For homeowners, designers, and pretty much everyone who likes nice things, there is no end to the excitement of the used market. There’s a palpable thrill to owning something interesting or of considerable rarity and value, especially when someone’s willing to throw money at you to pass it on. Whether you’re buying or selling, it’s always an adventure. There’s always something in it for you.
This sentiment, and the subsequent rise of shows like Pawn Stars, The Pickers, and Storage Wars is powerful enough for networks like TruTV and History to build their recent following on the strength of that experience alone.
While the used goods scene in the Philippines isn’t anything like the manufactured caricature of cable TV’s recent wave of buy-and-sell shows, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s not as exciting. It definitely is, and to make it even better, it’s all real and right around the corner.
Locally, auctioneers like Harringtons serve as a veritable haven for collectors, designers, and everyday people looking for great deals on furniture and decor. They also happen to have their very own showroom nestled in the south of the metro.
At Harringtons’ Sucat auction house, we met with Jas Ancheta, Chelsea Go, and Architect Lia Ong, the crack team of stylists behind up-and-coming design studio, Design Trilogy. The trio was recently tasked with styling the Harringtons showroom.
“We recreated the setup so they can imagine how they’ll display [the pieces] in their homes,” says Lia as we walk past a foyer display and incredibly charming chesterfield couch.
With over 1000 sqm of space, the team explained the challenge of styling a literal warehouse full of furniture. “The showroom is big,” Jas says. “A lot of the furniture is huge, so we have to make sure 90% is showcased already.”
The effort to provide a memorable showroom experience for bidders and walk-in buyers is no mean feat, apparently. “They (Harringtons) asked us if we needed a week to style the showroom,” Jas recalls. “And we were all, no, just give us two days!” Smirking from the side, Harringtons’ Marketing Manager, Cila Chua comments, “I don’t know how they did it, but they got it done!”
Styling and design might seem as far away from auction houses as they could get, but they actually have one very important thing in common: they all revolve around where things are from and where they go. If anything, this sense of historical and visual context ties the auctioneers, stylists, and end buyers together by showing you what works.
“Being trained in history and art, as well as styling and following proper form, proportion and other rules to make the showroom’s furniture, art and accessories more appealing, we believe that this aided clients of Harringtons to appreciate their pieces,” Jas says.
Design Trilogy state that the main purpose for styling is to make each of the items stand out on their own but at the same time go together with other pieces.
“The value of antiques is based on the design, its designer, the materials used, the way it was constructed and its age. Sometimes, light restoration work is needed to ensure everything functions the way it should. The key to make antiques blend with contemporary designs is to remember that though opposites attract, moderation should be practiced,” Jas continues.
“The important thing is that you love the piece and have fun in mixing and matching!”