Spotlight: Retro Colony

Furniture pieces and home accessories that boast of timeless design stand as superstars in this shophouse in Tiong Bahru.

Updated on June 22, 2017 8:06 am

Jerni Camposano


For homeowners aiming for a retro look in their spaces, consider this furniture shop which is worth a trip down the Tiong Bahru area. Retro Colony was founded by two creative minds, Quak and Cole, in December 2014. Both were previously working in the advertising industry and were acquainted with different kinds of design.

"We love good designs. We've actually been exposed to the Karimoku brand many years before. From time to time over the years, we'd buy Japanese lifestyle magazines because we like designs that not only look good but still maintain great quality," shares Quak.

Karimoku is the Japanese furniture maker whose products Retro Colony mostly carries, including chairs, stools, sleeping sofas, shelves, consoles, and tables. Retro Colony is the exclusive distributor of Karimoku in Singapore.

"The product offerings we have, they have been around for over 70 years. The beauty of the designs from that era is the reason we love retro items. Also, Karimoku is a brand known for its philosophy of 'Quality First' so their pieces are guaranteed of the highest of quality," says Quak.

Cole adds, "The brands that we are carrying, their design is timeless. And being timeless, it will never go out of fashion. It was good to use back in the '60s, it's still good to use now, many years later."

Retro Colony is located in the busy neighbourhood of Tiong Bahru.

Retro Colony stands out in a crowd of shops offering Scandinavian and contemporary furniture and home decorative pieces. Quak and Cole are proud that their furniture collection is sensible, because the size is very suitable to the compact size of Singapore homes.

"We are distinctly different. We sell products that have the potential to become the next classic. That's why we are confident of the stuff we have here," quips Cole. "A lot of our customers find us on social media or were referred by friends. They come back to us because they appreciate what we are doing, in terms of the value we pass unto them. It's not our style to hard sell. We always try to explain to them every piece and let them research and think about it before purchasing."

Cop the retro look with Japan-made furniture items—vinyl leather armchairs, oak cupboards, and tables—stamped with 1960s original design. You can also pepper your home with retro-inspired accessories such as lamps and dining wares.

Karimoku K-Chair in Moquette Green and Premium Leather ($749 onwards). This is the first product that was designed and built for the Japanese domestic market back in 1962. The K-Chair is the flagship and top-selling product of Karimoku '60s range.

Karimoko Mini K Chair ($535) is a mini-sized chair that is made exactly the same process as the original K-Chair in terms of carpentry processing, painting, and sewing. It's suitable for children til age 5.

Check out some other Retro Colony products you can have for your retro-style home:

Retro Colony
Block 73 Eng Watt Street #01-05, Singapore 160073
Tel No.: +65 6676 3817 / +65 9179 9680

Open: Tuesday to Sunday, 12pm - 7pm

What is your go-to store for furniture and home decors? Email us at

Photos by Samantha Echavez
Karimoku K-Chair and Mini Chair photos grabbed from Retro Colony's Instagram


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