Wanderlust : A Frequent Traveler's Abode part I

Impressions about interior designers are that they make a place beautiful. While this is true, our primary purpose is to make sure your dream space actually functions well. I never knew going into this field how much memorization I actually had to do! From the history of art and architecture to ergonomics (human centered design -which means memorizing tons of measurements) to construction and millions of details! Finishing my first year in PSID (Philippine School of Interior Design), I felt like I knew so much. Come second year, I realized, I didn't know much at all! Hahaha! Then finally, studying for my board exams, I've realized there was even much more to learn about. That's the short version of my Interior Design studies.

Why am I even telling you this? Plenty of things come into play when we design your space, whether it's a house, a condominium, a restaurant, a retail space or an office. I won't be discussing all that in this post but if you want to know more about the value of hiring an interior designer, check my previous post.

In this series, I'll be discussing a client's project and how I go about with my design process, as well as how I solved the design problems.

Client Profile

My client, April travels frequently for work, loves Bali in particular, and is inspired by Bali's vibe and wants an airy, laidback feel to her family home. Together with her husband, she loves drinking wine and whiskey, and entertain guests frequently at their home. 

Before Photos

I love entering into a client's home. April's house is rich with potential and has awesome bones too. This is her current living room with the large exposed beams and trusses. It's great that this area has a high ceiling so that it doesn't feel cramped at all.  I love the display shelf done in a cool steel gray.

My Proposal

Echo colors in your room to create a more cohesive space!

To bring out the lovely aesthetic already in the home, I proposed to have the beams and trusses varnished to expose that beautiful wood finish and lend a more rustic vibe. The stone finish is quite large so to make the setting a little bit more intimate and to add to that Indonesian feel, a soft white painted decorative panel is placed behind the TV stand where we house the gadgets, and a diffuser which April uses regularly. Echoing the colors already in the space, especially with that steel gray decorative shelving, a portion of the TV stand is likewise covered in the same gray.

As lighting truly enhances, we'll be putting cove lights to highlight the accent stone wall. We'll also be bringing down the wall sconces to eye level which will create a more pleasing look.

Lighting always enhances a space, giving not only an ambient lighting but accents your treasured pieces as well.

April living room media area 2-20.jpg




For the masters bedroom, again, a media center is needed. April has some beautiful Bali paintings too on display. To bring that handcrafted and personalized look, the TV cabinet will have  handpainted doors on one side and wood carvings on the other. We didn't want anything that would look large and heavy and thus, to streamline the look, the cabinets will be cantilevered (which means that it's hanging on the wall) so it doesn't touch the floor and as a bonus, it will be easier to clean. Since this is the masters bedroom, the diffuser is similarly placed on a prominent spot that is easily accessible. I'll be creating faux cabinets too to hide the air conditioner's ducting (which we can't really change as the design of the ducts were strangely place at the side).


Going into the second floor, we have a lounge area that can seat 8 people. The Filipino gallinera (the wood three-seater) will be retained as requested. We'll be adding an Indonesian inspired sofa and two lounge chairs. A butler's tray serves as a holder for their wines and whiskey bottles. The coffee table itself will be a repurposed table decorated with corks from the wine bottles they have collected over time and serves as a tribute to their collection. It will make a good talking piece as well. To house even more bar paraphernalia, the TV stand will serve as storage as well. Sheer glass curtains softens all the wood and provides some privacy yet still lets sunlight to pass through to make the room brighter.

Since the current location of the door to the guest room is right in front of the lounge area, it had to be relocated to the other side to prevent neck strain when they watch the tube. After all, we're talking about functionality here too and not just aesthetics.

To create interest to the low ceiling without making it look bulky or cramped, soft white wood planks combined with faux trusses completes the look, and ties it as well to the varnished trusses at the living area.





The guest room itself is quite tiny but a double sized bed did fit albeit access is only at one side. I'll be placing a bed drawer too for storing beddings. Since the ceiling was quite low at 8 feet, we wanted the room to feel expansive so I added a molding, the top of which ends at the existing cabinet's height. From the top of the molding to the ceiling, it will be painted a soft cotton white to make it appear that the room is taller than it is. A lovely Bali wood accent will be painted similarly in a soft cotton white against a deeper background of greige to give more interest to the room. Update: Since there are some existing paintings as seen in the photo, we'll be using these instead. As genius is always in the details, we'll be changing our cabinet pulls and knobs as well to something more sassy!

April guest room 2-7.jpg

We are currently in the design schematics phase which will detail all the perspectives as you have seen above and specify the proper materials to be used as well as the measurements too in order to make sure that the contractor will be able to quote this and follow the design seamlessly. I'm expecting a one month construction time plus a few days to complete everything so watch out when I finally show the completed look! 

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