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Home showcase: pure and simple

Making the most of their first international posting, Julia and Marco Esser have chosen an interior style that is poles apart from their home back in Germany. We were invited to take a look inside their Novena apartment, and to find out how they’ve settled in so far.

Homes in Singapore
The Esser Family

Who lives here:
Julia and Marco Esser with their children Carolin (12), Moritz (9) and Philipp (6); they’re from Mannheim in Germany.

Size and type of home:
4,100 square feet; five bedrooms across a two-floor penthouse.

How long they’ve lived here:
Since December 2014.

Style of home:
“We chose light furniture and clean shapes, adding some bright colour for contrast, as well as some accessories from our travels,” says Julia.

“A lot of people comment on the space and light in the apartment as soon as they come in,” says Julia, and that’s unsurprising. This five-bedroom apartment benefits from a large atrium stretching from the living and dining area up to the family room above. Floor-to-ceiling windows in most of the rooms give even more light to the modern space. The furniture is minimalist and contemporary (mostly IKEA), and there are few decorative additions, which gives the apartment a clean and modern look.

Homes in Singapore
“I was a swimmer when I was younger, and so I love the size of the pool here.” The shared areas such as the function room and gym are housed in conserved buildings that have been carefully renovated.

Moving in
Once the relocation was confirmed, it was husband Marco who was tasked with finding somewhere to live. “He came here for a week and eventually found this apartment. Living here is great. It’s centrally located and close to public transport, but in the evening it’s very similar to where we used to live in Germany – you’re near the city centre, but it’s also really quiet. The first couple of nights after we moved in, my husband and I stood here by the window, wondering where all the people were. It was so peaceful.”

The condo was brand new, and they were one of the first tenants to move in. “What’s nice about being here is that we all moved in at a similar time, and there’s a really lovely community. We have barbecues, it’s easy to socialise, and there’s always someone to talk with.”

For the most part, their home is kitted out with IKEA furniture. Marco had sent Julia the apartment’s plan, and she went to IKEA in Germany, measured everything up and sent back a list of what he needed to buy in Singapore. There is a little artwork dotted around, and a fun football table purchased at Boutiques at the Pits last year, but other than that things are kept neat and minimal.

Homes in Singapore
The balcony from the master bedroom houses a hot tub, which came with the apartment.

Once they had settled into Singapore life, the Essers were keen to take advantage of their geographical position and explore areas that had been too far-flung before. “We went to Perth and stayed in Fremantle, which has lots of things for families to do,” says Julia. “We have also just been to Darwin, which was fantastic – it has that real Australian Outback feeling.”

It’s clear that for Julia and family the move has so far been a positive one, and when quizzed on how long their Singapore stay will be, she hesitates. From looking at this as a short-term stay, she now seems to be viewing it as an opportunity to explore further.

“This is our chance to try something new, and benefit from a new experience,” she notes – and the experience of moving from a traditional-style home to the modern setup they’re enjoying right now is just one aspect of that bigger picture.

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“Last year I went to Boutiques at the Pit Building and The Children’s Showcase had a football table out, which my kids loved playing with. We asked if they were selling it and luckily they were.”

Dietmar Brixy (“internationally renowned artist from Mannheim”) en.brixy.de
The Map Collection (“I bought one for Marco’s birthday; it’s in the bedroom”) 36 Princess of Wales Road (viewing by appointment only) 3158 1798 | themapcollection.com
Ashley Mak Photography (“he took beautiful pictures of our family in the Botanic Gardens”) 9004 7429 | ashleymak.com
Island Landscape & Nursery (“our plants and fibreglass tanks are from there”) Plot 13, Joan Road/Thomson Road 6254 9867 | islandgroup.com.sg
The Clueless Goat (“small café around the corner that’s great for coffee, breakfast and snacks”) 189 Thomson Road facebook.com/thecluelessgoat
AJ Delights (“best muffins in town”) #01-82 Bukit Merah Lane 1 Block 120, Alexandra Village Food Centre 9752 5973 | ajdelights.com.sg
Park Connector Network (“the kids love cycling along the suggested routes”) nparks.gov.sg

This is an extract of an article that first appeared in the June 2016 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy for the full article, or Subscribe now so you never miss an issue!

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