30 June 2013

Bakery Design


One of the best feelings in the world (aside from falling in love, receiving your first pay check and having clean nails) is waking up to the warm aroma of freshly brewed coffee and toasted bread, well in my opinion at least. I would have said freshly baked bread, but then again my baking skills haven't reached that level yet ergo bread toast would be realistically suffice for now. Speaking of bread, it has been my life long dream (apart from being an Interior Designer) to be able to own or even just design a bakery.

Most of my friends know this and they would always roll their eyes at me every time we pass by this local clothing store called "Bread and Butter" because I keep on repeatedly telling them of the story of how I used to own a bakeshop (okay it was in The Sims, but still!) of the same name. Somehow it seems to slip my mind every single time (well almost) that I've already told this bit of trivia to the same cluster of people over and over again haha! Anyway, why do I want to own or be part of something that involves the selling of freshly baked bread? Well like I've said, it's about the feeling it triggers when you get that first whiff of that freshly baked batch of awesomeness...or maybe it has something to do with nostalgia. It's like bringing you to a time or moment where everything seems simple, comforting and safe. It brings you home. Wow, that very much just sounded like a Don Draper back there.

Anyway because of this, I'm mostly drawn to bakeries that have an industrial or rustic feel to it. Bread for me is supposed to be a comfort food and what more to make the customer feel this by making the place appear homey and quaint as well. Not unless you're selling "designer breads", which by all means make it look big, shinny and glimmering! So if you ask me, do I feel the same when it comes with burger joints? Well, it is a legitimate question as burgers are part bread...oh what the heck, of course it's an entirely different thing smart arse!

What about you? What are your simple pleasures in life?

Sources: Panscape Bakery by ninkipen! // Elektra by Studioprototype Architects // Valentina Bakery by Masif

26 June 2013

Skinny Houses

Skinny Narrow House

"What do these people from middle-low to low market want? They want or aspire to be like the rich," says to me by one working from the advertising field during a briefing for a collaborative work. Of course those lines weren't the exact ones that were said, but it did went along to something like that as far as I could remember. What I do remember, however, is that I had to bite my tongue so bad just so I won't be tempted to retort a smart-ass cheeky remark since a) I would very much like to finish said project, and b) sometimes in life you just need to know when you have to shut up if you wish to continue working in premeditated harmony. Is it indifference or hypocrisy to do so? Maybe...a bit, okay don't look at me like that! But it's also called reality. Hey, I'm pretty much sure you're guilty of it too at least more than once in your life.

Perhaps I may have placed the remarks of this said person out of context or perhaps not, still regardless of wherever place that individual came from, what I got from it made me uncomfortable...and dare I say, squeamish? I guess this person did have some point since just like it was told in history, the lower classes then for example would try imitating the intricate wall patterns in the houses (more like mansions) of the rich that brought about the invention of wallpapers, which in turn is quite ironic since nowadays only those with money can actually afford to have decent wallpapers installed in their abodes. But I don't know...something about that statement seems quite off for me. Maybe it has to do with that cliche saying that "times are different now" and I find that people in today's time have more freedom to express their own sense of character or identity regardless of which social bracket they belong to. Or maybe I'm just one of those who believe in making the most of what you currently got and working it instead of pretending to be having more than what you actually have.

This brings me to what I really wanted to talk about--Skinny Houses. What the heck are Skinny or Narrow Houses, you ask? No, it's not spaces on diet, but it's an uncharacteristically narrow but (often) tall house that in my opinion, the Japanese had done so well thus far compared with others. Just like what I've been saying, even though you may have a small lot or land area it doesn't mean you can't have an interesting or a house built with character. I think small houses (as compared to McMansions) have the advantage of having more playful or edgy architectural design because can you imagine having it look like these (see photo above to understand what the hell I'm talking about) on a residential structure having a total area equivalent of hectares? It would look somewhat weird I think, unless you're actually going for the whole Sydney Opera House look or you want to live in your own personal version of a museum. It's okay, I'm not judging (that ain't sarcasm, by the way). To each their own, right?

I think these type of structures are great alternatives to those planning on building a one-storey but very wide house as their starter home. This is also ideal for those owning small lots and would work more or look better if they go taller (read: proportions and compensation for those claustrophobic housemates/guests). Plus, in areas that are flood-prone having tall homes doesn't seem too bad of idea at all. And off topic, how cool is it that your house be named something other than insert-family-surname-here Residence? Doesn't "Lucky Drops House" sound way better? Not to mention, it's a very good conversation starter.

Anyway, how about you? Are you willing to go for tall and skinny?

18 June 2013

Mu Noodle Bar

Mu Noodle Bar by Jagnus Design Studio

It's actually pretty much easy to spot when I've crammed a rendering on my plate back when I was still a design student, and since I'm already free from the said institution (okay I didn't mean to make it sound mental), here's my little confession: if it only or mostly consist of wood, concrete and black/white there is a high probability that it was a byproduct of last-minute coloring on my part. Hey, it's easy to do without compromising aesthetic impact. Ask any other Interior Design student!

But just because I use these particular finishes mostly when I'm cramming doesn't make them any less effective in an aesthetic sense. Matter of fact I actually dub the pairing of these finishes as combinations you can hardly go wrong with. Think of it like your basic white tee, you can pair it up with almost anything and hardly could look wrong with it. While these materials are more or less a given recipe for good-looking success, playing with the form of the space is the key to make it different from the rest.

neutral minimalist wood black white concrete

This brings me to Mu Noodle Bar designed by Jagnus Design Studio, the dudes behind the awesome Ronac Art Center and the most interesting Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf branch I've ever been to. Since the recent re-opening of Glorieta 1, my family and friends have been in this restaurant a couple of times already. Although the service of some of the servers still have room for improvement (they usually seem so cranky or not warm and sometimes ignoring you when you call them...and yes, they know we were talking to them), I like their ramen and the ambiance of the place. You know when you just want to have a place to go to for good food and good conversations? This is one of those places for me. And have you seen their custom-made chairs? I spazzed out during my first time eating here.

It's nice that people are giving more importance with design in general nowadays. Apart from earning money from the part of these business owners, it's also good that you're giving back the customers an experience worth spending to :)

14 June 2013

How to Use Purple in Interiors

Purple Interior DesignPurple Interior Design

Well folks it's official. Summer days are gone too soon (yep, again with those song puns) and rainy season is in the air...literally as it has been pouring kittens and puppies here in Manila for the past week. With the changing of tides come with the transition of colors as well, at least mostly in the wardrobe department. Anyway, all these thoughts of rainy season inspired me to write this post about the color purple (or aubergine, lavender, lilac, violet--whichever you prefer my dear reader).

I think purple seems to be a fitting color to reflect the doldrums of this gloomy bed weather. Not a lot of people are fond of this color because it gets discriminated like the color pink aka it's deemed as too girly or too Barney, but in my opinion it isn't entirely true. Just look at the sample photos above. This shade of purple that is closely gray (trivia: mix violet and yellow in your watercolor palette to improvise a gray shade instead of black and white) and black gives the interiors a more relaxing and less harsh feel as oppose to actually using just black and gray, which can sometimes appear flat and cold. Pair it up with deep but saturated color accents to make the room pop.

The deeper and toned down shades of purple makes room for a mildly dramatic but relaxing room that is neither too feminine or masculine. For those looking for a gender-neutral color and can't stand anymore white, black and gray, you might want to consider these purple-infused palettes.


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