Who lives here: Kate (British), husband Jan (half-Swedish) and their two daughters Olivia (5) and Jessie (2).
Time in Singapore: Ten years, with a short stint in China two years ago.
Size of home: Four-bedroom, 1,722-square-foot condo at the Soleil@Sinaran in Novena, purchased by the Jeffreys in 2013.
Home style: Kate’s love of colour is reflected in their home, with a variety of hues and patterns featured in each room.
Totting up ten years in Singapore (broken by an eight-month relocation to Shanghai, which they brought to an end because “the pollution was too much”), the Jeffreys have made the Lion City their home. Cementing this have been their property purchases – initially a condo in the Lavender area that they sold to purchase their current four-bedroom family apartment in Novena – and the fact their two daughters attend Stamford American International School, a mere ten-minute drive from their condo.
With a full-time marketing role, a husband who works in Bangkok during the week, and two young children at home, it’s no surprise that Kate enlisted the help of E&A Interiors to translate her own love of colour and pattern into a liveable, stylish and fun environment for the whole family.
Having discovered E&A Interiors in Expat Living magazine, and remembering the striking fabrics they carry, Kate got in touch with interior designer Elizabeth to find out what she could do. Husband Jan apparently quite content so long as they had a sofa and television, and Kate’s textiles vision veering towards “matchy-matchy” territory, Elizabeth became a vital sounding board for bouncing ideas off and helping decide on fabrics and wallpapers.
“I love colour, whether it’s in dresses or shoes,” says Kate. “I have lots of shoes in different colours and can probably match any outfit for work! I’m also a bit of neat freak when it comes to my personal style – apparently, I’ve been like that since I was a kid.” These dual loves of colour and keeping things uncluttered had to be reflected in her home.
“Keeping it neat hasn’t been that hard, as everything has a place,” Kate explains. Using patterns was another practical move. “Stains don’t show so much , which means I’m not too worried about the kids making a mess on the furniture.”
Striking colours and patterns are found throughout their home, with each room showcasing a different theme, from the girl’s fun bedroom, to the stylish and practical office space and the romantic master bedroom. Still, while each room feels different, they all manage to flow together.
Breaking down barriers
The apartment originally had a glass partition separating the entrance from the kitchen area. “It was such a waste of space, so Elizabeth suggested ripping it out and reconfiguring the kitchen with a central island that can be used not only for eating and socialising, but also for preparing and cooking food.” As there wasn’t quite enough room, they decided to open up the space and make the island the focal point. “She also helpfully recommended we use a solid surface in the kitchen, rather than anything porous, as Jan juices frequently.”
Elizabeth also introduced Kate to one of her now favourite finds, second-hand and vintage furniture reseller Hock Siong. “Initially, we bought two second-hand chairs for the living room. They were a terrible colour, but Elizabeth recovered them in a Missoni fabric and they’re now stunning.” Kate has since purchased a mirror for the entrance area, and a dresser for the kitchen from Hock Siong.
The very final touches to the apartment are being made within the living area, including installing Jan’s important surround sound system, a bookcase to house the television and wires, and a set of spotlights in the ceiling.
“When we approached E&A we wanted something ‘homey’, without it being Laura Ashley style,” explains Kate. “For me, it’s about having the space exactly as we want it, and I think we’ve achieved that, making it contemporary without being overtly modern; a fun space to live in.”
“Kate had been wanting some work done on their place for quite a while; she was looking to add colours and patterns but needed someone to help her pull it together. She was getting really frustrated with the layout, so we helped rework the kitchen, hacking out the glass partition and sourcing the same flooring. Then we did smaller bits and pieces, such as adjusting wardrobes and adding side tables and curtain pelmets.
After a couple of meetings with a client you should know what to propose, and as Kate had specifically mentioned her love of wallpaper, as well as wanting something young and fun, I had a clear idea of what to suggest. Every room is different and has its own character, but the whole home also flows nicely.” – Elizabeth Acland
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