Furniture makers are adding practicality to design, making the notion of opulence less intimidating
The luxury trend in interiors will persist in 2019. Likewise, the world will continue to be captivated by natural materials—specifically, how their diverse textures lend depth and warmth to a space.
Furniture makers are thus infusing organic elements with extravagant finishes, but also with a practicality that makes the notion of opulence less intimidating.
Paul Cornelissen Jr., sales director of furniture manufacturer-exporter Fashion Interiors Inc., travels frequently for business, which includes observing what’s current. At the moment, these include pink hues, hunter and emerald green, velvet, sustainable handmade pieces, curved lines, metal accents, and mixed design styles.
These trends are elegantly interpreted in the Fashion Interiors showroom.
Old railroad tracks combined with glass make an edgy artisan étagère. A circular chandelier featuring rocks framed in metal shares the dining room setting with scroll-back chairs.
Divans made from arurog (rattan vine) sport green upholstery. Weathered pine logs secure glass pedestals. Classic chairs are reinvented in printed upholstery in the season’s colors and patterns.
Keeping abreast of the fad of womb-like beds, the company has produced upholstered headboards sheathed in warm textiles.
Although living coral is the color of the year, blush hues and jewel-tone greens are used judiciously.
Western markets have high regard for sustainable materials, which seems to make people more attuned with the earth, Cornelissen says.
Fashion Interiors has made eco-friendly design its philosophy.
The company embraces the raw look of salvaged wood and the charm of various roots and textural weaves. It draws on nature’s imperfections and infuses them with functionality and style.
Instead of cutting trees, it sources recycled wood from neighboring countries.
Natural fabrics such as linens and cottons are used for upholstery.
Fashion Interiors’ stone craft catalog lists a wide variety of materials, from local pebbles to marble from India.
Arurog is making a big comeback in Europe after 20 years, notes Cornelissen, citing increased orders for chairs, dining sets and divans made of the sturdy vine.
In fact, he says, there is renewed clamor for everything natural, updated with modern elements. Old wormwood logs from the sea are dried and shaped into coffee tables. Piled-up logs serve as base for glass tops.
Velvet and marble
To stay current, Fashion Interiors’ furniture settings are in step with the luxury trend. This is evident in the exuberant use of velvet in sofas and club chairs, marble for table surfaces, and classic rounded furniture profiles to produce elegant decorative details.
Opposing design traditions are combined; for instance, Art Deco armchairs in trendy salmon shades flank a rustic table made of gnarled roots.
The 30-year-old business was established by Cornelissen’s father, Netherlands-born Paul Sr., who has been championing the skills of Pampanga artisans. To this day, Paul Sr. is hands-on in design and production.
The company exports to big stores in Europe and the United States. The local market has yet to discover this hidden gem.
In terms of workmanship and quality of materials alone, local consumers certainly get more bang for their buck.
A sofa costs P50,000; a four-seater, whose cotton upholstery mimics leather, P80,000. A wrought iron lamp fetches P12,000; one arurog chair, P6,000. A 16-seater table made of recycled wood goes for P120,000; the eight-seater wormwood table with tempered glass top, P80,000.
Cornelissen points out, “What you spend for a modular sofa elsewhere will get you a full interior here.”
Fashion Interiors: 2307 Chino Roces Ave., Makati; tel. 6620391