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Furniture Design Singapore
We design and fill the space in our homes with furniture. Besides offering functionality and comfort, furniture is also essential in terms of its design. The aesthetics of every furniture piece can either make or break the mood and style of your interior, so it’s important to know what kind of furniture you are looking for to match and complement the surroundings.
Common Furniture Styles
1. Traditional Style
The predecessor of modern furniture design - classic furniture design - is defined by its roots in European culture. Influenced by the Victorian period and a combination of Queen Anne, Chippendale and Sheraton styles, furniture of traditional style are elaborate with intricate details, and often feature dark woods with vibrant shades of brown, cherry, merlot, espresso, black and white. The fabric of their furnishings is often luxe, using materials such as velvet, silk, leather and brocade. More affordable fabrics that still accentuate this style would be chenille, linen or cotton.
Besides that, other features of the traditional furniture style are:
- Classic silhouettes with curved lines in the legs, feet, arms and pediments
- Ball-and-claw feet
- Winged backs on chairs
- A variety of patterns, namely floral, foliar or damasks designs
- Decorative embellishments such as mouldings, panelling, throw pillows
2. Rustic Style
Rustic furniture is inspired by the outdoors and nature, thus helps to bring warmth and cosiness to your home.
Materials of furniture are often wood (oak, cherry, maple, or walnut). They also use raw elements such as stone, or other natural materials such as hide, cotton and linen. The texture is not necessarily smooth - instead, surfaces may appear weathered to highlight the unfinished, natural style.
Architecturally, rustic designs include features such as vaulted ceilings with wood beams or wooden floors. Shapes and colours are kept pure and natural.
Rustic designs can be integrated with various styles, such as traditional, modern, or industrial. This versatile style can be combined with different types of furnishings and accessories without clashes.
3. Modern Style
Less is more. Born of the early 1900s modernist movement, the contemporary style is defined by neutral, monochromatic colour palettes. Every element is sleek and straightforward - lines are clean and crisp, and there are very few accessories or decorative ornaments involved. Mostly, designs are minimalistic, straight and clean.
Common materials include steel, glass, vinyl, leather and plastic. Natural wood with a wood grain pattern may also be used. Furniture design is too often in geometric shapes and has glossy finishes.
4. Contemporary Style
Not to be confused with modern style, contemporary furniture style refers to the furniture style of today’s day and age. Unlike modern furniture which went against more ornamental designs in favour of minimalism, the definition of contemporary furniture is more broad and fluid. While it does consist of the simplicity that belongs to modern-styled furniture, it also incorporates the boldness in colour and design of art deco and postmodernism styles.
Here are some characteristics of contemporary furniture:
- Use of throw pillows and wall art
- Neutral colour palette with pops of strong colours
- Hard edges and gentle curves in chairs
- Use of natural materials such as wood, glass, plastic and steel
- Minimal design, clean lines and simple decor
- Use of solid colours
- Modest geometric patterns
5. Mid-century Modern
Sitting in between modern and contemporary style would be mid-century modern furniture style, which draws elements from both methods. Associated with the 1960s, this versatile style is defined by organic shapes, clean, curved lines, and geometric patterns. Think retro.
Other elements typical of mid-century modern style are:
- Contrasting textures
- Medium to dark wood tones
- Splayed or tapered legs
- Arched floor lamps
- Colourful rugs, abstract, vintage wall arts
Furniture pieces that are known to be related to this style are the Eames lounge chair, tulip chair and egg chair.
Inspired by the beach and sea, the coastal style often has light colour palettes with fresh, neutral shades of blues, greens, whites and beiges. There may also be elements of wood.
To create the nautical atmosphere, designs for furniture can be of blue and white stripes, especially for pillows. Typically, there will also be large windows, white plush sofas to sink into and painted white wood. Other furniture pieces that suit the theme would be cane or rattan chairs and pendant lights.
Overall, these create a cosy, comfortable surrounding that reminds one of the cool ocean breezes.
7. Art Deco Style
An art deco furniture design style is defined by funky patterns - angular shapes and bold, geometric patterns all around the room with elaborate lighting ornaments. It is reminiscent of the extravagant decoration in stories like The Great Gatsby - a response to the economic boom of the US in the 20th century. As such, one can expect bold, innovative furniture designs with lots of shimmery metallics and gold.
Other features include:
- Symmetrical patterns
- Rounded edges
- Use of industrial materials such as stainless steel, plastic, chrome, lacquered woods
- Combination of materials
8. Japanese Style
The hallmark of Japanese decor would be minimalism, along with the inclusion of natural materials such as the use of wood and high-quality craftsmanship. Stoneware and standing plants are also typical of the traditional Japanese design to instil the tranquil, Zen mood of the Japanese style, which is rooted in the Buddhist culture of stillness and nature.
Colour-wise, Japanese furniture is often of neutral earth-tones.
9. Industrial Style
As its name suggests, furniture of industrial style resembles the furniture from a warehouse or an urban loft. Materials and surfaces are often raw, such as brick and iron, and stone or concrete floors. This open-space concept with high ceilings and dangling metal light fixtures often have few furniture in the space.
10. Scandinavian Style
A key feature to the Scandinavian style is the use of wood, metal and leather materials which are associated with nature. For instance, hardwood floors are usually used in every room except the bathroom.
Besides heavy use of natural, earthy materials, colours are often a combination of light and neutral white, grey and teal. Blue textiles are primarily used when it comes to furniture such as sofas, rugs and bedding to brighten up space.
With clean and simple lines, designs are kept simple but still functional.
Common Furniture Styles
The material of the furniture highlights the style of the furniture and contributes to the design of the space. But besides the appearance of furniture pieces, what is also essential is the durability and structural strength of them. Being functional and durable also helps the furniture to better match the theme and design of the furniture and room, and makes the design of the furniture look much more appealing in the long-run.
Some suggested furniture materials are:
Wood is a trendy choice for making furniture because of its versatility. It can produce a variety of pieces that are suitable for any style you are going for - mahogany, walnut and oak would go well with the traditional style while maple and tiger-wood would suit the contemporary style.
Furniture manufacturing uses both hardwoods and softwoods. Hardwood is typically used to make quality wooden furniture - it is durable and does not rot or deteriorate quickly. They are often sourced from teak, pine, cedar and oak.
2. Stainless steel
Being able to withstand exposure to extreme weather conditions, stainless steel can be used for both indoor and outdoor furniture. If you change the interior of your home frequently, furniture made of stainless steel would be the right choice as it can match with different themes, especially those that are more minimalist and trendy.
The lightweight nature of plastic material makes it easy to carry and move around. They are also the more budget-friendly option for consumers and can come in a variety of trendy, stylish colours, which can suit styles such as contemporary and art deco.
However, one thing to note about the furniture of plastic material is its durability. If it bears heavyweight for an extended period, the parts might bend, and colours might fade.
Cane or rattan furniture is well-loved due to its lightness, affordability, versatility and affordability. This all-natural material can bend into any shape and size to get your preferred furniture design, and its aesthetics are fitting for both indoor and outdoor locations. They are especially suitable for coastal and Japanese furniture style as mentioned above.
Choosing Furniture in Singapore
Furniture design goes hand in hand with interior design, and well-designed furniture can be a timeless, stylish one that accentuates the mood and theme the interior is going for. To shop for the right furniture for your home, you can head to brick-and-mortar stores or even scour online furniture shops to carefully find what you like the best. Alternatively, you can enlist the help of reputable interior designers who can advise you on the design aspects of your furnishings, do up drawings of your ideal home and source for the right materials and furniture.
Additional Design Tips
Furniture Space Savers Roundup
Whether you are living large with space abundant, or locating the best for small spaces, you can maximize floor space with strategic furniture placements.
Homes with... large spaces
Be mindful of potential sun glare when conceptualising the workstation. A great way to do so is by testing the situation with a table of similar height to the one you are planning to have, as you do not want to be forced to shut blinds or curtains, especially so if the workstation is part of a multipurpose living room.
Homes with... small spaces
Create a multipurpose space in your room, by using the walls to your advantage. Allocating a simple desk unit and adding a collection of shelves above are great for necessary storage.
Install a concealed Murphy bed which can be easily used for occasional guests. During the day though, store the bed for spacious purposes.
TIP - When dealing with small bedrooms, do not compromise on extra space; adding wall mounted shelves above a desk provides additional display and storage space. As these shelves and desks are built into the wall, it takes up little room and maintains the bedroom’s open path.
Mirrors are one of the best and simplest tricks in design, especially the addition of a full-length mirror to visually expand space. Mirrors help accomplish this task by reflecting light, brightening a room, while reflections always make things larger than they appear. For best results, place a mirror on the wall opposite a window, reflecting incoming light. An alternative would be lining a ceiling with mirrors, creating the illusion of skylight. Dark entrances, back porches and bathroom spaces in particular can be instantly revived by an entire ceiling mirror.
Do's to maximizing storage
Appease your need to hoard and collect effectively with these clever storage tips!
- A coffee table has been elevated into a must-have for most of modern living rooms. However, not only is the coffee table suitable for displaying pictorial collections; add functionality by getting a table with useful, layered storage space. Tiered coffee tables are excellent for being both aesthetically pleasing and functional.
- Beds come in handy, namely the storage platform bed, perfect for loft or townhouse living. Available in a variety of designs, these beds come with drawers beneath or along the sides of the bed; customised ones even allow you elect where these drawers protrude from. This provides the equivalent of having a dresser or chest of drawers beneath the bed, making it an optimal solution for bedrooms short on space and storage room.
- Built-in furniture allows you to create a smooth transition between spaces, a coherent decoration since it looks like a part of the home itself, allowing for a beautiful blend especially in contemporary or minimalist interior designs. Because of this, a large built-in piece of furniture looks more slender than a free-standing one with similar dimensions. Built-ins also come with immense storage space, at times occupying an entire wall, but without making the room feel smaller. Also, lighting can be easily integrated into the built-in furniture, serving great ambience! Ultimately, the best kind of built-ins are the tailored ones, specific to your needs.