Take a walk along the Joo Chiat or Katong districts of Singapore and you will find vibrant tiles on old shophouses and pavements, taking you back to the heyday of the Peranakans. Not only can this unique design language be found in architecture, but also antique furniture originally commissioned to showcase a family’s wealth and high social standing.
Now, the sentimental value of these treasured family heirlooms is appreciated by modern homeowners, sparking the rise of the popularity of Peranakan design and furniture. To them, each piece combines elegance, grandeur and intricacy.
It comes as no surprise, then that many homeowners are paying homage to one’s roots and preserving the Peranakan identity with their home decor — whether it’s through Peranakan-inspired furniture or the much-coveted tiled wallpapers.
Whether you want to showcase unique heritage in your home or simply love the Peranakan design elements, check out these designers and furniture retailers in Singapore for stunning Peranakan-inspired furniture.
Established in Singapore in 2006, Arthur Zaaro is the place to go to for locally-designed ethnic-inspired indoor and outdoor furniture, as well as home accessories. Their custom-made furniture, ranging from coffee tables to consoles, features handmade Peranakan tiles, so you can have a unique piece of heritage in your home.
Additionally, the brand also offers an extensive selection of home good from around the globe, such as wooden chandeliers sourced from the Philippines, raw-edged, wooden tables from Indonesia, and Danish-designed, mid-century modern furniture.
First launched at the International Furniture Festival Singapore in March, the Peranakan Moderne collection is furniture retailer Ipse Ipsa Ipsum’s collaboration with local designers Jeremy Sun and Nicholas Paul. The collection features three design lines, Straits Reflection, Magnetica Mixgrid and Diantara, all featuring timeless, luxurious pieces that pay homage to Singapore’s rich Peranakan culture.
Just Anthony, founded in the 1970s, is helmed by father-daughter duo Anthony and Danielle Lee, who make regular trips to China to source for unique antiques — resulting a one-stop shop for oriental furniture.
Stepping into the store is an antiques lover’s dream, where you can find an array of items including collector’s antiques, beautifully restored centrepieces, and common antique household furniture.
Australian-born, Singapore-based designer Jarrod Lim combines old-school, Peranakan design with contemporary touches, resulting in furniture that is uniquely Singaporean.
His eponymous design studio focuses primarily on furniture, art direction, branding, interior design and exhibitions. A highlight piece is his Small Dragon Rocking Horse, which won the Singapore Furniture Design Merit Award, inspired by old HDB playgrounds designed by Khor Ean Ghee.
Singapore-based wallpaper retailer Onlewo is a brand that draws inspiration from places and cultures in Singapore, transforming them into unique fittings or wallpaper for the home.
The brand offers a collection of Peranakan designs such as Kueh Tile, Peranakan Bliss, Chinatown, Tiong Bahru and Little India, which each adds a sense of nostalgia and unique heritage into a living space. The Peranakan Garden upholstery fabric design, for example, is inspired by iconic motifs like peonies and phoenixes that carry the story of the Straits Chinese culture and history.