Singapore and Leaving : Black & White Houses

That was it. The time had come. Mr K had worked in Singapore for seven years now, and then it was time to leave. From the first time he relocated here and that was how we met, until the time we got married and moved from the Peranakan house we first lived in at Everton Road to a 1920s black and white house in Towner Road. Singapore being colonized by the British back in late 1800s since the time Sir Stamford Raffles stepped foot on our soil, had an English element in it. Until today only some of those houses exist. Very much of the conservation houses are rented out only to embassies housing their ambassadors or if one had been so lucky may have been able to own one. The majority of the black and white houses built from 1900-1930s regrettably are no longer in existence. They are now privately owned or demolished to make way for urban redevelopment.

Our home at Towner Road a 1920s "black & white" colonial house

Our home at Towner Road a 1920s “black & white” colonial house

IMG_6203The very first houses built for the British colonial administration and the last ones erected for the military have survived until today. They were handed over to the administration of independent Singapore in 1963. So now it is more for high end government housing pool or restaurants and businesses. history comes with a price of course. Today fewer than 500 black and white houses are left in Singapore and they all belong to the government. Since 2007, the Singapore Land Authourity (SLA) has been leasing the black and white houses on two year terms via an open bidding system, which leaves up to property demand to fairly determine the price. Bids start from as low as $6,000 per month.  A happy marriage of Western and Eastern influences they offer lessons in tropical design that continue to be relevant today and remain in demand among the expatriates wishing to live in a home rich in history. As architectural legacies of the past, black and whites basic lighting and ceiling fans instead of air-conditioning must remain intact. The high ceilings makes the home airy and well ventilated. However these are homes with so much character and history.

the houses at Towner Road stretch

Across our street another stretch of houses

We had been lucky to have been able to live in such a home. Especially in the suburbs of the city centre. We were just five minutes away from the mrt station (Singapore’s tube station), shops and also a supermarket. Not only that, but Little India is just two mrt stops away. We lived 4 years in that home, with that brings so many memories, of friends and family dropping by for special festivals, or for lunch, tea or dinner. Many times friends tell me that they do not feel like leaving because of the ambience just like one of those English cottages. Yes, me more like the wicked witch of the East Mr K says, hahahah! Then again from that also came many cooking and baking lessons for friends, baking orders from home, recipes that are concocted, and cooking for Hari Raya. When I think about it, I miss it. I miss the convenience of getting around easily and transportation is cheap, food if one is lazy to cook just step out of the house and into a food court or hawker centre and easily get local food for as low as $2.00 or at the most $3.00. Life though, is after all about adventures isn’t it? Be it with food, travel, or way of life. It is the discovery of all things new when one moves or travel somewhere.



the skies at sunset

Nappy looking at the boxes

Nappy looking at the boxes





Here are some photos am sharing of the place that brings me alot of memories, and the sunset that I will be looking at from Singapore for the last time. The next transition will be Bali and so the adventure continues. 🙂


About Nisa Koolhaas

Hi there, I’m Nisa, housewife to a Dutch husband in Singapore. We live with two cats, Nappy and Lulu. Cooking and baking is a crazy passion in me, since young. I love trying different recipes from any nook and corner of the world, or various foodblogs from dedicated fellow bloggers who are food fanatics just like me. I hope you will enjoy reading my kitchen experiment ramblings, plus some recipes I have tried and tested, hopefully they work for you as they did for me. I will update as much and as best I can as I embark with you on my food journey, trials and errors. Please feel free to leave me a note, link, comment or email. I would really love to hear from you. Thank you kindly!
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