28 September 2012

Tropical Botanical

These past recent years have been an explosion of floral influence in terms of design. From floral wallpapers to floral clothing, the flower power came back with a bang. Although I myself am a fan of floral details when it comes to Fashion and Interior Design, let’s face it, it tends to look too “girly”. If you wanted the whole nature feel pattern, but your husband or man-roomie opposes the flora and fauna theme, one compromise that I could suggest is to use leaves instead.

Here are some spaces that have succeeded in doing the whole “tropical leaf-ing” (get it? no? never mind) feel:

via Small Shop Studio (Brian Atwood & Nate Berkus’ dining room via Elle Decor)

DECOR TIP: Want to add “life” or that missing “oomph” to an otherwise monochromatic design? Adding green leafy plants should do the trick! Our professor in college taught us that :)

Aren't they lovely? :)

26 September 2012

The Set of Royal Tenenbaums

The very first Wes Anderson film I’ve seen was courtesy of my sister who strongly insisted on making me watch The Royal Tenenbaums. If you aren’t familiar with Wes Anderson, you better start googling him now. Seriously. Some of his other famous or buzz-worthy works are Rushmore, The Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr. Fox and the recent Moonrise Kingdom.

Anyway, after seeing this film I’m pretty much convinced on watching any of his films without hesitation or even without seeing the movie trailer. Sort-of like my feeling after watching Taken, I was sold on watching any film with Liam Neeson in it afterwards (yeah, yeah why only now). And in this case, it was with Wes Anderson.

What I love about his films aside from his usually odd, eccentric and awkward characters is that you’re sure to be treated with a visual feast. For this movie, the Production Designer is David Wasco who worked with him in some of his other projects as well. Also to be duly noted is the film’s amazing Art Director, Carl Sprague.

Creating designs in reality and in film have distinct differences. Aside from the location (if it’s in a studio, etc.) and sometimes the quality of the finishings, two of the most other notable differences I’ve encountered are the following:

  1. Angles - Sometimes what looks like a weird furniture angle in reality, looks effing awesome in film. Same applies when shooting photos for Interiors. Try removing a chair or changing the angle of a cabinet or coffee table to capture a better picture.

  2. Everything has meaning - Anything caught on frame or is within the set has a meaning. It could be a symbolism of sort, a reflection of a character’s emotion, etc. If it’s there, it means something and not just because.

via Iambic Admonit

So yes back to the set design of the film. I love the warm colors and quirkiness of the set. Even the painting on the above picture has a flair of whimsy on it. As you can see, what really matters in this case is creating or getting a “feeling” or “reaction” from the audience. One look at it and you’re already charmed and captivated by the life and story of the character. You transport your audience to their world. Not all films are able to do this, mind you.

Here are other photos of some of the scenes that I like:

I want that glowing globe thing in the corner!

Quaint office/library. Even the books are color-coordinated with the wardrobe of the actors.

I like the disheveled in a neat sort-of way (does that even make sense?) feel of the books and the hanging framed artworks on the open shelves.

I thought the blocking of the characters in this film are good. There’s something about this picture that makes me want to giggle every time I look at it. Weird.

Jumbo tropical leaves? YES PLEASE.

Again, nice blocking. I like how Margot is nonchalantly sulking in the corner. And, the wall color is yum.

LOOOOVE this Scalamandre zebra wallpaper print! Well if it isn’t obvious enough with the layout of my blog, I’m pretty much obsessed with the tomato red and animal print combo as well haha :)

And how cute are these people for dressing up as iconic Tenenbaums? Awesome idea for halloween and themed family albums!

The Ronson siblings as featured in Harper’s Bazaar (via Mademoiselle Robot)

Cute pre-nuptial photo shoot (sorry, but I really can’t help but describe it as cute; via A Practical Wedding).

And if you haven’t seen the movie, here’s the trailer below. Another film with a similar vibe to the setting of TRT that I’ve seen would be Audrey Tatou’s Amelie. I’ll try to do a separate entry for that. For the meantime, yeah go check this film out if you haven’t :)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaMfV72q40U]

25 September 2012

Typography on Walls

Apart from Interiors, I also have a soft spot for Graphic Design especially when it comes to Typography. I just love the idea of how a seemingly simple text or group of words when arranged in some manner can become a stunning piece of art. In today’s time where you can almost print on any flat surface you could imagine—from tiles to plywood or having your own wallpaper or wall decal design printed just a couple of cartwheels away from a print shop, incorporating Typography in your space has also become easier and more accessible.

So here are some of my finds from the web which I find quite awesome:

via Designbolt

In my bedroom, I usually like to surround myself with motivational quotes so that whenever I would wake up feeling lethargic or with the blues I’m reminded to be positive and have my spirits lifted up a bit. Usually I place those inspirational quotes on frames, but placing them in big bad-ass-in-your-face letters on the wall might work just as much if not an even better reminder, don’t you think? :)

Christmas Tree Quote by Stickers for Wall

I know, I know, it’s too early for the merry holiday spirit for some but I think this is a cute idea if you’re a bit on a budget when it comes to Christmas trees or your space is lacking or constrained for you to have the actual one.

Rules for the Home by Vinyl Impression

This is one interesting idea to have. Imagine not going on about repeatedly regarding your house rules to your new guests (or hard-headed old guests for that matter) or if you’re just not bitchy enough in person to tell your visitor to take their shoes off or not to get all those chocolate from your nibble jar in the kitchen.

by Amy Haywood

Cielito Querido Cafe via B3 Designers

A darker background makes the text look more crisp and as if popping out from the walls. Love, love, love!!!

via Clean Cut Media

Awesome directional signage slash illusion. Parking lots doesn’t have to be boring, eh?

via Style Swoon

And for those in the advanced level bordering insane genius, damn, would you look at that? Sculptural piece of awesome goodness. Doesn’t mean exactly anything when you “read” it, but I don’t care it’s still awesome!

24 September 2012

When is an Interior Considered Too Much?

Have you ever walked across this beautifully designed restaurant in the middle of one Friday pay night in a very populated neighborhood only to find a few people eating inside while the other two restaurants beside each end of it are packed by crowds of people?

There’s nothing really wrong with their food, they’re serving pizza or burgers (which by definition are happy comfort foods for most people) offered at fair or competitive price point levels in comparison to its neighboring restaurants. The traffic flow and space planning are impeccable and conducive to the staff’s efficiency of service. Every surface has been kept clean and pristine.

So what seems to be wrong? Why aren’t people going in?

20 September 2012

Pampanga Food & Heritage Tour

Some people would find it creepy to live in their ancestral homes and sometimes it can be true especially if it’s not as well-maintained. Despite those inhibitions however, I love going to ancestral homes. Visiting them is like going through an entire life line of different eras, a flashback of history in a matter of a visit. I love how some are able to maintain bits and pieces that are dated back then, not only are they exemplary conversation pieces but I also find a nostalgic sort-of charm in them.

Last Saturday despite the rain and threatening floods around the northern part of my country, I was still able to take part in a food and heritage tour in Pampanga spearheaded by a group of young and passionate local travelers who collectively call themselves Culture Shock PH. All day long we ate, we shoot and we conquered…the insane rain, that is.

What I love about their tour, aside from the local food fest, is that we get to visit the ancestral homes of our hosts. Aside from that they personally gave us a bit of cooking demo (Pampanga locals are known for being great cooks) of some local dishes and we get to have intimate conversations with them, which I think is great since you get to look around and learn at your own pace unlike in huge tour groups where it seems like you’re always in a rush.

My lola (grandma) is from Pampanga herself, but our generation never really got to go around her hometown. It was nice to finally be able to get a glimpse of where she came from—the culture, the sights and of course the different tastes of Pampanga :)

Overall I enjoyed the experience :) Here are some photos of the interiors during the trip:

Living La Vida Bohemia

by The Snarkcastic Curator

Candy-colored painted furniture with patchwork upholsteries have been trending for awhile now and if you’re into that kind of look and live around Manila then I suggest you drop by Heima at LRI Plaza as most of their home furnishing and decor embodies that sorta vibe.

Some would use this type of furniture as an accent piece, maintaining all else in stark white or whatever solid color it is they want it mixed with and that’s great if you’re the one selling the said furniture (obviously to make your product stand out). Personally though, I prefer going that extra deluded mile and mix that patchwork piece with MORE and MORE printed, stenciled, or decal-ed furnishing. PRINT on PRINT on PRINT is the way to go for me :)

Also another design tip is layering of materials. Yeah just like in clothing, this is one of those cases where MORE is definitely MORE. If only I could afford it and if only our weather permits our country to be dust-friendly (but alas) I would very much try layering different area rugs in place of wall-to-wall carpeting.

I love how the mix and not necessarily match result gives a bohemian-gypsy or caravan chic atmosphere. In some ways it also shows a bit of whimsy in character and oddly enough reminds me of the awesome house of the Weasleys in the Harry Potter films haha! Granted it tends to look like space on crack, but yeah whatever. To each his own right?

Anyway, here are some of my finds that share a similar La Vie Boheme vibe:

Patchwork Nicola Wing Settee by Heima

via My Friends Call Me Nelly

via Home and Decor

via Eclectic Gypsyland

via Eclectic Gypsyland

via Wild Things’ Forts

via Wild Things’ Forts

Kids, don’t ask your parents for doll houses. Caravans and kitschy tents are waaaaay cooler. Trust me.

17 September 2012


Some Interior Designers would say that they’d rather focus more on Residential Interiors because the fulfillment they get with their clients is incomparable compared to Commercial kind of projects. In some ways I get what they were trying to say since Residential projects have a more personal relationship with their client per say in contrast to Commercial projects where it’s most likely a business-only (ergo don’t-take-it-personally type of) arrangement.

For me, the biggest reward (aside from getting paid fairly, let’s face it) is seeing the reaction of people being affected by your work in a positive way. That moment where you see the momentary spark in their eyes, the slow creeping of a smile that sends butterflies straight to your stomach as you slowly release this huge contained sigh of relief and then BAM there it goes, you fall in love with what you do all over again.

One type of client I’m very fond of working with are those who are just starting on with their very first home. Some who fall under this category are young married couples and the others are young urban professionals such as bachelors and bachelorettes. It’s one of the exciting things that could happen to anyone, having your very own place where you get to call all design shots and create your very own household rules. As part of the process, you get to ride on with their high of excitement and it can be so contagious it gets you a jumpstart motivation on the project.

So how can you make your own space look more like a bachelor or bachelorette pad? Above are some fail-safe tips regardless of which color you choose as long as you get the combination of the following elements :)

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