Find out why this East Coast apartment in Singapore is the perfect home for Indian expats Kavita Dasgupta and her family. Kavita and Rana, their seven-year-old son Akhil, and three-year-old daughter Diya live in this four-bedroom, five-bathroom penthouse. The family moved here in June 2017 but they’ve been in Singapore for 11 years.
Style of home: Pared back with lots of neutral colours such as greys and blues, and subtle pops of colour; Kavita is a big fan of earthy textures and natural elements too.
Kavita has lived in Singapore under many different guises. Originally from India, she and husband Rana moved here shortly after they got married, before relocating to Hong Kong for a year. They returned in 2010, when she then studied for her MBA at the National University of Singapore (NUS), before securing a position within a large multi-national company. However, with a background in fashion product development (she studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York), Kavita was always keen to start her own business. It was in between having her two children that her textiles brand Feroza Designs was born. “I’d bought all of Akhil’s bedding from the US, but it was so hot here I couldn’t use it. I kept looking for pieces to buy him here, but didn’t like all those baby prints.”
The business was launched in November 2013, when Kavita was five months pregnant with daughter Diya. What started as a baby brand, including swaddles and dohars (traditional Indian summer blankets made of three layers of soft cotton voile), has grown into a collection that includes adult bedding, cushion covers, table linen and now dresses. The hand block-printed pieces are made by skilled artisans in India on 100 percent cotton, perfect for this hot weather. Kavita’s designs follow her familiar colour palette of greys, blues and touches of pink. The hand-printed dresses are a departure from the current “home” collection. The emphasis is on slow fashion, and the dresses work for wearing in the city or on holiday.
West to East
During their first year in Singapore, Kavita and Rana lived in Tiong Bahru; “It was a different kind of life to the one we have now, that’s for sure.” When they returned to Singapore from Hong Kong they chose to live in the East because Rana worked in the Suntec area, and it was easy for Kavita to get to NUS. “The whole area has really changed since we’ve been here, particularly around Joo Chiat. There are some great little shops here now.”
Looking for more space for her business, the family moved into this particular condo in the middle of last year. “The minute we walked into this place we knew we wanted it; we didn’t have a balcony in our last apartment and this view really won us over.” The apartment was unoccupied for a while prior to them moving in, and Kavita says it took a fair amount of work to get it into the style they wanted – the biggest job being to add the guards across the living and dining area balcony.
Kavita had already started replacing key furniture pieces bit by bit before the move, including buying the dining table from Originals, and chairs from Hong Kong. The striking yellow cabinet in the dining area is from Hock Siong, and the shelving unit behind the new sofa is from Ethnicraft Online. To help with the finishing touches, Kavita booked in Hong from Affordable Style Files to carry out a “shop the house” on their home. “She uses the existing pieces and works with these to style your home. She turns up with her handyman and works around the rooms, putting up artwork but most importantly helping with the layout and pulling it all together.”
When the family isn’t at home in their beautifully styled apartment, they take advantage of the myriad activities right on their doorstep. “Of course, there’s the East Coast Parkway, and we also hang out at 112 Katong a lot. The children do their Taekwando at JH Kim, my son goes to Centre Stage as well, and then there’s the favourite Din Tai Fung, or Café Melba, where you can just hang out while the kids have fun on the bouncy castle.”
Loving life in Singapore, and with the business successfully growing its loyal fan base, Kavita has found more recently that she’s had some time on her hands, and so she has trained to be an executive/life coach. “I’m keen to help people going through transitions in their lives, whether from working to not working, changing career paths or relocating, so that they can find their purpose and reinvent themselves with confidence.” In many ways, like Kavita herself.
Food & Drink
Penny University (“delicious coffee and breakfast – if you can fight the crowds”) 402 East Coast Road 6345 9055
Blinds (“call Alan”) 9005 5377
Boutique Fairs boutiquefairs.com.sg
Blonde Boudoir (“see Joe”) #1-16/17 Central Square, 20 Havelock Road 9231 4434
JH Kim Taekwando 123 East Coast Road 6348 1390 | jhkim-singapore.com
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