When it comes to handcrafted things, the skill, passion, and design ingenuity of Kapampangans shine through. Be it cuisine, parols, or furniture, their creations entice people from here and abroad to visit, and even stay for good! After all, Pampanga is poised to be the next big thing in a lot of ways: far enough from the stresses of the city, but close enough to essential work and lifestyle centers.
Alviera in Porac, for instance, is a 1,800-hectare mixed-use estate where urban development and nature flourish. This modern approach is also reflective in the new house models available in Avida Settings Alviera. Known collectively as the Aria series, the house models give maximum flexibility of interior design so homeowners can put their own personal stamp on their houses. And since Pampanga is a haven for exquisite handmade furniture, what better way to do so than with a contemporary statement piece? Here’s a sampling from today’s top furniture makers.
Triboa Bay Living is a furniture and lighting brand that marries classic silhouettes with a pared-down contemporary sensibility. Third-generation furniture manufacturer Randy Viray laid the groundwork for the brand in 1991, shortly after chancing upon a Michael Thonet chair at a run-down machine shop in Pampanga.
Designed in the early 1900s, the chair’s elegant simplicity has become the enduring inspiration for Triboa Bay Living, whose name in turn takes inspiration from the natural beauty of Triboa Bay in Zambales. Wood is the primary material, sometimes counterpointed in steel and other more industrial components, for the perfect balance of warmth and sophistication.
1. Ameli revolving chair
Unassuming elegance with a twist—or in this case, a swivel. Not only is it fully rotational, it also makes for a comfortable, effortless accent piece in any room that needs a bright pop of color.
2. Leaf side tables in S, M, L
Beautiful furniture doesn’t have to take up so much space to make a big impact. Whether solo as a side table, or a set of three as a coffee table, the Leaf’s design is striking in its simplicity.
Visit Triboa Bay Living at 153 Magalang Road, Cutud, Angeles City, Pampanga.
Soliha Designs is a young brand created by designer Anna Smyth in 2016. The Australia native decided to uproot her family and move to Pampanga to set up her design and manufacturing business, making use of locally sourced rattan and traditional weaving techniques.
Soliha takes inspiration from a minimalist Scandinavian style and combines it with a fresh tropical feel for a “Scandi meets beach chic” aesthetic not often seen in Pampanga furniture stores.
3. Cocktail bar with LED lights
With desk space and a two-door storage cabinet in the back, the bar is a versatile home piece. It can be used for having a quiet drink or entertaining guests or for additional kitchen counter space.
4. Screen divider
Create new areas without making the space seem smaller. The classic combination of white and wood is a great way to add warmth and softness to the feel of a room by breaking up hard corners.
Visit Soliha Designs at Unit 8A Philexcel Business Park, Freeport Zone, Angeles City, Pampanga.
Prizmic & Brill was founded by artist Vinko Mario Prizmic and designer Matthew Brill, who decided to take inspirations from their world travels and translate them into distinct pieces of home furnishings and accessories through methods of traditional craftsmanship in Pampanga. P&B gave birth to this unique design house in 1986, which Matthew manages with his wife Carol Nicdao Brill. The brand has since become an essential part of some of the most interesting homes and commercial properties here and abroad, getting featured everywhere including US Vogue.
P&B’s signature style combines hardwood and selected leather hides with hand-forged brass, rattan, steel, glass, and textile to reinterpret historically accurate campaign furniture: in the British colonial era, these were pieces that had to be easily folded and packed for transport, as they had to be carried by camels and horses on long journeys during military campaigns.
5. Houdini trunk
Luggage and trunks are convertible into functional furniture, like this trunk that opens out into a mobile office with a chair. Space saving and unique!
6. Kipling desk and campaign chair
P&B’s modernized campaign furniture is their most popular line. Classic silhouettes with a contemporary finish for a trendy rockstar-meets-industrial vibe.
Prizmic & Brill is at Purok 4, Barangay Del Rosario, City of San Fernando, Pampanga.
Industria Edition’s chief designer Jude Tiotuico started out manufacturing furniture for export in 1992, after the Mt. Pinatubo eruption. In 2007, he created his own brand with the support of mentors and collaborators like Budji Layug and Kenneth Cobonpue. In the decade since Industria Edition has gone on to make waves in the local and international design scene for its artful manipulation of steel into modern yet whimsical pieces that are as practical as they are innovative.
With such talents as Eric Paras, Leeroy New, and Lilianna Manahan in the design team, Industria Edition continues to shape metal and natural materials into unique handmade furniture and home decor.
7. Nuvo Twig multi-piece mirror
Equal parts art and function, the mirror marries contemporary design with traditional craftsmanship, forging hard steel into a beautiful statement piece that evokes the soft beauty of nature.
8. Molave dining table
Inspired by the molave tree, the table’s steel base spreads upward like branches, topped with solid wood and glass. A structural piece that’s as sturdy as it is whimsical.
Industria Edition is at 159 Doña Lucing Ave., Friendship Highway, Calibutbut, Bacolor, Pampanga.
More Than A Chair started out as a chair factory producing items for famed furniture institution Betis Crafts before eventually finding its own footing in the industry in the late 1990s.
It has designed and manufactured furniture for various hotels, resorts, restaurants, and residences here and abroad. As owner Allan Bituin explains, this has made the company’s name more apt: they now produce more than just chairs, and the pieces they produce are more than just ordinary.
9. Two-door cabinet
At first glance, it looks like tiny drawers or trays stacked together, putting an interesting spin on storage. The minimalist base keeps the top from looking too bulky and traditional.
10. Cabinet divider
A space divider, storage, and decor in one. This piece can work well on any corner of the house, from the kitchen to the living room or bedroom.
More Than A Chair is at Sitio Libutad, Barangay Sta. Maria, Mabalacat, Pampanga.
Excited to own and decorate your home? Check out Avida Settings Alviera and the new Aria house models here!