There’s plenty of reasons to be proud of Singapore’s furniture design scene. Here are six of the brands and designers that you should already know.
8 August 2017
Text by Redzman Rahmat
When it comes to the creative industry, Singaporeans sometimes don’t get the props they deserve. Look at the realm of furniture design for example. Many of us aren’t even aware that there are plenty of local designers, brands and stores that have made the news, won awards and helped to put our name on the map. There are many Singaporean success stories and here, we pick six that make us proud to be Singaporeans.
This homegrown furniture brand has come a long way, making its name as one of Singapore’s most successful furniture brands both locally and on a global level. Commune started out as a family-run manufacturing business and has since blossomed into a formidable brand with a presence in Malaysia, China and Australia.
Commune’s aesthetic is all about wooden furniture with clean lines and subtle details. The company has in-house designers that come up with original works, influenced by a gamut of styles ranging from the Industrial to mid-century. Check out the Dualtone collection of furniture pictured above. The pieces marry two types of wood – oak and walnut – and are further accentuated by pale brass details.
As we become more aware of the huge variety of furniture shops out there, there’s a growing demand for customised furniture that can help our homes stand out from the pack. Meet Blafink, a relatively young furniture store that specialises in customising furniture for that perfect fit. Although bespoke furniture isn’t a new concept here in Singapore, not many pull it off with such hip panache.
If you follow the same logic of tailoring clothes to better fit your body, then you’ll come to understand the appeal of Blafink’s expert customisation option. There’s a sturdy portfolio of sofas and beds to choose from, as well as a growing collection of tables and chairs. Pick a design you like then lengthen or shorten it based on the dimensions of your home. Go all out with your choice of upholstery, including the Kirkby Design fabrics pictured above.
As one of Singapore’s most prominent names in design, Nathan Yong has done the country proud by bringing numerous awards to the table. His multidisciplinary design practice has produced numerous award-winning products, including collaborations with brands like Grafunkt, Ligne Roset and Royal Selangor. The established designer has also been making waves on a global level, with his name featured in international magazines and furniture shows.
Nathan’s latest release is the Ipse Ipsa Ipsum collection of sofas, tables and modular accessories. It was launched earlier this year to great fanfare, proving that this is a promising design studio that will continue to push Singapore design to greater heights.
One of the more prominent homegrown success stories started out as a website that sought to bring well-designed furniture to homeowners looking for a good deal. Since then, Castlery has grown exponentially into one of the go-to retail stores homeowners will check out when furnishing their place. With a brick-and-mortar store and plans underway to expand regionally, this local startup has done lots to put Singapore on the map.
Recently, Castlery revealed a furniture collection borne out of collaborations with furniture designers from around the world. This helps to spread the word about Singapore’s blossoming design scene, and has resulted in several unique and exclusive furniture designs, including the Bambu collection pictured above and the Lily collection (featured image).
Another successful startup is Hipvan, an e-tailer that has joined the global clicks-to-bricks revolution with a physical showroom at the Cathay. What started out as a website that attempted to overcome “over-priced designer furniture” and “low quality designs” has now become a formidable presence in both the digital and physical landscapes. You’ll find affordable furniture sets and home accessories, all featuring on-trend designs but at competitively fair prices.
In recent months, Hipvan has started offering its own in-house designs. This includes a mattress brand that uses the same components and factories that produce hotel-standard mattresses.
Since it first opened its doors in 1988, Scanteak has been bringing quality teak furniture to discerning Singaporeans. The familiar name has expanded internationally, collaborated with prominent designers, and continues to be a hallmark of Singapore’s furniture design landscape. They now have more than a hundred showrooms around the world (ten in Singapore alone) with plans to grow even further.
While the Scandinavian design trend has gained in popularity in recent years, Scanteak has long been an advocate for the look. We’re excited to see how else the company will continue to grow and bring pride to every Singaporean.
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