Let the spirit of National Day sink in as Singapore’s birthday is just around the corner. There’s no better way to fly the Singapore flag proud than by shopping at homegrown furniture and decor stores. If you are currently in the mode of renovating a home or sprucing up a space, look no further than these homegrown brands. Supporting these local businesses is not only a good cause, but it also gives your home a Singaporean flavour. Here’s a pick of what we think are some of the best homegrown stores that represent a Singapore identity.
Established in 1995, this homegrown furniture store is synonymous with furniture and decor pieces offering a vintage flavor. Think sofas, armchairs, side tables, or coffee tables, desks and shelves sporting pencil-thin legs dating from the 1920s to 1960s. Interestingly, some of these vintage pieces have been restored to suit modern preferences for interior settings. But it was during the 2000s when Journey East’s fame catapulted through the distribution of Dutch-based furniture brand dBodhi in Singapore. The DNA of the brand is slanted towards the Asian lifestyle, which attracts a sizeable Singapore following even today. These furniture pieces look modern but emanate an Asian aesthetic and are made from many natural materials such as teak and rattan. Currently, Journey East houses more than 10 design brands from far-flung destinations such as Denmark (House Doctor and Raawii) and Italy (Qeeboo and Seletti).
For lighting, do check out the renowned British brand Tala where portable lamps and lighting solutions offer sleek designs. There is also Stoned, a unique marble-focused brand from Amsterdam offering decor and dining accessories made from marble sourced from the Aegean coast. You can also discover some of the beautiful pieces of chairs and tables from Vietnam-based furniture brand District Eight. So make a trip to explore these products at their sprawling 8,600 sq ft showroom where curated pieces are tastefully decorated into zones.
From its humble beginnings in 2013, Scene Shang has come a long way as a homeware and furniture store. The brand has snagged several awards along the way such as the “Xuan” table (Singapore Creator Awards 2019 Lifestyle Product Silver Winner), “Jia Ju” rocking stool (ASEAN Furniture Design Award, Bangkok, 2018) and “Shang system” (Special Commendation at President’s Design Award 2014, Singapore and Golden ‘A’ Design Award in Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design, Italy, 2016). Renowned for their products projecting a traditional Asian aesthetic tempered with Western contemporary touches, it’s no wonder that their “The Banker” desk lamp, “Xuan” table and “The Maverick” Cane Chair are some of the brand’s sellers. Founder Jessica Wong emphasizes, “We design homeware and furniture with a vision to develop the brand to encompass an entire lifestyle experience, bringing the underlying value of embracing our roots in good living.”
Scene Shang works with traditional artisans across Asia to reimagine products of yesteryear for the urban home. Every piece has a story to tell. The store operates on a hybrid retail model with online and offline channels such as a 500-sq-ft city store at Wisma Atria (OCBC Wisma Atria 435 Orchard Road, Level 4, Singapore 238877) or the By-Appointment-Only 1,950-sq -ft co-living shophouse concept at SHANG House by Figment located at 10 Pegu Road. Check out all their goods at the portal if you don’t have time to trot to their physical stores.
Unique ideas can be birthed during the pandemic and it was how Gingerlily Art came about during the circuit breaker period in Singapore. The founders – Janet Ang and Simon Privett – felt that the Singapore-themed souvenirs in the market were cheaply made and found plentiful at Chinatown stores. Finding good quality Singapore souvenirs was a struggle when they wanted to bring something home for their family and friends. Therefore, they put her ideas to work to create a line of lifestyle products that would impress them.
These unique products such as tote bags, tiffin carriers, trays, plates, coasters, and more, bear the artistic hand-drawn illustrations of iconic buildings such as our Katong shophouses and Raffles Hotel. The main artist is Simon Privett, which is Janet’s father-in-law. They work with a local artist on commissioned pieces and another Ukrainian artist to add to their collection. Janet Ang Privett explains, “We pride ourselves in product innovation and having the ability to connect the needs of customers and produce products that capture the essence of what Singapore represents.” Gingerlily Art retails at Discover Shops by Lagardere Travel Retail at Terminals 1 to 4 at Changi Airport, Silkwalk, Palm Press, Iggy’s Craft, Singapore Brisa, Ginko Collection, Independent Market, Suterwalas or their online portal.