Five to try: Antiques and knick-knacks to decorate your home
Whether you’re looking to add a touch of Asia to your home or want to channel Jane Austen, you can find décor to suit your taste in Malaysia’s big range of home furnishing shops. Carissa Morais scouts the peninsula for cool home décor shops for every kind
Peter Hoe Beyond
Housed in a refurbished heritage building with a colourful history, Peter Hoe Beyond is just as colourful with its items as it is with its vibe. This large space, which has been profiled by
The New York Times, has everything you need to craft an artsy, little atelier in your house. The place is a lot more popular with expats and tourists so expect prices that are slightly above average. But if you’re looking for sturdy quality and items that are uncommon, purchases here can be a good investment for your home. Browse through a variety of pillows with flowery geometrical patterns, oriental lanterns and fancy kitchen utensils that (hopefully) work as well as they look. The concept of the shop leans towards a playful Asian sentiment, which we think is unique, with vibrant colours that resonate well if you’re looking for a fresh look. What’s also nice about this place is the café in the corner that serves as a great pick-me-up in between browsing for items. If you’re lucky to catch Peter there, you might just get some recommendations and maybe even a discount. Lee Rubber Building, 145 Jalan Tun HS Lee, KL (03 2026 9788).
Chantique Home Furnishings
Strategically located along the stream of similar interior décor and furniture shops in Bangsar, Chantique is a double-storey house that resembles a warehouse of antiques and modern day items with a central Javanese vibe. This neat space features urban furniture with the occasional touch of traditional wooden carvings and quirky pieces like seashell statement necklaces to frame your dresser instead of your neck. Apart from the Javanese and Malay-designed décor items, you’ll be surprised to find European-styled plush carpets, recliners and cupboards that take you back to the ’40s. Besides their own items, Chantique also stores antiques and other decorative items sourced from countries like Denmark and Indonesia. These run out pretty fast so we recommend swift purchase for one-off items that are in demand. If you’re looking for a spiritual Asian feel with contemporary styling, this is a place to check out if you’re willing to invest in long-term quality. 156 Jalan Maarof, Bukit Bandaraya, Bangsar, KL (03 2093 3460/chantiquehf. com).
The Curiousity Shop
This large space started out as a pop-up store housing the proprietor’s antique collection. Inspired by the Old Curiosity Shop in central London, this space stores nearly everything your mind can imagine. Browse through furniture, antiques, acrylic paintings, kitchenware and whimsical decorative items. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find cookies during festive seasons and vintage movie posters that are hard to find. Largely taking its cue from parts of Europe as well as Scandinavian countries, you’d be surprised to find that there’s also a large pool of Asian goodies like china tea sets, batik print lamps, lanterns and rattan chairs. This shop gets our vote for having the best of both worlds and for having an extensive variety of almost everything you might desire when redecorating. It’s no surprise that they’re currently widening their
space to include a café (which is due to open soon) in addition to a section for upcoming art classes. Speaking of art classes, art supplies like canvas, brushes and frames are sold here and to our surprise, we even found nail polish. The price range is wide, ranging from affordable to mega expensive, depending on what you’re buying. Level two, Lot 12, 1 Mont Kiara, 1 Jalan Kiara, Mont Kiara, KL (017 853 6660/ www.thecuriousitygallery. blogspot.com).
179 The House
Antique enthusiasts will be delighted to find this little shop along Victoria Street among the throng of art shops in the vicinity. Part of the ChinaHouse clan and fairly easy to locate, 179 The House stocks a variety of pieces from rustic, minimalist furniture carved from wood and rattan to whimsical, hipster-like sculptures that will do wonders in dressing up an empty space. Aside from the antique furniture items, the rest of 179’s stock is modern and funky. The first floor features acrylic and mixed media paintings which lean towards a more Western aesthetic. There’s also a variety of other little artsy trinkets. However, if you’re looking for Asian flair, you’ll find decorative pots with Chinese art motifs, teh tarik shop-styled wooden chairs and batik print rugs which are aplenty. 179 Lebuh Victoria, George Town, Penang.
Little Cottage Home Decor
As the name suggests, Little Cottage is filled with quaint pieces that remind us of a classic English film set in the countryside. The theme of the shop is definitely obvious once you step in and we relish the quiet and cosy feel that comes with it. Product-wise, you can’t go wrong with their faux flower pots and furniture sets, especially if you like white and polished finishing touches. Their extensive photo frames and mini grandfather clocks are eye-catching, but we doubt they are truly antique. So if you’re into genuine vintage items, you won’t find them here. This Korean-based shop sources some of their products from Indonesia and also operates a retail store, Fabulook, next door that caters to the K-Pop loving generation. If you have an unspeakable love for all things Beatrix Potter and Jane Austen, this is probably the shop for you. 4D Jalan Gottlieb, George Town, Penang (04 229 1219/www.facebook.com/ cottagehomme).