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Nikki Laurel's "Tropical Elegance" Furniture Collection

Home accent pieces need not be big or splashy, they just have to have the standout character and look to serve the purpose of setting the mood in an area and being the highlight in it. This is what the new furniture brand, Laurel Local, by Nikki Laurel is all about: small yet functional accent pieces with clean lines and understatedly luxe details and materials.

“It’s the little things that I want to target,” Nikki shares. “I want to get into that niche where you have this vignette on your foyer, for example, then you just put a little stool there as an accent piece.”

It’s only been a few months since Nikki launched Laurel Local, but it is quite impressive that she has been getting a lot of inquiries and orders already. “A lot of people have contacted me, saying they like my pieces because they wanted something like a Hollywood theme,” Nikki says.

What’s interesting about her products is that they have the unmistakeable gloss and feel of a luxurious item but not the hefty price tag. Making use of a mix of brass, metal, and wood, the items only range from P8,000 to P13,000.

Laurel Local’s debut collection is called “Tropical Elegance.” It was summer when Nikki got the idea for this line of furniture pieces. “I was inspired by a lot of the tropical themes, and I wanted to develop something from my own perception, by doing a modern application of the tropical theme. I tried to make it a little more elegant by developing print on watercolours, which I hand-painted myself. I asked a supplier to develop a wallpaper-like print out of it.” The result is a whimsical design that lends a playful contrast to the furniture pieces’ luxe composition.

Nikki also incorporated hints of art nouveau elements to her collection, because her grandmother, renowned stage actress/artist/writer Celia Diaz Laurel, is into that style of art. After all, the brand’s name, Laurel Local, is aimed at giving tribute to Nikki’s grandparents, Celia and former Vice President of the Philippines, Salvador “Doy” Laurel.

Nikki got her grandmother’s artistic side, thus explaining her passion for designing. She took up Industrial Design at the University of the Philippines - Diliman. Upon graduating, she worked as a designer at the furniture department of Budji+Royal Architecture+Design firm. This job exposed her to the basics of interior design, which she later developed a love for. After her stint at Budji+Royal, Nikki freelanced as an interior designer. As she was getting more and more clients, she decided to formally study interior design at Raffles Design Institute Manila.

“I noticed most of my clients are getting studio units. That’s when I realized I wanted to put up this furniture line, because when you’re designing interiors for small spaces, you can’t just buy ready-made furniture and force it to fit in a small space,” Nikki explains.

With the goal of creating “functional small pieces for small spaces,” expect Nikki and her brand Laurel Local to put forth more clever and stylish items. Nikki, in fact, has already started conceptualizing her next collection of “classy little pieces.”

Check out @laurellocal’s “Tropical Elegance” collection below:

The Ruby vanity stool (upholstered seat on a printed base with brass plated legs), P13,000


The Gigi coffee tray table (metal tray/printed interior with brass plated legs), P12,500


The Tres Marias nesting tables ("Printed Large" with wood printed top and brass plated legs - P11,000; "Wood Medium" with solid wood top and brass plated legs - P10,500; and "Granite Top Small" with granite top and brass plated legs - P12,000)


The Celia chair (upholstered seat with a printed design and metal frames/legs), P8,000


Photographs by Stephen Capuchino of Zoomburst Studios / Cover photo from @laurellocal