Singapore Fling

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June 2, 2010

In December 2007, Nicolette de Waart, her husband, Joost Dop, and their four children moved from Heemstede, the Netherlands, to Singapore. While Dop began his new job, De Waart set out to find someplace for them to live. In the process of turning a house into their home, she also found a footing for her interior design business, Design Doctors, an extension of her well-established Dutch company, De Stijlfabriek. De Waart tells her tale of procuring (and piecing together) a place for her family in the big city.

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  Singaporeans tend to keep their homes airtight, but Nicolette de Waart prefers to bring the outdoors—–and her Dutch design aesthetic­­—–in.  Photo by: Jasper James
    Singaporeans tend to keep their homes airtight, but Nicolette de Waart prefers to bring the outdoors—–and her Dutch design aesthetic­­—–in.

    Photo by: Jasper James

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  Light pours in through the kitchen.  Photo by: Jasper James
    Light pours in through the kitchen.

    Photo by: Jasper James

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  “Every house we looked at had curtains over all the windows,” De Waart says. “Our first real estate agent thought it was strange that I wanted to remove them, but Dutch people like to have very open spaces.”  Photo by: Jasper James
    “Every house we looked at had curtains over all the windows,” De Waart says. “Our first real estate agent thought it was strange that I wanted to remove them, but Dutch people like to have very open spaces.”

    Photo by: Jasper James

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  The family—–Wieger, Nicolette, Tammo, Joost, Teuntje, and Pip­—–eats most of their meals on the lush, sunlit terrace off the main floor.  Photo by: Jasper James
    The family—–Wieger, Nicolette, Tammo, Joost, Teuntje, and Pip­—–eats most of their meals on the lush, sunlit terrace off the main floor.

    Photo by: Jasper James

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  The house lacked significant storage space when the family moved in, so De Waart designed bookcases to custom-fit their favorite display items.  Photo by: Jasper James
    The house lacked significant storage space when the family moved in, so De Waart designed bookcases to custom-fit their favorite display items.

    Photo by: Jasper James

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  De Waart designed the playful shapes in the craft room.  Photo by: Jasper James
    De Waart designed the playful shapes in the craft room.

    Photo by: Jasper James

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  De Waart added a chalkboard to the kitchen for writing memos and for drawing, as Tammo does here.  Photo by: Jasper James
    De Waart added a chalkboard to the kitchen for writing memos and for drawing, as Tammo does here.

    Photo by: Jasper James

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  Because their home is a rental, De Waart was limited in the changes she could make. In the boys’ room, she added vintage wallpaper. “From a distance it appears to be all shades of green but when you have a closer look, it turns out to be one big jungle,” De Waart says. She covered just a single wall with the paper to keep the room from feeling overrun with color.  Photo by: Jasper James
    Because their home is a rental, De Waart was limited in the changes she could make. In the boys’ room, she added vintage wallpaper. “From a distance it appears to be all shades of green but when you have a closer look, it turns out to be one big jungle,” De Waart says. She covered just a single wall with the paper to keep the room from feeling overrun with color.

    Photo by: Jasper James

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  “Normally I’m not that fond of marble,” De Waart says, “but in the tropics, it 
really works, because it stays cool.” To warm up the space aesthetically, she added rugs throughout the home, including a Turkish goat-hair rug purchased at Ottomania in Haarlem, the Netherlands, and her own Autumn felt rug, which features cut-out felt leaves on a white background.  Photo by: Jasper James
    “Normally I’m not that fond of marble,” De Waart says, “but in the tropics, it really works, because it stays cool.” To warm up the space aesthetically, she added rugs throughout the home, including a Turkish goat-hair rug purchased at Ottomania in Haarlem, the Netherlands, and her own Autumn felt rug, which features cut-out felt leaves on a white background.

    Photo by: Jasper James

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  One of the first things De Waart did when they moved in was to remove 
all the curtains—–save those on the bedroom windows—–and change the lighting fixtures. “A nice lamp can add so much extra to a room,” she says. De Waart favors organic shapes, like the Evolute by Matali Crasset for Danese Milano in the family room, Arco by the Castiglioni brothers for Flos in the living room, or the ping-pong-ball pendant light of her own design on one of the balconies.  Photo by: Jasper James
    One of the first things De Waart did when they moved in was to remove all the curtains—–save those on the bedroom windows—–and change the lighting fixtures. “A nice lamp can add so much extra to a room,” she says. De Waart favors organic shapes, like the Evolute by Matali Crasset for Danese Milano in the family room, Arco by the Castiglioni brothers for Flos in the living room, or the ping-pong-ball pendant light of her own design on one of the balconies.

    Photo by: Jasper James

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  De Waart encourages her clients to live in their houses for a while before settling on permanent furniture arrangements. “When people move to a new place,” she says, “they tend to put all their furniture in the same place as they did in their former house. But it’s not their former house.” For De Waart, it took a year before she found the perfect place for each table, couch, and chair.  Photo by: Jasper James
    De Waart encourages her clients to live in their houses for a while before settling on permanent furniture arrangements. “When people move to a new place,” she says, “they tend to put all their furniture in the same place as they did in their former house. But it’s not their former house.” For De Waart, it took a year before she found the perfect place for each table, couch, and chair.

    Photo by: Jasper James

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