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Laura. Home Ideas. September 10th , 2017.

Having lived deep in the jungles of Borneo for several years it was rather difficult for this British couple to adjust to the 'civilisation' of city life in Singapore. But all was not lost ― in their search for a home here they came across a half‐acre plot high up on Bukit Batok hill on which stood a post–war colonial house. “It was completely surrounded by huge trees also undulating valley and, as far as our eye is looking, we couldn′t see a neighboring house. We loved the jungle mainly for the peace and this house is the nearest thing to it.“

The house is so far up the hill and tucked away to such an extent that we had quite a bit of difficulty locating it. We later discovered that this very aspect of its location actually pleased the owners, as they value their privacy. Used to the open environment of the tropics, they spend a fair bit of time on the picturesque terrace which overlooks an enormous lawn and lovely old trees. The lady of the house told us that she‘s loved plants all her life ”passionately” and, though her husband is in the landscaping and plant business. She’s the one responsible for cultivating and pruning the orchids and potted plants.

″Most of them came from garage sales, mostly rejects really. I brought them back, pruned, re—potted and fertilized them and now they grow blossom.″ She maintains that a regular dose of personal attention and conversation will definitely result in heal‐their plants. Well, her recipe has proved effective, judging from what we saw. The architectural façade of the colonial building bears a strong resemblance to some of the early 40s⁄50s British army houses, at the time “home“ to top–ranking personnel.

The interior has an unusual layout ― there are six bedrooms, three upstairs also another three downstairs. It struck all of us as odd that those upstairs had no attached bathrooms. The couple couldn’t comprehend the situation either so they compromised by living downstairs. It didn′t pose a problem as they‵re a small family ― six–year–old Eleanor lives in one room and her parents occupy the other.

Upstairs, the largest room was converted into a huge study. (The lady of the house is a qualified translator and also occupies herself by writing freelance articles for a tourist magazine.) All her work is done from home so she definitely needed room to work in.

The other bedrooms upstairs are meant for house guests. Apparently, the couple feels that the situation has worked well. As this way, their guests have all the privacy they could want and they themselves are left alone too!

Sometimes though there's a heavy price to pay for living in almost total isolation, surrounded only by nature`s greenery. Birds and squirrels are not their only visitors ― king cobras and pythons often make their attendance felt. “That‘s why we keep three huge dogs and a cat,“ was the couple’s unperturbed reply.



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