The Temporal House

We sold our lovely private jungle house in Singapore when we moved to Australia a couple of years ago. So when we returned to Singapore, we decided to rent since we weren’t sure how long we would be here for. Coincidentally, the black & white style bungalow I found on the internet turned out to belong to a banker friend of mine whom I first knew when I was a junior analyst in UBS.

When we moved in, it was in a seriously crumbly state and through sweat and illusion, I worked for a month to put in mirrors to brighten up the place, layered cream sisal carpets and rugs over the scratched and stained parquet, changed the light fittings from gothic to glam and repainted everything.

The Living Room – BEFORE SHOT below
This is what it looked like before we moved in…..

The Living Room – AFTER

The Patio

Detail of an antique door

Dining Room- BEFORE
You could hardly walk in that room as there was a table which could sit 20 in it under these huge gothic chandeliers…

Dining Room – AFTER

I made half the room a casual lounge area where we could sit and have tea while the kids were in the pool…

The extendable dining table went in the other half…

The billiards room stayed roughly the same but with a new table covering….


The koi pond was cleaned up and landscaping done….


New light fittings were purchased cheaply from Balestier Road…

The wine cellar was populated with our Pinot….

The view from the 2nd floor of the house – jungly jungle….

The Master Bedroom – BEFORE


The Master Bedroom’s living area- BEFORE

Master Bedroom – AFTER

Master Bedroom Living area – AFTER




* The kids play area upstairs…

We found out a month ago that the landlord has sold the place and the new owners intend to tear it down next year after our lease is up! Such is life in Singapore. It feels surreal to think that this grande old dame’s days are numbered, and our days here a liminal existence.

So I thought I’d share these pictures as a remembrance of the Temporal House.

4 thoughts on “The Temporal House

  1. What a shame, Crystal – particularly after all the good changes you made. x

  2. Love the old world charm and what you’ve done with the place. I’m sure it will be annoying to have to look for a new place, but I’m sure you’ll be more than up to the challenge. Please come and make over my bedroom. It’s dire!!

  3. Thanks Pauline! And Lana, I’d love to do your bedroom. Inside of me there’s a frustrated interior designer (and writer and photographer and artist) dying to get out as you can tell!

  4. I think it’s brilliant that you can make ‘even’ a rented place feel like home. After our move abroad, we’re renting as well as, and I it’s such a relief to see my bits of art and familiar furniture in someone else’s house.

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