There’s no denying the appeal of MUJI furniture. From bedframes to shoe racks, they always come in clean, minimalistic silhouettes at affordable price points. And now, homeowners can shop from a wide selection of furniture pieces made from sustainable rubberwood on top of the typical oak and walnut pieces.
We had the opportunity to check out the range of rubberwood furniture at MUJI’s flagship store in Plaza Singapura earlier this week. Here’s what you need to know and which are our favourite pieces we think you should get for your home.
Furniture is sustainably made from leftover rubber trees
MUJI’s rubberwood collection was developed specifically for the ASEAN market in an effort to reduce the amount of waste created. The rubber trees in Vietnam are first tapped for latex production. After around 20 years, they’re felled and used to create these orange-hued furniture pieces in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly cycle.
Rubberwood requires resources to harvest and grow compared to the typical hardwoods like oak and walnut, and it’s here where it scores many points for sustainability. “By sourcing from the rubber industry in the region, we focus on supporting the local businesses and farmers that make our collection possible,” said Yoshihisa Matsunaga, Merchandising Manager of MUJI Singapore.
Rubberwood is a tad more orange compared to oak.
Apart from the whole “save the world” angle, rubberwood is also very durable in myriad ways. The strength of the wood means you don’t have to worry about replacing your coffee table every few years. MUJI also claims that the material is more resistant to damage from insects, fungi, and mould.
Starting prices are lower than oak & walnut pieces
One thing we love about MUJI is the affordability of its furniture, and the rubberwood collection brings down the cost even more as it’s a byproduct of the agricultural industry. It also helps that some of the rubberwood pieces have oak and walnut counterparts already, which might have helped save on some R&D expenses.
Here is a quick comparison between the rubberwood and oak versions of some pieces:
There are a total of 25 rubberwood furniture pieces available starting from $7.30 for a paper towel holder to $1,099 for a king-sized storage bed. Here are 5 pieces we love and are already on our wishlist:
1. Collapsible dining table set
Space is such a precious commodity at home, what with BTOs and condos getting smaller and smaller. This is where furniture like a collapsible dining table comes in handy. The MUJI rubberwood extension table can comfortably seat 2 people, but it can also be extended on the side to fit a party of 4 or more.
The table is 75cm with the extension down, and 120cm with the extension up.
2. Storage bed
A storage bed lets you kill 2 birds with one stone, and MUJI has a rubberwood version that starts at $799 for a single bed and up to $1,099 for a king-sized bed. Our only gripe with the design is that the drawers are pulled from the bottom rather than from the top, so one would have to bend down further just to get their spare bedsheets out for laundry day.
3. Reclining sofa & ottoman
Watching TV is done best on a reclining sofa with your leg propped up on an ottoman, and MUJI has just the solution for post-work entertainment at home. The reclining sofa & ottoman can lean back at multiple angles so you can get as comfy as possible. There are also various upholstery options so you can fit it into your home’s theme perfectly.
Reclining sofa: $309
4. Wooden slipper rack
The entrance to any home is one place where things might get messy occasionally with slippers and shoes scattered about. That can be mitigated with the inclusion of a wooden slipper rack to keep things neat and tidy. Each rack can store up to 4 slippers, which is frankly more than enough for most households.
5. Wooden desk with desk top shelf
Image credit: MUJI
A solid wood desk can be hard to come by without breaking the bank, which is why MUJI’s rubberwood desk at only $399 feels like a steal. To maximise the desk area, you can even mount the desk top shelf to store more things for only an additional $89.
All-new exclusive items from dining tables to shoe racks
The low oval table.
Most of the time we Singaporeans are flying over to Japan to snag some exclusive items. But now it’s finally our region’s turn to shine. Some of the designs like the storage bed and low oval table were MUJI staples that have since been discontinued in Japan. And since the rubberwood collection is limited to ASEAN countries for the moment, it looks like we’ve finally got the upper hand over MUJI’s homeland.
The wooden tray can be lifted off from the tray stand for easy cleaning.
Some products like the compact dining table and aforementioned shoe rack are also designs that were created for our region’s market, as the latter was a household item very commonly seen in Singaporean households.
MUJI’s new rubberwood furniture line
Owning or renting a home can come with a hefty price tag, especially when renovation and rental costs are soaring through the roof. But you can lessen the burden on your budget by opting for affordable pieces of furniture that can stand the test of time like MUJI’s new rubberwood furniture collection.
The full collection can be found at their flagship store in Plaza Singapura, while other outlets around the island will only carry a selection of rubberwood furniture. You can also get help with interior styling with MUJI’s complimentary Interior Consultation Service. The consultants can even show you how the MUJI pieces will look in 3D renderings of your home.
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Photography by: Tasha Sun