The Past Perfect Collection, headed by husband-and-wife team Pieter and Marie-Hélène van Houten, has moved its range of antique colonial furniture to the 11th floor of the Tan Boon Liat Building. Not only are they celebrating this move to a bigger and better showroom, but the company is also commemorating ten years in business this year!
Pieter and Marie-Hélène ‘discovered’ antique colonial furniture during their posting to India from 2002 to 2007, when they started collecting pieces for their home. What began as a hobby turned into an exciting new career, and they both left their jobs in India to pursue it full-time.
Starting The Past Perfect Collection in 2007 with no real experience of running their own business, Marie-Hélène admits it’s been a long road to the success they can celebrate now. “One of the real challenges in building an award-winning business is developing an ego – a strong sense of self and confidence in your own vision. It’s easy to listen to other people, but it’s just as important to have your own values and goals.”
Antique Colonial Style
The new showroom still carries The Past Perfect Collection’s vast range of antique colonial furniture from India. The unique nature of this furniture, along with the quality of the craftsmanship and materials used, really sets this style apart. “Born of the meeting of two different cultures, these so called Indo-European furniture pieces are elegantly sumptuous; their surfaces are often elaborately decorated with both Western and Indian ornamentation, characterised by the use of lavish materials such as ivory, tortoiseshell, horn and ebony,” explains Marie-Hélène.
Delving deeper into the history of this style is truly fascinating – Pieter and Marie-Hélène clearly know their stuff, and they’re passionate about it too. “Antiques are a great way to express a personal and individual style; they meet a desire for true quality, and they’re environmentally friendly.”
The couple are also keen to impart styling advice when it comes to antiques, particularly in regards to mixing them in a contemporary setting. “People are no longer furnishing with a purist’s view for a particular period. Now, a lovely 19th-century antique dining table can be paired with a set of modern upholstered chairs, and it looks fantastic.”
New In Store
Customers to the new showroom will also be able to view a range of fine bone china and bed linen from Indian design house Good Earth. The idea of adding the brand came about from Pieter and Marie-Hélène talking to their customers and finding out about their wants and needs. “We hope that by adding these items we will offer an even wider choice in home decoration.” Speaking of choice, they also carry a beautiful silver gift collection from Jaipur, such as photo frames, candlesticks and antique maps of Asia, including Singapore.
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Photography by Ken Tan.