Appreciating Ph interior design through the Evolution exhibit

An L-shaped sofa. A coffee table. Pendant lights. Linen bed sheets. Shower heads.

These are just some of the things that visually pop up when you think of interior design. For some people, these things have the excitement level of having high tea or wearing a crisp button down. Some people might even think that it’s something only old people like.

I’d like to believe though, that it is only a matter of time until a person develops an interest in spaces, and how to maximize and dress them up. Maybe you’ll be moving in with a loved one soon, and you realize that your dream of having a walk-in closet may come true very soon. Or maybe you’re a busy professional still living with your parents but have come to realize that your room is still in bubblegum pink, and it just won’t do anymore.

You begin to toy with ideas and possibilities, you look things up online, start to read magazines you previously ignored, and maybe you’ve even started with small steps, buying a small lamp, some throw pillows, or a matching towel and bath rug set.

That’s how it started for me. I became interested in interior design to celebrate and lay claim to space that is finally mine.

But before going further, let me clarify that I don’t practice interior design or have taken it up in school. I’m a writer/editor that considers herself a design enthusiast. I love beautiful things. Of course beauty is highly subjective, but I also consider it good practice to appreciate and understand the rationale behind things I would normally dismiss as ‘not my thing’. I’ve watched Helvetica, if that adds to my cred, haha.

And so, I try to visit exhibitions like the bi-annual Manila Fame, or visit museums and art galleries whenever possible. I still try to watch foreign and art films. I think it all adds to the cultivation and further honing of one’s taste, in addition to meeting interesting people on occasion.

Which brings me to a wonderful first this year – the Evolution exhibit of Batch 2016 of the Philippine School of Interior Design (PSID). A good friend of mine invited me to visit the exhibit this year, and I went with my family. Aki thought we went to a museum 🙂

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It’s only the sponsor’s booth, but see, we’re so excited already!

Here are some of the booths that we liked:

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Booth 22: Avant Garde Industrial

Big fan of industrial here, this is kind of a given. Hehe. Kidding aside, it’s impressive when you see it in person. The shelves remind me of a wine cellar, and to have it extend all the way until the ceiling makes a magnificent accent wall.

Personally I’m not a big fan of big chunky desks, but the client profile for this space is a bachelor, professional photographer, and if it’s any indication, this was my husband’s hands-down favorite booth.

Booth 16: Modern Filipino

Simply put, it nailed the theme. It’s how a modern Filipino themed toilet and bath should look like.

I love how this group was able to get the usual elements of a native or tropical Filipino home, the very same elements that tend to age spaces or make them look boring, and give it a fresh twist.

Luxury fixtures like the bath tub and toilet aside, it’s also refreshing to see fixtures in copper and have them blend well with natural materials like capiz shells. Speaking of capiz, what they did with the shells – fashioning them into honeycomb windows – to me is both clever and novel.

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Booth 21: Metallic Glam

This is a design peg that can be done in a condo or a house. I love metal and steel elements and how it was all used together here. The contrast between the concrete floor and the shiny ceiling is cool, but what really caught my eye at first was that big black hanging lamp that turned out to be the exhaust hood. That’s a classy (and techy) piece of appliance.

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Booth 17: Rustic Luxe

One of the most photographed booths in the exhibit, I think what resonated with the viewers was the possibility that it presented – rustic elements beautifully combined with refined and luxurious touches. Take that textured, layered, rocky wall providing the perfect background for a simple chandelier. The contrasting elements complement each other.

This also made me want a bar cart.

img_1959Booth 19: Organic Opulence

I think what piqued my interest with this booth is how these slabs of wood looked like walls that grew into the ceiling, and how the side lighting fixtures looked like wood that was peeling off. All the details look better upon closer inspection.

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Booth 3: Hugo Alvar Henrik Aalto

One of the standouts from the Past portion of the exhibit, a closer inspection of how that bar was made is amazing. I’m also a big fan of reclaimed wood and repurposed materials, so to see warm wood and cold concrete meld beautifully is inspiring. That sliver of a vertical garden is a great touch, too, would be perfect with herbs, I can imagine.

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Booth 9: Modern Mediterranean

More like a hit with my kid, but some things are worth noting. The client profile after all is that of a young couple with a 7-year old son. For one, we know that aquariums will always be popular with kids, but now we know that so are big comfy bean bags (provided that they come in more muted colors to still match the space’s overall look, and to keep the mom happy). In spite of the white concrete, there are no sharp edges too.

It’s such a welcome treat to go exhibits like this especially if it’s something you wouldn’t typically do. It can be a little overwhelming because there are a lot of booths, but on the plus side, the students are there too, and would be more than glad to give you a briefer on their assigned style and the kind of client they are supposed to be designing the space for. You get a deeper appreciation of what they have done beyond the initial “uy, ang ganda” (hey, that’s nice).

If you have time this weekend, do give them a visit. Visit their Facebook page, just look up ‘PSID Evolution’, and see why the future of interior design in our country is out to break boundaries and looking ever so bright!


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