Our Editor-at-Large Emily Armstrong shares her Favourite Interiors Finds from Singapore-Based Mama-Led Businesses - The Grace Tales

Our Editor-at-Large Emily Armstrong shares her Favourite Interiors Finds from Singapore-Based Mama-Led Businesses

One thing’s for certain - we’ve all been spending a lot of time at home this year. It’s largely suited me as a homebody at heart, and especially with a newborn baby who has been happy at home, surrounded by family. But all this time at home has stirred a desire to feather the nest with a few interiors updates. The repetition of feeding on the same sofa with the same view has me seeing what needs updating in very clear detail!

I’m on the homewares hunt and becoming a little obsessed with tabletop too for all the entertaining I’m planning once we’re allowed. I’m sourcing from my favourite mama-led businesses here in Singapore to support through lockdown and beyond. (And yes, most of them ship globally…)

As we make the move from Singapore to the UK, I’m keeping in mind buying items that work equally as well in the English countryside as here in the tropics. And surprisingly, they do! There’s a theme emerging – lots of rattan, block print, pattern and bamboo.

I’ve chosen my favourites from each (not an easy task when you want everything!) and hope you too can find some treasures to feather your nest while supporting these brilliant small businesses and fellow mamas.

Happy nesting mamas!


Tara Thivolet (read our interview here) creates upscale bohemian products inspired by her extensive travels. Her block printed napkins have been featured in US Vogue and she’s stocked in her friend Amanda Cutter Brook’s super chic Cotswolds store, Cutter Brooks. You need to sign up fast for updates on her website as she sells out quickly and there are queues around the block at her pop-ups here in Singapore. You’ve been warned!

My picks: scalloped napkins for tabletop and gifting, and a set of block print quilted placemats with matching napkins.

@zojora, zojora.com

Elizabeth Hay Design

Elizabeth initially trained at Colefax & Fowler and then become a senior designer with Veere Grenney. She is now a hugely respected international interior designer in her own right, based in Singapore. She also has an incredibly dreamy home – think English country manor meets colonial tropics. Her way with colour and print is exquisite. To complement her interior design practice, Elizabeth curates a beautiful mix of homewares – furniture, tabletop and textiles, and her printed, pleated lampshades are a must.

My picks: some more lampshades (so useful and extremely good value for money), and a colourful Suzani (which I’ll use for an ottoman, headboard, back of sofa or frame as a piece of artwork on the wall).

@elizabethhaydesign, elizabethhaydesign.com

Momiji Kids

I confess to obsessing over everything from this gorgeous local brand run by a busy mum of little ones, designing rattan nursery furniture, decor and toys, handcrafted in Vietnam. My baby Rose has the bassinet and now she’s graduated to a cot, my five-year-old Aggie is using the bassinet for all her babies (ie soft toys).

My picks: The Gerhana bassinet adds a vintage charm to all nursery or, in our case, master bedroom interiors. And this pink wicker suitcase is beyond cute – I can see it being carted around with all sorts of treasures, and on picnics too. Also great for storage.

@momiji_kids, momijikids.com

Shop Lottie Lifestyle

When I heard Charlie Cameron was opening her store I knew she would curate beautiful items with impeccable design and craftsmanship. Charlie is a powerhouse with great taste and talent who has been sharing her know-how and supporting small business and start-ups here in Singapore for many years. A stylist, photographer, interior decorator, content creator, workshop founder and now shop owner, she’s a busy lady (read more our interview with Charlie here – https://thegracetales.com/the-tale-of-charlie-cameron/). Her shop has everything you need to invest in lovely authentic items from the brands we love (think Sabre cutlery, Maison de Vacance linens, Rachel Castle artwork and so much more).

My picks: the pale pink tumblers are heaven! I may need to add the green ones in time too, and the bamboo handled salad servers are both useful and beautiful! And a perfect host gift…

@lottieisloving, shoplottielifestyle.com


Bungalow 55

I was already following Bungalow 55 on Instagram before I moved to Singapore and after my first two weeks in a serviced apartment with my kids during the rainy season, I made a solo dash to the store and instantly felt at home! My dream home that is. Founder Nina Beale, (read our interview here) has created the most beautified store and she also offers styling and interior decorating services across the island. Nina curates furniture and entertaining classics, with prominent blue and white themes and everything from lithograph prints to backgammon sets and ginger jars.

My picks: These silver plated bamboo frames are perfect for family photos from our time in the tropics, and this set of blue and white baskets for storage or perhaps on the wall?

@bungalow55, thebungalow55.com

The Jungle Emporium

I couldn’t be more excited about this online shop opening! Founder Julianne has the chicest eye, honed through many years of travel and she is curating and creating products thoughtfully and sustainably from Asia and beyond. Stumbling across her Instagram was like diving into my dream mood board – full of colour and luxe bohemian inspiration. The webshop has recently opened and offers a stunning mix of furniture, homewares and accessories with a tropical, colonial and bohemian vibe. Get your wish lists ready, mamas!

My picks: the rattan Belanak placemats and fabulous Barbar side table!

@thejungleemporium, jungle-emporium.com

Malabar & Co

Two friends founded Malabar & Co after a colourful trip to India together, and sell beautiful hand-stitched cotton Kantha quilts and cushions in various patterns and jewel colours, and colourful straw clutch bags. They are now firmly on the wish lists, as well as beds and sofas of those in the know, both near and far.

My picks: a pair of pink signature Malabar print single quilts for the foot of my daughters’ twin beds, and a hand-woven rainbow clutch (actually two)! One for a teacher’s gift, one for me…

@welovemalabar, malabarandco.net


The Grey House

Owner Claire creates and curates beautiful interiors – think furniture, rugs and home accessories made from natural materials in neutral hues with a modern monochrome feel. The philosophy is a tailored approach with teak furniture from Indonesia and rugs from north India – most collections are bespoke. Claire also carries my favourite, Maison Balzac home accessories.

My picks – This leather and teak sling chair reminds me of the campaign chairs in my Dad’s office – very Out of Africa! And you can never have enough candles, particularly one called Rose (this one is by Grace Tales favourite Maison Balzac).

@the_grey_house, thegreyhouseonline.com

Bowerbird Ceramics

It’s almost impossible to visit a home here in Singapore (especially the Aussie cohort) and not find at least one Bowerbird Ceramics piece on display. There is almost a cult following for the hand made tropical ceramics brand owner Lisa has developed, supporting artisans in Vietnam – a favourite for gifting on the island – and I hear she now ships abroad too!

My picks: The oversized palm print vase and set of tapas plates, very useful for entertaining and storing little items like jewellery around the home.

@bowerbird_ceramics, bowerbird.com.sg

Affordable Style Files

A favourite for home decorating and gifting, this store keeps busy with the local and expat Singapore community. Owner and interior designer Hong now resides back home in Australia but the shop, local interior design projects and the following is as strong as ever!

My picks: This gorgeous rug by Aussie brand Armadillo & Coand this dreamy coffee table book. 

@affordablestylefiles, affordablestylefiles.com