Hello there, Honey
Monday, 8 Oct 2012
Last week we met with Helle Espersen, the personable owner of FairPrice Antique, one of our go-to furniture places in Singapore.
Now a lady who owns a furniture business?
Of course we knew her home would be a goldmine, but more than that, we were also immensely excited to be photographing the iconic Grange Road bungalow located just behind Mandarin Gallery.
Talk about ace locale!
We sat down with Helle, who shared her best-kept secrets around Singapore and the story of her legendary house.
Click through the slideshow to check out her charming place.
FairPrice Antique is located at #01-10, Tan Boon Liat Building at 315 Outram Road. They’re open daily from 12-5pm or call 9011 0380 for more information.
Helle welcomes us at the door.
Obviously, you’ve got a great home. How would you describe your style?
Ha! It’s eclectic, but mostly it’s just a mish-mash of things I like. I have no particular style, I just mix and match pieces that I love. And if you look around, you’ll notice I collect lots of things.
I’m always attracted to simple pieces I don’t really like the intricate antique pieces, for example. But I love colour; my favourite colours are orange and yellow.
Left: the main foyer; right: Helle’s fondness for collecting items. She’s a whiz at grouping things!
Just curious- how on earth did you end up here? This place is iconic!
Well we actually heard of this place through a customer and a friend. We came here on a Sunday and the gate was locked so we could only look in from the outside, but my husband loved it and wanted it immediately, he was sold from the beginning.
We went back on Monday and had a look around and I was so skeptical there was so much work that had to be done and we had to work around the layout of the house. It was previously a school and wasn’t meant to be lived in.
But like I said, my husband really wanted to move in he was undeterred so we fixed the roof and added a kitchen, and what do you know? Now we’ve been here five years.
Helle’s living room.
Helle’s living room.
A picture of the family pet, Misty, greets visitors when they first walk in.
What are your favourite places to buy home accessories?
Definitely Bali, Bangkok, and China. But for local stores, I really like Galanga Living, House of AnLi, and Teak & Mahogany at Pasir Panjang. They do outdoor furniture but I’ve found some great pieces there.
The dining room
Oh, and I can never resist Creative Dimensions at Holland Village – I love that store!
One of many home accessories collections in Helle’s home.
So what’s the best and worst parts of living here?
The worst part: snakes. [Not pictured: our Editors recoiling in horror.]
It can be pretty scary when you see the skins that they’ve shed lying around.
The best part has to be the location. It’s a big house with a big garden and a pool in the middle of Orchard Road!
The pool and an outdoor seating area.
Tell us a little about your work.
I love the team I work with; I’ve worked with them for many years and they’re such great people.
I only have good things to say about my work I have been so lucky to only deal with these great customers. Sometimes I travel overseas for buying trips, but when Im here I love being in the shop and getting to talk to customers.
Whenever I can I always try to deliver my own goods if they can fit in my car partly because I love seeing other people’s homes. Just last week I made a delivery to a Japanese couple and now we’re friends, they’ve even invited us over for dinner!
What about your weekends?
To be honest, I’m usually at work on weekends. But after I close shop, we sometimes go to Boomarang on Robertson Quay for dinner, I just love the food and the atmosphere. They also do great breakfast.
Another family favourite is LeVeL33 both for the food and the view.
I also spend a lot of my time at the Danish Church it’s a great place for the Danish community in Singapore.
Thanks for your time, Helle!