"Living Your Style"—House's Jam Chan Cua Wants Your Home To Have Furniture And Accents That Echo Your Personal Style
For someone who didn’t have any formal background on marketing, Jam Chan Cua sure has that innate flair for design thinking. It is this natural ability to make business decisions by thinking from a consumer’s perspective that allows her to lead her brand towards a direction that resonates well with the market.
Initially working for her family’s business, Ital Design, for five years, Jam said she “felt the need to branch out and grow my own identity in the company.”
Fuelled by her love for interiors and drive to make a name for herself, Jam is now the woman behind House by Ital Design, a furniture shop that offers a varied selection of quality imported pieces that are carefully curated to meet both classic and more modern design requirements.
“Our motto is ‘living your style,’” Jam quips. Initially offering products with a Scandinavian style, Jam realized she didn’t want to confine House into one style and later expanded its design core to cater to more consumers. With a tagline that encourages one’s individual style to rub off on his or her home, House’s edge lies in its unique customer service that creates a collaborative initiative between the shop, the client and the client’s interior designer.
Bohemian decorating is for those who want their houses full of life, culture, and interesting items. Check out the Bohemian vignette in House of Ital at 3rd floor of Uptown Mall. Link in our bio to read the full blog by @jam_chan on how to decorate your house with Bohemian vibe. #HouseLivingYourStyle #MoveInWithHouse
A reflection of one’s personal style
“We want our client’s style to reflect in their furniture,” adds Jam. “When our clients come into the store, we don’t want na parang, ‘Oh, this is our catalogue. This is it.’ What we want is more like, ‘What are you looking into? What do you need? What’s your comfort zone?’”
House’s store in Uptown Mall was designed to help clients visualize their spaces more efficiently and recreate their dream designs in their actual homes. Created with different areas where several vignettes are put on display, a visit in the House can make you feel instantly at home. The purpose of these setups goes beyond the mere showcase of products; they are put together to present styling ideas for different areas of the house. “We can say, ‘We’ll mock-up everything so you can see it… we will choose the spaces and then we will put it all together for you and your interior designer to see. That makes it easy and fun for clients and for interior designers. We become a haven also because we give our spaces for free. Interior designers may use our spaces to explain to their clients. I want in each vignette, you see your place inside House. So parang, ‘Welcome to House, this is also your home,’” Jam explains. "'Pag dumadating 'yung furniture, gusto namin na-e-experience at nakikita mo, na-i-imagine mo in your space. Hindi 'yung parang kalat-kalat lang, kasi nakaka-overwhelm."
As an example, for House’s grand launch last year, the shop partnered with interior designers who were matched with social media influencers, to create vignettes based on different styles and personalities: interior designer Anla Li Tan and model Vanessa Matsunaga-Sunga styled a bedroom and a living room with a “Modern Glam” theme, interior designer Ella Navarro of EMN Designs and DJ Tony Toni put together a “Chic Minimalist” bachelor’s space, interior designer Uzel Alconera and DJ Mars Miranda went with an “Industrial” motif for a living room and bedroom, interior designer Raiza Poquiz and blogger Shari Macainag had “Urban Chic” as their design direction for a living room and a den, and interior designer Rachel Le Roux and fashion designer Patty Ang worked with the “Urban Modern” idea to design their space.
Just like an actual house, House has areas allocated for living and dining setups and, yes, even a bedroom. House’s mother company, Ital Design, has been importing mattress brand Dunlopillo for almost two decades now, so in its store, there’s a so-called “Sleep Room.” There, clients are welcome to try the mattresses before they buy. “I really encourage them to try it for 30 minutes. Kasi you can’t decide if you’re only sitting on it. We invite them to lie down, take their time, and really feel it. Kasi you’re spending so much money, baka pag-uwi, ’di mo na feel. We don’t want that. Just try it. If you enjoy it, buy it,” says Jam.
To further emphasize the versatility of House’s items, Jam makes sure there’s always something new to check out in the store and comes up with monthly themes for consumers’ much-needed design fix.
As she was sourcing items for House, Jam, who happened to be newly-married, was also in the process of building her home with husband Erik Cua. So, her personal aesthetic came into play during the selection and curation process. What she found nice for her own home, she hoped people would like for their own homes as well. Sharing what her and Erik's home looks like, she says, "Masculine and feminine. We have to find the middle ground."
A lot of people these days are like Jam and Erik, who are building or putting together their homes. Condo dwellers are a lot, too, and this is where House is especially helpful. Some of these people opt to do the interior styling or decorating on their own, so House provides them expertly mixed and matched items whose overall style the consumers can actually take home with them.
Jam says their bestsellers are space-saving furniture pieces, like sofa beds and anything that comes with storage.
This young career woman has a sharp eye for design, inspired by and exposed to the design elements she had seen on her many travels abroad. Even without formal interior design training, she eventually developed that skill in spotting a great design. When putting together collections for the House, she works closely with her manager who has an interior design background, resulting to a collaboration that pays attention to both style and functionality.
Here, Jam talks about what inspires her and shares her favorite European country:
Where do you like to travel for inspiration?
Europe. I really love the architecture of Europe. The old architecture pero aayusin nila, babaguhin nila pero it’s still the same Renaissance feel.
If you were to choose one European country, the best one for you, what is it?
Paris. It’s not because it’s so romantic, but because each street or each corner that you turn to, there’s so much culture and history in it. And even if you don't have a specific itinerary, you’ll learn so many things just by looking at the buildings, trying the food, and people-watching. I just love Paris.
Where do you usually stay in Paris?
The last time I stayed at was in Sofitel and Hotel Regina. Hotel Regina was featured in movies (The Bourne Identity and Cheri). It’s very old and they renovated, but it still looks very old, and I love it. My husband would always tell me, “Let’s stay in a modern Philippe Starck hotel.” Gusto niya 'yung parang kakaiba eh. Ako, gusto ko 'yung parang feeling princess, 'yung dinadala ka niya in an age of innocence. It makes you appreciate the old times and how it was changed to the modern... Parang, for me, it’s our duty to not forget about the past and keep on improving from it.
How about your restaurant recommendations in Paris?
Actually, I’m not a fan of Michelin star, 'yung mga fancy, fine dining. I really love comfort food, street food or I’ll sit in a cafe and just people-watch.
House is located in Uptown Mall, BGC, Taguig and Ayala Malls 30th, Pasig
Photography by Rxandy Capinpin
Makeup by Chuchie Ledesma
Hairstyling by Francis Guintu
Special thanks to Joyce Yu of Leung de Leon Marketing Services