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Readers Homes: Shelford Showcase

By: Amy Brook-Partridge; photography by Ken Tan

A graphic designer by trade, Venezuelan expat Carolina Labastidas has cast her professional eye over her Bukit Timah home and turned it into an eclectic and glitzy treasure trove. We met up with her to find out how she combines her home décor finds in such a stylish way.

Who lives here:
Maria Carolina Labastidas, ten-year old son Albert, helper Jenny and pet Chihuahua Lola.

Time spent in Singapore:
They arrived in January 2015 from Guangzhou, where they spent three-and-a-half years.

Size of home:
300 square metres, 4-plus-1 bedrooms in a four-storey walk-up in Bukit Timah.

Style of home:
Refreshingly eclectic, and a reflection of Carolina herself.


Maria Carolina and Albert Labastidas sitting outside comfortably with their pet Chihuahua, Lola.
Maria Carolina and Albert Labastidas sitting outside comfortably with their pet Chihuahua, Lola.

Originally from Venezuela, Carolina has lived overseas for eight years, first in Panama for three-and-a-half years, then Guangzhou for the same length of time, and now here in Singapore for just over a year. Her job as a design leader for Procter & Gamble has seen her travel across the regions of Central and South America and the Asia-Pacific, allowing her also to indulge her passion for home décor.

“I love to buy pieces on impulse, and then find a way to make them work at home and fit into my style. I don’t follow a particular style, just my heart,” she explains.

Her four-bedroom walk-up home on Shelford Road in Bukit Timah is the perfect size to house not just her ten-year-old son Albert and dog Lola, but also her varied collection of furniture and furnishings. Her 23-year-old daughter, Maria Paulina, otherwise known as Polly, now studies overseas, but there are still plenty of reminders of her in photographs along the walls, and there’s also a bedroom styled just for her for when she visits.

“When I landed last year I was looking at newer property developments, but I soon realised my furniture wouldn’t fit. This place was perfect, the space was big and, even though I do love new things, I also love older places.” Décor-wise, Carolina says, she’s going through her blue and grey phase right now. “I don’t follow a specific style,” she reiterates. “Everything I have in my house I have because I saw it and loved it, and then I make it work. Sometimes I will refresh the style and look.”



Food and Drinks

Belmonte Latin Food (“a nice, small store that sells Mexican white cheese and other Latin delicacies”)
9652 9274 | belmontemex.com

Bochinche (“an Argentinian restaurant for extraordinary beef and fantastic brunch”)
6235 4990 | bochinche.com.sg

Coastes (“a wonderful place to spend mum-and-kid time; you can eat on the beach and it has a great menu, particularly if your kids are a bit difficult with food, like mine are!”)
6631 8938 | coastes.com

Vasco (“great cocktails – try the mojitos, and the great Latin kitchen serves delicious ceviche, empanadas and chimichurris”)
8799 7085 | vascosingapore.com


Modern Beauty Salon (“for facials and massages”)

Wow Hair (“a great place for a keratin treatment”)
6466 5200

Home Bungalow 55 (“I found the cushions in front of the television there”)
6463 3831 | thebungalow55.com

Far East Flora (“all the plants on the balcony are from there”)
6254 6662 | fareastfloragarden.com

This is an extract of an article that first appeared in the March 2016 edition of Expat Living. Buy a copy for the full story, or find more like this in our Homes section.

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