Disclaimer: The author is a self-professed furniture geek who has a marked interest in furniture, antiques and interior design. This list is purely based on feedback from online forums, surveys and his own opinion.
Stylish furniture shops are perhaps one of Singapore’s best-kept secrets. Honestly, for such a small island, you would think that we would only have a select few outlets for furniture carrying more sophistication than the ubiquitous, humdrum Ikea fittings. That could not be further than the truth. Littered around Singapore are furniture retailers that stock pieces from eminent, upscale designers that ooze style and vogue and are just waiting for you to liven up your home with their creations.
In no particular order, here are 10 of my top 50 best outlets for Stylish Furniture in Singapore.
Readers jaded by the monotony of traditional retail furniture shops would be delighted at discovering Noden - A furniture shop that boasts Scandinavian design pieces oozing with personality and history. Established in 2013 by Tawan & Marko, Noden prides itself on stocking original one-off vintage pieces, which are available in-store only. The selection of their online store isn’t too shabby as well – boasting a wide variety of tables, shelves, textiles, aromatics and the like.
What most furniture enthusiasts will find most enthralling about Noden would be their Danish Modern classics crafted & designed during the 1950s and 1970s. The store has a feel more of a museum than a traditional furniture shop – the touch of a collector’s deft hand is palpable as one browses through their gallery. Yes, this store is undoubtedly pricier than most others on this list; a premium that mostly goes to Noden’s utmost quality and authenticity.
39 Ubi Road 1, #04-03
+65 6741 0190
Wednesday - Friday 11am - 5pm
Saturday & Sunday 11am - 6pm
*Closed on Monday and Tuesday
The very picture of chic, minimalist Asian home living, Originals Singapore boasts high-quality traditional home fittings with a tasteful ethnic twist. Many of their collections are handpicked and sourced from villages from places as exotic as India, Thailand, Pakistan and the like.
Furniture enthusiasts will marvel at the authentic Asian vibes captured in the selection, boasting handsome pieces of Indian architecture such as enormous brass-studded doors, said to help prevent elephants from ramming into them during an attack on the village. During my visit there, I also learnt about their Haveli style doorways, which bore studs to deter thieves, and boasted complex carvings to depict the economic wealth of the resident. The quaint history of each piece, animatedly retold by an enthusiastic shop clerk, will undoubtedly bring a smile onto most patrons’ faces.
Most of their linen and fabrics selection is tastefully muted. Expect them to come mostly in shades of pastel colours; robin’s egg blue, orchid pink, slate grey and the like. Tasteful and subtle, their bed throws and cushions are great for setting up a living room with a good backdrop.
Originals Singapore also boasts a good standing with the CSR watchdogs; using mainly teak salvaged from Javanese and Indian structures or houses that have been decommissioned or abandoned. They take an open and progressive view towards furniture selection; often carrying catalogues from lesser known up-and-coming brands with slightly more daring and non-traditional takes to home décor.
896 Dunearn Road,
Sime Darby Centre #02-03,
Soul and Tables
The name says it all. With the tagline, “more than just furniture”, the purveyors at Soul and Tables claim that furniture buying and home decorating isn’t just a business to them, it’s an experience. Unable to resist, I made a trip down to their Outram showroom to find out for myself.
What caught my eye immediately was their Notre Monde brand. Sophisticated and daring, they boast a collection of antique trays, mirrors and accent furniture that is irrepressibly dripping with culture. Everything is finely detailed and hand crafted, with highly decorative articles that would undoubtedly be a jewel piece in anyone’s kitchen or living room. Patrons looking for ornamental pieces with an exotic tribal or oriental twist to them will find it tough to keep their hands off that outstanding selection.
Another feature of this showroom that separates them from the rest of the pack is their living room selection, particularly the oak pieces. Geometrically precise artistry is the hallmark of all their wood displays, with their shelves and TV cupboards providing an ethnically rich yet minimalist touch. While the catalogue of their smaller brands is considerably more diminutive, you might also find a piece that piques your fancy in their featured linen brand Annette, their quirky armchair and Sofa brand Fermob, or woven rug brand Grey House.
Tan Boon Liat Building, #02-01 & #02-03
315 Outram Road
Journey East is perhaps the most quintessentially Singaporean of all the stores on this list. Their proud nationalistic approach towards furniture is a breath of fresh air in a country that has always been criticized for having a relatively weak cultural identity. Indeed, many Singaporeans often guilty of being quick to abandon our own symbols and language for more established first world fashions.
Journey East’s style evokes the fashion of a 90’s Tiong Bahru or Ann Siang Hill, taking inspiration from the lowrise Singaporean shophouses buzzing with our unique mishmash of ethnicities and colours. Being Singaporean is a matter of pride here – in 2015 they released their line of items from award-winning design studio Lanzavecchia + Wai with the tongue-in-cheek title PLAYplay. Lighthearted and brimming with sentimentality, the Asian-inspired lineup makes great use of oak and Indonesian Mahogany to create a fresh selection of sofas, shelves, consoles and desks that are easy winners in any living room setting. You’ll easily identify a colonial touch for many of their bedroom articles, like this desk with 5 drawers from their “Retro Furniture in Singapore” line.
National day may still be a few months away, but don’t let that stop you from rediscovering your roots with a healthy dose of patriotism by checking this store out.
The Past Perfect Collection
History buffs will find it hard to not act like children in a candy shop once they step through the doors of The Past Perfect Collection’s Outram outlet. The Past Perfect Collection specializes in antique furniture from India’s colonial past. With original pieces from the British, Dutch and Portuguese eras in India, every piece of furniture has been carefully and lovingly restored to a pristine condition ready for you to find it a home within your study or living room.
Walking through The Past Perfect Collection was like walking through a living library; every piece of furniture silently whispering the stories of a forgotten time and place. Established in 2007 by owners Pieter and Marie-Hélène van Houten after spending an extended time living in India, sparking a love for collecting antique pieces that charted the era in which India was born. Expect furniture with exotic materials like inlaid bone, ivory and dark woods. Rich and intricate carvings are seen on many of the restored colonial pieces with strong religious and floral undertones
Their enthusiasm for timeless antiques is not kept secret as the store has a well-maintained blog at http://pastperfect.sg/blog/ where their writers publish editorials about colonial furniture, antique restoration and explanations of the esoteric nature of their pieces. Truly, their store is a unique and one-of-a-kind celebration of our colonial history and is a must-see for any furniture enthusiast.
315 Outram Road, #03-02,
Tan Boon Liat Building
Like it’s name suggests, Space Furniture is Singapore’s best flag bearer for the cutting edge of modern furniture. Any denizen of our city space will undoubtedly recognize the unmissable SPACE sign along Bencoolen Street.
Driven by a love for technology and aesthetic sensibility, expect to find a variety of styles in the Space Furniture displays. From classic to contemporary, all styles are accounted for in the sprawling SPACE show house. Boasting furniture from more than 20 different modern brands with a variety of specialities, Space Furniture is the perfect starting point for people looking for the younger generation’s take on style and luxury.
For my money, the centerpiece of Space Furniture’s displays are their Italian and Spanish contemporaries. The Cassina collection was particularly enchanting with their industrial, hardboiled mix of traditional craftsmanship techniques paired with modern technicalities and sensibilities. I also particularly found the Poliform collection to be delightful; fueling an artisanal whole-home furnishing philosophy with a keen sense of design and workmanship.
77 Bencoolen St,
Simple, unpretentious and straightforward, Xtra is a premium design store in Singapore that was founded in 1989. They originally began with a distinctly indie vibe, opting for alternative eclectic designs while using a pre-war conservation shophouse as their storefront. Now, they brand themselves as a mainstream store that prioritizes design over all else, with products for both homes and commercial establishments.
Primarily showcasing European designers, expect to be impressed by the office chic of brands like Herman Miller, the pop-rock vintage of Diesel with Foscarini, the excellent minimalistic bedroom sets of Flou and the charming camp style of Gervasoni and many more. Indeed, unlike many of the other stores on this list, Xtra doesn’t have one particular theme running through all its furniture. Instead, it’s a wonderful anthology of designers who love and pride themselves on design and have poured their passion for furniture into their works. Just take a step in and you’ll soon find out what I mean.
Taylor B Fine Design Singapore
The first thing that jumps out about Taylor B Fine Design is their incredibly large and diverse inventory; all shapes, sizes, styles and perhaps most importantly, they have something for almost every budget range. Their sprawling showroom and warehouse at 43 Keppel Road has everything from Chinese and Indian antiques, tribal hand-carved wooden tabletops to designer brand furniture, while brands like A.R.T, Caracole and Schanadig will ring a bell with the furniture fashion conscious.
The more than 140,000 sq ft showroom isn’t just a holding station for their already impressive repository. The great thing about being a Taylor B patron is their constantly evolving lineups, as they apparently receive up to FIVE containers of new merchandise weekly. That’s a lot of furniture. They’ve established themselves as one of the most established local furniture sourcing bigwigs and for good reason.
If you check their website out, Taylor B Fine Design refers to their entire selection as “masterpieces”. Bold words, for sure, and I find little reason to doubt or to refute their claims. A must-see for any furniture enthusiast.
43 Keppel Road, Level 3 & 4,
Danish Design Co.
Another Scandinavian representative that made the list is the Danish Design Company. Visiting their warehouse for the first time, tucked away in a secluded area of Pasir Panjang, was a rare treat; an impressive amount of effort was put into curating their selection for the young design-savvy Singaporean buyer. Their collection on display, the New Modern Collection, featured fresh new Scandinavian brands like Bolia, Umage and Normann Copenhagen. The designs featured possess the indelible identity of the iconic Nordic designers that way predated them, but with a definite modern twist. Described as quirky, practical and relatable, the furniture of the Danish Design company will suit the needs of any modern homeowner.
100E Pasir Panjang Road,
#06-03 Singapore 118521
A brand that requires no introduction, Castlery retains its crown as the premier everyman’s home furnishing solutions provider. Purposefully differentiating themselves from every other high-end retailer, Castlery’s unique methodology of cutting out traditional retail markups make them the most affordable choice on this list by far with furniture quality that still admirably holds its own against any of the other boutique choices on this list.
You’d expect an oligarch of the furniture industry like Castlery to have a mass-market, impersonal approach to addressing the needs of its clients. In fact, the opposite is true. Castlery offers a 1-on-1 appointment only consultation style walkthrough of their shophouse with a staff member so that all your questions can be answered and personal preferences accounted for. Ironically, it’s almost as though the fact that they’re such a huge brand allows them to take a more personal and bespoke approach towards their business. Simply put, Castlery is my personal recommendation for Singaporean shoppers with a modest budget to get durable products with quality materials and solid craftsmanship.
200 Turf Club Road,
#03-07 The Grandstand Singapore 287994