Design Thought | What Else Michelle - Part 2

Archive of ‘Design Thought’ category

Design Thought: Emerald-Take it or Leave it?

Pantone recently announced its color pick for 2013 and I am quite happy with their choice. As Pantone says it, emerald is “lively, radiant, lush… A color of elegance and beauty that enhances our well-being, balance and harmony.” It is a color taken from nature and so I thought you can’t go wrong with it. It also reminds me of  the waters of Palawan’s underground river.
Tourists approaching the cave of Palawan's amazing Subterranean River system

But green is not for everyone. I, for example, personally think it’s a borderline between tacky and refreshing. I would never use emerald  (or any green in particular) on walls and tiles no matter how many interior design blogs and magazines swear by it. It’s just not for me. The commitment is just too scary. I may love it for a day but I know I would hate myself for doing so.

I painted our kitchen apple green with the thought of doing something daring and “refreshing.” (Apple green was my signature color as a graphic designer.) Now, I regret the decision and I can’t tell my husband that I want to have the kitchen walls repainted. (Sorry for the image. This was supposed to be a “before” picture.) I should have stuck with a neutral color and chose green for accents like curtains or kitchen utensils.

So if you hate commitment or just fickle-minded like me, I advise not to use “trendy” colors on your wall, unless you have the budget and time to change it every now and then. Because as we all know it, a trend fades away eventually.

Not exactly the color I would commit myself to.

Certainly not for me either.

On the brighter side, this color of the year gives you the reason to add a bit of nature into your home. Most of us are not lucky enough to have a yard for a garden, so a few plants, either real or synthetic, is a sure way to have emerald in your home.

Matching green with gold can have an elegant effect without being too overwhelming. I love how those green and gold striped throw pillows make those two lamps and sunburst wall decor seem so expensive. If you have an existing lamp, you can always spray paint it green and of course you can have slip covers custom made for the chairs. No commitment at all!
What do you think of Pantone’s 2013 color of the year? Will you take it or leave it?

Should We Buy Authentic or Replica Designer Furniture?

Like I’ve said before, I recently just got interested in interior design after designing our Kingdom Hall stage and ladies’ bathroom. For about six months now, I’m continuously trying to educate myself about interior decorating, from space planning to furniture terms. Believe me, even though I’m a Fine Arts graduate, it’s not helping much. I still have a long, long way to go.

And since I’ve been shopping for furniture for my sister-in-law’s condo, I accidentally got introduced to designer furniture. Originally, I wanted a transparent dining chair for her. (I recently found out that the correct term for ‘transparent’ when it comes to furniture is lucite.) A victoria ghost chair from Dexterton costs P16,000 whereas the same chair from Uratex Warehouse costs less than P4,000. I would have bought that one if only my sister-in-law didn’t worry about it getting all scratched up and yellowish in time. I agreed because I know that it’s what you’re going to get for over P10,000 savings.

But what if we really like the design and can’t afford the real thing? It’s just the same as the LV bags you can buy in Greenhills, right? I swore to myself that I will never, ever buy replicas of designer bags. If I can’t afford it, then I won’t have it. But I’m starting to have a different principle when it comes to furniture, thinking that no one will even know that it’s a designer chair unless they are interior design enthusiasts.

So guilty as I am, I bought a couple of replicas of Jasper Morrison Air Armchair which an authentic one costs more than $180 but I got it from Uratex Warehouse for P2,400+ (including 10% off.) Since it’s not one of the really expensive designer items, I wouldn’t feel guilty adding some DIY touch to it.

What do you think? Is it ok to buy replicas considering all the effort the designers have put into their work and them being deprived of the royalty fee they so deserve? Being a designer myself, I would certainly hate it if someone would make money out of my own artwork. But those furniture are beautiful and classy and when there’s one that’s not a whole month’s worth of salary, we ache to grab it.  And of course, a lot of us are probably unaware that we are already buying fakes. There’s even a site that sells replica furniture. So tempting!

If you’d like to read more thoughts about the topic, I say this is a good read: Say No to Fake Designer Furniture!

Design Thought: All-white interior, practical or not?

Like I mentioned before, we only have one tiny, pathetic looking window for our whole ground floor. Our house sits about 2 feet lower than the garage and my in-laws’ house. The garage’s roof blocks most of the sunlight so the only time I could literally see sunlight in our living area is when the sun is shining too brightly you have to wear sunglasses even if you’re under the roof. Most of the days, it is cloudy so the room looks gloomy and cave-like.

Few months ago, I finally got rid of the brown painted “baseboard” by painting the area all white. I had the dark brown TV stand painted white too and covered those red sofas with white bed sheets. Sorry, I still can’t get myself to take pictures of our living area because it just looks too far from being finished. Soon though, soon… Anyway, this made the room much, much brighter. Those red sofas which I thought were so cool turned out to be one of the major culprits for sucking the light out of the room!

So I thought, white is probably the best color for spaces deprived of natural light like condos and small townhouses. But since we’re living the Philippines where white doesn’t stay white for more than a day because of the pollution, is it practical?

Personally, I think it depends on the choice of material.

The white painted wooden floors, if sealed properly, is quite easy to clean. Choose furniture that are low maintenance like those thrifted chairs and coffee table, painted in pastel then distressed. Just make sure the couch covers are changeable so you can wash it from time to time.

To protect your precious sofas, have at least a couple of slipcover made so you can cover the sofas immediately after taking off the dirty one.

High gloss lacquer finish furniture look elegant and easy to maintain as you can quickly wipe off any dirt on it.

What do you think? Is white practical or not?

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