Having moved to Singapore fairly recently with her husband and two children, FAITH TOWN is intent on making the family feel right at home in their apartment. She tells us what she likes about living in Newton Circus and shares plenty of recommendations and tips.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My husband and I met in Melbourne, Australia, which is home for me. Paul is a New Zealander who grew up in Singapore so we’ve always harboured a dream to call this place home at some stage with our own kids. Paul started work as Senior Vice President, Resort Operations at Marina Bay Sands in November 2019.
Expat life isn’t a new thing for our family of four; we spent eight years in Macau before returning back “home” to Melbourne with our children, Farrah (10) and Fletcher (7). During this time, I studied full-time for two years and became a qualified interior designer.
Where did you first live when you came to Singapore and why?
Our much-loved dog Chilli the cavoodle played a big part in our relocation to Singapore. We chose to stay at Fraser Suites initially because it’s pet-friendly and also so we could take our time looking for the style of accommodation and location that suited us best.
We live in a world of online everything and the navigation tools are endless but I found that getting a traditional paper map helped me understand my surrounds, the suburbs, one-way streets and proximity to everything a bit better. I was able to get my bearings using this “old school” method as a result.
What do you love about living in Newton Circus?
We ended up choosing Goodwood Residence, close to Newton MRT, Newton Circus and everything we need. It strikes the balance of being a tranquil setting in the day – until the kids arrive home. After school, it turns into a great hangout on the big grassy lawn for all the kids playing tag, ball and so on.
I have an understanding of how much the outdoors influences the interior. Goodwood Residence is like an urban oasis in the trees. The lush green setting really does set the tone for living in the tropics.
What were the first things you bought when you got here?
Aside from stocking the fridge with food and buying sunscreen and mosquito repellent to last an eternity, I went straight to the Tan Boon Liat Building, which is a one-stop multi-layered shop for decking out your home. Expat Living, Honeycombers and Google were my go-to guides for all new discoveries.
After that, I went off to Hock Siong & Co, and Junkies Corner to find myself some pre-loved treasures.
Faith’s favourite spots
• Mott 32 is one of the newest restaurants in the MBS precinct. The super-glam setting makes for a fab date night.
• At Newton Circus, we love to play “hawker roulette” with the kids and each go off to one of the many stalls bringing back food to share.
• Duxton Hill is so pretty; it’s a great spot to take out-of-towners too!
• Little India has a colourful and eclectic vibe that’s so vibrant and fun – not to mention the food and the musicians that come out at night.
• Westlake is set underneath an apartment block in Bukit Timah and has been a Town family favourite for decades. We like to describe it as somewhere between a hawker stall and restaurant dining. My mother-in-law still makes their chicken with dried chilli back home in New Zealand.
• Din Tai Fung: our go-to for dumpling cravings – and we crave dumplings often!
• As for travel spots, we can’t wait to go further afield but we really haven’t had the chance to do so yet. Rawa Island holds many memories for Paul as a child. We plan on going there with his parents and our kids later this year, which will be great.
A curated home is all about balance and layering. Many new pieces that are hardwearing – like the sofa and the dining table – I splashed out on and paid for quality. Other decorative pieces and trinkets that I added were depictive of where we are living. My very first purchase was a brass tiffin box from The Past Perfect Collection. It initially sat on my favourite piece, an old side table that my mother-in-law purchased during her time in Singapore in the early 80s – when Paul was only eight years old!
Our bookcase is the heartbeat of our home, displaying books, photos, games and trinkets that we either love or have a practical use for each day. I feel that now our little home is set, we can concentrate on exploring all that Singapore has to offer.
I’ve worked with residents in Melbourne to spruce up their homes, layering in new objects and furniture to complement who they are, what they love and how they want to live. My own home was published in Home Beautiful magazine in Australia, as well as being the featured property on the mini-series Bad Mothers. I don’t plan to work in Singapore but I’m just making sure we make the most of it!
Faith’s tips for newcomers
• Be open to meeting new people and making new friends.
• Chinese, Malay, Indian, Eastern and Western influences all make up the cultural melting pot that is Singapore. It’s a truly integrated destination, with influences from all over the world! Join an Indian cooking class, learn to play Mahjong, sweat it out at boot camp or start a book club. There is a class, group or event for pretty much anything you’re interested in here.
• I believe your home should tell a story of who you are and what you love. Even if you’re here for only a few years, make your house a home; I promise you won’t regret it. • Stock up on sunscreen and mosquito spray – it’s as essential as milk and bread in this place, the land of the never-ending summer!
• Living on the equator has its benefits, such as sunshine and swimming all year round. It also requires … erm … maintenance for many women; in short, find yourself a good wax salon if you need it – try Strip at Great World City.
• The heat also requires makeup that has high SPF for sun protection as well as the need for it not to melt off your face! I use Channel CC Cream with SPF 50 every day.
Hock Siong & Co hocksiong.com.sg
Danish Design danishdesignco.com.sg
Second Charm instagram.com/second.charm
Junkies Corner 2 Turf Club Road
Framing Angie framingangie.com
Emperor’s Attic emperorsattic.com
Goodrich Global goodrichglobal.com/singapore
The Cinnamon Room cinnamonroom.com
House of AnLi houseofanli.com
The Past Perfect Collection pastperfect.sg
Boulevard Outdoor Furniture boulevardoutdoorfurniture.com
This article first appeared in the June 2020 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!