Cute cottage


I’ve been cleaning up my iPhoto, making backups of backups and uploading them to Flickr for storage, when I found this album from last year. This is the Antipolo weekend home of Wilmer Lopez and Thor Balanon, the design duo behind the hip home store Space Encounters. We featured both their store and their house in Urban Zone. I thought of sharing it with you because it shows what you can do with a small space using vintage furniture and a lot of creativity. The lot area is around 200 square metres and the floor area is 95 sq m.


Cute little bungalow with a door painted in apple green. They left the concrete un-painted and installed newer windows.


Wilmer, an interior designer, was guided by Scandinavian design principles. While Thor’s love for oriental pop-culture from different eras is reflected all throughout the house. Check out the poster of a Chinese soldier from the 50’s a young Mao Zedong.


Wilmer and Thor scoured second hand shops in search of Danish design finds. The rest of the furniture were reproductions – either sourced abroad or made locally.


Mid-century modern furniture.


I adore furniture appliances. I remember when my parents’ old TV came in the form of a side table. This is a phonograph from the 50’s. When not in use, the top goes down and it becomes a console table.


Chairman Mao lamp made of resin. I ended up buying one at their shop.


There’s a tiny courtyard/lanai adjacent to the dining room. I love that most tropical homes find space for outdoor living. It’s very important in terms of harnessing wind (for cross-ventillation).


Sorry that these are all outtakes from the shoot. I don’t have cleaner shots. But this gives you an idea of how the limited space they had.


They tried to maximize space by using benches (instead of dining chairs), a huge mirror and that built-in cantilevered ledge. Floor to ceiling drapes also give the illusion of a higher ceiling.


Their tiny kitchen gets a boost by having exposed beams instead of an actual ceiling. There’s an opening on one side that allows natural light in. Wilmer used light veneers on the buffet/counter surface. Lights were placed inside the cupboards, lined with frosted glass.


Thor and Wilmer.


Their den-slash-TV room is a dream come true for big boys. They had vintage toys and lots of collectibles. Check out that original Bruce Lee poster written in Vietnamese (?).


One of my favourite movies of all time – E.T. I can watch this over and over (and Wall-E too). I think it’s written in Vietnamese or Khmer, can anyone ID?


GI Joes


And more…


If you like Thor and Wilmer’s taste, check out their store Space Encounters and their new coffee shop Subspace both in Ortigas.



Jason Buensalido, architect



Last Friday, we featured a breathtaking penthouse condo in Urban Zone. I’ve never seen anything like it. The deck was bigger than the living area. It measured 180 square metres while the inside measured 140 square metres. I can imagine the owner fell in love with the unit because of this stunning deck.

Jason Buensalido was chosen to be the architect of this ambitious project. The result was a stunning and almost iconic creation.


The deck’s shape resembles a ship’s bow (the front part), but more like the front half of a ship.


This was Jason’s original plan – to have trellises jutting out from the walls of the unit. These trellises were to continue on inside the ceiling of the entire unit.


Jason designed the entire space to be covered by a wooden deck… using cedar from Canada. I could smell the scent. He also placed a little patch of grass turf in the middle. Very cute.


Jason Buensalido, showing me the concept and creative process. You can see all his plans and renderings here.


The bends and waves of the trellis represented points in a vector. They were meant to maximize the views.


However, the developer had restrictions and eventually they couldn’t allow Jason to build the outer trellises.


This young architect has won many prestigious awards. One was the top prize for  “Ang Pinakamagandang Bahay sa Balat ng Lupa”.


Can you imagine, 180 square metres of open space in a CBD?


Jason’s firm did the total design from architecture to interior.


Click here to read more about this stunning penthouse condo

Playing with Xander Angeles




Photography: Xander Angeles of Edge of Light
Make up: Xeng Zulueta
Hair: Cats del Rosario


Last Tuesday, the end of our very long long weekend, Xeng Zulueta put together a shoot for me with Xander Angeles as photographer. There was no purpose or reason to this photo shoot. Xeng just said, bring some clothes and jewelry and lets all have fun. How could I say no to that. They are the industry’s two top creatives! I’ve long been a fan of Xander’s work. Now he’s been back from New York and we had a chance to play.

I haven’t gone through all the photos yet. It’s very hard to choose when almost everything is awesome. So here is a teaser I posted on Instagram. Unbelievable lighting.

Thank you X and X.