A collection of vintage items in the home of cafe Carpenter and Cook's co-founder
Step into Eunice Yeo's home and you'll notice something odd. On the shelves are cake stands – in different colours, and often three or more of the same kind. On another shelf are candle holders, more than five in the same shade. And then there are drinking glasses, and vintage tea cup sets that seem to endlessly fill the shelves. Does a person really need so many of the same items?
Ms Yeo (above) collects children's books, some of which date back to the 1930s. She loves these books for the illustrations in them, and uses them as props, such as to add background colour to a dessert table, or to add height to a cake display stand.
For the record, she is not a hoarder. She is a wedding stylist and florist, founder of Heaven in a Wild Flower, a highly successful boutique event styling and vintage rental company in Singapore.
Her two-storey terrace home in Joo Chiat doubles as her studio for her company which specialises in creating beautiful occasions through handmade details, inspirational design, gorgeous florals and unique vintage items.
On the outside, the terrace home looks very run down, still stuck in time from 30 to 40 years ago. But Ms Yeo loves its charm. "I love the building facade, from the tiles to the repainted walls," she says. "The old school window grilles and the frosted glass panels spoke to me." The home is in a quiet neighbourhood, "much more appealing than having a studio space in an industrial area", she adds.
The dining room (above) with its farm table is where Ms Yeo discusses ideas with clients, and it is also where she holds dinner parties. To the right of the dining table is the seat from a wagon buggy which Ms Yeo bought from the United States.
Ms Yeo, who is also a co-owner of Carpenter and Cook cafes, did little renovation to the home, save for adding in the ceiling lights and fan. "Since I am going to be living here, I renovated the bathroom as well," she says. "When a space is to be used both for work and to live in, it is a good idea to make it as comfortable as possible, since I will be here all the time."
There is very little built-in furnishing, "which is the way I prefer, so that I can switch furniture and shelves around when I like", she says. Its homely feel means that there is a seamless flow between what is meant to be a work space and what's meant as home. She cites the example of how the farm table in the dining room is where she discusses ideas with clients, and also where she holds dinner parties.
Ms Yeo's began collecting vintage items when she was working in London from 2009 to 2012. "I love the stories and history behind the items." Some of her precious purchases include children's books, some of which date back to the 1930s. "Some people may cut them up to store things in the book, but I have no heart to do that," she says. She loves these books for the illustrations in them, and uses them as props, such as to add background colour to a dessert table, or when to add height to a cake display stand.
Weighing scales also have a special place in her heart, judging from the number of pieces that she has which Ms Yeo uses to display cupcakes, as well as a few chests of drawers that once held library catalogue cards. "I like these drawers because they form a pretty background, and I can stick things into them."
Globes, typewriters and vintage suitcases can also be found among the treasures that Ms Yeo has. What Ms Yeo rents out for wedding or birthday parties is not limited to the small items. Fancy the wingback armchair for a photoshoot? That can be rented out too. "Once, a client wanted the chair for her pre-wedding pictures, and I had to lug that out to a field in Tuas," Ms Yeo recalls.
Of the three bedrooms upstairs, one is Ms Yeo's bedroom and the other is her office. Ms Yeo calls the third bedroom her floral room. Some days, buckets and buckets of exotic blooms, such as ornithogalum, ranunculus and hellebore fill the room. The room is kept air-conditioned when there are flowers in the room. Ms Yeo describes her style of floral arrangement as "lush and organic. And I like to use a large variety of flowers in each bouquet," she says. She also conducts floral arrangement workshops for eight to 10 people here.
Ms Yeo's unconventional home is one of three featured on POSB's new content platform called Neighboursfirst.sg. The portal features content that celebrates new perspectives on the Singaporean way of life by showcasing the narratives of the neighbourhoods in Singapore through three key pillars – people, places and purpose.
Despite having strangers come by the home to view her props and discuss projects, Ms Yeo feels the house is more home than office. "It is really a space that I have defined for myself," she says.