SHOP OF THE MONTH: Fash­ion In­te­ri­ors by Paul Cor­nelis­sen.


Real Living (Philippines) - - Realliving - pho­tog­ra­phy PAULO VALEN­ZUELA styling TALA SING­SON & KAMILA GAR­CIA words MAITA DE JE­SUS

This sprawl­ing, lav­ishly dec­o­rated fur­ni­ture store in Makati will leave you breath­less and en­vi­ous!


Cor­nelis­sen was built to im­press. With its high ceil­ings and mul­ti­ple show­rooms that seem more lux­u­ri­ous than the last one, each room you visit is an awe-in­spir­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in it­self.

While the place has been in Makati for only three years, those be­hind the brand have had 40 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in the ex­port fur­ni­ture busi­ness through Far East Fur­ni­ture, which par­tic­i­pates in the reg­u­lar fur­ni­ture fairs in Manila. When Fash­ion In­te­ri­ors was es­tab­lished, they built a sep­a­rate fac­tory for it, aptly called Fash­ion In­te­ri­ors Man­u­fac­tur­ing Inc. All the pieces found in the show­room—from the paint­ings to the so­fas—are made in their fac­tory in An­ge­les, Pam­panga, with ma­te­ri­als sourced from all over the world.

Jan Krenn, store man­ager and a Dutch na­tional, says: “We chose the name be­cause it went with what we wanted to cre­ate. We want to cre­ate beau­ti­ful spa­ces, beau­ti­ful pieces.” Open­ing their flag­ship store in Makati was a strate­gic move for the brand, cre­at­ing a lo­ca­tion in Metro Manila where they can en­ter­tain po­ten­tial clients who are in­ter­ested in ex­port­ing their pieces, as well as a prime lo­ca­tion for their tar­get mar­ket to ac­cess.

Two larger-than-life Oscar Awards stat­ues wel­come you when you reach the dou­ble doors that lead into Fash­ion In­te­ri­ors, and its grand re­cep­tion area sets the tone for what you’re in for. Each show­room is unique, with the­matic names such as “In­spire” or “Opium.” The cur­rent col­lec­tion (as of this writ­ing) fea­tures dif­fer­ent kinds of wood, such as rail­road wood, teak, jun­gle wood, oak, and rose­wood, which are used and mixed with other smoother ma­te­ri­als like glass or brass.

The sec­ond floor houses mostly dec­o­ra­tive pieces from the pre­vi­ous col­lec­tion that have been marked down. At the far end is an­other show­room be­ing built, and it will show­case a pre­view of a new col­lec­tion that will be ready by Septem­ber. “We change ev­ery­thing, from the walls to the floor­ing. The ex­port buy­ers come in, buy hun­dreds of our items, and pro­duc­tion starts by then. And by Novem­ber, De­cem­ber, the items will ar­rive in Dubai, in the US, in South Africa, in New Zealand.”

Head­ing down the iron stair­case will lead you to the Fash­ion Bar, with both in­door and al fresco ar­eas. Fash­ion Bar is open daily but may also be rented out for events. Ad­ja­cent is a sep­a­rate room for marked-down items. While the pieces may seem apt for big houses, Jan says that there are also op­tions for com­pact spa­ces. “We pre­fer not to cus­tom­ize, since we have ta­bles that come in three sizes. We have so­fas in three-seater or four-seater, so we like them to pick things as they are.”

While Fash­ion In­te­ri­ors might come off as vast and sprawl­ing— and it is, in­deed—the key is to take your time, as if you’re ex­plor­ing a new place in one of your trav­els. Pause inside each show­room, take it in as a whole, and then fo­cus on each piece and trace your steps back to ap­pre­ci­ate the place in its en­tirety. Af­ter you’ve set­tled in, you’ll soon re­al­ize how much Fash­ion In­te­ri­ors has to of­fer.

Each vi­gnette is done in a grand scale, aim­ing to im­press clients. Wood, much like the mas­sive cen­ter ta­ble shown here, is a com­mon el­e­ment found in most of the vi­gnettes. The rose gold touches add a modern feel to the space. (LEFT) Noth­ing says drama than heavy red drapes and pieces that look like they be­long in a cen­turies-old cas­tle. Repli­cas of me­dieval swords, suits of ar­mor and hel­mets― life size, mind you―are used ex­ten­sively in this year’s col­lec­tion. RL’s PICK: WOODEN COF­FEE TA­BLE WITH COP­PER LEGS, PRICE AVAIL­ABLE UPON RE­QUEST RL’s PICK: METAL­LIC PEN­DANT LIGHTS, PRICE AVAIL­ABLE UPON RE­QUEST

ABOVE Pho­tos of founder Paul Cor­nelis­sen, with per­son­al­i­ties in Philip­pine so­ci­ety and celebri­ties from the lo­cal show­biz in­dus­try, grace the walls of the Fash­ion Bar. Store man­ager Jan Krenn states that it is com­mon prac­tice for fur­ni­ture stores in the Nether­lands to have a cof­fee shop or a place to re­lax in as well, so they adapted the same prac­tice here.

BE­LOW This vi­gnette is more laid­back com­pared with the oth­ers, but it still uses the same lux­u­ri­ous ma­te­ri­als found all over the show­room―a sofa made with down­feath­ers and a mix­ture of dif­fer­ent types of wood and metal pieces. RL’s PICK: RAIL­ROAD WOOD COF­FEE TA­BLE, PRICE AVAIL­ABLE UPON RE­QUEST

RIGHT For this year’s col­lec­tion, a num­ber of din­ing ta­bles and side ta­bles have an or­nate table­top made with seashells sourced from In­done­sia and the Philip­pines. Mix­ing it with more solid col­ored pieces makes the seashell table­top the fo­cal point of the room.

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