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True Story: How This District Became A Popular Expat Enclave In Singapore


Formerly a cluster of British military barracks in 1850, Dempsey is now an expat-friendly destination for hip restaurants and eclectic furniture shops.

One of the first such stores in the area was Woody Antique House, which opened its doors in 2000.

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“There’ve been lots of changes since,” says Chris, who runs the business with his wife Ang Wei Chin (Read about how they started Woody Antique House here!). “For example, there were no eateries when we first opened here.”

Chris says he initially learned about Dempsey from a relative in the ’90s, who explained that it was a popular expatriate hangout. “It is near to the Orchard area yet surrounded by greenery, which offers customers a quiet and pleasant shopping experience,” shares Chris. What better place for an antique furniture business than in historically rich Dempsey, he remembers thinking.  

The store continues to expand with the area. Woody Antique House now has the largest showroom space among the furniture stores in Dempsey. Not only does the store carry antique Chinese furniture it retails, one-piece Suarwood tabletops, a selection of recycled teak furniture, Indian vintage collections and outdoor products as well. In addition, it also offers furniture customisation, modification and repainting services.

See also: In Pictures: This Singapore Beauty Queen's Vintage Shophouse Is A Total Beauty, Too

Though there are now more than a few furniture stores in Dempsey, and more competition for Woody Antique House, Chris says he isn’t fazed. “We work hard to differentiate ourselves with our product range, quality and customer service,” he says.

And Chris wants to dispel the misconception that Woody Antique House is expensive because of its location: “Our furniture is reasonably priced as compared to other stores outside Dempsey.”

Drop by Woody Antique House to chat with Chris about your furniture needs. He’ll be happy to tell you a little more about Dempsey, too! Or, take a sneak peek at their range of furniture below.

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