Yesterday was order-the-furniture day. We already had “some ideas” about where to buy the furniture but we had not really made up our minds. We had scoured more than a dozen places, including Tiendesitas, Greenhills and malls, and still hadn’t made any final decisions. We were clear on one thing though — we want hardwood furniture, we want the covers of the cushions to be removable and washable and we definitely do not want those antique-looking pieces with carvings. We want rustic, very Asian, with clean lines, no frills… like bringing the outdoors indoor.
One of the places we visited, Mandaue Foam and Furniture along Ortigas Avenue in Cainta, had some good dining tables and chairs and if we would not be able to find something we liked better, we were going buy one of the six-seaters with a round table. For the living room set, it was a toss between something we found at Tiendesitas and another that we saw in Greenhills. The designs were similar but the Greenhills store was offering better prices.
Before dawn yesterday, Speedy got a text message from his sister saying their mother had been taken to the hospital and was in intensive care. Naturally, before we went furniture-shopping, we passed by the hospital to see how she was doing. Talk gravitated towards the new house (my mother-in-law wants to see the house before the house-warming party and there was this pleasant surprise. My sister-in-law, Ava, used to be Housekeeping Manager in a boutique hotel in Mimosa. She started working there when the hotel was still under construction, she had a hand in furnishing the hotel, so she knew A LOT of furniture makers. She gave us the name of one manufacturer who also had an outlet in Greenhills.
Jackpot. I mean, hey, if the quality of work is good enough to furnish a hotel, the quality must be superb. It turned out too that we didn’t have to choose from what was available — we could have all the furniture custom-made. We were handed some catalogs and Speedy and I started browsing. We could specify the sizes, the wood finish, the color and material of the seat covers. Oh. My. Goodness. It was simply superb. So, what did we choose?
That’s for the living room furniture above. An oversized three-seater sofa, two oversized arm chairs, a coffee table (love that low coffee table) and two side tables. In Philippine mahogany with flat (but darker) finish.
For the dining room table and chairs, we chose the one in the photo above except that the table will be round and 54 inches in diameter. Also in Philippine mahogany.
There will also be bar stools, the design based on the chairs in the dining room set. Philippine mahogany as well.
The manufacturer is MRT Furniture. You’ll find them at the second floor of the Greenhills Shopping Center. Their main showroom is in Bo. Batik San Pablo, Telebastagan, San Fernando Pampanga.
The furniture will be ready in two to three weeks. I’ll post photos later after we’ve moved and put them all in their proper places.
Update (July 21, 2008):
The living room furniture
The furniture have arrive.
I would have preferred that the height of the coffee table be the same as the one in the catalog since we intend to play a lot of Monopoly and Scrabble on it. I’m still considering whether to have it modified.
Why did we choose this particular design of living room furniture?
First, I like solid wood. Wood is elegant, natural and durable.
Second, I like fabric upholstery. No leathers and fake leathers. This is tropical Asia and the heat can be overbearing. I don’t like sweaty skin sticking to leather or fake leather.
Third, I like cushions with removable — and machine-washable — covers. Again, this is the tropics and it gets dusty especially during the summer. Since I don’t like the idea of having to call in professional upholstery shampooers, washable covers are ideal.
The electric fan is really not supposed to be in that corner. I think a floor lamp is more appropriate. Or, perhaps, a pot of indoor plant like the one on the catalog page.
The dining set and bar stools
Why not a design with cushioned backrests? Ventilation, of course. This is the tropics where people sweat nine months out of every year. The cushioned seats are removable and so are their covers so they can be washed every few weeks. I’ll order a second (and maybe even a third) set of covers — one in summery colors and another in Christmassy colors.
The furniture maker is MRT Furniture, Lifetyle section, second floor of the Greenhills Shopping Center. Their main showroom is in Bo. Batik San Pablo, Telebastagan, San Fernando, Pampanga.