It’s a timeless debate: form or function, design or practicality. At Qualy, the hip housewares boutique in riverside shopping mecca Asiatique, products combine the best of both worlds.
Established in 2004 by Thosaphol Suppameteekulwat and his older brother Teerachai, Qualy has quickly become one of the most successful shops of its kind in the city. The innovative designs of their products—and their often surprising functions—confidently toe the line between kitsch and cute. In one sense, Qualy is like Ikea, but less industrial and with a stronger sense of sanuk.
All products are made from 100 per cent recyclable materials. They’re high-quality and durable, owing to the brand’s use of polycarbonate plastic, and naturally extracted colour ensures the products will leave no harmful effects on the environment. From the start, the founders strived for eco-friendliness, fashioning products that would raise collective awareness of environmental issues. To that end, they’ve placed hidden messages, or stories, behind each product.
This is most obvious in the Squirrel Tissue Log (a tissue holder). While it has a practical use, it also makes a subliminal statement about saving trees: as if protecting its stash of nuts in a log, the squirrel guards its paper from humans, implying that the more we take, the less nature has. The Polar Bear Ice Bucket also makes a statement relevant to current world issues. As ice melts in the two-layer ice bucket, a polar bear on a tiny iceberg at the bottom of the bucket slowly gets covered by the dripping water, a not-so-subtle reference to the melting polar ice caps.
In recent years, Qualy has also gained international recognition. Its accolades include the Design Excellence Award (DEmark), the Good Design Award, the Thailand Prime Minister’s Export Award, and the FORM Design Award. At the beginning of 2015, Qualy again earned the DEmark from the Department of International Trade Promotion for three particular goodies, including the Night Owl, a key holder shaped like an owl, whose eyes open when a key is hung on its talons, and the Watchdog, another key holder in the shape of a small doghouse; when a key is inserted, a dog shoots out, as if protecting it. The third product recognized is a bookend in Mountain and Iceberg shapes. They come with six different animals, each of which can be used as a bookmark.
Qualy products are exported to 50 countries across the world. To see the collection, visit its flagship store at Warehouse No.8 in Asiatique, or stop by BeTrend at Siam Paragon or The Emporium. Loft and more.
Warehouse No.8, Asiatique | 0 2689 8591 | qualydesign.com | Daily 4pm-11pm