Heaven comes in the form of an unassuming, retro-looking industrial building; that is, heaven for furniture-hunters and decor lovers. Situated at Outram Road, the light industrial building is home to a buffet of premium and designer furniture.
Facing any home-decorating troubles? Can’t find that perfect piece of furniture? Or perhaps, you just want a fun day out with loved ones or friends? Well, brace yourselves, because all-you-can-eat appropriately describes the variety of lifestyle and furniture shops residing at the Tan Boon Liat building.
Grey and Sanders
Trustworthy, dependable and attentive, Grey and Sanders is very much a furniture store with a big heart. As you enter their store, you will be greeted by a stoic 100-year old single slab, American Black Walnut live edge table. Its solid, sizeable stature is bound to impress you, but the best is yet to come; lined up at the side of the showroom, rows of imposing wood slabs are hung upon racks, standing at attention like a platoon of elite soldiers. This is the wood “gallery” of Grey and Sanders, and is a must-see during your visit.
Of course, you are able to buy any of the wood slabs you fancy in this “gallery”. And there is no doubt that you will be spoiled for choice, so wood-lovers rejoice! From American Black Walnut to Burmese Teak, simply let the knowledgeable staff guide you through selecting the ideal piece for your home. And guide they will; earnestly, and honestly. That was definitely our experience with Samantha (Grey and Sanders’ General Manager, AKA “mak cik”) when we visited their showroom.
The secret to their stellar customer service? A genuine desire to help new homeowners with the design of their homes, and to help them navigate the sometimes-tricky furniture market, so that they can get the best value deals. Grey and Sanders is upfront and frank about their prices and quality, and do not believe in confounding or “smoking” customers with hidden costs and fake discounts (markup to sell at a discount).
Needless to say, we will certainly be revisiting Grey and Sanders.
Grey and Sanders
#06-02, 315 Outram Road, Tan Boon Liat Building, Singapore 169074
Prestige Furniture is a relatively new kid on the block, but ambition and diligence surely sets it apart from its more established competitors. Prestige Furniture carries a lot of really interesting furniture, and one of our favourites is the “floating” bed by Italian brand Lago (seriously, what can be cooler than a bed that floats?).
If you have never heard of Lago, that is hardly surprising. In fact, you may not have heard of most of the brands that Prestige Furniture carries. While this may sound like a negative thing, it is actually the complete opposite; this is part of the company’s astute business strategy.
Hazlee, the General Manager, personally sources for brands to carry in their store. He even goes down to their factories in Milan to ensure that their production process is of the highest quality. More often than not, he ends up selecting smaller brands that have been around for quite a while, and specializes in a certain type of furniture. This is because these smaller brands charge cheaper, but have the same fine quality as more prominent brands.
As a result, Prestige Furniture is able to offer upscale Italian designer furniture at an affordable price. Also, although the stipulated warranty period is 5 years, Prestige Furniture welcomes its customers back should they encounter any problems with their furniture after the warranty period. Prestige Furniture is the place to go for furniture-hunters who do not want to break the bank for that gorgeous Italian sofa.
#08-02, 315 Outram Road, Tan Boon Liat Building, Singapore 169074
Photography: Prestige Furniture, https://prestige-furniture-pte-ltd.business.site/
Legendary German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe once said, “Less is more”; this most certainly applies to Ethinicraft’s sleek, modern and functional designs. Their oak, teak and walnut furniture retains the “raw” look of the wood, and is perfect for both nature-lovers and minimalist Scandinavian designs.
Environmentally-conscious buyers will also be glad to know that the wood used by Ethnicraft is all 100% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, meaning that their wood is made from sustainable sources.
As fans of wood-and-white Scandinavian interior designs, and Ethnicraft’s slice extendable oak dining table fits flawlessly into our dream home look. The light-coloured, straight-edged table looks timelessly elegant; what’s more, the table can be extended to accommodate more diners, should the need arise.
This is brilliant for the smaller Singaporean homes that many of us are used to, where the adaptability of the table allows for significant space saving while not preventing the homeowner from hosting a party at home.
For freebie lovers, Ethnicraft will be right up your alley. They offer complimentary varnishing services, complimentary staining services, complimentary one-for-one furniture disposal and free local delivery! Talk about a quality deal.
The cherry on top is that Ethnicraft offers lifetime warranty on their products. Yes, you read that right, a warranty that never expires. This reflects Ethnicraft’s absolute dedication to its customers, and they are in it for the long term with you. Ethnicraft is more than just a furniture retailer; they are partners in your home-designing journey.
#02-01, 315 Outram Road, Tan Boon Liat Building, Singapore 169074
Photography: Ethnicraft, https://www.ethnicraft-online.com.sg/
Emperor’s Attic (formerly FairPrice Antique)
Chantal, owner of Emperor’s Attic, is a vibrant, larger-than-life character with a fiery passion for vintage furniture. And Emperor’s Attic is very much an extension of Chantal’s character (“a little rough ‘round the edges”, as she puts it), who goes to Northern China to personally handpick all the furniture pieces.
The result? A collection of unique, exotic and graceful furniture pieces. And unique these pieces definitely are. Chantal never picks the exact same piece of furniture twice, so once you have bought something, there will never be a second one like yours in Emperor’s Attic. The collection also reveals Chantal’s deep respect for craftsmanship as each piece is exquisitely made and restored.
The furniture may be antique or vintage, but fear not, they are excellently functional. One of the priorities Chantal has in mind when selecting a piece of furniture is its practicality, in terms of everyday use. There will not be a case where form overtakes function, no matter how beautiful the forms may be.
If you’re looking for authentic and masterfully hand-painted Chinese vintage furniture, look no further than Emperor’s Attic.
#01-10, 315 Outram Road, Tan Boon Liat Building, Singapore 169074
Photography: Emperor’s Attic, https://www.emperorsattic.com/
Bode is the complete antithesis of boring or typical; they strive to provide extraordinary fabrics and soft furnishings for our homes. And provide they do, with a range of wall coverings, carpets, curtains and cushions from top designers such as leather specialist Stolz and contemporary designer Decortex Firenze. There is something for everybody at Bode.
Even if, by some miracle, you cannot find something you like among Bode’s extensive collection, they still have the answer – bespoke services. Bode is committed to working with you to create something you love. They are 100% passionate about fabrics, and combined with their expert knowledge, you are unquestionably in good hands.
If the Tan Boon Liat building is the furniture heaven, Bode is the soft furnishing heaven. For all the fabric fans and leather lovers, this is one pilgrimage you must make.
#05-10, 315 Outram Road, Tan Boon Liat Building, Singapore 169074
Photography: Bode, http://www.bode.com.sg/?rv=6
Perhaps the most charming thing about the Tan Boon Liat building is the kampung spirit between the various shops. They may technically be competitors, but this does not stop them from forming a close-knit community. The Tan Boon Liat building is not just a furniture hub; it is a furniture village.
Whether it is a family outing, a romantic date or a hang-out session with friends, the Tan Boon Liat building promises a good time and warm hearts. Soak in the intimate kampung spirit of the friendly shop owners and marvel at the selection of beautiful furniture.
Just do note that if you take the cargo lift instead of the passenger lift, you risk incurring the wrath of the formidable Lift Guardian (curiosity killed the cat, but you can try taking the cargo lift, and see for yourself what happens). You have been warned!
How to get there?
By car, it is only minutes away from the CBD, and easily accessible via CTE or AYE. The compound also has ample parking space.
For public transport, the nearest MRT stations are Outram and Tiong Bahru, whereby it is a 14-minute and 13-minute walk respectively from the train station.
Tan Boon Liat Building
315 Outram Road