Chemine and Tim Peters have worked hard to create a home to fit their family’s active lifestyle since leaving their home in the US over two years ago. With its vibrant transcontinental décor and warm, laidback feel, this citytop retreat represents unpretentious family living in a lavish setting in the sky. Theresa Tarpey takes us inside.
They live at The Colonnade in Grange Road in the Orchard area, and I am excited by the opportunity to see the inside of this local architectural landmark. Fit, energetic Chemine, a mother of four, greets me warmly at the door.
A charming shophouse on Cairnhill was the first home of Chemine, Tim and two of their children when they arrived in Singapore. Craving more space, however, they soon moved to The Colonnade.
“It’s managed by Pontiac Land,” explains Chemine, “and the maintenance and service staff are amazing. They bring up your groceries and if something needs fixing, it is usually fixed that same day. It’s also a very dog-friendly place,” she notes, referring to the newest member of the family, their dog, Fergie.
Chemine made it her mission to create a comfortable home for her family, she told me, one that was “warm, inviting and comfy.” She wanted elegant furnishings that would nevertheless be able to withstand the wear and tear of family living. “I didn’t want delicate things. With two teenage boys living at home, I wanted both durability and style.”
To achieve this, Chemine relied on, among others, Gallery 278, Apsara, Double Luck, British India and Ann Lockett. “We brought nothing from the US,” she says.
Going on advice and recommendations from friends, she enlisted the home-styling services of Gallery 278. “Felicia was great. She took the floor plan, came up with the colour schemes, and was involved in the whole process.”
Chemine says she found it difficult to choose from the large variety of products available, especially carpets and Oriental rugs. “I looked at so many samples. It was hard for me to visualise how they would look against the rest of the décor,” she confesses. In the end, she chose well; the individual rugs and carpets – all from Hassans Carpets – create a distinctive ambience in each room.
Experimenting with different colour schemes and cultural influences was also a new experience for Chemine. She credits Felicia with opening her mind to new home-styling ideas. “Our house in Texas is decorated Mediterranean-style and is furnished in mostly neutral colours, which is fitting for the landscape of Texas, but not for Singapore. Felicia introduced me to different Asian cultures and brighter colours. I felt more free here to try out new things.”
The freedom that has come with Chemine’s exploration of new concepts of beauty has resulted in a new appreciation of Asian and Eastern-inspired art. A favourite piece of hers is the reclining Buddha figure in the master bedroom, which she found at an antiques shop on Dempsey Road. In the same room is another beloved piece, a framed transcription of a Burmese religious text. Chemine came across this item at Apsara, which specialises in antique Chinese lacquer furniture and Burmese antiques.
Also eye-catching is the collection of figurines from Thos S.B. Raffles on display in the living room bookcase.
Despite its size, every nook and corner of the house is used. The Peters enjoy hosting family and friends and often throw parties. “There’s always music playing and people coming over. It’s a great house for entertaining,” Chemine notes.
Out and About
In their free time, the Peters enjoy dining out and playing tennis, and they all share a passion for boating. Their boat is docked at ONEº15 Marina Club at Sentosa Cove, and they take it out as often as possible. Not discouraged by the paperwork, they enjoy cruising to various spots in Malaysia and Indonesia for a brief docking and visit.
The family extended their stay in Singapore, a main reason being their children’s education. “The boys, Trevor (15) and Blake (17), want to finish high school here. They have a lot more freedom here than they would have back home. Because it’s so safe, I don’t have to worry as much.”
She tells me that living here has given them opportunities for travelling, meeting new people and picking up new interests, which has not only allowed them to grow personally, but have also made them bond more closely as a family. “Life in Singapore is sometimes stressful, but there are so many advantages. It’s important to embrace all the different cultures here and try not to get overwhelmed by everything,” she advises.
A beautiful home, a loving family, endless possibilities for exploring new places and trying new things – I can understand why they decided to stay.
There are five bedrooms to accommodate the Peters family and their guests. All the rooms have full attached bathrooms.
Chemine chose an Eastern-inspired theme for the master bedroom. The centrepiece is the large bed facing the windows. “I wanted to put the bed along the wall, but my husband suggested facing it outside, so that we can wake up with the sun and the view every morning.”
All the beds in the house and the lounger sofa are from Gallery 278, and the pillows are from British India.
The Games Room
A room for both “boys and big boys,” laughs Chemine. Avid entertainers, the Peters take great pleasure in hosting friends and family here. An after-school hangout, a karaoke lounge, a party area – this room is multi-functional.
The pool table is from Leisurtron.
The Living Room
High ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows characterise the striking central part of the Peters’ home. Accents add brightness to the room and together create a mosaic of cultures and colours.
The sofa set and bookcase are from Gallery 278.
The foyer features unique pieces from China, Indonesia and Singapore, all of which set the tone for the rest of the house.
The gong is from Gallery 278 and the mirror is from British India. The carved Indonesian wooden screen and tapestry is from Rustic Living.
The Dining Room
Brightened by large windows, the indoor dining room emphasises simple and understated elegance.
The dining table and chairs are from Gallery 278 and all the carpets in the house are from Hassan’s Carpets.
The Family Room
Here is where the Peters spend much of their time together. Chemine selected warm colours and comfortable furniture to create a relaxed atmosphere.
The sofa is from Gallery 278.
The large terrace, which spans nearly the entire length of the first floor, has teak lounge and dining furniture and a daybed. The abundant tropical greenery brings natural beauty to this high-rise garden. “We eat out here more often than we do inside,” says Chemine. Considering the breathtaking views of the city, this is no surprise.
British India (Tanglin Mall)
ONEº15 Marina Club
The China Collection by Ann Lockett
Thos S.B. Raffles
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