A shophouse is a vernacular architectural building type that is unique to Southeast Asia. This hybrid building form characterizes Singapore. Popular colors were indigo and ochre but by the mid 20th century, pastel colors: rose pink, baby blue, light yellow…. became popular and they remain the colours that most people most strongly associate with these buildings. Many of the best preserved shophouses in Singapore are to be found in the Katong Joo Chiat area with ornate facades and tiles. In the past the Katong area of was made up of coconut plantations and used as a rural weekend retreat by city folk. Katong later developed into a residential area and became populated.