Most notable is Casa Nuovo (471/473 Balestier Rd., 6251-5570), the official lighting partner for Swarovski. Every single fixture is magnificently crafted using Swarovski crystals—from the groovy toilet signs ($400) to a minimal ceiling light ($150) to the centerpiece in the store—a chandelier to end all chandeliers ($15,500) made from literally hundreds of crystals.
Less decadent but equally cool is Eurostar Lighting & Furnishings (453/455 Balestier Rd., 6251-0018). We especially dig the thoroughly modern and minimalist Collective Luces wall lights which double up as a mirror ($400 upwards) by Spanish designer Maurizio Ferrari, and the very cool top hats hanging lights ($250 upwards).
For other decent selections, try Lightings.com.sg (515 Balestier Rd., 6256-0080), Etoile Lumiere (329 Balestier Rd., 6253-0103) and The Light Shop (317 Balestier Rd., 6295-8431).
But what’s good lighting without good design? Hop on over to De Design (2 Whampoa Dr., 6254-9718) for some groovy home furnishing picks. Owner Henry Chan carries an assortment of items here: From metal chandelier lamps ($600) that will look great in the living room, to one-of-a-kind furniture, rugs, table lamps, cabinets and paintings sourced from Vietnam, Bangkok and Malaysia—every piece here is special and has its own story.
For more contemporary furnishing, try Living Vision (#01-20/21 Balestier Point, 279 Balestier Rd., 6256-7756). The Italian-inspired collection is clean and modern, although pieces are produced locally to ensure that prices remain competitive. A hip dining set sets you back $1,500, but check out the cool beehive lights ($690) and a thoroughly well-made wooden chair ($690).
Or try the ever reliable Scanteak (1 Pegu Rd., 6355-0208) for quality wood furnishing.
Just around the corner is Ted Collection (277 Balestier Rd., 6227-9577), specializing in haute couture gowns and dresses great for special balls and parties. Designers Don and Alvin can be seen at work handcrafting the clothes from scratch. Keep a look out for their gorgeous cheongsams ($800 upwards).
Funky streetwear can be found at Terpoa Department Trading (#01-839 Blk. 89 Whampoa Dr.). Most of the items are imported from China, but if you look hard enough, you’ll find hidden gems in the form of a pair of checkered mens shoes ($39.90) that could pass as Comme des Garcons and casual Converse-inspired slip-ons ($19.90). Also, you can bargain down the prices here.
Authentic vintage glasses can be had at Lim Kay Chee Optical (330 Balestier Rd., 6256-4635), carrying hundreds of pairs of chic eyewear from just $39.90. Those who have been paying a couple of hundred for these babies elsewhere will be glad to know that these are the real deal. Lim Kay Chee manages to keep the prices down because they’re also the wholesalers—this is probably the best kept shopping secret in the whole of Balestier.