Vintage chairs rock on in candy hues

Mr Jay Sim restores vintage furniture, while wife Pearl deals with the store's sales and marketing.

SINGAPORE - Walk into any home these days and you may spot nary a splash of colour as modern furniture pieces tend to have minimalistic, monochrome colour schemes.

But if you're looking for something to spruce up your home, vintage-furniture company The Rocking Chair (TRC) might just have the piece you're looking for.

Owned by three Singaporeans - Ms Tiffany Sim, her brother, Mr Jay Sim, and his wife Pearl Sim - TRC was set up to provide home owners with old-school home-decor items which look contemporary.

Mr Sim and his wife love everything vintage because such items are "built to last".

"Nowadays, things are made to last for only a year. Then, you'd have to go back to the store to upgrade it or get a new one," said Mr Sim, 35.

The business started with a candy-coloured rocking chair, which the couple displayed at home.

Mrs Sim, 37, said: "The colour theme for our home was black and white, but we wanted a statement piece to make the room pop.

"So, we bought a rocking chair and restored it. Jay painted it pink and purple. It got a lot of attention from our friends whenever they visited."

That rocking chair not only gave rise to the name of their store, but it is also the signature piece within TRC's collection. It retails at $390 each.

Mr Sim told My Paper that it takes him about 1 1/2 days to restore a chair. The chairs are sourced from Malaysia.

He said: "I have to sand it, prime it, sand it again, paint it, and then apply the lacquer."

To the couple, the hard work is a labour of love.

Mrs Sim said: "Every time we look at the rocking chair, we feel a sense of pride because we know how much work we've put into it."

While her husband gets his hands dirty with restoring furniture, Mrs Sim is in charge of sales and marketing.

She painstakingly traces the origins of each vintage item and labels them with little cards.

Mr Sim told My Paper that some of their pieces are sourced from Britain by his sister, 37, who is based in London. Some of the British pieces TRC is selling date back as far as the early 19th century.

Besides furniture, TRC sells accessories such as a collector's 1951 Prior of London monocular microscope and a serialised antique Singer sewing machine which was manufactured in Scotland in 1917.

Vintage items found in Singapore, which have been spruced up by Mr Sim, include a cool matte-black industrial fan with coloured blades and a signboard-top coffee table with baby-blue hairpin legs.

The husband and wife said that business has been brisk.

Mrs Sim said: "We hope that through this store, we are able to get more people to appreciate vintage furniture, especially ones which have been passed down through generations."

myp@sph.com.sg

The Rocking Chair is located at 80 Playfair Road #03-08, Block A, Kapo Factory. Visit www.facebook.com/ therockingchairsg

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