Netherlands born Michael Dietvorst is Managing Director of Oriental Living, a contemporary Asian furniture store that also exports furniture worldwide at competitive prices.
After 20 years, having built an advantageous reputation as the premier furniture store in Koh Samui, Oriental Living has arrived in Phuket offering high quality furniture, Asian art and interior design projects for residential and corporate customers.
Phuketindex.com caught up with Michael at the new store in Park Chergntalay shopping complex to find out more about their new Phuket store.
What is Oriental Living?
Oriental living is an interior design company that also retails and wholesales very interesting and exclusive furniture brands such as Mobella, Box Furniture, Galeri and Tipota. We provide clients with a huge selection of high quality furniture, home accessories and Asian art.
we also provide complete interior design packages.
How and when did you become interested in the furniture business?
My business in Koh Samui actually started 20 years ago as an art gallery. We originally sold art and small pieces of furniture to tourists. However, when the building boom started there about 10 years ago we became more focused on the local market, people building hotels and villas. So instead of focusing on selling to tourists we became more involved with interior design and providing a complete furniture package for those people. About 7 years ago we decided to change our retail name from Oriental Gallery to Oriental Living, but our company remains the same Oriental Galleries Co.,Ltd founded in 1991.
Where do your products come from?
Our products come from Thailand, some from Chiang Mai, some Bangkok and also from a local artists in places like Phetburi province. We also have items which come from Java, Indonesia where there is a large industry in wooden furniture.
Why did you choose the location for the Phuket store here in Cherngtalay?
Cherngtalay is the most up and coming area for retail ventures as it is located between Surin Beach and the Laguna and Layan areas where many 5 star hotels and exclusive villa estates are located. Personally I also like the village feel and beautiful nature surrounding this location
What is your client base?
Firstly, it would have to be the private villa owners, secondly the hotel projects, and thirdly passing tourists who are here on holiday and happen to see the store. It’s a great mix, which I really like. It’s never boring for us!
How frequently do you update your products?
Constantly, we have a huge collection of over 1000 designs. We have a range of more than 150 sofas and each of those can be customized and made within three to four weeks. They can be covered in any fabric that you want. We have limited space, so we are unable to show all of our collection at one time. Therefore, we rotate the items which we have on display. We also have new stuff coming in all the time and so many designs to choose from. Before the end of the month we will have 2 more containers arriving so you can be sure that there will be plenty of interesting items available.
Do you have any future plans for oriental living?
We are opening a second furniture store on Phuket in December but with a different concept. It will be the first branch of a fantastic franchise store in Bali, Lio Collection. We are opening this store across the road from our Cherngtalay branch convenient for customers wanting to see both collections.
What would you like to say to anyone reading this interview?
Please come by and see us, we have good coffee for you. Come and browse our products and talk to us. We have an interior designer on board and she can help you realise your dreams. We have so many contacts in the home decoration and furniture fields that we can source anything that customers have in mind. There is already a real buzz here with many people coming to speak to the professionals at hand and this is what we want for everybody that comes to our new store here in Phuket.