While you’re taking down the new year decorations from the walls, it’s a good time to be thinking about changes you can make to your space to keep it looking fresh and vibrant for the rest of the year. Here are some stores in town that can offer plenty of inspiration for your redecorating efforts.
(Rattan furniture from For the Common Goods at PickJunction.)
PickJunction Experiential Centre
Savvy homeowners know that the Eunos light industrial estate is slowly turning into a one-stop destination for home renovations, with several tile and timber showrooms, and furniture stores.
The latest to open here is the PickJunction Experiential Centre, a cluster of standalone furnishing stores housed under one roof in the refurbished Singapore Handicrafts Building.
Currently there are about 10 brands, each with its own showroom, spread across three levels.
Elsie Teo, business manager of LHN Group, the building’s developer, says that more brands will be added later in the year.
(Teak dining set from Ethnicraft Online at PickJunction.)
Some of the brands that have set up shop at PickJunction include Excelsius, which offers contemporary furniture handcrafted in Asia with a Nordic aesthetic and midcentury-inspired lines; Martlewood which produces concrete furniture alongside marble and solid wood pieces; and Ethnicraft Online, which makes handcrafted furniture using reclaimed and plantation teak wood.
Ms Teo says PickJunction welcomes brands that are mid to high-end, and independent businesses.
Local furniture/homeware retailer For The Common Goods, moved out of their old location at Kallang Place into PickJunction.
“We liked that PickJunction is championing good design no matter the size of the business or how established it is,” says founder Tommy Huang. “There is good potential for synergy and commonality to emerge in such a community; as a small local business, that is important to us.” For The Common Goods sells lights, cushions, rattan furniture and floor mats.
Besides individual stores, there are also common areas in the building where workshops and pop-up events are held.
The building offers free wi-fi, and shoppers are invited to connect to PickJunction’s website. They can then visit the individual shops to view the items, and add the products to their virtual cart on the website.
Finally, they checkout their purchases on their mobile devices or at the self-service kioks in the building.
“The Experiential Centre provides a platform for shoppers to discover new brands and products – many of them locally designed – and also provides buyers looking to purchase larger-ticket items online a sense of quality assurance,” says Ms Teo.
PickJunction Experiential Centre
72 Eunos Ave 7
Opening hours: 11am to 8pm daily
(New York sofa and armchair from HipVan.)
Shopping for furniture on HipVan used to be limited to either its online store or occasional pop-up stores. But now, the homegrown furniture and home accessories retailer has a permanent store at The Cathay.
The brand was launched in April 2013, after one of its founders Danny Tan moved into a new apartment and found shopping for furniture a frustrating experience.
Today, HipVan, which prides itself on great designs and great quality at a fair price, has over 47,000 active customers, and over 5,000 products in furniture, décor, bed and bath, kitchen and lighting.
The decision to have a brick and mortar store came about after “hearing from customers who wanted to touch and feel the products,” says Mr Tan, its chief executive officer.
At 10,000 sq ft, the flagship store is seven times larger than previous pop-up spaces in Millenia Walk and Suntec City.
While not every single item available online can be displayed, the store has over 1,000 of its best-selling products for sofas, coffee tables, TV consoles, and dining tables and chairs on display.
HipVan offers free shipping for orders over $100, free delivery and assembly for most furniture items.
At the store, customers can also pick up cash-and-carry items, such as cutlery and dinner ware sets, bath towels, wall decals and curtains. These items are all branded under HipVan’s in-house label.
(Study table set from HipVan.)
HipVan works directly with over 30 leading manufacturers in China, India and South-East Asia specialising in wooden, metal, and upholstered furniture in fabric and leather, to produce exclusive pieces. It also carries products from renowned brands such as SMEG, Umbra and Bodum.
At the store, customers can test out mattresses too. Two years ago, the company began making its own mattresses. It offers four mattresses with varying comfort and firmness levels, and all come with a special fabric to keep users cool at night.
HipVan even offers a 100 night free trial for its mattresses so customers can literally sleep on the decision in their own homes.
Using technology and data analytics, HipVan is rethinking traditional retail with its eCommerce experience. Customers who walk in are encouraged to download the HipVan app, add their favourite items to their cart and checkout fuss-free with the computers available at the store, or in the comfort of their home whenever they are ready to make their purchase.
The Cathay, #02-06/07/08
Opening hours: Mon to Fri: 12pm to 10pm; Sat & Sun: 10am to 10pm
(Modular wardrobe system from HomesToLife.)
Phua Bo Wen, senior manager of retail excellence for HomesToLife is confident that even the pickiest sofa-hunters will be able their perfect resting place in the store.
After all, the parent company of HomesToLife, HTL International, is said to be one of the world’s leading leather tanners and the world’s largest sofa manufacturer.
The choices are mind-boggling. Not only do you choose the design, size and configuration, there are also several types of leather to select from and countless colour choices. And that’s just leather sofas. Those who prefer fabric upholstered pieces have just as wide a selection too. And then, there is the stitching to decide on, which legs to have, and whether or not to have storage built into the sofa.
“The options are endless, but if you are looking for a sofa, you will definitely find one here,” says Mr Phua. Customisation of sofas take about eight to 10 weeks to complete. It helps that there are style advisors on hand to make the task less daunting.
But the store doesn’t just sell sofas. There are more than 20 international living, dining and bedding brands, and a wide range of home accessories too.
To make shopping easier across its 45,000 sq ft flagship store, products are housed under four thematic spheres.
(Bespoke furniture from The Atelier at HomesToLife.)
On the first floor is the Inspire Sphere, filled with colourful furniture and home accessories. The idea is for homeowners to feel inspired to pick up items big or small for their home.
At the Artisan Sphere on the second level, the furniture designs are more classic. The selection here is more high-end, and at The Atelier, shoppers have the option to customise every piece of furniture, down to the colours, materials and surface finishes.
Level Three’s Design Sphere is sofa heaven. It has a more contemporary aesthetic and if you’re so inclined, you’re welcome to take a crash course on the types of leather at the Leather Institute.
The Dream Sphere on level four is all about the bedroom. There is bedding and mattresses on sale, along with customised wardrobe systems. This floor also sells kids’ furniture.
It’s not all shop and no drink. There is a Tasting bar that serves free coffee, as well as a playground and library where kids can hang out while the adults shop.
“HomesToLife is designed to turn shopping into a stress-free experience, full of fun, relaxation and a whole lot of inspiration,” says Mr Phua.
65 Mohamed Sultan Road
Opening hours: Mon to Fri: 12pm to 8pm; Weekends & Public Holidays: 11.30am to 8.30pm
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Article by Tay Suian Chiang, originally appeared in The Business Times.