It is always a pleasure interviewing Tina Periquet. Architects are my favourite people to talk to. I love discussing their ideas and being in the physical space they’ve created. My dream conversation would be with Frank Gehry. Universe, please make it happen. I dream big. But I digress…

This last interview with Tina was at a 170 square metre penthouse unit of a relatively new condominium tower, the interior architecture of which she also designed. She knew the entire building inside and out. The owner of this unit wanted a place where they could entertain guests but would not necessarily live in. They still lived in a house nearby. To say that Tina created a sophisticated and modern space would be a gross understatement, so let me just quote directly from our interview.

All captions, lifted from Tina’s interview.


The concept was the unfolding of space as you enter.  The door is treated as part of a wooden box frame that runs all the way up, past your line of sight, to the upper level and then folds into a ceiling element that you only see when you move forward into the main area.


Then the ceiling opens up into a double-height space with a wall of windows that wraps round one side, and you are treated to an eye-filling, panoramic view of Forbes Park and the golf course below.


The upper spaces seem to float over the lower, with a wooden bridge that crosses from one side of the apartment to the other, leading you from the stairs at one end to the master suite at the other.


To maximize the effect of the double-height glass wall in making the sky seem part of the unit, we wanted to minimize anything standing between us and the view.  The problem was that there was this large beam in between upper and lower glass panels.


We painted these white to make them blend with the white shell of the space, and used solar film instead of curtains or shades, to keep the view unobstructed while managing the entry of light and heat.


To make it “disappear”, we built out the window frames slightly, with continuous vertical lines running from top to bottom, to visually flatten the beam and make it seem to form part of the window paneling.


The fact that a penthouse is a house in the sky rather than on the ground tends to dictate a certain approach to its design.  Instead of trees and grass outside the window, you see blue sky and clouds and gray concrete, and steel and glass structures.  So you tend to reach for a different palette of materials and colors that will complement this — not earth tones, but more sophisticated urban shades such as silver gray, ice, pale beige and taupe, and then mix this with metallic surfaces and lots of glass.  And then warm the whole thing with wood, or you may end up with a frigid, inhumane environment.  This is a residential space, after all.


We used a modern language here, as the context was contemporary and the client wanted something adventurous, since she wasn’t really going to reside here.


The bedroom on the upper floor.


Transluscent frosted glass visible from the living room.


Master bathroom.



Room with a view



Remember that awesome view of the city of Manila through my Olympus PEN?  This is the condo where I shot from.

It’s a 75-square metre two-bedroom condo unit that interior designer Nina Santamaria converted into a one-bedroom. The second smaller room was turned into a closet. The owner, Lyndon Cayco, loves collecting art. Nina found enough space to highlight his pieces and even created a gallery wall.


Upon entering you see a wooden pedestal that holds Lyndon’s precious antique saints. The pedestal is made by VIto Selma. This was from his Bahia collection where he recycled old train tracks from Bacolod. It’s upcycling, converting waste into new objects. Vito Selma is exclusively available (in the Philippines) at KISH in Nicanor Garcia St, Makati.


This serves as his altar.


Because space is always a limitation in condos, Nina kept the kitchen visible from the rest of the space. This counter functions as a buffet serving table as well.


Click “More…” to see the rest of this condo with a great view.


Littlest models of Daphne®



It brings me great joy whenever I get tweets, emails or photos that one of my products is happy in its new home. And I’m not talking about monetary pleasure. (Folks, I don’t own the businesses. These are all collaborations with partners.) It is just so wonderful to see families enjoying something from Daphne® products – whether it be furniture, linens or jewellery. I feel very connected. Thank you!

Here’s an example…


This Daphne wingchair in Rustan’s…


I love this chair. If I had a bigger home I would get this myself. I like the irony that my team translated. It has a hefty size but delicate carvings. The ivory and whisper blue paint feel feminine and soft yet the uphostery is in a neutral almost manly fabric.


Mariana Dominguez
And here is its new lovely owner, Miss Mariana Dominguez, daughter of Sarangani Governor Migs Dominguez and wife Tisha. I’d love to see little Mariana grow into this chair.


Last year, my friend Mia sent me this photo of her little daughter Arie in her Daphne chair. She said she will photograph Arie in this chair as she grows.


My nephew Alexander on Helsinki by Daphne Linens


From a Daphne Linens shopper
My friend Jenny’s daughter jumping all over Retro Squares.


Stella, iPad, Cobonpue & the new Daphne Linens.
Stella and my newest, Flair linens.


Soph sleeping in her new Daphne beddings
Sophia and Retro Squares in her room. That pink bolster pillow was 79 pesos in SM supermarket. I got that just to pad the side of her bed temporarily when she was a toddler (pre-Daphne Linens). It wasn’t meant to last forever. But it’s been 7 or 8 years since we bought this. It is 70% dead with no stuffing. But it’s the pillow she got attached to, her security pillow. Do your kids have a security blanket? Lily has none. Stella has two – a blanket with my mom’s lace tatting around it and a little bolster pillow with Daphne baby linens prototype (which we did not actually put on the market).


Daphne Furniture
Daphne Furniture® is currently not available in Rustan’s. We are in the middle of some restructuring and planning. It’s either we go full blast or we trim down and specialize. I will definitely let you know as soon as we come to a final decision.


If you are an owner of any Daphne® product and you’re willing to share photos of you or your family with it, please send it to me at I’d love to see it’s new home and owners. Thanks!



Moroccan-themed house



Here’s something from my archives. I shot this in 2010 with Urban Zone. This is a house owned by a young couple who loved Moorish architecture. They built their house in a traditional way like most southern homes do – with Mediterranean touches. But years later they added decorative embellishments to reflect their love for Moroccan architecture. This is not your typical modern-Asian home.

The home owners worked with Gretchen Torres Ronquillo for the interior design. I will try to remember as much as I can from the shoot but most of the details escape me now so I can’t give any technical information. As well, here’s a gentle reminder that all photos belong to me. Please, no grabbing or reposting. Linking and sharing are welcome and of course Pinterest is fine.


Every nook and cranny of this house was embellished with Mediterranean and Moroccan details. Here, the side entrance to the pool area, is a small set up for an informal lunch.


The door knocker.


We started our shoot outside the house. Here, Gretchen Ronquillo  shows me the lounge-type set up they prepared by the front gazebo.


The foyer.


The formal dining room with beautiful lattice-work sun screens on the window. (I forget whether this was made of wood or metal).


Click “More” to see the rest of this very interesting house…



Themed bedrooms



Everytime I post photos from my house tours at Urban Zone, the readership skyrockets. I owe you a few UZ house stories so I plan to post at least one a day this week. Here’s one from a recent shoot. This is a brand new house. The owners, Jibby and Charisse Tinio of Niceprint Photography, had just moved in weeks before the shoot. Architecture and interior design by Alex Co; children’s bedroom interior designed by Nina Santamaria.


Like most new houses being built in Metro Manila, this one takes on a modern Asian sensibility.


The foyer, with art work commissioned by Charisse reflecting images of her sisters and her.


Living room


Click “More” to see the rest of Charisse’s house