Decor debuts

Decor debuts

Blackhole Lighting
Parkmall, B1-21
Hours: 11am to 8pm
www.blackholelighting.com

WHEN it comes to shopping for lighting, there are usually two ways to go. First there are the upmarket stores which retail aesthetically stunning pieces such as those from Flos, Artemide and Brand Van Egmond, which can cost from a few thousand dollars.

New interior design shops to check out

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    Parkmall, B1-21
    Hours: 11am to 8pm
    www.blackholelighting.com

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    "Blackhole serves as an alternate choice as we represent smaller but design-focused companies or the producer-designer, offering design that is fresh and handcrafted so that customers can be sure they are buying the originals," he says.

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    Some of the brands that he carries include NicheModern from the US, Petite Friture from France, David Trubridge from New Zealand, and LeeBroom and Decode London, both from the UK. "These companies are young and fresh. They keep pushing for design excellence, challenging the status quo. I see them as the future of lighting design," says Mr Yong.

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    He picks lights made of unusual materials and have more sculptural forms. They include the Brokis Memory ceiling lights, from $380, that resemble balloons that have floated to the ceiling, or Llot Llov Ray Pendant lights where the shades are made from either cotton, merino or angola wood.

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    Mr Yong is an award-winning furniture designer, who runs two furniture stores, Grafunkt and Folks. He also designs for international brands such as Living Divani and Ligne Roset.

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    Furniture is his main focus, but Mr Yong has also designed a few lamps. The industry veteran notes that homeowners these days see lights doing more than merely illuminating a space. "Lamps are becoming functional art. People want pieces that are talking points," he says.

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    20 Bendemeer Road, Cyberhub, #06-09
    Hours: 9am to 5.30pm, closed on weekends;
    www.ki-mono.net
    Besides Muji, Francfranc and Atomi, there is newcomer Ki-mono.net, set up four months ago, by TOA E&I International, a consumer electronics procurement company.

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    "Ki" means "wood" in Japanese, and "mono" means "things". "This is where you will find Japanese-designed wooden furniture imported from Japan," says Ms Matsuda.
    It carries over 10 brands of furniture, such as Emo, E-Toko and Mope. They may not be household names here, but Ms Matsuda says they are popular in Japan.

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    Ki-mono.net's spokesman Miyuki Matsuda says, "We saw there was a high demand for furniture, so we decided to venture into this business." This is the company's first venture into retail business, after a 20-year presence in Singapore.

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    158 Kallang Way, Safekeep Building, #01-518
    6744 0018
    Hours: 10am to 7pm, closed on Sundays

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    A VISIT to Myanmar for a hotel project led Jermaine Ng, who runs interior design firm Seven Heaven to start a second business.
    She was in touch with some timber suppliers and realised that it could be lucrative to import wood from the country. After all, she was using plenty of wood in her projects, for restaurants and private residences. With that, she started Wood Hood, which like its name implies, focuses on wooden furniture.

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    Every four months, she heads to Chiangmai and East Timor, where she buys lychee, suar, tamarind, thinwin wood, teak and rosewood.
    "I get very excited when the workers there sand down the logs, and the beauty of the grain comes through," she says.

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    To ensure that the pieces last for years to come, Ms Ng plans to start woodcare workshops in the following months. "We can give tips on how to spot a good piece of wood, and how to care for them."

Or you could head to the lighting shops along Balestier Roads, which offer lights at much lower prices. There is nothing wrong with shopping there, but often the pieces are merely functional or are copies of their dearer cousins.

Seeing a gap in between these two markets, designer Nathan Yong decided to open his own store, Blackhole Lighting. "Blackhole serves as an alternate choice as we represent smaller but design-focused companies or the producer-designer, offering design that is fresh and handcrafted so that customers can be sure they are buying the originals," he says.

Even the name reflects the store's vision. A black hole is a region of space from which gravity prevents anything, including light, from escaping. "I want Blackhole to be a destination where all good lighting design will be concentrated," says Mr Yong.

Some of the brands that he carries include NicheModern from the US, Petite Friture from France, David Trubridge from New Zealand, and LeeBroom and Decode London, both from the UK. "These companies are young and fresh. They keep pushing for design excellence, challenging the status quo. I see them as the future of lighting design," says Mr Yong.

He picks lights made of unusual materials and have more sculptural forms. They include the Brokis Memory ceiling lights, from $380, that resemble balloons that have floated to the ceiling, or Llot Llov Ray Pendant lights where the shades are made from either cotton, merino or angola wood. These cost from $1,050. Then there is also the Lee Broom Decanterlights, priced from $780, that resemble crystal perfume bottles being hung up.

Mr Yong is an award-winning furniture designer, who runs two furniture stores, Grafunkt and Folks. He also designs for international brands such as Living Divani and Ligne Roset.

Furniture is his main focus, but Mr Yong has also designed a few lamps. The industry veteran notes that homeowners these days see lights doing more than merely illuminating a space. "Lamps are becoming functional art. People want pieces that are talking points," he says.

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