Victoria what the future holds, while having a snoop around her gorgeous home.

Who lives here: Victoria Currie and her husband David, sons Charlie (12) and George (11), and dogs Delilah and Tealy. Size of home: Two-storey, three-bedroom house off Stevens Road. Style of home: Calming, with plenty of blues, greys and washed wood. Victoria’s favourite things: “My hunter wellies, my paint-splattered Levi’s and my waterproof fleece – all for when I’m standing in the middle of a field or building site when I’m back in the UK for property development.”


41 JUNE2017

M y visit to Victoria’s home begins as most of my showcase visits seem to nowadays: with an enthusiastic canine welcome. First up is nine-month-old puppy Delilah who scampers towards me, and then there’s 15-year-old Tealy who greets me from afar with a woof. Victoria is on the terrace, which is where we spend the morning, as she brings me up to speed with the past six years. The house is by no means new, and the family have had to endure many issues on account of its age – most recently a power surge that shorted all of their electrical equipment. They’re thousands of

dollars down as a result, with little likelihood of recouping their money. Still, Victoria is pragmatic, and it’s not long before we’re discussing her business instead: she has just signed another four-year lease at Tanglin Mall. This is coupled with the family decision to downsize, as Charlie and George will be starting boarding school in the UK after the summer. “The plan is that the kids move to school while we get shot of the house in August, and we then move to a two-bedder in the Tanglin Park area, paying no more than $3,500 a month. David (who works in shipping) will stay here, and I’ll go back and forth between here and the UK, as Tatty Marsh goes on.”




Future designs Tatty Marsh has continued to turn a profit, says Victoria, despite some difficult times in the home décor industry of late. “It’s a lot more work than it was at the beginning, but although customers are no longer buying quantity, they’re buying quality.” She has also come up with a new service for customers, putting together certain pieces from the shop as a package, plus giving them advice on placement and design. “It’s like a quick makeover service, using a rug, cushions, a mirror or table lamps. I also help with advice on framers or decorators, to put some colour on the walls. Though these are simple things, sometimes people really do need help.”

Left: The sofa is David’s favourite, and according to Victoria they could never sell it, although they do plan on holding an open house in June to sell a lot of their other furniture. Top right: “My needs are simple: lilies, quilted toilet rolls, Red Bull, valet parking and a Land Rover – oh, and diamonds!” Bottom right: Victoria collects pictures of royalty, which she picks up from eBay; you can find them hidden all around the house.

43 JUNE2017

This word-search print, which Victoria put together herself, has 72 different words relating to Singapore, England and Hong Kong. “I think it’s fascinating to do your own art. I had a graphic designer pull this together for around $30, and the framing was $130.” Left: Victoria (as the Queen!) used the “FACEinHOLE” app to mock up plenty of fun pictures for her birthday party. Above: This side table, as well as many of the chairs, lamps and other pieces around the house, is available from Tatty Marsh.



In fact, helping people, especially newcomers, is something Victoria feels particularly strongly about. She emphasises how easy it is to find people to reupholster furniture, frame pictures, make prints, spray- paint furniture, even make wallpaper, and how cost-effective this can be. At the same time, she points out that some of these things can just as well be DIY. “I’ve made my own prints; I painted my bed white the other day, and I painted the

wall. I’m of the mind-set you might as well do it yourself and do it properly!” When it comes to buying home furniture and décor, she admits that things do cost more in Singapore. “If you’re here for two years or less, then maybe don’t invest, but if you’re here for longer you just have to learn to shop wisely. You can’t live here like a student forever. So yes, buy from IKEA; there’s nothing wrong with that – just mix it in with other pieces.”

Although the boys share a room, one of them often ends up in the guest room because the internet connection is better there.




Bits on the side Clearly a grafter, Victoria was living on her own by the age of 16, studied architecture and furniture design in East London, and then enrolled in a pub management course. “I loved every second of it, even though it was hard work and long, long hours. You really learn about people’s behaviour and how to look after yourself.” Then followed a career as an estate agent. She purchased her first house at the age of 23, married David at 25, and owned three UK properties at 26. Now she has turned her hand to property development in the Cotswolds. “I really love it; I get great joy from turning a lump of coal into a diamond!”

Speaking of diamonds, there’s also her “hobby”: purchasing second-hand gems and having them reset by Mr Koh, in Far East Plaza. “The stones are good; it’s just the settings that are out of date. I don’t spend more than around $1,000 to get something remade.” As we finish up our chat, Victoria starts musing about plans to end up in one of her Cotswolds properties and take it easy for a while. Then she looks at me and laughs – which tells me she knows this just isn’t true.

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Above: Victoria painted the bed, the wall and corner cabinet, while the chairs were recently reupholstered. “The rugs, which we sell in the shop, are my favourite things right now – they’re made in Turkey, they’re stain- and fade-resistant, shed- proof, and fully bound so they’re heavy and sit properly on the floor.” Right: Victoria had this portrait of the boys made in Vietnam. “You send them a photo, and they paint it in oil.” The frame cost $190, the print $100.

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Signarama Novena (“contact Eugene to create large format prints, wallpaper or to print large photos”) 6353 9018 Tatty Marsh (“particular favourites right now are the oversized rugs by Highgate Rug Company and the Earl Grey Home outdoor cushions”) #02-07 Tanglin Mall 163 Tanglin Mall 6887 4225 | tattymarsh.com


Carmelites (“contact Ben for picture framing”) #02-08 Bukit Timah Plaza 1 Jalan Anak Bukit 6468 9343 Dulux dulux.sg (“go online to get your paints mixed”) Fabric.com (“you choose your fabric and they ship it”)


Cold Storage Jelita (“it’s open 24 hours – this is where I ended up when I had a cupcake emergency the night before one of my son’s birthdays!”) 293 Holland Road

HA Gallery Oil Paintings hagallery@fpt.vn | hagallery-vietnam.com

Mr Koh Jewellery #03-10 Far East Shopping Centre 545 Orchard Road 6738 9571

House of AnLi (“for good coffee”) #03-17 Tanglin Mall 163 Tanglin Road 6235 3851 | houseofanli.com




Happy, Healthy Home!

1 Mountain Teak uses reclaimed teak as much as possible, because it means no new trees are felled. Another happy benefit of using old wood is that it tends to be stronger and contain less moisture, and, as it’s been used for years already, it tends to be more stable, and is less likely to bend or warp. 2 Solid wood is a far more natural material than plywood or compressed board, both of which use glue and chemicals during the manufacturing process. 3 All the major furniture brands at Mountain Teak have certifications – for example, the FSC certification – or they use wood from PEFC-certified forests (see the glossary, opposite). 4 The company’s Karpenter collection uses FSC-certified teak wood reclaimed from old houses or bridges. The same quality of wood is used inside and out, which avoids the need for finger joints and thus minimises the use of glues.

H ome own e r s a r e increasingly seeking furniture that is not only safe to have in the home but also doesn’t harmthe environment in any way. One company that aims to satisfy both these criteria is Mountain Teak . We asked themabout some of the ways they do this.

Using solid wood and minimal coating helps make furniture safe for the home.




Glossary VOC: Volatile organic compound

(which includes formaldehyde) is commonly found in furniture lacquer. FSC: Forest Steward Certification confirms that the forest is being managed in a way that preserves the natural ecosystem and benefits the lives of local people and workers, while ensuring sustainable economic viability. PEFC: The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification promotes sustainable forest

management through forest certification.

Part of the Karpenter collection, this Brooklyn sideboard is made from FSC-certified reclaimed mixed hardwood.

5 The SquareRoots collection uses sustainably sourced French oak obtained from PEFC-certified mills in Burgundy, France. Many designs feature live-edge solid oak slabs, which add to their natural visual appeal. 6 Lacquer, which contains VOC, is not used in any of the products at Mountain Teak, and some items aren’t even coated. If there is a coating, it’s either water-, wax- or oil-based, meaning the new piece doesn’t give off an unpleasant smell, but rather the natural fragrance of wood. 7 The store’s latex mattresses are natural, made from sap, and contain no harsh chemicals. 8 Teak wood is frequently used in the company’s collections. Aside from being easy to care for and long-lasting, its strength and rich oil content make it water-resistant and termite-resistant, so there’s no need to protect teak furniture with a thick layer of lacquer.

Mountain Teak #07-02 Tan Boon Liat Building 315 Outram Road 6224 7176 | mountainteak.com

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Modern Mix Austrian expat STEFAN, and YEE HUI from Singapore, met through work colleagues back in 2004; they married two years later, and now have two gorgeous children, Lara and Lukas. They also have a lovely home: a condo apartment in Bukit Panjang, which they totally renovated.

S tefan Winkler arrived in Singapore 13 years ago for what he thought would be about three months – and he just never left. He was working in Switzerland previously, and the couple still go to Europe about twice a year. Yee Hui studied German for her O Levels, which is unusual in Singapore, so she must have had an inkling that she might need it in the future! Remarkably, she also manages to do at least one international marathon a year. It’s no mean feat for a working mum with two fairly young children, and she trains by waking at 5am and running before work. (Wish I had that discipline!) The couple decided to buy a place a few years ago, and although it took them a while to find the right one and to do a complete renovation, they’re very happy with their modern and quite minimalist conversion. The apartment they ended up choosing, Cashew Heights Condo, was built in 1990, so it’s larger than the more recent builds; but they also knocked down walls and opened it up, making it feel even more spacious.

Above: Removing the internal walls has created a clear and open family space

Right: This gorgeous

piece of wood for the dining table is also used for the piano stool An electronic blind in front of the display cabinet takes the place of the TV





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Prices were close to their peak in 2014 when they bought, but they had already waited two years for the market to cool down, and eventually they gave in, “just before prices started to come down”. Stefan points out one consolation: “I think the price here is still around $900 per square foot – the older condos have kept their value.” This is no doubt thanks to the generous size of the complex, and the fact that it’s one of those that still has great facilities, like tennis and squash, a supermarket, childcare and tuition, and even a restaurant! They met with a lot of interior designers, many of whom were willing to do the design for free and then package it up with their own contractors; the prices ranged dramatically – from $30,000 to $200,000 for what basically seemed like quite similar jobs. In the end, a friend of a friend did the design and they chose various contractors for different areas of work. Each had their own work styles. “We kept changing our ideas,” says Yee Hui, “and the kitchen contractor charged us for every little change, while others were more flexible.” The couple’s sources were far-reaching: some parts of the kitchen were found at the Miele warehouse sale here, but the oven hood was bought online and shipped from Germany, and the faucets purchased in Austria and brought over in suitcases; Stefan says it’s a lot cheaper there.




They used to bring a lot of foodstuffs over in their suitcases, too, but now with the newHuber’s space at Dempsey they can get most of what they need from there, so they don’t do that anymore. There’s also a Spin fan (“we love the fan, though we wouldn’t recommend the place we bought it from,” says Yee Hui), and the sofa is from Knocknock at Tan Boon Liat. “We had to have it custom-made because it needed to be three metres long to fill our wall,” says Yee Hui. “Even though it’s white and doesn’t seem that practical with kids, it just wipes clean, so it’s great.” On one of the higher floors, which boasts a fantastic wide view of Singapore, they thought it was important to put up a grill on the balcony because of the little ones; it can be taken down at the appropriate time in the future. They also converted the maid’s area into a

study and laundry area that can be closed off. While it’s more expensive not to have a live-in maid, they’ve resisted, because of the privacy issue. Yee Hui’s parents take care of the kids after school. They also have a lot of help from Stefan’s mum, who comes over from Austria an impressive three times a year to help during the school holidays! “There’s a huge cultural difference in the parenting styles between the two grandmothers,” notes Yee Hui. One idea was to buy closer to her parents to make things easier, but in the end they chose to be nearer the new campus of GESS (the German European School Singapore), which is opening in 2018. They can actually see the site from their balcony – and, off in the distance, they can even watch the laser shows from Marina Bay Sands. They also use this outside area to sit and talk through the day once the children are in bed, and they feel that it’s very important to spend that time together. It seems that they have found just the right space – in many ways.

Left: The master bedroom has its own balcony, ensuite and direct view onto the living area when required The children chose their own colours, funnily enough Lara chose pink and Lukas blue Clockwise: This older condo has full facilities including its own supermarket Indonesian Loro Blonyo couple Yee Hui’s medals

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The maid’s room and bathroom are now a study and laundry closed off from the living area by sliding doors


DINING Raffles Marina (“for nice local or Western food”)

10 Tuas West Drive rafflesmarina.com.sg

Riders Café and Picotin (“because we all like looking at the horses!”) 51 and 60 Fairways Drive riderscafe.sg | picotin.com.sg

German Market Place (“for lovely bread”) 609 Bukit Timah Road germanmarketplace.sg

Huber’s Butchery (“for nice meats at the restaurant and in the shop”) 22 Dempsey Road hubers.com.sg

INTERIORS Interior designer: Meng Hwee Ng, 9477 1786 Contractor: JBF Pte Ltd (Ben Toh, 9238 7383) Dining table and chairs: The Vivant Tree, 6468 5828

Sofa: Knocknock (Tan Boon Liat Building) Bed: Wood Farm Lifestyle (Dempsey Hill) Children’s beds: FLEXA (United Square)

Lukas’s desk: Kettler brand, bought at Jarrons & Co (City Square Mall) Curtains and blinds: MGL Curtain & Furnishing (270 Balestier Road) RUNNING Yee Hui’s favourite marathon locations: Füssen, Bavaria (“quite a mountainous run, around castles”), and Nottingham, England (“the Robin Hood Marathon”)



With all the manmade materials on the market, sometimes it’s nice to get back to nature and revel in the qualities of natural wood. EDD+ specialises in using solid wood and other natural materials to create striking pieces for the home. We take a closer look at some of them. NATURAL INSTINCTS PHOTOGRAPHY MICHAEL BERNABE




The fun and funky Union Jack sofa Tree-root coffee tables topped

T hough EDD+ sells furniture for almost every practicality – think dining and coffee tables, chairs, storage and soft furnishings – they certainly don’t stick to one single style. Cast your eyes over their products and you’ll find huge suar-wood dining tables, striking tree-root coffee tables topped with glass, and plenty of fun home décor pieces. “Each piece is painstakingly handcrafted and can be customised according to preference,” explains assistant director Nadya Masli. “We’re passionate about bringing our customers statement pieces that go beyond functionality, and that also infuse the beauty of natural materials with modern techniques.” Suar wood is one material that is prevalent at EDD+, and Nadya points to its character and versatility as key attractions. “It displays beautiful wood- grain textures and curves, giving it versatility in terms of using it for surface or display.” Then there are reclaimed teak products, which combine the exoticism of the material with an eco-friendly appeal. Conversation Pieces Apart from suar wood and reclaimed teak, EDD+ features a variety of furniture crafted from pine, reclaimed railway- track wood and rosewood. Look out too for quirky statement pieces, such as its British-themed range of furniture, which includes an eye-catching Union Jack sofa, and even a red phone box. “Everything we carry has its own appeal, be it form, function, material or texture.We know that people nowadays like to have unique products that create conversation pieces in their homes,” says Nadya.

with glass definitely make a statement

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

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Where are you from, and how did you end up in Singapore? I was born and raised in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, of English parents who moved there after the war. I grew up during the independence war, with Bell helicopters and Hawker Hunter jets in the skies as the norm. I still feel it was a privileged childhood growing up in Africa, with para-military discipline at school, lots of sports, and living an outdoor lifestyle. I joined loyalty-marketing consultancy ICLP in 1996 and was brought to Asia to head up its Hong Kong office. I spent many happy years working there, with great clients such as Cathay Pacific, but after seven years I decided to take a sabbatical, and fulfil one of my life ambitions of building a villa. I managed everything from finding the raw land in Phuket, all the way to the finishing and furniture design. Why did you set up OHMM? This sabbatical was a step towards “sailing my own boat”, and having designed and built my villa, I realised that architecture fed my soul. I couldn’t With tenyearsof runningsuccessful outdoor furniture company OHMM under his belt, we felt it was time to put owner KEVIN BOLAND in the hot seat and find out more about the man behind the brand. In the Hot Seat BY AMY BROOK-PARTRIDGE

find modern outdoor furniture in Thailand – it was all heavy teak with dated designs that didn’t fit the modern tropical look I had created. I then came across Dedon, a company that was pioneering synthetic rattan with modern and inspiring designs. Knowing I couldn’t live in Phuket full time, I placed one foot in Singapore and started up OHMM with a contract manufacturer. OHMM is more than just selling outdoor furniture, it’s about providing solutions for clients and the buzz of actually designing, manufacturing and then seeing clients being delighted. With our own manufacturing facility in Cebu, we want to leverage our boutique capabilities of quality and customisation and go international with partnerships, focussing more on hospitality projects where OHMM products fit well. On a personal front, I met my wife Lishya on a Sunday morning in the OHMM showroom back in 2010. We got married three years ago and have settled here in Singapore – this is our home. What do you hope the next ten years holds for OHMM and for yourself? What are your all-time-favourite pieces from OHMM? It has to be the Fiesta armchair for its comfort, delicate herringbone weave and timeless looks, especially in the new chalk fibre – it’s based on a very old design. I also like the Horizon collection for its modern clean lines and efficient footprint.

After designing and building my villa, I realised that architecture fed my soul



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