A Heart For Heritage
EL Singapore|October 2021
A green thumb meets vintage flair in this Everitt Road retreat.
Leanda Rathmell

One of Singapore’s first heritage towns, Joo Chiat has long been celebrated for its old-world charm and historic architecture. An enclave of famous eateries, eclectic boutiques and colourful rows of traditional Peranakan shophouses, this neighbourhood is, for many visitors, a case of love at first sight.

So it was for London-born CHLOÉ BATTESON one sunny afternoon in November 2018. On the hunt for a pretty postcode, Chloé had arranged a viewing at one of these very shophouses in the hope of finding a new home. As she arrived and peered through a dusky blue gate, awaiting the agent’s arrival, her mind was already made up. She knew right then that she had found “the one”.

We dropped in for a peek ourselves, to find out how Chloé has made it a home away from home.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey here.

Originally from London, I moved to Singapore with my job five years ago with London real estate agent Johns&Co. This has been my first stint living abroad – it’s been wonderful and certainly won’t be my last!

Property and design is something that I’m truly passionate about and enjoy putting into practice in my own space. I’ve recently taken this a step further and am now studying Interior Design. The dream is to one day design for bars and restaurants.

What kind of property were you looking for when you arrived? What were some non-negotiables?

The number one priority for me was having outside space. I love to have a garden and sadly left behind a much-loved allotment in the UK. I knew I would need more than a balcony to support my plant addiction and be able to take advantage of the weather here.

Secondly, having a property with character was very important to me. Not only are the heritage homes beautiful here, but I love to imagine the lives of the people that lived in them before me.

Then, finally, location. I knew very little about the East Coast when I arrived, but once I discovered it, I knew it was perfect and I can’t imagine living anywhere else in Singapore. It’s actually changed a lot just in the time that I have been here; there are constantly new shops and restaurants opening.

We love your current shophouse! Tell us about your move here.

My first home in Singapore was a colonial bungalow on Kuo Chuan Avenue. It was my introduction to the East Coast and it was really special, with original Peranakan tiles and black and white shutters. Unfortunately, when the owners decided to renovate the entire street, I was unable to renew my lease, which I was gutted about at the time.

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