Woody Antique House is an institution in Singapore, a treasure trove that’s been selling Asian antiques and artefacts for over twenty years. It also has a great range of modern outdoor furniture, perfect for our tropical lifestyle. We popped into the new Tan Boon Liat store to visit general manager CHRIS ANG to hear more about the business and the fresh space.
Tell us about your background – have you always worked with antiques?
My first career was in engineering after I graduated from university. When Woody Antique House began in 2001, I helped out part-time to get the business off the ground. In 2012, I left engineering to join my wife Wei Chin running the business full-time. I haven’t looked back and now we have three beautiful children, which has added to the adventure.
How did Woody Antique House begin?
It’s a family-run business started by my in-laws in 2001 in Dempsey Hill. They were introduced to the industry by a relative with contacts in furniture. Originally, they imported furniture from China and Thailand; mainly vintage Chinese pieces, reproductions and solid teak furniture.
As the business grew, we started to bring in high-quality synthetic wicker products, solid suar wood pieces from Indonesia, and antiques from India, Tibet, Mongolia and Myanmar. We still stock Asian antiques and artefacts, but have broadened our range with modern outdoor furniture and accessories to keep up with changing times and tastes.
Who makes up your team today?
The baton has now been passed down to the younger generation! The current management team at Woody Antique House consists of my brother-in-law, my wife and myself. So we’re still very much a small family business.
How do you source your Asian antiques, artefacts and modern outdoor furniture?
Over the years, we’ve travelled regularly to China, India, Thailand and Indonesia on sourcing trips. We’d visit the factories in person to ensure that the production process met our standards, and to touch and feel the furniture first-hand.
In the past few years (with restricted travel) we’ve had to rely on our furniture partners in each country to do the checking for us. As our relationships are well established, we trust them to source for the right style of furniture on our behalf. Our partners also work with us on the ground to customise furniture to our customer’s requirements. We’re excited to travel again now that life is easier!
Tell us about your range of Asian antiques and artefacts for interiors.
We stock a wide and diverse range of solid and recycled wood pieces from Asia; everything from dining tables, to cabinets, lamps, coffee tables, chairs, benches and bedroom furniture (to name just a few!).
Not only do we meticulously restore these Asian antiques and artefacts to their original beauty, we also specialise in creating made-to-measure pieces for our customers in elmwood and teak. We like to think outside the box, creating one-of-a-kind items like a bookcase made from an old door frame, or up-cycling a traditional piece in a fun bright colour! Truly special pieces to tell a story in your home.
To add that finishing touch to your home we also carry an eclectic collection of artefacts including mirrors, carvings, brass gongs and statues from around the region.
What are your most popular modern outdoor furniture brands?
One of our best sellers is the high-quality synthetic wicker range from Domus Ventures, imported from Germany. This range of comfy sofas, chairs and sun loungers comes in light, breezy tones and chic, contemporary designs. We now stock Osmen, a stylish modern outdoor furniture brand from Australia. The fabric and materials are perfect for our endless outdoor lifestyle. Also popular with our customers are our parasols for shade, and our outdoor sofa covers for when you’re away from home.
For those that favour a traditional look, we still stock fine Burmese teakwood daybeds, swings and dining sets. Good style never goes out of fashion! And because we receive monthly deliveries, there’s always something new arriving in the showroom. Follow our Facebook page to for regular updates.
What prompted the move to your new location?
Our lease at Dempsey expired and we weren’t able to secure a new long-term lease. Despite calling the area home for over 22 years, with a heavy heart we decided to make a new start at the Tan Boon Liat Building. We’re settling well into the new space. Our customers like it too as there are other furniture showrooms in the complex, which makes it easy for them to add some different décor to the mix!
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