Often considered the centre of a home, a dining table is a multifunctional piece of furniture that sees a lot of action. From eating and drinking, to gossiping or celebrating, its importance should not be forgotten. Here are some thoughts from our readers as to what they were looking for in their dining tables, and what they purchased.
Luciana and Sebastien Bruchet, French-Romanian
“Back home in Paris, we had a very modern metal dining table in an old Hausmannian apartment. We decided not to put it into the container coming here, as most of the apartments here have white marble floors and it wouldn’t have fit. When we found our place in Singapore, we knew that we’d been right; we needed a wooden table to warm up the atmosphere.
We wanted a piece that had a story, and the ideal table also had to match the masterpiece of our dining room, a late 19th-century buffet that we’d bought from an antique dealer in the north of France. It was at Journey East that we found this vintage 1960s Indonesian dining table. During our first week in Singapore we visited a lot of home décor shops, and the moment we entered Journey East we knew that we’d found our shop. We’ve returned several times to buy other pieces and we’ve always had perfect customer service.
Our table, sourced in Java, looks a lot like a Scandinavian-designed piece from the same period; it’s made of old teak wood and has been beautifully conserved. The restoration of the table was conducted by the Journey East team of master carpenters, using techniques such as hand-sanding, and was very well done. The black contour adds a contemporary touch.
We’re very happy with our table and we know that we’ll keep it for a long, long time, no matter what kind of house we live in in the future.”
Check out more gorgeous dining sets from Journey East:
Hear more about dining tables from our other readers
Michelle Lau, husband YT and daughter Cadence, Singaporean
“We were moving into a new place and wanted a rectangular dining table that would seat eight people comfortably, with a contemporary look.
I chanced upon Arete Culture online; I loved their style but was initially concerned that using a home stylist would cost a fortune. After our consultation, the clarity and transparency of their proposal really assured me that there were no hidden costs; I felt very comfortable about proceeding with them.
We engaged Arete Culture to style our living and dining areas, as well as a powder room. We purchased three bespoke furniture pieces from them – including our dining table. All three are made out of solid wood, and we love the whitewash finish. The stainless steel legs and hardware give all three pieces a classy and chic look.
I had initially ordered a customised dining table from an online furniture shop, however the seller ended up having issues with its suppliers. I panicked (as I had a move-in deadline) and sent Arete Culture’s owner Caroline a text message. She assured me she would be able to arrange for a table to be custom-made within three weeks. Sure enough, we got our table – one that we so love!
Caroline and her team were very professional throughout the process, and maintained an independent stand when it came to proposing options for furniture from other retailers. They were always responsive, and working with them was a thoroughly enjoyable and stress-free process.
We are extremely happy with our new furniture, which is timeless, elegant and picture-perfect, and yet practical and comfortable. It’s been four months since the makeover, and we’re still so glad that we decided to work with Arete Culture.”
9640 3829 | areteculture.com
Jeremy Bogan, Australian
“Having just moved to Singapore, I needed a brand new dining table as I didn’t have anything at the time; I was making a fresh start. I’ve always loved solid wood tables – there’s something beautiful about their naturalness. I was looking around online for companies that sold solid wood furniture and stumbled upon Danish Design.
I fell in love with the idea of a round table, and ended up getting the Skovby 32 extending one. I complemented that with two wooden chairs, and also three moulded plastic chairs for a nice contrast. I chose the round table mainly because it’s unobtrusive in the apartment, but can be extended when needed to accommodate larger groups.”
Andrew and Kellie Rooke, New Zealanders
“Having moved to Singapore from the UK, we needed to furnish our new home. Coming from a colder climate, we were keen to have a good indoor-outdoor flow and to be able to enjoy outdoor dining. We wanted a table that would work well with our other new furniture, and that would be big enough to entertain family and friends.
We had already purchased a table from another company, but they hadn’t been able to indicate a delivery time-frame. With family arriving, we needed a table urgently! After cancelling our original purchase, Kellie found Ethnicraft Online; the customer service was excellent, and the team saved the day. A short email exchange and call established what stock was available and the delivery details. Having had so much trouble with the other company, it was a relief to find a business that was so easy to deal with.
We bought a large teak table in a natural finish and a bench to match. The wood matched our other pieces, and the long, narrow, eight-seater table was a good fit for our balcony; we also really liked the way the table-top “floats” above the legs, giving it a contemporary style. Ethnicraft Online sent us a great care kit, with tips on how to care for the product, and the offer to come and remove any serious stains.
The table has already been put to good use, and we find ourselves sitting at it most nights, whether or not we’re entertaining others. Both the product and the service from order through to delivery were spot on.”
Michael and Britt Garrison, daughter Arabella, son Ashton, and golden retriever Scuba, American
“Our table from the US was not right for the style of our new house in Singapore; it was also not big enough to suit the space. We wanted something that we could use as a family table, and also for entertaining. We like to have dinner parties, so we wanted a 12-seater. The architecture of our house is traditional Asian, and we wanted our furniture to fit in with that feel.
A friend of mine was using Felicia from Gallery 278, and recommended her. Felicia was wonderful; she walked into our house, realised she had been there before and had some amazing design ideas. She recommended having a table made, and she also suggested the marble top. We went back and forth on the size and shape, and realised it would be best be to have two tables: a round, four-person table and an eight-person rectangle table. Felicia explained that the round table could be split into two half moons and attached to the ends of the rectangular table to create a 12-seater.
It’s wonderful; we have an amazing family table that also works brilliantly for dinner parties. We are very happy with the tables; they work well for our family and they fit right in with the style of our home.”
Julie and Julien Nicollin, French
“We had recently relocated to Singapore, so we needed to furnish our new home. I wanted a smooth, practical, medium-sized, rectangular wooden six-seater dining table. We’d heard positive reviews about Originals, and we were immediately drawn to it.
The sales people were attentive and friendly, and we ended up purchasing a dining table and a side table. I found the combination of wood and metal very interesting. I didn’t want a big table; I wanted something intimate and simple, which is exactly what I got. It was also impressive how quickly Originals managed to deliver the piece.
I will definitely be returning when I need another piece of furniture. I would recommend this store to anyone who has recently relocated, because of the exceptional service we received. We’re so happy in our sweet new home!”
David, Mel, Jake, Sophie and Sam, British-Australian
“Mel always wanted a dining table that was a real talking point, and big enough for us to get our whole family around – not just while the kids are growing up, but also for special family events like Christmas and birthdays. Plus, we love to entertain with friends – and, frankly, the more the merrier.
We saw a similar table in a house while looking for accommodation when we first moved to Singapore, and our friend suggested that we try looking in Dempsey. It was clear to see, from a quick online search, that Woody Antique House receives very favourable feedback. Our shopping experience there and its postpurchase customer service have been really excellent. The team at Woody’s was very transparent about delivery times and provided a very good customer experience on delivery, helping move the furniture into the right place and putting everything together really efficiently.
The largest piece we bought was the dining table and chairs. The table is one solid piece of wood, beautifully finished; it’s also unique, as no two pieces of wood can ever be the same. We chose it not only because it’s stunning, but because it’s large enough to fit up to 12 people around it for a meal. We’re a large family, and this table can grow with us and accommodate all of us as our kids grow up, and we’ll still have room for friends and grandparents. We also bought some other pieces from Woody’s, including an antique Mongolian sideboard which is a real feature in our house.
We love the table and we’re looking forward to many happy times with family and friends, solving the world’s problems over a nice glass of wine and great food.”
Amelia, Malaysian, and Li Han Neo, Singaporean
“Our home had become dated over time, and, since I’m trained in interior design, my family decided to let me take on the task of designing a new look. This required Amelia and I to purchase a new dining table to match the modern-contemporary theme I had chosen. We stumbled upon Rimba Gallery when we were in the vicinity for business. The staff are extremely accommodating and supportive; they dealt with all our requests and provided us with excellent service. We selected a 10-seater suar wood table with an interestingly organic shape and natural colours. It adds a touch of nature to our space, which couldn’t be replicated by commercially produced materials. To finish the look, we also purchased hanging copper lamps as accent pieces. Overall, we are extremely content with our new table. The quality is of the highest standard and the price was also reasonable. We wouldn’t hesitate to source furniture from Rimba Gallery in the future, whether for our home or for other projects.
This article first appeared in the January 2017 edition of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue!
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