If you are a fan of K-pop and the Koreans’ adventurous sense of style, you’ll absolutely love the new Subspace Coffee House in Ortigas.
Owned by Wilmer Lopez and Thor Balanon, the duo behind the hip home and lifestyle store Space Encounters, Subspace was created with two things in mind: 1) to have a setting where their clients can see how their funky vintage pieces can be used for commercial applications, and 2) to have a venue where they, especially Thor, can celebrate their love for coffee, design, and K-pop.
Their trip to Seoul last year inspired their design for the coffee shop. Similar to Korean fashion, the interior of Subspace is cute, edgy, nostalgic, geeky and quirky all at the same time. Their colorful pieces from Space Encounters like the Papa Bear loveseat and the Wishbone chairs are arranged in an industrial setting of plain white paint, unfinished concrete surfaces, retractable iron grilles, and exposed pipes and ducting. K-pop and Korean vintage posters are mixed with mid-century accessories, and space science details.
It’s interesting that instead of using them as chairs, the Wishbone were hanging above the dining area (photo above)! Thor explained that they were supposed to demonstrate anti-gravity. Clever!
Subspace also features Korean films and concerts. But instead of installing a TV, they simply installed a small projector and used a portion of one wall as their screen.
Of course, it wouldn’t be coffee shop without coffee! Thor suggested for us to try their Sweet Purple Potato Latte (flavored coffee popular in Korea), Iced Lemon Green Tea, Nebula Coffee Jelly, a couple of cupcakes, and samples of their chocolates. Everything was delicious!
Their Sweet Purple Potato Latte (which I call ube coffee for short) is my favorite. It was perfect for that rainy afternoon. Lilli and Green Guide loved the green tea. We enjoyed everything! Too bad Ana, our “coffee connoisseur”, wasn’t able to join us.
Subspace Coffee House is now open! Visit them at Unit 103, GF Grand Emerald Tower, F. Ortigas Jr. Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig. Also checkout their facebook page here for more photos of their food items.
Tags: coffee shop, furniture, in good taste
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Maybe because of our warm climate, frozen and icy desserts are always a big hit in the country. There were the Magnolia Ice Cream Parlor in the 60s, Slush Puppy of the 80s and 90s (ok, this may just be limited to select schools, hehe) and Zagu and Quickly of the early ’00s.
Right now, the latest in frozen desserts is the fro-yo or frozen yogurt that let’s you indulge in ice cream-like goodness minus the guilt. But the “real thing” is not far behind. Gelato, that creamy italian ice cream, is recently giving fro-yo a good competition.
A couple of weeks ago, after our shoot at Recipes, the df team stumbled upon Caffe Ti-Amo in SM North Annex. With its brick-clad walls (above) that try to simulate the Italian old-world charm, Caffe Ti-Amo’s space looks warm and friendly. However, what really caught our attention was the display of gelato in front of the shop (below).
They all look so good! Because we cannot decide which ones to try, the girl at the counter let us sample their ice cream variants with tiny spoons. After trying 5 flavors, we settled on the very creamy (no exaggeration)dark chocolate gelato and the fruity blueberry gelato.
Another thing we love–their shovel-shaped spoons!
According to the staff, Caffe Ti -Amo is a Korean brand. This shop in SM North is their first in the Philippines.
Caffe Ti-Amo is located at the upper ground floor level of SM North Annex.
Tags: cafe, caffe ti-amo, coffee shop, gelato, sm north
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The other week, our df reader, Pam, invited us over at their exhibit in UST. The exhibit was a collaboration between the UST’s junior class in Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) department under the College of Tourism and Hospitality Managementand the junior class of Interior Design (ID) program under the College of Architecture Fine Arts and Design (CFAD).
The designed mock-ups were part of the HRIM students’ feasibility study for hospitality establishments. There were a total of 24 mock-ups showing different hospitality spaces for for food & dining, health & wellness, lodging, and entertainment.
The project also gave the students from both programs a chance to experience a simulation of an actual work setting wherein they have to deal with clients (in the case of ID students) and project consultants (in the case of HRIM students).
The students came up with interesting designs. I also love that the HRIM students dressed according to the theme of their project. Considering they only had a couple of days to finish their spaces, they were well put together. Recurring themes were Filipino-inspired and eco-friendly concepts. Is this a sign that our future designers and entrepreneurs will exert more effort in becoming sensitive and relevant to prevailing social issues? I’m hopeful…
Tags: coffee shop, condominium, hospitality spaces, hotel, restaurant, spa, students' design, ust
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[Too bad we weren’t able to personally visit this exhibit. December was a pretty hectic month for our individual “day jobs”.
Good thing, our friends from UST were kind enough to share with us their photos of the said event. I can tell from the pictures that each space was well designed and put together. But I’m so sure, they all look much better in person! Congratulations!
Also, special thanks to their teacher, Bam Basbas for coordinating.]
*Images and text courtesy of UST ID
Sharing and giving has been a huge part of the Filipinos’ Christmas tradition. That’s why it is no surprise that during the holidays, streets become busy and malls get packed with people who are all in search for perfect gifts. The Christmas Lane exhibit intended to capture the season’s “shopping scene”.
For the past eleven years, it has been a tradition of the junior students of the UST Interior Design Department, College of Fine Arts and Design, to hold a Christmas exhibit that embraces the spirit of the Christmas season. The 2009 exhibit, entitled Christmas Lane, took a different version of presenting the Filipino Christmas scene. Instead of the usual residential spaces, the batch decided to focus, for the first time, on commercial spaces.
The Christmas Lane featured design mock-ups of the four most frequented shops during the holidays: a candy shop where there are endless possibilities for sweets and treats; a novelty shop where one can find great treasures and tokens; a café where one can enjoy freshly brewed coffee and pastries; and a toy shop where everyone can be a child again.
Freight Rail Transport, or commonly known as cargo trains, is one of the most reliable means of transportation of goods that can carry tons of goods to distant places. The store shares a similar vision as Candy Express offers a wide variety of candies, from expensive chocolates to the more affordable mint gums.
The “express” from the shop’s name is literally translated to the Cargo train motif, especially in the design’s display ledges, promotional tables, cashier counter and ceiling design.
The space is dominated by a colorful palette of bright red, blue, yellow ochre, ivy green and mint green, resulting to a playful atmosphere. The winter-themed Christmas decor is inspired by the ever-famous song written by Sammy Cahn “Let it Snow”.
Filipinos have a penchant for glamorous traditional holiday styles. Novelty shop Ilaya Moderno fuses the casual Filipino flair with the luxurious Christmas character.
Crystal, mirrored ornaments and metallics add sparkle to the shop. Décors with various natural textures balance the visual smoothness of silver and gold. Intricately cut pabalat (wrapper of pastillas de leche) adds a touch of Filipino elegance and glamour in the design.
Named after the wisteria flower, Wisteria Café presents a new idea of contemporary delight through a fresh, chic and relaxed dining setting. The outdoor theme is achieved through the addition of the trellis and the use of different outdoor furnishings and accessories.
The design made use of Filipino products for the furniture, wall decor and accessories. Recyclable materials were also introduced in the design such as cable wires for the Christmas tree, old cardboards made into accent flowers, and empty wine bottles used as decorations.
Wonder Works toy store caters to a market ranging from pre-schoolers to school-age children. From the name itself, Wonder Works features different stuffed animals, collectibles, books, and other toys that excite, amaze, and capture the interests of children.
The store’s design is a playful take on the Christmas celebration through its contemporary interpretations of a country style playhouse.
Tags: christmas, coffee shop, shops, ust
Posted in i saw design | 10 Comments »
Remember our feature on Biksa Coffee last October? It’s the laidback, not-too-commercial coffee shop that’s making a buzz in Marikina. This afternoon, I dropped by Biksa for a cup of almond mocha coffee. Yum!
It’s definitely Christmas in Biksa! After being submerged under the chest-deep flood of typhoon Ondoy, it’s good to see that the coffee shop is back in it’s usual “happy and creative” self.
What’s even more interesting is Biksa’s effort in going green for the holidays–all of their Christmas decorations are made from the coffee shop’s ”trash”. This just shows that one man’s trash SHOULD ALSO be his own treasure, hehe
They have a paper mache Santa Clause using Biksa’s old newspaper,
… a colorful Christmas tree made up of empty Torani bottles,
… a relief wall art using painted milk cartons,
… and poinsettia trims made from cut softdrink bottles.
After being one of the hard-hit victims of the flood, it’s very inspiring to see that Biksa still has its creative drive to put up wonderful handmade decors, rendering the place with a warm Christmas atmosphere.
Here’s another good news. Biksa is giving away two (2) P500 gift certificates to our df readers! Yey!
To join the draw, just leave a comment on this post with your email address (will not be published). This giveaway will end on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 8am (manila time). Two winners will be drawn through a random number generator, announced on this post, and will be contacted via email.
For their complete menu and contact details, visit Biksa’s website here.
UPDATE 12/29/09: Giveaway is now closed. Thank you to everyone who joined and gave their wonderful comments! Congratulations to the winning commenters: #7–Daniel and #3–Lesley. The Design Folder Team will contact you through email on how to claim your gc.
Tags: biksa, christmas, coffee shop, decorating
Posted in in good taste, outside the box | 13 Comments »
Going to coffee shops has recently become an integral part of our lifestyle. Coffee shops have been a favorite hangout among friends, a relaxed venue for small meetings, and a more accessible place for relaxation. Now, with laptops and the wifi technology going mainstream, these spots are now a favorite extension of the workplace.
Biksa, from a play of the Tagalog phrase “saBIK SA coffee” (excited over coffee), is a new coffee shop in Marikina. Its design is centered on creating a relaxed environment with a special attention to providing an alternative setting for work. Managing partner Dr. Ephraim Brizuela has always been a patron of coffee shops. Together with his wife, Dr. Grace Brizuela, they frequent coffee shops and treat them as an extension of their workplace. This personal relationship with these places became their starting point for the concept and design of Biksa Coffee.
From the beginning, they told their designer that they envisioned the shop to be an alternative office—a relaxed space that encourages productivity and creative thinking by allowing their customers to work while enjoying good food and good coffee. The goal was to come up with a functional yet creative space, which has a simple design to minimize potential visual clutter and distractions.
The interior is quite different from your usual coffee shop. It is bright, white, and spacious.
The curved lines on the floor and ceiling, and the round form of the lighting fixtures and accent chairs soften the rectangular shape of the space.
The floor is an interesting combination of polished concrete and wood planks. Also, instead of applying them onto the walls, color is introduced through the upholstered furniture.
Various indigenous materials, like capiz and wicker, lend the interiors with a familiar Filipino character.
Unconventional artworks in the form of framed photographs and mounted “junk art” set a creative and inspiring atmosphere.
These relief art by the talented Jun Tolentino are made of cut pieces from several phone cards he gathered from Dubai. The interesting color combinations and detailed patterns of the cards were pieced together to create new patterns in 3-D abstract forms.
Their dining tables are big enough to let you work on your laptop while eating or drinking. On top of that, they have fast (and free) wifi, as well as strategically located convenience outlets near every table so you can plug your computer (for free) when you run out of battery.
Biksa was one of the establishements in Marikina affected by the flood during typhoon Ondoy. After three weeks of cleaning and putting the whole place together, the coffee shop is now back in business!
Biksa Coffee is located at 18 Gil Fernando Ave. cor Dragon St., Marikina City. Check out their website here for their menu and other information.
Tags: biksa, cafe, coffee shop, interior design, marikina, modern filipino
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