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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 11 Apr 2013 12:38 pm

The problem with a lot of locally made "wood" furniture (solid wood) depends on whether they use kiln dried or air dried wood. If it's not kiln dried before construction of the furniture, it's still green wood that can split if it's kept in airconditioned premises as once the moisture is removed splits can and do occur, leading to things like legs falling off of chairs & tables, joints loosening, and table tops splitting at joints.

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Postby ivysmom » Tue, 16 Apr 2013 5:46 am

Interesting. Is there a way to tell if it's kiln or air dried, other than taking the word of the seller :???:

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Postby JR8 » Tue, 16 Apr 2013 6:39 am

ivysmom wrote:Interesting. Is there a way to tell if it's kiln or air dried, other than taking the word of the seller :???:


Don't buy local/Asian furniture unless you're both persuaded of it's authenticity, and it's say 100 yrs++ old. In which case how the timber was dried is irrelevant.


(I followed this advice in buying an absolute gem of a kaidan-tansu (stair-case chest) in Japan, that still happily graces our lounge until this day 20+ years later.)

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 16 Apr 2013 6:51 am

Yeah, guess I should have mentioned aged furniture, but I was thinking more along the lines of Balinese/Indonesian teak furniture that is newly created, mostly with green teak and splits the worst. And I'll bet that staircase chest is a beaut as well.

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Postby davidn » Mon, 06 May 2013 12:21 pm

ivysmom-

First I wanted to say thank you for initiating this post. It has been very helpful as my family and I are also attempting to put some figures together so as to understand the financial implications of a move from the US to Singapore.

I'm wondering if you already made a trip there and if so, I'd like to ask if you visited the Singapore American School, and the Stamford American International School. I'd love to get some feedback about how they compare.

Tried to send you a pm, but alas, the system wouldn't allow me to on account of having just registered.
Thanks,
David

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Postby ivysmom » Mon, 06 May 2013 2:08 pm

DavidN,

Thanks for posting; funny, I've been meaning to send a post updating all these kind souls who were so helpful to me.

So...I just returned from my look/see on Friday. I saw 6 schools, about 20 apartments, etc. I did see both SAS and SAIS. SAS is no doubt an amazing school, and I talked to several teachers who I thought were outstanding. Their high school testing and college stats are absolutely impressive, and the lower schools feel more intimate than their enrollment numbers would suggest. I could picture my children there. The only question I asked that I didn't love the answer to related to customizing the educational experience in the early years for kids who aren't operating within the average band. I want my oldest (8) to feel challenged and I've always had concerns about whether the public US curriculum could do that for her (she attends a small private here). And the curriculum is definitely American. Most importantly, though, they have a wait list for my kids' grades and I'm not sure I can deal with that. Coupled with the location being not where I would want it, I think I have a preference for SAIS (as between the two). SAIS is no question very slick, extremely high tech and the facilities are to die for. But I really liked the fact that it's IB, which I think more closely parallels their private school education thus far. And they gave me some answers that I really liked, like their nursery is "play based" and they supposedly tell people who want to see numbers/letters/academia in nursery school that they should attend a different International School. And how, with their use of technology, different kids are working at different levels (their homework is even different). The location is very central and it's not so heavily American which I found appealing. There's a smaller player in the running for us too but SAIS...I liked it more than I thought I would.

For anyone else curious, a few days before I left we got a tentative budget from a relocation company our company hired. Their budget was more generous than what we were thinking on almost every account which I find fascinating. The company hasn't approved it (funny that HR wanted my husband's feedback before the CEO), and part of me thinks that the total spend is so high that they'll say "forget it, we can run this business from the US" (as I've now learned, sending US citizens out is infinitely more expensive than employees from other countries for tax reasons...double income tax and all the allowances get taxed, so the company has to keep grossing up and grossing up..."). And all those allowances are high to begin with so the numbers get pretty absurd. But I figure, at worst, I had an entertaining week in Singapore to show for it :)

Speaking of, do any of you veterans have any opinions about Reflections at Keppel Bay or the Caribbean? I didn't visit that area and am now wishing I did. I've realized that with how square footage gets calculated, we'll probably need a bigger place than I was anticipating for my family of 5. In terms of beachy feel, I did like the East Coast but proximity to Sentosa would be nice for my 2 year old who wants to dig in the sand all day (hadn't realized the East Coast beaches had so much debris on them). At the end of the day, looking for a very nice building but one where there are a lot of families and not one that's so sleek that residents would have a problem with my kids being loud in the pool, you know what I mean?

Btw, David, feel free to PM me -- I think you need 5+ posts to have that functionality turned on -- just post a few hellos and you'll be there.

Thanks again all!

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 06 May 2013 3:19 pm

ivysmom wrote:I did like the East Coast but proximity to Sentosa would be nice for my 2 year old who wants to dig in the sand all day (hadn't realized the East Coast beaches had so much debris on them).


East Coast has beaches up and down the whole stretch that vary in sand quality and debris. Do you remember which part you saw? I live close to Big Splash/Parkway Parade and those beaches are usually pretty clean. There are also workers out there cleaning them up most days. I think the only reason Sentosa's beaches are nicer is due to more frequent passes by the workers.

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Postby JR8 » Mon, 06 May 2013 6:20 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Yeah, guess I should have mentioned aged furniture, but I was thinking more along the lines of Balinese/Indonesian teak furniture that is newly created, mostly with green teak and splits the worst. And I'll bet that staircase chest is a beaut as well.


Yes I've seen plenty of tacky cheap and 'green' furniture from Bali. Some people in SG go crazy over it as it's way cheaper to buy it there and ship it up to SG, than buy in SG. But unseasoned wood is still precisely that.

I used to have this 'thing' about buying something lasting and memorable from countries I have lived in, or places that were significant for me. That said, not every country has something that you like!

I'd seen some absolutely jaw-dropping Japanese chests. Some US$25k+ (20yrs ago), and then they came in pairs, but museum quality, stunning.

So my staircase chest worked for me. Ones from Tokyo and the north are larger, maybe 12-13 steps. They often split horizontally into 3 parts, but they are BIG (think a triangle, with the vertical and horizontal 8 or 9' each way!). Mine is smaller, as is typical of the southern Kyoto style. It has maybe 8 steps and is maybe 6' high by 5' wide. Buildings were smaller down there, so the chests were too!

The wood is, IIRC, cyprus. It has a dark honey colour with beautiful graining, and 95% of the ironwork is period/original. It's great as it can sit into an otherwise unused 'blind' corner, and it can store a bucket of stuff inside. Plus all the steps are perfect for displaying ornaments.

Before I bought it I read a book called something like 'Buying antique Japanese furniture' written by an American expat in Tokyo (very possibly the guy who owned the shop selling the museum-grade pieces IIRC).

I'd strongly suggest doing similar - quick yet invaluable research, in order to avoid the many pitfalls. I nearly bought a Korean wedding chest, in Seoul, but ran out of time (not informed enough). Also a pair of antique chairs in Singapore - but again I didn't know the subject, and there was a feel that the chairs might have been cobbled together from various broken pieces/styles.

Buyer beware!

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Postby ivysmom » Mon, 06 May 2013 11:41 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
ivysmom wrote:I did like the East Coast but proximity to Sentosa would be nice for my 2 year old who wants to dig in the sand all day (hadn't realized the East Coast beaches had so much debris on them).


East Coast has beaches up and down the whole stretch that vary in sand quality and debris. Do you remember which part you saw? I live close to Big Splash/Parkway Parade and those beaches are usually pretty clean. There are also workers out there cleaning them up most days. I think the only reason Sentosa's beaches are nicer is due to more frequent passes by the workers.


I think I had the cabbie drop me at Katong Park, I walked Meyer Road and cut down to the park at Amber Road (funny, I coyldnt figure out the underpass thing there so I hailed a cab to get me across and he probably thought I was crazy). I then walked east coast park until marine parade and cut up there. Maybe I just caught the garbage on a bad day. Btw what is the big new building going in along that stretch of park -- restaurants/shops or something else?

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Postby zzm9980 » Tue, 07 May 2013 8:28 am

ivysmom wrote:I think I had the cabbie drop me at Katong Park, I walked Meyer Road and cut down to the park at Amber Road (funny, I coyldnt figure out the underpass thing there so I hailed a cab to get me across and he probably thought I was crazy). I then walked east coast park until marine parade and cut up there. Maybe I just caught the garbage on a bad day. Btw what is the big new building going in along that stretch of park -- restaurants/shops or something else?


So that would be right about my area. It does vary with the weather and tide at times.

There are two bits of construction I'm aware of. One is the former Marina Cove being torn down. It was just a cluster of restaurants and shops (McDonalds, Subway, Coffee Bean, and some one-off sit down places that were a little nicer). The rumors have been they're going to make that section of East Coast (including another bit of construction maybe 500m west of there) into a more 'natural adventure park' style, similar to Bishan Park. Basically it's a good thing. Here is a big picture of Bishan Park to get an idea:
http://drivinmissdaisy.files.wordpress. ... lres_1.jpg

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Postby Addadude » Tue, 07 May 2013 10:40 am

I live very close to Reflections at Keppel Bay and the Caribbean. Reflections is very new and quite stunning architecturally. But I've heard that the internal space planning leaves a LOT to be desired - that stunning exterior requires lots of internal pillars creating a great deal of unusable space. Caribbean is older (about 10 years) but IMO is nicer to live in. It would be my choice if I had the budget. Bear in mind that the average apartment size in both projects is pretty small.
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Postby ivysmom » Thu, 09 May 2013 1:44 pm

Thanks, Addadude, that's helpful. During my trip, I feel like I saw so many places that felt about 500 square feet smaller that the square footage suggests, so wasted space is a pet peeve. I do see some listings on . in the larger square footage range, but maybe there are only a few. Will look at both when we come to select a place!

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 09 May 2013 5:57 pm

Be cautious how SqFt2 is calculated. 'Back home' they count internal space; in SG I understand it is common to include balconies and even air-con condenser ledges.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 09 May 2013 6:00 pm

Too true!

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Postby ivysmom » Thu, 09 May 2013 10:01 pm

Yes! We looked at one place that had a massive wrap around balcony but it was only 3 ft wIde so therefore unusable but it took about 400 square ft away. Our broker said a/c ledges count, the interior of a bay window and even 1/2 the thickness of an exterior walk. Crazy!! I had also failed to appreciate how many buildings have real livability issues given their proximity to construction...can't tell that from the pictures! Yes, caveat emptor.


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