Here’s a design riddle for you: how do you fit 24 rooms in a 30-square meter space?
Change the walls to make the small space transform in 24 different ways!
This was the concept behind the design of this apartment. By incorporating moving walls and foldable components, Architect Gary Chang of Hong Kong has definitely made the most out of his small space. See for yourself in the video above.
The “one space fits all” idea is not new to us. The bahay kubo demonstrates a simple version of this concept where one space is used as a living, dining, and a sleeping area by folding, unfolding, removing, and adding furnishings. However, Chang’s design incorporates more sophisticated strategies and components to suit today’s complex lifestyle.
I wonder if in the near future this would become the standard, as we see more and more condos being built in the city. I doubt it, though, because it would still be relatively expensive locally. Pricey steel tracks and lightweight wall systems were used for ease of movement. But Chang’s solutions are definitely ingenious.
Check out his other project The Suitcase House Hotel which used a similar design concept.
Tags: architecture, condo living, gary chang, interior design, small space, space matters
Posted in how do i live, space matters | 2 Comments »
I can’t believe that it’s already my 6th year in my graduate course. I breezed through my subjects, finishing all the required units in just three semesters. Why haven’t I graduated??? I haven’t finished my thesis! I already have a topic and have begun doing library work. But all these years, between projects and writing assignments, I didn’t have enough time, energy, and free brain cells to start writing the study.
Now that everything is going very well with my family, I have the option of taking a “partial leave” this semester from design work (of course, I won’t be abandoning existing projects) and limiting writing assignments to maybe two articles per month. This way, I think I can already focus on my research.
To further help me concentrate, I decided to make myself an office/study at the stockroom behind our house. For the longest time, I have been working in the dining area. I have a desk in my bedroom but I feel claustrophobic and sleepy (because of the presence of the bed) working there. Unfortunately, working in the dining area means having to deal with constant distractions and interruptions.
Last Sunday afternoon, I cleaned the stockroom and converted a corner of the room into my office/study. Here’s a list of what I did:
1) ACCENT WALL – I wanted to paint a part of the existing white wall to define my space without using any dividers. Apart from cleaning the room, this was probably the only time-consuming part of the makeover. I initially wanted a bright color like lime green or yellow for the accent wall but decided against it because the color might just cause migraines. Instead, I mixed a dark khaki paint color using white base + burnt umber + black. To make the wall less sleepy, I made a series of slim branches by sticking ½” masking tape before painting the wall.
2) COLOR - After removing the tape, I realized that the white-and-dark khaki combination was too strong for me. To soften the white, I lightly brushed over the patterns with a pale blue-gray paint.
3) OLD FURNITURE + NEW ACCESSORIES – When the paint was completely dry, I positioned my old drafting table, mounted two cork boards on the wall (P88 each from The 88 Store), and brought in the new table lamp which I got for only P795 (from Robinson’s Department Store). I also added a small potted plant where I can stick reminders and to-do lists.
4) CHAIR SLIPCOVER – I didn’t want to spend on a new desk chair. To complete my one-day makeover, I just made a slipcover for an existing monoblock chair using a large scrap fabric.
For this makeover, I only spent around P1,160 for the paint colors (i used my dad’s leftover white latex paint for the base), paint roller, cork boards, and table lamp (the only expensive item).
I already started working in my new workspace yesterday! I just hope that all my efforts will finally lead me to a research proposal by the end of August and to a finished thesis by March. Wish me luck! -ardel
Tags: decorating, home, home office, interior design, makeover, study
Posted in how do i live, spacelift | 13 Comments »
We all know her as the Philippines’ bossa girl, making bossa nova a part of Filipino pop music. But at home, she’s a simple, laidback person who enjoys watching DVDs and playing with her two dogs. Meet Sitti Navarro and her new home!
Last month, the team got a peek at the singer’s crib and saw her world outside showbiz.
Sitti and her family moved into this three-storey house just a few months ago. The actual value of the property, the size of the interiors, plus its strategic location made her choose the house over a condominium space. “By far, it’s a bigger space to accommodate the family and a better investment for me,” she explained.
The house was already fully finished when they moved in, inclusive of the basic built-ins and lighting fixtures. All she had to do was to bring in the furnishings to complete the interiors. For this, she got some help from an interior designer friend who accompanied her when she shopped around.
Sitti’s style leans more towards the clean minimalist kind. For this reason, she appreciated the dark wengue finish and rectilinear details of the house and initially wanted to maintain the “bare” look of the space. However, the minimalist style seemed quite impersonal to her mom. Being the one who is more inclined to decorating, Sitti’s mom added some personal details to give the interiors a warm, intimate character.
It was also her mom’s idea to turn the stairway into a display area for her album sales awards. Together with the recessed halogen step lights, the potentially boring transitional space became one of the interesting places of the house.
Among all the areas in the house, Sitti particularly loves two spots. One is the balcony by her bedroom where she spends most of her quiet “alone” time over a cup of coffee. The other one is the entertainment area where the whole family bonds together, watching movies.
As an early Valentine’s treat for our readers, we are raffling off an autographed cd of Sitti’s latest album Contagious! To join the draw, just leave a comment on this post together with your email address. This giveaway will end on Valentine’s day, February 14, 9am (Manila time). One winner will be drawn via a random number generator, announced on this post, and will be contacted by email.
Have a great weekend everyone!
*special thanks to MJ and TangerineSkies Artst PR
[got a cool space? share it with us! email us about it with pictures of your place at email@example.com. ]
UPDATE 02/14/10: Giveaway is now closed. Thank you to everyone who joined and gave their comments. Congratulations to the winning commenter: #7–Gian! The Design Folder Team will contact you through email on how to claim your cd.
Tags: home, sitti navarro
Posted in how do i live | 11 Comments »
If I had all the money in the world, I would indulge in buying ornaments and have my Christmas tree look like a Rustan’s centerpiece. Hmm … then again, maybe not. I would probably feel guilty having a lavish tree that I would enjoy for just a month or so. I am not “Practical Princess” for nothing.
Here are my personal Christmas tree decorating do’s –
As with makeup and structures, you need a good foundation. Fluff up the tree well. Check for “bald spots”. Bend each stem upward to make your tree’s stems simulate the real thing.
Start lighting your tree from the bottom, working your way from the outside, then towards the inside of the trunk, then out again. Wrap the lights around the tree branches for an evenly lit tree. This is the most important step so I take my time in making sure there are no areas left unlit. This year, it took me all of 3 hours to do this – I take Christmas tree lighting very seriously. I used rice lights this year instead of the generic ones – it gives a more subtle effect.
Recycle and add. This is my trick for changing the motif, as I don’t want to overhaul ornaments every year. Last year, we had a blue, green, silver and gold theme. I recycled the glittery gold balls this year and added the red and orange ornaments. I reused the green balls and silver stars, and arranged them in clear vases as table pieces (I got this idea from DF’s Christmas balls article!) Maybe next year, I’ll do a blue and orange theme.
Want those gorgeous, giant bow tree toppers like the ones at the mall? No need to buy a ready-made bow. YouTube it. I watched a couple of how-to’s on YouTube and voila! I made my very own bow tree topper!
A Christmas tree looks naked without a tree skirt. I went to SM to find one, but only saw the usual bright green and red skirts, with some poinsettias and Santas frolicking near the hem. I needed a more mature-looking skirt so I took matters into my own hands. I bought 2 yards of rich gold upholstery fabric and draped it around the base, careful not to expose the unhemmed edges. If I get tired of using it as a tree skirt, maybe I’ll convert it into a table runner.
Lastly, and most importantly, brave Divisoria! Seek and you shall find … the most fabulous Christmas ornaments within your budget!
12 large metallic orange balls – Php 300
24 medium metallic red balls – Php 290
12 metallic orange icicles – Php 300
12 two-tone (red/orange) poinsettias – Php 180
10 yards 3” wide, autumn-print, wire-edged ribbon – Php 250
10 yards 1.5” wide, metallic red, gold wire-edged ribbon – Php 120
6 dozen small gold and lacquered pinecones – Php 240
2 bunches of twigs – Php 100
2 bunches of large metallic two-tone (red/green) holly – Php 70
2 yards gold printed fabric – Php 400
T O T A L = P h p 2 , 2 5 0
Tags: christmas, decorating, diy
Posted in diy: design-it-yourself, how do i live | No Comments »
Getting your own place requires some serious decision making in the finance department. I have had my place for three years, yet my walls were still untouched. I checked out my neighborhood art fair – and everything was so expensive! I decided to take matters into my own hands (literally) and customize my walls with fabric wall art. Here’s a step-by-step:
You will need:
A wooden frame – A Design Folder insider tells me you can get custom sized frames made at the U.P. College for Fine Arts for a low price. You could also channel your inner carpenter and make it yourself with 1” x 2” lumber.
Printed fabric – Pick a sturdy fabric that can withstand stretching. Make sure to leave 3-4” on each side of the frame when cutting it to size. Iron it to get rid of creases.
Staple gun, Scissors, Hammer, Pliers, Screw eyes, Wire for hanging, Nails/hooks for hanging on your wall
Place the wooden frame on top of the fabric. If your fabric has a big print (like mine), make sure you get all the pretty details within the frame.
Staple the fabric into place, stretching it as you go around the frame. Leave the corners for now.
Fold the fabric neatly so it doesn’t bunch up at the corners. Think gift wrapping. Staple.
Cut the excess fabric.
Install screw hook about 3” from the top of the frame. Do the same for the other side. Thread the wire through the screw eye and twist it securely. Do the same for the other side.
Hang anywhere you please.
Fabric wall art looks best when hung as a set. Pick prints and colors that go well together to make an interesting pattern.
Here’s a great tip – Use a lint remover to dust off your fabric wall art. It works wonders.
Share your fabric wall art pictures with us!
Tags: decorating, diy, fabric wall art
Posted in diy: design-it-yourself, how do i live | No Comments »
[ In our first ' how do i live ' post, our friend, Practical Princess, lets us into her personal space -- her apartment in the US. As an architecture graduate of UP Diliman, she knows a lot about good design and believes that good design is for everyone.]
a glimpse of my apartment
One of my greatest thrills and challenges in life was moving to States by myself in 2005. It was such a joy to have my own apartment and decorate it to my liking! It was definitely a big step from “Dad-I-want-my-walls-painted-pink.” I had the living, dining and kitchen area to spruce up too! Of course, there was no “Dad” to fund my project this time around, so I had to work on a budget (more like lack of funds) and be practical with my decisions. Here’s a short guide to surviving your first apartment on a budget, without sacrificing your personal style.
Don’t put down hand me downs. I was lucky to have relatives in the city that just moved from a 5-bedroom house to a 2-bedroom condo. I got my full sized bed with box spring for free! Seek the help of friends and family who are moving or having a garage sale. They just might have the stuff you need.
Corelle dinnerware on Ikea table
Draw inspiration from the existing. You can still coordinate on a budget! Also from my relatives, I inherited 4 bright orange retro chairs. I did not see the blast-from-the-past chairs as an eyesore to my quaint, sparsely furnished apartment, but rather, as an inspiration! I got a red, peanut shaped table from Ikea to match my 70’s chairs. I also went the extra mile and matched with Corelle multi-colored striped dinnerware. Which brings me to my next tip…
kitchen stocked with quality kitchenware
Quality kitchenware will last forever. If there’s something I splurged on, it was my kitchenware. Corelle plates don’t break, chip or stain – best for clumsy people like me. It is also microwave- and dishwasher- safe. I also recommend getting good pots and pans. I opted for Cuisinart’s stainless steel 3-piece starter set – broiler-, freezer- and dishwasher-safe. Go for Henckel’s Eversharp knife series. Four years and counting, these kitchen staples have not lost their quality. It wasn’t so much of a splurge after all.
money saver = friends as workers
Give the walls some lovin’. Brighten up a wall with a fresh coat of paint. (Ask your landlord first if you can paint!) Don’t be afraid of color! My radioactive lime green wall seemed a bit extreme at first, but it really perked up my kitchen/dining area, especially since it was nowhere near a window. (This was also sort of a dream becoming a reality – my college projects always had a lime green wall.) Choose a neutral color for your bedroom – it will be much easier to coordinate your beddings. Accessorize with fabric wall art and framed pictures of loved ones. (More on fabric wall art in my next entry.)
fabric wall art and photos of loved ones
And my favorite tip of all -
Shop the sales. Self-explanatory. Throw in a pair of boots while you’re at it.
Tags: apartment, decorating, ikea
Posted in how do i live | 3 Comments »