Want to have the type of furniture that graces rooms in five-star hotels and US country clubs? Then Laura Wilkinson’s Living in Bangsar might be one place to check out.
This company which manufactures furniture in Indonesia for various labels often provides pieces to interior designers and architects to decorate their projects.
Their furniture has taken up residence in Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, Regent Hotel Singapore, Raffles Hotel Singapore, Sunway Lagoon Resort Hotel, Venetian Macau Resort Hotel as well as Concerto North Kiara’s show unit, among others. The pieces are also exported to countries such as America, Russia, Australia, United Kingdom, South Africa and Sweden.
With its showroom located in Bangsaria on Jalan Maarof, they also sell to walk-in customers. “We give our customers the chance to furnish their entire home all in one place. They can come to us and find everything they need, from the living room to the bedroom,” shared marketing director James Tan.
“We chose Bangsaria rather than a standalone bungalow because it houses Kitchen Culture, which is well known for its high-end kitchen cabinets and appliances… Our market is very niche and we have unique items that cater to the type of consumer that appreciates our style and designs,” explained Tan. The company describes its products as exquisite and fine furniture, which look good while being functional. They range from dining tables and sofas, to coffee tables, sofas, lamps and mirrors. According to Tan, the most sellable items are the poster beds, the solid brass coffee tables and sofas. Prices for the products range from RM1,500 for lamps to RM20,000 for beds and sofas. Who’s Laura Wilkinson?
“Back in the 90s, my Singaporean managing director met a British lady by the name of Laura Wilkinson at the airport by chance,” explained Tan. “She was an expatriate’s wife living in Jakarta and she knew quite a lot about the furniture industry.
“When she first arrived in Indonesia, she brought along her furniture with her, all the way from the United Kingdom. By the time the furniture arrived, some were worn down, so she got together a few Indonesian tradesmen to help her refurbish them. She was amazed at their proficiency in restoring the pieces and their skills in carving. From then on, she began to make furniture and export them. Laura was a kind-hearted lady and helped my managing director by introducing him to people in the trade and that’s how he founded Laura Wilkinson’s Living and named the company after her.”
The pieces are made in the company’s 25,000 sq m factory in Semarang, Indonesia, which employs approximately 850 staff, he said.
Founder and designers of Box Furniture – Maya Basyroel and Marcel Opstal.
The Box Furniture label
One brand of products sold in Laura Wilkinson Living’s showroom is the Box Furniture label. It was established in 1997 by two designers, Marcel Opstal and Maya Basyroel, and is today represented in 32 countries.
Its products purport to provides architectural detail and instant focal points to any room.
Tan added, “An example of their skills is the “Marga” chair created by Basyroel, which went on to win an award in 2006. The chair won the prestigious American Society of Furniture Designers’ (ASFD) Pinnacle Design Achievement Award in the category of Casual Dining.”
No two pieces are alike
“We do customisation for our customers. The colour, fabric and stain finish can be changed and we have different wood you can choose from. We don’t keep much stock here – just three to five pieces to maintain exclusivity. In short, you can rest assure that whatever you buy – you won’t see it in 55 other places,” pointed out Tan with a laugh.
“No two pieces are exactly the same because it’s handmade. The intricate detailing and motifs are hand-crafted to the highest standard. The designer is very particular and does not compromise when it comes to his designs and requirements,” explained Tan.
Source by: The Star