Halo Halo and E.Murio collaborate on the slow and the organic

Published July 28, 2020, 1:10 PM

by Kerry Tinga

Photos by MARC LIMJAP courtesy of HALO HALO

The Escape Home line features bamboo, rattan, and recycled plastic

E. Murio is a decades-old family-run fine furniture workshop that has quietly made a name for itself among the most discerning homeowners. The Halo Halo lifestyle brand has been operating for a little more than seven years, often seen on the Instagrams of young tastemakers. 

From far away it may seem like an unlikely collaboration. Halo Halo has grown, in many ways, through its strong social media presence. Meanwhile, E. Murio scarcely has an online presence. Halo Halo has been celebrated for its young and fresh aesthetic. E. Murio is lauded for its classic touch. 

And yet, up close, when we look at the finer details and designs, the collaboration is as organic as both firm’s creative process.

Slow and steady

Escape Home is the recently launched culmination of the partnership between Halo Halo and E. Murio. The collection features beautiful pieces made of rattan and bamboo, as well as recycled plastic. Although the chairs, bar carts, trays, and other pieces have just hit Halo Halo’s online store recently, the collaboration has been quietly brewing for over a year.

“It is a real testament to the rise in the making of slow, sustainably-made products that some of these collaborative pieces have only come to light now, and it highlights the idea of a fluid, continuous collaboration,” says the Halo Halo team.

Cara Sumabat-Limjap, the founder of Halo Halo, had quietly admired E. Murio from afar. Slowly but surely she acquired E. Murio pieces to decorate and bring life into her home. When she finally met Tisha de Borja-Samson, the creative director of E. Murio, creative sparks immediately flew. They recognized in each other kindred souls that sought quality not only in craft but in design, that venerated the creative process so as not to rush, and that championed local.

Material girls

It is a testament to the quality in design that the upcycled materials beautifully marry with the natural elements. There is a timeless quality in the pieces. The seemingly contrasting materials bringing out greater beauty in each other for a transitional charm.

“Rattan is a material that’s been around for ages, so in your mind, there’s an automatic idea of how that kind of furniture looks,” explains Tisha. “We’re trying to see what we can do outside of that. The way you use rattan is also defined by its inherent properties as a material. There’s a certain rattan aesthetic that stems out of what the material is capable of. We’ve been trying to work within the characteristics of the material while changing how it becomes structurally sound.”

Tisha admits that the final design of the piece does not come together until the actual product has been created. Even if they have an idea of what they want to create, as the product takes form, changing hands between designers and even between craftsmen, it changes.

It can even change after it has been sold and shipped to its new home. In its new environment, a piece transforms and becomes something else, unique to its new owner.

Homebound

When we decorate our interiors, we should be as slow and careful as the process that goes into creating each and every piece. In quarantine, many of us have realized the importance of a safe and empowering space around us. This is how a house turns into a home. 

“The idea is to create a few good pieces that a fortunate few will incorporate into their homes to love and cherish, that feel special, intentional, and unique to their owners,” adds Cara. “We’re not looking to create pieces right away for mass consumption. We want things to be perfect and feel like they belong in your home. Ours is a long process, and that’s just fine.”

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