If there’s one thing this city loves almost as much as eating, it’s got to be shopping.
But don’t worry about trudging round every mall and market on the island. We’ve done the hard work for you: one outstanding outlet for every category you could possibly imagine. Join us on a grand tour of the best boutiques, bazaars and buyer’s boltholes in town as we round up Singapore’s Top 100 stores.
Around the house
The simple, IKEA-esque homeware stands out with quirky twists brought in from local talent – a metal tree earring stand, cityscape cushion covers and mirrored serving trays. There’s no need to ship it all in from Sweden anymore. 33 Erskine Rd, www.eggthree.com.
The green-thumbed staff at this well-stocked nursery share their tricks of the trade. Tip: ask nicely and they’ll pot the plants for those who are botanically challenged. 565 Thomson Rd, www.fareastflora.com.
Aside from selling a wide range of candles, Flaming Queen also stocks decor items of a less hazardous form. Mini diffusers make for stylish housewarming gifts. #02-32 Mandarin Gallery, www.flaming-queen.com.
You need it? They got it. This giant tool shed is filled with just about anything you can imagine to improve, adjust or fix your home. You can also get creative, grab a grass blower to dry your dog or turn a water bucket into a lamp shade. Stores islandwide, www.home-fix.com.
The legend of the shop’s 125kg, 2m-high pillar candles is sure to live on long after burning out. Clusters of wax range from dining-table centrepieces to floating tea lights. $2-$3,200. #B2-10 Great World City, www.mendocino.com.sg.
Tick tock is what they stock. Molecule carries over 1,000 styles of clocks from top designers. Its walls are covered with modern takes on the cuckoo clock and faces that double as pieces of fine art. $19.90-$1,000. #02-33A Great World City, ww.moleculeliving.com.
Inject some character into your home with a Tetris-inspired display rack, a Pantone chair or an elaborate spice table (yes a table, not a rack). This lifestyle store stocks a range of unusually creative items that will jazz up any home. 88 Club St, www.trolleyblog.wordpress.com.
This glamorous shop dons a huge selection of top-brand table, floor and wall lamps. Lean back on one of the store’s plush couches under a sparkling chandelier, and try to rationalize spending thousands of dollars on things that light up. $500-$50,000. #01-07 Palais Renaissance, www.vanilla-home.com.
Be you a baker, a cook or gourmet ice maker, you’ll want to check out the silicon baking accessories, a wide selection of cookbooks, cast-iron bakeware, and high-end pots and pans. 43 Jalan Merah Saga, www.pantry-magic.com/singapore.
Chefs may shop here, but so can lovers of gizmos; pick up anything from restaurant quality dinnerware to baking silpats. 7, 9 & 11 Temple St, www.siahuat.com.
Chinese clay teapots of all kinds are this shop’s speciality, whether you’re looking for affordable standalones, horoscope-themed sets or exclusive artist-designed sets that cost up to $20,000. Here’s looking at our very own tea party. 9A & 11 Neil Rd, www.tea-chapter.com.sg.
Marvel at the antique tansus, obis and silk screens, shipped in from cities all over Japan. Most of us will have to look rather than touch, but if you’ve got the dough to spend they have new pieces coming in all the time. #02-06 Tanglin Shopping Centre, www.akemigallery.com.
Ethnic home decor
Lim’s Arts & Living
If you like colourful ethnic handicrafts, this is the bazaar for you. Reclaimed Indian shawls are put together with shells to make ‘pouffe’ stools ($169-$250), but its showpiece is the Thai Pumpkin Cabinet ($498), with its mirrorworks and hand carvings. #02-01 Holland Road Shopping Centre.
Lorgan’s, The Retro Store
A high-ceilinged warehouse full of restored furniture and knick-knacks from the past, including a ’40s art-deco ashtray made out of steel chrome and ’70s cantilever dining chairs ($288). #01-03 Century Warehouse, www.lorgansdesignsource.com.
Mu Dan may do excellent reproductions – just look at the Georgia writing desks ($900-$1,200) – but this sprawling top-floor space has more than just replica furniture. They also sell a wide range of genuine antiques and rare finds. #01-02 Cluny Court, 501 Bukit Timah Rd.
Working hard to set the trends, not follow them, Strangelets works closely with a small batch of imaginative designers. Items found within their store are always something to talk about. Check out some eye-catching furniture pieces – dinosaur bookcase anyone? 87 Amoy St, www.strangelets.sg.
If you’ve got a flexible budget and you’re looking for contemporary-quirky furniture and accessories for the office, Xtra stocks all the big names. #01-01/02-01 Winsland House.
Arts & Crafts
This art-surplus mecca supplies fine-art and graphic-design students with an assortment of Raphaël sable brushes ($200 each) and Copic Sketch 72 Colour sets ($415), along with a range of sketch pencils. #03-33 Bras Basah Complex.
Even if Amazon claims the title is out of print or unavailable, you can get it here. Its roster includes books like Design is the Problem: The Future of Design Must Be Sustainable and My Freedamn! Seven: Vintage Beach Fashions. #04-19 Bras Basah Complex.
Books and stuff
Whether you’re after non-fiction, fiction, narrative or theoretical, Murakami, Sweeney, Capote, Salinger or Nabokov, owners Kenny and Karen are any bibliophile’s best friends. Also on sale are witty bookmarks ($1 each) and author pencils. 86 Club St, www.booksactually.com.
Souvenirs made in Singapore
The Little Dröm Store
Help prevent the production of any more ‘This is a Fine City’ T-shirts and pass along something that won’t be used as a dishrag. Find quirky art books, including goodies from Aiwei of www.seeyoutomorrow.com and Underscore magazine, produced by local design collective Hjgher. 7 Ann Siang Rd, www.thelittledromstore.com.
Scrapbook to your heart’s content with thousands of stationery items ($1.10-$3.90), albums ($20-$49) and stickers to choose from. #B1-31 Raffles City Shopping Centre, www.papermarket.com.sg.
Photoshop training DVDs ($50) and Nikon and Canon how-to-use guides, as well as the must-have Scott Kelby Digital Photography box set ($95.30) for both amateurs and pros. #01-24 Funan DigitaLife Mall.
Pens, paper sets and crisp blank cards decorated with an element of nostalgia – that’s the quirkily formatted world of .woodwould.. #03-24 Mandarin Gallery, www.woodwould.net.
Next week, we bring you the best shops to get your lifestyle and travel products. Read also, 100 best shops: Fashion