As the size of our living spaces decreases, dining rooms often no longer exist and dining areas don’t operate as just places to eat. They are now work and meeting places, home offices, craft benches, homework spaces and small business production areas! We spoke to several readers about which shops in Singapore they found dining room that are perfect for them.
Deanna Harradine, American-Australian; George (11), Jack (7) and Luke (3)
“A friend suggested looking at Originals when I told her I was after a good-quality dining table. I’d looked in other shops and hadn’t found anything I loved. It was the best advice I could have gotten! Originals is a unique store, and everything in it is beautifully made.
The team were so friendly and helpful, too. As I don’t have an interior design bone in my body, they helped me to choose the perfect table, plus the rest of the furniture in my living room. I needed the table to be long and I didn’t want any heavy or chunky wood or legs. I also wanted it made of light wood.
As soon as I saw the table, I loved the look of it. It’s stunning! The smooth light wood was unlike anything I’ve seen in other shops, and it was the perfect size for our room and our family. We were so pleased that we had to buy the chairs and carpet featured in the showroom too. Almost everything we have is from Originals now – and we aren’t done shopping!
The table is mostly used for eating and dinner parties. My eldest son George is a self-taught artist, so he sits and draws at it. I was assured that it’s super durable and doesn’t stain easily so I’m relaxed about him using it as his creative space too.
Besides selling great furniture, Originals has staff who are friendly and knowledgeable. They told us exactly where the pieces were made, how they were made, and the inspiration behind the creation of particular pieces. Plus, our furniture has arrived quickly every time. I’ll be back next week for a new bed! I can’t recommend Originals enough – it’s a truly a pleasurable shopping experience from start to finish.”
Jiang Jing, Singaporean
“I was looking for a six-seat wooden dining table with matching wooden chairs to replace our old dining set. We wanted something longer than 150cm; our old table measured 180cm, and we got used to that length. This set that we bought from Scanteak looked perfect and suited our needs. A colleague of mine had purchased a dining set from the store shortly before I started shopping for our new table, and he gave good feedback on their products, so that’s where we went too.
It’s an ATA 165cm dining table with six Stellan dining chairs. We actually purchased a queen-size bed frame and two solid wood bookcases from the store at the same time. I also liked the couches at Scanteak. We didn’t buy one because we already had a sofa, but I’d recommend anyone interested in their pieces to also take a look at the couches.
The table is mainly for dining – the size is perfect for our family. Occasionally, I also use it for work when I have to be with the kids in the living room. It’s very comfortable to use the table as a study desk.
We like the simplicity of the design and the fact that it’s made of solid teak, which means it will last.”
Woody Antique House
Gregory Wald, American
“We were looking for something that would always remind us of our time in Singapore and the region. This suar-wood slab from Woody Antique House drew our attention because it’s uniquely shaped, yet very durable. We also love that no two tables made of suar wood are alike – they each have highlights of different colours and distinctive wood grain patterns. It was also important to us to have something from Southeast Asia to complement our Peranakan-style home.
We chose to buy from Woody Antique House because we were advised by friends that the quality and variety of their furniture range is the best on the island, and their customer service is excellent.
We needed a large dining room table because we like to entertain. Our table is now the centre point for eating and family gatherings, and for Mahjong for my wife Ingrid and her friends. They had similar tables on display, but this particular table top, stored off the showroom, spoke to us immediately.
It wasn’t just the table that called to us. The different colour colonial-style chairs also caught our eye; we knew they would work well in our home. We’re so very happy with our items and will undoubtedly purchase additional pieces from Woody Antique House in the future.”
Pramila Nuwantha Ariyaratne, Sri Lankan
“I was specifically looking for a round table to maximise the space in my square-ish dining area. I also wanted one to reflect the modern European restaurants I love in Singapore.
Taylor B carries items that are thoughtfully designed and incorporate multiple materials (wood, different metal finishes and stone), setting it apart from other shops. There’s also a huge catalogue of items – they’re all on display and readily available. It’s far more satisfying to visit a store to see and touch the items you like and have them delivered to your home in a few days. I also found it a far more relaxing experience as the staff know when to step in and help, and when to let you browse.
My table top is made of about 24 sectors of fumed oak, seamlessly assembled so the wood grain radiates outwards from the centre. The champagne-coloured metal frame blends in well without being too glaring.
I’m very happy with the purchase and I’ve been getting a lot of compliments from visitors about the table and the other Taylor B purchases I’ve made since. I added dining chairs on a follow-up visit, along with a sofa, a coffee table and a side table. Even now, I browse the Taylor B website for things that might catch my eye.”
Francis Loi, Singaporean
“I like simple elegance in a piece of furniture, but more importantly it must be functional, utilitarian and fit nicely in our environment (we have tropical modern interiors). My dining area is not big, and while we occasionally host dinner parties for six to ten people, most of the time the table is used just by the two of us. So, we decided on an extendable table.
My partner, Philip Ordonez, has worked with Felicia from Gallery 278 in the past, so this is where we turned. He was the one who designed and chose the table.
The table is solid wood and round. It seats four when it’s not extended, but when two extra leaves are added, it can seat six to eight comfortably. I particularly like the design of the legs; simple, sleek and elegant. When not extended, the legs form a cross on the floor, but when extended, the legs separate into two V’s. Also, for a solid wood table, it’s not heavy and can be moved easily. It’s a hub for eating, dinner parties and occasionally work.
No doubt many mass-produced furniture items these days have great visual appeal, but for forging the identity and uniqueness of your home, it’s worthwhile looking for bespoke pieces that can tell stories – it might be the result of a chance find, a long hunt until the right one was found, a friend’s bespoke design, or a designer who understands your aesthetic preferences.”
Want more inspiration for your space? See our home décor section!
This article first appeared in the January 2020