HOME & PROPERTY GUIDE 2021
FURNITURE | HOME DÉCOR | PROPERTIES | SERVICES
We now tend to work, eat, learn and play at home more than we did before. For many people, this has made improving, adding to or freshening their indoor and outdoor spaces a bigger priority. And, in many cases, a fun one! You don’t need to revamp your whole home to enjoy the benefits of change. A new sofa or bed can do wonders – or just a lovely soft rug for the family room. If you haven’t yet bought a proper desk or chair for the home office, we think it’s money well spent. You could also hunt around for a special antique that resonates with you, or a striking piece of art or a mirror to replace that bare white wall you’ve been looking at in your dining area. (In the world of feng shui, mirrors in your dining area bring in wealth!) Don’t be afraid to mix things up, too. In this part of the world, contrasts can work brilliantly – dark and light wood; old and modern furniture styles; a contemporary carpet alongside one woven decades ago. And you can combine your own pieces with items from a rental package, if you’re worried about relocating costs in the future. As you’ll see while flipping through the pages of this Guide, the options are endless. For a glimpse at just a few of the many different approaches you can take to setting up your space, take a look at the Showcases section. And don’t miss these regular features in our monthly magazine and at expatliving.sg! Of course, fitting out your home away from home with goodies is just part of the whole process. There are also the day-to-day considerations to keep in mind – from leasing arrangements and relocation questions to utilities and pest control. We’ve got expert advice and tips on all of these, too. Whatever your need for your home, we hope you find your own personal piece of inspiration here. A change is as good as a holiday. It’s a saying that has really come to the fore since our last Home & Property Guide a year ago – especially in our homes. Ed’sNote
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DÉCOR Fabulous furniture, furnishings, accessories and design advice to make you feel at home in Singapore 10
You’re bound to find something to fall in love with in our catalogue of visual ideas for every room of the house 66 PRODUCTS From condo to shophouse, and black- and-white to bungalow, we take a peek inside some readers’ homes 54 SHOWCASES
98 PROPERTY & SERVICES All the accommodation advice you need for Singapore, from short-term solutions to finding the perfect pad
Décor From experts voices on furniture and accessories to styling advice andmore, our profiles of shops, showrooms and interior design studios should help make you feel at home in Singapore.
We put one reader’s burning question to home interiors and styling expert CAROLINE CHIN GEYLER, founder of Arete Culture. Ask Arete!
We have a small patio area in our house; how can we make it feel bigger and create a more tropical feel outdoors and in?
Atelier by Arete is located at 20 Depot Lane, #01-01/02. 9640 3829 | email@example.com areteculture.com Finally, don’t underestimate the power of greenery both indoors and out. There is no better substitute for the organic shapes and textures plants lend to a space. As an apartment dweller myself, I understand the desire to want to maximise every square inch of the home! Here are some ofmy tried- and-tested tricks to maximise whatever outdoor space you have. For a seamless indoor-outdoor transition, take elements of your indoor design and colours, and continue them through to the outside. You don’t need to use identical colours, instead choose one or two dominant shades (preferably an accent and a neutral) to use outdoors. If your patio is adjacent to your living or dining area, design the flow of your indoor space by including it in seating plans. Avoid placing a sofa directly in front of the sliding doors to the balcony; opt for low-profile seating instead, such as a bench, a chaise or low armchairs. If you’re tight on space, switch traditional armchairs indoors with weather-resistant seating, meaning flexible seating for entertaining. To make a small patio feel larger, choose smaller-scale outdoor furniture. Instead of a complete set, look for standalone accent chairs or benches made for small balconies. Our showroom at Atelier by Arete has plenty of weather-resistant options suitable for smaller spaces. Lighting is often overlooked in outdoor spaces as well; ensure you have a mix of overhead and ambient lighting for your patio. If it’s well sheltered, consider adding a table lamp. Otherwise, electric candles are my pick for a romantic glow.
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If you’re a lover of gorgeous and innovative home décor, designer furniture specialist Black &Walnut , established in 2011, provides fine furnishing solutions for living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms and workspaces. After first focusing on multi-functional furniture for small spaces, the brand expanded in 2019 to offer a complete range of home furniture and furnishings, with an emphasis on delivering comfort with a touch of class. Plus, some of the pieces are customisable, so you can make your own grand statement in your home. We asked the team for a sneak peek of what’s in store. Special Is there a current collection or piece that you feel would appeal to our readers? The Ossett Sideboard is a four-door piece combining American solid ash wood, ash wood veneer and engineered wood with stainless steel in a brushed champagne finish. The sideboard features elegant lines and an elevated base. What new trends are you seeing in 2021? Natural-looking pieces of furniture, such as those made from cane and rattan with minimal finishings in leather and metal, are proving popular. Additionally, there seems to be a move from light to darker woods, with warm, natural textures. The home office has become more of a focal point, so beautiful sculptural statement desks with ample storage to hide away the mess and abundant display shelves for visual texture and stimulation are a key buy this year. Furniture needs to do its job well, but that doesn’t mean it can’t look bold, beautiful and unique at the same time. Something
We like to challenge the conventional and embrace eccentricity and detail to bring out something magical. For us, a settee is more than just a sofa. It’s not just an item of furniture; it’s the soul and inspiration of the living space.
Flagship store: 43 Keppel Road, Level 1 6781 3201 | blackandwalnut.com.sg
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Boulevard Outdoor Inspirations is an award- winning outdoor furniture brand with multiple showrooms across Singapore. Whatever your alfresco needs might be – from fitting-out lounge and dining areas, to enhancing bars, poolside spaces and balconies, or satisfying all kinds of shade requirements – you’ll be well catered for. The showrooms are home to everything from timeless classics featuring wicker weaves, to modern elements such as padded slings and marine leatherette. The key ingredients for good outdoor pieces, according to the team, are that they are “aesthetically appealing and functionally enduring, at approachable prices.” They also strive to ensure that each piece of furniture retains a bit of natural ruggedness without compromising on comfort. A word from the store... What’s a current piece in stock that will appeal to our readers? TheMamanucaDaybed. It’smade froma durablewoven fibre rope on a powder-coated, corrosion-resistant aluminium frame, and comes with a comfortable turquoise seat cushion that’s designed for outdoor use (water-, UV-, fade- and mould-resistant). It’s an environmentally-friendly and easy-to-maintain piece. Looking to add a fresh new touch to your patio, deck or garden?
Any new trends you’re seeing come through in 2021? • More clean lines and shapes, with emphasis on whites and shades of grey. • Indoor-looking outdoor furniture.
Gallery: 43 Keppel Road, #W1-01/02/03 Concept Stores: The Grandstand, #01-18 | Parkway Parade, #04-K3. 6781 3211 | boulevardoutdoorfurniture.com
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Talk us through the types of antiques we can find at China Collection. Our original antiques have undergone little or no restoration and have the rustic patina and wear on them.Whenwe find a piece in great original condition, we will typically leave it as is – beautiful in its origins. Our restored and repurposed antiques have undergone a full restore or have been modified so that they can be practical in a modern home. We typically apply a lacquer or wax finish to them, which results in any aged artwork becoming much more vibrant. Much of the painted furniture from Northern China that we come across is deteriorated and in disrepair, and requires significantly more restoration. These are the up-cycled pieces that we typically repaint in fun vibrant colours. What are the pros of buying a certain type of antique? Unrestored antiques have the most original character. The finest original pieces will typically hold the most resale value on the open market. Restored pieces offer a practical alternative to originals in that the finishes are often made more durable, and pieces can be slightly altered to be more practical in a modern home. Upcycled gives you the best of both worlds – the look of a vintage or antique piece, along with fun vibrant colours. We asked DOUG LOCKETT from China Collection to tell us how to track down that perfect piece of history for the home.
Doug’s Antique Hunting Tips • Look underneath pieces like chairs, benches and tables. It’s much easier to see the true age and wear of the timber underneath. • Look inside for use of modern materials such as plywood or fibreboard. If they’ve been used, it’s a big red flag that it’s not a genuine antique piece. • Buy a piece you can see sitting well in your home, whether it’s a rare 150-year-old altar table, or a mid-century upcycled or repainted sideboard. • If it looks too new, it probably is – trust your gut!
252 Joo Chiat Road | 9858 6889 | chinacollection.com.sg
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Transformation Tailored The Cinnamon Room’s VISHA NELSON talks us through her recent Sentosa Cove home transformation.
Clients: American couple Erika Franco and Luis Nava, and their five-year-old son. Brief: Arriving in their landed, rented home in Sentosa Cove just before Christmas 2020, Erika contacted Visha to help them bring their home aesthetic alive with an eclectic range of home décor. The aim was to infuse a cosy, warm vibe and create a family home. Erika already had the key functional pieces of furniture, such as sofa, dining table and beds, but she was keen for softer touches and accents. Results: This was a collaborative effort, and the family now loves their home and its eclectic vibe. They have a real appreciation of the different aesthetics on display, which are reflective of their own personality and style.
The dining space is anchored with a monochrome rug against the emerald green sideboard
Visha’s view: The open-plan living and dining area needed grounding by defining each space. Rugs were key to creating a focal point, while adding warmth and texture. We helped Erika with artwork, to bring vibrance to the space, and added finishing touches such as candle-holders and striking accents around the room. We chose a black and white rug that tied in with her distinctive emerald green sideboard. The master bedroom has breathtaking wall-to-ceiling views. Our metallic hide rug, complementing Erika’s red and gold antique screen, is the focal point of the room. Softer elements such as cushions and candle-holders were added to tie the large space together. The natural light coming in hits the metallic rug and makes the whole room shimmer. Functional elements such as side tables were introduced, too; these are stylishly unique, and they’re also nested, which has the added bonus of being space-saving. We also worked closely with Erika on our home visits to ensure each area had a customised rug to the correct proportions.
The Cinnamon Room is at 43 Jalan Merah Saga, #02-74, Holland Village. 9727 3051 | thecinnamonroom.com
The master bedroom’s metallic hide rug works in cohesion with the antique screen
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Laying the Foundation
According to the team from orthopaedic bedding specialist Dormiente , a good bed base that supports your new, fancy mattress is a complete game changer, not only for the mattress but also for you. They run through a few of the benefits below. • “A quality adjustable bed base with horizontal sprung slats allows evenweight pressure distribution for your body. This means better support in general, including for sensitive body areas such as the shoulders, spine, waist, hip and pelvis. The intervals and rigidity of the slats also play a part in affecting the firmness of your mattress.” • “Good slatted bases also increase the performance and life span of your mattress. If you’ve got an old bed base that sags, even the highest quality mattress placed on it won’t be comfortable or supportive. And beds with a solid-plank bed base won’t allow any ‘give’ or flexibility for your natural latex mattress; plus, you’ll sleep ‘warmer’ due to lack of ventilation and airflow under the bed.” • “Using two individual adjustable bed bases in a queen- or king-sized bed significantly reduces sleep disturbances, allowing light sleepers to enjoy better quality sleep without being affected by their partner’s frequent tossing and turning.” You’ve invested in a good mattress – perhaps even a high-quality organic natural latex mattress – with the aim of sleeping better and healthier. Just make sure you don’t overlook the quality of your bed base!
FEATURED PRODUCTS AT DORMIENTE #1 Ergo Natura Z This best-seller is made of pure, untreated, small Swiss pine, with free-moving discs to adapt to your body contour, enable excellent weight pressure distribution and provide good support for the spine. A specially designed shoulder comfort zone allows for better cushioning support for side sleepers and for those with broad shoulders. #2 Ergo Natura Motor This bed base gives ease and comfort for users who like to read or watch TV in bed, or individuals with a specific need to incline their bed at an angle – whether it’s to reduce acid reflux or promote better blood circulation. The base is made of FSC-certified beech wood, and with the right pillow, which is largely responsible for the position of your cervical spine, you’ll get the right orthopaedic balance for a healthy and restful sleep.
315 Outram Road, #11-10 Tan Boon Liat Building 9748 4468 | dormiente.sg
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OwnaPieceof History Ten things to consider when buying Chinese furniture.
When buying an old treasure from China, it pays to have an expert on your side. CHANTAL TRAVERS, owner of speciality Chinese furniture store Emperor’s Attic , lived in Beijing for many years and has worked with the same suppliers in China for almost two decades. “I personally choose every single piece we have in store, and I have it all authenticated,” says Chantal. “When that shipment arrives, I know exactly what I’m getting.” Here’s what she suggests keeping an eye out for when browsing. #1 Origin Hand-crafted pieces from Northern China should last a lifetime – certainly a lot longer than mass-produced pieces from the South. Look closely at the finish. Multiple colours, layers and effects mean more effort went into it – the finish itself is a work of art, created by techniques that only a few skilled craftsmen are trained in. Look for Northern woods and true Chinese carpentry (not wood held together with glue and nails) to ensure your piece will last multiple moves and climates. The more drawers and doors, the more expensive the piece will be, as each one is hand-constructed. Each drawer will fit only its specific slot. Most old metal hardware was melted down during the Cultural Revolution; metal items you find now are new, even on old pieces. Metal is still precious, though – and the bigger the hardware, the pricier the piece. #2 Finish #3 Joints #4 Drawers & Doors #5 Hardware
Compare the thickness of the wood being used. Heavier pieces that are old or use reclaimed wood are better quality and will be more expensive. Many old cabinets had lift tops. Look closely and you can see where the top was divided before being joined together and sealed, being replaced by doors in the front. It’s okay – desirable even – to see bits of colour from the old finish peeking through the layers of paint. Every piece really does have a story.
#10 Old Colours
#6 Decorative Elements & Themes
Paintings on the front of cabinets were applied straight onto the wood or by decoupage. You’ll find ornate carvings, symbols, flowers or stars, all significant in Chinese culture and history.
#01-10 Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road 9011 0380 | emperorsattic.com
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Sleep aids our physical and mental strength, supports our immune system and allows our bodies to reboot. If you’re cool and comfortable at night, you’ll sleep well – and the many benefits for body and mind will follow. With this in mind, you might be due a visit to European Bedding , a regular winner in our annual Expat Living Readers’ Choice Awards. The one-stop store has widened its product range in recent years, so you can satisfy all your sleeping needs. Here are some highlights. Keen to get a better night’s kip? Maybe it’s time to give your sleeping setup an overhaul. Bedding… Mattresses European Bedding’s signature range of Heveya mattresses are made from 100 percent certified natural organic latex, with no pesticides, fertilisers, heavy metals, VOCs or other chemicals used in the manufacturing process. They’re ultra-comfortable, too, offering seven-zone body support for perfect spinal alignment. Various customisation options are available – for example, you can choose different firmness (firm, medium and soft) for each side of a King mattress. The bamboo cover has organic cotton padding and is removable and dry-cleanable.
Pillows The store has a range of Heveya pillows for finding the ideal support for your head and neck. They have a 100 percent natural organic latex core for great ventilation and moisture regulation – important in Singapore! – and are naturally anti-microbial and dust mite-resistant. The bamboo covers are removable and dry-cleanable, too. Slatted Bed Bases The bed bases at European Bedding feature high- quality slats and frames made from FSC-certified beechwood. The slats can be adapted to different body positions and support needs, including adjusting the firmness with 12 sliders in the lumbar and hip areas. Comp l eme n t y o u r mattress with luxuriously soft and cool Heveya bamboo lyocell sheets – duvet sheets, fitted sheets, flat sheets, pillow cases and more; you can buy them in bundles, and in white, grey and dark grey. Or, opt for the timeless appeal and rustic aesthetic of 100 percent European flax linen, in white and natural shades. Duvets The Heveya 100 percent organic cotton cover has bamboo lyocell padding and is a breathable, summer- weight addition to a Singapore bed. It’s naturally anti-microbial and hypoallergenic, easily washable, and available in four sizes, from Super King to Single. Along with the above, the store also offers a Junior range for young sleepyheads, with a range of organic baby cot mattresses, baby pillows, toddler pillows and more. Bamboo and Linen Sheets
32 Eng Hoon Street 6735 6658 | europeanbedding.sg
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We put the spotlight on The Furniture Makers’ versatile range of outdoor furniture that works perfectly inside as well. Style, Inside &Out
Blurring the dividing lines of tropical exterior with home interior is something many of us love to do. Bringing the outside in can be as simple as investing in some versatile furniture that works just as well in your living room as it does in your outside space. Family-run business The Furniture Makers have decades of experience in weaving, woodcraft and metalwork. Recently, they started selling directly to consumers from the manufacturer. The team is passionate about materials and craftsmanship and sourcing all raw materials responsibly. Importantly, hailing from East Java, they understand the demand for furniture that can withstand extreme tropical weather. One perfect example is the Anambas collection ( pictured ), which has a distinctive contemporary feel in its dual-tone look. The range includes a sofa, lounge chair and ottoman, all of which would look eminently cool on a deck or in a living room. It’s lovely and light, handwoven in all-weather synthetic rattan on a powder- coated aluminium frame, and its cushions are water repellent and UV-resistant. Then there’s the Malikan collection with its sculptural Scandinavian feel; the range includes a sofa, lounge chair and ottoman. The pieces are handmade, with custom colours and weave available upon request. All the outdoor furniture covers are wipe-clean and machine-washable, so they’re great for families and entertaining.
9234 4966 | thefurnituremakers.co (Call or text to make an appointment)
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Moving into an unfurnished apartment? If you don’t want to buy furniture straight away, leasing can be a great option. But it doesn’t have to mean you can’t get exactly what you want. FELICIA KOH from Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing tells us more. RentingFurniture
At Gallery 278, says Felicia, you can have a bespoke piece created that you can then rent – and eventually buy, if youwant. “We offer the option for you to own the items after the lease or opt to budget for a residual lease so you can have something to remember your Singapore stint by.” Here’s what else to know before you start the process. 6 Tips for a Happy Leasing Package #1 “Take into account the delivery terms. Some shops might be up to 12 weeks for standard items. If you opt for custom pieces from Gallery 278, we have a complimentary loan service that provides a comparable item so you won’t have to sleep or picnic on the floor while youwait!” #2 “Ask if delivery and installation are included in the price. Also, let the store know if the delivery is potentially a difficult one, on account of stairs or other obstacles.” #3 “If you’re thinking of buying the leased item, consider what pieces you already have in your home country – you don’t want to double up. And think about how the furniture will fit in, from a design and size perspective.” #4 “Take advantage of in-house designers, like the ones we have at Esco Leasing. They can help you decide what needs to be prioritised for your budget.” #5 “Leasing can give you the opportunity to try something new that you may not have the courage to buy. We constantly change as people; our homes should reflect that.” #6 “Finally, however you decide to go about furnishing your new interior, remember it’s the people living in a house that make it a home. Whatever you choose, don’t forget to have some fun!”
278 River Valley Road 6737 2322 | gallery278.com
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Wallpaper Tips from Honpo Most people in Singapore use paint for the walls of their homes as it’s a hassle-free way to add colour. Wallpaper, though, allows for somuchmore creativity and expression. Wow! Walls that
How much wallpaper will I need? If your wall height is in the normal range (less than three metres), then one roll of European wallpaper can cover a width of 1.5 metres of wall. In Singapore, most walls (common rooms or master bedrooms) are three to four metres, so on average you ’ d need two to three rolls per wall. How do I remove wallpaper? When leasing, removing wallpaper can be a pain. Use a wall primer and coat the walls before pasting the wallpaper. This allows you to remove it nicely without damaging your current walls or wall paint. What’s new in store? We will have a few more popular brands from France, Italy and Nordic countries available this year, particularly geared towards kids; these include mural wall art designs.
Unlike paint, wallpaper comes in endless shades, patterns and textures. You can apply it just about anywhere in the home, transforming areas that might otherwise lack pizzazz into rich, vibrant spaces that are a pleasure to wake up to or walk past each day. Honpo is an international store based in Singapore that brings wallpaper straight from manufacturers’ factories to your doorstep; it does this to minimise distribution channels and bring big savings to customers. The store sources all the most popular designs based on latest market trends, from timeless classics like industrial and marble textures to exotic African styles, abstract designs and more.
Honpo has two showroom locations: • #09-14 Proxima @ Gambas, 50 Gambas Crescent • #01-31 Oxley Bizhub, 61 Ubi Road 1 9089 3266 | honpo.com.sg What’s trendy for 2021? Botanicals, including tropical patterns, continue to be popular. These can really bring the outside into your home. Meanwhile, metallic prints can add a luxurious feel, whether it’s small touches of gold or silver running through the paper, or larger surfaces of metallic materials used to add light and shine.
Did you know? Honpo also promotes “DIY wallpaper culture”, by spreading the fun and satisfaction of installing your own wallpaper. It offers free rental services of wallpapering tools and runs DIY classes for learning the cost- effective and surprisingly easy art of beautifying your own walls.
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Meet a Tanglin favourite that offers not only fab furniture but also some excellent eats. &Dining Décor
House of AnLi has two sizeable retail outlets in Tanglin Mall and a pair of restaurants, so you may be wondering what to expect. Here are just three reasons to pay them a visit. #1 Full Furniture Experience Located on the second floor, The Loft is House of AnLi’s new retail space, uniquely dedicated to showcasing its indoor and outdoor furniture brands. This means customers get a truly immersive experience, with the chance to browse, try out and then order customised furniture on the spot. If you’re looking to have an existing piece re-upholstered, it’s here you’ll also find House of AnLi’s range of Belgian Libeco linen. Everything is presented in an industrial loft-style space, including bedding, living room, dining room and children’s furniture, outdoor pieces, lighting and chandeliers. #2 Décor Galore You can rely on House of AnLi for seriously stylish and unique décor, all of which you’ll find in its second- and third-floor retail space. There’s a Laguiole cutlery range, Costa Nova tableware and Flamant candle holders, along with striking tapestry wall hangings and a wide range of Belgian bed and table linen.
House of AnLi is located at Tanglin Mall: Retail: #02-19/20/21/22 & #03-17 | 6235 5193 Bistro: #03-17 | 6235 3851 Pano Kato Grill, Pizza & Deli: #02-23 | 6235 5055 houseofanli.com Kato Grill, Pizza & Deli, serving mouthwatering Mediterranean dishes. One floor up, you’ll find The Bistro, a food-lover’s gem located at the back of House of AnLi’s third-floor retail space. With huge windows and views over the Tanglin greenery, diners can nab a spot, take in the view and order the likes of lobster roulade or huge Belgian waffles. Not hungry? No problem. Simply sit and sip on something from the extensive drinks menu instead. #3 Drink & Dine In Style Next door to The Loft is House of AnLi’s restaurant Pano
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Community spirit While COVID-19 caused disruption everywhere, it gave Island Living the opportunity to become even more community driven. “We were lucky to make great contacts with suppliers around the globe prior to the pandemic, so we continued working together throughout 2020 despite not being able to travel,” Karin says. “Our larger suppliers introduced us to small local enterprises who were suffering, so now we support them, too. It makes our merchandise even more eclectic and creates a wonderful sense of community spirit.” Home projects The company has also thrived thanks to the new trend for home redecoration and stay-at- home projects. “People are definitely investing in making their homes more comfortable and enjoyable,” shares Denise. Island Living’s Havana Bed in teak and rattan is a hot-cake right now, along with decorative features such as trays, lanterns, vases and candles. “Updating your home with details like a linen palm tree tea towel provides an instant pick-me-up.”
Island Living by Cocoon is a one-stop- shop in Singapore for tropical and elegant pieces with that bohemian, beachy resort aesthetic so many of us are missing right now. It was the difficulty of sourcing unique homeware that led long- term Australian expats KARIN RYSGAARD and DENISE VRONTAS – whose backgrounds are in interior design and marketing respectively – to launch Island Living in February 2019. “There were a lot of mass-produced, super-expensive and lovely but sleek home goods that were not really our style,” explains Denise. “We felt there was a gap in the market for affordable pieces offering organic textures, natural lines and a laid-back rustic look that suits where we live geographically.” What’s in store As well as stand-out signature furniture, from daybeds to armchairs, you’ll find sustainable rattan and teak wood, hard-carved artefacts, whitewashed surfaces, luxurious textiles and more. Karin and Denise look to vacation destinations such as Indonesia and Vietnam for inspiration and stock. “Pretty much all of our merchandise is handmade, so no two products are the same, from our Canggu pottery vases to the Byron Bay baskets, and the wooden Kenyan bowls and spoons,” adds Karin.
Browse the online shop at islandliving.sg, or visit the 2,500-square-foot showroom at #02-05 Henry Design Centre, 5 Eunos Avenue 8A.
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Bed company King Koil and furniture retailer Ashley Furniture HomeStore, two well established retail names in the US, are also here in Singapore, with plenty to offer those looking to furnish a new home or refresh current pieces. Here’s what to expect from both. King Koil This bed brand has received the thumbs up from experts as a chiropractic-tested and endorsed company. The mattresses are designed to maintain the best spine support while keeping moisture, bacteria and odours at bay. And it’s not all mattresses: King Koil also makes and supplies bedding, bed linen, furniture and sofa beds in Singapore. When you visit the store, speak to one of the retail associates so they can guide you towards the perfect custom-made mattress. Shoppers can try out all products safely as they are regularly disinfected, with temporary covers changed after every customer. Beds &Beyond We take a closer look at two big American home brands on Singapore soil.
1 Genting Lane #01-01 (Flagship Gallery). For opening times and other locations, check websites. kingkoil.com.sg shop.ashleyfurniture.sg The two brands are managed in Singapore by Matsushita Greatwall Corporation (MGC), withMGC owning a retail arm, Home & Décor Superstore, that operates Ashley Furniture HomeStore. Ashley Furniture HomeStore Ashley Furniture HomeStore reflects consumer taste and aims to deliver on style and affordability. There’s a huge choice of home furniture and accent pieces, from dining room tables and benches, to office bookcases and mirrors for the hallway. The brand’s American heritage has been refreshed to bring to life a modern, sophisticated and simple visual aesthetic. Styles on offer include contemporary living, urban, vintage casual and a “New Traditions” line. Every Ashley Furniture HomeStore has its own on-site mattress gallery, too.
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Four steps to finding and looking after the perfect rug, with carpet and décor store Living DNA. FAB FLOORS
#01-10B Furniture Gallery, Space@Tampines 18 Tampines Industrial Crescent 8522 0804 | livingdna.sg but allergens and stains require a deep clean. Different rug materials also require different cleaning agents and handling, so it’s important to leave it to the experts. We recommend sending your rugs for a professional clean at least once a year – our service includes pickup and delivery.” #1 Finding Your Style “Photos of your home are our starting point. We consider your flooring, walls, furniture and existing décor, as well as assess the colours and proportions of the space. We carry 200 rug designs for all sorts of interior looks, from modern contemporary to minimalistic, and Scandinavian and glamorous. Some may even find it a little overwhelming to browse them all, so, once you get in touch with us, we can streamline the search in order for you to make a final selection of three rugs for a home trial. This can be done in the store or via online chat.” #2 At-home Trial “Choose a day and time at your convenience, pay a small delivery fee, and we bring the three shortlisted rugs to your home and lay them out on the intended spot. Some try different designs, others try different sizes of the same design, to play with the look. Our stylist offers guidance via video call to help you decide” #3 Customisation “If our existing designs don’t work for you, we offer customised options, too.We can guide you through selecting colours from our ‘poms’ (small bunches of yarns). This ensures you get the final effect you want. We can even build a completely new design based on your own ideas, and customise sizes too. With handmade rugs, the possibilities are endless. Custom rug production takes four to sixweeks.” #4 Professional Cleaning “Vacuum cleaning keeps your rug free from dust,
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What can readers expect to see at LivingwithArt? The flagship gallery in the Tan Boon Liat Building comprises more than 3,000 artworks. Our current portfolio includes artists from Singapore’s art and photography scene such as Tan Tui Gee, Pua Ann Chi, Amanda Lim, Wang Miao, Jaime Teo, Samantha Redfern, Nathalie Lauoe, Chen Yi Xi and Linda Preece. The sheer volume and variety on offer makes for a fantastic choice for homeowners – there are no limitations in terms of style, design or size. Is it mostly paintings? We have a wide range of art mediums represented, ranging from2D and 3D art paintings, to watercolours from Vietnam, Marimekko prints from Finland, DeRosa ceramics from Uruguay, Murano vases from Italy, and bronze sculptures from Asia. We identify upcoming talent by looking for something special in their work – it might be bold colours or strong characteristics. We then use a selection process based on rigorous tests of originality of design and uniqueness in form, and the techniques used in execution. At least every two months, we hold an exhibition to feature local artists and their new art. You can subscribe to our newsletter to keep track of latest developments. ZAK LO’s career path might have led him into the financial world, but he’s also passionate about art – and a practicing artist. He set up LivingwithArt Singapore in 2003 with a belief that affordable art could and should be brought into all living spaces. We asked him about the gallery and the artists it represents. for All A key focus for the gallery is unearthing local emerging artists. Tell us about this.
Are these good investment pieces? Yes, together with our fine art wing, Gallery1819, we help to start collectors on a journey of art investment. We have low overheads, and we strive to keep the artworks affordable while increasing the potential for appreciation in the future. Prices at LivingwithArt range from $50 to $5,000. Can we buy online? Yes, our ecommerce platform is well established, and we’ve also tied up with iShopChangi to offer art to a wider audience. What excites you about art in Singapore in 2021? During the Circuit Breaker, many of our artists spent more time on new creations. The pandemic brought different perspectives into our lives, and I’m excited to see how the artists will represent those perspectives on canvas. Gallery1819 is holding a public exhibition at ION Art in the third quarter of 2021, so watch out for that!
315 Outram Road, #02-05 Tan Boon Liat Building 6917 6503 | livingwithart.com.sg
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Sustainable Style Originals has long been a furniture favourite, embraced for its one-of-a-kind treasures that are carefully sourced and curated, and timeless enough to fit into both contemporary and classic home décor styles. The team tells us more.
Popular picks Here are some of Originals’ current favourite pieces for different areas of the house: • Bedroom – Oak Spindle Bed Made from sustainably sourced European oak in a matt lacquer finish, this bed features tapered legs and rounded edges and provides plenty of slatted support. Available in Australian and Singapore sizes. • Living room – Hansen Modular Sofa This customisable sofa allows you to have the configuration you want, and is easy to care for and maintain, with fully removable covers that are made in a durable, hardwearing fabric • Dining room – Mikado Oak Dining Table Seating eight to ten people, the Mikado is made in lacquer-finished, sustainably sourced European oak, with a noteworthy construction that highlights stability and balance. • Outdoors – Hamilton Outdoor Sofa This hardy outdoor sofa is made from a rust-resistant powder-coated aluminium frame, and blended with woven Olephin rope that resists fading and moisture. The quick- dry high-density foam cushions have removable covers.
Where do you source your furniture from? India was our initial port of call, and pieces from there are still highly sought-after by most of our customers, both longstanding and new. We then added Java, and then Africa, and now almost every continent is represented. We’re continually adding to our extensive collection with pieces that inspire us. We believe the furniture you purchase for your home should last a lifetime. That’s why the richness and quality of the materials we use is so important to us. Our products are manufactured using sustainably sourced solid oak and teak, and our sofas are covered in premium hardwearing fabrics. What are some of the key materials used in your pieces? And what’s the store’s philosophy as far as eco-friendly products go? We build new from sustainable resources, and we recycle and customise old pieces so they can live a second life. Our planet is important to us. We truly care that the products we sell are as environmentally friendly as possible and not harmful to our world.
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Huge showroom The Originals team have always opted for a warehouse-style setting for their stores, and their latest retail space in Bukit Batok is a massive 14,000 square feet in size. Importantly, it provides around 35 different settings where you can relax, visualise pieces in your own home, and mix and match to create a look that’s your own. What's on the horizon for Originals in 2021? Our much-loved staples will remain a firm part of our offerings, and we will always continue looking to help create beautiful homes. We’re bringing in more designs for indoor and outdoor living, and another collection of rugs from Morocco. What are some new trends you’re seeing for 2021? Everyone seems to have a look that talks to them – directions and trends are a varied as our customers!
1 Bukit Batok Street 22, #05-02/03 6471 9918 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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Tell us about Ruby Slipper rugs. Founded back in 2008, when finding unique high-quality rugs in Singapore was difficult, we now supply over 100 colours and designs of beautiful handmade rugs, which can be custom-made to fit our clients’ style and size requirements. Our pieces are stylish, bespoke and practical. They can be used on both sides before they need to be washed, our cotton rugs can be hand-washed and our jute rugs can be spot-cleaned. Our stock rugs can be bought online in Singapore, with delivery within a few days. Very! Our supplier works directly with farmers at the very bottom of the supply chain, so sales from our rugs directly improve the livelihood of the artisan as well as the farmer producing the raw materials. We use cotton and jute, which are plant- based materials, sustainable and eco-friendly. Jute is actually grown very similarly to cotton, except it uses much less water and requires no chemical pesticides or fertilisers. It’s also quick and easy to grow. Our manufacturer is located in a rural part of India and our partnership with them is a long-established one. As the years have gone by, and Ruby Slipper has grown, so in turn has our manufacturing partner in India, bringing more income to the region. Our pieces are caringly hand-made by these local craftsmen and women, woven using traditional methods used to make dhurries in India for many years. With this trade being one of the few sources of income in these areas, protecting it is vital, as is helping the artisans to grow and develop their skills. We chat with the team from retailer Ruby Slipper about nurturing the communities that produce their beautiful products. How important is sustainability to the company? How do you work towards supporting local artisans?
9171 1251 | rubyslipper.com.sg
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Key Pieces From stand-out dining tables to stylish, flexible sofas and more, you’ll find something to suit just about every room of the house at Soul & Tables. We asked them to take us through some in-store highlights.
Dining Room Bok Dining Table
Available in teak and oak, and in fixed length and extendable options, this table from Belgian brand Ethnicraft is one of Soul & Tables’ best sellers. The clean and airy design combined with solid construction make it both remarkable and timeless – something a family can enjoy for years. Geometric Dining Table Made from oak, this newly launched Ethnicraft table features soft edges and natural lines that complement the luxury in its length (250cm). The unique shape adds volume and practical comfort, and it’s made from ethically and sustainably sourced materials.
“If you’re looking for something unique, the Geometric table is the answer. The design of the legs is unexpected yet beautiful and practical, and allows space for more people to sit around the table. It’s the perfect size to bring people together for a lively conversation.” – Raphaelle, Soul & Tables
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Living Room Padded Sofa
This flexible sofa comes in different sizes and allows for personalised configuration so you can create the modular sofa of your choice (L-shaped or U-shaped). It’s available in fabric and leather. Olivia Coffee Table
The Olivia coffee table is from the Soul & Tables signature collection and is carefully crafted from refined materials. It’s a light and versatile
“The extremely comfortable Padded Sofa is amazing to rest on after a long day of work, or as a perfect weekend lounging spot for the whole family. Depending on your mood or the type of gathering, you can change the layout of your living room with just a few movements of this flexible modular sofa.” – Clarine, Soul & Tables
piece that goes well with most living room setups. Garda Sofa, Lynx Coffee Table & Lynx Chest of Drawers
The Garda is a luxury leather sofa with a firm construction and a matte finish from Belgian brand PR Living. Combine it with the Lynx collection for an industrial-minimalist-themed home.
Office Bok Adjustable Desk
This adjustable desk by Ethnicraft is created with health and good posture in mind. The motorised system within the table legs allows the tabletop to be elevated to the height of your liking, so you can easily switch between sitting and standing throughout the workday. Writer Desk This desk by SquareHome is crafted from oak, with a linoleum top and powder- coated metal drawer to infuse your study room with a retro Danish vibe.
“The Bok desk makes working at home more fun and comfortable. With its versatile styles of black or natural oak on black or white legs, you can create a workspace that best fits your home and one that gives you a continuous boost of efficiency!” – Sandy, Soul & Tables
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Bedroom Vintage Bed
This bed is designed by Indonesian brand Karpenter, a company that only uses solid wood from sustainable sources in its pieces. The warmth of the teak wood gives a reminder of nature’s tranquillity. Nordic II Bed The Ethnicraft Nordic II bed combines elegant lines with the purity of solid oak wood, and is available in Singaporean and European sizes.
“We love how the richness of the varnished teak and the smooth and sleek design complement each other seamlessly in the Vintage Bed.” – Andrew, Soul & Tables
Outdoors Linda Sofa
From Dutch brand Woven+, the Linda is designed with comfort and versatility in mind. It’s made with innovative and durable rope with a soft touch – so, it’s great to sit on, and it’s strong enough to withstand Singapore’s weather conditions. The moisture-repellent material is washable and requires little maintenance. Available in three-seater and one-seater options. Balad Outdoor Lamp This cleverly designed lamp features LED technology with two brightness settings and two colour temperature settings – cool white and warm white. You charge it with a USB cable and the battery will last up to 14 hours. It comes in six colours and two sizes.
“Our customers love this fun, portable and practical Balad lamp from French brand Fermob. It provides long-lasting brightness and can easily fit in every corner of your house, from terrace to living room; it’s a lamp and a décor piece at the same time!” – Michael, Soul & Tables
#02-03 and #02-09 Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road 9272 1545 | soulandtables.com.sg
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Why leasing furniture can be a smart move, and what trends to look out for in 2021. Flexible Furniture
What’s Trending? “Shoppers are now much more aware of their carbon footprint,” says Naazli. “Combining both leased and purchased furniture is an option that many are now choosing. Customers can buy what they know they want, and simply trial the items that they’re not sure about. This eliminates the chance of more waste from impulse buys.” Speaking of eliminating waste, Naazli also notes a trend towards more organic and recycled furniture providers, including small-batch production, rather than mass-produced items. In terms of style, there’s been a noticeable return to earthy colours and raw materials lately – “think rustic woods, exposed bolts and concrete finishes,” says Naazli. “Customers are also keen to incorporate elements of the past, from retro or antique furniture to collectors’ prints and decorative elements.” Not sure which of these trends or elements will suit your home? “In addition to being a retail shop and leasing company, we also have talented stylists in our team who can help pull this together.”
If you’re juggling relocation costs or don’t want to rush into buying furniture that you might later regret, leasing furniture can be a sensible option. “Not only does renting give you flexibility and savings, but it means you can choose your loan pieces before moving in so that your home is ready when you are!” says NAAZLI SOMJEE of WTP The Furniture Company . WTP’s extensive collection has everything from indoor and outdoor furniture to decorative accessories in a mix of styles, from classic to eclectic. There’s a range of rental packages available, from as short as one month to 36-month plans tomatch your situation.What’s more, customers have access to furniture maintenance and warranty; and if you become attached to any of the pieces, you can choose to buy them back at the end of the lease! For items you don’t decide to keep, the WTP team will arrange for a hassle-free collection.
3 Kung Chong Road | 6235 2760 wtpstyle.com
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If it’s Asian furniture and antiquities you’re after, make a beeline for this popular furniture store.
With a history of more than 20 years, Woody Antique House in Dempsey Hill is a 6,000-square-foot showroom of furniture, antiquities and accessories from across Asia. Regular shipments mean you’ll always find something fresh when you browse – and owners Chris and Wei Chin Ang can point you in the direction of the perfect piece for your home. Here are four of the key product ranges to explore. #1 The store’s Chinese vintage collection is sourced from various parts of China by Chris and Wei Chin and carefully restored. There are also reproduction pieces that replicate a certain style yet with the functionality and colours to fit with modern interiors. #2 The Indian range of products features coffee tables, dining tables and cabinets made from old doors and window frames, as well as bookshelves from doorframes and vintage Indian cabinets and chests. #3 Woody’s natural pieces are made from recycled teak, elmor suar wood, and are popular with customers who love the natural characteristics of wood, where every piece has its unique grain, texture and finish. #4 Among its outdoor offerings , the store stocks exclusive pieces from Domus Ventures, elegant sofa sets using white powder-coated aluminium frames, and round synthetic rattan pieces that closely resemble real ones.
Other finds Along with these collections, you can also browse pieces from Tibet, Mongolia, Myanmar and Indonesia, along with Thai and Indonesian artefacts and more. Customisation is a focus of the store too.
13 Dempsey Road, #01-05 6471 1770 | woodyantique.com
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