Get Your FREE Quotation Now! Click Here
Singapore's Leading Renovation & Interior Design Site
Meet the Designers - RenoNation.sg

7 Vintage Design Trends You’ll Love If You’re Feeling Nostalgic For Old Singapore

As we celebrate our nation’s 52nd birthday in August, there is no better time to reminiscent about the olden days when things were slower, better and easier. After all, old is gold right?

We can wax lyrical all we want about how the bygone days is infinitely more desirable, but why not turn those reminiscences into actuality but doing up a vintage and retro theme in your home? These 7 design ideas will get you set for a trip down memory lane.

 

1. Ventilation blocks

Ventilation blocks have a history in traditional buildings situated in the tropics, which Singapore is. Before air-conditioning was made popular, these building modules provided climatic comfort by allowing the air to flow through into the inner chambers. Nowadays though, they are more a design element than an architectural necessity.

Their decorative floral designs are pretty to look at, but when used as a room divider, they are useful as a way to let in natural daylight and ventilation.

Design: Fuse Concept

Design: Fuse Concept

Design: The Design Practice

You don’t have to confine them as dividers. They are great as an old-school style headboard for your bed.

Design: Free Space Intent

Or a feature wall for your living room.

Design: Free Space Intent

 

2. Old-fashioned metal grills

Old-fashioned metal window grills and door gates with their intricate designs and geometric patterns are commonplace in Singapore flats of the 60s and 70s. Many of these homes were then demolished and the structural pieces collected and repurposed into beautiful decorative pieces in today’s newer flats.

Just before demolition:

Source: The Long and Winding Road

They’re a good choice as a room divider for small apartments. Owing to their see-through nature, you don’t get a visual heftiness like with concrete walls. Work them in plainer settings so that they’ll be more conspicuous.

Design: Momo and Partners

Design: WYTO

Design: Wee Studio

They can also stand alone as feature wall art.

Design: Momo and Partners

Design: 0932 Design Consultants

You can get second-hand, vintage ones from places like Carousell. Or custom make them from Teetfa.

 

3. Window louvres

Like with many vintage architectural features in Singapore, window louvres serve as a great way to invite ventilation into the homes. Some of them are frosted rather than clear to offer a semblance of privacy for the occupants inside. Panes are angled to provide a shield against the rays of the sun and to repel the rain, while ensuring there are gaps for air circulation. They are commonly found in areas that require good ventilation such as the bathroom.

Louvres from an HDB flat slated for demolition:

Source: Mimiworld On The Memory Lane

Today, they are often used as a design element indoors.

Window louvres fitted into an aluminium frame function to delineate the confines of a bedroom in this apartment.

Design: Versaform

Here’s another design that used window louvres to demarcate a room.

Design: DISTINCTidENTITY

Placed along the walkway inside the apartment, they serve to mimic the home’s original louvre windows.

Design: Museum Homes

When closed, window louvres help to keep the cooking fumes away from the rest of the flat and keep the kitchen ventilated when opened.

Design: Three-D Conceptwerke

 

4. Old-school Kopitiam-style tables and chairs

Marble topped tables with wooden pedestal legs and spindle-backed wooden chairs were ubiquitous in Kopitiams of yesteryear. Made in Poland and then locally rebranded, they conjure up images of uncles sipping black cups of coffee in an unhurried pace as the world passed them by. Many vintage pieces are lovingly restored and re-varnished, finding their place in new modern homes. However, there are replicas out there if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative.

Design: Ace Space Design

Design: Three-D Conceptwerke

Design: Three-D Conceptwerke

Design: The 80’s Studio

 

5. White ceramic square tiles

These were popular in bathrooms and kitchens in old HDBs, in part due to their affordability and also because they were so basic and versatile. They’ve recently faced a resurgence thanks to an embracing of minimalism, and is most commonly seen on kitchen counters and walls. Usually accompanied with black grout lines, they make a bold statement and produce a bright, clean look.

Design: Free Space Intent

Design: Exquisite Art Furniture Interior Decoration

Design: The Design Practice

Design: The Association

 

6. Poured concrete counters

Kitchen counters in the past were usually made from poured concrete because it was readily available and cheap. Here’s a look at an old HDB kitchen, vacated and ready to be demolished:

Source: Mimiworld On The Memory Lane

While concrete remains a popular material, particularly with homeowners trying for the industrial look, the price for the material has soared considerably. Concrete counters of the past were often affixed with cabinets fronted with wooden doors. The look was recreated in this modern apartment:

Design: The Scientist

This home features a cement screed counter and cabinets fronted with polycarbonate panels.

Design: The Scientist

 

7. Terrazzo flooring

Many of us would have seen the ubiquitous terrazzo flooring in old apartments in Singapore. Made from aggregate blends like marble, mother-of-pearl and glass, they were a low-cost flooring option.

Source: S/Pore

Terrazzo has very recently received attention in the international design scene, where it was used not only in flooring but also in furniture and accessories. It remains to be seen if this material will receive as big a revival locally, but we hope to be seeing more of them in the future.

Design: Free Space Intent

Design: Chapter B

 


Browse through the list of Interior Designers, their reviews and portfolios at http://www.renonation.sg/professionals/interior-designers/

Submit your renovation enquiry:

  • Complete this form and we will recommend you a list of reputable interior design firms that fit your renovation requirements. It's free!
  • My Property

  • Accepted file types: jpg, gif, png, pdf, ppt, jpeg.
    We recommend to attach your floor plan for a better estimate. File must less than 2MB.
  • Project Info

  • $
  • My Contact Details

  • Terms & Conditions

  • What information do we collect?

    Offsprings Group Pte Ltd collects information from you when you register on RenoNation.sg or fill out a form. When registering on our website, as appropriate, you may be asked to enter your name, email address and contact number. You may, however, visit our website anonymously.

    What do we use your information for?

    Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways:

    • to personalise your experience (your information helps us to better respond to your individual needs)
    • to improve our website (we continually strive to improve our website based on the information and feedback we receive from you)
    • to improve customer service (your information helps us to effectively respond to your customer service requests and support needs)
    • to send periodic emails that contain information, updates, related product and service information etc (if at any time you wish to unsubscribe, we include detailed unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of each email)
    • to administer a contest, promotion, survey, or other site feature
    How do we protect your information?

    We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you visit our website. RenoNation.sg uses technologies and policies such as limited-access data centres, firewall technology, secure socket layer certificate authentication and limitations of administrative access to our systems to protect your information.

    Do we use cookies?

    We do not use cookies.

    Do we disclose any information to outside parties?

    We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. This does not include third parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or servicing you, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply by the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others' rights, property, or safety. However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses.

    Third party links

    We include or offer third party products or services on our website. These third party sites have separate and independent privacy policies. We therefore have no responsibility or liability for the content or activities of these linked sites. Nonetheless, we seek to protect the integrity of our site and welcome any feedback about these sites.

    Online privacy policy only

    This online privacy policy applies only to information collected through our website and not information collected offline.

    Your consent

    By submitting your request through our website, you agree to be contacted by our appointed Interior Design Firms and other service providers. By selecting "Yes" for Renovation Loan, you agree to our affiliated bank to contact you via telephone calls. For details on data protection, please refer to our privacy policy on our website.

    Changes to our privacy policy

    If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on this page. This post was last modified on 1st Oct 2015.

    Contacting us

    If there are any questions regarding this privacy policy, you may contact us at support@renonation.sg.


Get Quotation - RenoNation.sg