SINGAPORE – Stepping into Ms Lynette Wong’s colonial-style, two-storey bungalow just off Alexandra Road, there is a sense that you are no longer in the city – there is almost an English country estate-like atmosphere.
She moved into this serene space 12 years ago, and lives here with her family of five.
Ms Wong, who owns furniture gallery 1B2G Important Design, which specialises in original vintage Scandinavian furniture, alludes to the calm character of her residence, saying: “When I get home, I just feel an instant slowing down of my heart rate.”
The light-filled house has high ceilings and airy rooms. Minimal renovation was done beyond the dry kitchen and some bathroom work, leaving its heritage charm fully intact.
Instead, Ms Wong and her husband express their flair with mid-century furniture by Danish designers such as Hans Wegner and Poul Kjaerholm, and contemporary artworks that they both love.
Collecting vintage furniture and lighting is a passion for Ms Wong. She started out sourcing pieces for herself and quickly realised the gap in the local market for authentic and historically significant pieces that would not just beautify the home but also become investment pieces.
“You can use it and it’s an investment that you can really enjoy,” she says. And thus, her furniture business was born in 2017.
Adamant that vintage pieces are meant to be used and enjoyed, she invites visitors to sit and experience her Papa Bear armchairs by Wegner that are still in the original checked fabric upholstery.
She explains that good-quality sofas created by designers from that era are more durable, as they were mostly down-filled rather than padded with foam, and hence would not disintegrate with time. The cushions can even be put in the dryer to be fluffed up.
Complementing these vintage furniture pieces are lighting from the same design era. Hanging above the Papa Bear chairs in the living room are magnificent artichoke lamps by Poul Henningsen. Says Ms Wong: “These pieces are all 60 years old. They are in amazing condition, partly because they are very good quality to start with.”
All the striking artworks dotted throughout the home are special to her and her husband. “If I like a piece, I will find a place for it,” she says.
In the more formal living room on the first floor, her husband’s favourite room, a striking wall-size painting by Feng Zhengjie in his signature green-and-pink palette brings out the colour in her chairs.
On a table sits a smaller piece by artist Ai Weiwei – a jar of sunflower seeds from his famous Tate Modern exhibition that look like the real thing but are actually hand-painted porcelain.