Design

The Favorite Filipino Furniture Makers of Manila's Most Discerning

These Filipino designers make furniture that can stand the test of time.
IMAGE COURTESY OF ITO KISH; INDUSTRIA EDITION
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The combination of solid Philippine craftsmanship and design is incomparable. Here, we list down the designers that make furniture more than just a functional design.

Miguel Aguas

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Under MCCA Industrial Corporation Miguel Aguas is a force in the wrought iron and glass-blowing industries. Out of the materials, he fashions indoor and outdoor furniture including candle holders, chairs, tables, mirrors, and lamps that continue to capture the interest of many buyers abroad. 

Nix Alañon


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Though more popular as an interior designer, Nix Alañon makes some of the most elegant furniture pieces available through his lifestyle store PhoeNix Home. His furniture catalog includes armchairs, armoires and wardrobes, bar carts, bar stools, bed frames, coffee tables, dining tables, lamps, bookcases, daybeds, dining chairs, night tables, consoles, sofas, and more.

Kenneth Cobonpue

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Internationally renowned furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue has several of famous designs under his name, including the Bloom and Yoda. His brand has been featured in Time Magazine and he’s received awards from the Japan Good Design Awards, Design for Asia Award of Hong Kong, and American Society of Interior Design Top Pick, among others.

Tisha de Borja

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Architect and interior designer Tisha de Borja is the creative mind behind E. Murio. She uses her extensive experience in designing interiors and work spaces to create contemporary wood furniture designs.

Yola Johnson

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Yola Johnson took up fine arts at the University of the Philippines. She transitioned from being an artist to crafting by using natural fibers to create carpets and baskets. Today, she heads Soumak, a haven for artisanal home furnishing.

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Jess Kienle


At Philux, Jess Kienle works as the head designer and visual merchandiser. She continually innovates that brand by exploring new looks and designs. Her designs are heavily inspired by her extensive travels.

Ito Kish


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Though Ito Kish launched his first line of furniture in 2012, he’s been a pillar in the industry for much longer. Kish is the go-to for indigenous, colonial, and modern pieces of furniture, furnishings, and accessories. His most famous design is the Gregoria, a chair which draws inspiration from balustrades.

Gabby Lichauco


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Armed with a master’s degree in Industrial Design from Milan’s Scuola Politecnica di Design, Gabby Lichauco is known for his product, furniture, and interior projects. He heads openstudio, a design company known for its intuitive and sustainable process, with Lynn Duarte. 

Budji Layug


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Budji Layug uses traditional techniques to create elegant, post-colonial furniture pieces. The materials he uses include pandan, bamboo, and Philippine hardwoods. With a background as a space planner and interior designer, his attention to detail is apparent in each piece he makes.

Milo Naval


Multi-awarded designer Milo Naval got his start as an interior designer before dipping into furniture designing. Today, he’s known for his contemporary and modern furniture and accessories designs as well as being an environmental supporter. He directs OMO Furniture, a retail store that creates pieces using the qualities of "excellent craftsmanship, no fuss, and modern Filipino."

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Ann Pamintuan


Davao-based designer Ann Pamintuan has received acclaim for her work with metal. In 2002, she became the first Asian woman to be included in the International Designer Yearbook. In addition to designing furniture, Pamintuan also creates home accessories and jewelry. 

Eric Paras


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Eric Paras is a household name in the design scene. Through his work as an interior designer and furniture maker, he creatively fuses global aesthetic with exceptional craftsmanship and design. At his store, Artelano 11, you’ll be able to see his eclectic collection of art deco and mid-century inspired pieces.

Garrison Rousseau

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If you’re looking for elegant furniture done in the finest materials, there’s no one else like Garrison Rousseau. A bespoke custom furniture maker, Rousseau creates pieces in exotic skins and woods, shagreen, parchment, straw marquetry, and tobacco leaf as well as shell and gold leaf.

Stanley Ruiz

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Formerly based in New York, Stanley Ruiz is an industrial designer. He combines traditional techniques with his contemporary designs to create beautifully reinterpreted pieces.

Vito Selma


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This Cebu-based furniture and industrial designer is one of the Filipinos leading the industry. He uses wood to create complex and artfully designed furniture. Selma’s work has been featured in Elle Décor, Harpers Bazaar, Vogue Living Australia, Habitat (South Africa), and Architectural Digest Mexico.

Jude Tiotuico


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As Industria Edition’s creative director and chief designer, Jude Tiotuico uses steel to create simple yet elegant pieces. His work is a "harmonious balance of fun and sophistication" never before imagined with steel. In the past, he’s collaborated with Budji Layug and Kenneth Cobonpue for CITEM.

C. Mark Wilson

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With a background at Knoll International, C. Mark Wilson takes antiques and gives them new life through meticulous refinishing. Along with Nikki Escalona-Tayag, he heads WE Design, a light-centered architecture and interiors firm.

Bea Valdes

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An accessories designer first, you'll see Bea Valdes' exceptional use of materials in the furniture she designs. This year, she collaborated with Philux to create pieces accented with semiprecious stones. Unlike other designers, she's not afraid to use bright colors to create playful creations.

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About The Author
Paolo Chua
Paolo Chua is a style writer based in Manila. He writes about fashion, trends, shopping, current news, and more for Townandcountry.ph.
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