Kenneth Cobonpue shares ways to bring nature inside the home

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 25 2022 10:11 AM | Updated as of Feb 25 2022 11:49 AM

Kenneth Cobonpue. Handout
Kenneth Cobonpue. Handout

For world-renowned furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue, his work has always been about bringing nature inside the home.

This can be seen in his popular pieces such as Bloom, a swivel lounge chair that looks like a blossoming flower; and the Sage, a sofa made to look like "a leaf leisurely resting on the earth."

And his design philosophy, it seems, is more relevant than ever as many people crave for the outdoors amid pandemic-induced travel restrictions. 

"Now more than ever, our craving for the outdoors is becoming more apparent," he said in an email interview with ABS-CBN News.

Cobonpue acknowledged that many Filipinos have been turning to furniture and other decorations to spruce up their home, which has also become a place for doing work tasks.

When it comes to incorporating nature into their space, the furniture designer spoke of the importance of proper ventilation. This can be done by regularly opening the windows to allow fresh air to enter the home, or using fans to improve air circulation.

He also mentioned providing wide open spaces, if possible, where people can take a breather: "Fill it with plants and anything that resembles nature and the outdoors."

And given the "new normal" setup, Cobonpue suggested having a dedicated work area. This will make the home look more organized as the work items and tools will no longer disrupt the design in other parts of the space. 

"Include also a working desk and make it part of your home," he said.

Cobonpue was among the six Asian artists featured by Shangri-La in its "With Heart" campaign, which marks the international hotel brand's 50th anniversary. 

He said it is "truly an honor to be able to show my craft alongside my esteemed Asian counterparts."

"I am proud to represent the Philippines and show my beginnings. My country and our people are the inspiration for the designs that I make, and I thank Shangri-La for giving me another medium to share them with the world," he said.

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When asked to give advice to those who wish to follow in his footsteps amid the challenges of the pandemic, Cobonpue said being able to present something well is just as important as the product itself.

"Social media today is a whole different animal. It’s easy to get your work noticed but with so much content out there, it’s also harder to get people to remember your work," he said. "It's no longer enough to have a good product or design, but you also have to learn how to present it well." 

"My advice is to find that one thing you love and are passionate about. Refine it and make it unique. Then market and sell it to the world in a way that is yours," he added.

Aside from his Shangri-La stint, Cobonpue has also been busy with showing his new collections to the world. He also recently launched KCurated, an e-commerce platform that is exclusive to the Philippine market. 

"We just launched our latest lighting and accessories collection on the site, and will continue to add more," he said. 

Fans of Cobonpue's works can also look forward to a new chair called Domina, which is made of handwoven carbon fiber. 

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