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Showcase: Renovated shophouse at Joo Chiat Place in Singapore

Elaine and Ian live in a renovated shophouse on the East Coast.

Elaine was with Singapore Airlines originally so the East Coast was convenient for Changi Airport. They grew to love the area, the atmosphere, it was real Singapore to them. They moved from an old shophouse and are now enjoying the benefits of semi-condo living at Joo Chiat Place with the pool and gym. The undercover parking is a great help when you have a topless car!

They were really attracted to the property by the open-air courtyard between the kitchen and the living room. The house has also lots of wood, the old shutter style windows and beautiful stain glass to keep it in character. The high ceilings give it an airy, light feel so that although there are no side windows in the living room there is still plenty of light.


The previous tenants had filled the concrete courtyard with plants, but Ian and Elaine had always wanted a pond. Elaine is a Reiki Master as well as a Personal Development Coach and has her own sense of Feng Shui or energy within her home. She had decided on the look she wanted to create and went about getting all the pieces herself. The fibreglass casing for the pond is from Fish Aquaristiks on the East Coast. Initially they were just going to use the concrete as the base, but water can start to seep through to the foundations so they were advised to use a proper lining. Obviously you can buy ready-made ponds and water features as well. At the Nature Co. on Joan Road (near all the nurseries on Thomson Road), she chose the small stones and the larger rock feature that has the water flowing over it. She then bought the pump and installed it behind with the wires leading out the back so they wouldn’t be visible.

The finishing touches are Balinese. The statues around the pond were bought on the roadside near Ubud, Bali. There is also a Balinese block candle holder holding nine tea-lights that looks beautiful at night. The whole set up looks authentic and very peaceful.

To tie in with the Feng Shui belief she bought eight gold and one black gold fish as nine is the lucky number. The poor black one gets to absorb all the negative energy!  Apparently it is much cheaper to buy the fish small, they are only about $4 or $5 each. They do grow quickly but the drawback of buying them as babies is you can’t tell if they have any defects. “So we now have a couple that swim completely squiffy” explains Elaine.

It cost about $800.00 all inclusive. She feeds the gold fish on Discus Fish grains and bloodworms twice a day.

The pond does need to be cleaned regularly and they use a little battery-operated vacuum that is not very effective. When it gets “really disgusting” the stones have to be cleaned individually by hand.

For the South East area of the house, the money luck area, they have a smaller fountain bought from a shop in the Paragon that has since closed down. There are plenty of these around at places like Home Fountain, Anchor Point. This is at the base of the stairs and Elaine feels it also helps the energy to go up the stairs.

The Shophouse has been beautifully finished with the bathrooms and kitchen to a very high standard. There isn’t a maids room, but three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms is ample for them as a couple who have frequent visitors.

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