Photograph: Born in Colour
Photograph: Born in Colour

The best furniture shops in Tan Boon Liat Building

We sussed out the best furniture shops so you won’t waste your time going up and down an old warehouse lift

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There’s nothing else in Singapore like Tan Boon Liat Building – this iconic blue building's been along Outram Road since the 70s. It’s a treasure trove of all things furniture and decor: one-of-a-kind statement pieces, modern Scandinavian furniture, and even rare antiques that have been sourced from far-flung places like Northern China. Since it spans 14 floors, with furniture shops around every corner, it might be a little perplexing for first-time visitors. No need to hunt high and low for a rare Tiffany lamp or rattan bar stools, here are the best furniture shops to check out in Tan Boon Liat Building.

RECOMMENDED: The best second-hand furniture shops and best home decor and furniture stores

Hidden gems of Tan Boon Liat

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  • Tiong Bahru

From rattan to solid wood furniture, local retailer Born in Colour’s diverse collection is worth seeing in person. This store carries a wide range of Scandinavian, Bohemian and mid-century furniture, available in an assortment of colours to suit every mood. Created with a typical Singaporean household in mind, each furniture piece is specially curated for both compactness and functionality. For muted palette lovers, the Hesse range is one to look for – boasting fluted sliding panels with rounded edges, the range spells Scandinavian design with a twist. Meanwhile, the Certo mid-century range has a timeless appeal that will sit well with other styles both old and new, thanks to its emphasis on simple lines that bring out the enduring beauty of wood. 

To recreate these gorgeous design looks in your home, shop Born in Colour’s pieces here.

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  • Tiong Bahru

Rattan has made a comeback in recent years, and furniture shop Rooma is known for its stylish use of rattan and solid wood. A visit to the store in Tan Boon Liat Building displays an assortment of furniture – everything from beautifully-crafted cabinets to old-school benches. There’s also a custom-made furniture service available for those looking for a one-of-a-kind item.

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  • Tiong Bahru

There’s a certain charm about handcrafted vintage furniture, and at Emperor’s Attic, it’s a vast collection of antiques, vintage, and even reproduced Chinese furniture. It sources its items directly from Northern China, making sure to personally select and authenticate each piece. When it comes to antique hunting, the details matter too – the team will be sure to accurately gauge the item’s age, origin, and materials. While it does not customise furniture orders, the staff are more than willing to help you source a specific piece you have in mind. 

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At furniture store ipse ipsa ipsum, they take great pride in their furniture with each piece personally handcrafted using traditional techniques. The store name’s Latin for “himself, herself, and itself” – we’re guessing it spans all individuals. From hand etching to ironmongery, the furniture here is unlike any other in Singapore. You can be sure that your dining table or glass lamp is one-of-a-kind, since they use premium materials: black agate, rose quartz, and pink abalone shell.

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  • Antiques
  • Tiong Bahru

Head to level 11 for The Past Perfect Collection, which has antique furniture spanning the British, Dutch and Portuguese era in India. Owners Pieter and Marie-Hélène van Houten had previously lived in India, and with their interest in its colonial history, they’ve lovingly restored many antiques and colonial furniture. The pieces are sourced and handpicked from India – and many of them were once part of stately colonial mansions. 

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  • Tiong Bahru

While we all enjoy a few statement pieces scattered around our home, we still need long-lasting, quality furniture – which is right up Grey and Sanders’ alley. It’s one of the mainstay furniture shops behind the Scandi decor trend in Singapore, with premium designs in earthy and neutral tones. They also have a selection of wooden slabs, available for pre-ordering a unique dining table or study desk.

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  • Tiong Bahru

As a nod to the beauty of Indian craftsmanship, Artful House sources its vintage items directly from India. The shop is a treasure trove of colourful doors and carved window frames, with most pieces made from recycled wood. In some cases, it makes the most of old doorway panels and cleverly uses the materials for an entirely new piece. Those looking for a truly unique piece will delight in browsing through its variety of handcrafted furniture and upholstered accent chairs.

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  • Tiong Bahru
Journey East
Journey East

As one of the more popular furniture stores in Tan Boon Liat Building, Journey East has no shortage of customers – you’ll find that their shop’s often filled with keen visitors browsing through their mishmash of restored pieces and modern designs. Whether it’s a stylish wooden study desk or modern LED light bulbs, you’ll most likely find a unique statement piece to suit your new abode. 

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While Tan Boon Liat Building has no shortage of antique and vintage stores, Commune Life stands out for its collection of modern designer furniture. They pride themselves on creating lifestyle pieces that are equal parts tasteful and comfortable. Another plus: their designs constantly rely upon recycled materials, ethically-sourced wood, and coatings that have low lead content. Knowing that many of us live in small flats, they’ve made sure to design furniture that fits small living spaces – all at a fair price point. 

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  • Gifts and souvenirs
  • Tiong Bahru
Singapore Trading Post
Singapore Trading Post

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 sift through include large statement furniture like grandfather clocks and trinkets like an old pair of binoculars.

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Arete Culture
Arete Culture

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 one over at Tan Boon Liat Building 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. 

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  • Tiong Bahru

LivingwithArt has a wide range of premium art paintings and prints. You can find artworks of every style here, from vibrant paintings to black and white prints, if you prefer a monochromatic colour palette. The studio also has works from established Singaporean artists such as Amanda Lim, Andy Yong, and Pua Ann Chi.

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Art space Gallery1819 might be familiar for art lovers, especially since the gallery is a fine art wing of LivingwithArt, known for its accessible range of artworks. Gallery1819, however, serves a different purpose. The new gallery features Southeast Asian artworks and artists from across the region – perfect for collectors who live for the finer things in life. From Chinese Ink to Gouache paintings, Gallery1819 Singapore offers a versatile range of works.

Bespoke shops in Singapore

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Dover Street Market Singapore
Dover Street Market Singapore

DSM is no stranger to all the hypebeasts out there thanks to its range of luxe streetwear and rare drops. But did you know that the multi-label store also lets you customise covetable accessories and fresh kicks via its Nikelab selection? Step out in your one-of-a-kind number and show the world who’s boss.

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Stone for Gold
Stone for Gold

When it comes to leather goods, these folks know what’s up. The artisanal brand creates accessories such as wallets, pouches, bags and belts with your choice of handmade leather and exotic skins that are carefully sourced from around the world.

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Alcheme

The Singapore-based label prides itself in using quality natural ingredients to create skincare that’s uniquely tuned to your skin’s needs. Personalised products such as serums, emulsions and eye creams are packed in eco-friendly recycled material to reduce plastic waste.

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  • Fashion
  • Chinatown
Inventory
Inventory

If you’re looking for bespoke tailoring and made-to-last clothing for both men and women, stop by homegrown outfit Inventory. This made-to-measure label focuses on everyday outfits for all genders including suits, biker jackets, jeans and more. The brand also does fashion-forward modern collaborations with stylists and musicians.

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Want a scent to call your own? Sifr offers a unique customisation service where you can book a one and a half hour perfume personalisation session to select ingredients, mix and package your new scent in a gorgeous, uniquely shaped bottle. If you’re not satisfied, you can return for a tweak to get that signature aroma just right.

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  • Bukit Merah
WTP Furniture Company
WTP Furniture Company

Give your space some personality by customising your furniture. WTP offers modifiable sofas, beds, desks, outdoor accessories to spruce up a dull space. The team measures and designs each piece to your specific instruction and makes sure everything is done to the highest standard.

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  • Tanjong Pagar
Ed Et Al Shoemakers
Ed Et Al Shoemakers

What started out as a bespoke-only outfit, has now grown to offer more made-to-order services, ready-to-wear shoes, as well as shoe repairs and servicing. For a touch of exclusivity on your feet, book an appointment and the team can set you up with a handcrafted, quality leather pair that’ll make Cinderella’s glass slippers jealous.

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For a home makeover that’s perfectly in line with your taste, the Roger&Sons team can design new home pieces or give your existing furniture a facelift. The expert team works with all types of wood and other materials including metal, LED and mirrors, so they can even build you a hybrid piece if you want.
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The Jewel Box
The Jewel Box
Specialising in creating stunning bling, this private jewellery design house offers one-of-a-kind handmade creations decked out in everything from diamonds and pearls to precious gemstones. Don’t miss out on its range of breathtaking collections while you’re at it.
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  • Tailors
  • Raffles Place
The Prestigious
The Prestigious

As its name suggests, this bespoke tailor dresses the well-heeled, crazy rich Asians of our island. All commissioned suits are crafted in-house at the atelier – there’s no outsourcing and no secret factory here – it’s one of the only places in Singapore where the pieces don’t leave the premises except when it’s finally in the client’s hands (or on the body).

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  • Raffles Place
The Bespoke Club
The Bespoke Club

This local start-up caters to the wardrobes of both men and women. Furnished with warm wood interiors, plush leather couches and neat rows of ready-made accessories such as bow ties, pocket squares and cufflinks, the shop offers professional style consultations to keep you looking sharp.

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