Your FA­VORITE HOME STORE gets a DE­SIGN OVER­HAUL

IN ITS LAT­EST RE­BOOT, THIS LO­CAL FUR­NI­TURE BRAND CON­TIN­UES TO PUSH THE EN­VE­LOPE, AND DOES SO WITH A TOUCH OF CLAS­SI­CAL-RE­VIVAL FLAIR

Real Living (Philippines) - - Front Page -

SPACE EN­COUN­TERS IS AMONG the few lo­cal home store brands that pulls out all the stops when­ever it comes up with a new col­lec­tion. Noth­ing is half-baked—from con­cepts that spin sto­ries, to the pieces that act as char­ac­ters in each nar­ra­tive, and even down to the store in­te­ri­ors.

The lat­est col­lec­tion called “The New Ro­man­tics” is no dif­fer­ent from the pre­vi­ous five col­lec­tions that Space En­coun­ters had pro­duced (Real Liv­ing first fea­tured Space En­coun­ters back in March 2010). The team ad­mit­ted that this new of­fer­ing is, by far, the most chal­leng­ing. The Space En­coun­ters team got back to the draw­ing board—lit­er­ally. “As a gen­eral rule, no Pin­ter­est, no look­ing at the In­ter­net, that’s why it’s more dif­fi­cult,” says Thor Balanon, vice pres­i­dent for mar­ket­ing and in­te­rior brand­ing. With just a blank slate to work with, each de­signer came up with his or her own take on a “ro­man­tic” piece, each of which Thor even­tu­ally named af­ter a Ro­man­tic writer or poet. “We let them su­per­vise the ex­e­cu­tion of their de­sign, so parang na-wit­ness

nila [yung progress ng gawa nila],” nar­rates pres­i­dent and CEO, in­te­rior de­signer Wilmer Lopez.

In a sense, the new col­lec­tion be­came a re­ac­tion to “DIY de­sign,” and ul­ti­mately, to the sta­tus quo,

which teems with ev­ery­thing in­dus­trial—much like how the Ro­man­tic move­ment in the 1800s was a re­ac­tion to the In­dus­trial Revo­lu­tion. “The orig­i­nal Ro­man­tics went back to Me­dieval de­sign. We are go­ing back to the 1940s Philip­pine de­sign. Per­fect, be­cause mid-cen­tury [was dur­ing the] ’40s and ’50s,” ex­plains Thor.

The New Ro­man­tics col­lec­tion still in­cor­po­rates the brand’s sig­na­ture mid-cen­tury lines in its pieces, but with a sprin­kling of Art Deco and Neo­clas­si­cal el­e­ments in the fine de­tails, like in the slope of a leg or shape of a foot. Space En­coun­ters worked with Chris­tine de Leon of O.G. De Leon, a team that pi­o­neers in pre-cast or­na­men­ta­tion whose works date back to be­fore World War II, for the clas­si­cal trims that high­light one side of the room, in­clud­ing an or­nate frieze, pic­ture rail, chair rail, dado, and the two col­umns that flank the cash-wrap counter.

Endo Light­ing, a Ja­panese light­ing de­sign brand, part­nered with Thomp­son Light­ing to pro­vide the light­ing de­sign that de­fined the pieces and in­te­rior de­tail­ing.

You need only to step inside Space En­coun­ters to know that the team was able to suc­cess­fully pull off this new col­lec­tion. Don’t be sur­prised to find your­self want­ing to linger for a while.

The ad­di­tion of this arched win­dow in­spired store­own­ers Thor Balanon and Wilmer Lopez to come up with The New Ro­man­tics col­lec­tion and the makeover of the en­tire store. “We like the idea of pre­serv­ing this dy­ing art form [arched win­dows], which was seen in Mala­cañang and Metropoli­tan The­ater. [This style] used to be ev­ery­where be­fore,” says Thor. “That added to the con­cept. Parang baba­gay ang arch sa mold­ings. That’s when it clicked.” Austen Side Chairs start at P18,500 each; Ro­man­tic So­cial Club Ta­ble starts at P70,000.

top lEFT This nook looks like a per­fect spot to set­tle in with a good (ro­man­tic) book on hand. Wordsworth Ta­ble starts at P36,000; Vin­tage Framed Prints start at P2,000. above The pair of com­pos­ite col­umns fram­ing the counter was de­signed by O.G. De Leon. The group, which is the off­shoot of I.G. De Leon, has pi­o­neered in pre-cast em­bel­lish­ments since 1926 (seen in the Na­tional Mu­seum, The Metropoli­tan The­ater, and Que­zon Me­mo­rial Cir­cle, among many other iconic build­ings). The same mo­tifs of fes­toons, wreaths, rib­bons, and shields can also be seen on wall pan­els and pil­lars in the store. lEFT One wall be­side the counter holds shelves of var­i­ous knick­knacks―from stools to in­dus­trial lights, and even vin­tage clocks and elec­tric fans.

RL’s PICKS 1. BY­RON SIDE­BOARD, STARTS AT P56,000 2. AUSTEN SIDE CHAIR, STARTS AT P18,500 3. SHEL­LEY BENTWOOD CHAIR, STARTS AT P21,000 4. WAVERLY LOVESEAT, STARTS AT P60,000

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