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Shophouses are one of the few remaining pieces of Singapore’s past.
A type of building characterised by narrow, small terraced houses that open up to a sheltered pedestrian way, these beautiful, nostalgic buildings are something most of us Singaporeans can only dream of living in.
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to live in one of Singapore’s shophouses, wonder no further, because there are a handful of them listed on Airbnb.
We sussed out some of the best shophouses/colonial homes you can stay in in Singapore, and here they are.
1. Vintage Vibes In Jalan Besar
If you’ve been to the Petain Road area, you’ll notice one striking detail about the area – its Insta-worthy walls.
Lined with a mish-mash of Spanish tiles, Chinese animal motifs, Malay eaves, and European carvings, it’s no wonder so many Singaporeans flock to the place, hoping to snap a picture for the ‘gram.
It is precisely here that you’ll find one of the most interesting shophouses that’s listed on Airbnb.
‘Eclectic’ is the first word that comes to mind when it comes to this unique space.
The first floor of this two-storey house is a Bohemian lobby-cum-waiting area. There’s plenty of foliage in the form of large potted plants, as well as an inviting seating area decorated with mismatched patchwork cushions.
What’s interesting about this place is that many of the objects in the house have been upcycled and restored, such as the TV cabinet and study desk.
There’s even a working gramophone player you can use to play records! Lounge in the lobby to the crackling and good tunes drifting from the old gramophone – we can’t imagine an afternoon better spent.
A house that’s not only stylish but bursting with character, we just want to explore every inch of it – we hear there are antiquities stowed away in the cupboards!
Book at: Bright & Airy, Heritage Shophouse
Location: Jalan Besar
Price: SGD$127 – SGD$165/night
2. A Danish Finish At Jalan Besar
If you’re a fan of loud colours and bold prints, you’d wish this was your home.
The owner of this place doesn’t shy away from colour, as can be seen from the lime green couch, blue curtains, pink walls, and neon yellow pillows.
Inspired by “Mad Men”, each piece of furniture in the room makes a statement on its own. Framed artwork fills the space and tropical plants are strategically placed throughout the studio.
Head down to the common area/guest waiting lobby and a completely different (read: safari) vibe awaits.
With more gorgeous greenery, as well as zebra motifs filling the room, there’s no way you don’t take a million photographs in this amazing space.
Book at: SuperHost Danish Designer Apt In 1920s Shophouse!
Location: Jalan Besar
Price: SGD$125 – SGD$168/night
3. A Rustic Roost In Chinatown
If you like a more rustic, minimalist aesthetic, get a load of this place.
Dark wood and black is a theme that threads through the entire house. Situated in the heart of Chinatown, the place is spacious, with delightfully local art hanging on the walls, giving the 2-storey space some local flair.
There’s a place to people watch by the window and a lounging area for you to read a book or flip through some magazines.
The rooms are simple but inviting, with bold patterned sheets breaking up all the wood in the room. There are even cute fairy lights for a fun little addition to the space!
Another great thing about this place is that you can split it however you like. With movable partitions and so much space at your disposal, you’re free to create your own ideal living situation in this shophouse!
Book at: Loft Living In The Heart Of Chinatown
Price: SGD$220 – SGD$345/night
4. Heritage Home Meets Helsinki In Geylang
If you’re all about that Scandi-chic aesthetic, this house will give you a visual orgasm. That, and there’s a roof hatch on the second floor that leads to a private roof terrace.
Located in the historic and culturally-vibrant Geylang district, this is probably the most famous crib of those listed here, having been featured in various publications such as WSJ and New York Times.
Not only are the rooms extremely easy on the eyes. One thing that is sure to excite the kid in you (because it had that exact effect on us) is that it has a ladder leading up to the roof. Nope, not stairs but a ladder that leads up to a hatch.
Exit through the hatch and you’ll find yourself on your own private terrace!
Book at: Helsinki Loft in Award-winning Heritage Shophouse
Price: SGD$167 – SGD$310/night
5. Quirky Enclave In Orchard
Now, this is a cute place to stay.
A charming little Colonial House on Emerald Hill Road along Orchard Road, everything about this place puts a smile on our faces.
Cozy throw blanket on the sofa? Check. Cute planters? Check. Dashes of quirky art? Check!
Unlike the previous houses that weren’t too big on colour, this one has pops of colour in the places you least expect them. There’s a periwinkle blue chair, a bright yellow side table, a laundry bag with a bright orange lining….
Our favourite spot in this shophouse has to be their little yard.
Appointed with a couple of chairs and a handful of hanging planters, turn on the fairy lights at night to create your own little romantic hideout! We can picture ourselves laying on the ground, just talking through the night.
Book at: Orchard Road Heritage Shophouse | Somerset MRT
Price: SGD$128 – SGD$188/night
Want to plan something different for your special someone this Christmas or New Year’s? Why not have a staycation at one of these gorgeous Airbnbs? Not only is it a much more affordable getaway option, you also get to play house with your partner!
And hey, there’s nothing more romantic than living out the future you might have, imagining how life would be years down the road.
(Header Image Source: Airbnb)