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Create That Instagram-Inspired Living Space Under The Budget Of $1500 With Taobao

We love design in 2021. For starters, gone are the days when renovations included dropping thousands of dollars on built-in cupboards and heavy carpentry clad with cheap laminate that you can’t even bring along with you to the next upgrade. Instead, living space design now sees a return to lightness- of curves and light wood; and windows that let in the evening sun for that Golden Hour look so often replicated on TikTok and Instagram.

The reality is, no self-respecting Gen-Z wants to be dropping a good 40-grand on purely renovation anymore. And you shouldn’t have to, not when the most on-trend spaces are now pared down to whites and light wood; and we have the modern digital conveniences on hand to shop anywhere in the world and bring in prized finds via consumer shippers for less than 20 cents on the dollar.

On that note, where can we find a mass assembly of furniture, design inspirations, and choices of homegoods with user reviews that will help separate quality from mass production in our long-distance purchases? Look no further than TaoBao.com: the treasure trove of good finds where- if you are not careful- you will find yourself trawling through millions of shops for hours while nestled a little too comfortably in the nook of your couch.

We dived into the design mass and emerged with these treasures - from little knick knacks to big-tag furniture- to help you recreate a refreshed, clean and on-trend living space that’s designed to become the talking point for your guests and friends. All that, within the budget of $1,500 SGD.

Urban Outfitters Style 1970’s Cane Chair - $144 (4x chairs)

Starting off, we go for the most utilized yet often overlooked piece of furniture in the house- the common chair. While people focus on dining tables, sofas and consoles, make your highlight the dining seats- for the real icons in the world of design are often featured in the humble chair. This B-32 Cesca style chair, first produced in 1928 by German Marcel Breuer, with its reinforced steel, curved elegant lines, and classic rattan seating so reminiscent of what we used to find in our grandparent’s homes has made a long-awaited comeback.

Airy, comfortable and what looks like a contraption that floats its users mid-air, the chair lines provide the type of suspension that will have your guests bouncing off their seats.

White Tulip Dining Table - $60

Next, bring simplicity to the table by pairing those iconic chairs with a simple retro white tulip style table - another design-inspired icon which harks back to a simpler, post-modern era where countertops were made of formica.


Plaid-Cloth Table Covering - $10

Top it off with a simple plaid tablecloth like this one- for the mornings when you host breakfast gatherings for early riser friends.

ArtPrint Port Painting in Purple - $32

And of course, with living spaces you’ll need art. Never underestimate the subtle power of beauty and feel that colours can add to a space. For wall art, we found this splash of purple Kolo Moser art print that goes beautifully with that overall light box aesthetic for just $20SGD. In choices of wooden, white or black frame, this piece comes with 5-star reviews on TaoBao for colour and quality- and we can’t agree more based on its Buyer’s Show segment.

Henceforth Vintage Korean Bone China Latte Cup - $8 for set of 2

All you will need alongside this art piece is an Illy Coffee Machine to complete the look- and large, white latte cups- like this ultra-affordable and chic Henceforth ceramic white latte cup that goes for just 4 SGD each.

Wooden Media Console With Reeded Glass Casement - $163

A soft-shaped wooden console with reeded glass closure is all you need to keep your media needs within reach. Skip the TV and use a beam projector instead so you can keep its surface clutter-free, save for a vinyl player and coffee machine. Let the cute retro glass casement doors keep your contents within dust-free and away from prying eyes, while adding a touch of lightness to the wooden facade.

Large Crescent and Milk Bulb Light - $80

Don’t forget to turn on the lights with this urban sweet hanging Moon & Milk Bulb Lights to create a focal point in your living room.

Terrazzo and Wood Coffee Table - $288

Hang it above this Terrazzo coffee table- a tribute to the classic stone that was so ubiquitous in every household from the 1960’s to the 1970’s before fading off closer to the 80’s. Half a century on, this spotted classic is finally having its zown revival moment among the new-age 2021 crowd.

B&B Italia Inspired Camaleonda Sofa - $569

The second highlight of your new or refurbished living space has to be an all-inviting and high quality sofa centre piece, which you will find on TaoBao’s recommended shop MeiJiaJiaJu (Beautiful Home Furnishing). With plenty of 5-star reviews, this shop serves up great customer experience and quality products.

Perhaps its star item is the B&B Italia inspired Camaleonda sofa, first designed in 1972 by Mario Bellini and which retains its iconic status even today. Having one of these in your living room will be a guaranteed conversation starter to leave you fielding questions from intrigued guests- ranging from the excited to the impressed.

And because we are so extra, we are topping up an extra hundred bucks to upgrade the usual waterproof fabric on this icon to the even comfier sheepshear covering. This brings the cost of a conversation-sparking and low slung plus jump-in-and-you-may-never-get-out sofa to a grand total of... well… $569.

Non-Slip Graphic Foyer Mat - $25

Lastly, we also suggest showcasing an arresting graphic neo-colonial style foyer rug for your entrance. This non-slip pvc mat creatively lines up Frank Brewer 1920’s floor tiles with the 1970’s love of plastic pop to keep your home free from debris in an easy-to-maintain material.

PU Leather Cushion and Steel Folding Chair - $27.80

So there you have it- The Insta-Living Space Collection consisting of: a Tulip Dining Table and Rattan and Steel Chairs, Wooden Media Console, Milk Bub Ceiling Lights, Designer Artwork, Affordable Tableware and Table Cloth, Plush 190cm Sofa and Foyer Mat, all high quality based on reviews from their website, that can be yours for a total of $1387 SGD. That’s less than the initial budget of $1,500SGD; which means you can put the remaining amount into purchasing extra stools for visitors, like these adorable cushy PU leather chairs that can folded and stowed away to keep your space clutter free on most days.

Dream Home French Lace Day Curtain - $10

Even with the additional 3 of these stowaway chairs, you would still be $30SGD short of hitting the $1,500SGD budget. Since we’re here, we’d recommend stretching your remaining dollar with these french lace flutter curtains that are only $10 per piece to complete your renewed home.

So for a total cost of $1490SGD, your new living space is about to look airy, light-filled and ready to welcome friends and family. Remember to input your vPost China shipping address when checking out your cart. As Singapore’s national carrier, vPost takes extra care in the handling of bulky items so you can sleep better knowing the wooden furniture and glass casement doors will arrive at your doorstop without the bumps or shatters that have plagued many new homeowners when purchasing furniture off TaoBao. Happy shopping and instagramming your new space!

Prices are accurate at time of publication. All product images are taken from the shop links where they are found.



By Jessie Kok
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