Renting a home in Singapore
If you’re an expat living in Singapore, there’s at least an 80 percent chance that you’re renting a home, whether it’s an apartment or a house (or “landed property” as it’s known here). With that comes the flexibility of being able to move around from lease to lease, though you do have to put up with some of the home décor choices of landlords, as well as a few local norms.
For example, in most homes there are no fitted carpets, and floor surfaces are generally ceramic tiles, marble or wood. This is more practical, especially with the humidity, but it can make places look soulless; and walking around on a hard surface all day does tend to make your legs ache – it’s something I remember from when we first arrived here. It also can make your home look rather colourless.
A handmade rug is especially good for texture and design; it’s an artwork, and as such it can give a room character. It also gives you the depth of “padding” you’ll start to need as you set up your home! A lot of interior decorators suggest starting from the floor up – that is, find a carpet or rug that you love and then work your sofa and accessories around that. And it’s not a bad idea.
There’s always been a fantastic supply of Middle Eastern rugs in Singapore, and with the change to a more contemporary décor preference in recent years, the companies involved have widened their selections to include some really beautiful contemporary styles, most of which can be custom-made to suit any room.
Carpet Collections and Tradition
In charge of this at Hassan’s Carpets is Dania Hassan. She’s fourth generation in a company that’s been on the top end of carpets in Singapore for 88 years! She shows me around the showroom in the Tan Boon Liat Building and I start wishing for a bigger place than my two-bedder so I can buy more!
You can buy contemporary carpets for a couple of hundred dollars at a few furniture stores in Singapore, but the softness, thickness and colours in some of the carpets at Hassan’s are heavenly. They will last forever and are easily transportable when it’s time to move to another home or country.
Dania’s favourites out of the modern carpets are the Rough Luxe and Traditions Redefined collections. “Rough Luxe celebrates imperfections,” says Dania. “It’s inspired by the aged patina of a space that whispers stories from a distant past. I love the gritty, look of these luxury rugs; it’s more refined than raw, yet it’s still edgy.”
Some of the patterns are based on old Eastern carpets (there are lots of these traditional ones in store too), some are from Afghanistan and Iran, and you’ll also find cheaper ones from India. Some incorporate old patterns into new modern colours; others use a different texture, like silk, to give a subtle pattern or mosaic look.
“The Traditions Redefined collection is all about traditional-meets-contemporary,” says Dania. “These pieces recontextualise traditional Persian ornamentation through modern abstraction; it’s a woven interpretation that perfectly embodies the beauty of classic Persian designs with a stylish contemporary look. They’re so versatile that they can be styled with most interiors.”
Dania is clearly very engaged and invested in what she does. I loved so many of the carpets in the showroom – and, if you don’t find something that’s exactly the right size or tone, you can get one custom made. It’s not a bad idea: get something to suit you from the very start, knowing that no one else will have the same as you.
Some of the carpets are wool, and some are a mix of wool and silk; they’re fairly easy to clean and will last forever. Children and pets will love them – and so will your feet!
Want more home inspiration? See our home decor section!