The word “Peranakan” refers to someone who is of mixed Chinese and Malay/Indonesian ancestry. Some Peranakans in Singapore may trace their roots back to Malacca in the 15th century. According to mythology, Hang Li Poh, a Chinese Ming princess, arrived in Malacca with a big cortege after marrying Sultan Mansur Shah of Malacca. This group of people lived in the area and married locals; their progeny was known as ‘Peranakans.’ The word itself primarily means “locally-born”.
From a certain vantage point, you’ll see Singaporean Architecture and Interior Design as the result of the combination of modernism and innovativeness in art and design. However, Singapore is rich in history and culture, and behind the sleek contemporary façade of its buildings lies an intricate scene of historical design etched in the walls, floors, and ceilings of Singapore heritage houses. In this blog, we are going to shed light on what is considered one of the most popular textiles seen in Singaporean homes. The Peranakan tiles design.
The Origin of Peranakan Tiles Design
Peranakan tiles design can be likened to Majolica tiles which were initially created in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Belgium. The Peranakans admired their intricate designs that they became a distinctive feature of the culture. They were known as Peranakan tiles as a result of their popularity. Perankan tiles were utilized as aesthetic panels in porches, halls, washstands, and even courtyards, and were mostly employed as ornamental tiles in Peranakan residences. Houses adorned with these colorful and ornate Peranakan tiles design are regarded as a symbol of wealth and prominence.
Why are Peranakan tiles Popular in Singapore?
As a form of embracing and preserving culture, Peranakan tiles are deemed a valuable attribute to a home. They will always be that distinctive feature that makes homes one-of-a-kind. The bright and ornate varieties of these tile designs can be found on the façade and interiors of Peranakan residences in the streets of Everton Road, Blair Plain, and Joo Chiat. Culture is an important aspect in every community and like countries and communities with strong cultural ties, Singaporeans choose to include a hint of their ancestral origin through interior design.
What Makes It Different?
There are several differences between other tiles and Peranakan tiles in terms of history, provenance, and, most importantly, visual appeal. These tiles have interesting designs and themes. The original Peranakan tiles were composed of earthenware and were beautifully cut and glazed for long-term use.
What makes them truly different from other tiles popularly used in western interiors such as Zellige, herringbone, Arabesque, and other geometric patterns is their much more intricate and colorful designs. Peranakan Tiles design often depicts florals, geometry, fruits, and greeneries.
How to Incorporate It Into The Modern Interior Spaces of Today’s Homes?
A lot of people in today’s era would prefer streamlined contemporary interiors compared to traditional ones. But if you want to include a hint of culture and luxury in your spaces, there are many creative and truly stylish ways to incorporate Peranakan. Here are several interior spaces where you can add them and how you can style them.
The bathroom is perhaps the most popular room in a house to place stylish and colorful tiles. Bathroom design is often utilitarian, but that does not mean it has to be dull. Add busy patterned tiles to one wall, such as the shower stall, to enhance your bathroom; use a neutral finish and less intense designs on the other walls to retain harmony.
2. Kitchen Backsplash
If you wish to create contrast and add an interesting feature to your kitchen, consider changing your old backsplash tiles with Peranakan tiles. Many kitchens in condo units, apartments, and HDB homes have this general sterile look which is common in minimalistic and contemporary kitchen concepts. However, these types of kitchens are saturated in the market. If you really want something different and eye-catching, don’t be afraid to incorporate colors and throw in unique artistic features.
The Patio or sunroom is the perfect place to showcase your unique Peranakan tiles. Not only will they give a splash of color into your space but they will also be considered a distinctive feature of your property. Features like these add value to the home so whenever you decide to sell the property, you can highlight this particular design. People love detailed and ornamental crafts. It surely is a must-have.
Impress your guests with a colorful array of intricately designed Peranakan tiles right in your hallway while they walk towards your doorstep. The hallway is an excellent place to show off your lovely tiles as they glow in the sunlight. Hallways are oftentimes deemed as uninteresting but with Peranakan tiles, you can make them an important factor in your home’s interior scheme.
Balconies are common in Singapore. Some HDB properties and apartments have small balconies attached to their units. What’s great about having a balcony is you can use the extra space to create a cozy nook either for relaxation or a place to do your hobbies and fitness activities like meditation and yoga. Make your balcony extra special by decorating it. You can install Peranakan tiles on the balcony flooring and spruce it up with the right outdoor furniture, décor elements, and other outdoor accessories.
6. Living Room Flooring
Designed to accommodate guests and a place where the family can bond and spend time together, the living room is the ultimate space to put up a stylish tile design like Peranakan tiles. There are a variety of Peranakan designs and colors you can choose from that will fit your living room’s color scheme. Living rooms with bold colorful styles are quite rare. This kind of style is not for everyone but if you’re into creating an exquisite interior space unique from the rest, then you should definitely try installing Peranakan tiles on your living room flooring.
Peranakan tiles are a fantastic accent to any room. They have sophisticated and appealing patterns that create an incomparable visual result. They’re not only adaptable, smoothly blending into any environment, but they also add to the aesthetic appeal of the room with a wide range of symbols and themes. These tiles are the perfect option for your home if you want culturally influenced architecture and decor.
We hope you’ve learned a thing or two about Peranakan tiles design in this blog. If you wish to have this feature in your home but don’t know where to start, don’t hesitate to send us a message. We’d love to hear from you!