How was your 4-day weekend? Mine was spent mostly at home, in my bedroom. After three very busy weeks, I think spending it in my room doing nothing is a holiday well spent. Call me boring, but that’s my idea of a relaxing vacation.
This reminded me of one of the interview questions for a feature in MyHome magazine a couple of years ago. They asked me, “For newly-wed couples, what do you think is the very first piece of furniture that they need to purchase?” For me, the answer is simple—invest in a good bed.
There a three key pieces in a home that every young couple should invest in: the sofa, the dining furniture, and the bed. But if you have enough money for just one, buy the bed first. Among the three, the bed will be the most utilized furniture in the house, where you’ll spend approximately a third of your life for the next 10 years at least (because some experts suggest changing your mattress after 10 years).
The things to consider when selecting a bed tend to come under these categories: the size of your room, the size of the bed, the material of the bed frame (wood, metal, upholstered or leather beds), type of mattress, additional storage, and budget.
The size of your room is important when buying a bed because if you choose a massive bed and you only have a small room, you will be caught in a bit of a pickle. The best way is to measure your room. Make sure you take note of the necessary clearances around the bed for walking around it and for the addition of night table/s. From these measurements, you’ll be able to determine possible limitations with the size of your bed. As a reference, here are the dimensions of mattresses available in the market.
Because you are purchasing a bed for you and your partner, you have two needs to consider. If your partner is a lot taller than yourself (especially if they’re more than 6’ tall) , you will need to be looking at larger/longer beds as you do not want their toes hanging out the end of the bed. Consider beds/mattresses that are longer than the standard 75”. You will also have to come to an agreement about whether you want a hard or soft mattress.
For those with limited storage space, you now have beds with pullout compartments. Many beds have built in storage underneath, which is ideal for smaller rooms.
Obviously all this is irrelevant if your budget will only allow you a few options. You must work out how much you are willing to spend for the bed frame, mattress and beddings. It can all mount up pretty quickly, so keep an eye on your sums.
One important tip: shop around with your partner. Also, try the mattresses. Lie on them to check if they’re comfortable according to your standards.
For beddings, I’ve written a previous post on it here. Mattresses require a different (and longer) discussion. We’ll have a different post on that next time.
Tags: design speak, furniture
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Green Guide tells us we need to visit Batanes soon. And fast! Unlike most people who primarily gush about the beautiful landscape of Batanes (I don’t blame them. I believe Batanes is REALLY beautiful, to say the least.), Green Guide is encouraging us to go to Batanes to see and experience their unique culture and architecture. He claims, with the influx of modern conveniences on the islands, the culture of the Ivatans, the residents of Batanes, is slowly disappearing.
The effect is predominantly felt in the architecture of their houses. The houses are shaped by tradition and the harsh climate unique to the Islands. Given that climate is a form-giver, it is no surprise that the houses of the Ivatans are as unique as its climate and landscape, and can be found nowhere else in the country (ever heard of a traditional Filipino house with an attic?).
Too bad, very few people know about the Ivatan architecture and the Ivatan house. In fact, I only came to know that there’s such a thing as an Ivatan architecture three or four years ago. While there are a lot of studies made on the Bahay Kubo and the Bahay na Bato, very few researches were done on the Ivatan House. Two possible reasons for this are its remote location and unpredictable weather that make traveling to Batanes relatively difficult.
So, what is special about the Ivantan house?
The Ivatan House is made primarily of lime, stone, wood and thatch. It commonly consists of two structures, the house proper and the kitchen or storage area. The main house has the larger area and is usually made of lime, stone, wood and thatch. The heavier materials (lime and stone) provide better shelter from the constant rains. The kitchen or storage area is usually made of wood and thatch. Compared to the Bahay Kubo and the Bahay na Bato, the Ivatan House has significantly lower ceilings (around 1.60-2.00 meters high only) and smaller door and window openings to keep the interiors warm. Plus, there are Ivatan houses that have an attic!
There are two prevalent types of Ivatan Houses.
First is the Chivuvuhung (above) which is a wood-and-thatch house. I guess this is the Ivatan’s version of the Bahay Kubo. They are used primarily as the kitchen or storage area. They can also be used as a temporary shelter, but if the house is big and sturdy enough, it can be a permanent dwelling.
The columns are timber logs and posts driven to the ground. The walls are made of wood, reeds and two layers of cogon grass. To create windows and door openings, space is left between posts. The floor can be made of wood, depending on its use. The roof is made of alternating layers of reeds and cogon on an A-frame resting on the columns.
The use of masonry was brought to the Batanes Islands by the Spanish colonizers. The Ivatans in their houses adapted this new construction technique, where lime and stone are used for walls. The thicker and stronger walls also offered more protection from the harsh environment of the Islands.
As a result, the Sinadumparan was developed, a lime-stone-wood-and-thatch house. Masonry allowed the builders to increase the size of the house, even adding multiple levels. The lower level is used as a storage or shelter for their animals during typhoons. The upper level is the main living area. A wooden floor, supported by girders, divides the two main levels. The attic (oh yeah, the Ivatans have an attic!), right below the roof, can also be used as a storage area.
It is sad that, bit by bit, traditional materials are being replaced by modern ones. CHB is now being used instead of natural stone, thatch by G.I. sheets, etc.
We need to see them before they completely disappear! We’re also curious to know how the interior spaces of an Ivatan house look like. Besides, Design Folder wouldn’t be complete if we can’t feature both the architecture and interiors of the Ivatan house, right?
That’s why we’re sending this post as an entry to SEAIR’s contest here. Like our entry and help us win!!!
**illustrations by lilli
Tags: architecture, batanes, design speak, design trail
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In tropical design, sun shading is an essential strategy to keep interior spaces cool. This is the reason why a lanai or a shaded open porch is a common feature of many Filipino homes. However, in the colder parts of the world that do not get as much sunshine as we do, their porches do the opposite. Instead of shading, their porches, which are closed in glass or polycarbonate material, are meant to trap heat and light to warm their interior spaces. These glass-enclosed porches that function like greenhouses are called sunrooms or conservatories.
Initially, conservatories in cold climates come in the form of large municipal glasshouses to house tropical plants and to function as a naturally-heated public space. Nowadays, because of its energy efficiency (with regards to heating) and aesthetic value, conservatories are consciously integrated into the layout of the house. They are usually used as a casual living area, a den, a dining area, and even as a kitchen—shared/social spaces used regularly by the family that benefit from the warm temperature and the garden setting of conservatories. They come in different forms and sizes to suit the layout of your home and the needs of your family.
For our readers outside the Philippines who are interested in adding a conservatory in their homes, check this diy conservatory site that helps you get the conservatory you want, and this conservatory blog for more information and resources. df
*images via housetohome
Tags: conservatory, design speak, interior design
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Last week’s design speak (scandinavian design) was fairly easy. But during last saturaday’s meeting, Ms. CFO pitched in a challenging topic for the section–art nouveau! All i could remember about that period style is Antonio Gaudi and his “skeletal” forms, tiffany lamps, and the Whiplash motif (yes, images of the Whiplash Dancers in a variety show made me remember that, haha!). This means I need to do some notebooks-and-handouts digging. Blag.
Art Nouveau (“new art”) was a radical design movement that started in the mid-1880s as a reaction against the plainness of the Arts and Crafts movement. (maybeI’ll do another post on the arts and crafts movement for design speak next time)
But like the Arts and Crafts movement, Art Nouveau embraced the idea of avoiding historical allusions in favor of creating new forms through abstraction and stylization. In contrast, Art Nouveau is more feminine being fluid and curvilinear in form, using sinuous lines often referred to as the Whiplash motif. It turns to nature, particularly plants, to find basis for their design and decoration. It also favored the use of machines in creating their designs, which allowed them to use cast iron and come up with complex forms in bigger applications.
Some critics say that the movement was not able to produce a real architectural style, only highly decorated structures. Instead, Art Nouveau flourished in the designs of interiors, fine arts, and the applied arts. Aside from the whiplash curves, Art Nouveau is also noted for adopting oriental motifs.
For architecture and interior design, Antonio Gaudi is one of the more popular names associated with Art Nouveau. His design for the Church of the Sagrada Familia is a noted Art Nouveau piece.
His furniture pieces are also quite interesting, very biomorphic in appearance. I remember my professor pointing out that his designs often resemble the skeletal form.
Of all the designers from this era, I think the most famous name is Louis Comfort Tiffany. Who doesn’t know the tiffany lamp? His workshop, Tiffany Studio, was the one who created and popularized the series of stained glass lamps. They are still popular right now especially for period style and eclectic interiors. However, art historians recently found out that L.C. Tiffany was not the one who personally designed the Tiffany lamps.
Today, the style is rarely used as the main design theme for an interior because, even before, it has appealed only to a select few. I guess too many swirling lines can make anyone dizzy! The application of the style nowadays is usually limited to the design of grilleworks, furniture, and accessories.
Tags: antonio gaudi, art nouveau, design speak, design terms, victor horta
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