Warm and modern look
The trend for environmental consciousness has meant more people care as much about where their furniture comes from as how it looks.
Hong Kong brand OVO is the latest to introduce an eco-furniture collection - playful and structural. OVO co-founder Thomas Ma says wood furniture can create a warm and inviting ambience in the home. 'If you wish to have a warm and natural theme, pair your pieces with earth-toned furniture and accessories with materials such as ceramics, stone or black cast-iron,' he says. 'Or, you can pair the wood with stainless steel furniture to achieve a modern look.'
Ma says more people are looking for something they can pass on to future generations. 'We strongly believe that good design and a fine-quality piece of furniture are everlasting,' he says. 'We do not recommend throwing away or changing your furniture all the time.'
Solid wood is especially prized for furniture because of its durability, lustrous finish and varied shades. Most of the wood is teak. Ma says it is selected because of its durability and resistance to moisture, an added advantage in humid Hong Kong. What's more, recycled teak has a minimal risk of cracking, as opposed to new wood, because the old wood has already been dried for a long time.
The products are all certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which ensures the forest products used are made from responsibly harvested and verified sources. This makes it very popular with Ma's customers. The United States Sustainable Furnishings Council has published a study it conducted with the Las Vegas Furniture Market that showed that consumers are interested in green choices if they like the style, and costs stay about the same.
Ma's wood is sourced from countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and the mainland. Much of it comes from reclaimed pieces, from old boats, houses and lofts.
The natural and unrefined finish ensures each piece retains its original beauty and character. It is an aesthetically rich and natural look that cannot be replicated with new wood.
'It is getting more difficult to source our wood as old wood is now very scarce and difficult to find,' Ma says.
Each piece undergoes several procedures by specialised craftsmen to turn it into a piece of furniture. This also makes the pieces more expensive, compared with regular contemporary furniture that uses wood veneers.
If you decide to invest in a teak piece, avoid placing hot items directly on the furniture and avoid abrasive objects that could scratch tabletops. It should be regularly maintained with wax polish.
OVO has just opened OVOstudio at Horizon Plaza to showcase its solid wood collection of items such as bookshelves, chairs, tables, lighting and beds. Colourful patches and mosaic patterns make this green collection lively and playful, while retaining the natural and unfinished beauty of wood.