Jul 25 2016

Dual purpose furniture for condos

THAI FURNITURE company SB Furniture left behind the intricate traditional teak furniture way back in the 1960s, and now uses medium-density fiberboard (MDF) to make its collapsible assembled modular furniture (think Ikea). The brand was brought to the Philippines by the Abenson Group around eight years ago, and has showrooms dotting the Philippines in BGC, Makati City, Alabang, Ortigas, Quezon City, Sta. Rosa, and Pampanga.

Last month, BusinessWorld took a tour at their BGC branch in Market!Market!, and noticed two things: one, the showroom is already set up to look like suites and ready-made rooms; and two, some of the spaces indicate room sizes in square feet, most ranging from 18 sq.m. to 20 sq.m. “The real estate market here in the Philippines, it’s really more on... compact living,” said Jackson Cue, merchandising manager for SB Furniture.

“We feel that that’s a good market for us since all of our furniture is modular,” he said.

BusinessWorld spotted the Patisia collection (think toned-down rococo in whites), the Scandi (inspired by Scandinavian design, the pieces highlight their “wood grain” -- they’re made of particle board, after all), and the Spazz, a sleek line also made up of light elements. Among these collections, one can see hidden surprises and conveniences for the compact-condo dweller: like a chest of drawers that serve as a nighstand and a vanity, foldable desks, and bookshelves that can be reconfigured.

The brand offers free furniture layout consultation, and all the customer has to do is bring the layout of the space under consideration to the showroom. If this is not possible, the company can also send someone to the house/condo for an ocular. Measuring, installation, and assembly is also done by the company, so there will be no disastrous DIY situations.

But, more than this, the furnishings, ranging in price from P10,000 to P58,000, passed the E1 (European Formaldehyde and Toxic Gas Emission) standard. “Usually, when it’s low-class furniture, it [has] high formaldehyde content,” said Mr. Cue. It also belongs to the European Standard Class 1, which according to a release means that “all of the products contain no harmful chemicals.”

“[Maybe] because they realized [that] it’s really... doing their part [for the Earth],” said Mr. Cue in a mix of English and the vernacular. -- Joseph L. Garcia