At Senasia Collection, each piece of wood is unique they are specially handpicked for their exclusive appeal and character. It’s not just plain wood, art forms furniture in rare pieces created by carpentry artisans. We strolled with the owner, Ms. Jade Lau, along the tides of time and avenues of artistry.
How was the idea of Senasia Collection conceived?
I went on a trip to Bali and found this love for wood while I was there. It had this warm and perplexing appeal. I had a thought and I went up casually to ask my dad, "Why don't we open a furniture store?", and he approved! I began sourcing for suppliers across the Malay Peninsula and into the Indonesian archipelago and here we are now two years later, a gallery of ornamental lumber.
Your inventory exhibits a quality of sui generis. How would you describe your pieces?
A majority of our items are built from recycled teak wood, with pieces coming off different reclaimed ships. In fact, some of our pieces are halves of ship partially restored and repurposed in a manner that makes it functional while maintaining a unique appeal at the same time. Besides their sturdier nature, I love the idea that there is a story behind every one of them. It’s like taking an enigmatic trip down memory lane on a historical scale, with no clue of the who's, what's and when's of every plank that each piece is built with.
Despite the nature of your description, there seems to be a hint of new in your store's atmosphere.
It’s part of the selection process really. I personally handpick most of my items either alone or with a companion with me. While I do enjoy the usual rustic charm, there is still the need to address a persistent demand that calls for decorative groves that blend with other styles of decor. So I had to consult with some of my designers and eventually started stocking some items with more pristine finishes to blend with more modern styles and some items with more defined features to cater to a different crowd altogether. For example, we have mirrors with baroque accents for the Rococo and curlicue aficionados and tables with glass toppers for those looking to place an interesting centerpiece among their neoclassical or postmodern furniture.
There appears to be more than just wood in your store. Could you explain some of the other interesting pieces on your shelves?
There is a fair bit to go around, all of which would complement our present inventory or add into current collections at home. We have pillows, pottery and paintings, even lava stones. The lava stones are repurposed from mills that originally used it for grinding food. One of our bigger sellers is the oil diffuser range by Montra Sense. Apart from its decorative appeal, the dispersion of the scent of the oils into the air is a fairly natural process without any form of mechanics involved. Our patrons typically enjoy the smells of Thai Spa, Lemongrass and Jasmine.
What kind of clienteles graces your doors on a regular basis?
Our customers are among those who appreciate different periods of art movements and the do-it-yourself trend in terms of interest. But by demographics, we get a lot of Caucasians coming through our doors, followed by Chinese patrons. There's something about long dining tables that really pulls in the Malay crowd. Beyond that, I get a lot of housewives walking in to look around.
What is the appeal of wood to you?
I'm the kind of person in touch with the past than my present surroundings. I mean sure, I could operate a computer and a smartphone but these things just really aren't my cup of tea, it’s just a way of getting by. People like me tend to fall weary and smothered by what we could define as a concrete jungle. When you're surrounded by so much concrete and metal, things just become so dull and lifeless. Like a love letter lost in a sea of biscuits made out of the same cookie cutter. Wood breathes life into a room, reconciles the senses and gives out a more natural ambience.
SENASIA COLLECTION HOME DÉCOR
233, Jalan Maarof,
Bukit Bandaraya, Bangsar,
59000 Kuala Lumpur