Some people say, “If you snooze, you lose,” but we don’t entirely agree. There’s nothing like a good sleep for clearing the mind and recharging the batteries, true. But to sleep well you’ll need a fantastic bed and mattress. So we asked Expat Living readers to share their recommendations and tips on where to find the right furniture for the job. Check out even more snazzy furnishings for the boudoir here.
Dirk Verbiest and Inge Bervoets, Belgian
We bought our double bed in Europe many years ago, and the old mattresses needed replacing urgently. Our original bed consisted of two separate slatted bottoms and two latex mattresses that could be zipped together. I am quite tall, so I need an extra-long mattress, and we had the frame custom-made.
We purchased the custom-made 18cm-thick latex mattresses from European Bedding. The mattresses have seven different zones, all adapted to the physiology of the back. My wife and I prefer different levels of firmness, so buying two mattresses was ideal, and the cover is removable and washable, which is important in this hot climate.
There are lots of good things to say about European Bedding, but the best is that you can try the beds and mattresses in a warm environment. They have a magnificent showroom in the Orchard belt, where you can spend an afternoon trying out the mattresses. Sylvestian and his team are extremely friendly and helpful with any kind of question or special request you might have.
There was a complete team present to deliver the bed and the mattresses, and they also removed the old mattresses. If you’re not happy, you can ask for an exchange (within a certain time period), as they fully understand the importance of a good night’s sleep.
Kavita Dasgupta, Indian
With a three-year-old and a baby on the way, we wanted to get a bigger bed for our master bedroom to deal with the inevitable early mornings of everyone piled in together. We started off with a super-sized king mattress and needed to get a custom bed to fit.
We wanted a high headboard that makes an impact when you walk in to the room, and it was also important to have lots of storage and easy pull-out drawers. For the bedside tables, we wanted a drawer for personal items and open shelves for our books.
Visiting Gallery 278 on friends’ recommendations, we ended up purchasing our custom bed and bedside tables from there. I had carried out some research online and in books, and the final bed was a combination of things I’d seen. Philip from Gallery 278 was very helpful in bringing together everything I liked into one final design. I was very happy with the way the bed drawers came out; each one can be locked and they don’t rest on the floor, which makes it easy to clean under the bed and also prevents it from looking too bulky.
Phillip was great, working with us closely on the design, sending regular updates with pictures of the items as they were being made, and informing us immediately of any design changes required due to the manufacturing process.
278 River Valley Road
Melissa Sands, Canadian
I wasn’t specifically looking for a bed when I walked into Originals, but often that’s when you find the best stuff. Our only decision was how to get rid of our current Ikea bed frame to make room for something that we would want to take back to Canada.
My husband and I had bought a cottage on a remote lake in Canada just as we were moving to Singapore three years ago, and when I walked into Originals I knew that our cottage was destined to be fitted with the light and comfortable look found in this store. It would also be a good way to take home a bit of our life here when we repatriate.
I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but everything I saw worked for me. Following our initial purchase of an old Indian door, which my husband wants to incorporate into the outhouse and shower, we made a more practical purchase: the Plough Bed, made from recycled and bleached teak. The headboard and footboard were originally used as ploughs, and the bed is handmade in Java, where it takes a woodworker two weeks to make one bed. All pieces of the frame are custom-built to fit together without the use of nails.
Every time I walk into Originals I get inspired by the look. I have since finished decorating a complete bedroom for the cottage with bedside tables, a recycled Indian shutter chest and mirror. On this year’s wish list is a dining table.
The customer service is great, and delivery and assembly are carried out free of charge.
896 Dunearn Road
Tulika Dhanuka, Indian
We recently moved into a new apartment and were looking for a day bed to complement the furniture in our living room. It had to be simple, elegant and, most of all, comfortable, since it would be placed just across from our television. Most of the day beds we had seen in other stores matched only a few of our criteria, and the stores were unable to customise them according to our requirements.
My sister-in-law happened to see some day beds at Origin Asia and suggested we try our luck there. My husband and I loved the simple and beautiful pieces and were extremely tempted to buy furniture that we didn’t even need. We spotted a beautiful sleigh-style sofa set, but we weren’t sure if the store could customise it into a day bed, and to the height we wanted. Luckily, Rebecca and Jino from Origin Asia were more than willing and able to do so.
Our Indonesian teak day bed did take a long time to arrive, but it was well worth the wait. I would rather wait for a piece that I love than get quick delivery of a poor piece.
We joke that our day bed is a “night bed” in disguise. The evening our bed was delivered, my husband said he just wanted to test it and lay down on it. He ended up sleeping on it for ten straight hours.
372 River Valley Road
Greg and Kathy Hanggi, American
We relocated to Singapore with minimal furniture, planning instead on supplementing our furniture needs with antiques. Our search provided us with an opportunity to explore the area, history and culture, and we decided on colonial-era pieces. Our criteria included a desire for quality pieces with well-documented provenance that fit both our current and future needs.
We were flexible on bed design, focusing on the quality and unique aspects of whatever we might find. We have a small lakeside property in the US and plan to build a holiday home there, so the antiques have to ultimately fit that home, which will have cedar shake (shingle) siding with white-frame windows, dark wood floors and comfy, overstuffed furniture in light colours.
By scouring online we discovered The Past Perfect Collection, and it was one of the very few shops that provided a large selection of high-quality pieces with well-documented histories.
Our four-poster canopy bed is Regency-style, made in India of dark red-brown mahogany, circa 1850. The four posts are carved with spirals, tapered reeds and a leaf pattern at the top of each post. It completely disassembles, and fits a US standard queen-size mattress.
The bed is quite high off the floor, making it challenging for our grandchildren to use. We worked with Marie-Hélène van Houten, one of the owners, who designed a pair of matching bed steps of the same mahogany wood and had them made at a very reasonable price.
The Past Perfect Collection
896 Dunearn Road
Romy De Jong, Dutch
Singaporean beds are smaller than the average Dutch bed and, as with many Dutch people, I am tall. The first time I saw a bed that was long enough was at Taylor B. It measured two metres in length, which is perfect for us, and conveniently I was able to buy a good-quality mattress in the same size.
The size of the bed was of utmost importance, but then the look of the bed also wowed me, making it an equally important factor in our purchase. The style of the headboard gives the bed character, and I bought two antique Chinese nightstands to create more of an Asian atmosphere.
I had read about Taylor B. in Expat Living, and it is now one of my favourite shops in Singapore. Taylor B. has a great variety of furniture and accessories and the personnel are always friendly. They offer the proper assistance in case you need help, but you are also able to browse quietly through the store.
Every couple of months I go to the showroom to take a quick look at their new pieces. There are still some items I would like to buy, and I think a dresser will be my next pick.
Taylor B. Fine Design Group
43 Keppel Road, Level 1, 2 and 4
Anthony and Diane Lee, Singaporean
We wanted to buy a queen-size bed for the master bedroom in our new home, and we had some specific requirements. The type of wood was important to us, as wooden furniture tends warp after a period of time. It was also crucial that the bed frame was well constructed and durable, and we wanted easy access to clean the floor below the bed frame and keep it free from dust.
We also needed a bed with a reasonably high headboard, able to cater to the thickness of our bed mattress, and the frame had to fit an Asian queen-size mattress so that we could have more choice when it came to purchasing bed linen in Singapore.
Our bed, two matching bedside tables and an armchair were all bought from The Shophouse. The bed has a solid natural oak frame and we really like the look and the finish. The structure of the bed is good: it has an additional leg to support the middle of the frame, instead of the usual one leg at each of the four corners.
The joints are well secured with metal and this adds to the frame’s stability.
Importantly, The Shophouse was able to customise the original Australian-size queen to the Asian-size queen that we wanted.
#07-03 Tan Boon Liat Building
315 Outram Road
Fiona McGregor, Australian
We were looking for a single bed-head for our five-year-old daughter, something that would look great in her bedroom now and wherever we are in the future.
We bought a gorgeous white rattan “peacock” bed-head from Verandah Living that has stunning filigree cane work, is beautifully made and looks distinctively tropical. We were really keen to purchase something that would remind us of Singapore, and the rattan does just that. It’s stylish yet homey, pretty but not twee. We’re not designer junkies and this was a little bit special, but it could easily fit in with Ikea and pieces rescued from the side of the road, as well as dolls’ houses! It was also very important that the bed-head could grow with our daughter, lasting through her tween and teenage years.
We already had a great bed for our daughter with a trundle bed underneath it that we wanted to keep, but were keen to make it look a little less sterile by fitting a bed-head to it. We hadn’t seen so many of these sold separately, so were excited to find exactly what we wanted at Verandah Living.
Friendly, personalised, professional service characterises my shopping experiences at Verandah Living. Lynda is a delight to deal with, and it’s always difficult to walk out without something gorgeous.
896 Dunearn Road
Sime Darby Centre, Level 2, Shop 2C
Cathy Manning and George Churchill, British
We wanted a large bed that could comfortably fit both of us plus our two children, who tend to wander through to us at some point during the night. So much of our furniture is from Ikea as it’s affordable, and we don’t mind it getting ruined by the kids, but I wanted to invest in a really nice bed, one that we would keep for a long time.
I knew I didn’t want anything too heavy-looking or imposing, nor did I want a basic frame, but rather something with character. I had heard of Ethnicraft Online through an article in Expat Living, and it totally fitted the bill. We bought the bed, but I loved everything else I saw. I really wanted to buy a dining table with bench and chairs as well, but my husband wouldn’t let me!
The service at Ethnicraft was excellent – totally helpful, but very chilled. We had the bed ordered and delivered before we paid the bill, which we found a very trusting service.
Showroom in Eunos (viewings by appointment)