Free-spiritedness, Adventure, and Home – A Fond Recollection of Our Co-founder, Pamela’s Childhood on Duke Street


BY SCENE SHANG


AS A CHILD, I was fortunate to have had the chance of briefly living in “the wild” in Singapore, known to most as a “concrete jungle”.
The Seletar Airbase was built in 1928 by the British Royal Air Force and still serves as a commercial airport in Singapore today. Around the airbase were single to 3-storey black and white colonial houses that were built for the military personnel back in those days.


Channel colonial-style charm with clean, simple lines of black lacquer rattan in the DUKE Coffee Table.


These houses were briefly converted to residential units for rent, and were surrounded by vast greenery each with no real boundary as to whom they belonged to. As such, anyone was free to use however much space they wanted.



An afternoon lunch with my sisters, Becky and Renée, along with some classmates, Duke Street, circa 1998.


This led to Dad growing all sorts of plants, edibles and non-edibles, Mom placing an outdoor dining table for meals, and us kids going wild with buying bicycles, roller blades, inflatable pools, with no space constraints imposed on us. Becky, Renée and I would take our bicycles and cycle through all the different roads named after British places — Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, Hyde Park Gate.



Kick the work boots off and slip into cosy lounge slippers, take a seat on the convenient DUKE Shoe Bench. Add relaxing accents of nature with your favourite plant babies in the stylish DUKE Planters.



We lived on Duke Street, which only recently did I realise it has been torn down. We would cycle to where the airport was to watch planes take off and land (these are moments I wish we had a smartphone with us to capture the memories).



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Unload and settle down at home with the elegant DUKE Console by your entryway.


Our home was also spacious enough for Dad to paint on a much larger canvas in the middle of the living room, and Mom to put on the dining table for the first time, a Lobster Thermidor!

“Home became a place for us to participate in each others’ passion.”


Inviting wicker details and luxe brass accents instantly draws guests in for a friendly tipple. Enjoy a Gatsby-inspired evening with the DUKE Bar Cart.


I remember my bedroom being my dance studio, it had enough space for me to practise my ballet exam piece. Becky and I also realised our entrepreneurial streak at a tender age of 9 and 12, we started making flyers and slotting them into neighbours’ mailboxes for babysitting services, inspired by the book series The Baby-Sitters Club (nobody engaged us).



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Chic, fluted glass for an open feel. Keep things in reach with the handy DUKE Side Table.



We were also exposed to wild creatures in non-conventional ways, like a Daddy Long Legs spider in my wardrobe, mating toads sitting snug inside our roller blades, and a Striped Kukri snake just resting on the toilet door hinge.

Taken at The Oval, Seletar Airbase, 27 Feb 2021.


We still talk fondly about Duke Street these days, whenever someone mentions an encounter with wildlife in Singapore or when visiting the cafes that now pepper the Seletar Airbase, it will trigger these fond memories of free-spiritedness, adventure and home.


Yours,
Pamela
Co-founder | SCENE SHANG



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ABOUT THE COLLECTION

For lovers of the handsome, heritage charm of black and white bungalows, the DUKE Collection offers you a slice of that iconic style for you to dress your homes with. Inspired by SCENE SHANG co-founder Pamela’s childhood spent living in a black and white bungalow on Duke Street in Seletar Airbase, the DUKE Collection consists of breezy, tropical infused art deco style planters, a side table, a coffee table, a console table, a shoe bench and a bar cart.