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New year, new home

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Neal P. Corpus

Posted on December 31, 2020

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Home essentials for a fresh start from multi-brand boutique Guava Sketches.

Photos by RENZO NAVARRO

There’s just something about the Scandinavian way of living that feels like a clean slate. And after the tumultuous year we’ve all had, it sounds like just what we need.

Guava Sketches is a multi-brand boutique nestled on the third floor of Greenbelt 5, where they relocated from their previous spot in Greenbelt 3.

In the store, you’ll find a plethora of things for the home — everything from chairs, books, clothes, and various knick knacks for decorating.

Joan Cantemprate at Guava Sketches. Photo by Renzo Navarro

“Guava Sketches began with our love for collecting handmade objects with good craftsmanship, well-designed objects, and an affinity for the Scandinavian way of life,” says co-founder Joan Cantemprate.

She and her sister Jennifer first opened the store in 2015. They started our with a website and participated in bazaars, and “when the right time came, we opened a physical shop for people to fully experience our brands,” says Joan.

The items in the boutique are very much influenced by Joan and Jennifer’s individual characters and favorites. Growing up, they were surrounded by encyclopedias, books, and well-designed furniture and homeware.

Stak basket in White, P980 each, Monograph. 9.5º Chair in Natural, P65,880 (on sale at P39,528), Frama.

Joan and Jennifer’s parents also played an instrumental role in their ethos. “From our father, we learned how to conduct proper research, and to be curious about things,” shares Joan. “There is a fascination with how things are done, from concept, material, process, details to actual objects created.”

Their mother, who took up interior design, trained Joan and Jennifer’s eye for color, design, interiors, and art objects. “Although our tastes are not alike, my sister and I both love well-though, concept-based and tastefully done things,” says Joan.

Lunch Box (16cm), P1,080, and Lunch Box (20cm), P1,580, both Nicolas Vahe. Linen napkins in Curry (set of four), P2,280, and bamboo spoon and fork (14cm, sold separately in boxes of 12), P680, both House Doctor. Bølling Tray Table in Beech wood, P49,380 (on sale at P27,159), Brdr. Krüger. Hexagon Coffee Table, P9,500, Ware.co.

Even the name is derived from their home and childhood: “My sister was the one who came up with the name,” shares Joan. “She thought of simplifying the process of name-giving while still making it fun, meaningful, and special,” something you see very much reflected in the store.

“’Guava’ came from our childhood memories of playing under a guava tree with our cousins, [while] ‘sketches’ is from [Jennifer’s] favorite music composition Flamenco Sketches by Miles Davis.”

After finishing school, Joan went on to work in the design and fashion industry, while Jennifer worked in banking and finance. Their experience would later help Guava Sketches: “We are very yin and yang when it comes to work,” says Joan. She handles the creative and operations aspect, while Jennifer takes care of finance and accounting of the business.

Cocktail glass, P1,080, House Doctor. Bamboo Mirror Tray, P4,100, E.Murio. Otto Plates in Small, P6,580 (set of two, on sale at P3,948), Frama. Otto Plates in Large, P7,880 (set of two, on sale at P4,728), Frama.

When you first enter the Guava Sketches, the first thing you will notice are the concrete walls, complemented by a white marble counter and austere lighting. But as you investigate, you will find pieces with a warmth and humor to them, like a tile adorned with a pug’s face, and tea cups charmingly painted with various animals.

“We choose brands and designs based on the concept of good design with a sense of humor,” says Joan. There is a deep sense of curation that’s not based on simply aesthetics — there is a certain character not found in other boutiques, one that is both joyful and purposeful.

Bamboo dish brush, P880, Meraki. Clean Dishes dish soap in Forest Garden, P2,480 (on sale at P1,364), Meraki.

As Guava Sketches grows, the selection has expanded from basic house items like homeware and furniture to “goods that make up a home, and integrated into every aspect of one’s lifestyle — memories, readings, music, wearables, edibles, and art.”

Each item they select for the store is very much rooted in the Scandinavian ideals of hygge (“just right”), fika (“coffee breaks”), and jantoloven (“‘we’ mentality”).

Black retro clock, P2,580, Monograph. White ledge shelf, P1,980, House Doctor.

This doesn’t mean that Guava Sketches only stocks items from Europe, however. In the store you’ll find wares from local brands and artists such as E. Murio, Ware.co, The Urban Potter, Liliana Manahan, and more.

Pug Tile, P4,480 (on sale at P2,464), Kün Keramik. Self Service: Vintage You, P4,380 (on sale at (P2,409), Idea Publication. Error, Object, Structure by Adam Jeppesen, P3,380 (on sale at P2,716), Plethora Artist Edition Series. Juco side table, P11,380 (on sale at P6,259), House Doctor.

When asked if she had any favorite pieces, Joan says they love all the pieces in the shop. Any owner of a multi-brand store would probably say that without a thought, but Joan manages to describe at least one aspect from each brand that they truly connect with or admire, and you get an idea of just how passionate they are.

Pillow Case in Washed Army Green and Washed Orchid Pink, P5,580 (on sale at P3,069), Maniberg. Corner-seater sofa in Sand, P64,680 (on sale at P35,574), House Doctor.

And their ultimate dream for Guava Sketches? “To be able to bring wares from every country in the world,” says Joan, “each representing their culture and personality while bound by a universal concept of good design and a sense of humor.”


Guava Sketches is located on the third floor of Greenbelt 5. Visit their website at guavasketches.com.

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