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Antique furniture: Mixing the old and the new

Out with the new and in with the old! Find out where our readers purchased their antiques, which have since become much-loved features of their homes.

Elisabeth Lebrecht, Austrian

“We were looking for some furniture with Asian influence, something with a little flair and interest. This is our third year in Singapore and when we came here from Europe we left the Chinese furniture we had back home in storage. Sitting in our nice big apartment here, we felt that it made sense to add some pieces with Asian heritage.

homes, antiques, home decor
“You’re left to browse on your own and there is help on hand when you need it”

I found Just Anthony on the internet, and our first visit about three months ago saw us buy a Fujian- style console. We’ve been back three times since that first visit, purchasing a bookshelf, a sideboard and a Tibetan coffee table, the latter of which was our wildest purchase as it’s a little more out of the ordinary in terms of style. Our home is a mix of contemporary and traditional, with a few classic Chinese pieces that blend well in a modern setting.

What we really like about Just Anthony is that the place is so big. You’re left to browse on your own and there is help on hand when you need it. We don’t have a set style and we buy things if we like them. However, it really helps to keep the room in mind so that when you want to add new pieces, you will know what works.”

Just Anthony
379 Upper Paya Lebar Road
6283 4722 | justanthony.com

Trang Phan, German
“My husband Knut enjoys some personal space to relax in after work, so I transformed our spare room into a place where he can enjoy his whisky and cigars. I chose mainly modern furniture in dark leather, glass and chrome but was looking for some antique storage to complement the look.

homes, antiques, decor
“The service is excellent and we’ve never had any issues with any of our purchases”

My husband has been living in Singapore for 16 years, and so we have known Woody Antique House for a long time. The owner and staff are friendly, attentive and helpful, they give good recommendations and they don’t push us to buy a particular piece. We bought a Chinese cabinet probably dating back to the late 19th century during the Qing Dynasty. It’s made of a mix of elm and fir wood from Linhai in Zhejiang Province in China, and is a perfect addition to our home.

We’re regular customers at Woody Antique House, not only for antiques but also for custom-made and outdoor furniture. The service is excellent and we’ve never had any issues with any of our purchases. It takes time to perfect the look of your home, so don’t rush; find what you like and gain inspiration from your travels, or even browsing through a magazine.”

Woody Antique House
Blk 13 and 15 Dempsey Road, #01-05 and 01-11/12
6471 1770 | woodyantique.com

Mike Wigent and Amanda Blair, American
“We had spent the past four years searching for furniture with character in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and elsewhere in Asia. We started out looking for large pieces like a dining room buffet, entertainment console, display shelves and bedroom furniture. Despite that, we didn’t buy very much as we have three young children, so we had to be careful to avoid purchasing non-child-friendly pieces. Since the children are now older, we have been purchasing small art and antique pieces, such as our silver bowl from Chiang Mai and antique water puppets from Vietnam; we know what styles we like and the pieces that will go well with what we already have.

homes, antiques, home decor
“We’re very happy with the table and the service we received from Chantal at Fairprice Antiques”

We had read about the Tan Boon Liat Building and eventually found FairPrice Antique. Here we purchased our first piece of furniture since moving to Singapore, an antique Chinese console table. It has lovely carvings on the drawers and can complement both antique and modern furniture.

We’re very happy with the table and the service we received from Chantal at FairPrice Antique. She was very friendly and accommodating and we’ll definitely return to purchase more pieces.”

FairPrice Antique
#01-10 Tan Boon Liat Building, 315 Outram Road
6270 2544 | fairpriceantique.com

Divya Patel, Indian
“During a trip to Sri Lanka in 2014, I fell in love with colonial chests and so started to look around for one for myself. I didn’t want to ship one from India so I narrowed my search to Singapore. I wanted an original piece in good condition and was happy to wait for the right one.

homes, decor, antiques
“They treated us like guests rather than customers”

I’d known about The Past Perfect Collection for some time and during my first visit I was very impressed with Marie-Hélène and her husband’s knowledge of their products and passion to collect and restore pieces. They treated us like guests rather than customers, as they discussed and shared information about the different pieces in the store.

I bought a colonial chest because I loved the ornate brasswork and the fact that it had the original key; I also bought chairs to place on either side. My home is a mix of modern and traditional pieces from India as well as from other places that we’ve travelled to.

We love the overall look, quality and finish of the pieces and would definitely go back for more. I’d love to get an antique desk as well as some collectibles to place around the house. My advice would be to take your time when buying antiques as they are investments; be sure to examine the condition and think about maintenance, and do browse online for more selections and ideas.”

The Past Perfect Collection
#02-01D Sime Darby Centre, 896 Dunearn Road
6737 3078 | pastperfect.sg

Sandra Johnson, Canadian, with Bart, British
“We recently moved and, although our new place is larger than our previous place, some of our old furniture didn’t fit well. We decided to get a large cabinet for our living area to display items we’ve collected over the years.

antique cabinet, homes, decor
“Whether I’m interested in a large or small piece, Doug and his team are always helpful, patient and professional”

I was introduced to China Collection a few years ago through the Canadian Association of Singapore when they sponsored a prize for our annual charity ball; I’ve been a loyal customer ever since. Whether I’m interested in a large or small piece, Doug and his team are always helpful, patient and professional.

After considering a smaller reproduction piece made of recycled elm, we decided to buy a large antique display cabinet. The cabinet fits well in its allocated space and complements our other furniture. We’re pleased with our purchase and we are still considering the smaller, lighter wood cabinet for another room in our home.”

China Collection
20 Malcolm Road
6235 1905 | chinacollection.com.sg

This article first appeared in the September 2016 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase a copy or subscribe so you never miss an issue!

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