Michelle Boyce’s initial foray into home décor began when she became the only Singapore-based retailer of Thread Design, a high-quality New Zealand bedding brand. This quickly grew to include home décor products from around the globe via her online store Maissone, and has recently culminated in the opening of her first store, in Tiong Bahru. She tells us her story.
Michelle and husband Stuart’s ground-floor Sentosa Cove apartment has sweeping views of the marina, and benefits from a great deal of light during the day. All this works well to enhance a crisp and contemporary home style that reveals her love for beautiful interiors and attractive things.
“Our home is a bit of a mixture – somewhat eclectic, and a little bit contemporary – which my husband loves.” Without compromising on innovation or style, they have combined old and new things that have stood – and will stand – the test of time.
The family, originally from New Zealand, moved into their five-bedroom apartment nearly two years ago. Prior to that, they’d lived in Germany for three years, and Indonesia for another three.
Michelle loved life in Indonesia (“apart from the traffic”). She says it allowed her to explore her passion for interior design, which began after she’d had her two children (Samantha, now 17, and William, 14). Taking a casual interior design course to satisfy her own personal interest led Michelle to commissioning much of the furniture, made by local Indonesian craftsmen, that now features in her Singapore home. After the move, Michelle was looking for new bed linen for William’s room when she realised the need for more contemporary bedding here.
“Everything I found was a bit shiny and ornate, and I really felt there was a gap in the market. With the children now more independent, I felt it was the right time to do what I had always wanted to do: start a new business selling homeware and quality bed linen.”
She started off marketing New Zealand brand Thread Design, mostly online and through several fairs.
“After the bed linen,” says Michelle, “I started to add other pieces for the home, such as the African Juju hats” – including the yellow piece she has on her own wall. “It’s traditionally a king’s hat from the province of Cameroon, and I have lots of colours, from white to orange to black; they come in small sizes, too.”
In fact, looking around her home you quickly realise that Michelle isn’t one for bringing touristy knick-knacks back from her holidays, but rather chooses interesting objets d’art and accessories that she can inspire her customers with. Take the Moroccan leather hand-stitched poufs, for example, which she found while exploring the back lanes of Marrakesh; or the range of Swedish soaps, candles and hand creams that she discovered during a recent trip.
“They have all-natural ingredients, which is important to me as we want to stock natural products as much as possible – and products that represent different cultures of the world.”
With people increasingly asking Michelle where else they could buy her products, and space rapidly running out at her home, she opened her new Tiong Bahru showroom in January this year.
Where should you live? Look at our neighborhood guides
Get some more major home envy at our Homes section.