Old Elm Wood Gate Bench — Three Reasons Why It Makes A Great Heirloom To This Day



ESSENTIALLY A LONG STOOL, the ‘gate bench’ is named because it was traditionally placed in pairs opposite one another along gateways. Familiar to most, it is often seen in front of shophouse entrances. You might even have seen one in pictures of your grandma’s old family home.

What makes a great heirloom? It can be something that brings intangible value to you and your family, or a piece that is built to last long enough for sentimental feelings to kindle.

Here, we unlock three reasons why the unassuming Old Elm Wood Gate Bench makes a great heirloom for your contemporary home.

1. A strong and stable construction:
a furniture that can endure the test of time

The construction of the Old Elm Wood Gate Bench is made stable with two horizontal supports between both legs on each end.

An important criteria of a great heirloom is that it lasts long enough for memories to be built around it.

Ever wondered how Chinese furniture can survive several centuries and be kept across generations? Traditional Chinese joinery is greatly adapted from architectural techniques. Besides proper care, strength and ingenuity of the joinery is why.

The gate bench is in fact so stable that it was used by craftsmen as a working platform to create their work and by stunt performers to showcase handstands on in the past (disclaimer: do not try this at home).

2. Longevity in function:
a slim and lightweight piece that can be used for any occasion

A dining setting where gate benches were used.

A dining setting where gate benches are used. In the olden days, they were placed around classical Chinese square tables (八仙桌 bā xiān zhuō) to sit two people on each side.

Your daily interactions with furniture are what create sentiment over time.

The Old Elm Wood Gate Bench is a wonderful fit for every space. Its slim profile allows it to fit the narrowest of corridors to greet your guests. Not only that, it is just at the right height for shoes to be put on comfortably.

A lightweight piece, the Old Elm Wood Gate Bench can be easily shifted around your house to provide additional seats not only for one, but for two. Beyond good looks, it is practical and will not be outdated—enabling it to be useful for generations to come.

3. Built from culture and tradition:
a lucky charm for your family

The cloud motif applied in traditional Chinese architecture. The cloud motif subtly applied on the spandrel of the Old Elm Wood Gate Bench.

In Chinese, the cloud motif is called the ‘如意云纹’ rúyì yún wén - where 如意 rúyì simply means ‘as you wish’. (Left) The cloud motif applied in traditional Chinese architecture. (Right) The cloud motif subtly applied on the spandrel of the Old Elm Wood Gate Bench.

Why not hand down a meaningful piece of furniture that wishes you and your loved ones well?

In the ancient times when people relied on their crops, the abundance of clouds (and therefore rain) was associated with good harvests. Abstract clouds were thus made sublime and applied over thousands of years in Chinese art, architecture and furniture to usher in wish granting powers and good fortune.

Set the mood right for a great day ahead with the cloud spandrels on the Old Elm Wood Gate Bench, a simple yet grand gesture before you enter or leave the house.

An Heirloom Reimagined by The Dreams of Early Settlers to Singapore

Old Elm Wood Gate Bench - Nutmeg, our classic gate bench meets lush upholstery designed by Binary Style. Newly-launched in our Blossoming Abundance Collection.

For a touch of local flavour, we’ve paired the classic design of the Old Elm Wood Gate Bench with a beautiful print design by Binary Style on a lush upholstered seat.

Featuring nutmeg or pala, in Malay language, which was one of the spices that attracted the early settlers to Singapore who dreamt to make it big, this update to the design makes it a worthy heirloom with a local touch.

Saw the beautiful gate benches at our Tung On Wui Kun Street of Clans installation?
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