What is the difference between an interior designer and an interior decorator?

An interior designer is a licensed professional who has undergone a college degree to undertake both the technical and aesthetic aspects of interior design including ergonomics, space planning, color psychology, building code and other important attributes to ensure the beauty, safety and comfort of the users. An interior decorator is a stylist who can make your homes look stylish and put together. They are essential when you want to sell your home (for home staging) or great too for exhibits. For commercial design (e.g. retail stores, restaurant, hotels), a licensed interior designer is important as building codes, safety, fire codes must be followed strictly.

How do I know if I need an interior designer?

If you are having a hard time planning your space and knowing and executing your style, it is advisable to hire a licensed interior designer who can simplify the process for you. I can save you from making the wrong purchases and make things easier for you.

Check out this blog post for more info.

Are interior designers only for wealthy people?

This is a common misnomer. Speaking personally, an interior designer can remove the gap between dream space and construction nightmares. From experience, I personally did not hire an interior designer thinking that I can “save the money” and do it myself. The problems I encountered are too numerous to enumerate right here but had I known better, I would have made my space look more cohesive for one, and have better functionality. Now, being qualified, I am rectifying my mistakes—I had to let go of some furniture which did not work at all in my space and design new ones. Another problem is my kitchen which sadly does not have the right storage and is thus quite a problem to deal with as now, it is more expensive to have it renovated. In the end, the “savings” I thought I had ended up being more expensive because of those corrections I needed to do.

In addition to that, we follow your budget. It's not a buy the most expensive item kind of thing. For me, it is VALUE FOR MONEY. I will work within your budget and I will tell you as well if your budget is realistic. 

When is it best to hire an interior designer?

The best time is during the planning stage. Why? We are trained to plan everything from space planning to cabinet design to lighting and ceiling design. If you hire an interior designer at a later stage of your construction, this means that any changes in the positioning of lights, built-in cabinets and any other concerns will mean an extra cost to you because you would have to let’s say chisel the wall for that wall sconce you wanted and that’s an additional cost for labor.  

How long does the interior design process take?

Usually a condominium unit renovation takes around 3-4 months from planning to execution, a house can take a year, a small business establishment can range from 2-4 months. It all depends on the complexity of the project and typically on how fast the client also gives feedback on the design. These figures are all based on traditional design and varies significantly from project to project. However, with that in mind, I ensure that design deadlines are met in a timely manner.

How do you handle purchasing?

For traditional design, purchases can be made by you or me. The only requirement I would have if you were to buy the item is to show me the product with the corresponding technical specifications first. Why is this? To ensure that you are indeed buying the right item with the quality you expect. My philosophy is always VALUE FOR MONEY. This means that there are some items that can be bought cheap but has good quality while there may be other items that you would want to invest more. Just as an example, never purchase cheap faucets as it will not last you long and the headaches of having one replaced and hiring a plumber justifies the cost of investing in a more durable albeit more expensive faucet.

Do you only have a few suppliers to choose from?

Depending on your style, I do have some suppliers to recommend. I do not force you to buy things you don’t want. I only ask that you buy the things that you LOVE. It is your home after all. I will advise you on the quality of the item and give you my best take on it. If you have your own supplier, that also works for me. I will always take your best interest in mind as I protect you from any unworthy purchases.

What are your qualifications?

I graduated second in my batch at the Philippine School of Interior Design and took my board exams afterwards. Prior to that, I worked in a construction chemical company focusing on finance. My first course is Hotel and Restaurant Administration from the University of the Philippines. I was runner up in my group's design for UP Idisenyo's Kalamidad competition. This was a competition on renovating a home for flood/calamity-prone Marikina City. 

How do I hire you?

Shoot me an e-mail detailing your requirements. Photos and a floor plan will help but not necessary.

Do you have online design services?

Yes. Pls. check this link


FAQs on online design

Who is online design for?

Online design is currently the latest trend in design. It is for clients who want to implement the design themselves but need a guiding hand that will lead them to the final outcome. It involves some work on your part -- basically measuring your space, buying the items recommended on the shopping list and setting up the space yourself. 

Who isn't online design for?

If you hate doing measurements and you don't like shopping as well, this isn't for you. 

What is the difference between online and traditional design?

Traditional design usually means that the designer is responsible from the very start of the project to its implementation, ensuring that all design specifications are met. Although there is also flexibility in traditional design depending on what you require. If you are more of a DIY person, online is perfect for you.

e-design process