People are all different shapes and sizes, and there are plenty of oddly shaped apartments in Singapore, so finding the perfect sofa, bed or dining table ‘off the rack’ can be time-consuming and frustrating. Customised furniture is a great option and it’s not necessarily more expensive.
We talk to a couple of happy shoppers living in Singapore about how they got exactly what they wanted.
Gabriella Still, and Max and Axel, Finnish
We were replacing our queen-sized bed to fit our growing family. Our main requirement was a bed big enough for two adults, two kids and, potentially, two dogs (when we get them, that is – I’m still trying to convince my husband!). My husband is tall, so the bed had to be at least two metres by two metres. I would have loved an even bigger bed, but then we would have to look at getting custom bed sheets too, and since we use bamboo bed sheets, which we find the coolest for this climate, this would be difficult and expensive. Also, having suffered with soft mattresses in the past, we wanted a firm one.
IKEA was my first choice for getting a bed system. We’ve had IKEA mattresses in all three of our homes and loved them, however they couldn’t help with our requirements this time. I’d read about latex mattresses and had thought they would be too soft, but then my youngest boy got a bed with a latex mattress, and I noticed it was quite firm.
I found out about European Bedding in Expat Living, and thought I would check it out, so I booked a visit for the whole family to have a look. After trying, we knew immediately we wanted to have an organic latex mattress with a slatted bed base. They had exactly the bed we wanted on display, but it was too narrow, so we ended up ordering both the mattress and slats for our size requirements.
We also had to have the bed frame custom made, so European Bedding put us in contact with Aaron Foeste at Arthur Zaaro, who was able to build the bed we wanted.
We did have to deal with a slow delivery process, but we now think our mattress and bed base is awesome. We have a mattress that is medium firmness on one side, and firm on the other, and the slats can be adjusted as well to make the mattress feel more or less firm. We also find that using natural woollen protectors really helps look after our mattresses – and no, they don’t feel hot!
Brian and Carmen Schwender, American and Romanian-American
We were initially looking for a chest of drawers for our newborn daughter, Emma, which needed to be functional and sturdy, and could grow with her. We wanted multiple drawers to fit all her sheets, clothing and other baby items. The goal was to identify pieces we like and complement the rest of the room, and avoid children’s furniture, which can become obsolete as a child grows.
We had a distinctive looking crib in Emma’s room that was Romanian-made and purchased in the US. We wanted the chest of drawers to complement the crib, which converts to a sleigh bed. Our friends recommended Gallery 278 to us, having purchased a bedroom set from there, so we visited the showroom and they showed us various pieces and discussed making custom adjustments. We selected a hardwood called munggur, from Indonesia, which had beautiful natural dark grains that complemented our espresso-wood crib. Both my wife and I like the natural, rawness of wood without much polishing, keeping it as close as possible to the original look.
The Gallery 278 staff are knowledgeable and were very helpful in making sure we designed a functional piece that will last for years to come. The delivery staff were extremely professional and made sure the piece was placed in the proper location. They also anchored it to the wall to prevent it from toppling over by accident. We were so pleased with our first piece that we asked Gallery 278 to help us customise another chest of drawers for our master suite. The last piece we had made was a bookshelf for our living room. We have a high-ceiling living room and we wanted a bookshelf near the television to complete the wall space. When you find good quality craftsmanship, which comes with bespoke care and attention to detail, it’s a true pleasure to shop and create a collection of nice pieces you will use and remember through time. We hope that discussing our experience with Gallery 278 will help other families find good, lasting furniture and perhaps streamline their search.
Want some home inspiration? See our Homes section!