Seeing how prevalent the Internet is in our lives today, especially in tech-savvy Singapore, you would think that just about anything could be done at the click of a button. But surely, there are some exceptions, aren’t there? Like furnishing your home, perhaps; something as personal and tactile as dressing up your home, surely, can only be done in person – right?
Well, welcome to the 21st century. When everything is literally at your fingertips – even home furnishing. And yes, we’ve even found an interior designer who offers consultations via the Internet from the beginning of the process, right to the end.
We’re talking about Singapore-based Allison Egan, who is an expert at drawing up design plans for your home without you ever having to meet her in person.
But if you’d rather rely on your own eye for home décor design and purchase furniture on your own, there’s Ethnicraft Online, which allows you to order furniture on the net while offering free and quick delivery, while for soft furnishings, you could always turn to Korla for fabrics, curtains, cushion covers and lampshades in matching styles and patterns.
Of course, the question here is: Why shop for home furnishings online? Well, Ted Utoft of Korla puts it quite simply for us: “it’s about costs and accessibility. By being online, we can keep the costs lower for customers and we can ship to them anywhere they are in the world.”
And just like how no one would have thought it possible to shop for clothes and shoes without trying them on first just 10 years ago, home interiors are fast moving into the virtual space as customers grow more accepting towards online shopping.
“We’re possibly ahead of the trend in terms of interiors, but we’re quite sure it will move there, and in some ways it already has with sites like One Kings Lane, Dalani, etc,” Ted elaborates. “But we recognise it’s a shift for a lot of people, so we do a number of things to ease the transition: firstly we send up to six free samples to anyone who requests them off our site – not only that our swatches are bigger than many competitors and they’re yours to keep, there’s no need for sending them back and all that nonsense.”
Similarly, Ethnicraft Online works hard at making things easier for their online customers and keeping their minds at east. “The Ethnicraft Online Singapore website is equipped with good picture representations of the products, prices and dimensions. We have many customers purchasing racks, side tables, or even beds without first visiting the showroom too,” they say.
“We also have a free return policy for our customers,” they add. “We try our best to provide a good representation of our actual products on our website, but in the event that the products do not fit in with our customers’ home interior, we are happy to take the products back without any charge.”
Ethnicraft Online. Ethnicraft prides itself on two things: quality, and sustainable wood. All their furniture is made from high quality teak sourced from 100% Forest Stewardship Council plantations. And to make sure that Ethnicraft does its part for the environment, they work closely with the Indonesian government and other agencies to ensure that their teak comes from sustainable origins. You may make an appointment to check out their Eunos showroom for a firsthand look at their pieces, which have been designed in Europe and feature natural looks, sleek lines and contemporary aesthetics. But you could also order them online. And you don’t have to worry about a thing – each product comes with free delivery within two weeks, a lifetime warranty, as well as a free return policy, so you don’t have to worry if the piece doesn’t quite suit your home the way you thought it would.
Korla. It can be hard finding furnishings for your home that complement each other perfectly, especially if you’re hoping to mix and match off-the-shelf furniture from various stores. One solution to this head-scratcher of a problem is – trust us on this – textiles. Yes, at Korla, you get to choose from a wide variety of textiles that are spread across all sorts of styles, such as floral patterns, popular motifs, travel-themed, or even child-inspired. These fabrics can be transformed into made-to-measure curtains, blinds, cushions covers, lampshades and even bespoke home accessories. Korla even does upholstery with their textiles so your sofas can match your cushions to your curtains perfectly.
Allison Egan Decor. After a good few years working in elite design firms such as Bilbuber and Associates, Allison Egan decided to strike out on her own and open her own online interior design and decoration consultancy business, where she doesn’t even need to step into your home or meet you in person to figure out the best way to dress it up – that’s how good she is. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t get to the heart of your home to furnish it, though. Customers will have to fill out a form on her website, detailing their design style, their personal preferences and the existing look and measurements of their home. Then, she custom designs each room and provides you the price and sources of each piece of furniture in her blueprint so you can work on installation at your own pace and budget – quick and simple.