Home & Property Guide 2016




Editor's Note


Whether you’re a newbie in Singapore or an old hand, you’ll have to make regular choices on the home front.


aybe your lease is up for renewal, for example; that’s when you need to look at the moving option. And, once you’ve decided to move, it’s then time to ask yourself what area you’d like to live in. Or perhaps you’ve been here for so long that you’re thinking you really should buy something in Singapore – or overseas – so at least you’re on the property ladder. If you are about to move, you’ll also be wondering which company to

use, what to take with you, and figuring out what items you might need to buy to fit the new space. Can you keep some of your “clutter”, and if so how can you hide it in the new home effectively? Having moved many times within Singapore, I can empathise. Home-related decisions also depend on your phase of life. You know you needed the easy- to-clean leather sofa when the children were small, but now you’re thinking that a lovely cream- coloured linen one would work really well. Maybe your cat has run away, so you can now get rid of the sofa that’s been ripped to shreds over the years and get a really cool one instead! There’s one thing we can depend upon and that’s that things will always change. Trends change, too – and furniture does date. And, although my parents’ generation may have kept the same bed and dining table for 50 years, it doesn’t mean that we have to. What we like in our 30s may not be what we want in our 40s. (This isn’t to be mistaken for a mid-life crisis!) There are so many new materials and fabrics being developed that are more practical and prettier than ever, so even if you’re updating just a few elements of your home, it’ll make you happier. Even revamping your bed linen can put you in whole new frame of mind – and the ones we feature in this guide are heavenly. In Singapore, we have the best of both worlds; we can include a signature Oriental feature against a modern Western backdrop. There are really so many quality options for your home décor choices here, and we have featured some of the best of them in the pages that follow. Enjoy and be inspired.




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Home & Décor

13 Creating your home away from home, either through a complete makeover or with some signature pieces 25 Good reasons to lease furniture rather than buy it, from avoiding huge shipping costs to changing things up 28 Shopping is easy with everything under one roof – it gives you plenty of options and a range of styles 35 There’s some beautiful wood in this region, and we highlight it here: recycled, sustainable, repurposed – and stylish! 43 Old signature pieces are worth their weight in gold, and can often keep their value. If budget’s an issue, chose reproduction instead 49 Keeping things stored and sorted is important – there’s always plenty of space under your bed to use, too 55 Once you’ve set the stage, it’s time to paint the backdrop; meet some creatives who will help you on the way 59 Linens and more: here’s some help for getting those finishing touches just right 66 A buying guide for every room


Between hotel & home: Comfortable short-term accommodation for when you’re moving

Property &Services


Everything you need: From lounges to bedrooms, here’s what you need to make your home work for you

89 You don’t have to rush in to make a decision; just stay in a serviced apartment for a while until you get your bearings 93 Making the right choice of home, location and agent can save you time and money 99 Can’t afford to buy in Singapore? Look at options just over the border 103 When it’s time to relocate, even just down the road, getting help from experts is vital – here are some checklists to help you move and find the perfect home 111 Whether you’re buying or renting, getting the energy right is important – a feng shui consultant can do the trick 113 Keeping a foot on the property ladder is essential, even if you’re not able to live in the place you purchase



HOME& PROPERTY GUIDE 10 Dacapo sofa, Danish Design , 6270 8483, danishdesignco.com.sg


ome &Décor No matter how long you're going to be in a particular home, make sure you enjoy your surroundings — it affects all other areas of your life too. So do make the effort: even if it's just a few key pieces of furniture that you've bought or leased, it doesn't matter — as long as you love it!


Big? Bold? Beautiful? Statement pieces bring a little je ne sais quoi to your home, but how best to choose furniture that really has something to say? We get advice from ANITA SAM, founder of Journey East , a furniture retailer specialising in unique recycled, restored and eco-friendly furniture, and plenty of wow. Making a Statement

First up, it’s important to understand the purpose of a statement piece. “It’s there to create a focal point and give character to a living space,” explains Anita. “It’s also something that should stay with you for a long time to come, which is why material and quality are such important considerations. Our vintage pieces are popular as statement pieces because they’re made from solid teak and have been around for at least 80 years – and with the proper care, will last another 50 years.” And while it could be anything from a piece of furniture to a painting, or an object of interest or artistic value, it doesn’t have to be expensive or brash. “While it needs to be noticeable in the room,” says Anita, “it’s a misconception that statement pieces should be ostentatious or ornate, when beauty could

actually lie in the subtleties. At Journey East, we believe that the beauty of a piece can be found in aspects such as the wood grain from decades of natural weathering in reclaimed teak, or the detail of craftsmanship in a restored vintage Dutch Colonial piece from the 1930s.” Sideboards, dining tables, console tables, armchairs, sofas, display cases and artwork all work well, as long as they speak to you and reflect your personal style, taste and lifestyle. It’s also likely to be something unique and eclectic with a good backstory: “Like the reclaimed wood in our furniture,” explains Anita. “It actually comes from old Javanese houses that are dismantled after three generations of use, in accordance with local tradition.” Whatever you choose, you’ll need to decide where to put it. “It can be the focal point of the decor, where everything else revolves around it, or it could also be less obtrusive, waiting to bring joy to visitors upon discovery,” says Anita. One final tip? It’s also possible to have multiple statement pieces in a room; just be sure they are complementary and don’t drown each other out.

Above: d-Bodhi “Carbon” high dresser made from recycled boat wood, iron, and zinc: $2,890 d-Bodhi “Fissure” dining table made from reclaimed teak wood: $2,290 Below from left: Art Deco sideboard, teak wood, c. 1920- 1940: $2,100 Colonial drop leaf bureau, teak wood, c. 1930- 1950: $2,350 Jonas Design lamp crafted from vintage Shanghainese biscuit tin: $267.50

Journey East is at 315 Outram Road, #03-02 Tan Boon Liat Building. journeyeast.com


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TransformYour Home If you have a beautiful home and some beautiful things but somehowtheydon’t all fit together, the team at Arete Culture can pinpoint what’s missing. They specialise in home and corporate consul tat ions and complete interior overhauls, with a wide range of bespoke furniture, soft furnishings and one-off accent pieces, and have styled the homes and rooms of more than 250 clients across Southeast Asia. 5

How to give your bedroom the Arete Culture look Invest in quality sheets with crisp white bedding evocative of a five-star hotel room. Add texture to the bed with decorative cushions and a throw. Complete the look with sensory experiences like scented reeds, candles or flowerstouptheluxuriousness of the bedroom as a tranquil retreat.

HOME-STYLING TIPS BY ARETE CULTURE #1 Decide on a design theme (for example, classic, modern or eclectic) to ensure the look is cohesive. #2 Work within a strict colour palette and add depth to a room by using texture. #3 Engage all senses – a room shouldn’t just be a visual treat but an olfactory and aural one too. #4 Use focal points like artwork, mirrors or centrepieces to help create a sense of space. #5 Add warm ambient lighting with lamps and lanterns.

Arete Culture’s Luxe Hotel Collection of soft furnishings – cushions, mirrors, rugs and more – encapsulates the essence of a boutique hotel: warm, inviting, luxurious and comfortable. The company also carries premium textiles from leading Australian line Linen&Moore, bedding from luxury linen brand Sleep Naked, candles byMaison by AmandaDyer, fragrances, candles and toiletries by Cochine, hand-poured soy candles by The Soi Company, and contemporary artwork by Singapore-based artists. In short, rooms styled by Arete Culture have a welcoming effect on those who use and experience them – something the company believes should be affordable and available for everyone.

• Flagship store: #09-08 LamSoon Building, 63 Hillview Avenue • Central store: #06-01 Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road

6310 8098 | areteculture.com


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Mix and match different styles

This is a philosophy we wholeheartedly embrace at Artful House. You could come to our store and find recycled wood furniture in vibrant hues, unique vintage finds that ooze character, and contemporary pieces designed around a range of interesting patinas. This contemporary accent chair is upholstered in a coral patterned fabric and has been paired with a vintage turquoise cabinet.

There’s a lot of talk these days about “eclectic style”, but pulling it off can be easier said than done. PADMAJA RAJAGOPALAN, founder of Artful House , believes in individuality and has a knack for bringing together one-of-a-kind finds in just the right way. Here she shares five pointers on how you can make it work too. Get Eclectic!



H Expert Voice

Make use of colour Eclectic homes are bold in their use of colour. For example, this recycled wood cabinet in a turquoise/sea-green hue is sure to add some good energy to any living space.

Include conversation pieces We love this vintage carved console. Beautiful carvings such as this were

usually found framing awe-inspiring South Asian doorways. By incorporating these architectural features into a furniture item you bring a captivating piece of history into your home, as well as having something you can actually use.

Small touches make a big difference Eclectic homes make good use of lamps and other accents; it’s these small things that help make a house a home. We are partial to eye-catching lamps that effortlessly add style to a space.

Upholstery is your friend Fabrics are a great way to add colour and blend different styles. This wingback chair is upholstered in a vibrant ikat fabric. Wingback chairs have been a classic design staple for over two centuries but it’s the contemporary fabric that makes this fit for modern homes. At Artful House we focus on Asian-inspired fabrics such as ikat and chinoiserie to add interest to our chairs.

Owners of eclectic homes have a true passion for aesthetics. At Artful House we focus on sourcing and designing furniture and accents that make each individual piece stand out as a beautiful find, and that we hope will add some special character to your home.

#08-04 Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road 8112 6127 | artful-house.com


H Expert Voice

Iconic, functional furniture Danish design is held in high esteem in the design community for its iconic and timeless qualities, but what exactly is it? For some of us, it probably evokes genera l i sed images of minimalistic, Scandi style, epitomised by everybody’s favourite flat-pack giant, Ikea. There’s much more to it, though, aswe discovered from the team at Danish Design Co. , a Singapore retailer specialising in authentic Danish and Scandinavian designer furniture. GreatDanes

Q Can you give us a definition of Danish design? A It’s a style of functionalistic design that was developed in the 1950s by design legends such as Børge Mogensen, Finn Juhl, Arne Jacobsen and Hans Wegner. The philosophy is to combine function and aesthetics, and to craft beautiful things that make life better. As some designers have put it, you take the core functionality of a product then strip away the excess. Scandinavian design is a broader design movement characterised by simplicity, minimalism and functionality that emerged in the 1950s in the five Nordic countries of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Finland. Denmark has long been considered the leader of Scandinavian architecture and design. Brands like Ikea have shown people how to create rooms using a Scandinavian approach. However, those designs are very different from what you find throughout Scandinavia today. Ikea’s focus is on price reduction, convenience and flat packing, whereas the Scandinavian furniture houses that we represent at Danish Design Co. focus on quality, craftsmanship, differentiated design, functionality and sustainability. What’s the difference between Danish design and other Scandinavian design?

Clockwise from top left: Spanish Chair by Børge Mogensen: A beautiful marriage of wood and leather combined in a unique design, it speaks of authenticity, durability and originality. Poet Sofa by Finn Juhl: Designed in 1941 but still relevant today, this sofa represents a part of Danish cultural history and modern furniture that exudes values that have more or less disappeared in these days of fleeting fancies. Egg Chair by Arne Jacobsen: A timeless, world-renowned design that embodies both form and function.

• Century Warehouse Showroom, 100E Pasir Panjang Road, #06-03 Century Warehouse • Harbourside Showroom 1 Boon Leat Terrace, Harbourside Building 1, Ground Floor danishdesignco.com.sg

Which three pieces from your current catalogue would you say best represent the Danish design philosophy? The Spanish Chair, the Poet Sofa and the Egg Chair.


H Profile

A classic creation, the Fox Chair is available in rattan or outdoor materials.

Awhimsical collection of furniture, lifestyle and fashion accessories, Dreamweave is a reverie of lovely things. We caught up with owner COLIN BANNING to find out how it all came about. Behind the Dream

The Hanging Egg Chair is famous for its cool curves and distinctive design.

Q What inspired you to create Dreamweave? A We came across Sika Design in Europe and were hugely inspired by the beautiful rattan furniture designs; we knew they’d fit perfectly in Singapore’s climate and contemporary homes. We then found other brands that would help create a unique shopping experience: The Organic Sheep furs and skins, Tine K Home accessories, and Campomaggi leather bags. Our store experience is tactile, almost sensual. You can feel the smoothness of the rattan, caress the furs, pat the cushions and smell the leather. How do you choose which brands to work with? Somehow it feels like destiny, how we came together; it all happened so quickly. We curate brands based on our three tenets of original design, uniqueness in the market and good quality. What is the most unusual item in your collection? The Fox Chair. It looks very contemporary yet was created by Viggo Boesen in 1936. This may be the only chair that has a right

Timeless elegance, comfort and great design make the Monet Chair and Footstool a firm favourite.

way and a wrong way to sit! (Hint: sit crossways – it hugs your body better.) What is the most popular item in your current furniture collection? The Rossini Chair from the Originals range. Elegant, durable and affordable, it’s a great everyday dining chair. We have used them every day for two years on our patio and they look as good as new. A close second would be the Monet Chair and Footstool from the same range. If Dreamweave were a piece of furniture, what would it be and why? The Hanging Egg. It weaves together passion and designwith sustainablematerials to produce a lovely, dreamy experience.

Beloved by discerning customers and bistros around the world, the Rossini Dining Chair is Dreamweave’s number-one seller.

Find Dreamweave at Millenia Walk (#01-34) and Shaw Centre (#02- 24/25), or call 9046 6069 to visit their appointment-only show home.


H Expert Voice

Behind the scenes of a home makeover with founder and director of E&A Interiors, CHLÖE ELKERTON. Before&After A family of three relocated from New Zealand to Singapore with very little furniture. After many years of moving, as well as raising their son Henry, Jillian and Matthew moved into a modern, spacious apartment on Grange Road, and their tired existing furniture just didn’t work in the open-plan contemporary living space. They were willing to start again and invest in beautiful pieces they could take with them should they move in the future.

Client: Jillian and Matthew Laing, and eight-year- old son Henry Apartment: The Beverly Hill Condo, Grange Road Size: 2,500 square feet

The client was looking for something with the ‘wow’ factor, and with an understated glam. They didn’t want to play it safe, so it was an exciting brief for us. Jillian has a love of mid-century furniture, having lived in Denmark for many years, and also admires Art Deco design. They wanted a space for entertaining, so that was factored in to the space planning. Jillian’s two original Planter chairs and her interesting art collection were a great starting point. The apartment has amazing light – it’s a very bright, open space that enabled us to use a strong and colourful palette. Combining zesty yellows with white made the space feel very fresh, and the touches of black and charcoal added an element of glam and sophistication. Jillian was also keen to invest in more art, so we proposed using work by local British artist Leo Poloniecki; his timeless graphic pieces highlighted the furniture perfectly and pulled the look all together. We also commissioned him to do a piece to include the yellow of the fabric we had selected. We sourced Vintage Deco chairs that were re- upholstered in a striking Aztec linen by Raoul Textiles. Custom-made ottomans in metallic leather and a mid-century-inspired sofa and chaise combines two fabrics – a herringbone linen with a velvet – to add interest for those entering the apartment and seeing the back of the sofa.

All furniture custom- made by E&A Interiors. Fabrics from Galbraith & Paul, Whistler Leather, Raoul Textiles, Vanderhurd and Ian

A large dhurrie rug in yellow grounds the space and anchors the furniture in the centre of the room. We used the long, large blank wall as a main focal point for the custom-made mirrored Deco-inspired sideboard and stunning gallery wall of art. The combination of different finishes such as marble, leather, mirror, steel, linen and velvet give this apartment a real understated, luxurious feel that the client was thrilled with.

Mankin, all exclusively

available from E&A Interiors. Lighting by

E&A Interiors is at 46 Kim Yam Road, #04-24 The Herencia. 6702 4850 | eandainteriors.com

Vaughan Designs.


H Profile

The stylish Hart range is the latest collection from Esco.

Leasing Solutions &More

Moving house, country, school and more is complicated enough without having to think about creating a new home from scratch or waiting an age for an oh-so-slow container to arrive. On the other hand, a fully furnished apartment might also make you shudder – it’s hard to feel at home when you’re living in the midst of a stranger’s decor. That’s where leasing comes in. By removing the stress of both shipping and shopping, renting furniture is an ideal middle ground.

A pioneer in the Singapore furniture leasing industry, Esco Leasing is the brainchild of founders LAWRENCE LEOW and FELICIA KOH. They’ve long been passionate about sustainability and eco-inspired designs, but it wasn’t until the late 1980s that they were able to really turn their ideology into a successful business. “We were approached by a few big developers to do resorts, beach villas and apartments with an organic feel,” explains Felicia. “Esco Leasing was born to cater to the needs of that market, and it continues to be nurtured by today’s ever- growing eco-conscious design and lifestyle trends.” As business continued to boom, they set up their own manufacturing plant in Central Java in 1993, using reclaimed wood and supporting local cottage industries. “With this facility, the sky is the limit. We thrive on customisation and have furnished the homes of local celebrities and royalty, as well as many expat families – many of whom have become friends!” In addition to leasing and home styling, Esco also sells its furniture, art and decorative items in its showroom, Gallery 278 . Browsing here is a great starting point for any home-styling project; plus, the team can custom-design and build unique pieces for you and your Singapore home. And if you have questions about how to really make your house a home, there’s a monthly “Home Styling Clinic” where Felicia and a panel of designers field questions. So, could she share a little nugget of wisdom with us today? “Usually, when we touch on any project, be it purchase or rental, the first needful exercise is painting. Instead of using masking tape when painting window frames, wipe some lip balm around the edge of the glass. That way, if paint gets on the pane, it can be washed or wiped off easily.”

Gallery 278 by Esco Leasing is at 278 River Valley Road. gallery278.com


H Expert Voice

Lease Ease with

#1 You hit the ground running Rental furniture can be delivered in advance, meaning your move can be immediate. WTP can even loan furniture prior to the actual lease furniture arriving at no extra cost. #2 You ship away the hassle Leasing removes any worries about shipping furniture (and the masses of paperwork that accompanies it) or unwanted storage costs, and the possible damage and risk of fitting Style, budget, number of pieces and length of lease are all variables to consider when leasing, hence you have the option to choose from different packages. Furniture can also be customised to personal tastes. #4 You get stress-free servicing When you lease furniture, all the items come with service and repair, making the renting of furniture worry-free. #5 It’s easier to leave The leasing contract can expire along with the tenancy agreement, so you can leave the country with peace of mind as the collection of pieces is done before departure. Once you’ve overcome the first hurdle of relocating and found yourself a home to rent, next comes thequestion of howyou plan on furnishing it. Here, MIMI SOMJEE, managing director of WTP The Furniture Company , provides five reasons why it’s worth considering leasing your furniture rather than buying it. furniture into the new living space. #3 It gives you flexibility

WTP The Furniture Company 3 Kung Chong Road 6235 2760 | wtpstyle.com


H Feature

If you’re looking to spruce up your living room, add interest to your lounge or revamp your terrace without breaking the bank, Taylor B. Fine Design is one name that you’ll find popping up again and again – and with three levels of furniture in its Keppel Road showroom and an on-trend buying team, it’s little wonder. We caught up with Director of Operations ANTHONY DESARAM for a quick rundown on the company’s approach and offerings.



Q What’s the design inspiration behind the Taylor B. collection? A Successful interiors are not determined by the cost of their components. We’re all about achieving a high-end look at a great price. Mix up high and low-cost elements in your rooms. It’s a good practice, because it keeps the total cost of your room lower and ensures you have an interesting mix of pieces rather than looking like it was lifted out of the pages of a specific brand’s catalogue. Being a Singapore-based company, we love a sunny and sophisticated look. We delight in bold, bright colours, but we also love the freshness of white. When mixed with light and airy metal and glass, tonal layers of whites and off-whites are visually stunning and exude a cool and refreshing feel – a look that is perfect for our tropical climate. For an easy change-of- season look, switch out your sofa cushions, accessories, and rugs. how can Taylor B. help those in need of a little “oomph” in their homes? Our team can help create rooms that reflect your individual style, whether it be island tropical, classic OldWorld, modern chic, or comfy and casual. With some of the best-known brands in the industry, such as Caracole, Stanley, Lexington, Century and more at their fingertips, they can assist in choosing the right furnishings and the perfect accessories for your home. What are the latest trends in the industry? Besides offering a wide range of furniture,

Taylor B. Fine Design has three levels of furniture, lighting accessories, outdoor furniture, Chinese antiques, art, vintage- inspired furniture collections and more. 43 Keppel Road | 9420 4000 taylorbdesign.com


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The FurnitureMall innumbers 5 reasons to visit The Furniture Mall (TFM) #1 It’s a genuine one-stop furniture shop, which means you save time and money – no traipsing around the city to a host of different stores. #2 Whether you live in a sprawling villa, a cosy shophouse or a compact

GO FIGURE! 0 The number of Singapore dollars you’ll pay for parking if youmake any purchase at The Furniture Mall; valid for first two hours on weekdays and three hours on weekends and public holidays. 1 The number of Singapore furniture malls – TFM alone – with a Special Concierge for customer enquiries and promotional season offers. 5 The number of minutes it takes to walk to TFM from Jurong East MRT station. 21 The number of years since TFM opened for business. 40 The number of showrooms at TFM selling everything from furniture to fittings and plenty in between. 70 The number of prestigious international and local brands on offer, which means there’s something for everyone, and every budget. 100,000 The size of the retail space in square feet, which means endless furniture shopping fun! 200,000+ The number of visitors who flock here every year to buy beds, sofas, wardrobes, consoles, cabinets … you name it, you’ll find it here, in a dozen different styles.

apartment, you can kit out your entire home with furniture, lights, rugs, curtains and decorative accessories. #3 From retro cool to modern day chic, you’ll find furniture to tickle the creative taste buds of every budding designer. #4 If interiors aren’t your forte and finding a theme for your furnishings leaves you cold, TFM is also home to a number of interior design services. #5 With regular and special promotions all listed on the TFM website, you can plan ahead for maximum savings.

The Furniture Mall is at 10 Toh Guan Road. thefurnituremall.com.sg


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Tips on turning your design visions intoreality,with inspirationfromhome lifestyle destination, HomesToLife . BringYour Home toLife

For your dining pleasure The dining table is more than a place where people gather to eat a meal. You can choose a stunning piece that sets the tone for the entire room, or encourage easy-flowing conversations with a round table or intimate meals with a square table. Just be sure to consider the space you have – you’ll want to leave around a metre or more between the table and the walls. Bon appétit! Featured product: Fukuoka dining table, all-natural solid walnut wood, from $3,819

A masterpiece as your centrepiece The sofa is where you spend a lot of time, so you want to make sure it’s the right size, style, colour and material to suit your lifestyle – in particular, whether it’s a two-seater or in an L-shaped configuration, find a shape that fits your needs. Consider, too, details like contrast piping that can make for wonderful highlights and bring any sofa to life. Finally, don’t miss the range of sleepers (also known as sofa beds) at HomesToLife; these can convert any living space into a spot for a good night’s sleep. Featured product: Alexandrite sofa in fabric, two-seater from $1,499

Sleeping right Since we generally spend around a third of our lives sleeping, it’s important to invest in the most suitable mattress for your needs with just the right amount of “oomph” when you sink into it. Your bed also provides a focal point for the bedroom, so choose a frame that imbues the room with character. Think about

The little things that matter Accessories can make a huge impact on a room; when introduced in the right fashion, they can freshen up any space. Sometimes, though, they simply overwhelm a home, so opt for quality over quantity. One specially chosen piece may work better than several knickknacks. Combine colours and textures for a pleasing visual contrast. Featured products: Blossom tray, Notre Monde, $160; Driftwood tray, NotreMonde, $150; Cedar Cashmere and Tanaka Teak scented lounge candle, Bougies La Française, from $69.95 HomesToLife • 65 Mohamed Sultan Road (Flagship) • #03-04/05 112 Katong, 112 East Coast Road • #01-31 Westgate, 3 Gateway Drive For more information, visit homestolife.com.

the style you like: a bedframe with storage, for example, or a bunk-bed, canopy bed or four-poster bed – the possibilities are endless. If space is a constraint, do also consider the option of a sleeper. Featured products: Nomi bedframe, $1,299; Nomi bedside table, $359; Arcane floor lamp, from $1,339


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Moving to Singapore from cooler climes can leave newbies frustrated when their once perfectly straight dining table starts to warp, or gaping cracks appear in their favourite cabinet – casualties of the tropical heat and humidity. When you head out to shop for replacements you’ll doubtless hear teak being touted as the wonder wood for Singapore’s challenging climate. But just what is it that makes it so appealing? For the teamat Mountain Teak , teak isn’t just a material, it’s an inspiration. That’s why their pieces have minimalist designs and a focus on quality: to highlight the wood’s true beauty. Here they talk us through five reasons that make teak a top timber. TalkingTimber 5 reasons to choose teak furniture

Twist Collection by Karpenter

#3 Water and termite resistant There’s a reason teak is often used for both bridges and boats: its saps lock in all those lovely natural oils so they don’t get lost over time, making it a very water-resistant material. And yet another advantage of teak oil? Termites and insects can’t stand its smell, so they make their homes elsewhere. #4 Cost-efficient and easy to maintain Teak’s natural durability makes for pretty low-maintenance furniture. Well-cared for, it can last for years, even generations, so although it may not be the cheapest option, you won’t be shelling out for new furniture, saving you money in the long run. #5 Eco-friendly Long-lasting furniture is more sustainable, and when you buy quality teak that is free from harmful chemicals such as VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds often found in lacquer varnish; all Mountain Teak products are coated with a VOC- free, water-based, water-resistant coating), you’re helping the environment as well as your health.

#1 Colour and grain Teak is a beautiful, densely grained wood with a lovely natural ash-brown colour, both of which make it particularly

suitable for furniture making. #2 Strength and durability

A hard tropical wood, teak has a well- earned reputation for durability. This is in part due to its natural oils that are resistant to fungus and dry rot – two common culprits affecting the longevity of many types of wood. Teak also holds its own against the elements. It won’t corrode or warp from weathering, making teak furniture particularly suitable for Singapore, and wherever else in the world its globetrotting owners may end up.

Brooklyn Book Case by Karpenter

Check out the Mountain Teak flagship at 315 Outram Road (6224 7176), or the recently opened Mountain Living concept store at PasarBella, Turf City (6219 9716). mountainteak.com


IndianCabinets Chic andUnique:

Renowned for itscool combination of contemporary classic design mixed with traditional furniture, the Originals showroom is a constantly moving theatre of new and one-off recycled pieces sourced from Indonesia, Europe, India and Africa. We caught up with JASDEP SINGH to hear about their latest haul of gorgeous Indian cabinets.

Q Where do your cabinets come from? A We travel to Rajasthan to handpick these domestic cabinets, which have been sourced from villages all over north India. A common feature of most homes in India, they have often been painted many times over the years, and as the paint wears with age, the different layers of colour are revealed to beautiful effect. Each piece we select is restored by carpenters who give the cabinets a new lease of life while retaining their historical character.

Head to the Originals showroom at #02- 03 Sime Darby Centre, 896 Dunearn Road or visit originals.com.sg to check out their latest finds. Once we’ve settled on our dream cabinet, how do we take care of it? Caring for our Indian cabinets is easy. Simply wipe them over with a dry or slightly damp cloth to remove any dust and occasionally allow air to circulate by opening doors or moving the piece slightly to counteract the Singapore humidity. They are lovely indeed, but how can we choose between them? When selecting a cabinet there are several things to bear in mind: The space it needs to fill: The cabinet should be large enough that it doesn’t look lost. Smaller pieces work well in a bathroom or as a bedside table. The shape: Are you looking for something low you can hang a piece of art above, or something high that will stand on its own? The purpose: Display or storage? Do drawers or doors best suit your needs? The room: If your other pieces are very elaborate, you may want a simple design or something with a unique accent such as a carved top.


H Feature

From groceries to gifts, online shopping is par for the course these days. Buying furniture on the internet, however, can elicit more than a little apprehension. What if the sideboard doesn’t fit? What if the sofa is nothing like the pictures? What if the feel of the fabric isn’t quite right? Enter Ethnicraft Online . Buying Online 02 01 … without the fear factor The first online branch of international furniture brand Ethnicraft, Ethnicraft Online made its entrance into Singapore in 2012. Its appointment-only Singapore showroom allows customers to “try before they buy” and actually experience the products in person. Plus, the returns policy means if you’re still not happy with the piece once you see it in situ , it’ll be taken back free of charge. This hybrid approach of online store and physical showroom, combined with some beautiful yet functional and eco-friendly wood furniture, is clearly a winning formula. We take a look at some of the store’s top-selling items. The Teak Burger Bed set A bestseller with a clean and contemporary look, each standalone piece of this set seems to float, creating an illusion of more floor space in your room. The bedhead cover is removable and washable and there are four adjustable positions according to the height of your mattress. Oak Slice Extendable Dining Table A signature Ethnicraft design, the unique “slice” around the perimeter of the table top makes this a visually striking piece. The design also cleverly conceals the extension leaves underneath the original top. It springs into extended mode with just a few moves and compromises neither looks nor functionality – the legs simply move along so the entire length of the table can be used without any obstruction in between.



H Buying Guide


The ET201 2.5 Seater Sofa The ideal size for modest living rooms, this is a real crowd- pleaser. Featuring solid walnut wood legs and comfortable down feather and foam seating, it’s no surprise this is one of Ethnicraft Online’s most popular items.



Mr Marius Origami Desk This stylish, solid oak writing desk is sure to get your creative juices flowing. Its quirky shape and form is inspired by the fine art of origami and its drawers are perfect for essentials and for storing paper or stationery.

Teak Light Frame TV Cupboard With its sleek frame and elegant lines, this console is a functional and tasteful piece that would work well in any space. Blumotion soft-closing drawers mean no more noisy slamming – good for your ears and for adventurous little fingers!

Showroom (10am to 7pm, by appointment only): 72 Eunos Avenue 7, #05-05, Singapore Handicrafts Building. ethnicraft-online.com.sg


#1 Go big on the sofa As interior designer Nate Berkus says, “Do not buy apartment-scaled furniture, even if you’re living in a small space. Iwouldmuch rather it have a regular- sized sofa that takes up a quarter of the entire room than some tiny sofa that no one is comfortable sitting on anyway.” #2 Use mirrored cabinets A reflective cabinet has a similar effect to a mirror, reflecting light and brightening up a space. Plus, reflections of your other beautiful artefacts will make the room feel even more lively and vibrant. #3 Hang an interesting mirror We all know that placing a mirror opposite a window makes the space feel bigger. Now try placing a mirror with interesting details. More reflective elements mean different levels of light reflection, giving an airier and more spacious feel. In Singapore, like any big city, spaceisatapremium.Fortunately, there are a few clever tricks you can employ to transform even the pokiest of places into a haven of comfort. GRACE LEW, co-owner of furniture store Finn Avenue , shares some tips on incorporating a lot of luxury into a little space. Luxury Comes in All Sizes

#4 Make use of corners

Creating multiple functions in a small space can make your roommore liveable. Try adding extra seating or storage to an often-overlooked corner. #5 Combine beauty and functionality Make practical objects beautiful, like our mirrored screen. With its individually bevelled, black-tinted mirrors, this grand screen is perfect for dividing space and never fails to impress. #6 Sneak in smart storage Furniture with storage is an easy way to avoid clutter; think coffee tables with inconspicuous drawers, or an ottoman with a removable top. #7 Increase “depth of field” Light up the corners. Putting a beautiful lamp on a corner table adds significant “depth of field” to your apartment by making you feel there is something beyond the warm lights.

“The details are not the details. They make the design.” – Charles Eames (1907-1978)

Shop online at finnavenue.com or in- store at 8B Admiralty Street, #02-21 8B@ Admirality, or call 8699 3466.


H Profile


A Dempsey Hill stalwart, Woody Antique House has been around for over 15 years. With an inventory that runs thegamut fromMongolian antique sideboards to reproduction Chinese chairs, beautiful suar wood dining tables, rustic pieces in reclaimed teak and all manner of outdoor furniture, it’s a safe bet you’ll find what you’re looking for. And if you can’t, they’ll make it for you: bespoke elmand teak furniture is another of their specialties. With so much choice, it’s hard to know where to start, so why not start at the beginning? We spoke with Woody’s general manager CHRIS ANG to get a basic rundown.

Q Where do your antiques come from? A Our antique furniture is sourced from various parts of Asia including China, Tibet, Mongolia, India, Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia. Every item is then meticulously restored to retain and reveal its original beauty. We only do what is necessary, though sometimes we do make modifications to improve an item’s functionality. Handles, shelving and the interiors of drawers may be replaced if they’re too worn out. Next we restore the varnish, retaining the original colour as much as possible and just touching up any damaged areas. We may put on a new coat of varnish if the original is too faded, or at the request of the customer. Finally, we finish with a coat of lacquer. Tell us more about the restoration process.

Can you share a few tips on making antiques work in your home? Antiques aren’t necessarily ornate – simple pieces still add character to your décor. Cabinets and sideboards double up as both art and storage, and work well as centrepieces. Get a feel for a piece by finding out about its history – its age, usage and origin, for example. Consider if you’ll have space for it on leaving Singapore. A wipe with a damp cloth should suffice in terms of maintenance, though an occasional coat of wax may help in very dry conditions. In general, avoid exposing an antique to excessive sunlight or air-conditioning.

Woody Antique House is at 15 Dempsey Road #01-11/12. 6471 1770 | woodyantique.com


H Expert Voice

MARIE-HÉLÈNE VAN HOUTEN and husband PIETER own The Past Perfect Collection , a Singapore-based store that specialises in antique colonial furniture from India. She tells us what she finds so rewarding about their work. Quality Pieces

Part of the joy of my job is searching for exclusive pieces of antique furniture and having them restored to their former glory. Antique colonial furniture is not the easiest to find, but it’s so rewarding when I come across a piece I’ve been looking for. Our favorite places to find colonial antiques are the markets and bazaars in India. We unearth chests, cabinets, tables and other pieces that are often covered with thick layers of wax, varnish or even paint. When selecting the items we first ensure that the piece is exceptional; for instance, we look for distinctive combinations of European design and Indian craftsmanship. To ensure an antique’s authenticity, we look for traces of wear and tear, and check the quality of the wood and construction technique. With painted or varnished pieces we scrape the topcoat to see the natural color and grain of the wood beneath. Finally, we’ll check the condition to make sure the piece can be restored. The restoration process typically includes stripping, repairing and sanding before the highly skilled French polishing technique is applied; the piece is then finished off with a protective layer of beeswax. The result is a gleaming treasure with a refined matt finish that enhances and preserves the beautiful wood grain, and is smooth to the touch. Our passion for a bygone era inspires us to rescue these pieces of colonial heritage from obscurity. Breathing life back into these treasures means that they will beautify homes for generations to come!

The Past Perfect Collection's Marie-Hélène Van Houten

The Past Perfect Collection is at 896 Dunearn Road, #02-01D Sime Darby Centre. 6737 3078 pastperfect.sg

Above: Indo-Dutch satinwood and ebony chest after restoration


H Profile

Chinese Treasures

Anne Lockett’s ChinaCollection is almost an institution for “long-timers” in Singapore, growing in size over the years, and in the range of antiques they’ve collected and restored. In 2009, her son DOUG LOCKETT joined the team; here he talks to us about his role in the business and some recent exciting finds.

Q Why did you decide to join the business? A I studied electrical engineering in the US and began my career in aerospace. I’d lived in Singapore with my family in my high school years and then in early 2009 I decided to take a break and head back for a visit. At the time, China Collection’s business was growing rapidly, and I soon found myself helping out in every aspect: sales, deliveries, inventory – you name it. One short trip to China later (to help Mum source furniture), and I was hooked. I knew I had a similar passion for the business as her. Six years later, I don’t regret it one bit. Recently, there’s been a trend towards contemporary; howdo these beautiful oldies fit in to that trend? I believe that antiques are actually quite complementary with a modern aesthetic if chosen carefully and done in moderation. The idea is to offset the clean/modern setting with a beautifully vibrant antique piece; the juxtaposition is often quite dramatic, and the antique piece becomes a true focal point. If customers want to buy multiple pieces, our advice is to use antiques moderately and in different rooms as a way to accent – they can easily over-dominate a room. That’s why we always encourage people to drop by China Collection a few times before committing to a purchase. We want customers to choose pieces carefully; you’ll always buy better if you buy slowly !

What’s been your best furniture discovery this year?

Above: Before and after

An amazing filing cabinet from Suzhou in Zhejiang Province; it dates to the 1920s or 30s when Suzhou and neighbouring Shanghai were already bustling commercial business centres. There were many Westerners living in this part of China at the time, too, so you find an interesting blend of traditional Chinese furniture making and Western aesthetic and utility. This cabinet has very curved, almost Art Deco features, but is constructed using traditional Chinese craftsmanship and made from beautiful nanmu (Chinese laurel wood). What’s most unusual about the piece is its dimensions – The drawers are huge ! I’d love to think it was used by an architectural firm or a government office for storing city drawings or plans. A beautiful carved sideboard cabinet in pinewood from Gansu Province that we found in Northern China earlier this year. It’s a beautiful example of fine Chinese carving and cabinet making, dating back to the mid-late 19th century (circa 1870). It just arrived in our most recent shipment and I think it turned out wonderfully. The carvings are original, which is quite rare. On the top of the cabinet, the dark-brown lacquer had been worn down over time, almost to the bare wood. We thought the wood grain looked so beautiful underneath that we decided to strip off some of the old lacquer on the front to reveal a beautiful shabby wood patina. It’s a real gem. What’s your favourite piece in store at the moment?

China Collection is at 20 Malcolm Road. 6235 1905 | chinacollection.com.sg


H Fix it

We don’t know about you, but whenever we tidy our cupboards, shelves or wardrobes, it always ends in the same gasp of dismay – a gasp brought about by unearthing some long-forgotten item, be it food or fashion, that’s stuck at the back and out of view, and is totally out of date. Something tells us it’s time to get organised, so we asked the experts from Howards Storage World – specialist retailer of a vast array of clever space-saving products – for a few tips on maximising the available storage space at home. OrganisedLiving Checklist for

#3 Bathroom Go slim: Magic up more storage in a small bathroom by investing in slim racks and trolleys to maximise wall space. Bathroom Set: Reduce visual clutter and keep toothbrushes and soaps stylishly coordinated around the sink area with a bathroom set.

#2 Bedroom Modular Shelving: Make every single inch of space work for you by customising your wardrobe according to your needs. Plus, the entire system can be easily reconfigured or taken down and re-installed when you move. Hangers: Hanging space works twice as hard with these cleverly designed hangers. Draping multiple garments on one hanger saves on space, and a less cluttered wardrobe means less crumpled clothes!

#1 Kitchen Shelf Helpers: Make better use of all that wasted space on your kitchen shelves by raising up the contents of your cupboards. Not only do shelf helpers maximise the vertical space but everything is more accessible so you don’t lose things in the depths of deep cabinets. Kitchen Trolley: An extra shelf space for dishes and condiments, a kitchen trolley is also a handy counter for food prep and serving. Best of all, you can simply wheel it away when not needed.

#4 Laundry Airer: You can save more than just time with a quality

airer – at the end of the day, you’ll savemoney and reduce your carbon footprint by protecting clothing from the wear and tear of a dryer.

Howards Storage World has five Singapore locations (Parkway Parade, Tampines 1, Millenia Walk, The Star Vista and Plaza Singapura) or you can shop online at hsw.com.sg.


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