Auspicious lives: House by Ital Design owner Jam Chan on building an unconventional furniture shop

Jam Chan is the owner of House by Ital Design, a furniture shop that thinks out of the box, with its practical and DIY approach to design, and its versatility in catering to any kind of home dweller. Photo by JL JAVIER

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — When the parent founders of the design brand Ital Design gave birth to Jam Chan, little did they know that another little furniture shop would come with her, as she turned 26. Now a budding Filipino-Chinese entrepreneur, Chan moved on from helping out with the family business to start a design shop of her own while still carrying the parent brand’s name: House by Ital Design.

“I really wanted to have something that I can say I created, or something that I have for myself,” she says. Despite the five existing branches of Ital Design all over Metro Manila, Chan was determined to create “something new, something more modern and unique,” as she put it. “So I proposed to my parents that I really wanted to have this big investment and put up a big store in a mall. The opportunity came when Uptown Mall opened and I was able to get this space.”

The brand name is as simple and honest as its intention: The idea of having a space where people can start building their houses from. The store is divided into different sections that look like little snippets of different kinds of homes. A white minimalist bedroom lies next to a more rustic dining area. Kitschy living room elements are seen from their glass facade. Chairs of various colors and styles rest on a gigantic shelf covering an entire wall. Anyone who walks in can feel right at home because the shop allows you to sit on its chairs and lie on its mattresses.

The sections of House are essentially pre-made dioramas that one can instantly superimpose upon one’s home, or use as a guide model for self-designing. The modern urban dweller, after all, is their own interior designer.

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