The Open House is a newly opened pop up store in R3 Level, Powerplant Mall, Makati City offering more than just furniture and home decor. Officially launched on May 24th, this houses five different brands, namely: hoom, Artlet Studio, Forewoman, Nooke, and (Super) Natural. With a vision to create an experiential retail experience, the store curated their space to go beyond a mere showroom. 

How Open House Opened Its Doors

Open House Launches New Furnishing Shopping Experience.
Open House Launches New Furnishing Shopping Experience.

It all began with hoom’s founder Riane Charlene Ng. She shared that since her brand started, she had wanted a brick and mortar store and was looking for the perfect spot. Even before Open House’s inception, Ng already envisioned a place where people could mingle and learn from each other. Her one true aim was to craft an interactive space, presenting something new on a regular basis.

So when Rockwell offered a space at the mall, hoom’s founder knew it would be the onset of her long-held dream. To fully fulfill that goal, she invited some friends to run a collaborative brand and work together on the space. 

Having worked with Architect JM Avenido of Studio Jan in hoom’s seasonal event pop up called “(Un) ceremonious Feast,” Ng entrusted Open House’s creative direction to him again. Since there are five brands with different vignettes to display, the prime challenge was to make the space cohesively flowing.

Leveraging their drapability and sheerness, Avenido used curtains as the main material in designing the store. He explained that this material can create different textures, backdrops, and shadows, which allow the space to be more versatile. Aligned with the initial vision of Open House, curtains serve to highlight the individuality of each brand. This enabled him to configure the area, transforming the space to be more open, intimate, or enclosed.   

Through its transitional interior design, Open House becomes responsive with each brand’s needs and provides a sensory experience for clients. 

What’s Inside 

Committed to their intention, Open House serves as a live demonstration of how the offered pieces would look like inside a space. 

hoom

Open House Launches New Furnishing Shopping Experience.
Open House Launches New Furnishing Shopping Experience.

As you enter the store, hoom’s wide collection of home items will immediately make you feel at home. Occupying the front left corner, the brand’s display includes living, kitchen, and bed and bath essentials along with their magazines. It introduces the basic things every home should have in a more elevated and elegant way. 

Since it’s owned by Open House’s project lead, hoom fronts the foundation of how our everyday indoor living should be. From anchor pieces to little details, each should have a soul, story, and purpose beyond mere aesthetics. 

Forewoman

Open House Launches New Furnishing Shopping Experience.
Open House Launches New Furnishing Shopping Experience.

On the right side of Open House are the antique, vintage, and locally made decors by the Forewoman. Led by design enthusiast, Jet Acuzar Atienza, a forewoman herself, this brand promotes refinishing, reusing, and repurposing items to give a sense of tradition and sentimentality to your space. As it leans towards contributing to economic sustainability, it also features Bataan artisanal touches in each wood product they craft. 

From furniture to sculptures and even tableware, everything mirrors the slow process and meticulous attention to detail poured into them. And this reimagining of old, unused, and leftover things distinguishes the brand from fast-paced commercialized stores. 

Nooke

Open House Launches New Furnishing Shopping Experience.

Next to the Forewoman is the emerging wood furniture shop Nooke. Run by Abbey Manlilic and Ada Laud, the design studio showcases handmade, locally sourced mahogany furniture and accessories. Adhering to their prime mission to answer indoor rituals, they explore funky and innovative designs. 

This design concept remains evident even in their latest items such as versatile wall hangers, abstract stools, and wood-framed mirrors. Their eclectic products are bespoke pieces that people can grow alongside with. 

(Super) Natural

Open House Launches New Furnishing Shopping Experience.

As you move to the back of Open House, you’ll find rather unexpected sights among products you expect to see in a home. One of them is (Super) Natural, a natty wine bar settled beside Nooke. Its co-founder, Kai Yulo, revealed that the brand humbly began as a pandemic project with her uncle. 

Continuing their family’s love for wine, they decided to venture into the traditional and natural process of winemaking. The brand prides itself on wine flavors made from hand picked organic grapes fermented in small batches without human intervention. 

Their products come from the vineyards of Spain, France, Italy, Czech Republic, and Austria. And you can choose from their Barkada Boogie, Date Night, and Boozy Brunch collections. 

Aside from giving an authentic wine drinking experience, they also host workshops and talks to spread awareness about natural wine. 

Artlet Studio

Open House Launches New Furnishing Shopping Experience.

Located at the very back of the store is another unique addition to Open House—Artlet Studio.  Founded on the principle of art making without expectations, this initiative serves as an outlet for both creatives and non-creatives to freely enjoy art. They offer various mediums and approaches to show that creativity can emerge from many different methods, not just a single, strict one. 

Prioritizing the process over outputs, founders Kayla Dionisio and Mary Anne Cabungcal organize various programs catering to all art enthusiasts. They have an Artlet Buffet, which includes collage, oil and soft pastel, air dry clay, watercolor, and color pencil activities. For adults, they have a sketch club for live figures and still life drawings, while kids can join Little Artlet sessions featuring different artists weekly. 

Having such an inclusive approach is the perfect way to learn and experience art. It also serves as an ideal avenue to detach from screens for a while. 

Art and Collaboration as Guiding Principles

Open House Launches New Furnishing Shopping Experience.

Utilizing curtains as the space’s main decorative material isn’t the only thing that makes Open House cohesive. Despite housing different brands, their passion for art and openness for collaboration bind them together. And this is exactly how Ng wanted the store to be.

More than displaying artistry in their crafts, it also allows the store to practice the art of hosting. And this is the very reason why it’s not exclusive to selling house items only. As much as they want clients to see and feel the pieces in real life, Open House also strives to be a close imitation of a real home. 

Aligned with this aspiration, the store isn’t only meant for shopping. Rather, it also allows for recreational activities and relaxation to happen at the same time. This opens up opportunities for brands to collaborate and feature each other’s projects and activities. 

(Super) Natural General Manager Chie Gatchalian explained the connection their brand has to other home staples in the store.

“Natural wine is also art. You know, people who make natural wine, they’re usually coming from families who pour their soul and heart into it…And so there’s a lot of similarities between the making of natural wine, [and] painting something, or creating a furniture piece that’s very unique. So, I think that’s what ties [them]. I mean, maybe for [some] people, it’s strange that we have a wine bar in a space like this. But the way that our wines are made, it’s very much like art. People can actually compare the wine to a nice painting, a nice piece of sculpture, a nicely made sofa.”

Open House Opening Up To Future Possibilities

Photos from hoom

Being an unconventional retail store, Open House is very willing to expand their scope for more art and collaboration possibilities. Apart from making occasional rotations of their exhibited products, they will also organize events and additional promotions.

From June 7th to 23rd, they will host “Friends of the House”, featuring the products of their partner brands. Expect to see pieces from Ren Marble, Twenty-Third, and Ijiko. There will also be a Chocolate and Wine Tasting by (Super) Natural on June 21st in collaboration with Victoria Amores. 

Open House is open everyday from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm until August this year. You can also check what’s new in the store on hoom’s webpage or on brands’ Instagram accounts. 

Photographed by Arch. Geewel Fuster

Read more: Kenneth Cobonpue Unveils New Line of Home Accessories with KCurated

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