Quantcast
Latest Stories

Now, even your furniture can be custom-made

Designer Niccolo Jose can create the perfect piece according to your physical needs and even your personality–he actually wants people ‘to fall asleep in the furniture’

By

ARTIST and furniture designer Niccolo Jose and younger brother Jose Jose.

Two years after establishing his “design furniture” company, and a year after featuring his one-of-a-kind furniture pieces of recycled Philippine hardwood in a gallery in Makati, artist and furniture designer Niccolo Jose has expanded his art by offering the public designer doors, handrails and even waterproof wooden sinks.

“Over the past year, I’ve realized that there’s a clientele for customized interiors,” said the US-educated Jose. “We’re adopting to it in a big way by giving people what they want. We’ve started with doors this year. There are door makers out there, but they don’t use solid hardwood.”

Dubbed as Studio 10.10 (short for October 10, which also happens to be Jose’s birthday), the family-owned gallery located at LRI Design Plaza on N. Garcia Street (formerly Reposo) opened a little over a year ago. Jose’s younger brother Jose Jose is his business manager.

Jose, who just turned 26, still continues to make unique furniture pieces, especially statement chairs, even while he expands the company’s menu of services.

To mark Studio 10.10’s first year, for instance, he unveiled his new furniture collection called “Contrapposto.”

Not one-size-fits-all

Like his earlier pieces, Jose’s latest offerings are fashioned from various pieces of hardwood. But they’re not rigid, one-size-fits-all reclining chairs. On the contrary, each piece conforms to a particular client’s measurements and movements.

MARTIUS Chair

“Like, that chair is too small for you,” he said, as this reporter tried one of his reclining creations on for size. “That one over there is more apt for your height.”

Since they’re made-to-measure pieces, not a few people may find them uncomfortable to use. Well, you don’t wear a suit or gown that’s one or two sizes smaller, so why would you sit or lie on a chair built for a smaller (or bigger) person?

By also giving his designer chairs made of various wooden components some wiggle room, the artist also has his client’s comfort in mind.

Since they follow your body’s movements, these chairs aren’t just meant to be sat on. They also double as day beds for those afternoon siestas during weekends.

JUPITER Chair. PHOTOS BY ARNOLD ALMACEN

And since they’re far from cheap, Jose’s pieces appeal to more mature and established clients. His “Contrapposto” collection, for instance, could set you back by as much as P100,000-P170,000 apiece.

“This new collection is inspired by a person’s posture even if that person moves around,” Jose said. “Every piece is inclined because we want people to fall asleep in the furniture.”

Surreal and whimsical touches are still evident in his latest creations. Some pieces reminded us of the human skeleton; a particular rocking chair is adorned with a pair of wheels inspired by the calesa, and even comes with two horse figures that adorn the chair’s front base.

“I want to do something that will challenge me,” said Jose. “For instance, I’m open to doing something that’s feng shui. If you’re born in the year of the Dragon, I can make you a chair with dragon figures. We can customize the chair to suit not only the person’s size, but also his or her personality and background.”

Attention to detail

ROCKING chair inspired by a calesa

Jose also gives his doors the same thought and attention to detail. Everything about it is also handcrafted and partly based on the client’s specs and inputs. In fact, in feng shui, “25 percent of your house is the door,” he said.

“A door is responsible for the flow of energy in your home. It’s something you open and close every day. It’s all about security and protection. You would always need a door more than you would need a chair,” Jose added.

To date, he has done four doors since he and his team started offering the service in June. The first one, a huge double door for a house in one of Manila’s exclusive villages, became the talk of the entire neighborhood.

“It’s very rare nowadays to find a door made of real and old hardwood,” said Jose. “Although it’s made from recycled wood, I try to make it look like a solid piece based on the design. Like my chairs, my doors look new, smooth, fluid, curved and without sharp edges.”

After finishing environmental studies and studio art at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, Jose returned home in 2010 to establish his design company with a huge workshop in Lipa, Batangas. He has more than a dozen people, many of them budding artists, training under him to help realize his vision.

Most of the rare Philippine hardwood he uses comes from his father’s personal collection. His dad, a carpenter and mechanical engineer, built his collection of rare and previously used wood such as narra, kamagong, makaasim and molave over the decades.

WATERPROOF sink made of hardwood

Jose imbibed his old man’s passion for these materials, and later took this fascination to the next level by learning how to design and refashion them into functional works of art.

While studying in the US, he worked as a stage carpenter doing sets for theater productions. He also pruned gardens on the side.

“There’s enough hardwood to go by,” Jose said. “We don’t stop sourcing. Some clients would even offer their wood after seeing my work. I appreciate the gesture, but I have to see the wood first. It has to be hardwood and recycled.”

And even if the hardwood was harvested a long time ago, it’s illegal to keep a solid slab. Jose would rather steer clear of such wood and make do with what’s available.

“My philosophy in designing as well as everything I do in life has always been the same,” he said. “Don’t lose what you need chasing after what you want.”


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Furniture , interior design , LRI Design Plaza , Niccolo Jose , Studio 10.10 , “Contrapposto” collection

  • Lena Comodena

    Beautiful and unique designs. 



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. How to enjoy Buntod
  2. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  3. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  4. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  5. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  6. Sweet party for Andi Manzano
  7. Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  8. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  9. Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  10. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  4. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  5. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  6. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  7. This is not just a farm
  8. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  9. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  10. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  3. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  10. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer

News

  • Camilla’s brother dies in US after head injury
  • Luisita farmers storm DAR compound
  • Trillanes, Ejercito confident they are not in Napoles’ list
  • Easterlies to prevail in Luzon, Visayas
  • Lacson eyes P106-B ‘Yolanda’ rehab masterplan
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces; Painters repulse Bolts
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Entertainment

  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
    Marketplace