By: Ken Tan
Picking out a dining table and matching chairs isn’t a simple decision. Remember, you’ll be eating most of your meals in these surrounds so it’s vital you enjoy the space. We asked some of our readers how they picked out their dream dining set-ups.
Rachel Kim, Korean
I’m director of a restaurant called Chateau Privileged Club; we had moved premises and wanted some statement furniture in line with our design approach, so as to create an outstanding ambience and dining experience for our customers.
We got to know EDD+ through word of mouth, and were excited to see that their collection was versatile and would complement our creative design concept. The entire shopping experience with EDD+ was enjoyable, eye-opening and stress-free. They were sincere and creative in providing ideas and advice, as well as professional in managing the entire order and delivery; in all, a very trustworthy seller.
We had wanted to buy just dining and coffee tables, but the collection was so attractive we couldn’t resist. We ended up purchasing the tables along with dining chairs, consoles, stools, sofa, mirrors, display stands, sculptures, wall panels and rugs! The furniture is both functional and aesthetically beautiful – many customers compliment us on it. The statement pieces have natural textures and forms that make them unique, which is in line with our design concept and business model.
We’re all extremely happy with the new furniture, and we would definitely recommend EDD+ to our friends and associates. Their products are adaptable to any concept, and you will always look forward to finding new ideas there. The staff at EDD+ are also a great bunch to work with.
Michelle and Jolie Jones, British
When we discovered we were expecting a daughter, it was important to us to establish a new dining routine, as opposed to eating out or having casual dinners in front of the television. My husband and I are not foodies, so for us our dining table is less about what’s on the plate itself and more about the family dining experience, and our little family reconnecting at the end of the day over food.
We’ve been going to Taylor B on Sundays since we moved in together, regardless of whether we’re looking for furniture or not! When I met my husband I was very much into darker teak, but he loves Balinese influences, including whitewashed styles and reclaimed and driftwood pieces, which Taylor B has a lot of. The store is huge and has a regular fresh influx of products, so we see something different every time.
We chose a simple, almost rustic whitewashed French-style table with matching chairs. I wanted upholstered chairs to add texture and for comfort. We’ve recently moved into a black-and white colonial home, and we like the contrast of the contemporary, natural tone of the table against the much older black-and-white features of the house itself. We chose a table that was elegant and large enough to host our friends, but also fitting for a young family. That was important; this table is definitely durable, and we needed to be able to have our daughter join us at the table without us worrying about spills!
We’re more than happy with our dining table, and we have already made a few trips back to Taylor B, as well as its lighting outlet at Haw Par Villa. Our house has big rooms, and we have bought quite a few lamps to give a softer, more intimate energy to the space.
Nurulhuda Md Latif and Md Inshari Ibrahim, Singaporean
Our previous dining set was too small for our large family; it also had a glass top that smudged and legs that squeaked. We were looking for a larger table with a wooden surface, one that could easily be cleaned, and with low-backed chairs.
We live in Geylang, and so were aware of Star Living’s outlet in Paya Lebar, where we had been several times before to scout for household furniture. We chose the Manchester dining set by Mondi. It has a walnut table-top and solid rubberwood legs in a black stain that completes the whole look and concept in our house. We also chose the chairs in a red wine hue with cushioned seats.
It’s now been a year since we got this dining set. We love it, and our guests who have dined at it have given us positive feedback too. Some dining chairs can be uncomfortable, but not these ones. In fact, we spend more time at the dining table now than before, which goes to show how comfortable it is.
Choosing the right dining set was an important decision for my family; it had to be easy to maintain and practical. Star Living offers quality furniture with a modern look and at affordable prices. We’ve recommended them to our relatives and friends, and they too have been extremely happy with their purchases.
Angel Salti, Singaporean
Having just moved back here from the UK, we had given away our old table as we wanted a bigger one to suit our new dining room. Ethnicraft came highly recommended to my husband and me, and we were very impressed the moment we walked into the showroom in Eunos.
We loved the simple yet classic appearance of their teak furniture. We were also very pleased that it was so reasonably priced. We’d been finding it hard in Singapore to shop for good furniture without paying an arm and a leg! We ended up buying a dining table, television console, coffee table and shelving unit from the store on that visit. Subsequently, I went to their website a few more times and shopped online for two study tables, a bookshelf, two side cabinets and a few smaller items, all teak. That should really show how much I adore their furniture!
They also had all of our items beautifully varnished and sent to us in a very efficient manner. I would definitely recommend them to anyone who is looking for really good quality teak or oak furniture.
72 Eunos Ave 7, #05-05
9272 1545 | ethnicraft-online.com.sg
Jason Duff, British
I had just arrived in Singapore on assignment in August 2015, working for IBM as a sales executive in Asia. I found an apartment to rent in the Bukit Timah area and wanted to lease a range of furniture including a dining table that was comfortable for parties as well as family meals – something everyone would feel happy sitting around.
Esther Ng from Landplus Group was responsible for my apartment rental and overall settling into Singapore, and she introduced me to designers Felicia and Philip from Gallery 278’s rental arm, Esco Leasing. Felicia took on my ideas and designed my house accordingly, with great furniture that suited not only the apartment but also my tastes. I immediately felt comfortable with Felicia and her team’s choices and colour coordination of the apartment.
For the dining table, I wanted a lightly smoked glass top with a light-coloured wooden base that would work to show the marble floor. I didn’t want something bulky, but it had to blend with the room as well as bring a fresh wooden focus to the centre of the table.
I did take a huge risk! Due to commitments back in London, my wife and daughters could not come out to choose the apartment or the furniture, so I used their ideas online as well as engaging with Felicia to choose furniture that would suit the whole family. My wife Margaret and our youngest daughter Anastasia arrived four weeks ago, and they love the place and the furniture.
Yvonne McNulty, Australian
We sold our apartment on the East Coast in January 2015 and bought a new apartment in Sentosa Cove. Our old outdoor dining seating was wicker and dark brown and didn’t suit our new décor, plus it was wearing out from the harsh sun. We decided to replace it with something more modern, in cool tones. The biggest requirement was that it had to withstand ocean-front living and last up to ten years. We are localised and have another ten-year plan to be here, so we wanted a table that would go the distance.
Following our online research, we shortlisted a number of stores, one of which was Teak & Mahogany. We visited them first, followed by 11 other stores, and ended up back where we started to buy the items we had seen on the first day!
Our experience at the store was outstanding, and owners Kristian and Suzan completely understood our needs. All their fabrics are Sunbrella, meaning they’re totally weather and rain-proof. It’s a little bit more expensive, but really worth it. We were so impressed with the quality and the customer service that we also bought outdoor sofa chairs, side tables and cushions, and we plan to go back soon to get Sunbrella beanbags for our kids’ balcony.
Our outdoor dining table is stainless steel with tempered acid-treated grey glass, eight chairs with stainless steel frames, teak arms and black Batyline mesh seating. We have dinner on our balcony every night and haven’t used our indoor dining table in six months!
We are now ‘gold members’ at the store, which means we get ten percent off any purchase. When I need anything for outdoor living, Teak & Mahogany is the first and only place I go.
Chiara Ghinolfi, Italian
We moved to Singapore from Hong Kong in August last year and brought our furniture over. Our previous table has been perfect in Hong Kong as it was weatherproof, but here we wanted something for our patio – something that wasn’t going to be out in the rain.
We had passed by Mountain Teak and found that the pieces were nice, simple and of good quality. The shop assistant was able to clearly understand our needs, without being pushy. We purchased a table, two benches and two chairs, which we chose because they suit our patio perfectly and give an indoor feel even if they are located outdoors.
We are very happy with our dining set. I really didn’t like the previous table in that space as it was more suitable for a garden or terrace area; it felt like having the most beautiful area to enjoy but without the right tools. This one is just perfect.
Benches are awesome as you can squeeze in a few more people if needed, which is very important for us as we frequently have guests. What I really love about the table is that it’s both elegant and sturdy; with three kids, it’s very important to have something that looks nice and that you don’t need to worry about too much. My family loves it!
Sarah Finley, British
My husband and my three stepchildren have been living in our small black-and-white house since the triplets were six months old (they’re now 12). Our lease was recently renewed, so we decided to do some long overdue work on the property, and built an enormous adjoining attap. This has now become our main living area, and we needed furniture to fill it. We were looking for a dining table that would suit the outdoor nature of the attap: large and sturdy enough for everyday living, especially with three energetic triplets and a zoo of animals (three dogs and four cats!).
Our neighbour recommended Woody Antique House. When we visited the store, the sales assistant was incredibly helpful and not at all pushy. We bought a large dining table made from recycled Indonesian teak with two matching benches and two chairs. The eye-catching table, which seats ten, is in a pale, distressed teak and has two matching benches. The two tall back dining chairs, made from woven hessian rope, serve as end chairs and complement the setting. We eat all our meals at the new dining table now, and the kids have even learnt how to be careful when they are eating as the wood is untreated. The team at Woody lacquered a section on the underside of the table so that if we decide to have the table lacquered against stains in the future, we’ll know how the wood will turn out.
We were very impressed by the service provided at Woody. They gave us a smaller bench on loan as they were only able to provide one large bench to match our table and needed to have the second one made. They also sanded down the legs of our dining chairs to match the look of the table.
See how fellow expats are designing their own homes.