The recently concluded Manila Now 2011 furniture show just proved once again, that the Philippines still has the competitive edge in furniture design. The furniture design trend for this year, I must say, is all about the natural look. Wood for this year, has been given quite a recognition and is left at it's most natural state. Sanded finish wood, combined with rattan or concrete, worked well with the contemporary lines and construction of the furniture pieces. One cannot help but be excited with such beautiful craftsmanship and design. As I am catching my breath from a heart-pounding visual array, let me give you my top picks at the show.
Diretso - This is what I meant when I said sanded furniture. I was completely smitten by this dining table which had a teak wood frame in sanded finish and the tabletop made of concrete and resin. The heavy concrete table top was in a plain cement trowelled finish with a sealant. The sanded wood is made of teak, which has those gorgeous grains. They also had this over-sized coffee table made of weathered wood in natural finish that looked like corals from afar. It had the effect of "floating" which countered the heaviness of the design. They also have the teak tile flooring that they sell per square meter which I would love to use for my own home.
Triboa Bay - Triboa Bay's furniture also showcased the sanded finish in their designs. They have beautiful furniture pieces wherein they combined wood and metal and rattan, which impressed upon me a relaxed contemporary style. They also carry a lot of lighting fixtures and accessories with designs that reminds me a little of Kelly Hoppen and Barbara Barry. The design of their booth is very relaxed modern and current - one of my top picks for best booth design.
Las Palmas - For beautifuly crafted fine furniture, Las Palmas is where you go to. They have elegant designs, like the ones you see in five-star tropical hotels. The combination of rattan and wood with their rich finishes are just exquisite. They give perfect attention to detail and their designs are very well thought-of.
South Sea Booth
South Sea - What I loved about South Sea is the peculiar design of their booth which was just relatively small. They have quirky pieces of furniture and accessories that comes in the sanded or natural finish of wood combined with wrought-iron. They also tweaked traditional style furniture by finishing the wood in the natural color, giving it that provincial feel. On a side note, I loved the design of the double doors in their booth.
Locsin International - For modern rattan furniture, Locsin has a lot to offer. They can make your rattan furniture for indoors or outdoors and even customize the size. They have interesting accent chair pieces that may be used for inside or outside. I personally liked the accent chair which looked like a spring and also the modern lighting fixtures made of rattan.
A. Garcia - If you're looking for metal with rattan furniture, these are the guys you're looking for. Their new furniture collection was made even more fun by coloring them in bright crayon colors. I was particularly interested in the Pamela Wire chair which is actually inspired from the stackable plastic “monoblock” chairs that are very popularly used in large functions. Their version is made of metal which is powdercoated in different bright colors and can be stacked like the original plastic version.
Azcor Lighting Systems – When I first saw the booth of Azcor, I didn't know that it was Azcor. The designs of the lighting fixtures was something that I didn't expect from the Azcor I knew. Again, the new collection had the sanded finished wood combined with what seemed like a wire mesh shade from afar but when touched was actually firm and stable. They had other beautiful lighting pieces like chandeliers and table lamps which I would have wanted to show here but disappointingly we were not allowed to take pictures at the show. The good news is they will be uploading the new line in their website soon, and later on the actual collection at the showrooms.