“Over the last 12 years, we have focused on specific trends and tendencies in the contemporary furniture market,” said recent Manila visitor Michelle Heer, one of Bo Concepts’ Hong Kong-based executives. “This time, we’re going back to who we are.”
In design terms, that would mean simpler lines in a range of styles and colors inspired by the early ’70s. But unlike authentic furniture pieces from the tumultuous decade, Bo Concepts’ current take is more streamlined and industrial.
“We’re not doing it literally,” she added. “When we talk of ’70s-inspired furniture pieces, we make sure that they have a certain sense of industrialism behind them that authentic furniture from the period didn’t have.”
In lieu of rust and muted pastels, this coming season’s colors range from neutrals like tobacco to more vibrant shades like orange and fire engine red. Majority of the pieces are made of natural materials such as wood, glass and leather upholstery.
And instead of such finishes as walnut, black and white, pieces made of wood come in lighter, more natural tones such as oak. Sideboards that accompany a number of tables have been reconfigured and made higher in response to customer demands.
“Apart from updating the look, we’re also adding function to our designs,” Heer said. “We have extendable dining tables and foldable chairs that furniture pieces from the ’70s didn’t incorporate. We’re simply responding to a growing number of customers who live in urban environments with limited spaces.”
Since the current product line’s overall style is industrial, it blends well with “raw” interiors characterized by concrete walls and flooring, vintage items as well as contemporary art.
“And in case you want to beef up your old Bo Concepts pieces with this new collection, it can be done,” Heer said. “We always design our collection so we know what we’ve done in the past. We make sure that whatever we introduce at present coordinates and complements what we’ve done in the past.”
The event at Bo Concepts’ anchor store at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig coincided with the formal announcement of Bo Concepts partnership with One Serendra, an upscale condominium development by Ayala Land.
As a company, Bo Concepts started as a modest family enterprise in Denmark in the early ’50s. Its core products were originally cabinets. Over the years, the brand grew in terms of product range and global presence. It now has 300 stores in more than 50 countries. From a family corporation managed by cabinetmakers, it has also become a publicly listed company.
“But up until a few years ago, the founder, who’s still around, sat on the board,” said Heer. “His son, Vigo Mølholm, is the company’s current president and CEO. Vigo’s son, who’s the founder’s grandson, is now regional director for Asia.”