There’s a lot happening in Singapore – plenty to see and some fresh faces on the scene. Here are my eat, play, stay tips for this fun city.
SINGAPORE | EAT
POTATO HEAD FOLK
An impressive four-storey colonial building wrapping around a corner of Chinatown, painted in distinctive red & white.
A take out kitchen owns the ground floor & then follow the painted checkerboard staircase up to Three Buns Kitchen – all carnival & fun with an interior of vintage finds, mix n’matched chairs & tables, school house lights & a fabulous top layer of art & murals by Melbourne-based, Bromley&co. Stop for burger & bloody Mary, but make sure to secure a booking!
Although it lacks animals & forest floor underfoot, it is an incredible venture on the cityscape & a welcome relief from the humidity of Singapore.
SINGAPORE | STAY
Here’s to the next adventure!
This still-life is a nod to the mysteries & fascinations of sea craft, pirates and buccaneers, and the sense of adventure that they bring. The word ‘Buccaneer’ originates from the Caribbean Arawak word Buccan, a wooden frame for smoking meat. The French term ‘boucanier’ soon followed- referring to the French hunters who used such frames to smoke produce.
Around 1630 when Spaniards tried to drive the French from the Island of Tortuga, the French rallied forces and partook in acts of piracy in small sea crafts against the Spanish ships roaming the open seas. The name Buccaneer, with the connotation of pirates was spread by English settlers occupying Jamaica. Buccaneers later became know as outlaws, part privateer, part pirate authorised by the government to attack foreign war vessels.
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H is for…
Surely it is no surprise to discover that H in this fine alphabet would stand for haberdasher. I initially set up The Society Inc. as a haberdashery meets hardware store, and it still has this undercurrent, though now it draws many more inspirations into its gravitational pull. My fascination with the small details, such as buttons, ribbons, needles, thread and “notions” would perhaps suggest that I was a haberdasher in a past life. The early haberdashers would trade in all these details and in some instances offer men’s clothing, too. I just love the idea that the practical elements of garments, such as buttons and thread, could be sold alongside the final flourishes like ribbon and decorative accents and that the trade was so strong that even today you can still find haberdasheries, if you seek them out…which I am inclined to do.
So much of my style combines form & function, and I often write about the importance of looking beyond a piece’s intended use and thinking of it as a piece in your space’s story. Chairs are one of those pieces that can blur the line between sculpture and practicality. Here are some of my favourites:
Not everything in your home needs to fulfil its intended use. Chairs can double as tables, floors used as a place to store generous piles of books & magazines, cupboard handles a place to hang decorations. Think outside the realm of traditional interior stores – this divine chair began life in a church.
Mix the simple with the special. The silver metal chair with plain white upholstery sits in front of a peacock & flower motif. If you need to have a quieter moment, opt for a neutral palette, but keep the embellishment.
A chair can be the grounding point or centrepiece of a space. The variations in form and the variety of materials on offer mean that you can totally change a space with this single piece. This woven wicker chair brings a bohemian vibe to the nautical entry.
Channel the style of intrepid explorer Gertrude Bell. She would travel with at least crystal, china, writing desk and a canvas bath on her own forays into the Middle Eastern deserts. I love all things that fold, so Campaign chairs made from timber and canvas with brass joints encapsulate some of my favourite things.
trade wind – noun
1. Also called trades. Any of the nearly constant easterly winds that dominate most of the tropics and subtropics throughout the world, blowing mainly from the northeast in the Northern Hemisphere, and from the southwest in the Southern Hemisphere.
2. Any wind that blows in one regular course, or continually in the same direction.
Tradewinds reflects my fascination with all things maritime, from the ocean-going explorers of the 18th and 19th centuries to the pirates and mythological sea creatures of storybooks. It’s also littered with references to entomology and, one of my heroes, Charles Darwin. It is inspired by fact and enhanced by fiction and has a palette that, depending how you use it, can be either calm or wild, just like the sea. And me.
Be wild like the winds and paint yourself a bed head with Galleon manila, or play it safe with Anchorage on a feature wall or two.
I have collected hand-blown glass forever – nothing matches and they all have their own story of the find. This is the time to mix & match and make it casual: porcelain, paper, glass, old doilies, linen all on a background of handmade lace cloth (I think it was supposed to be a bedspread). Remember to follow the Mediterranean tradition of siesta, one that all cultures should adopt.
Pay attention to the details and use the textures and icons seen on your trip: things like a porcelain pendant light, an old steamship towel, rope trivet as a soap dish. Use heavy extra-long tea towelling linen as a floor mat.
I have a fascination with mirrors: I had one bespoke made in the shape of a shield, similar to the ones seen in Sorrento, then layered it in with my vintage collection.
Wallpaper your bathroom with ropes and give it some art – the number 8 is made out of foam and was very inexpensive.