MARCH 2021

MARCH 2021







EDITOR’SNOTE A wise woman once told me to stretch in bed before I get up every day. At the time, I thought it was odd, but I have been doing it recently and I now “get it”. If you watch a dog or a cat get up, they usually have a good old stretch before heading off – “downward facing dog”, for you yogis out there! So it makes sense that we should be doing something similar. Our bodies are fantastic machines; it’s incredible what they can do if we treat them right and don’t fill them with stuff to stop them doing their job properly. It’s a bit like putting petrol in a diesel car; it won’t last long. When I walked through the Botanic Gardens recently, it reminded me that nature is even more incredible than I thought. There were 130 different species of plants for medicinal use, for helping with everything from headaches to muscle pain and skin rashes. It made me wonder why we stopped using them when it’s all there for the picking – ’scuse the pun! On a health level, I am a big fan of minerals and echinacea, and I take a couple of other bits like vitamin D and C – when I remember. I learnt recently that tonsils are like a library for what you’ve taken in orally, and they remember how to deal with those things the next time they encounter them. It’s why, as soon as we are born, we put our fingers (and everything!) in our mouth. I guess that’s why we can’t catch some things a second time round. All food for thought, anyway… We’ve put a bit of nature in this issue for you, from where to watch sunsets in Singapore to the most beautiful waterfalls in the world. You’ll find something on home composting, too, as well as energy healing and Pilates. We also look at the change in where and how people are wanting to live in Singapore, and we feature two fabulous homes, great Mexican food, and fab fragrances and facials!

REBECCA BISSET Editor-in-Chief

Happy reading!

Bottling nature is our best defence.



Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET Managing Editor LEANDA RATHMELL Editorial Team




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NEWS 22 Things To Do: 26 Readers’ Letters 28 EL Forum: HOME & PROPERTY 32 News 36 Home Showcase:

How to keep busy at home

Our online antics and upcoming events

A penthouse with Bali resort vibes

44 Inside Story:

How these readers sleep soundly

48 Buying Guide:

Top picks for the bedroom

56 Showcase:

Is it a home or a hotel?

36 Inside a couple’s penthouse pad

60 Home Hunt:

A property expert’s insider tips

62 Street Talk:

What life’s like in Siglap

LIFE & FAMILY 70 News 76 Noticeboard: Birth announcements and pet adoptions 78 Screen & Page: Top TV and book recommendations 82 Meet the Author: We chat with an inspiring mumpreneur 84 Family Fun: Why Dempsey Hill has it all 87 Principal’s Perspective: Kids and the power of play 89 Business Insight: Networking in a new world 93 Environment Focus: Why composting counts 96 The Singapore Pages: Exploring the island, past and present

48 The latest in bedroom furniture

84 Fun and learning for the family in Dempsey Hill




128 Islands to explore around Singapore

114 Where to get your taco fix!

WINE & DINE 108 News 112 At the Bar: A new and noteworthy spot for a tipple 114 Let’s Talk Tacos: Two Tex-Mex restaurants to try 116 Carnivores’ Corner: Where to shop top-quality meat TRAVEL 126 News 128 Island Time: Offshore exploring from Singapore 132 Insta Travels: Gorgeous waterfalls around the world




STYLE & BEAUTY 138 Style News 140 Fashion Focus:

138 The latest in fashion news

The right clothing for our climate 142 Sparkling Reviews: Where these readers buy their gems 144 Men’s Fashion: Look cool, crisp and smart! 148 Beauty News 150 Fancy Fragrances: New scents to try 152 Tried & Tested: We review six fabulous facials 156 Expert Voice: The optimal time for a facelift


Menswear we’re mad about!

HEALTH & FITNESS 162 News 164 Health Help:

When to visit urgent care over A&E 166 Maternity Matters: From doctors to doulas 170 Managing Pain: 173 Core Strength: The benefits of Pilates REGULARS 182 Horoscopes for March 184 Puzzle Pages 186 Numbers & Websites Is emotional baggage the cause?


Why pick Pilates?

187 Advertiser List 188 Parting Shot:

In the corner of my room





Relay For Life (20-28 MAR)

thINK: Chinese Calligraphy, Connoisseurship, and Collecting (UNTIL 25 APR)

Th i s annua l r ace ce l ebr a t e s those who’ve battled cancer and remembers those who’ve lost their lives. Choose to complete 100 kilometres over nine days (individually or as a team) or come up with a way to show your support for the cancer community. Something, Somewhere, Somewhen (UNTIL 14 MAR) Singaporean artist Yip Yew Chong’s first solo exhibition at Art Porters Gallery comprises a total of nine triptych paintings and 15 sets of painted objects, capturing daily life and Singapore scenes. Art Porters Gallery

The Asian Civilisations Museum br ings together hi s tory and the contemporary through the collection of Dr Yuan Shao Liang. More than 20 objects were selected for the exhibition from Dr Yuan’s collection of literati objects as well as books and letters from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Asian Civilisations Museum

The [Not-So] Convenience Store (UNTIL 30 MAR) This exhibition aims to highlight wasteful habits and emphasise that there is a price to pay for convenience. Visitors that walk into the “store” will find alternative products that are more sustainable but less convenient. National Design Centre Afterwords Exhibition (UNTIL 31 MAR) Calligraphy artist Malik Mazlan and haiku poet Dave Tai introduce new perspectives to canvases created from drafts, past projects and personal items by refreshing them with haiku and calligraphy. Level 9 and 10 Foyer, Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre.

Yip Yew Chong


At this drive-through exhibition, learn about the cultural significance of the ox through visual arts, electric vehicles and augmented reality technology. Visitors can look forward to visually captivating art and installations made by eight artists in collaboration with local design studio Space Objekt. Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre

Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre






Here are six great spots to visit around Singapore for enriching the mind or getting a glimpse of the past!

#3 Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum This museum is dedicated to showcasing Southeast Asian biodiversity. You’ll be amazed at the extensive variety of plants and animals across the 15 different thematic zones, with over 2,000 natural history specimens to observe. And don’t miss the chance to pop by the museum’s three famous dinosaurs, Prince, Apollonia and Twinky. Pre-book tickets before your visit. #4 Armenian Church While it isn’t the largest Christian church in Singapore, it is the oldest (completed in 1835). The church is in a charming and peaceful setting near Fort Canning Park. Schedule an appointment before your visit. #5 Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay The Esplanade in Marina Bay is home to dining and shopping options, as well as live performances across multiple venues – a concert hall, theatre and several more intimate recital studios and performance spaces. The structure is a sight to behold – most of us know it as “The Durian”, thanks to the spiky, rounded shape of its unique architectural design. #6 Asian Civilisations Museum Positioned across the river from Boat Quay and The Fullerton Hotel, the Asian Civilisations Museum showcases over 1,300 artefacts from China, Southeast Asia and West Asia. It opened in 1997 and its roots can be traced to Raffles Museum, which was founded in the 19th century.

#1 National Gallery Singapore The award-winning National Gallery opened in 2015 and is home to the National Collection and other Southeast Asian works from the 19th century to today. Located in the former City Hall and Supreme Court heritage buildings overlooking the Padang, there’s not only culture to enjoy, but food, too – take the opportunity to dine at one of the fab restaurants, including National Kitchen by Violet Oon and Odette. #2 Buddha Tooth Relic Temple This Tang Dynasty-style temple was constructed in 2002 to house a tooth relic of the historical Buddha and serve as a Chinese Buddhist cultural centre. The complex also houses a museum with ancient artefacts.

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay




BEST LETTER Wewant to hear fromyou! Send us your thoughts on themagazine, or on any subject under the sun. The writer of our best letter receives a FEM Fortify Daily Regime Set, worth $264 fromPHS Hairscience ( ).

Floral Workshop I rea l l y enjoyed your f lora l centrepiece workshop in the lead-up to Christmas – thanks so much to Susan and also to Wilma from Wildflower. Mine didn’t look anywhere near as beautiful as Wilma’s, but it did go on our dining room table and made the house smell very Christmassy! Many thanks. – Miriam Ed: There’s huge satisfaction in creating, isn’t there? We need to be organising more of these kinds of workshops. Thanks for joining us! Stories for All EL could be more inclusive, perhaps in terms of showcasing a more diverse selection of expats; I feel like sometimes the magazine caters to only a select expat demographic, making the theme of some of the issues a bit out of touch. – Malene Ed: We really are happy to talk to everyone and we regularly put callouts on Facebook for homes to showcase (all kinds of homes), baby announcements, feedback on travel trips, and information about readers’ neighbourhoods. But we will bear it in mind to cover a wider demographic in our own content, too. Thanks!

Python Alert Hi there, firstly, thanks for such an informative website. My partner and I are moving to Singapore for my partner’s work. We’re really excited, but we have one question. This may sound odd, but we have a cat

Feng Shui Talk 2021 Thank you to Susan from EL for hosting the informative and enjoyable talk with Feng Shui Focus. – Charlene Ed: I was going to say that in 23 years I have only seen a couple of pythons and they were in the wild. But then the next day there was a case of a pet- eating python in a Holland Village condo! We’ve had a couple of dogs killed by cobras up where I live in the “countryside” (Seletar, in the northeast); as a general rule, they usually avoid the more built-up suburbs and city areas. However, pythons do swimand get around in the drains so theymight just find themselves hungry and in the “wrong” place sometimes. But we’re guessing your cat will be just fine! and we are really concerned about the pythons in Singapore. Is there a specific residential area on the island where there is less risk of our cat encountering a python? This is probably the oddest query you’ve ever had, but we feel the cat would be really miserable if she ended up having to stay indoors all day! – Fiona

Ed: Glad you found it useful. We probably need all the help we can get this year!

Email us at



Don’tmissourmonthly events! Register at

Mental Check-up When to seek support for you and your family Presented by international doctors at Osler Health International 19 MAR 10am

4, 8, 10 & 11 MAR

InternationalWomen's Day The Virtual Conference 2021 4 March, 5pm (SGT) | 8 March, 5pm (SGT) 10 March, 9am (SGT) | 11 March, 5pm (SGT)

21 & 26 MAR

6 & 13 MAR REPEATS ON 9-12

Begin 2021 with the end of suffering Be Pain Free Master healer Pankaj Gupta will heal and teach at The Pankaj Method ™ Healing Workshop

MacRitchie Walk with EL’s Rebecca

Used in 40 countries. Over 22 years. Enrol now. Limited seats.

24 MAR 7.30pm

10 & 24 MAR

with Dee Khanduja How to line up interviews Career Clinic

Dulwich College

17 MAR 10am

31 MAR 3pm

for the whole family withWildflower Florist Decoration Masterclass Easter

A nutrition talk and taste workshop by co-founders of The Whole Kitchen, Anne Swain & Susan Soulard How to elevate your health through Wholefoods



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MARCH 2021




March 2021 Issue 224

MARCH 2021









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29 MARCH2021


38 Bedroom Buys: Fab finds for your sleep zone

Island Living

36 Penthouse Pad: How this couple brought Bali into their home

60 Home Hunt: Property market updates and expert rental advice

62 Street Talk: Check out the neighbourhood in Siglap


Coastal Chic Once votedbyCondéNast as one of the most beautiful stores in the world, Souq Store in Bali has now launched SOUQ Design, mak i ng i t s cus t omi s ab l e furni ture , homeware and l inen avai lable worldwide. From Batik sarongs to teak tabletops, each piece celebrates Indones ian craf t smanship while championing organic and sustainable materials. To bring a bit of Bali into your home, visit .

a $900 voucher and a 90-minute home consultation!

Is your home ready for a refresh, but you aren’t sure where to begin? This could be your lucky day! Known for its luxurious and eclectic style, The Cinnamon Room offers an extensive collection of artisan-crafted home décor that’s bound to add a touch of flair to your space. The store’s popular signature hide rug collection is handmade using high-grade, ethically-sourced hides. They’re as durable as they are stylish – red wine and coffee stains simply wipe away, making these low-pile beauties an effortless solution for any area of the home. This month, we’ll be selecting one special reader to enjoy a 90-minute home consultation with The Cinnamon Room’s founder and designer Visha Nelson. What’s more, you’ll also receive a $900 voucher to use towards a rug of your choice!

Canvas Concierge Whether you’re new to the art scene or a seasoned collector, Lazuli is a great new concept you’re bound to benefit from. As well as being an online art gallery that supports local artists, it offers everything from art consultancy, framing and restoration, to installation. Committed to helping you find the perfect piece, the team can even help you to commission a custom-made piece that’s tailored to your budget, style and space. Find out more at .

For a chance to win, visit

Surround Sound New to the wireless speaker game, Sony has launched the SRS-RA5000. Equipped with the brand’s unique spatial sound technology and packed with smart features, this powerhouse fills every nook and cranny with smooth and unobtrusive sound waves – like you’re at your favourite café! Unlike most speakers that only spread sound horizontally, the SRS-RA5000 spreads background music both horizontally and vertically; plus, a sound calibration function optimises output for different acoustic conditions in each room. $849 from Sony Stores and online.



Introducing House of AnLi – The Loft, a new retail experience at Tanglin Mall that brings eclectic furniture from around the world to complete your indoor and outdoor spaces. This 6,500-square- foot store features ready-to-purchase favourites from the founders of House of AnLi, such as solid oak dining tables, Mathy by Bols children's beds and the handmade wicker chair collection by Belgian designer Vincent Sheppard. What’s more, you can custom-order several pieces, including home office shelves and 100 percent natural latex mattresses from Sofzsleep. Check it out at #02-20 Tanglin Mall . Now Open!

The Gift of Water Wateroam, the local social enterprise that deploys life-saving water solutions for developing communities worldwide, is bringing its most compact, affordable and stylish product to Singapore. Made with multi-stage filtration technology, the Home Series Faucet Filter removes impurities to provide safe and tasty drinking straight from your tap. Beyond the promise of safe water for you and your family, each filter purchased also supports one child with drinking water for a year. $49 from .

Study Security Safeguard your working year ahead and bring some feng shui to your desk! For the Year of the Ox, Feng Shui Focus has launched the Anti-Burglary Lumi Tile in a brand new design. Doubling up as a handy paperweight, this office essential is said to help protect from theft, loss and betrayal, particularly for those in leading positions and individuals with their workspace positioned in the northwest of their home. $48 from .

Palette Pros Looking to give your bathroom a boost? The design gurus at Wallpaper have collaborated with British bath and basin experts Victoria& Albert to develop three new colour palettes to help designers and home owners coordinate hues to complement their bathroom décor. The palettes represent different moods, from the warm and contemplative feel of Dune Retreat, inspired by desert sands, to the powerful, robust Light Industrielle ( pictured ) that nods to contemporary architecture and classic industrial design. Now available at .







Singaporean couple INDI andANUSHKAR (Nush) tell us why they love their newly renovated Bali-style Siglap penthouse. When Indi and Nush Tandon arrived back in Singapore following a year-and-a-half stint in Shanghai, they knew they wanted to settle in a large loft or penthouse apartment. For shipbroker Indi, the space had to accommodate his love of socialising and entertaining. For Fintech professional Nush, also a certified meditation and sound healing practitioner, it needed to work alongside her love for meditative practice and reading. Travel was a driving inspiration for their home style. Nush hails from Indonesia and shares with Indi a love for Bali – it’s their favourite holiday destination and where the couple married. Their love of travel, and in particular Bali, needed to be reflected in their home. “It had to be conducive to our different personalities and interests and, more significantly, incorporate elements of being in our favourite holiday destination.”

Size : 2,400-square-foot, four- bedroom, three-bathroom penthouse apartment (plus additional bedroom and bathroom in the backyard) Where: Siglap Who lives here: Indi (Singaporean) and Nush Tandon (originally from Indonesia, now a Singapore citizen) How long for: Since 2019

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Why did you settle in Siglap, and this condo in particular? Siglap has a laid-back atmosphere, and there’s a certain charm to it. It’s a great social hub with its strips of restaurants, cafés and bars, so there’s really a perfect balance. The proximity to the beach is perfect, and there are plenty of green spaces; it’s closer to the sea than the concrete jungle, but still quick enough to get to the CBD. We chose the Villa Marina condo because it exudes an “old school”, peaceful, resort-type ambience. The first time we walked into the condo, we really felt that ambience – in its cobblestone path, abundant greenery and low-rise units. It made us feel at ease. Our driving desire was for a penthouse or loft apartment; we wanted a spacious place and felt this apartment made smart use of the space available. We fell in love with the spiral staircase and fine timber in some of the flooring, which we have maintained. It also boasts a lot of natural light. We’d already met with a few interior designers but hadn’t settled with anyone as yet. We had been searching online for home designs to get some inspiration, and came across Studio Igg, so we decided to take a risk and explore a little further. The first time we spoke to Nishi and her team, she seemed to instantly sync with us and articulate what we wanted. There was a great balance of her giving her expert input whilst also listening to ours. Ultimately, we felt she could not only understand what we wanted but elevate it as well. She seemed to have a broad view of things – some out-of-the-box perspectives. And her team had a profound understanding of space beyond aesthetics. Separately, her personality stood out to us, too – she was extremely humble. Since we knew we’d be closely involved, this was a real plus point. Why did you choose Studio Igg as your interior design firm?




How did you find the whole renovation process? We were closely involved throughout the project, providing our input on the design of each space, and the selection process of materials, furniture and décor. Nush coined the whole process a “labour of love”. It was time-consuming, but ultimately fulfilling. Some parts of the process were relatively daunting, particularly initially when we saw the whole place torn down! Some parts were also really enjoyable, including selecting the design and style of the new space. Indi: The bar lounge area, definitely! That’s on the second floor. It’s mainly filled with my whiskey assortment, from single malt to blended scotch. For me, it’s the whole ambience – wood tones, leather day-bed, and some coastal colours in the décor; it feels luxe and laid-back. Overall, the flow of our home ensures comfortable living as well as hassle-free entertainment. It encourages us to unwind and appreciate all the good things life has to offer. Nush: It’s so hard for me to select favourites because I like it all! The three bathrooms are lovely; each has its own unique, well-considered design, but still follows a consistent underlying minimalist style. My two particular favourites are the second-floor tropical-styled bathroom, and the master, with its mix of marble and wood tones. I also love the main living room just beside the cosy balcony; the area is spacious and calm with neutral tones. And I like the second-floor Bali-inspired room, and the master bedroom bay window area! These are actually the three areas I would use for my meditation or for reading time. The kitchen is also a fantastic space; it has a little bit of fun and a pop of colour in the aesthetics. I especially love the writing board that Nishi incorporated there; I like to leave motivational quotes on it. Indi: It’s important to know what you want – or at least have a good idea! Take it slow, don’t rush into it, and manage your expectations around budget. Nush: When it comes to your home space, I believe it’s important that it encapsulates what you love, and what brings out the best in you. However, you also need to think about the practicality of your day-to- day life. Also, try and make the process an enjoyable journey and memory! What are your favourite parts of the home, and why? What tips would you pass on to our readers considering a renovation?

39 MARCH2021

It’s important that your home space encapsulates what you love and what brings out the best in you.




The Design Story Nishi Somanna, interior designer at Studio Igg

I was approached by the Tandons in January 2018 after they’d seen one of our projects online. They were very clear about what they wanted – minimalist design with lots of white. When we found out that Nush came from Indonesia and that their favourite destination was Bali, we knew that would be incorporated as the inspiration for their home. They were open to a few changes on existing masonry in the kitchen, master and family room of their duplex apartment, which gave us a free hand for space planning. The couple were very involved in the project. I loved the way Indi used to coordinate meetings so he could accompany Nush and participate. Nush was very clear in expressing what she wanted, and that gave us a lot of clarity. After every two to four areas of design development and three-dimensional drawings, we used to meet up and have discussions on the overall feel, finishes and materials. I’m very proud of the project, I love the space and the people in it; it feels so perfect for Indi and Nush. The living room, with the vertical white wooden beading on the wall and ceiling, is particularly noteworthy. This enhances the double-height space, and the white walls give a relaxed, calming feel as we enter the house. The bedroom lobby area, which has white laser panels letting light through it to create shadows on the wall, gives a very serene, fairy tale, magical effect. The glass partition for the master bedroom walk-in wardrobe, with hanging rods in a free- flowing showroom style, creates a spacious feel and interesting wall feature for the master bedroom. The bedroom at the upper level has a raised floor bed, wooden beams, jute-like cabinet doors, aquamarine metal knobs and bathroom with rustic textured stone wall and skylight at the shower area. All of this contributes to the tropical holiday concept. We truly feel that the house resonates with Studio Igg’s ideology of creating spaces that are healing, uplifting and peaceful.

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Indi &Nush’s Recommendations

Interior Design Studio Igg (“a boutique company with great values”) East Coast Eats & Drinks Next Door Spanish Café (“great food”) 699 East Coast Road 8168 4009 Stamping Ground Coffee (“for a coffee fix!”) 87 Upper East Coast Road

Mad Nest (“for a casual drink or two”) 380E East Coast Road 6348 6861 Jalan Tua Kong coffeeshop (“particularly for the carrot cake and laksa”) 64 Joo Chiat Place Further Afield Thevar Modern Indian Grill Restaurant & Bar 9 Keong Saik Road 6904 0838 | Olivia Restaurant & Lounge 55 Keong Saik Road 6221 0522 | Geylang Lor 99 (“try the hokkien mee”)

Si Chuan Dou Hua #60-01 UOB Plaza 1 80 Raffles Place 6535 6006 | Barbary Coast (“great cocktails”) Level 01 & 02 16 North Canal Road 8869 4798 |



DreamTeam Tossing and turning? We turn to our readers for recommendations on where to find the perfect bedtime solutions for you and your family.

Victoria Costilles, British

mattress in medium firmness. We loved that it was made of natural and organic material and that the cover was machine-washable; but, above all else, it was just so darn comfortable! The level of customer service that we experienced was exceptional. Everything was delivered quickly by the European Bedding delivery teamwhowere friendly, efficient and professional. We’ve now had our mattress for over two months and we couldn’t be happier. We sleep so well, and our aches and pains have eased, too. The bamboo sheets that we also purchased from European Bedding just heighten the whole experience – and they seem to be getting better with each wash!

My husband and I have two children who don’t let us sleep nearly as much as we’d like to, so quality sleep is very important to us! We’d already had our existing mattress for 10 years and both recently entered our 40s, so we were starting to feel the aches and pains that come with age. When we moved to Singapore, we took this as our opportunity to start fresh with a new mattress. I turned to Google and quickly came across European Bedding. We visited the showroomwhere Hanne assisted us and explained everything we needed to know about the mattresses before allowing us to test them out. We took our time, including trying various mattresses at other stores, but nothing came close to the comfort and quality that we felt in the European Bedding mattresses. Once we returned to the showroom, we decided on our purchase: an EUKing-sizedHeveya III

European Bedding 32 Eng Hoon Street 6735 6658 |




Shilpa Rastogi, American

I’d seen designer and co-founder Karin Rysgaard’s name recommended several times on Facebook, especially for refurbishing furniture. So, when she opened a shop, I knew I had to check it out. I love rustic and tropical furniture and the Island Living range just sings that song for me! My partner and I bought our apartment in 2018 and were on the lookout for some furniture to give our home a new look andmatch the rustic tropical theme we had in mind. We both live very busy lives as doctors, so a place to retreat to at the end of the day was on the top of our list. When we arrived at Island Living, we were warmly greeted by Karin. She was so helpful and gave us plenty of ideas on what would work. We ended up buying furniture for several rooms in the house including a King-sized Havana bed, a teak and rattan wardrobe, a Malawi-style sofa, bedside tables and a teak console. We also purchased plenty of accessories, including lamps, cushions, bed linen, a water hyacinth rug and a beautiful piece for the wall from Kenya.

After meeting with Karin, we were confident that she really understood the style that we were looking for, so we took one step further to engage her styling service, Cocoon Styling, to do all the reupholstering and onsite styling. In our TV room, we already had a comfortable sofa set that we were rather attached to, so Karin helped to reupholster this and bring the room together with some added accessories. Overall, the customer service at Island Living is fantastic; they’re flexible, accommodating and incredibly pleasant – including the delivery team! What’s more, the products are well-priced and their range is updated each month – not an easy task these days given the restrictions and delays on shipments. They’re an on-trend brand that caters perfectly to life in the tropics, and certainly a company to watch! Island Living #02-05 Henry Design Centre, 5 Eunos Ave 8A 8780 5139 |

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Nicole Beste-Fopma, Dutch

We arrived in Singapore with just the clothes on our backs! Prior to our move, we were living in a serviced apartment in Shanghai for one and a half years, so we lacked not only furniture, but even the basics like electronics, cutlery, pots and pans. Luckily, Gallery 278 were recommended to us by our relocation manager and they helped make the furniture hunt smooth and swift! Felicia and Sara from Gallery 278 were friendly, helpful and ever-so patient. They took the time to understand our needs and match our budget, providing alternatives where and when necessary. We ended up purchasing nearly all of our furniture from them, including this fantastic daybed that sits in our TV room. My husband and I love furniture that is functional and practical, and this piece has come in very handy. We have four boys that are all grown up, and three of them are still at university. So when they come to visit, our TV room easily becomes a

spare bedroom. Not only are the design and material great quality, but what I love about this daybed is that it transforms into a proper bed, with a comfortable mattress. This gives me peace of mind that my boys and any visiting guests sleep well when they’re here.

Gallery 278 | 278 River Valley Road | 6737 2322 |

Sylvia Fonda, Indonesian

I was on the hunt for a treehouse-style bunkbed for my kids, so I turned to trusty Google to begin my search. After scouring the internet and reading plenty of reviews, House of AnLi came out top with their stylish and sturdy bunkbed selection. I reached out to them and was put in touch with Lorenda, who was incredibly helpful in answering any questions and talking me through their range. With her advice, I eventually decided on the wagon bunkbed. It was a great fit for the space and I was pleased to find out that I could choose the colour combination to match my kids’ room. What I love about this bed, however, is all the clever compartments! Space is limited in Singapore, so smart storage is always a key selling point for me. There are two big drawers that we use to store blankets, towels and bed sheets, while my kids make use of the cupboards and shelves inside to put away their favourite toys and books. The mattress is also top quality; it’s both durable and cooling and incredibly comfortable. For me, money well spent for my kids means that they get quality sleep at night, and plenty of play in the day climbing in and out of their wagon of fun!

House of AnLi #02-21/22 Tanglin Mall, 163 Tanglin Road 6235 5193 |



From heavenly mattresses to luxury linen, we round up the latest finds in bedroom furniture so that you can make the most of your boudoir.








1 Havana bed in teak wood and rattan, handmade in Indonesia, from $1,090 (Queen), Island Living 2 Libeco Folkestone bed linen in 100 percent linen, washed finish, price on request, House of AnLi 3 Heveya Bamboo Bundle Sheets set (fitted sheet, duvet cover and two pillowcases) in 100 percent bamboo lyocell fabric, from $303 (single), available in grey, dark grey and white, European Bedding 4 Cursive hanger in rattan, $29, The Furniture Makers 5 Heveya Mattress III in 100 percent natural organic latex, covered with organic cotton-padded bamboo cover, customisable in various sizes and firmness levels, from $3,588 (single), European Bedding 6 Ethnicraft Air bedframe in oak, from $1,945, Originals 7 Bamboo Marquetry bedhead, $1,300, and side table, $590, in solid timber; Brancusi lamp in timber, brass and linen, $380, SOUQ Design 8 Custom wardrobe in sungkai wood and cane, price on request, The Furniture Makers 9 Valet clothes rack in solid oak, $395, House of AnLi






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10 Grass-cloth wallcovering, price on request, Gallery 278 11 Oceania trimming collection from Samuel & Sons, price on request, Altfield Interiors 12 Ethnicraft Spindle bed in oak, $2,125, Soul & Tables 13 Karpenter Vintage bed in teak, $1,895, Soul & Tables 14 Table lamp with copper resin base, $796 (set of two), WTP 15 Jumbo armchair with footstool, $989, WTP













16 Mackay bedframe in Russian pine wood, price on request, Black & Walnut 17 Antique sideboard, price on request, Just Anthony 18 Bedroom cushions and linen, price on request, Gallery 278 19 Weitzner Hourglass wallcovering, price on request, Altfield Interiors 20 Antique Zhejiang wedding cabinet, and Shanxi armchair in elm, China Collection 21 Union Jack hide rug, $1,150 (customisable), and hide cushion cover, $120, The Cinnamon Room 22 Bedroom furniture and accessories, price on request, Arete Culture



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23 Assorted Maison de Vacances throws and cushions, from $280, Originals 24 Banana Leaf bedhead in rattan, from $545, Island Living 25 Metallic hide cushion covers, $120 each; honeycomb cotton dhurrie rug, $1,350 (1.8m x 2.75m), The Cinnamon Room 26 Antique wedding cabinet from Zhejiang province, approximately 100 years old, price on request, Just Anthony 27 Bamboo Marquetry bedhead, $1,300, and side tables, $590, in solid timber; Brancusi lamp in timber, brass and linen, $380; Rare Textile Collection Rangrang bed runner, $745, SOUQ Design 28 Mural wallpaper, $368 per roll, Honpo 29 Rattan design wallpaper from NLXL, $368 per roll, Honpo 30 Customisable metallic hide rugs, from $1,800, The Cinnamon Room 31 Vincent Sheppard Pong night table, price on request, House of AnLi 32 Haryati chair, $1,625, throw cushion cover, $85, and faux fur throw, $265, Arete Culture





Directory Altfield Interiors 1 Magazine Road Central Mall Office Tower, #07-10 6909 2768 | Arete Culture #06-01 Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road 9640 3829 | Black & Walnut


43 Keppel Road, #W1-01/02/03 6781 3201 | China Collection 252 Joo Chiat Road 9858 6889 | The Cinnamon Room #02-74 Jalan Merah Saga 9727 3051 |

European Bedding 32 Eng Hoon Street 6735 6658 | The Furniture Makers #05-01 Joo Seng Warehouse, 1 Upper Aljunied Link (by appointment only) 9234 4966 | Gallery 278 278 River Valley Road 6737 2322 | Honpo #09-14 Proxima @ Gambas, 50 Gambas Crescent 9089 3266 | Just Anthony 379 Upper Paya Lebar Road 6283 4782 | Originals 1 Bukit Batok Street 22, Level 5 6471 9918 | House of AnLi #02-21/22, #03-17 Tanglin Mall, 163 Tanglin Road 6235 5193 | Island Living #02-05 Henry Design Centre, 5 Eunos Ave 8A 8780 5139 | Soul & Tables #02-03 Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road 9272 1545 |



SOUQ Design WTP 3 Kung Chong Road 6235 2760 |


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Every day is a holiday for this Singaporean family who have given their stunning property an elegant hotel feel.





Creating a design concept for just one room in your house can be tricky enough. The colour palette, style and finishing touches require careful curation to make the final result just so. That’s why the new home of company director HARYATI BORHAN is such a wonder to behold. She had one dream when she moved from a landed property to a modern cluster on Whitley Road (as part of the Whitley Residences): she wanted to have a hotel aesthetic not just in one room, but throughout the entire three-storey, four-bedroom house. With the help and vision of interior designers Arete Culture, together they aimed to create a space that would make the family of four feel like they were on a perpetual holiday. Their renovation journey began with a hotel-inspired signature look of modern black lines and reflective gold, which effortlessly flows throughout. A sophisticated backdrop of rich greys, blues and taupes is complemented by glass and mirrored surfaces, fanciful wallpaper and suggestions of plush velvet. The outcome is the ultimate five-star destination. It’s time to check in!

Your home is beautiful, Haryati. When did you move in? We first looked at the property inNovember 2019, and bought it four months later. We love that it’s close to our work and to Orchard Road, but it was the modern layout that clinched the deal. Compared to our previous home, this has so much more space, including its own parking lot. The lift that goes between the basement and third floorwas another important factor formy husband and I as we grow older. The facilities included in the development were another big pull – the swimming pool and gym were very appealing. We knew we were going to make some significant changes, especially as we brought Arete Culture along to assess the potential of the place before we decided to buy. When we first looked at it, there were some things we didn’t like such as the kitchen. We also wanted to maximise the use of specific spaces like the rooms to suit our needs. Were you planning to renovate the property when you bought it?

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Did you have a vision for the renovation? We hoped to create the feel of a modern, classy hotel that’s highly functional and tailored to our family. We listed down what we wanted from the different spaces to ensure that the overall design and functionality could fuse together. Yes, COVID was definitely a hindrance. We planned to begin renovation works in April 2020, but due to the Circuit Breaker we started in late July. There were also some delays in getting supplies and workers for the project. We allocated around three months for the renovation and, for the most part, work proceeded according to plan. There were some issues here and there such as building regulations we’d never dealt with before, or additional work that had to be carried out, but we got through it. You bought the house just as the pandemic hit. Did it pose any problems?

Tell us about some of the changes you made. We redid the kitchen and outdoor spaces, retiling them and installing new cabinetry and appliances. Most of the seven bathrooms were renovated with new cabinetry and tiles, and we converted one of the bedrooms into a family room. The fascia on some walls was tidied up, and new customised furniture was placed in some of the rooms. Did you come upwith the design ideas yourself? The designs were created by Arete Culture in consultation with us. In most cases, we would give Caroline and Jeannette a list of features we wanted, and they would provide us with different options, giving us a say in how the home would turn out while still ensuring everything went together well. It was a constant back and forth as we chose what we liked in stages, or changed things depending on functionality.




A note from the designer The aim of this interior design project was to make the clients feel like they were on an endless holiday, so our design vision was for a luxe-boutique-hotel look, accented with gold and wallpaper in almost every room. The key renovation areas were the dry kitchen that opens up into the huge backyard, where we worked to create a seamless indoor/outdoor experience, and the basement TV room, which was previously just a partition wall! We completely redesigned the layout and configuration of the basement to transform it into a cosy and inviting entertainment space. The upgrades for all the ensuite bathrooms as well as wardrobes in the home were also done by us, in addition to styling the entire property.

– Caroline Chin Geyler, Founder and Principal Stylist, Arete Culture

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What are some of your favourite things from the reno? Without a doubt, my favourites are the kitchen and backyard. Even though they are two separate areas, the way they flow and function together exceeded our expectations. The indoor kitchen feels more formal and luxurious; the backyard is more relaxed and laidback. They serve two distinct functions and give two different feels. When the door between the two spaces is opened, they serve as an amazing place to entertain guests. Which of your tailor-made furniture means the most to you? We had the main dining table chairs and two chairs in the living room tailor-made for us, but the special pieces are those taken from our old home and given a new life by Arete Culture. Several of our original pieces look incredible now, thanks to being cleaned and repurposed. It’s very special that they have a completely new look which suits our new home, but still allows us to fondly recall memories from our old one. We never thought such change would be possible for furniture more than 30 years old!

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Where are most of your clients from? They’re mainly expats from the UK, Europe, USA and Australia. Either they are newbies arriving in Singapore or they’ve lived here for some time and need to move home. How has COVID-19 been affecting the rental market? Clearly, a lot of expats left Singapore after lockdown ended. Some were retrenched, but many wanted to be with elderly parents back home or to have more opportunity to travel. As a result, we thought there would be a lot of property coming onto the market but, in reality, many overseas Singaporeans returned to the safety of Singapore and took back their properties; also, many people have been moving here from Hong Kong, and there are new expats coming in, too. All of this means there’s a shortage of good inventory and rental prices are holding or even increasing. Managing clients’ expectations is key now because so many people think they’ll find a bargain and can make lowball offers. But it simply isn’t the case. Yes, many clients wanted to move out of their small apartments in the CBD and instead have an apartment with an extra bedroom as their home office as well as balconies. A lot of families are continuing to move to landed properties with gardens or to be by the beach, too, because they went stir crazy during lockdown while cooped up in an apartment. We have never known Sentosa to be so full! What areas are popular right now? Staples like Bukit Timah and East Coast are always sought-after due to their proximity to the Botanic Gardens and East Coast Park. Where expat families live is usually determined by the international schools their children attend. And, as mentioned earlier, we have seen Sentosa go from quiet to super popular because, with the travel restrictions in place, resort-style island living has enormous appeal. We asked the Expat Team at real estate company Knight Frank to give us some insider tips for a Singapore home search and to reflect on some of the property trends arising from the COVID-19 situation. After lockdown, did you see any changes in people’s property requirements? Knights in ShiningArmour

What’s the most unusual property request you’ve catered for in the job? A landlord wanted to rent out his property together with his cat! The cat was noisy and territorial, so it put off all the prospective tenants from renting the place. And a funny situation you’ve encountered? We were viewing a landed house and my client opened a kitchen cupboard, and just like dominoes all the cupboards collapsed! It was like something out of a movie! The landlord was there and she simply said, “No issue.” The client asked whether she would put in a new kitchen and the landlord responded, “This one is fine.” We cut our viewing short!




What about the most difficult situation you encounter?

Sometimes nickel-and-diming over the return of security deposits is arduous. We have a 100 percent success rate in getting security deposits paid back in full but this is because we conduct a thorough check-in inventory and condition report with photos so there’s clear evidence of damage. We also ensure that clients do a professional clean, curtain clean and air-con clean before leaving so they don’t get deductions for this. We fight our clients’ corner. If you find a property directly through a landlord’s agent, you need to understand that that agent will always be protecting the landlord’s interests and taking their side in any disputes. It’s their duty to their client. Having your own agent means you have someone representing your interests, taking your side, sorting out issues. This is particularly important when it comes to ongoing repairs and maintenance and the return of your security deposit; having your own agent can make an enormous difference. What do I pay for having my own agent? Engaging an agent to represent you doesn’t cost you anything if your lease is for two years or more and your budget is a minimum monthly rental of S$3,000. Therefore, it makes total sense to have your own representative in your corner. Why do we need our own agent when looking for a home?

Lots of families are moving to landed properties with gardens, or to the beach; we’ve never known Sentosa to be so full!

What changes would you like to see in the property industry in Singapore? We would like mandatory electric and gas safety certificates issued before the start of every tenancy and renewal. Currently, no safety checks are conducted, which is an accident waiting to happen. We would like to see a security deposit scheme managed by a third party to ensure fair return – also, for landlords to pay a monthly management charge, as agents currently handle all the ongoing queries, repairs coordination and issues for free; this is time-consuming and it means we work for free a lot.

The Expat Team

Jessica Catherine Low R062922J

Ella Sherman R015528H

Maxim Loo R045323H

To book a home search with the Knight Frank Expat Team, call Jessica at 9187 5269 or email her on

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