Discover True Antique Chic At The Past Perfect Collection
Discover the charm of a bygone era at The Past Perfect Collection, which boasts a collection of furniture dating back to India’s colonial past.
Every history buff has probably fantasied about bringing home a genuine antique at some point of time. And if such yearnings are all-too familiar to you, a trip to The Past Perfect Collection may be in order.
Established by Dutch couple Pieter and Marie-Hélène van Houten in 2007, The Past Perfect Collection serves local homeowners as the go-to store for antique furniture originating from the British, Dutch and Portuguese eras of colonial India.
“My husband and I lived in India for 5 years, and it was during this period of time that we discovered our love for antique furniture while learning about India’s colonial history,” says Marie. “After we moved to Singapore, what started out as a personal collection for our home in Mumbai became a serious business.”
A decade later, The Past Perfect Collection continues to maintain a strong working relationship with the country where it all began.
“We work in close cooperation with professional and experienced antique suppliers across India and we pay special attention to the quality, condition, rarity and origin of each piece. For furniture that require expert restoration, they are carefully touched up by a team of dedicated craftsmen who are also based in India,” says Marie.
Resembling an art gallery more than a furniture showroom, The Past Perfect Collection’s store at Tan Boon Liat Building features backdrops of pristine white, allowing natural light to bounce off their surroundings and giving the space a sophisticated museum-like quality.
Pristine interior aside, the true stars of the store remain its handsome curios that are personally sourced by Marie and Pieter.
Marie says: “At Past Perfect, only genuine antiques of the highest quality are included in our collection. And we handpick them from different regions across India so that we are able to offer our customers a wider variety of styles. You’ll be amazed by the quality of the materials used, the handiwork and attention to detail that set these pieces of furniture apart from the norm.”
Walk around the store and you’ll discover that it is filled from top to toe with authentic specimens of 19th Century Anglo-Indian furniture. Prominent pieces include a mahogany sofa featuring scrolled ends and finely-carved floral roundels as well as a magnificent Empire-style glass chandelier that was found in a Maharaja palace in Gujarat.
As for its selection of modern-day, non-antique items, The Past Perfect Collection similarly imports high-quality works produced by seasoned Indian craftsmen. Marie points out: “We also stock fine bone china dinnerware from Indian design house Good Earth, which are store-exclusive items, along with beautiful silver accessories made by the finest silversmiths in Jaipur.”
Dressing Up Your Home: Colonial Style
Adding antiques to today’s interiors may require some decorating finesse on the part of homeowners, but Marie is a firm believer of combining them with contemporary furniture due to the traditional elegance that they bring into a space. “With the right piece, you can enhance any living environment, regardless of whether it is contemporary or classic,” says Marie.
Here are Marie’s top styling tips on how to imbue your home with the beauty of colonial antiquity:
1. Use The 80/20 Rule
“The 80/20 rule works like this: As long as 80 percent of your home shares the same décor style, period, or philosophy, you can deviate with the other 20 percent,” says Marie. “In other words, a fine antique can absolutely work in an ultramodern space if you apply this rule right.”
2. Create Contrast With Neutral Tones
When it comes to decorating with antiques, keeping your home’s colour palette simple is crucial. “By sticking to one or two neutral tones in a scheme, the background becomes a perfect canvas for highlighting a particular piece,” Marie says. “The same rule applies with lighting and accent colours. Choose the right one and you’ll have an attention grabber.”
3. Make Your Antiques The Focus
Just like any centerpiece, Marie recommends making your favourite antique the center of attention in your house. She says: “By definition, antique furniture are more than 100 years old, which makes them unique pieces of history that you could tell amazing stories about. It would be a shame to leave them in a corner!”
The Past Perfect Collection
315 Outram Road #11-05 Tan Boon Liat Building Singapore 169074
Opening hours: 1030am to 6pm