+65 6206 9736 @taylorbdesign Taylor B Fine Design

65 Mohamed Sultan Road Singapore 239003

Opening hours: Daily 10am to 8pm

EDITOR’SNOTE Thismonth in 1945 saw the end of a period of terror, bullying, personal restriction and financial disruption – and here we are 75 years later… We hope you enjoyed our World War II story last month; there was a lot of detail in it that I hadn’t appreciated before – like the fact that Singapore had been “held” for so much longer than the rest of the world. In this issue, we hear another war-time story that gives us a different view of life here during those years. We also highlight some of the interesting places to discover this military history on the island. On the topic of the olden days, we also feature people who have found an antique treasure they love, and we highlight tailors in Singapore who are masters of their old trade. There’s also a chat with a French expat and musician who’s just released a new album, and a group of ladies who share their adventures in Greenland – on bikes! All of these things let us know what can be achieved if we set our minds to it. I loved reading our stories of girls’ trips sent in by readers for this month’s travel pages. Like almost everyone, I’m definitely looking forward to planning some trips soon – my Canadian Christmas seems like a lifetime ago. Please make sure to visit our events page in the magazine and online ( events) as we do have a range of interesting virtual events and webinars. I’m enjoying being able to be involved in them all and listen in without having to get dressed up and go out! But I’m sure in time that will change – or is it just my age? Anyhow, I’m looking forward to a better half of the year!

REBECCA BISSET Editor-in-Chief

Remember to check for our events, things to do, restaurant deliveries, where to live and more readers’ homes!

You can pay tribute to all those who lost their lives and were affected by WWII in some way by visiting places in Singapore like the Battlebox (pictured) ; find out more about it on page 20, and turn to page 76 to read a story about life through the war here.



Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET Group Editor SHAMUS SILLAR Editorial Team


SUSAN KNUDSEN-PICKLES Chief Operations Officer COLIN PURCHASE Contributing Writers


CONTACT US General Enquiries: +65 6812 1780 | Advertising Sales: +65 6812 1781 | Subscription: +65 6812 1783 | Production: +65 6812 1787 | Editorial & Media Releases: Calendar of Events: Events: Websites: |

Printed by Times Printers Pte Ltd (

Christine Amour-Levar, HER Planet Earth Greenland Expedition (

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




NEWS 16 Things To Do: 18 Readers’ Letters 20 EL Forum: Our online antics and upcoming events 22 Singapore Pages: HOME & PROPERTY 26 News 30 Home Showcase:

How to keep busy at home

Exploring the island – past and present

An interior design project success

36 Untamed Beauty:

A florist that captures the wild side

38 Décor Trends:

WTP’s Naazli Somjee keeps us up to date

40 Floor Candy:

Tips on picking the right rug

42 Inside Story:

Where our readers source their antiques

44 Buying Guide: Pieces with a history 48 Street Talk:

What it’s like living in Woodleigh

Statement rugs for your space 40

Family photographers 68

LIFE & FAMILY 56 News 60 Noticeboard: Birth announcements 62 Young Learners: A day in the life of a preschooler 64 On the Stage: Performing arts schools in Singapore 66 Schooling Abroad: Boarding life in Australia 68 Candid Moments: Family photographers we love 70 Making Music:

A French artist bringing tunes to Singapore 72 Cluny Court Spotlight: Meet the people behind the brands 74 Money Matters: Wealth management tips 76 75 Years On: A remarkable account of WWII 80 Family Abroad: Caring for the elderly from afar 82 Helping Hands: Five ways to help migrant workers




Bubbly weekend brunches 96

WINE & DINE 92 News 94 Hosting at Home: 96 Bubbly Brunches: Two spots to try 98 Taste Test:

A guide to cheese and charcuterie boards

Try some Indian with a twist

100 Recipe Corner:

Favourites to add to your repertoire

TRAVEL 106 News 108 Taking on Tanzania: Fitness feats in the Serengeti 110 Bikes on Ice:

getaways 118

We recall our top girls ’

A breathtaking adventure in Greenland

118 Girls on Tour:

Top escapes with the gals




Diary of a fashion designer 128

Stay-at-home facials 144

STYLE & BEAUTY 124 Style News 126 Shopping from Home: We preview a new online marketplace 128 Dream Job: The life of a fashion designer 132 People Profile: The face behind Boheme Style Nomads 136 Talking Tailors: Where to get a swish new suit 144 Tried & Tested: At-home facials 146 Anti-Ageing Options: Let’s talk injectables HEALTH & FITNESS 152 News 156 A Different Approach: Energy healing explained 158 One-on-One: Readers share their personal trainer picks 164 Bones & Joints: Seeking a specialist? REGULARS 170 Horoscopes for September 172 Puzzle Pages 174 Numbers & Websites 140 Beauty News 142 Pamper Picks: Two spots for a spa day

175 Advertiser List 176 Parting Shot: Singapore from a taxi





Star Wars Virtual Run (UNTIL 30 SEP)

Pledge your allegiance to the light or dark side and clock your virtual run distances anywhere you choose. Runners can do a 5.4km solo run or pair up with a friend to run 40km. Skechers Friendship Walk 2020 Online Edition (7-20 SEP) Back for its third edition, the race will be taking on a virtual format this year. Race categories available are 3km, 5km and 10km and participants can choose to complete their distance anytime within the period. Submissions should be made on the mobile app or race website. skechersfw2020 SJI International Elementary School Virtual Coffee Catering to prospective families, this event will include a sharing by the SJI International Elementary School Principal, an overview of the school Morning (16 SEP)

Skechers Friendship Walk

Singtel-Singapore Cancer Society Race Against Cancer (19-27 SEP) This annual charity race will be held virtually this year. Organised by Singapore Cancer Society, it aims to raise funds to run their programmes and services. Participants can choose to take on either the 5km or 10km categories, or go all out with the 21km half marathon or 42km full marathon. Participants will need to donate various amounts in order to take part in each category. Singapore Archifest 2020 (25 SEP – 31 OCT) Organised by the Singapore Institute of Architects, the annual festival celebrates architecture and the built environment. There will be a great line-up of online and offline programmes including forums, virtual exhibitions, workshops and pop- up activities. The theme for 2020 looks at new ideas and responsible designs that will benefit ecology and humanity.

programme by the Vice Principal (Curriculum) and a Q&A session by the Elementary School Principal and faculty members. Register on the school website and a link will be sent to you.

Singapore Archifest

Photo: ADDP Architects and OWIU Design





We can’t hop on a flight but there are still many places that you might not have visited right on our doorstep. Here are some fun island trips you can take –

Lazarus Island

without your passport! #1 St John’s Island

Located south of Singapore, St John’s Island is a great place to head to for a morning or afternoon. It has an interesting history and is known for its flora and fauna. Getting there: Take a 30-minute ferry ride from Marina South Pier. The ferry stops at Kusu Island on the way back. #2 Lazarus Island Another spot that’s part of the Southern Islands, Lazarus Island is just a bridge away from St John’s Island. It’s typically less crowded than its neighbour, so head there if you want some peaceful beach time. Getting there: Hop on a ferry to St John’s and take a 15-minute walk across the link bridge. #3 Kusu Island Kusu is located less than an hour away from the mainland. Enjoy the beach, check out the marine life and drop by the turtle sanctuary.

Getting there: Take a 45-minute ferry ride from Marina South Pier; the ferry stops at St John’s Island before reaching Kusu. #4 Sisters’ Islands The islands are part of Singapore’s first marine park and also home to long-tailed macaques. Generally untouched, the area features loads of coral reefs where you can spot marine life such as seahorses, clams and sponges. Getting there: Charter a private ferry through Singapore Island Cruise. Boats depart from Marina South Pier and the journey takes around 15 minutes.

#5 Pulau Ubin The rustic island is popular with cyclists and houses some of Singapore’s last few kampongs. It’s located off the northeast coast, near Changi Airport. Getting there: Take a 15-minute bumboat ride from Changi Point Ferry Terminal. #6 Coney Island Located off Punggol, Coney Island is a popular nature destination boasting a variety of habitats including forests and mangroves. Getting there: Walk onto the island through connecting bridges at either the East entrance at Lorong Halus or the West entrance at the Punggol Promenade Park Connector.

Look for more things to do at !

Coney Island



BEST LETTER We want to hear from you! Send us your thoughts on themagazine, or on any subject under the sun. The writer of our best letter receives a divine candle from To Be Calm

( ). Each month, there’ll be one of their signature candles to choose from.

We are thoroughly enjoying reading the magazines that we subscribed to. My daughter who is in Year 6 and currently studying in high school has been busy raising funds for bus drivers and frontline workers – and she’s raised a very good amount. She also raised money for ill and underprivileged children here in Singapore, and did some donations for migrant workers while she kept herself active during her school breaks. Would you like to publish her story? It might inspire other teenagers to help to make a difference in this world and spread the good cause. – Suzie Ed: Yes, Suzie, we’d love to take a look at her story. It’s great that she’s starting to think this way at such a young age – and then getting on and doing it! We’ll be in touch. Long-term Expats I truly love the content you put out and feel it’s very relevant to all of us, whether we’re newbies or long-term PR holders. The magazine is the lifeline for so many expats moving in, and also for those like myself who’ve been here for longer (almost 10 years, in my case). – Mangla Ed: Thanks for the lovely feedback, Mangla. It’s sometimes a challenge to keep oldies and newbies happy at the same time!


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to cover! There’s a good variety of articles, websites to try, new shops to source goods, product launches, what’s new on the market and places to explore (when we’re able to travel again). I love the healthy living aspect too, along with the available beauty treatments with an explanation of what they entail and, where possible, the cost. I’ve used your recommendations and have had treatments through Beaute Hub when they’ve run a promotion in one of your articles. Well done to the team, keep up the good work and thank you! – Sharon Shields

Ed: That’s great news! We’re trying to get more exciting offers and deals, so keep your eyes peeled!

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THE SINGAPORE PAGES Investigating the island past and present, with tips, trivia and time travel – and the occasional tricky challenge for readers!


weren’t accurate enough to use effectively against ground troops.


Today, Fort Siloso is Singapore’s only preserved coastal fort, and a great place

to see military structures, tunnels, memorabilia and more. The Surrender Chambers is an interactive documentary featuring wax figures of Japanese and British soldiers. Info: Open 9am to 6pm. Tours and programmes

are unavailable until further notice. Address: Siloso Point, Siloso Road Contact: 6736 8672 |

If you’ve enjoyed our series of WWII stories, now you can head out and discover Singapore’s military history for yourself! Here’swhere to start… BATTLEBOX Among the best known of Singapore’s military sites, the Battlebox in Fort Canning Park has recently reopened, offering a new experience for visitors. The site is home to an authentic secret WWII Command Centre built nine metres underground in the 1930s; there’s a labyrinth of rooms and corridors to explore, along with wartime artefacts to check out. The most important area is what’s referred to as the “Surrender Conference Room” ( pictured ). It was here that Lieutenant-General AE Percival met with his generals on the morning of 15 February 1942 to decide whether or not to surrender to the invading Japanese army. Info: Though guided tours are suspended, the Battle Box has introduced “free-and- easy admission”, so you can explore the underground bunker on your own. Tickets are $15 ($8 for ages 7 to 12; free for 6 and under) from the Battlebox Visitor Centre. Opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 10.30am to 4.30pm. Address: 2 Cox Terrace, Fort Canning Park Contact: 6338 6133 | SEEING SINGAPORE’S WAR HISTORY

Also… KRANJI WAR MEMORIAL: Over 4,000 gravestones can be found at this hillside cemetery, which honours those from the Commonwealth who died in the line of duty. Hours: 8.30am to 6pm daily. A few kilometres north is the location of the Japanese beach landing and subsequent battle. 9 Woodlands Road SOOK CHING MEMORIAL: The Sook Ching military operation of 1942 aimed at eliminating anti-Japanese elements from Singapore’s Chinese community; executions were carried out at Punggol Point, Changi Beach and elsewhere. A memorial stands at the Hong Lim Complex in Chinatown. 531 Upper Cross Street CHANGICHAPEL&MUSEUM: Thousands were interned at the infamous Changi Prison during WWII, and a museum opened in 2001 to mark this dark period. Next door is a reconstruction of a chapel built by Allied PoWs. Both are closed for redevelopment. 1000 Upper Changi Road North SIME CAMP: The Sime Road area is a former WWII camp, originally used by British troops, but taken over by the Japanese to house PoWs. The road itself is private, though you can access it to visit a heritage-listed concrete pillbox, where armed soldiers would have been stationed. Sime Road / Adam Road REFLECTIONS AT BUKIT CHANDU: This WWII interpretative centre is close to the site of the Battle of Pasir Panjang, fought between the Malay Regiment and the Japanese. It’s closed for development until 2021. 31-K Pepys Road

Photo: Singapore History Consultants Pte Ltd

FORMER FORD FACTORY When the Ford Motor Company opened its state-of-the-art new factory on Upper Bukit Timah Road in October 1941, few could have envisaged what it would witness over the following months. First, the Art Deco- style factory was taken over by the RAF for the construction of fighter planes. Then, in February 1942, the building was seized by Japanese troops and converted to a temporary HQ for Commander Yamashita. Only two days later, Lieutenant-General Percival surrendered unconditionally in the factory’s boardroom. Today, it houses a permanent exhibition, with a range of perspectives on the fall of Singapore. And, yes, you can walk into the boardroom where the surrender took place! Info: Open Tuesday to Sunday, 9am to 5.30pm. Free for Singapore citizens and PRs; $3 for foreign visitors. Address: 351 Upper Bukit Timah Road Contact: | formerfordfactory/visit-tours FORT SILOSO Sentosa’s Fort Siloso takes its name from the Spanish/Tagalog word for “jealous” (or perhaps from a Malay word for “rock”). Together with Labrador Park, it’s associatedwith the story of the British guns being “pointed thewrongway”. This is mostly an urbanmyth. Yes, Singapore’s coastal guns aimed out to sea, yet several could be turned in any direction; the problem was they





JANE’S TOURS An excellent way to see the sites mentioned here, and others, is through Jane’s Tours, which offers various itineraries with an emphasis on Singapore’s WWII history. • Two-hour walking tour: This walk focuses on the area around Chinatown and the Civic District, especially the Padang, which was so central to the pre-Invasion war effort and the early days of the Occupation. It also visits the City Chamber ( pictured ) where the surrender to Lord Mountbatten and the other Allies took place on 12 September. • Half-day tour with transport: This tour goes further afield to places such as the Former Ford Factory, the sites of the Sime Road and Adam Park PoW camps, Fort Siloso and the Fort Canning area, in addition to the Civic District. Jane Iyer of Jane’s Tours says… “So often we associate the ‘surrender of Singapore’ with the ignominious surrender to the Japanese on 15 February 1942. However, the surrender by the Japanese on 12 September 1945 is an equally important date in the story of WWII in Singapore. This year, we’re commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of that war, so it’s a good time to learn how it all came about and reflect on the implications for our country.”


It’s good to reflect on the past, but it’s important to keep an eye on the future, too. So here are five bits of trivia about Singapore’s galactic credentials. #1 We all know NASA, of course, but do you know SSTA? That’s the Singapore Space and Technology Association (, the country’s leading non-government space organisation. #2 While the UAE most recently joined the space race (it successfully launched a Mars exploration on 19 July), Singapore has been earmarked as an up-and-comer in the race, along with Lithuania, New Zealand and a handful of others. #3 Singapore has nine satellites currently in orbit – its first satellite was ST-1, launched 22 years ago. Obviously, this isn’t the best location to send something into space; that’s why the satellites have all been launched in other countries (mostly India and Japan). #4 Around 1,000 people are employed in the satellite manufacturing industry in Singapore. #5 Scientists from Nanyang Technological University believe that Singapore has the capability to send a satellite on a lunar mission before 2030. |

where is it? Click!

Think you know Singapore well? What’s the name of this colourful crossing, and

See these pages in our next issue for the answer!

Last month: The photo showed the National Gallery, located in the former Supreme Court Building and City Hall



40 Expert Tips: How to choose the right rug

The Cinnamon Room

30 Home Showcase: An interior design project on Holland Road

44 One of a Kind: Where to find stunning antiques for your home

48 Street Talk: We check out the neighbourhood in Woodleigh


Local Lumber We’re in love with this commemorative Singapore piece by The Table Guy. Created in collaboration with new local café Kizuna, The Kizuna Table was created to showcase Singaporean mahogany wood, craftsmanship and design. It was fittingly released on National Day, and The Table Guy has made it available for custom orders. Grab yours at .

Renowned for their organic latex mattresses, bed specialists Eu rope a n Bedd i ng h ave introduced a newHeveyaOrganic Duvet! Made ethically in Germany and consisting of 100 percent GOTS-certified cotton cover and 100 percent bamboo lyocell fibre padding, this summer- weight duvet is breathable and hypoallergenic. Pair it withHeveya Bamboo Sheets and you’re in for a cool and comfortable night. What’s more, European Bedding has also just launched a 360-degree digital showroom! With the click of a button, you

can browse the range of eco-friendly latex mattresses, ergonomic slatted bed bases, pillows and sheets. Plus, the store’s sleep experts are available to video call for additional advice and recommendations. Find out more at .

Pillow Talk Speaking of bedroom essentials, how about a pillowcase that can fight the signs of ageing? Introducing the DreamSkin Pillowcase, a physician- formulated anti-wrinkle pillowcase that’s been clinically proven to reduce facial fine lines, wrinkles and sleep lines. The DreamSkin retails at $89.90, but for the month of September, Glowella is offering two for the price of one! Just enter “241” at checkout.

Ready, Set, Restore!

If your furniture is looking a little lacklustre or you’ve purchased something second- hand, a revamp can give it a new lease of life! Whether it’s a modern, vintage or distressed look you’re after, restoration specialists Retro Dec come with 25 years of experience and are ready to work their magic. Check out their new collection of funky upcycled and one-of-a-kind furniture too, available online at .




Style on Call Property and lifestyle platform Hmlet has launched a furniture subscription and online interior design service to cater to the ever-changing needs and movements of its customers. Choose from over 100 items, ranging from bed frames to chairs, tables, lighting and even accessories – available as complete collections or à la carte. The Hmlet Interiors service is available on the online platform and offers three levels of services, ranging from pocket-friendly options to a full-service brief-to-build offering.


Do you worry about losing all of your precious data – decades of family memories and a lifetime of documents and paperwork? Don’t fret. Tekkie Help experts SARAH and BO share with us the four most common backup mistakes and how to avoid them. Mistake #1: Moving all data to a “backup drive” We frequently have customers who come to us with an external hard drive that’s intended to be their “backup drive”, yet it holds the only copy of their data. A backup is only a backup if it’s a second or third copy. External drives are excellent backup devices but if you’re moving data off your computer to make space, always ensure you make a second copy. Mistake #2: Confusing backups with syncs While the likes of iCloud, Google Drive and Dropbox are excellent ways to store data, did you know that these cloud solutions are not strictly a backup? The Cloud is actually a synchronising software that replicates the data stored on other devices. For example, if you delete data off the Cloud or off your phone, it will also delete off your device or the Cloud. To prevent falling into this common trap, make sure you carefully check your Cloud settings before deleting photos, and also make sure you have a versioned backup of your devices.

Mistake #3: Using the same backup drive for years Hard drives generally only have a life span of four to five years, so it’s essential that you regularly replace the hard drives you’re using for your backup. The same applies for your computer’s internal hard drive, too! Mistake #4: Forgetting to verify the backup It’s all well and good setting up a backup system, but what if it fails and no one notices? Regularly checking your backup to ensure everything is running smoothly can save you a huge headache later on down the line. When verifying your backup, you should look to see if the time and contents are correct, that each backup has finished and that you can successfully restore any data written during the backup. Don’t fall victim to these common backup blunders! If you need help or advice setting up a robust backup, call 8113 8682 or visit – and quote “Expat Living” for a 15 percent discount on labour.



Getting It

We love looking at renovations, home makeovers and interior styling projects. This month, we check out an apartment at the Quinterra, a 17-storey condo on Holland Road. The building is 10 years old, but the apartment hadn’t been previously renovated, and had been a rental since it was new. BY REBECCA BISSET T he buyers were previously in a two-bedder on St Patrick’s Road on the East Coast. Their preference was to stay in the east but they couldn’t find the right place. They wanted a bigger space in general but specifically a good-sized outdoor area or balcony for entertaining. The apartment they found at the Quinterra had a living space that was connected to the balcony, so it made a lovely open area big enough to host friends and family. They then hired the interior design team at EightyTwo to help with their renovation needs and interior styling. Design Brief & Challenges

As part of the renovation, the new owners tore down the kitchen wall to make the living space even bigger and more open plan. They wanted to pair classic elements with modern pieces. The husband is from Hong Kong and was keen to use wainscoting – decorative panelling – to create a classic look. The wife is from Singapore and prefers a more contemporary look; she wanted to incorporate modern furniture into the styling. The only real structural challenge was the master bedroom washroom. They wanted the bathtub to be replaced by two sinks, which meant that the original layout of the toilet and wash basin had to be changed. In order to accommodate the shower area and toilet, part of the wall had to be torn down – and they had quite a bit of trouble getting approval for removing that wall.




The fun part about the project was being involved with the entire design process





The Client’s Story The most fun thing about the project was probably being involved with the entire design process. Many homeowners when they engage interior design firms leave the designers with a lot of freedom. But we are quite decisive – we know specifically what we want. Even on the first meeting with the team at EightyTwo, I showed them pictures of terrazzo tiles and told themwe needed to fit them somewhere in the house. I said I didn’t care how, so long as they went somewhere! Also, my husband is an audiophile and we had a lot of discussion on how to fit all the audio equipment in the house. After a lot of back-and-forth discussion, we came to an agreement with the designer to put together something we’re now super happy about.

Specific tips • “We decided not to replace the air- conditioning initially, even though it was quite old; but we soon started to have problems, and we’ve had to replace it after all. Air-conditioners are very important, so if your budget allows you should change them while you’re renovating.” • “Asian cooking tends to involve lots of oil and smoke, so there is a thought that you should always have a closed kitchen. But the open kitchen design is fantastic – you have so much space, and it’s really how you manage the cooking.”


The Outcome We’re very pleased and happy with the result. It took almost six months for the entire renovation, and since we travel heavily for work, we really appreciated that our designer provided an update every day. He knows that I’m meticulous about the smallest things and changes, but he made sure to keep me in the loop for everything. For example, I really wanted all black hardware for the toilet and all gold hardware for handles. They weren’t available in Singapore but he found a way to source them for me; I’m very happy with that. There are firms who try to find ways to get you to compromise for their benefit, because they want less work, but our designer never tried to do that to me and I’m very happy with the entire process. Our apartment is 99 percent what we envisioned.

Other Recommendations • Lighting: Sol Luminaire | • Paint: Gush | • Furniture: Grafunkt | (“highly recommended!”)

• Restaurant: Pepper Castle | (“this place in Holland Village serves the best Indian food I’ve ever had; having said that, we tend to go to Dempsey more often than Holland V as it’s dog-friendly”)




A Word from the EightyTwo Team We enjoyed the project very much, especially since the owners are also very enthusiastic and involved in the design process. The project had four main components: #1 A wainscoting feature wall with customised framed photos and art. #2 The use of a consistent blue colour (the owner’s favourite). #3 An open kitchen, with a terrazzo design. #4 A master bathroom with a one-tile look, and colours to complement the cabinets. The team at EightyTwo say that it’s always good to ensure that a design fits the owners’ particular lifestyle and preferences. I agree; it’s a bit scary letting someone create a home (or business venue) for you; designers need to be able to work with you and listen to you as well as guide and suggest. Aside from projects like this apartment, the EightyTwo team have done some cool restaurants and commercial spaces, too. Have a look at their website for inspiration!

6698 7987 | |



We chat wi th a florist whose love of untamed nature is a key focus in her arrangements and bouquets. Inside Wild Bringing the

H aving grown up in the UK, I do miss the British forests and coun t r y s i de , whe re flowers grow wild in fields and sprawling meadows. So I was super excited to chat to WILMA ESPLANA WATTS, the brainchild behind the launch of online flower shop Wildflower. We’ve been swooning over your Instagram @wildflowerfloristsg. Tell us about the concept of your business. My vision is to “Bring The Wild Inside”. So, our floral arrangements are designed to mimic the wild look of flowers as nature intended. I’ve always loved creating spaces where I can experience the fleeting “flowers in the wild” rustic appearance of my arrangements. The real artistry is in creating an untamed look that is also visually appealing. We want our customers to be able to look at our flowers inside their homes and be transported to their own imaginary gardens, meadows, wonderlands and forests.

Your floral arrangements really stand out; where did your inspiration come from? I’m inspired by my travels to Western Europe, and seeing vistas of untamed meadows, aswell as the ruggedFiordland of New Zealand, and experiencing the winters in Sydney where I grew up. I’ve tried to capture the untamed, fresh and rustic essence of nature in my floral designs, to bring a little wild into life. Your website has flower arrangements for homes, offices and even custom-made pieces. What’s your point of difference? Our collection is inspired and lovingly crafted around the wonderful beauty Mother Nature presents in the wild. So, no two designs are the same. The artistry behind the finished arrangement aims to capture nature at its most beautiful, while staying true to our “Wild” vision. This is quite a different narrative when compared with standard bouquets in the market.





What’s your favourite arrangement from your website? I love “Wild and Fresh”. I love the simplicity and elegance of white and green arrangements. It reminds me of the cool, fresh, sunny July winters in Sydney. How easy is it to actually put a bunch together? Even though we’re going for the wild, carefree and fuss-free look, it’s actually quite difficult to achieve. Floristry is a form of art, so there’s a certain intricacy behind the creation process. What’s the difference with the design process when you’re creating a custom arrangement? I enjoy collaborating with my clients as it challenges my creativity. I capture their favourite colours and flowers, while weaving it with my style. Each custom arrangement is unique with its own story and can be made using fresh or dried flowers.

Keen to bring a touch of wild into your own home or workspace? For more info, call 8722 4212 or email, or to order f l ower s , v i s i t There’s also a fab subscription option. I’m formally trained in the precision of the Japanese Sogetsu school of ikebana and a graduate of the Nobleman School of Floristry. Despite my training, I am simply passionate about flowers. What types of flowers do you use in your collections? I work with locally sourced and seasonal flowers as they last longer and keep the range affordable without compromising on the quality of the arrangements, or the Wild theme. Did you have to go through training to become a florist? You have an interesting take on the meaning of flowers; please share it with our readers. While objects are static, rigid and stay the same, flowers are a fleeting moment in time. They are sent and received with emotion, and then tended with care. They’re a real heartfelt gift from nature that brings any environment to life.

Flowers are a fleeting moment in time – they’re sent and received with emotion, and then tended with care.




It’s been a while since we caught up, Naazli! A little birdie told us you had an exciting shipment arrive recently; what was inside the container? Ha, your sources are correct! For the first time ever, we have a divine range of ceramic-topped dining tables. I’m super excited about these tables as ceramic is a fantastic, hard-wearing material. It’s less porous than marble – so no need to worry about those wine stains – and cheaper too, yet it achieves the same high-quality look. We’ve also got a wonderful range of stylish dining chairs and armchairs that have graced our store. What style trends have you seen emerging lately? We’ve been getting lots of requests for smaller, compact furniture that can work in an HDB or condo setting. So we created our MIMI range, which features sofas and chairs that are affordable, without compromising style or quality. The Circuit Breaker had us wearing holes in our sofa and staring at our “same old, same old” décor for weeks on end. That’s why we’ve asked NAAZLI SOMJEE, Director of WTP The Furniture Company, about recent home furnishing trends and the store’s new a ordable range.




We’ve also seen a rise in demand for “move-in” concepts, where our customers want to acquire pieces without the long waiting times. This has inspired our MIMI “ready-to-go” range. You can literally have your favourite furniture in your home within days.

What’s the pièce de résistance from the MIMI range?

Hmmm, that’s a difficult question. The range is contemporary yet not super modern, and it includes nice clean lines. If I had to choose, I’d probably go for our Costa L-shaped sofa. We designed our L-shape sofa to be compact without compromising on seating space. It has a fully reclining headrest, USB ports for charging your phone and an electronic recliner to relax with your feet up. I love the chrome legs, and the easy-to-care-for Livsmart fabric. Best of all, it’s also part of our ready-to-go range, so you can be nestling in your new sofa, watching Netflix in no time. What else are clients asking for? Our re-upholstery service continues to be popular for customers wanting to breathe life into pre-loved pieces, or those wanting to simply change the colour palette of their home-furnishings without buying new items. It’s a great eco-friendly way to revamp a space. We’ve also seen clients change the theme of a space simply by replacing lamps, glassware and cushions, to invite a new look without the investment or overhaul of an entire space. Generally, since we’re spending more time at home, clients are looking for ways to create spaces they love throughout the home. So they’re investing in key pieces like sofas, dining tables and beds, and up-styling their homes with “jewellery for the home” – things like feature lamps, textured soft furnishings and glassware. Well besides expanding our ready-to-go range, I’ve been working on our revamped website, and also developing our virtual tour feature, which has been exciting. It’s a natural progression for our local heritage brand and really adds another dimension of value to our clients. You’ll be able to “armchair shop” from home, before visiting our store to touch and feel the products. I’m sure our clientele will love this feature. Finally, what’s been keeping you busy for the last few weeks?

WTP The Furniture Company is at 3 Kung Chong Road. 6235 2760 |


How to Choose a Rug Buying a good rug is as important a decision as buying a sofa or art. Rugs (and carpets) pull a roomtogether, divide spaces, andbring warmth, comfort and colour to a room. VISHANELSON, founder of The Cinnamon Room , says buying a rug should be a carefully considered decision guided by some expert advice. And selecting the wrong rug can be an expensive mistake! So, to help you make better choices, here are some of her key points to consider. What size? The larger the better – especially if it’s a small space, as it can actually make the room appear bigger. If it’s too small, the rug can appear to be “floating” and will not ground the furniture that it’s trying to anchor. How many? A large room calls for a couple of rugs to define and demark areas. Visha’s recent consults have included a huge bedroom in a black-and-white house; there, she used a large rectangular rug to frame and define the bed area, while a circular rug was used to create a stylish focal point and a chill-out reading area, complemented by a couple of Chesterton leather armchairs ( pictured on the next page ). With open-plan living becoming increasingly common, rugs can be used to separate a living area from a dining area. What shape? Square or rectangular rugs are usually easier to place, but round rugs offer an interesting alternative, introducing curves, movement and flow to an otherwise angular design scheme. Again, getting the dimensions right is crucial; it all depends on

the configuration of your existing furniture. Visha and her team can help you with suggestions of how to best enhance your space with your rug dimension choices. What colour? Visha’s favourite saying is “Neutral doesn’t need to be boring” – and her contemporary hide rugs are testament to that. The neutral shades of these hide carpets can have a touch of grey, or warmer natural tones, while the added hint of metallics in the chic metallic range create a memorable impact with a glamorous touch. The




metallics also serve to lighten a darker room or area; they can help give dull flooring a lift and brighten up a neutral or more muted furniture scheme. The Cinnamon Room’s more colourful hide rugs, from vibrant reds/blues and pinks to monochrome black-and-white statement designs create a powerful focal point and give your space that wow factor. What else do you need to know? These hide rugs are easy to maintain and can withstand even red wine stains – they’re also pet-friendly. Also, no hide rugs are the same as the natural tones of the hides always vary. Each rug is handmade by skilled artisans, and the combination of laser-etched designs and metallics that are applied vary in density.

The next step Take a photograph of your room, and Visha and her team will then guide you through these key considerations. Even though she was a lawyer in her “previous life”, she has the eye of an interior stylist – not to mention a real knack for placement and colour, and obviously design. Visha is involved in every aspect of a rug’s design, too, and she handpicks each piece. You have the option to take the rug home for a 24-hour trial to see it in situ in your home – that means you can take comfort that your final choice is going to be the right one. It’s so good to have someone who understands how important it is to make the right choice, whether it’s size, shape or shade you’re pondering over! The Cinnamon Room also offers handwoven dhurrie rugs in vibrant hues, as well as a wide range of home décor accessories including cushions, side tables, lanterns, Singapore-inspired artworks and some unique lifestyle and gift ideas.

Visit or the cool boutique-style showroom near Holland Village (43 Jalan Merah Saga, #02-74) to view the full range.


One of a Kind Readers t ll us where they found their prized antiques and how they’ve incorporated them into their homes.


Jennifer Wilson and daughter, Meriel West, British  

Not long after we moved to Singapore, I was admiring a friend’s furniture and she pointed me in the direction of Woody Antique House. We swiftly popped in and bought a couple of smaller pieces. However, having recently moved to a larger apartment, we were in the market for something bigger. In particular, we wanted good storage. Our previous place had a lot of built-in storage, which meant that when we moved we had piles of clobber with nowhere to put it! My favourite piece we bought is this antique kitchen cupboard from Shaoxing Province in China. We were drawn to the calming green shade and the scars of time on the piece, which is likely to be 100 to 150 years old. I’m a bit of a daydreamer and I like to imagine how the dents and scratches have collected over time. This piece would have been in a kitchen and used to store leftovers and dining ware; underneath, behind the sliding square trellised doors, was where live chickens were housed. It doesn’t house anything as exciting as live chickens now! We love to visit Woody Antique House as the stock changes frequently and you never know what you might find. We now have a growing collection of items from the store. The staff are so knowledgeable about the pieces, and always keen to assist when you’re browsing. We’re first-time expats and when we arrived in Singapore two years ago we were very fixated on what would look nice in our house back in England rather than buying pieces that would be too big to fit there. These days, we’re happier to buy things that fit with our life right here, right now – and we wish we’d done that sooner.

Woody Antique House 13 Dempsey Road, #01-05 6471 1770 |



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