November 10, 2012
Around this time last year, I got a call from Alicia Sy inviting me to brunch. I’d met Alicia a few years ago through my good friend Katherine. Most of our interactions had been about mommy stuff and occasional dinner celebrations. I had always noticed her attention to detail and fine taste. Really fine taste. At brunch, she told me of her decision to get into writing and the publishing industry full time. That was less than 12 months ago.
Now she is Town & Country Philippines’ Lifestyle Editor and a regular contributor at Elle Decoration Philippines, Yummy and Women’s Health. She just launched her own blog at Spot.ph and she just released her first restaurant guide book – Eat Out Now. Whoa! All that! And I’m glad we were able to find time to have brunch with Katherine yesterday before picking up our daughters from school.
Eat Out Now! is a great guide to the best places to dine in Manila. It is organized well – categories, price points, location – and includes hole-in-the-wall eateries as well as chichi fancy restaurants.
Eat Out Now! 115 Manila Restaurants We Love, available at newsstands and bookstores for P250 through Summit Media.
November 9, 2012
This week has been full of surprises! It’s insane. I didn’t know that Bench would put up a billboard for me until Monday night. I was stuck in traffic on EDSA and Isabel texted me congratulating me on my billboard. “What billboard?” was my reply. Turns out there’s this huge one on EDSA southbound just after the Guadalupe bridge before turning into Rockwell. I haven’t seen it in person myself. But thanks to some friends and followers, I got these shots.
Photo from @joeyhowey’s Instagram
Big thrill for me! My folks are even more thrilled. Just to put things in perspective, here are the other artists with collaborations and endorsements for Bench. Adam Levine? Coco Martin? Whee whee whee. I am so grateful to Ben Chan for even thinking of me for his first home scent line. Incredible. Never in my wildest dreams. Thank you.
A few weeks ago, I got the official word that my registered trademark has been approved. So these signs should now read DAPHNE® HOME SCENTS. But I will never tire of this photo from the launch of my home scents with Bench.
For a complete list of Bench and Dimensione locations that carry my scents (locally and internationally), click here.
November 8, 2012
Once upon a time I was completely immersed in the world of Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic — even before I knew that it was called “shabby chic”. I only got to know Rachel Ashwell in the mid-early
90′s 2000′s when I was on complete bed rest during my pregnancy with Sophia. I watched her show on the Lifestyle Network all day.
My love for old things goes back to when I was a starving student in university. I lived in an old Victorian house in downtown Toronto. It was the house of my women’s fraternity, ok fine, sorority. There, I learned the beauty and practicality of rescuing old furniture – often just left on the curb by neighbours. My mom was also a yard sale hobbyist. A lot of our weekends were spent driving to small old towns in Ontario. There she’d find really cool items with good bones. And when we were wee little things in the 70′s she’d take us to the Swap Meet in San Francisco (which I hated but don’t tell her that).
Fast forward to my second life in the Philippines. I move into an old home with lots of old things collected by my late mother-in-law. For the most part, the house had gotten very shabby not enough chic. It took a lot of editing, some help from Ito Kish and my splash of red paint on the door to change our mindset and appreciate the charm of living in an old house.
My 2008 renovation of bedrooms. Here’s what I did for the kids. All the furniture was new except for the 1930′s aparador which we had painted white. I find it too glossy now so I will have to re-do the surface. The beds and side table are from a now defunct exporter. This also started my first brand collaboration – these sheets were made for the DAPHNE® brand.
Who knew I’d eventually get a chance to have my own furniture line? It was just a wild dream in the deepest part of my head. And it happened a couple of years ago. Here’s Stella road testing one of our big benches from my previous collection. I can’t really say the line was greatly influenced by Shabby Chic. By this time I had moved on. The whole world was doing this look already. There’s Martha, Kelly, Cath, Nate and many more. But the seeds were planted early.
So how happy am I to welcome Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture fine home furnishings as my site partner?! I don’t know what’s happening. Last weekend it was Kelly Wearstler. Now it’s Rachel Ashwell. What a thrill!
Do check out her site. Lots of inspiration there! And good deals too. If you live in the U.S., the site makes ordering and deliveries very easy. If you’re overseas, you may have to find another way to get your goods shipped. Try a third-party shipper if you’re based in the Philippines.
Here are some gorgeous pieces that stood out to me. Hundreds more in the site. All photos copyright protected by Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture®.
Shabby Chic Couture for Baby. Everything is so lovely here!
Portobello Chair and a Half. OMG. I need this!
White Petticoat Pillow. So lovely.
Vintage Tiaras. Every princess must have.
If you want to buy Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic books in the Philippines, you can do so at the National Book Store site.
November 7, 2012
Last night I went to the birthday celebration of ABS-CBN executive Deo Endrinal. There I met up with old colleagues and celebrities I usually only get to see on TV. Many exciting exchanges happen. But one thing left a smile on my face as I went to bed. Every single person I talked to expressed their love and longing for Urban Zone. It was very touching and encouraging.
I can proudly say that UZ really made a huge impact and influenced many people’s lives. It helped move the design and construction industry. It was a source of inspiration for many. I’m so proud of my core team – Manny Segunto, Denmark Alejandro, Maila Cuevas, Stanley Castro, Dave Bola and Princess Fulgar – for doing so much with so little resources. Hoping to work my awesome team again.
As you know, I’m producing Urban Zone® webisodes for now. With the help of my friend Marty Ilagan, we made this webisode last month featuring Jason Buensalido. Many of you may have already seen it. I’m now posting photos I took during the shoot.
If you love UZ and would like to support our little creative enterprise, please, please, please repost/share on Facebook, Twitter and embed the video in your blogs. Thanks and lots of UZ love.
A few months ago we drove by this house that stood out in a new subdivision. It was completely out of the box. I didn’t know who the architect was, but I had some inkling it could be Jason Buensalido. So I asked him, “By any chance did you design and build this house in XX Subdivision?”
More than just describing the style, Jason said this was about honesty of material, showing them in their most pure form, unadorned. The main common area is one open space that flows into the courtyard/deck. This living room, dining and kitchen area appears sunken from the external lanai.
Thank you Marty Ilagan for shooting and editing the video! Awesome team!
The view into the house from the courtyard. I love the transparency of it all. Yet there is a level of privacy because the living space is “sunken” and the exterior wall and lanai is actually raised above ground level.
The house is branded. Here is the Buensalido logo. You can see more of Jason’s work here.