Looking at Christmas Homes is always fun. JACQUI YOUNG, one of our long-time team members at Expat Living, shows us around her Bedok home as she gets ready for the festive season.
About the Home
Size and type: 4-bedroom semidetached house
Location: The Kew area of Bedok
Who lives there: Jacqui, David, Harry (16), Lizzy (14) and Fe
Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey here.
We’re originally from the UK and we moved to Singapore in 2005 after my husband was transferred with his job in the oil and gas industry. That was to be a two-year assignment. I was working for InterContinental Hotels at the time and my plan was to join the team here. But, after moving country for the first time and taking time to settle into our new home, a position came up with Expat Living, in the sales team. I’ve been here ever since – 17 years and counting, working with the most amazing team and looking after lovely clients across a few areas but mainly Wine & Dine and Travel.
What kinds of properties have you lived in?
I wanted a house with a front door as I had the crazy idea living in a condo would make us feel like we were in holiday mode. Having never lived in an apartment, we didn’t even look at condos at that time. Our first house was a cluster townhouse in Bukit Timah that had originally been a family home before it was torn down and rebuilt. The family all still lived there in their separate units; they made us feel very welcome and treated us like family.
We love your home! Tell us more about it.
We have a few moves under our belt in Singapore. After our original townhouse, we were in a lovely (but very old) blackand-white bungalow at Pasir Ris, opposite the park. We then moved to Siglap in East Coast where we spent eight years, and although we loved the location of our last place, we didn’t love the house. Our renewal was due and we found this lovely gem just a few minutes away.
We love it here. The house was brand new when we moved in so everything was working like a dream, and we have a lovely quiet street, nice neighbours and the best landlord ever. We love the open concept of the house, and the fact that our living and dining area is raised up a level makes it always nice and breezy. We have a Balinese-style master bathroom that is open to the elements and took some getting used to, but we do have some lovely greenery and plants to spare the neighbours!
How would you define your interior style?
I like to keep things modern with an elegant touch, and this house fits our style completely. I love a home to be bright and airy, and living in the tropics is perfect for that. I have millions of plants indoor and outdoor – they are everywhere.
What’s your favourite corner or room in the house and why?
I love our outdoor space. The pool area is nice for chilling out at weekends, and we have an outdoor dining area at the front of the house which is raised and not overlooked. We also have a roof terrace the length of the house but have yet to transform that space – it’s on the list.
Where do you source your furniture and décor?
When we first arrived, we bought a houseful of modern teak furniture from Gallery 278 that we recently revamped with some sanding and painting; and we added some more pieces of furniture, mirrors and artwork from my lovely friend Caroline at Arete Culture – I love everything there. My colour palette is a light mix of pastels so I also love ASF Home Store at Tiong Bahru for their Walter G cushions and large planters, and Island Living for their resort-style décor. Teak & Mahogany is amazing for outdoor furniture; we’ve had ours for years and it looks brand new.
What are three of your favourite items in the house (apart from David, of course!)?
A sentimental painting that was the first thing we bought when we arrived here; Lucky, our huge bright-pink street dog that sits in our colourful family landing area – we adopted him from the Who Let The Dogs out campaign at Mandarin Gallery a few years ago; and probably my coffee machine as I can’t survive an hour without one!
Your home looks incredibly festive! Tell us a little bit more about your decorating for Christmas.
I’m in love with pastels and the pretty colour schemes and combinations trending now. I love shopping for new Christmas decorations (which drives my husband mad!), especially Bed Bath N’ Table for their unique tree decorations, along with the shops in KINEX Mall that always seem to have the best tree displays to tempt me into another colour scheme.
Christmas trees: are you in the real or fake camp and why?
We do love a real tree but the past couple of years they haven’t lasted so we decided to save the trees from now on and buy a fake. I have a beautiful one which does actually look very real, from Steve Florists in KINEX Mall.
Do you follow any special Christmas traditions?
The NORAD Santa Tracker! We tune in and track Father Christmas from the moment he begins his journey, plus we always have bacon sandwiches for breakfast on Christmas morning before the big feast.
Who do you usually spend Christmas Day with, and where?
Every other year we are home in England with the family, which is the best. It doesn’t seem like Christmas for us here with the heat. When we do stay, we hang out with best friends and their families either at brunch or at someone’s house.
Favourite thing about Singapore and the region?
It’s always warm – I hate being cold. We love being able to travel around the region too; it’s so easy to take short breaks and Changi Airport is just the best for transit times in and out. We are very grateful for home help too – Fe has been with us for over 16 years now and we would not be without her.
What do you do for fun (that’s printable!)?
We love travelling, staycations, hanging out with friends and trying new places. For exercise, it’s walking for me.
East Coast Restaurants & Cafés
The Winery (“for wines, platters and tapas”) thewinery.com.sg/siglap
Next Door Spanish Cafe (“lovely Spanish food”) nextdoorspanishcafe.com
Little Farms Joo Chiat (“for great produce”) littlefarms.com
Baker & Cook and Plank Siglap (“I love their pizza”) | bakerandcook.biz
Etna (“for Italian”) | etnaitalianrestaurant.com.sg
TTG Wines | ttgwines.com
Home Décor & Accessories
Arete Culture | areteculture.com
ASF Home Store | asfhomestore.com
Island Living | islandliving.sg
House of AnLi | houseofanli.com
Ginko Collection | IG @ginkocollectionsg
A Raft of Otters | IG @araftofotters.tm
Badger & Fox | badgerandfoxsingapore.com
Expat Hair Studio | expathairstudio.com
Nails & Pilates
The VIVA Group | thevivagroup.com
This article first appeared in the December 2022 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!