I grew up in the county of Norfolk, if you follow football you may have heard of Norwich City Football team. It’s on the bump of the UK and is known for being quite a sleepy little place. My husband and I met there, got married and then started our family. Norfolk will always have a special place in my heart because of that.
I’ve lived in 14 different homes, most of which were similar. A standard terrace house, a semi-detached with a garden for our kids and a large converted barn surrounded by farm land and wide open spaces. Any of these are familiar sights as you drive around Norfolk. Jonty grew up in Surrey and would often go to London as a teenager. One evening we headed into London and walked around the city and river whilst Jonty showed me his favourite places and basked in the hustle and bustle of clocking off time from the near by offices. I had to admit I didn’t get it! I felt small as I looked up at the tall buildings and a little overwhelmed by the noisy fast paced underground train system that I just couldn’t figure out. I could never see us living in a place like Singapore…
Before Singapore we lived in a suburb in Surrey. We had a lovely little two bedroom semi-detached with a front and back garden, study and friendly neighbours. We lived a 10 minute walk to my work and the children’s school and Jonty didn’t have to drive too far either. Our village had a variety of shops, cafes and supermarkets all within walking distance. Our house had a very special view from the back that not everyone on our street got. A large field that stretched on and on. We’d often spot deer and phesants jumping through the long grass. One day we woke to find the field had been filled with sheep! We love being outside, if you’ve seen any of our vlogs on our YouTube channel its clear to see! At the end of our road was a path that led to woodlands that had endless walks and could connect you to the surrounding villages. The kids would spend hours making dens, looking for bugs and swinging on rope swings other families had set up in the trees. A pretty special place.
The fist time our children saw high rise buildings was on a holiday in Singapore. They loved the shiny windows, tall escalators and I loved watching them take it all in. Singapore is such a different city to London and I fell in love with it on our very first visit. The underground system didn’t seem so daunting, it was clean, punctual and easy to navigate. The high rise buildings here are beautiful structures of metal and glass with spaces for greenery too.
When we knew we were moving to Singapore we had a clear idea of the kind of home we’d like. We secured our place before we left the UK and were so ready to furnish it and make our mark.
We live in a private condo with 7 blocks of apartments that go up to the 17th level and we are on the 5th. Our three bedder is on one level, as is expected with most condo’s. We have a study and two balconies overlooking a play park and lots of greenery including a huge tree that is over 100 years old. As well as a play park we have a gym and a swimming pool which lends to a holiday feel sometimes.
Before we relocated we measured out the room sizes for our new condo in our current house to get an idea of the space we would have when we moved. In our minds we thought because we currently had an upstairs it felt like we were loosing space. We had been used to having a lounge / diner combined so that didn’t feel any different and we knew we wouldn’t have a garden. What we found is that in terms of actual living space we now had more! In the UK the children shared a bedroom but here they have a bedroom each and we still have a separate study. We went from having one bathroom to three – one of which is now our ensuite. Take into account the two balconies and large bomb shelter that we use for storage – there would be plenty of space for us all.
As I mentioned we had a garden, our kids lived in it. Looking for bugs, making things, setting up picnics for their toys – I was worried we’d all miss that. Most condo’s have a play area and a swimming pool and ours has a lovely layout and community vibe. Every morning I can hear the younger children playing at the park with their parens or helpers and then after school time or evening the older children are there. I love the community our kids have – we can go down to the park and they’ll quickly get involved with other kids and be playing games. It’s the same with the pool.
Having an outdoor and indoor gym is great too. We have a tennis court too which I’ll admit we’ve only used once! So we may not have a garden now but with all the facilities and the year round warm weather we leave our doors open and the outside is always coming in. I did wonder if having so many blocks of apartments around be too noisy – but it’s welcome noises of fun and laughter and occasional piano practice that floats on the gentle breeze in the evening.
Whilst we don’t have woodland close by we do have an MRT train station a very short walk away which means we can travel to places easily as public transport in Singapore is one of the best in the world. We have more variety of what to do and to explore. If we want to be surrounded by big trees and the sounded of nature its not too hard to get to – we just need to remember the bug spray and look out for monkeys!
A year on and we’ve changed our living layout. We used to have the dinning table and lounge in once space. We love having people over and so wanted to maximise our entertaining spaces. We moved the dinning table onto the balcony and got another sofa and it makes a massive difference having a more open lounge. We also have a lounge set on our balcony so it feels much more spacious now. It took us a while of living in the apartment to figure out what fits best and worked for us as a family.
It’s worth taking your time to see how things fit or having a move around every so often. I had visited someone elses appartment in our condo and after seeing how they used the same space we had I was inspired to try ours in a new way.
3 thoughts on “Adjusting to condo life”
Really enjoyed reading this Millie 🙂
Interesting to think about how we’d manage condo living, as we’re so used to being in a terraced house. Condos always feel like being on holiday 😊
I’m looking forward to seeing your wonderful home.
I love what condos offer with extra facilities like gym, swimming pool, tennis courts and always a play area for children. So delightful to read your blog and how you’re adjusting to city life. Can’t wait for your next blog.