The best furniture stores to check out
Vintage lovers: behold Singapore Trading Post, a homeware emporium filled with memorabilia sourced from places that used to be the trade routes of Singapore’s colonial past. One-of-a-kind pieces to covet include large statement furniture like grandfather clocks and bronze statues to trinkets like vintage keys and an old pair of binoculars. Plus, there's a cool corner that pays homage to the Singapore of old, displaying nostalgia-inducing items like Sinalco trays and Kickapoo ads.
With attitudes loosening around lounging around on second-hand furniture, stores like Hock Siong and Co are suddenly top-of-mind to score home goods at a steal. (No one at the sprawling Tai Seng store is actually named Hock Siong – the name was coined by the company’s old-school towkay.) The products are hand-me-downs from hotels and show flats, furniture shops that have closed down, and the occasional beautifully appointed home. The goods – tightly and neatly packed into three units – cover a wide range of styles, from vintage rosewood to mid-century to the downright opulent.
Started in 1995, Journey East has become known as the go-to place for beautifully restored art deco and retro wood furniture sourced from Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. Dating between the ’20s and ’60s, the pieces on offer all bear European design flair, from art deco to mid-century modern to Dutch colonial. For environmentally conscious folk, rest assured that every piece is either old or built from FSC-certified recycled wood. Besides its vintage offerings, the brand carries eco-friendly reclaimed teak, industrial-styled furnishings made from iron and wood, and modern furniture pieces. Journey East also stocks a range of new collections, including its very own PLAYplay, as well as international brands such as d-Bodhi, District Eight, Drugeot Labo and Qeeboo. International shipping services are available if you cannot bear to part with your beloved piece of furniture.
Illinois-based Crate & Barrel's giving Ikea a run for its money in the homewares department. The sprawling store at ION Orchard - its first in Asia - packs the brand's much-loved and manufacturer sourced range of kitchen-, glass-, and serve ware, as well as a small range of eco-friendly furnishings and carpets. The local store stock 80 percent of the US chain's home goods, and will also feature twice-yearly drops of seasonal goods. Prepare to spend yourself silly.
Shopping at IKEA is a guilty pleasure most of us won’t normally ’fess up to. Switch your dusty, tired curtains with some new, brightly coloured ones. Change your floral cushion covers to striped ones – for that mod hipster look – and get some colour (and cheer) into your home, add some indoor plants to liven up dull spaces and buy all the pastel-coloured mugs on sale just because you feel like it.
Armed with only $3,000 and a bedroomturned- office, founder Dennis Tay started Naiise in 2013 with the simple goal of making good design more accessible to the public. This lifestyle store now stocks over 1,000 local and international brands selling cute stationery, household items, local books and more across its six locations. Besides quirky accessories and things, Naiise also has a good selection of furnishings for the home. From beanbags shaped like hibernating bears to eco furniture, bring a piece home today!
Need a home makeover but can’t find the time to do it? Arete Culture’s interior design services will create your dream space with homeware sourced from around the world. Founded by Caroline Chin Geyler, the brand has two showrooms in Singapore: the newly expanded flagship carries its full range of products and custom furniture options, while its Tan Boon Liat Building one offers a pared-down curation in a centralised location. You can browse through a huge variety of designs including cushions, lamps and mirrors from The Luxe Hotel Collection, textiles from Linen and Moore, luxury bed linens from Sleep Naked, and artworks from Urban Road, Karen Charmoille and Christina Jensen.
The 24-year-old Australian store landed on our shores in 2001, and houses over 30 luxury lifestyle brands in its 40,000-sq-ft showroom. Reliable favourites – such as B&B Italia and Vitra – sit alongside yet more options, each set in home interior environments to show off Space’s extensive selection. We like the unfussy pieces from SP01’s Outdoor Collection ($400-$6,035), dreamt up by Australian designer Tom Fereday. They aren’t all looks, either: built (in Italy, no less) to withstand prolonged exposure to sunlight and sea spray, these’ll hold up just as well on your balcony or patio.
‘For the common good, and goods for the common folk.’ That’s the mission of this local brand, and we’d gladly dress our home with all its furniture – if our pockets allowed it. You’ll find environmentally sustainable pieces here from small brands and craftsmen from around the world, including Fred and Bobo, Everyday Studio, and VIJ5, with prices starting at $220. We’re particularly taken with Studiohiji’s Net series (from $340). The Jakarta-based design studio incorporates strands of rattan cores into its pieces, and the result’s a series of lightweight furniture that’s built to last and sustains the rattan industry.
King Living is prove that you don't need a throne to live like royalty. This Australian furniture label combines opulence with practically in all its designs – there's their patented technology like the Postureflex Seating System in their sofas and even pairs its steel-framed furniture with 25-year warranty. Need some home decor inspiration? Their 11,000 sqft showroom displays an array of sleek home furnishings – sofas, chairs, bed frames, dining and outdoor furniture – in an impeccably manicured setting.
You’d be hard-pressed to find more good-looking furniture than at Noden. The independent store sources for mid-century and Scandinavian design pieces from the ’40s to ’70s, meaning you’re guaranteed a one-of-a-kind classic that could, for all you know, become a family heirloom down the line. Expect furniture not unlike the refinished Danish Bureau ($2,190) – the ’60s teak piece from Denmark comes complete with tambour sliding doors, drawers and a pull-out desk, plus sculpted teak handles. And stock’s replenished every two to three months, too, with prices starting from $200 – although that depends on factors like the condition, designer, year, maker and rarity of your chosen piece.
The furniture addicts behind Castlery take obsession to a new high, and in the best way. So while there are dining and study tables, sectional sofas, loveseats and all sorts of lamps, there are also basic (and complimentary) customisation options if you want your furniture a little off-kilter. That includes reupholstering and replacing the legs of your chosen sofa set with your colours of choice, for example. But if you’re after something ready-made, you can’t go wrong with the geometrical Stanley Round Stool ($129), constructed with stone composite and natural cement, or the Naomi Armchair ($499) in amber yellow, with its buttoned body and birch wood pencil legs.
Moving from their humble beginnings at Purvis Street, to their current Mohammed Sultan design enclave, local luxury furniture purvey P5 partners Italian furniture and kitchen brands Molteni&C and Dada to curate the best of contemporary furniture. Their well-appointed glass-encased space houses exquisite furniture from various progressive and distinguished European labels. Whether you’re a furniture connoisseur or simply looking for ways to spice up your abode, P5’s gloriously sun-drenched showroom guarantees brilliant finds.
Furniture shouldn’t cost an arm and leg, and HipVan knows it. The homegrown store prides itself on fair pricing across more than 5,000 designs: think L-shaped sofas and other sectionals, lounge chairs, hammocks, chest drawers, and bookshelves, as well as homeware such as planters and wall decals. While most of its furniture is sold online, a selection’s available for viewing at HipVan’s flagship store – or else, it’s free returns (by way of store credits) within two weeks of purchase on its website. The New York Sofa ($399) wins with its multi-coloured tuft buttons and rose gold chrome-plated legs, but we’re just as much fans of the copper Ribbon Wall Clock ($96.80).
Named after the warehouses that used to flank the Singapore River back in the day, The GoDown Store is good for one-of-a-kind, storied modern and vintage finds sourced by founder Audrey Lee from her travels all over the world. Also check out its online store, which offers new collections of homeware, accessories and decorative furnishing every month. Plus, you can access features like travel and sourcing trips, and sign up for interactive in-store events like perfumery workshops and cooking classes.
Spruce up your home with some cool accessories
Fancy a quality snooze fest? Upgrade your sleep quality with some lush beddings from local start-up Sojao. Roll around in some lightweight and breathable organic cotton bedsheets that – wait for it – get softer with every wash. Bundle sheet sets (from $98) include a fitted sheet, duvet cover and a pair of pillowcases. Available in white, navy, natural and stone.
Make all your Muji dream home goals come true with Iuiga. This homegrown lifestyle online brand is all about the minimalist and mindful lifestyle – minus the hefty price tag. It prides itself on its honest and transparent pricing which showcases a breakdown of cost prices and the markups. Browse over 160 products across categories such as kitchenware, home and living and even travel (yes, in the form of stunning rose gold 20-inch travel luggage that'll elevate your #wanderlust photos instantly).
No home is complete without an art piece or two and that’s where Wandewoo comes in. The brainchild of Singaporean space stylist Sonny Boey and his two siblings, this home and lifestyle accessories store stocks one-of-a-kind items made by talented designers from around the world. Not sure where to start? Pick up one of the decorative art sculptures (from $36). These stunning, brightly coloured creative pieces – all are hand-painted and crafted from high quality fiberglass resin – instantly liven up any room and, should you need it, make great conversation starters.
If the Japanese term ‘wabi-sabi’ means anything to you, then you’ll probably already know Supermama. The store specialises in porcelain homeware – by both local and Japanese craftsmen – whose beauty lies in its flaws and its delicateness. In other words, the wabi-sabi mantra of ‘imperfect, incomplete and impermanent’. Think asymmetrical bowls, dimpled cups and painstakingly handpainted plates inspired by modern Singapore culture. Because most items are available in limited quantities, your best bet’s to pop in and find out what’s in stock.
You can count on uncovering well-crafted pieces at atomi, all made and designed in Japan. The eight-year-old boutique’s well-curated selection of tableware, kitchenware, trinkets and furniture bear a minimalist ethos – and paying testament to that is the sleek SONO Chest ($880). Its six drawers are individually plated with maple, walnut, teak, wenge, cherry and padouk wood, and it even doubles up as an excellent bookend. Don’t forget to peruse the rest of the store, which carries such brands as hoshina, maruni and nissin.