MOLLIE JEAN DE DIEU invites us to take a look around her idyllic good class bungalow in Singapore. When looking for a landed property in Bukit Timah, one of her must-have was a house with a swimming pool and she got just that!
About the home: Bukit Timah landed property (“Good Class Bungalow”) – floor size, 2,600 square feet; land size, 12,168 square feet
Location: Bukit Timah
About the family: Mollie and husband Romain, children Mia (9) and Louis (8), Belle (“our lovely helper of six years”) and Coco (eight month-old Cocker Spaniel)
Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey here.
I’m the General Manager of the French fashion and accessory company Longchamp, in Singapore and Malaysia. A self-proclaimed citizen of the world, I grew up between Africa, France and the United States, and have made Asia my home for the past 16 years. My family and I have spent nine years in Hong Kong and seven years in Singapore, where we currently reside.
Aside from work and family, how do you keep busy?
I’m a keynote speaker and founder of the NGO Emotional Inclusion (emotionalinclusion.com), which advocates for humanising the workforce. My focus is to specifically look at a new paradigm of leadership in the corporate realm that requires companies to recognise and care for the humanity of the individuals they lead by investing in a clinical psychologist in their organisations, to spearhead sustainable growth.
Sounds like you have a lot going on! It must have been important to find the right home to come back to each day; what kind of property were you looking for when you arrived in Singapore?
We were looking for a landed property in Bukit Timah. The children were small when we moved here and we wanted to be somewhere convenient to all our touchpoints – preschools, gardens, shopping places, work and so on.
Our three non-negotiables were: luminosity – we wanted lots of natural light to feel good; a house with a swimming pool was important because of the heat ; and an office for my husband. He’s the founder of a fabulous and unique sports brand called UGLOW – high-end, 100 percent stitch-free, comfortable apparel for running, cycling and lifestyle. I’m so proud of what he has accomplished with the brand. He sponsors amazing athletes and charitable causes around the world with tremendous focus and unwavering dedication. I ran a full marathon wearing UGLOW three years ago and it was the greatest saving grace; speaking as a “customer” here, the comfort and quality level is simply unbeatable.
Tell us more about your house. How did you find this good class bungalow in Singapore? What was it that sealed the deal for you?
Our lovely agent Nadia Ederer (who I highly recommend) helped us find it. She’s the kindest, most patient and upbeat person ever, a real gem. Christopher Quek oversees the property and he is the nicest and kindest man you’ll meet. When we visited this house, I immediately knew it was the perfect one for our family. From Chris’s welcoming, the big garden, the Balinese master bathroom, the big living room, the kitchen, the English doors and the house came with an in-ground swimming pool! – all of that sealed the deal for me. We really feel thankful to be living here.
How would you define your style when it comes to interiors and décor?
In one sentence: the Hamptons meets European chic. I love the mix of coastal vibes that I find so calming, comfortable and clean, intermingled with the old world, polished detail of the European style.
What’s your favourite part of the house and why?
I would say my home desk that looks out onto the garden where I get to watch the kids and the dog play when they are outside. I find it deeply anchoring and it never fails to bring me back to the “now” – that is, to that which really matters!
Where do you source your furniture and home décor from for your good class bungalow?
That’s a very simple and straightforward answer! Aside from our family pieces, I source our furniture and home décor in Singapore almost exclusively from Nina Beale at Bungalow 55. (I also have a few pieces from Originals.) Nina is such an exceptional lady – genuine, smart, hard-working and oh-so-talented. I adore both her and her style. If I could, I literally would buy every piece in her Dempsey shop and her online store! She has such an “eye” and she makes her craft look so effortless. She decorated our home with such ease and made the whole process so much fun. Nina is a real pearl, I couldn’t recommend her more.
What else would you like to add to the home décor?
For now, the few touches that I would like to make would be to reupholster my great grandmother’s chairs in the dining room, get new lampshades for my bedside lamps and paint the walls around the swimming pool in white – provided Chris gives me the green light to do so!
What do you like about the area?
It’s serene, our neighbours are lovely, the Botanic Gardens and our church are just a stroll away, and it’s conveniently close to where we do our shopping.
Favourite thing about Singapore?
The people, the food and the proximity to amazing destinations and beaches.
What would your advice be for newcomers to Singapore?
Do your homework. Check out the Singapore Tourism Board or your affiliated Chamber of Commerce, read Expat Living for all the tips and tricks they offer; Sassy Mama is also a great portal for mums trying to find their way here. Get out and explore the city and don’t be afraid to mingle and ask for help! We’re blessed with so many associations and clubs here, so visit them when you can.
Hairdresser: Timen at Yann Beyrie Salon | yannbeyrie.com (“I also adore Yann’s beautiful new line of products, Plumeria – especially the Plumeria Nourishing Hair Serum, which acts as the best anti-frizz I’ve tried”)
Home Décor: Bungalow 55 | thebungalow55.com
Photographer: Beatrice Contrini | beatricecontrini.com
Agent: Nadia Ederer | IG: @dreamhomessg
Restaurants & Cafés
• Crowne Bakery Crown Centre | 557 Bukit Timah Road; near Coronation Plaza (“the absolute BEST baguette, croissants and pains aux chocolats in town”)
• Odette | odetterestaurant.com
• Luke’s (“there are several but I still prefer the one at 22 Gemmill Lane”) | lukes.com.sg
• Patara (Thai) | patara.com.sg
• VUE | vue.com.sg
• Culina | culina.com.sg
• SUJU (Japanese) | suju-masayuki.com/sg
Activewear: UGLOW Sport | uglowsport.com
This article first appeared in the August 2022 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
If you are looking for a house with a swimming pool in Singapore then check out these beautiful colonial bungalows!