Moving from serviced accommodation with all its mod cons to your own apartment can be fraught with issues – primarily, how to furnish the space and make it liveable. Here, Daniel and Nyrma Soldevila talk us through how they did just that, and why they love living in their Newton condo.
Who lives here: Daniel and Nyrma Soldevila from Puerto Rico, and their eight-year-old son, Adrian.
Size and type of home: Three-bedroom rental condo.
Style of home: Contemporary and natural, incorporating neutral tones of white and light grey.
Having met 14 years ago, Daniel and Nyrma had their future mapped out in their home country of Puerto Rico, where they had lived and worked all their lives. The tipping point came when their recently purchased home was broken into and many of their belongings stolen. With his boss then relocating to Singapore, it wasn’t long before Daniel was offered the chance to move too, continuing his work as a chemical engineer.
The couple and their young son Adrian had never been to Asia, let alone Singapore, but they arrived in July 2014 to start their new life, settling first into Orchard Scotts Residences. Daniel’s initial posting was a one-term assignment; however, the company extended it and so the family stayed in Orchard Scotts for another year. When they found out they would be staying on until at least 2018, they decided to find a more permanent home, and started looking for a suitable condo.
Pinpointing the Newton and Orchard area, they carried out their research online, specifically looking at simple, contemporary style apartments. “Nyrma also told me she didn’t want to live on a high floor – sixth floor at the most,” laughs Daniel, as we now sit on the 24th floor of their current abode, the Trilight, located where Newton Road starts.
This condo ticks all the other boxes for the family, with its open-plan concept, modern simplicity and convenient, central location close to an MRT station. Moving from serviced accommodation to their own apartment meant, however, that they needed to buy furniture for every room in their new home.
“We had left behind or sold most of our furniture in Puerto Rico, only bringing some smaller décor pieces with us. Searching online for a suitable home furniture company, I found Gallery 278, who also came recommended by our realtor, and I really liked the look of their natural wood products,” says Nyrma.
Leasing furniture seemed the most sensible option; they also had an option to purchase certain pieces at the end of their contract. “Dealing with Gallery 278 was really easy; they said they’d deliver after one month, and until then they lent us pieces such as the sofa, which was really helpful,” says Daniel.
Having based many of their decisions on internet research, including finding a school for Adrian (he’s now at Stamford American International School), the couple have no regrets. The same goes for Nyrma, who’s enjoying living in and exploring the Newton area, as well as pursuing her CrossFit bug at a gym in Tai Seng. She’s also invested time in taking courses on fashion design, photography and professional makeup artistry, and hopes to put what she’s learnt into practice before too long.
“We come from a close, family-orientated culture and so we made it a priority to meet other Puerto Ricans when we arrived.” With the support of this close community – “They’re like our second family,” says Daniel – and a condo they enjoy calling home, the Soldevilas are happily ensconced in Singapore for the foreseeable future.
By: Amy Brook-Partridge
Photography: Ken Tan
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