OCT 2018



Looking for a superb steak? Which ice cream is our favourite? BEST BITES

Maldives in Motion Aussie Outback Singapore Stays GREAT BREAKS

Learn Cambodia TORUN What we love about it

Value for money is a difficult concept, and it’s a term that’s batted around on a lot of marketing material. But what is it? The most expensive is not always the best – and the cheapest is not usually the cheapest in the long run. So, is it something in between? I did my research on new air-cons for home, and had a good idea of what I wanted. But then my “frugal” side got talked into buying the cheapest ones by a very “helpful” salesman. Saving myself a couple of hundred dollars, I bought ones that looked and sounded good, but have proved themselves to be absolute rubbish. They whirr and click through the night, and switch off at odd times so I wake up in a sweat; it’s affecting my beauty sleep, which is very needed! I really didn’t get the balance right on that purchase. And the thing about a bigger-spend item like this, or a new bed or sofa, is that you’re stuck with them for a while at least. So, what to do? A bit of research is good, and then word of mouth is important – which is why we have always included the testimonials of “happy customers” in our mag. Whether it’s where to go on holiday or which facial to use, a review or referral is always good. It’s not going to work every time as we all have different tastes and needs, but it does help. We have our Readers’ Choice Awards coming up again next month – yes, it’s that time of the year already – so, start thinking of places you’d like to recommend. It helps others, and acknowledges the stores and services that are doing a good job. And, if that’s not enough of a push, we have some fabulous prizes to encourage you to submit your entries – including a Maldives stay! In this issue, we have plenty of products and services for you to research and review – as always, we hope it helps you with your decisions. I hope you make better choices than I did... EDITOR’SNOTE

Happy shopping!

Our review crew had a very difficult job this month: choosing their favourite ice cream in Singapore! Find out which one it was on page 144.



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Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET





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

Printed by Ho Printing Singapore Pte Ltd (hoprinting.com)

Published by Expat Living Publications Pte Ltd 37 Jalan Pemimpin, #07-06 Mapex Building, Singapore 577177

Home styling and interior by Arete Culture (areteculture.com)




NEWS 18 Calendar Updates 26 Readers’ Letters 28 EL Forum: Our online antics and upcoming events 30 Singapore Page: HOME& PROPERTY 34 News 40 Home Showcase:

What’s on in the coming months

Exploring the island’s past and present

54 What’s new in wall candy

Peek around this couple’s Novena pad

47 Product Showcase:

Historical, repurposed furniture

48 Carpet Tips:

Trends in floor décor

51 Inside Story:

Why these buyers picked their artworks

54 Buying Guide:

Art to adorn your walls

66 Street Talk:


Life on Springleaf Avenue LIFE & FAMILY 76 News 82 Noticeboard:

106 Money Talk:

88 Party Time:

Trampoline fun for the whole family

How the Ladies Investment Club can help

New births, plus pets up for adoption

84 Tennis Time:

109 Quiz Night:

Our look at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals


Meet a trivia mastermind

112 Around Town:

86 On the Page:

Photos from openings, parties and more

90 95

Day trips for preschoolers Meet the new CEO at Tanglin Trust Taking bilingualism to the next level Preparing your child for uni

We preview the latest great reads



101 Volunteering in Bintan 102 A Sri Lanka preschool project


104 Good Deeds:

Wine that gives back




160 Exploring Australia’s amazing Top End

155 Angkor Wat and other Cambodia must-sees

WINE & DINE 124 News 128 Bar Tab:

TRAVEL 150 News 155 Destination Focus:

A new and notable spot for a tipple

Cambodia insights and reader recommendations

129 DIY Drinks:

160 Outback Australia:

We check out a bistro with self- serve booze 130 Calling All Carnivores: Where to eat and buy steaks in Singapore 139 Dempsey Dining: Great spots to take your guests 140 Piece of Cake: An expert baker and her new book 142 Recipe Corner: Fail-safe favourites to add to your repertoire 144 Review Crew: The EL team finds the island’s best ice cream!

An extraordinary safari experience near Kakadu

166 Wellness Retreat: Recharge in the Maldives 168 Staycay Spots

Top picks for an easy getaway without flights




176 What to wear for the soirée season!

STYLE & BEAUTY 174 Style News 176 Dress to Impress:

Party-ready cocktail dresses and accessories

180 New Launch:

Maarz Pearls is now online!

182 Beauty News 184 Eye Focus:

The professionals recommend the best treatments

188 Business Profile:

Meet the founder of SkinFitness Beauty Salon

HEALTH & FITNESS 196 News 201 Expert Voice:

A paediatrician on common allergies in kids

202 Breast Aware:

Cancer screening, surgical options and more

208 Fitness Focus:

Expert tips on how to become a runner

REGULARS 215 Numbers & Websites 216 Horoscopes for October


218 Advertiser List 220 Parting Shot: On sharing a ride

Buying bling online



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SOCIAL & CHARITY AWA Local Tour: Ultra-Modern Singapore (6 OCT) How much do you know about the Singapore skyline? During this new tour by AWA, you’ll learn more about famous architectural icons such as Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay and the Sports Hub. Sign up on the AWA website. awasingapore.org MacRitchie TreeTop Walk (19 OCT) Join Jane’s Tours to explore MacRitchie Reservoir where you’ll get up-close to flora and fauna. The walk begins at the Windsor Nature Park Visitor Centre and incorporates the TreeTop Walk. Tickets from Peatix.

Baby Market (12-14 OCT)

Shop over 500 brands of maternity and baby products at this fair in October, including Medela, Philips Avent and Doona. Register and order your items online and collect them during the fair. Singapore Expo Hall 5. babymarket.com.sg HotLotz Live Monthly Interiors & Antiques Auction (25 OCT) On the last Thursday of the month, enjoy complimentary wine and experience the excitement of a live HotLotz auction. View your favourite lots in the flesh and browse upcoming auction offerings. #01-15 Cendex Centre, 120 Lower Delta Road. hotlotz.com Food Japan (27 OCT) Sample and learn everything there is to know about Japanese cuisine at this fair, with authentic Japanese ingredients, food and equipment all featuring. Get your tickets online. Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre, Level 4. oishii-world.com/en

HotLotz auctions





A1 20th Anniversary Reunion Tour Singapore (20 OCT)

CSC Run By The Bay (20 OCT)

Boyband A1 returns to Singapore this month with a special show as part of its Reunion Tour. Expect to hear big-name hits such as “Take On Me”, “Same Old Brand New You”, “Everytime” and “Caught In The Middle”. MES Theatre. Tickets from Sistic. Passages by Singapore Dance Theatre (26-28 OCT) Enjoy three exclusive contemporary works created especially for Singapore Dance Theatre. Audiences will be captivated by the performances’ complexities and intricacies, which illustrate the phases of change and progression. Esplanade Theatre Studio. Tickets from Sistic. The Great Moscow Circus (30 OCT–18 NOV) Witness the talents of 45 world-renowned circus acrobats, clowns, jugglers and daredevils at this exciting circus show. Be wowed by amazing stunts including the Wheel of Death and the Motorbike Sphere of Fear. Big Top Tent beside Marina Bay Sands. Tickets from Sistic.

Enjoy the sun setting over Marina Reservoir during this run, as you cover your choice of four distances – 21.1km, 12.8km, 6km (non-competitive) and the Ekiden 21.1km (three-runner relay). Registration closes 3 October. Gardens by the Bay East. cscrunbythebay.com DANCE, THEATRE & CONCERTS Kinky Boots (5-14 OCT) Broadway hit Kinky Boots is making its way to Singapore this October. The popular musical takes the audience from a humble shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. Sands Theatre at Marina Bay Sands. Tickets from Sistic. Waiting for Godot (17-20 OCT) Follow Vladimir and his friend Estragon as they wait expectantly for Godot. Enjoy their antics and some feisty debate as the clock ticks down on the mysterious man’s arrival. Victoria Theatre. Tickets from Sistic.

Kinky Boots





House of AnLi

Tanglin Mall Level 3 #03-17

Reservations for breakfast, lunch & dinner: 6235 3851 or www.houseofanli.com

2/7/18 12:16 PM Open daily 9am onwards

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2/7/18 12:16 PM

2/7/18 12:16 PM


FAMILY Peter and the Starcatcher by

UWCSEA Open Days

Pangdemonium (UNTIL 20 OCT)

Pangdemonium’s first family-friendly production is a story set in late 1800s

Singapore. Kids will enjoy the magic, music and mayhem, as the characters travel across the sea and meet pirates, mermaids and more. Drama Centre Theatre. Tickets from Sistic.

Nursery Crimes (17 OCT-30 NOV)

Join Polly Piper as she goes on a fun adventure through a magical doorway into Miny Moe, a whimsical world filled with nursery rhyme characters. Filled with puzzles, clues, mystery and friendship, this is a great show for little ones. KC Arts Centre – Home of SRT. Tickets from Sistic. Dear Zoo (19-21 OCT) Based on the classic picture book by Rod Campbell, Dear Zoo comes to the stage in October. Adults and kids alike can look forward to puppets, music and lots of audience interaction. Victoria Theatre. Tickets from Sistic. UWCSEA High School Open Days (Day and Residential Boarding) (23-26 OCT) Learn more about the High School’s day programme and residential boarding options, while getting a feel of student life at both campuses and meeting students and teachers. August 2019 applications open on 1 September 2018 – register for a spot on the school website. uwcsea.edu.sg The British Education and Schools Show in Asia (BESSA) (27 OCT) Learn more about British boarding education and meet reps from some of the most prestigious schools and colleges in the UK. Get expert advice on admissions procedures and recent updates in the UK education landscape and hear from keynote speakers. Register on the BESSA website. Shangri-La Hotel Singapore. bessa.asia/bessa-singapore

ART Let Me Take You to Where the Magic Happens (19-23 OCT) This solo exhibition by Inessa K is inspired by childhood memories. Her works explore vivid happy memories – times when each day not only felt month-long but was full of new discoveries. Visual Arts Centre @ Dhoby Ghaut The Nanyang Space Tour Exhibition (UNTIL 29 OCT) Currently on display at Pan Pacific Singapore are over 30 artworks by artist Tan Ruirong, whose work combines Western painting techniques and strong

The Nanyang Space Tour Exhibition

oriental hues that resemble Chinese

calligraphy. Public Art Space (Level 2), Pan Pacific Singapore





Sandbag November Muster (1 NOV) During this monthly gathering, existing and new Sandbag members can look forward to a fun night out of good food, drinks and company – plus complimentary food platters and drink deals. Non-members are also welcome. Email secretary@sandbag.asia for more details. Bull & Bear Singapore, #01-01 Far East Square, 31 Pekin Street. Mamma Mia! (3-18 NOV) As part of its international tour, feel- good musical Mamma Mia! returns this November, telling a story of family and friendship, and featuring many of ABBA’s greatest hits, including “Dancing Queen” and “Take A Chance On Me”. Sands Theatre, MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands. Tickets from Sistic. Geronimo Stilton Live in the Kingdom Of Fantasy 2018 (9-11 NOV) Join Geronimo Stilton as he goes on a fantastical quest to save the Queen of Fairies. Featuring multi-media projections and stunning 3D effects, this is a great one for the kids. MES Theatre. Tickets from Sistic. Boutique Fairs Singapore: The Gifting Edition (9-11 NOV) Shop over 250 independent and design-led labels as Boutiques returns this November. Pick up gifts and accessories, women’s and men’s fashion and accessories, home and décor items, art and lifestyle goods, and children’s apparel and toys. F1 Pit Building. boutiquefairs.com.sg

Mamma Mia!

SSO Concerts for Children: Music Tells a Story (10-11 NOV) In this musical showcase, enjoy creative orchestral stories and familiar favourites. Little ones can look forward to an exciting journey of exploration and imagination. Victoria Concert Hall. Tickets from Sistic. Affordable Art Fair Singapore Autumn Edition 2018 (16-18 NOV) Returning for its ninth autumn edition, the fair will feature works from local, regional and international talents across over 75 galleries. Browse contemporary art priced between $100 to $15,000, with 75 percent of items under $7,500. Buy tickets online. F1 Pit Building. affordableartfair.com/fairs/singapore PAW Patrol Live! The Great Pirate Adventure (17-18 NOV) Go on an adventure with Ryder and his team of pirate pups as they rescue Cap’n Turbot from a mysterious cavern, and discover a secret pirate treasure map on the way. Resorts World Theatre, Resorts World Sentosa. Tickets from Sistic.

Romeo and Juliet (23-25 NOV) Enjoy Romeo and Juliet by the prestigious Russian State Ballet of Siberia this November. Under the artistic direction of Sergei Bobrov, the love story is brought to life by the dancers with plenty of emotional and dramatic integrity. Sands Theatre, Marina Bay Sands. Tickets from Sistic. St Andrew’s Ball (24 NOV) The Singapore St Andrew’s Society has long held an annual a ball to celebrate its patron saint – in fact, this year the society celebrates 183 years in Singapore. Look forward to free-flow drinks, whisky and a tasty six-course Scottish-themed feast. Shangri-La Hotel. Tickets from Peatix.

: www.expatliving.sg

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





Best Letter We want to hear from you! Send us your thoughts on the magazine, or on any subject under the sun. We’ll be sending Felicia Janecek a bottle of champagne for sharing her success story with us.


September2018 Issue 194



ToothTalk HairHeroes FashionFixes


Cooking Classes



Savethe Seas!


Child’sPlay Treetops& FootballFun Healthyfood delivery

PersonalTraining DanceClasses

PhotoShoots Restaurants LunchBoxes

Some funky antiquestoadd toyourpad!

Sand toSnow FabFiji& WhereToSki Indonesia

S$690 MCI (P)074/02/2018 beautiful Rooms Howtosetupyour livingroom

MCI (P)074/02/2018


Adult-only escapes, shoppingtrips andvillas withviews

ANOTHER YEAR OF EL Thanks for your recent subscription renewal deal – it was great. I always enjoy reading your magazine as it’s so informative – even for a Singaporean, ha! Maybe even more so! – Elaine Lim Ed: According to our last Reader Survey, we have a huge local readership, so you’re not alone! It’s good that we can still be relevant to Singaporeans. And thank you for subscribing!

HELPING YOURSELF First of all, our whole family loves your magazine, and we have utilised it in many ways; it’s a bit of a household staple. I started a very prolific women’s exercising group about two years ago called HERS (Hiking, Exercising and Running Singapore). I have over 2,000 members and have met women from all nationalities and backgrounds through this Facebook group. I never imagined it would explode the way it has – I just thought it might connect a few like- minded gals wanting to join me in discovering Singapore’s urban beauty, as I felt a bit isolated up in the Woodlands! – Felicia Janecek Ed: I love hearing stories like this, and doing exercise does wonders for your mental state so it’s a great help when you’re navigating a new living environment – not to mention the friendship and fitness advantages. Well done!

MOVING ON I am sure you hear this a lot, but Expat Living has been a constant source of information and a pleasure to read – a lifeline, in fact. Thank you! I am going to miss Singapore, that’s for sure! – Jane Hughes Ed: We wish you all the best with your move and we’re so glad you’ve enjoyed your time in Singapore.

Email us at info@expatliving.sg



expatliving.sg Fresh event updates and great content to help you make the most of living here.

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October2018 Issue 195




Looking fora greatsteak? Whichwasthe best icecream? BEST BITES

for just $50 a year (U.P. $83) Get your favourite mag delivered right to your door

Maldives inMotion AussieOutback Singapore Stays GREAT BREAKS

MCI (P)074/02/2018

Learn Cambodia TORUN Whatwe loveabout it


Visit expatliving.sg/offer



Our upcoming events! Visit expatliving.sg/ELevents to register.

Bloom in Pink Workshop includes yoga and Q&A with Dr Wong Chiung Ing, Senior Consultant, Medical Oncology


DATE: 12 October 2018 TIME: 8.30am – 11.30am PLACE: #02-01 HPL House

50 Cuscaden Road Singapore 249724 PRICE: $20 includes workshop, flowers, refreshments & goodie bag


SEO & GROWING YOUR BUSINESS DATE: 18 October 2018 TIME: 8.30am – 10.30am PLACE: Andaz Singapore 5 Fraser Street, Singapore 18935 PRICE: $50 includes breakfast & goodie bag


DATE: 24 October 2018 TIME:

6.30pm – Aces Lounge opens 7.30pm – Singles round robin Followed by – Singles round robin PLACE: Singapore Indoor Stadium PRICE: $186, which includes free-flow drinks, Aces Lounge pass, CAT A baseline match ticket!

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Expat Living at theWTAFinalsAces Lounge


DATE: 26 October 2018 TIME: 9am – 11am PLACE: BOUNCE Singapore Cineleisure, #09-01 8 Grange Road Singapore 239695 PRICE: $10 includes refreshments & goodie bag

Bounce Fit

29 OCTOBER2018

LIFE & FAMILY Exploring the island past and present, with tips, trivia and time travel – and the occasional tricky challenge for readers! THE SINGAPORE PAGE




Where we flick through our magazine from ten years ago to see what we can find...

If you have a little time on your hands, why not expand your horizons and take a class? There are lots of really special ones here in Singapore that you might not be able to find back home. Here are six to get you started! #1 Lotus Leaf Painting Turn lotus leaves into gorgeous works of art. facebook.com/himapan.sg #2 Batik Painting Admire all the beautiful batik prints? Why not design your own? kamaldollah.com/batik #3 Japanese Tea Ceremony Learn how the Japanese elevate serving tea to a true art form. enteaculture.com #4 Chinese Opera Makeup Class Whether you’re a wannabe performer of Chinese Opera or simply an enthusiast, this introductory-level course is ideal. namhwaopera.com/workshops #5 Papermaking Magically transform pulp into paper in this hands-on class. stpi.com.sg/programmes #6 Thow Kwang Pottery Jungle Throw a pot at Singapore’s oldest surviving dragon kiln; it’s the real deal, folks! thowkwang.com.sg

In our Halloween special, we had some specific Singapore- relevant tips for revellers – all of which still stand today!

If you’re in a condo, inform the guards of your plans so they can unlock security gates that trick-or-treaters need to pass through. Carved pumpkins quickly rot in the Singapore climate: opt for a crafted alternative like papier-mâché instead. Many helpers aren’t familiar with Halloween, so do explain the “rules” of giving out candy so that older kids don’t dupe them into allowing more than their share! Most Popular Halloween Costumes: 2008 vs 2018 2008 Barack Obama (he won the presidential election just five

days after Halloween that year) The Joker (Heath Ledger version) Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt Sarah Palin Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi 2018 Donald Trump Daenerys Targaryen ( Game of Thrones )

Pennywise the Clown ( It ) Eleven ( Stranger Things ) Rick and Morty

For more ideas, check out expatliving.sg/top-arts-classes-in-singapore.

Trivia Corner


#1 Name the only other Asian country that is smaller than Singapore in area. #2 What protective feature was introduced in 1998 as a compulsory feature in all new Singapore residential developments? #3 Which country provided the first frozen meat and dairy shipment to the Cold Storage depot in 1905? #4 Which street was notorious for its transvestites between the 1940s and 1970s? #5 Name the large Indonesian island, beginning with “S”, to the west of Singapore.

Think you know Singapore well? Tell us where you might look up to see this sight. See next month’s page for the answer!

Last month: Rope bridge at Tanjong Beach, Sentosa.

1 Maldives; 2 bomb shelter; 3 Australia; 4 Bugis; 5 Sumatra




59 Buying

Guide: Clever and stylish storage ideas

Custom storage by E&A Interiors

40 Home Showcase: Tour this cool Novena condo

47 Store Spotlight: Giving the old a new lease of life

51 Inside Story: How art stole these readers’ hearts



Blasts from the Past Journey East has just taken stock of a raft of retro Art Deco pieces, from coffee tables and armchairs to this vintage-cool sideboard. See for yourself at #03-02 Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road. Sit Sustainably Crafted using sustainable FSC-certified oak, the Rocker chair is available in two different full-grain, vegetable- tanned leather finishes. The piece is made in Europe and is available through materdesign.com .

Home décor store The Cinnamon Room is adding another string to its bow by offering clients a styling service. From giving an existing piece of furniture a new lease of life with a lick of paint or adding striking upholstery, to incorporating unique pieces of furniture and rugs, owner Visha Nelson promises to be on hand to help clients create a fresh new look. Call 9727 3051 to book a consultation, or go to thecinnamonroom.com for more store info. INTERIOR Transformations




Coming to the end of a tenancy is always a tense time, and many of us have heard of, or indeed experienced, horrific handovers. Home improvement company iimafix has recently added rental premise handover help to its services, which include painting and patching up walls, and handling curtain cleaning and reinstallation. This is in addition to its current services such as plumbing, electrical and air-con maintenance. Find out more about its offerings and transparent pricing at iimafix.com , or call 6252 2884 . End-of-LeaseAssistance

Under the Hammer! Do you have cash in your closet? HotLotz is getting ready for the festive season early; we’re already looking for consignment for our Christmas auctions. Now’s the time to look through your wardrobes and jewellery boxes, and send HotLotz the things you no longer need and make some extra spending money for the end of the year! Items that we are particularly interested in include well-stored wine, jewellery, watches, designer handbags (including men’s bags, which are always popular), designer fashion, good-quality tableware, and anything else that will make a great gift or spruce up a Christmas table. What’s our process? We make it as simple as possible for you. Send us an email or fill in our online form with a brief description and photo of your items. We value, photograph and advertise the auction for you; all you have to do is get your items to us! We can even pick them up for you, if you prefer. There are no costs upfront. If we agree to sell your items, all we do is take a commission of 19.5 percent on the final hammer price, so you keep 80.5 percent of the final price. We charge the buyer, then deduct our commission before transferring the balance directly to your bank account. It couldn’t be simpler!

Matthew Elton, HotLotz owner and chief auctioneer.

Sarah Pope’s True Love , part of October’s art auction.

WHAT’S NEW? Look out for the October art auction on Thursday 18 October, at 8pm in the HotLotz saleroom as well as more fun home contents auctions, where you can see items in situ before you bid and buy. Check hotlotz.com for updates.




My personal photos are in such a mess, I don’t even know where to start. Can you give me some tips on sorting them out? TECH TROUBLESHOOTING!

Inflatable Lounging Recline in comfort in the great outdoors with the Fatboy Lamzac XXXL, available from the House of AnLi . It’s easy to inflate, able to hold up to 200kgs, water repellent and designed for both indoor and outdoor use. It’s also simple to keep clean; you just need to store it inside when it’s not in use. See the product in store at #03-17 Tanglin Mall, 163 Tanglin Road.

The only way to organise and protect your photo collection is to develop a good photo management routine. Here are our two key tips: Create a centralised photo hub. Store your photos in one location, such as on your main computer. You will need to ensure your computer has sufficient storage – we recommend a minimum 1TB hard drive, but ideally 2TB. If you’re running out of space, it can be possible for us to upgrade your hard drive to increase storage. Regularly consolidate all your photos from your phone, camera and tablets, and download them to your photo hub. The initial consolidation process can be tricky and time-consuming, and will often result in hundreds of duplicate photos. We help many people with this process, and run specialised software to remove copies so they have an organised and consolidated library moving forward. Back up, back up, and back up again! Back up your files regularly (this means having at least two copies of your data). The more copies you have stored in different locations, the more you minimise the risk of losing precious photos. You can back up to external hard drives as well as the iCloud; we recommend doing a combination of both for a very robust backup. So, that’s it; if you follow these basic photo management tips, you’ll have peace of mind that the photos of your precious memories will be organised and protected. If you need assistance, give Tekkie Help a call on 8113 8682. Quote “Expat Living” and receive a ten percent discount. tekkiehelp.com

WINACAR! Shop for Your Home,

Sarah and Bo Tekkie Help

Visit The Furniture Mall , spend $200 or more and you could drive away with a Mitsubishi Attrage car. The promotion, running until 31 December, covers 40 stores and 70 brands, with a huge selection of sofas, dining sets and mattresses. Find out more about how to put yourself in the driving seat at thefurnituremall.com.sg , or just head to 10 Toh Guan Road and start shopping.



Mid-Century Modern




This American-British couple tells us how they curated their cool décor pieces, and why they love coming home to their Novena condo.


Who lives here: Andrea and Ben Abbate, both from the US How long in Singapore: Since January 2016 Size of home: Three- bedroom, two-bathroom rented apartment with an open-plan living and dining area Style of home: Packed with cool vintage mid-

century pieces, with tons of warmth and character

41 OCTOBER2018

I t’s Friday evening, and Andrea and Ben, a young couple from New York City, have happily agreed to let me into their home for a chat and a nose around. Settling in to tea served in their delicate Limoges wedding set, and sniffing the delicious-smelling focaccia bread that Andrea has baked (unfortunately, a sniff was all I could enjoy as I’m currently on a low-carb diet!), we start chatting about their expat experiences, beginning with their move to London in 2007. Living for most of their stint in the Regent’s Canal and Angel areas, Andrea and Ben loved London life. “We sort of ‘grew up’ there,” says Ben. So much so, they even naturalised as British citizens. With almost nine years under their belts in the capital, they also developed an interest in Asia, specifically Singapore. “We’d been out here for work, and we felt it was a really interesting place to be. When a Singapore- based role came up within LinkedIn, the company Andrea already worked for, she put her hand up for a transfer,” explains Ben. “It was a joint, deliberate choice,” adds Andrea. “Technically we moved with my job, but we were definitely ready for a change after almost a decade.” London to Singapore Making the move from London to Singapore on New Year’s Eve 2016, Andrea and Ben first stayed in a corporate apartment in Clarke Quay. “I hit the ground running with my new job, so it was great that Ben had a little window before he started his new job to find our apartment. It was just enough time for him to find us somewhere.” Having lived in smaller apartments in London, the couple were keen for a slightly older apartment on a high floor – one that would afford them some more space, as well as a closed kitchen. “I would send Andrea photos of the shortlisted condos, and this one really hit the spot,” says Ben. As they’re both city people, the area was convenient for work and socialising. “But for us it was really apartment first, neighbourhood second,” says Andrea. They were drawn to the high finishes throughout, the architectural merit and the design features; in fact, the building won the President’s Design Award in 2007. They decided to take the apartment. Waiting for their shipment of furniture from London, they spent their first two weeks in their new apartment with nothing but an IKEA bed and yoga mat as “furniture”. As this apartment had more space than they had in London, they knew they needed more furniture to fill it; “it was a wonderful problem to have though,” adds Andrea.

Above: The Scandi- buffet seen at the back was picked up from an auction in Lots Road, while the painting is North Korean and also came with the couple from London. Left: A Victorian wooden grumpy man sculpture from Papua New Guinea. Right: The trunk is from HotLotz and dates to the 17th century.




“While living in London we had explored Lots Road and its auction houses, buying a few pieces here and there,” says Ben. “We wanted to find something similar in Singapore, particularly as new furniture can be pretty expensive, but we couldn’t find anything that really hit the mark at first.” They then chanced upon a business card for auction house HotLotz while in a coffee shop in Tiong Bahru, picking up owner Matt Elton’s details from the counter. “We went to his very first auction, and we just loved his stylistic pieces. Matt has a great eye and a knack for wonderful curation.”

Below: The chair and lamp, found in the couple’s

home office,

are from HotLotz.

43 OCTOBER2018

RECOMMENDATIONS HOME HotLotz #01-15 Cendex Centre 120 Lower Delta Road 6254 7616 | hotlotz.com

East Inspirations 33 Pagoda Street 6224 2993 | east-inspirations.com Artful House #08-04 Tan Boon Liat Building 315 Outram Road 8112 6127 | artful-house.com

Vintage Style The couple have a definite leaning towards mid-century pieces, and Ben in particular has a keen eye for incorporating this décor into their home. “Ben studied the history of art and architecture, and I’m always happy for him to pick the pieces for our home,” says Andrea. However, a walk through the apartment quickly determines that they’ve both had a hand in the interior choices. “The unifying style is early to mid- century modern, but we also like to collect Asian pieces from the 19th century, so the result is a bit eclectic,” explains Andrea. The aim has been to create a warm, inviting space for entertaining. “Somewhere you could have 10 for dinner or 20 for a cocktail party. To that point, you really want pieces that grab people’s attention and create conversations,” says Ben. And there are plenty of pieces that do that, from the grumpy man sculptures from Papua New Guinea and the North Korean painting above the buffet, to the 17th-century clothes trunk picked up from HotLotz. Andrea and Ben have also enjoyed hunting down other second-hand and vintage dealers, including Lorgan’s The Retro Store. Then there’s East Inspirations, a father-and- son team that deals in Chinese antiques. Both Ben and Andrea travel for work, a lot – Ben in his position at Fitch, and Andrea with her global role at LinkedIn. With their apartment, they wanted to create a space they were excited and happy to come home to. “Coming back to somewhere that’s homey and not transient, it just feels right. We’ve been together for 17 years, so we have plenty of stuff that’s part of our history, and having it integrated with our pieces acquired here makes this place ours,” says Andrea.

FOOD & DRINK Artichoke 161 Middle Road 6336 6949 bjornshen.com/artichoke

Above: The Buddha was Andrea’s grandmother’s. Left: The Korean marriage cabinet was purchased in London and restored by Lorgan’s. The Chinese chair to the right is from HotLotz, and reminds Andrea of her grandmother’s chairs.

Courtyard by Marriott (“it has this really awesome pool with a bar at the top, and the view is amazing”) 99 Irrawaddy Road 6250 0303 | marriott.com Mala Hotpot (“I went to culinary school in China briefly; I’m a big Sichuan foodie,” says Andrea) Food Junction @ Somerset 313 Mrs Pho 349 Beach Road Newton Food Centre People’s Park Hawker Centre Chinatown The Projector #05-00 Golden Mile Tower 6001 Beach Road theprojector.sg





What do you think is their appeal? People love items with history and a story, but are sometimes at a loss as to how to fit them into a present-day home with a contemporary look or aesthetic. We love to be able to bridge this gap, and bring interesting pieces that can fit well with the look of a modern-day home. Our pieces can work across a range of homes. It really depends on the kind of buyer. On the one hand, you have the consummate collector who cannot resist the lure of buying a one- of-a-kind find for their home. On the other, you have buyers who are attracted to the functionality of a piece, while also wanting to use it to complement the very modern look of a typical modern apartment or home. I do have several; I love mixing and matching as I believe decorating your space with differing furniture styles, colours and patterns helps create an interesting home. This taupe console and vintage window mirror ( below ) have been placed with a contemporary sap-green ikat upholstered chair to create a truly stylish look. Do they suit a more contemporary or traditional home setting? Do you have many of your own pieces in your home?

We find out from Artful House’s owner PADMAJA RAJAGOPALAN about her striking historical pieces.

While you don’t carry classic antiques, your pieces still have history. Tell us more. You’re correct; our pieces are furniture derived from historical features. For instance, this taupe arched console ( above ) is constructed from a beautifully carved doorway arch. Another example here is an arched window frame ( left ), retrofitted with a mirror and placed on a recycled wooden box, with old carvings. We work with architectural features such as door and window frames, and old carvings, and find ways to incorporate them into furniture such as mirrors, sideboards and consoles.

Tell us about your new collection.

#08-04 Tan Boon Liat Building 315 Outram Road 8112 6127 | artful-house.com It will have a special focus on pieces in vibrant colours, such as this brilliant blue door on a stand ( left ). Rich hues can truly lift a space, and they’re a firm favourite with us.

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FLOORDÉCOR F i ve i ns i ght s f rom a member of Singapore’s carpet “royalty”.

3 We advise customers to always follow their heart. Each home is a reflection of experiences, tastes and knowledge. Traditional carpets have a lot of history and appeal. It’s always best to try a variety before deciding on one that will be enjoyed for many years, and make your own memories with them. 4 Antique carpets can in themselves be rather modern. They use highly unusual colour combinations and are always well thought out in terms of design and consistency. They always have a modern feel to them. Styles and trends are cyclical, and it seems we’ve come full circle already. New, plus modern, plus antique, equals masterful brilliance! 5 The most important thing is that a handmade carpet is a work of art as much

The Lotto Carpets business all started in Kashmir in the 1850s, when the Mir family began creating its handmade carpets gallery. Over six generations have taken turns evolving the business, which now sits in a prime spot in Dempsey Hill. Here, IMRANMIR gives us an inside look into the carpet industry. 1 We’ve noticed a major shift in styles and preferences of customers regarding home décor and layout. Modern contemporary and minimalistic styles are the “in” thing today. Customers often come looking for simpler carpets, or very minimal design. 2 Rather than persuade, it’s better to ask customers to envision how a carpet would work. We have a library of good examples to showcase to customers, and we encourage serious buyers to try out selected pieces at home, in settings, before deciding.

as it is a wonderful addition to any home environment. All things considered, if one still loves the simplistic and understated look, great. It’s always a decision one should make with the family in mind; there is much that a family can learn from a timeless work of art.

Top: A pure silk Kashmiri floral carpet Below: Antique Genje tribal rug, circa 1880s

26 Dempsey Road, #01-04 6476 8784 | lottocarpets.com




ARTISTIC LEANINGS While most people’s home décor tends to obey certain “rules”, with art, you’re encouraged to like what you like, and follow your heart. While some factors such as budget are an important consideration, once this is determined, finding a piece you have a connection with should be a priority. We find out what drew these readers in to choose the artworks they are proud to call their own.

Robert and Teresa McIntosh, American

We bought several pieces of art from Gallery 278 that reminded us of Singapore. The artist, Richard Lim Han, really connected with my wife and me, and to be honest the price was secondary. He did 12 paintings of cities we’ve toured and enjoyed, and they turned out really well. When we first came to Singapore from the US, Gallery 278 had set up a turnkey condo for us. For our artwork, Felicia really helped guide me with ideas, tones and colours. Following our briefing, we outlined what we wanted; after that, Richard did all the hard work! Gallery 278 also ensured we were 100 percent satisfied with our artwork, which was really helpful as we had limited experience of purchasing art in the US. We are extremely happy with our purchases and would definitely buy fromGallery 278 again. Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing 278 River Valley Road 6737 2322 | gallery278.com

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Christine Seet, Singaporean Chinese

Initially, I wanted to find art pieces suitable for a small apartment and was looking for something a little different to match the interior décor. When I moved to larger premises, I added to the collection to decorate the house with more artworks that appealed to me. I have varied tastes, and I feel fortunate to have found Michele Righetti, an artist who is able to work with a wide repertoire of techniques, from acrylic and mixed media to oil paintings and sculptures of varied mediums. I happen to own quite a body of his work. This includes his acrylic on canvas artwork, The Street Musicians , which is a depiction of a street in the Italian town of Perugia during the July jazz festival. Winter Landscape is a tempera and acrylic on cotton canvas applied on wood board, depicting a calm winter scene in a village in Tuscany. Then there’s Urban Landscape , a wall sculpture made of solid mango wood, depicting an urban landscape seen from an airplane. These pieces have joined my existing collection, which includes pieces fromLijiang, Beijing, Shanghai, an Aboriginal piece from Darwin, and Martin Loh’s Peranakan work. You really have to buy what you like. I buy what is pleasing to my eye and without necessarily much thought given to its investment potential. Having said that, most of the Righetti pieces I have bought or commissioned have a story to them. The provenance of an art piece and background of the artist are generally what give a piece of art its value; the pieces I own will be heirlooms to both my sons.

Lee Yiren, Singaporean

I was looking for artwork to fit in with my feature wall, and to bring out the essence of the décor in my place. I had bought artwork from Living With Art before, and this time purchased three pieces that depict famous landmarks around the world. The works were created through an interesting technique involving the juxtaposition of black ink

on two pieces of glass, one above the other, creating a shadow image of the picture under lighting. These pieces fitted my criteria perfectly, especially when viewed at night through mood lighting. The collections at Living With Art are diversified, with competitive pricing that caters for different groups of buyers. The friendly staff, including Natalie and Shu Fen, are often on point with their recommendations of artwork for discerning buyers. In the past, I’ve been inspired by the works of Polish painter Tamara de Lempicka, famous in the 1930s for her stylised depiction of the female portrait. I have been collecting Art Deco-style pieces since then. My advice to potential buyers is that there is no good or bad piece of artwork; it depends on the interpretation of the buyer and his or her taste. However, displayed artwork, especially at home, should fit in with the character of the décor, each having its fair share of the limelight to bring out the essence of the place.

Living With Art #02-05 Tan Boon Liat Building 315 Outram Road 6917 6503 | livingwithart.com.sg

Righetti Arte Unit 22, Floor 3A

421 Tagore Industrial Avenue 9617 7830 | righettiart.com



Golden Sky , acrylic on canvas art panel, $950, Arete Culture

On Call , giclee stretched canvas by Diana Francis, $800, Emperor’s Attic

Do you have an eye for contemporary art, or pop art pictures that sing with colour? Perhaps you’re a fan of traditional Chinese painting or have a leaning towards abstract expressionism. Whatever your flavour, here are some pieces on the market to catch your eye.

Untitled III , abstract series by Wang Miao, Living With Art

Untitled II , abstract series by Wang Miao, acrylic on canvas, Living With Art




Blush-framed art panel, $1,250, Arete Culture

Bamboo Forest , original oil painting, $999, Taylor B

Vietnamese Girl In White , original oil painting, $749, Taylor B

Japanese-style four-panel hand-painted folding screen featuring gold-leaf wisteria, Altfield Interiors

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Six-panel Japanese screen, Altfield Interiors

Think Positive , original oil on canvas painting by Michele Righetti, Righetti Arte

Directory Altfield Interiors #07-10 Central Mall Office Tower 1 Magazine Road 6909 2768 altfield.com.hk Arete Culture #06-01 Tan Boon Liat Building 315 Outram Road 9640 3829 areteculture.com The Cinnamon Room #02-74 Jalan Merah Saga Block 43 The Worklofts@Chipbee 6474 4202 thecinnamonroom.com Emperor’s Attic #01-10 Tan Boon Liat Building 315 Outram Road 6270 2544 emperorsattic.com Living With Art #02-05 Tan Boon Liat Building 315 Outram Road 6917 6503 livingwithart.com.sg Michele Righetti Contemporary Art 5A East Coast Avenue 9617 7830 righettiart.com

Year of the Dog , limited edition framed screen print on Somerset satin by Fiona Hollis Carney, $600, Emperor’s Attic

Marilyn , oil on canvas by Michele Righetti, Righetti Arte

Taylor B Design 43 Keppel Road, Levels 3 and 4 6206 9736 taylorbdesign.com

Subash Dream Shop , mixed media photo collage by Ketna Patel, $8,800, The Cinnamon Room

Nasi Boboko , limited edition print by Ketna Patel, $900, The Cinnamon Room




If you’re on the hunt for a piece of furniture to put your pieces in (or on!), there are so many to choose from you may not know where to start. How much space do you need? Are you looking for a neutral tone or a bright pop of colour? Will it eventually travel somewhere else overseas with you? Do you need a storage item to hide away your pieces, or display them with pride? We can’t promise to answer all your questions, but our buying guide should give you some food for thought. GORGEOUS STORAGE The flexible Mila open-concept wardrobe, in three sizes, Grey and Sanders

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Tetra tall shelf in natural teak, $999, Scanteak

Preface modular unit shelving, from $3,676, Gautier

Sensea drawers, set of two, $3,158, Gautier

Custom-made bookshelf and storage system, E&A Interiors

Mid-century chest of drawers, Gallery 278




Brick bone-inlay coffee table, $2,500, Ipse Ipsa Ipsum

Hart cabinet, destructured, Gallery 278

La-Dee-Dah dresser with six soft- close drawers, $8,589, Taylor B

Oak bookshelf, Grey and Sanders

Avondale storage cocktail table, $3,119, Taylor B

Maharaja long sideboard with white marble top, $3,950, Ipse Ipsa Ipsum

Customisedwardrobes from$799, Furniture&Furnishings

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