Love Local: New Filipino furniture company launches first collection

Off-the-mill furniture pieces are cheap and easy to buy but they usually do not lend character or personality to the space. Vintage, heirloom, handcrafted, and artist-made pieces are sweet but are usually too pricey even for the middle class. 

There are, however, well made locally-handcrafted pieces that can be sourced from young and creative furniture companies like Jed Yabut Furniture & Design.

Yabut’s furniture business was born during the height of the pandemic. “The lockdown has forced many homeowners to rethink and redecorate their spaces, Yabut explains. “It was also a time when the call to support our local products has been louder than ever.”

He has since released his first collection, which the public loves. “I get comments like, ‘The collection is a standout against a sea of Pinterest-looking furniture’,” he shares. The pieces are contemporary and minimalist and, best of all, inspired by the Filipino aesthetic. 

That’s why he has pieces like Abaniko, a chair whose rattan back spreads out like a fan, and a table called Bunot, whose design is inspired by the traditional cleaning implement. A favorite is Kagubatan, a 5-layer bookshelf that uses clusters of rattan as side panels. The random arrangement of the sticks is inspired by “the layers of trees in tropical rainforests”.

Jed Yabut, an architect by profession, makes use of rattan as primary material in the initial collection. “It is light, strong, flexible, and durable,” he says. “And its distinct tropical and rustic charm is readily associated with Filipino aesthetics.” Because rattan grows abundantly in tropical forests, making use of this local material also helps the local economy, a welcome support during this time of COVID-19.

Yabut explains that the first collection carries a lot of the “patchwork and random lines” element because he wanted to celebrate chaos. He says, “As a designer, I am inspired by the Filipinos’ resourcefulness, and the philosophy that nothing goes to waste. The tagpi-tagpi (patchwork) mentality of patching things up with almost anything that you can find within your surroundings is fascinating. When these cultural attitudes turn into visual translations, it could seem chaotic and disorderly.” And yet he believes that there is always something beautiful beneath this chaos.

Jed Yabut’s collection includes chairs, stools and benches; tables; shelves; mirrors; lamps; and dividers. Many pieces are compact and space-saving so anyone from owners of big houses to those who live in small spaces can find something worth keeping.

In lieu of a proper showroom, and because it is not practical to have one because of our current situation, interested clients can view Jed Yabut’s collection via an online catalogue or through their website at www.jedyabut.com Their Facebook and IG handle is @jedyabutfurniture

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