Vintage furniture is back in style with pieces from the art deco and mid-century modern eras cropping up in more and more homes across Singapore.
4 November, 2022
In the context of interior design, ‘vintage’ refers to something which was made in the past with recognisable influences from the popular design of that era. However, there are many broader interpretations of the word – “vintage” literally means “of age.” Generally speaking, anything 40 years or older could be considered vintage.
There are a few differences in terminology that might be worth noting. Vintage pieces are typically 40-100 years old. Anything older than that timeframe would be considered antique. By contrast, “retro” items are items which date back as far as the 1950s. Retro is the term for newer vintage items such as 70s and 80s era fashion and furniture. “Retro” refers to more of a throwback than a renaissance (like vintage) as the style has not completely died out.
Vintage furniture often sees an ebb and flow in popularity. There will usually be a resurgence of vintage design (and particularly fashion) every few decades if not sooner. Currently, Singapore is deep in the middle of a resurgence of vintage furniture. Vintage dressing tables, couches, tables and chairs are all in high demand as people come to appreciate the craftmanship of the 20th century. Two styles of particular note are the Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern movements.
So, where should you go to get your hands on high-quality vintage furniture in Singapore? Luckily, there are a whole host of options. Here is an overview of the best places to buy vintage furniture from across the world.
The Godown is a boutique furniture store with affordable vintage pieces, often collected second hand. Their warehouse-like space is filled with unique furniture and home accessories that have been refurbished with new life.
“Godowns” were spaces of historical significance, serving as warehouse spaces during the Industrial Revolution of the 19th-20th centuries. The GoDown vintage furniture store stays in touch with its roots by committing to a warehouse like space. You can browse their catalogue online or visit the store in person at 100 D Pasir Panjang Road #02-#08 in The Meissa, Singapore.
The China Collection is a furniture store dedicated to showcasing their high quality vintage Chinese design. They stock everything from ornaments to cabinets and even musical instruments such as traditional Chinese rain drums. For a unique and elegant design, browse the China Collection catalogue today.
Parsadina fine living is a store specialising in luxury teakwood furniture. They design all of their pieces in-house and have them hand-crafted in Indonesia. They have a vintage flair that would look right at home in a mid-century modern inspired home, and if you have a particular vintage design in mind you could also commission a custom-made piece.
Hock Siong & Co is a secondhand furniture retailer stocking gorgeous refurbished pieces from all sorts of eras and cultures. Originally, Hock Siong & Co began as Karung Guni (rag and bone) traders before finding their footing in the second-hand furniture market during the late 70s.
They specialise in providing high quality vintage pieces at affordable prices. Their store has an eccentric vibe with many hidden treasures, making it the perfect place to go bargain hunting. You can find them at 153 Kampong Ampat, or browse their online store.
Your Furniture is one of Singapore’s most affordable custom-made furniture stores. This is because much of their collection is made from recycled materials, including old vintage furniture. Your Furniture provides a variety of furniture including daybeds, dining tables, coffee tables and balcony desks.
Noden is a furniture store with a special interest in vintage Scandinavian furniture – particularly, vintage Danish furniture. They stock designer furniture from iconic Danish designers such as Erling Torvits, Carlo Jensen, Hans Wagner and Arne Jacobsen. You can browse their online catalogue here – but be quick with your decision-making because they tend to sell out fast.
Buying second hand is always a great opportunity to find some rare vintage pieces for a fraction of the retail price. This is especially true if you have a knack for DIY projects – repainting and refurbishing a vintage coffee table or dresser can make it look like a designer antique almost instantly. Keep an eye out for bargains (and remember to protect yourself against fake listings!)
Roger and Sons are team of bespoke furniture designers and manufacturers who place a particular emphasis on sustainability. Their Local Tree Project was an environmental initiative which saw trees felled for urban development reclaimed into artisanal furniture. They specialize in woodworking projects catered to individual needs, so you could approach them with just about any vintage style in mind and they are sure to come up with something custom made and breathtaking.
Chisel and log provide a huge range of vintage Indian furniture primarily sourced from local craftsmen. They specialize in handcrafted furniture upcycled from traditional Indian materials such as doors and windows. For distinguished, traditional décor with an elegant twist, consider visiting Chisel and Log.
Singapore trading post is a bespoke furniture store with a focus on unique, stylish pieces in the face of shopping mall monoculture. Every piece supplied by Singapore Trading Post has been sourced directly from manufactures across the country. Browse their impressive collection here or read about the 10 best custom furniture makers in Singapore.
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