I love living in Manila. People think I am crazy but I legit like Manila, not just The Philippines or the culture but Manila itself. Manila is crazy diverse from the rich history of Intramuros to new hustle of The Fort or San Juan’s little Baguio to the high buildings in downtown Makati, there are so many pockets to behold! So, the answer really is yes, I love Manila.
One of the reasons I love Manila is that we are in the epicenter of a booming metropolis. I have mentioned before that I am small town girl enjoying this city life for the time being. I am going to soak up all this metropolitan has and relish in it, starting with my favorite publication, Real Living. Have you turned the pages of Real Living? Their styles are fresh, their prices reach varying communities and they use local products so the styles that inspire are attainable right here. Plus, I really like the people who produce the content, salt of the earth. Once a year they bring the pages to life with Real Living Spaces. Guys, it really is like you are walking through the pages of a Real Living issue. The styles come to life as different designers take on spaces for the public. “This year 13 of the best burgeoning and veteran designers, architects and stylists in Metro Manila created the five inspired and beautiful spaces at The Sapphire Bloc.” (Press Release for RL Spaces)
It was a treat to meet many of the designers and see how the person reflected their design. My two favorite questions to ask are, does your wardrobe reflect your interior design style and does your home reflect it also? Most said their wardrobes do but funny enough, many answered that their personal spaces didn’t match up with the spaces they create. Super interesting!
Let’s meet the designers and see their spaces.
*All biographies have been used from the RL Space site. Photos are my own.
RL Space Staple Kristine Neri-Magturo is the principal designer of Kristine Neri Interiors and the co-owner of interiors and lifestyle shop, Urban Abode where they also offer bespoke furniture pieces. She specializes in residential and commercial design with her modern-rustic and tropical style gracing the magazine’s various covers.
Friends and designers Chino Carlos and Miah Gomez make up Carlos+Gomez, and they focus on residential and commercial interiors as well as furniture design. Chino heads the customized Hatch Furniture, while Miah handles the interior design aspect of their projects.
Pai Edles and Misty Floro, both graduates of the Philippine School of Interior Design, are the design leads of the firm Morfosis. Their edgy, modern style coupled with their love of graphics and achromatic colors are evident in the residential and commercial designs they have designed and conceptualized.
Wilmer is the owner and principal designer of W. Lopez and co-owner of Space Encounters, a lifestyle store that specializes in funky, edgy, midcentury-modern-inspired design. He specializes in residential and commercial interiors, having designed Unit 27, Yoko and Ono, the new Chowking, and Greenwich Pizza, among many others.
Mara is a Manila-based freelance interior designer. She graduated from the University of the Philippines-Diliman. Her youthful aesthetic lends a fresh take on the eclectic style. She also does interior and production design and graphic design. Aside from this, she has also styled various food and fashion editorials for various magazines like Preview.
Interior designer Erika Uichanco is a graduate of the Philippine School of Interior Design. Her trademark style is clean and cool Scandinavian but she has the ability to go playful as well in her small residential spaces. She is one of Real Living’s go-to makeover designers. She specializes in elegant residential design.
Angelo Siochi is one of Manila’s most sought-after designers and architects. He is the principal architect of AG Siochi Architecture+Design established two years ago. His combination of raw and classic-contemporary aesthetics became his trademark style for his various residential, corporate, and commercial design projects.
This design trio consists of JC Arcega, Vianca Añonuevo-Favila, and Mark Steven Perez. With a glam and modern aesthetic, they have decked various residential and commercial projects in that signature style. Aside from the design firm, they also own and curate furniture and lifestyle boutique, Harver Hill located in Pasig.
Interior designer Carlo Mecate has a rich, and personalized aesthetic evident in his works. A graduate of Philippine School of Interior Design, he first worked in Ethan Allen before becoming a freelance interior designer. His works have been featured Real Living magazine. Carlo designed both bedrooms.