Where most furniture stores would frown at the idea of testing out the merchandise, Mozaic Living wholly welcomes the idea. From their couches, seats, and even the massive acacia table that greets you as you enter, everything in Mozaic’s new showroom is ready to welcome anyone who’d like to try them on for size — they don’t even mind if you spend an afternoon doing so.

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Mozaic was borne out of a love for great design and local craftsmanship. From the furniture created by their in-house team to art crafted by emerging talents, Mozaic is a dedicated space for all things local. Among the store’s lamps and asymmetric mirrors are smaller pieces by boutique brands: Smartyplants’ cacti and succulents add more warmth to the store, and bath and body products by Ysabel’s Daughter evoke the sense of pampering that come with Mozaic’s feel-good mood. It has even been used as a gallery space, most recently for emerging collage artist Pau Tiu’s work.

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“We have a great love for anything Filipino-made, Filipino-brand, and Filipino-owned,” explains co-owner Francesca Gacrama-Herring, “so we married those things together.” The warmth and homeyness that Mozaic encourages may be stemmed from familial roots; Gacrama-Herring manages and owns the stores with her siblings, and their personal design inspirations are often the source of many pieces featured in the showroom.

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“We’re really inspired by Scandinavian furniture at the moment, but with a hint of Spanish-Filipino accents in it,” says co-owner Francine Gacrama of their upcoming collection. “Each time we do a collection, we do different designs, so people can also see our potential and capabilities as a custom furniture store.”

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Customization is, in fact, the store’s main focus. The store’s purpose is to provide ideas as to how Mozaic’s pieces can live in one’s home. Clients can either ask for something to be built from scratch, or to simply take inspiration on a pre-existing piece and modify it as they’d like. “All of our furniture come with free in-house industrial and interior design,” says Gacrama-Herring. “If someone wants to furnish their home with us, we’ll throw in the interior design for free.”

More than anything, Mozaic would like its customers to feel at home within the store, to give them a feel of what it’ll be like to have these pieces in their own abode. To enhance that experience, a café called Caffeined was set up within Mozaic, and customers can feel free to eat and drink while trying out the furniture. Aside from their coffee selection, Caffeined also features delicious light meals — a sinful brazo de Mercedes or even a grilled cheese sandwich with a twist.

Mozaic may be a store, but  with its rustic trappings made better by a warm cuppa, it certainly feels like home. —Margarita Buenaventura

Photos by JL Javier

Mozaic Living is located in 12 Sheridan St., Mandaluyong City.

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