I’ve always liked visiting homes of young couples and young families. Aside from their fresh and youthful aesthetic point of view, I noticed that young couples also manage to make their homes efficient without looking like a huge closet filled with built-ins.
This condo residence in the South is the new home of a young couple after living with their in-laws for almost two years. They told us that this is their first taste of “independence”. Independence means that they now do everything themselves including all household chores! Good thing that they chose to make their home supportive of an independent lifestyle.
Instead of maintaining the three-bedroom layout of the house, the couple decided to convert one into a den/entertainment room that opens to the living area (below), and the other into the masters’ en suite walk-in closet.
In spite of the relatively compact space, they were able to fit in their open kitchen a washer-dryer (hidden inside the cabinet beside the refrigerator), a dishwasher, and an oven. It also has a glass backsplash which they use as a message board where they write reminders, to-do lists, and even recipes.
Reflecting the couple’s personalities, this home looks simple, easy, and happy. While the interiors are mostly done in basic white, black and gray, pops of color can be seen everywhere through their paintings and accessories, rendering this home with a fresh and welcoming appeal. df
Tags: condo living, home, interior design, small spaces, space matters
Posted in space matters | 9 Comments »
It would be a dream for every child (and maybe for the child-at-heart) to have playtime all the time.
Good news! The guys from Level Architects, a design studio in Japan, just made that fantasy a reality by building this ‘Slide House’, a three-story house with a combination of a staircase and a slide that encircles the interior. With half of the loop in typical stairs and the other half in a 2-level slide, the occupants have the option to descend by the stairs or by slide.
Apart from the slide, the house also has a ball pen in the living room area to be consistent with the playground idea.
According to the designers, by placing the slide along the ‘daily flow line’ of the stairs, instead of just introducing a playground in the building, the home itself becomes one big playground and daily life is like a never-ending playtime.
Don’t you just love how the Japanese think?! They can turn such a profound idea into a fun and amusing design. I guess it also helps that they have an audience (clients) who are also willing to think out of the box.
Tags: architecture, home, interiors, space matters
Posted in space matters | 1 Comment »
Here are some cool and fresh design eye candies from Dijeau Poage Construction via houzz to start your week. This is a nice example of how a simple color palette of 3 colors (white, green, and gray) can make a strong impact. When using gray, remember that it pairs well with citrus-y colors like this lime green, orange, and yellow (see our earlier post on yellow+gray).
Everyone, have a great week! df
Tags: home, i saw design, interior design
Posted in i saw design | 4 Comments »
I find it funny that most of us are scared of using two particular colors (or technically, non-colors) liberally: white and black. With regards to white, I understand that maintenance issues keep us from using it all the way, with the dust and pollution that may turn our white rooms into gray. Apart from that, there’s the Filipino’s horror vacui, fearing that an all white room may just look too empty, boring and clinical. I guess Ana’s post of on white rooms sort of debunked that claim.
How about black?
In my five years of writing for three of mega’s design/decorating magazines, I have never encountered an interior where black was used generously, especially for the walls. Maybe it’s a cultural thing–that black for us is just too depressing, negative, and even devilish.
I find black to be an interesting color for interior spaces. Like white, it’s versatile. It can be ultra modern, contemporary, and even traditional. Plus, it adds a certain mysterious character to the room.
Just make sure that when you use black for your walls, you use a paint with a satin or eggshell finish. Semi-gloss paint still has some sheen that will make your black wall look dirty instead of the bold, solid appearance that you’re aiming for.
So, how about we give black a chance? -ardel
Tags: black walls, decorating, home, interior design, space matters
Posted in space matters | 3 Comments »
Last week, we got an email from our reader, Kathy, asking for advice on how to deal with decorating their living room with a high ceiling.
Given our hot and humid climate, a high ceiling is always a desirable feature in a house as it provides room for warm air to rise. However, it can be quite a challenge to fill up the additional vertical space to make everything look balanced and proportioned.
Here are three things that you might want to consider to achieve a cozier space in spite of the height.
1) LOWER THE CEILING
It’s difficult to achieve an intimate and cozy atmosphere in a room that has a high ceiling. To scale down the height, incorporate false beams and trusses (top photo, via elements of style) into the design if you have the budget for the additional interior work.
For a quick fix, use drop/pendant lamps instead of ceiling-mounted lamps. Pendant lamps lower the light source, darkening the upper half of the room to downplay the height.
2) HIGH CEILING = TALL FURNISHINGS
A high ceiling naturally calls for tall interior furnishings to create a balanced composition. Furnishing it with mainly low or short items will only create contrast, highlighting the height of the space.
Install longer curtains by hanging them a few more inches above the window. Add vertical items like a tall plant (photo above, via brown design), tall twigs on a vase, and a few tall furniture pieces such as an armoire or an upright bookcase. Like pendant lamps, these pieces create a middle or transition point between the floor and the ceiling above.
3) FILL YOUR WALLS
A high ceiling also means more wall space. Avoid hanging a single row of small to medium-sized frames. They will just look tiny and lonely against the tall wall. To minimize the appearance of bare, boring surfaces, fill up at least one wall with an assortment of framed photos or artworks (see ana’s post on photo walls). This strategy minimizes the height of the room by visually dividing the height into several horizontal sections created by the display. (photo above via housetohome)
Tags: decorating tips, home, q&a
Posted in q & a | 3 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 »
I’ve just started clearing off papers and junk that have collected in my bedroom these past few months. And I’m finding it to be very therapeutic – the perfect de-stressor after months of thesis work! As my space gets cleaner, I feel a bit more relaxed.
That’s the thing I noticed when I first walked into the minimalist home we’re featuring today. Everything was so clean, so light and airy that I felt very peaceful and very stress-free inside it.
That’s what the owners wanted their home to be – a calming space where people can breathe. That’s why they did away with any unnecessary decoration. With guidance from their interior designer, Apple Consunji, they opted for clean lines and a simple color palette to create that sense of tranquility. Obviously, the owners of this home don’t have horror vacui.
What makes this home even more like a sanctuary is the presence of lots of natural light. The light bounces off the warm white walls and makes the space even bigger and brighter than it already is.
I especially loved their bathrooms. I could live in these bathrooms! With their sleek surfaces and soft lighting, they blended seamlessly with the overall décor of the home.
Tags: home, interior design, modern, space matters
Posted in space matters | 2 Comments »
I don’t think our Cebu trip is complete if we weren’t able to visit at least one home in the city. My college friend, Zina, suggested her uncle’s home, but didn’t give any details about the design of the house. She just told me, “My uncle has a really nice house,” and I simply took her word for it. I just didn’t know what she exactly meant by “nice”, hehe.
We were pleasantly surprised to find out that the house is more than just “nice”. The design goes beyond style and aesthetics. It integrated features for sustainability (green design) and accessibility (universal design). Plus, the house is also home to an interesting collection of artworks.
This is the home of Dr. Ted Gonzales, an ophthalmologist, who also happens to be an art collector and a design enthusiast. The site was previously occupied by his parents’ house which, unfortunately, got burned several years ago. His interest in design and architecture grew during the time when he and his partners were building clinics. He learned so much about design and construction from those projects, which he later on applied into building his own home. In fact, Ted was the one who technically conceptualized and designed the house with the help of Google Sketchup. He still closely coordinated with his architect to check whether the design complies with building standards, and to draw up working drawings for construction.
A big part of his design was inspired by the book Off The Grid: Modern Homes + Alternative Energy by Lori Ryker. Therefore, a lot of green features were integrated into the design. One, which is also the first thing that I noticed upon entering the house, is the use of louver glass windows (jalousie) all throughout the house to maximize the openings for ventilation. I personally like louver windows because I think they’re the best and most appropriate for tropical climates. While louver windows are often perceived as baduy in the Philippines, they are widely used in Australia especially in the design of many modern homes (see homes with louver windows here). Apart from providing 100% ventilation, their louvers could be adjusted/angled, instead of totally closing them (like in the case of casement and sliding windows), to protect the interiors from rains and strong winds while still allowing some amount of air to flow through. The clerestory windows above the living area are also in louver type. They allow hot air to rise and exit from the interiors and provide generous natural light during the day. Another green feature is the rainwater cistern built under the garage. Water collected here is used for watering the plants and for flushing the water closets.
Because Ted lives with his parents, the interiors, particularly the ground floor, have provisions for accessibility. The parents’ room is located near the entrance-living-dining areas, convenient enough for the older couple who have limited mobility. A ramp replaced typical steps leading to the adjacent bathroom under the stairs.
The rail-free staircase, an interesting focal point of the interiors featuring mangkono (Phil. iron wood) planks, leads to Ted’s space at the second floor. Starting from the staircase up to the hallways, he displays his collection of artworks, from paintings, sketches, and sculptures, mostly from artist Raymund Fernandez.
[Image above: This is a replica of Picasso's Guernica which was used for a stage play in Cebu. Part of the play was a reenactment of what happened to the painting--the words "KILL LIES ALL" were spray painted onto the artwork during a protest againts Richard Nixon's pardon of William Calleyin 1974. Read about it here.]
His den at the second floor is like a mini-apartment which includes a living area with a sleeper (sofa bed), a dining area, a small kitchen and a bathroom. Apart from being Ted’s workspace, it also functions as a small entertainment room where he hosts small gatherings, and as a spare room for guests. Opposite the den is Ted’s bedroom which is also fitted with a working desk and a bathroom.
[Images above: (left) Raymund Fernandez's "Ninoy", which is part of his Alpiler Series. Read about it here. (right) Nude drawings displayed in the masters bedroom.]
Apart from the design of the house and his collection of artworks, Ted is also proud to share that the house was built within a limited budget. He did this by making the design simple and functional. Also, a lot of his furniture pieces were flea market finds, like the leather chaise lounge and coffee table at the den (photo above).
Ted’s love for art and design coupled with a realistic and practical mindset allowed him to create a beautiful, functional and equally comfortable home. [Thank you again Sir Ted for welcoming us to your home. And for introducing us to dried langka and pineapple!]
Tags: cebu, filipino homes, home, interior design, louver windows, passive cooling, passive cooling strategies, philippines, raymund fernandez, space matters. art, ted gonzales, tropical design
Posted in conscious living, space matters | 16 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. ]
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 »
Form follows function is like the one of the most popular tenets that many modernist designers try to live by. The idea behind it is to come up with a designed form and a kind of aesthetics that are based on functional needs rather than just products of an artistic expression.
This modern house, designed by Frenjick Quesada and Hisako Hirayama of Design HQ, is a classic example of how form could actually follow function. Owned by a veterinarian who constantly adopts stray cats and dogs from the streets of Metro Manila, the design primarily called for minimalist, low-maintenance, and animal-friendly design features. Apart from the house, there is also an additional requirement for a kennel housing for six dogs and a cattery for 40 cats.
The client wanted a modern minimalist house of clean geometric lines and a basic palette of gray, black and white. Later on, he agreed to add one accent color to the original achromatic scheme. So, the designers added three red vertical elements to provide a splash of color from the entrance of the house (photo above). Apart from being a focal point, the columns actually function as cabinets for the kitchen behind it.
The ground floor areas are laid out in an open plan. Both the dining area and the kitchen face the garden to allow the owners to cook and dine while enjoying the verdant view of the garden, and, at the same time, to keep an eye on the animals outside. With its open plant layout, multiple large window openings, and plain off-white walls, the house receives a generous amount of natural light during the day and is passively cooled through cross ventilation.
The flooring is finished in polished cement with stainless steel strip inlays to keep the ground floor area animal friendly and low maintenance. Aside from the three red columns, the industrial-looking skeletal stairway dividing the living area from the dining area serves as another focal point.
The dining table, like the flooring, is made of a concrete base in polished cement finish plus a clear glass top. It was the client’s idea, initially intended as a way to cut cost. In spite of being a “cheaper alternative”, the unconventional table became one of the most interesting features of the modern house.
Photos by Erik Liongoren courtesy of Design HQ
[got a cool space? share it with us! email us about it with pictures of your place at email@example.com. ]
Tags: filipino homes, frenjick quesada, hisako hirayama, home, modern, space matters. filipino design
Posted in space matters | 2 Comments »