Get to know Singapore’s small but stellar community of furniture designers. We admit we're fans!
Looking to buy some awesome furniture for your home? Well, you can’t get too far in Singapore before bumping into swell furniture and home decor stores. And if you’d prefer to shop for a couch from your couch, there’s a shiny list of online furniture stores just waiting to be discovered. But you might be surprised to know that there’s a bustling community of furniture designers in Singapore making their presence felt around the world. Locally based and internationally renowned, Singapore’s furniture designers bring a whole lotta creativity to the table.
Nathan Yong of Grafunkt
Nathan co-owns the cool and contemporary decor retailer Grafunkt. You have him to thank for bringing labels like Vitra, Sancal, Hay and Nanimarquina to the Little Red Dot. A furniture designer at core, his newest collection, in collaboration with Ipse Ipsa Ipsum, is handcrafted by Indian craftsmen and exudes sublime luxury. He’s also the Jedi master responsible for a Collector’s Edition Star Wars inspired seaters (psst… it’s still available at Grafunkt).
Nathan Yong, select designs available at Grafunkt, 9 Raffles Boulevard #02-34/35/36 Millenia Walk Singapore 039596
Hunn Wai of Lanzavecchia + Wai
Singapore’s own Hunn is one half of Lanzavecchia + Wai, an award-winning design house (Lanzavecchia is Italian). Always collaborating with the coolest furniture brands, Lanzavecchia + Wai prove that different cultures, backgrounds and even distance can add fuel to the creative fire. We admire this transcontinental studio’s ability to make furniture fun again. What else could you call a scrumptious collection of stackable furniture inspired by hamburgers, a straight-up cool walking cane with an iPad/teacup holder and multi-functional pieces for smaller homes (we will have one of each please).
Lanzavecchia + Wai, select designs available at Journey East.
Gabriel has his hands full. His designs can be found far and wide – from UK’s The Conran Shop and USA’s Design Within Reach to Outofstock, a transcontinental design collective he co-founded and Ariake, a new Japanese brand. We’re particularly crushing on the three-legged Stove chair he designed for Bla Station – it’s inspired by minimalist Shaker Style. It can be pegged up on the walls to save space and double as a sculpture if you please.
From the architectural firm that gave us the impressive Oasia Hotel Downtown and Parkroyal on Pickering, comes a new brand – WohaBeing, a delightful furniture and homeware label. We love that they’re inspired by local and Southeast Asian elements – like the Bintan range takes after the sea turtles and hermit crabs native to the island and the Ulu range, where ancient Balinese culture meets Dutch Art Deco.
Pamela Ting and Jessica Wong of Scene Shang
These talented ladies are the creative souls behind Scene Shang. Proud of their Asian heritage, their designs give intimidating heirloom Chinese furniture a cooler, millennial update. Check out Scene Shang’s online store for the full spread of decor and furniture: we love the Art Deco inspired Jin and Ming collections but are particularly crushing hard on the colourful and customisable Shang series. Much wow.
Scene Shang, 263 Beach Rd, Singapore 199542 and available to shop online.
Priscilla Lui and Timo Wong of Studio Juju
There’s something innately happy and 60s contemporary art-like about their creations. Curvy and colourful, Priscilla Lui and Timo Wong of Studio Juju often collaborate with renowned brands to make whimsical yet functional pieces. And next time you’re passing through Tampines MRT, look out for their massive installations.
This Australian-born, Singapore-based designer has been making sizable waves with his adorable designs. He brings home elements of nostalgia and fun – just look at Small Dragon rocking horse inspired by old school HDB playgrounds (like this one at Toa Payoh) designed by Khor Ean Ghee. And there’s the fuzzy Hi Ho rocking horse that won the Singapore Furniture Design Merit Award.
Jarrod Lim, select designs available at Naiise.
Her creations strike a balance between being functional and ridiculously magical to look at. We’re still reeling over what we saw at Wallpaper Handmade exhibit at Singapore Design Week – the stellar Elixir cabinet was a nod to the Chinese goddess of the moon Chang’e. It was out of this world!
Melvin Ong of Desinere
Origami pleats and clean, sharp lines seem to inspire this young furniture designer. There’s something quiet and complex about his style – take the Itty Bitty stool that lets you gently rock and even fidget in your seat. Our spidey senses are tingling!