Design news

The legs of this armchair from the Smoke Furniture collection have been charred using the shou sugi ban method.
The legs of this armchair from the Smoke Furniture collection have been charred using the shou sugi ban method.PHOTO: SMOKE BY SHOU SUGI BAN GALLERY


Wood furniture has always been a hot ticket item among home owners, but a new furniture store here is literally setting its pieces on fire.

Smoke By Shou Sugi Ban Gallery, a six-month-old store off Serangoon Road, is named after an ancient Japanese wood-charring method that dates back to the 18th century.

Using shou sugi ban (burnt cedar board), Japanese craftsmen burnt wood to protect it from decay, pests and weather elements. The process also makes the wood fire-resistant.

Smoke's creative director and co-founder Marcus Wang, 47, designs and makes these pieces in-house. He uses an open flame to torch the surface of a solid piece of wood, creating a textured, black look. He has two decades of experience working with wood and learnt the technique himself.

Smoke's other founder is Mr Ong Meng Hong, 46, who is the store's general manager.

The namesake Smoke collection consists of coffee tables, armchairs, a planter box and a daybed sofa called the Hot Seat.

While some of the furniture may be entirely smoked, only some parts undergo the shou sugi ban treatment in other pieces.

The brand has three other collections. The Live Edge series features big tables, such as dining and conference tables, that show off the organic form of wood such as suar wood or walnut.

The Orter range is all about mid-century furniture and some parts of the pieces are charred. The Vintage collection features old furniture that has been deconstructed and rebuilt in a modern style.

Prices for a solid wood stool or side table start at $300, while a Live Edge solid wood table starts at $5,000.

Where: 7 Opal Crescent, open 11am to 7.30pm, Mondays to Saturdays, by appointment only

Info: Go to for more details. Call 6291-3277 to make an appointment

Natasha Ann Zachariah


Robinsons' bedding department Bedshop is celebrating its 12th anniversary with a slew of promotions.

Deals include GST absorption for all items, a complimentary Dyson Supersonic Hairdryer with a minimum spending of $5,000 and mattresses at up to 75 per cent off. Highlights include the RS 23 Indulgence mattress by Hong Kong mattress company DPM - a model of the point-to-point mattress that clinched the 2016 Red Dot Design Award - and the Simmons Dreamscape Coralville foam mattress, which features foam made from natural bean extracts. Both mattresses now retail at $5,288 (usual price: $9,299).

Bedshop deals are available at all Robinsons outlets until Aug 20.

Where: 03-01 Raffles City Shopping Centre, 252 North Bridge Road, open: 10.30am to 10pm daily, tel: 6216-8388


Swedish furniture giant Ikea has launched its Sustainable Living project to raise public awareness about sustainability.

One highlight of the campaign includes the Furniture Take-back initiative, which allows customers to exchange used furniture for Ikea cash vouchers. The programme, which runs until Aug 6, is available only at the Ikea Tampines store.

Other programmes include Sustainable Living Home Tours where participants learn about affordable home furnishing solutions, and the Sustainable Living Project where several households receive Ikea products and services to create more sustainable homes.

Where: 60 Tampines North Drive 2, open: 10am to 11pm daily, tel: 6786-6868. Go to

Sabine Chen

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 29, 2017, with the headline 'Design news'. Subscribe