Mar 10, 2013

Design Undiscovered in Singapore

It was a design-filled Saturday afternoon, which started at TheLibrary...

It was a design-filled Saturday afternoon, which started at TheLibrary at the SunnyHills boutique on the third floor of the Raffles Hotel Shopping Arcade. This popup library has over 500 titles available for browsing, all dedicated to the creative fields of architecture, design, art and photography.

The book selection is curated by leading industry professionals, showcasing books that have influenced their creative pursuits. This initiative, led by Jing Quek of SUPER Studio, aims to raise the level of creativity and arts appreciation among Singaporeans by providing free access to these creative resources.

TheLibrary’s current location (until 31 May) at SunnyHills is the perfect setting for a relaxing afternoon. The shop’s interiors is beautifully designed, marrying rich wooden surfaces with minimalist lighting and shelves.

As soon as visitors step in, they are led to a comfortable spot and offered complimentary pineapple cakes from Taiwan and a soothing cup of oolong tea. Look for SunnyHills’ co-owner Regine who will gladly tell you about the brand’s history and gourmet pineapple cakes.

Next stop was the industrial area of Tai Seng. I was on the hunt for brass bookends or a statement chair at one of the secondhand furniture stores, but stumbled upon Grafunkt instead, an independent design brand established by Nathan Yong, ex-founder of Air Division and an award-winning furniture designer.

The showroom is housed in a rather nondescript building that’s easily overlooked. I worked in this area for two years and didn’t even know until yesterday that this place existed! As soon as you step out of the lift, you’ll find that every corner is filled with beautiful furniture and home accessories from local and international brands like Vitra, Folks, Nichemodern, Miniforms, Bludot and more. Displays were put together in a playful manner, sparking unique ideas on how to decorate your future home.

These two photos are great sources of inspiration for my future bedroom. I particularly love the leaning lamp and the green side table. It’s quite funny that even if none of the pieces match, they all work together harmoniously.

Good design doesn’t have to be taken too seriously. Can you spot the toys – particularly the Star Wars ones?

Designer bric-a-brac that proves clutter can be pretty. My personal favourite would have to be the concrete key holder/paperweight in mustard by Luca Nichetto. Its simplicity is captivating!

Looking for chairs? You’ve come to the right place. The Acapulco chairs above made popular in the 1950s are wonderfully nostalgic and modern at the same time. They’re made out of a coated steel frame and PVC cord, and are available in several colours.

Lighting can make or break any interior so choose wisely. Luckily, there’s a wide range of lamps and light fixtures at Grafunkt that double as conversation starters, such as the Wire Light by Decode London.

The next time you need a jolt of inspiration, drop by TheLibrary and Grafunkt and discover Singapore’s creative side. Since these places are tucked away in “undiscovered” parts of town, you’ll be able to avoid the crowds and enjoy browsing and shopping in peace.


SunnyHills, 3rd Floor Raffles Hotel Shopping Arcade

Grafunkt Flagship Store
Tong Yuan Ind. Bldg
85 Playfair Road, #02-01



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tagged design, singapore, thelibrary, home, travel