Ann & James at home in Yishun, Singapore
Please tell us something more about your background.
Ann: I work at an animal shelter and spend most of my time working for and around animals. Growing up, I loved animals and nature so much that my friends called me a tree-hugger and expected me to tie myself to trees to prevent them from getting cut down. I don’t do that, but I’d say I’m pretty crazy about animals.
James: I love exploring new things, places, food, countries and experiences. There are plenty of things which I haven’t tried, and I’d love to try as much as I possibly could. I share Ann’s love for animals, but I’m probably not as crazy as she is about them.
Can you walk us through a typical day for you?
Ann: I wake up at 6 in the morning, prepare for work, get to work and try my best to make our world a better place for our furry counterparts. After work, I come home to my mini pet farm and start the animal chores (so many mouths to feed!). Usually, I start winding down at about 7pm and vegetate in front of the television before hitting the sack.
James: Like Ann, I wake up at 6am to feed/walk/clean our animals (Ann takes the afternoon shift) and prepare for work. I’ll head off for work and try my hardest to end work punctually so I can return home to my family of 10 (9 residents and 1 visitor).
How many pets do you have and what are their names?
Ann: We currently have 7 furry family members – Dasher the dog, Eet and Mathy the cats, Meatball and Mac Jr. the guinea pigs, and Effie and Appie the gerbils. We’re fostering a kitten at the moment; his name is Caellum. He’s only got three legs, and he’s totally rocking our world.
Tell us about your space and what do you like best about it?
Ann: I like that my home is somewhat spacious and very clean. Clean as in white, not dust-free. The clean background keeps things neutral and allows me to play up the space with items we have. I love that things aren’t set in a particular way. Being able to shift things around keeps me happy. It’s like having a mini make-over for the home whenever I want.
James: Our house is mainly white and this gives it a spacious and clean look. Combined with the retro/vintage furniture, our home feels cosy and homely. I particularly love the balcony because of its unique triangular shape. It gives us a place to rest, especially at night.
What of your personalities can we see in it?
Ann: My randomness? Hahaha!, every corner of our home has something I adore. I just place my favourite items at random spots in the house. My friends say my place is totally me. It better be! It’s my home!
James: My jovial nature? I guess the coziness of the house resembles my love of making people feel at home.
How would you describe your decorating style?
Ann: He left the designing and decorating up to me; not sure if he regrets it. I’m a sucker for color and little knick knacks. I don’t exactly have a particular decorating style, but I got a lot of inspiration from Swedish interior design blogs and sites. I like to keep the space clean and open, and the items different and contrasting.
Where has most of your stuff come from?
James: All over the place! We’ve been asked this question many times, but every time we try to remember a particular place, we can’t. But like most plebeians, we got quite a bit of stuff from IKEA. Their stuff’s getting more interesting!
What is your fondest memory in your home?
Ann: I’m quite a homebody, so being able to stay at home with my animals keeps me quite happy. Can’t say I have a fondest memory because I’m content just being home. I hope that made sense.
James: I think the fondest memory would be my first experience of fostering 2 kitten siblings in our home. I came home one evening to find them (Ann had brought them home as a surprise) and it was a great experience caring for them and watching them grow. They got adopted by a very kind family, and we get updates on how they’re doing every now and then. Having my own place gives me the freedom to foster.
Can you share your tips for keeping your home beautiful and your pets comfortable at the same time?
Ann: I’m lucky to have a boy who doesn’t mind cleaning. He keeps the place relatively dust-free, while I do the rearranging and stuff every other week. Animals aren’t dirty and like to keep their living areas clean (cleaner than us actually!), so apart from the shedding of fur, ours don’t mess the place up at all. I find it more of a chore cleaning up after myself than them.
James: I think the best piece of advice would be training, patience and love. It is never easy to raise any animal because of the time and commitment required. Walking our dog, grooming our cats, changing the gerbils’ tank, feeding the guinea pigs, annual vaccinations, replenishing the animals’ food supply, playtime… the list goes on. With training, patience and love, these chores quickly become a habit.
Famous last words?
Ann: I love animals!
James: Me too!