When the client approached me via email, I knew this was going to be a fun yet challenging project. First off, they are based in Dubai so we had to communicate through Skype/Viber/Hangouts. Dealing with clients online isn’t new to me since I worked as a freelance graphic artist for years with most of my clients based abroad. But interviewing a client via video chat, instead of comfortably seating face to face in a coffee shop, made me feel a bit self-conscious (I can see my face in the screen while I talk, haha.) I also needed to have their unit ready by the time they come to Manila for a 10-day vacation. Since they wouldn’t have time to buy the things they need, I had to buy everything from kitchen utensils to having the beddings laundered. It was like preparing a hotel room! How fun is that! 😀
Anyway, a little background, the clients are husband and wife with a cute boy who was about to turn one that time. Both of them are flight attendants and have shared a lot of travel memories together, so I thought a travel inspired theme would be perfect for them. The wife loves fun and light colors and specifically asked for a barn door. Here’s the initial moodboard that I came up with.
Travel inspired themes don’t have to include a world map or a collection of globes in the design which I often see when I search the net for inspiration. It’s too blunt for me. I want something graphic yet discreet so I based the color scheme on the typical world map/globe: pink, light blue and ochre.
The couple’s requirements were: 1.) happy colors 2.) storage for their luggages since they will stay in the unit whenever they visit Manila 3.) change the tile flooring to something warmer (granite tiles are too cold for the feet) 4.) barn door for the lady of the house 4.) subway tiles 5.) glass kitchen cabinet and 6.) Eat, Pray, Love wall art.
The unit is fully furnished and had built in partition, making it hard to play around with layout since there was already a cabinet installed. I had to remove the partition and start from an open plan layout.
Since the owners will not be living here, just staying for 10 days or so twice or thrice a year, I opted for a bar type dining table to create more space for family gatherings and for their little one to play around. They can change the photos in their mini gallery every time they come back home and write freely on the chalkboard wall.
This sofa can be unfolded to create a bed or a larger floor seat. Hehe!
We replaced the PVC bathroom door with custom barn door as per client’s request. I had the “bedroom” part of the floor elevated to create very deep drawers for their luggages. These drawers are about 90cm deep, a small person can even hide in there. Haha! The stair is also a storage for random items.The back of the partition is their closet and a built-in platform style bed.
The old black kitchen countertop was replaced by white granites tiles.
I also had the wall mounted lavatory removed to build a new countertop. Now, the bathroom has extra storage under the sink, a huge mirror and a place for toiletries.
The custom-made, hand-lettered Eat, Pray and Love wall art!
I actually had a hard time finding the right artwork for this wall. I initially wanted an oversized black and white art print but it needs to be something that has meaning to them since I really want this unit to be very personalized. They will only get to stay here for a few days and so I want them to feel like they have come home to their very own special abode. I asked the client to give me 15 places that are memorable for them and turned it into a print. 🙂
The canvas art is also another DIY. Did you notice that there are lots of triangular elements in the unit (the pendant lights, wall art, painted bedroom wall, corner, etc)? Because both are flight attendants, the triangles came from the airplane wings and tail. See, discreet travel inspired theme… Haha!
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