Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Manila Now: PIFS 2011

The Philippine International Furniture Show (PIFS) is a must-see event that showcases local furniture and decor design to the world market. This is held annually in Manila which targets mainly the foreign trade buyers and importers. The Philippines had a strong market two decades ago when the demand for furniture was strong in the United States and Europe. In the past years though, due to the global economic crises and with the entry of China in the furniture industry (known for it's cheap and abundant labor), the export market has been experiencing a slow down. This year, the furniture industry is renewed with the positive economic growth rate brought on by the present administration. The furniture exhibitors are also going "green" this year to align with the worldwide awareness on environmental protection. I am quite excited at the new designs that will be showcased in this show, especially now that our homegrown local designers are really competitive with their designs.

The Philippine International Furniture Show 2011, Manila Now is organized by the Chamber of Furniture Industries of The Philippines (CFIP). It will be held at the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia Complex, Manila on March 3 to 6, 2011. You can visit their website at for more information.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Light and Shadow

While doing this article, I just recently found out that photography was derived from the Greek words photos, meaning light, and graphy, which means draw. Which makes sense really, because one cannot achieve a picture without any source of light, more so, a photographer cannot produce a perfect and interesting subject without the interplay of light and shadow.

Due to the advancement in technology of the camera, specifically the digital camera, a lot of people have become interested in this form of art. It is a hobby to most and to those who have undergone training, a profession. Designers and architects are rather expected to be a part of that population, having the advantage of an artistic eye.

Shirley Aguilar is no exception. But her portfolio tells us that she is someone to watch out for. Not your typical subjects for photography, her photos are events from the mundane, that she magically transforms into something of interest. There is a story to every photo, a fact. It transports you into that moment that she captured and you muse about this particular event and how it might be like to be there.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Strokes of Art

In this age of high-tech and digital technology, something done by hand rather than by machine seems to be a novelty nowadays. Computer generated renderings in 3D are widely used by architects and designers for their presentations, sometimes with a walk-through feature that create a vivid impression of how a project will look upon completion. Personally though, especially with interior renderings, they seem to lack the depth and texture that can be seen on manual renderings. That's why it's refreshing to see these beautiful renderings by Dario Marcelino.

Parkview Holiday Inn Singapore
photo courtesy of

Dario Marcelino is an architecture graduate from Mapua Institute of Technology. He was previously based here in Manila, wherein he worked as a rendering artist and junior designer for Atelier Almario under Ms. Ivy Almario herself. He has handled projects for interior renderings locally and internationally. He left in 2003 and pursued his career in Canada, where he is currently based. Dario specializes in the dry medium such as pen, ink and markers and sometimes dabbles in the mixed use of digital coloring and manual drawings. The following are samples of his works.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Filipino Genius

Who hasn't heard of Kenneth Cobonpue? After numerous design accolades from the international design community, Kenneth is a "household" name to designers and architects in the Philippines. Not only is he known for his furniture design ingenuity, but also for promoting Filipino craftsmanship through the materials he utilizes in his designs. And now, he leaves us in awe again with his new collection for 2011. Here are a few favorites:

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Wooden Pedestals

photo courtesy of

I first came across these wooden pedestals around six years ago, at a magazine featuring one of Kelly Hoppen's interior design projects. Fast forward to today, these wooden pedestals are still hot. They look great as accents to a very polished modern interior. They give the room character and depth and makes for an interesting conversation piece. The ones in the picture, which are in the showroom of Ralph Pucci, are by furniture designer Chris Lehrecke from New York.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Color Inspired

photo courtesy of

I am so inspired by the color scheme on this set of beddings from Dwell Studio. It's an unexpected color combination of citrus yellow with the turquoise and dark brown. It's very fresh but still a classic.

Urban Retreat

Originally intended as a half-way home in the city, this soho apartment turned out to be more than just that.

For two years already, this family of four has been traveling daily from the southern suburbs to the city, which meant five hours each day spent on traffic. This constant routine has been taking a toll on their two children's health. So the couple decided to acquire a one-bedroom apartment in the city, near the children's schools and the couple's offices. Their next move was to hire an interior designer who could make their one-bedroom apartment space efficient for the four of them. Interior designer Kristine Javier-Datuin was recommended by a relative of the couple. She transformed the bare unit to this beautifully designed and livable apartment.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Preview's New Sexy Look

I have always been a fan of Preview, not only because of the content, but because of the lay-out and design of the magazine. Their cover designs are at par with the international fashion magazines and they always strive to make the best out of every issue.

I recently bought Preview magazine's January-February issue for 2011 featuring Liz Uy on the cover. Surprisingly, they redesigned their magazine under the creative talent of Vince Uy (Creative Director, Preview).

The usual geometric and angular lines that spread on the pages before were now replaced by curves that seem to suggest the silhouette of the female body. These black curves seem to pop out of the contrasting white background which actually look like cut-outs. I'm also loving the large red font that they used to accent the page.

Of course, the contents are as usual, very impressive. The feature on Liz Uy is very interesting. Plus all the other beauty and fashion updates for 2011 are a must-see. You just have to get a copy and see for yourself!

February 2011: Be Inspired!

Finally!!! After so much pondering on and brain-storming, it's here! I am so excited to welcome you all to the first article of the Green Room. The Green Room shall be the venue for all things, thoughts, photos or whatever thingamabobs that inspire us to design. You can be the stay-at-home mom who loves to make everyday things beautiful, or you can be the professional interior designer whose ideas are always full to the brim. As long as you love and appreciate design, the Green Room is for you.

For this February, which coincidentally is also the month of Valentine's day, I shall be focusing on Inspiration. What is the inspiration behind a successful design? Our inspirations can come from a myriad of things that we see, feel, taste, smell and touch. It can be an experience that we remember, a memento from a memorable vacation, a vivid picture that catches our eye, or music that brings us back to fond memories. With this, I will be sharing a collection of photos and things that inspire me as a designer. On the interior design front, watch out for an article on a renovated condominium unit with a contemporary style. A popular local fashion magazine which recently came up with a new look is also in line. And I'll be featuring more actual interior renovations and projects for the rest of the month.

It's very timely that it is the month of Valentine's Day where love is in the air. For it is truly that when we are in love, we are inspired the most. What inspires you?