Bata at SM Makati

Mandaue Foam’s MF Lifestyle furniture line is for any lifestyle and for anyone

The name Mandaue Foam has always been associated with foam mattresses. And I thought that was all there was to them so I wondered why they were building this huge building along Shaw Boulevard. Did they need such a huge mattress showroom? Well I soon got my answer when I needed a mattress and decided to go get mine from their newly opened building.

To my surprise, I was met, not by stacks of mattresses, but by beautiful furniture for all kinds of rooms. All 3 floors of them! Foam mattresses were no longer their main source of business. They had expanded into lifestyle furniture!

It was just a matter of time before Mandaue Foam would introduce their MF Lifestyle furniture line to Metro Manila and I was glad to finally get to learn more about how a simple foam mattress manufacturer from (where else?) Mandaue City, Cebu, evolved into a lifestyle furniturer manufacturer.

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Bata at SM Makati

Gus* Modern – furniture functionality and style wrapped in simplicity

Modern, simple, versatile, functional, classy….

That’s my type of furniture. Something visitors and family can sit on without my having to grit my teeth out of fear that they could soil and spoil a very expensive piece of furniture.

In my corner of Metro Manila, I recently discovered that a Toronto-based modern furniture company – Gus* Modern – had set up shop. The young couple that brought Gus* here said they come from a traditional Chinese family involved in the traditional businesses but they found themselves more interested in furniture and fell in love with the simplicity and functionality of Gus*. They are now the first international dealer of the brand outside the US and Canada.

The first Gus* shop was set up at the Ground Floor of the Residences in Greenbelt last December 2010. Riding on the success of that shop, the first branch called Design Pod was set up just last February 2012 in Greenhills.

What strikes you first about Gus* when you see it is how simple it looks. Maybe it won’t catch the eye of those who go for more ornate furniture but Gus* is perfect for minimalist and practical furniture lovers. 
Gone are the days of homes that had elaborate, expensive furniture that guests could not freely sit on anyway for fear of soiling them. I remember wondering why I’d visit homes and find sofas wrapped in plastic (do people still do that these days???).
Many modern homes now have occupants who are newlyweds on a tight budget as they start life together; young parents with very young babies, toddlers; or senior citizens who do not want to be bothered with high maintenance furniture. Space is a premium so furniture that convert (like sofa beds) are so practical too. Gus* addresses this market and just about anyone who wants practicality, functionality, simplicity and the classy-look all rolled up into one.
Here are a few pieces that demonstrate functionality.
Prairie nested tables are great modern pieces that look like a sculpted piece of art when placed beside each other but can function as 3 separate tables when there are guests.
3-piece Prairie Nested Tables (when joined to look like one)

The same Prairie Nested Tables taken apart

Prairie nested table legs are made of solid oak

The limited-edition Cohen Chair is a small-scaled vintage club chair which comes in distressed brown leather, top-stitched, full-grain leather upholstery with a stainless steel base. We were told this is only available in Gus* Studios such as Gus* Philippines and only for a limited time.

Magazine racks can now be replaced with furniture that can hold magazines without the pain of dust gathering.

The Stump Storage Box is great to hide magazines & newspapers from view

Lounging chairs? Take a second look.

What looks like ordinary lounge chairs…

…are actually rocking chairs! My kind of chair!

And on evenings, there’s no need to turn on full lights if you have this…

Nice warm ambience, right? Table and light in one.

But what really caught my eye in the entire Gus* collection was my dream sofa. I first saw a sofa just like it at a friend’s house. And every time we’d visit, I’d sit on that sofa dreaming of the day we’d have one of our own. My friend’s sofa was imported so I really did not expect to see one till this Gus* event. There it was, in off-white!

It must be meant for me. In the catalog, this sofa bears my name – “JANE BI-SECTIONAL”!!!

The owner told me this sofa is bi-directional. The longer section can be reversed (the reverse side looks exactly the same as the top side) and placed on the right side of the couch. That way, it is good for any home arrangement. When I have my dream house, this dream sofa will be part of it!

There are actually other furniture items at the Design Pod including solid wood tables, cushions made from sack cloth, and many more. Their Spring 2012 collection catalog is out now so try to get a copy for yourself or visit their website to check them out.

Thank you to the people behind Gus* who gave us a tour of the Design Pod. It was a truly enlightening afternoon.

Gus* Philippines
Makati: G/F The Residences, Greenbelt, Esperanza St., Makati. Tel (02) 621-8171
Greenhills Design Pod: Connecticut St., Greenhills (beside UCC Cafe).