Philux's Stephanie Kienle Gonzalez And Jessica Kienle Maxwell Headline This Special Metro Home Digital Cover With Collaborators Bea And Marga Valdes
The stylish sisters behind leading Philippine furniture manufacturer Philux, Stephanie Kienle Gonzalez and Jessica Kienle Maxwell, have inherited a craft that has been honed by their family for over three decades. With their eye and talent for design, they transform their furniture pieces into style statements and pieces of art.
The secret to their creativity is that they are always testing their limits. Today, they collaborate with jewelry designer Bea Valdes and her sister Marga Valdes to create a chic and playful collection of beautifully embellished furniture called "Hearth."
“Hearth literally means the area in front of a fireplace which, to us, symbolizes warmth, home, and family,” says Jessica, Philux's vice president and head designer. “Stephanie and I, and Bea and Marga have inherited crafts that have been passed on for generations. We both work to grow proudly Filipino brands that both the local and international markets have fortunately come to patronize. This collaboration is an ode to our inherited crafts, to family, to sisterhood, and to Filipino artistry.”
Philux vice president and head designer, Jessica Kienle Maxwell
The Pacific Accent Chair and pillow with shell applique, and the Pacific Side Table
Bea grew up in Manila, born from a family who has worked in the fine jewelry trade for three generations. She designs and makes intricately beaded statement jewels and clutches that are coveted around the world; her creations have been featured in the pages of international magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. She focuses her craft on embroidery and turning the local craft into a global luxury.
Pacific Console with Grass Cloth Matting and Labradorite on brass handles
“Jessica and I have always been fans of Bea’s work, talent, and sense of aesthetic—enigmatic, a skillful play of materials, and always rendered so beautifully,” says Stephanie, Philux’s VP and COO. “The creative process of this collaboration was quite fluid and instinctive. Things evolved naturally with inputs flowing freely from both sides—Bea, Marga, Jess, and me. Each piece developed organically without necessarily following a structure. In essence, everything just all came together.”
Philux VP and COO, Stephanie Kienle Gonzalez
Rizal Bar Cabinet in croc skin
For the "Hearth" collection, Philux’s contemporary and Scandinavian wooden aesthetic meets Bea Valdes’ artistic embellishments. The black Rizal Bar Cabinet, a favorite piece, is luxuriously finished with black crocodile skin mixed with black crystal details. Bea painted Philux’s classic Fulton chairs with colorful splatters of acrylic on canvas. The designer also played around with the Pacific Sideboard table by decorating the drawer facades with acrylic, beadwork, and embroidery. She also upholstered the Skara lounge chair with denim patchworks for a whimsy look. She finished off the collection with beautifully adorned accessories that include bejewelled pillows and round floor cushions. All pieces are for made-to-order, and because each piece is distinct and part of a special collection, no two pieces are created exactly the same.
Valencia Bench with bolsters by Bea Valdes, pillows by Bea Valdes, and Stockholm Bed
“We wanted to enhance the contrast of raw natural materials with Bea's signature detailing—always very ornate, meticulous, and always with a playful element of surprise. For our pieces, we used a lot of sequins, beads, crocodile skin, and paint. This collaboration is really all about textures and details,” Jessica shares.
The Kienle sisters
The Valdes sisters
The collection took the two pairs of sisters eleven months to finish, marrying two proudly Filipino brands that promote and enrich two forms of local craftsmanship, and fusing two forms of evolving forms of art—fashion and home furnishings.
"It begins at home, that creative hearth, where siblings at play nurture a kinship
whose roots blossom into design—
From a place and time where initial steps learnt together,
in likeness or difference, eventually are taken in tandem—
Every element of the process is an intimate expression of a continuing and faceted conversation.
Each unique piece is crafted from a profound partnership entwined in sisterhood—
From the hearth, as a vital, formative center—these designs return us
to textures and materials from our kindred childhood.
From the echoes of the workshop floor, to the focused light from a jeweler’s nook—
we were raised in the rooms of our inherited craft—
following the footsteps of the generation that forged a path before us."
The pieces are on display at Philux Home, Shangri-La at The Fort until February 16. For inquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, view #philuxbeavaldes on Instagram and follow @_philux_ .
Photography Dookie Ducay
Produced by Grace Libero-Cruz
Sittings Editor Ria de Borja
Art Director Butchie Peña
Makeup (Steph and Jess) Xeng Zulueta
Hair (Steph and Jess) Cats del Rosario
Makeup (Bea and Marga) Mayesa delos Santos for Makeup For Ever
Hair (Bea and Marga) Rudolf Davalos
Special thanks to Pauline Moscoso of Philux