TD has been bugging me to order more furniture. However being the anal obsessive compulsive person that I am, I want to design furniture that is double/triple purpose with a lot of storage to maximize our small apartment. This requires a lot of research, imagination and some technical knowledge (i.e. kinds of hinges to use, thickness of the wood to support X amount of Kilos, structural integrity of the design, etc.) My book recommendations and photos of our Manila flat after the jump!
Designs for Small Spaces. I LOVE this book. Fantastic designs and ideas!!! I highly recommend. image via
In Manila I had it easy. When I was decorating my flat, I did the research of what I liked then did two very important things:
- Hired interior designers, who had the same vision as I did, to make sense and narrow everything down (It was a very thick pile I tell you!), then draw everything so I can see how it will look before we do/buy anything.
- AND get contractors that were not only excellent in their jobs (I found out that there’s a difference between a painter and a finishing painter) but had a very high sense of ethics. (Yes this is very important to minimize stress – no renegotiation of cost or asking for additional budget, highest quality materials were used, etc.)
Because of this I got exactly what I envisioned, a modern Filipiniana look with clean lines, double purpose furniture with MAXIMUM storage space. By modern Filipiniana I meant wood, local materials and neutral colors with capiz and shell highlights.
Built-in custom-made furniture was the key. Aside from making the space unique, it is the best thing to maximize space (vertically not just horizontally). Those built up shelves in the living room and masters bedroom, are not only for storing books and decor but also serve a decorative purpose and lighting. Doesn’t it look gorgeous? More pictures after the jump.
Another built-in, is the display case on the wall. That short vertical line suspended in the middle is actually a brilliant wine rack, which serves a decorative as well as utilitarian purpose when filled with wine bottles. The table, made of Malaysian rubber wood, is for 6, but extends to accommodate 8. My favorite feature is the capiz drop lamp which I got for an absolute steal. (Interior designers can source everything for you, but since I was on a tight budget, I did a lot of sourcing myself. BUT before I made any purchase I would consult with the ID’s first if they thought it fit our look)
I wanted a king sized bed, which meant I didn’t have enough space for side tables, so we did a built up wall in the back which is backlit. So it’s not only serves the purpose of a side-table, but it is also the headboard, bookshelf, lamp and houses the phone jack and electric sockets. How’s that for multi-purpose?? The headboard was made with cushion and wood, and velcroed to the wall (i think I surprised the IDs and contractors by this idea, but I LOVE velcro and it worked!)
Notice the desk on the side? The one with the miniature version of the Capiz drop lamp from the dining room? Guess what? It’s a working desk slash TV table slash vanity table in one! And it’s simple enough to not obstruct from the floor to ceiling window view of the city. Love it!
Enough about Manila and back to our apartment here in Jakarta! I still want the very same things, BUT (and that’s a really big “but”) we can’t do built-ins and I don’t have interior decorators to narrow down the choices and smooth out the technical details for me. Nor do I have a big budget. So here I am putting off ordering more furniture because I am intimidated and daunted by the task. But as Will Smith said (the gist anyway) for whatever you are going through in life, someone has been through it and wrote a book about it.
So I am now going through these books and trying to imagine how I can apply them to our apartment here. Remember the furniture cannot also be so specific, because we have to bring them to our next post (we have no idea where!). It has to fit in there too! ARGH!
You can see the theme here is all about space saving, storage and multi-functioning design. For more ideas and inspiration on The Look I am also reading 25 Tropical Houses in the Philippines (by Elizabeth V. Reyes) and Modern Asian living (by Wongvipa Devahastin na Ayudya and Sakul Intakul).
There are so many ideas out there, but the most challenging is narrowing them down to what I can apply to our home. To be honest, it is the hardest thing for me! First items on my list of furniture to order are:
- Dining table extension (so we can have a dinner for 8 instead of just 6) that is foldable into a display table when not in use
- 2 additional seating for #1 – I am torn between bench with storage or stool with storage, but leaning towards a stool that can be used as side tables for our living room when not needed
- Console for entrance hallway that doubles as shoe storage
- Bench for entrance hallway (for when people take off their shoes) – I wanted it to double as shoe storage but how do I ensure that it doesn’t look cluttered? If any of you lovelies have an idea, I would LOVE to hear it!
- Super slim shoe cabinet for the rest of our shoes in the hall – There are so many available designs but sadly I am not feeling any of them. The closed design, for me doesn’t allow airing out and could lead to molds/mildew. The open one doesn’t look very presentable when there are guest. Eeeeep.
What do you think? Any suggestions on these 5 furniture designs? Would love to know your thoughts! Wish me luck and hopefully this post will jump-start my work on this project! Will post pics when new furniture arrives.
Here are some new updates on our home:
There is an italian company fhat specializes in space saving ideas. I think i posted a link on my fb page a while back. You should check them out.
I think if you could only accomodate 1 wish from your wishlist, itll have to be the table that can expand to seat more!
I actually have to do all… and much MUCH more! Stress! We got an unfurnished apartment so no furni except for bed. And it’s my task to fill it up before we leave for our next post! Sigh…pressure talaga. Thanks for the tip sweety and will check out the link on your FB! Mwah!!
I have to say kudos to you for making the Manila flat awesome! It’s like a hotel sweetie!!! Galeng! Good luck on the Jakarta one 🙂 I’m sure you can do it or even better! Mwah!
How about a bench/shoe cabinet with wooden or bamboo slats – I see these benches in old houses, my great-grandmother had one. She used to joke that it was for keeping chickens. The slats can be like bamboo bars or carved into designs.
I’m trying to find a picture but can’t seem to turn up any on google.
Shucks I would love to see a picture of this! Is it just a box made of bamboo, then can be opened to reveal shoes, or do the slats serve a purpose to hold up the shoes? I’m intrigued
150 best apartment ideas sounds great!! I love interior designs and design blogs and I’m always browsing and drooling. I love it! In our life, we cannot bring our furniture except for several posts, so we have to decorate with what we are provided with, but I enjoy the challenge. Have you seen apartment therapy blog? It has a lot of ideas as well. I find it a bit hard to navigate, but it’s a good site. I think you’ll like it. http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/
Oh wow… that’s hard if you can’t bring your stuff. You have to sort of start decorating again in every post. We’re definitely lucky that we get a container and get to collect furniture from Jakarta to bring to our next post. They have so much good teak here and it’s so reasonable compared to many countries! I’ll definitely check out the link – thanks for posting it!
Love your blog..love the ideas!
thanks! I will be checking in often:)
Your apartment in Manila looks absolutely gorgeous, by the way! I forgot to mention it in my previous comment!
Thank you Kaho! I’m glad you liked it =)
Can’t believe I just saw this now! Haha 🙂 Great post and will surely buy books from your list!!!! Thanks!!!!! 😀
Thanks Ela glad you liked my post! Enjoy the books! =)
I saw the colorful nesting prep bowls on the cover of that book just last weekend, and I was contemplating of getting it. Of course I didn’t, and of course I regret it, because it really is a cute space saving kitchenware.
Your Filipiniana look is amazing!! It’s glam yet very down to earth with the natural woods.
Given that this post was months ago, I’m assuming you’ve got some furnitures and has decorated your new place in Jakarta? I know a friend who is a great architecture and interior designer. He designed a set for one of the TV show over there. He might be able to direct you to the right ID if you’d still like one for Jakarta?
Hi Starlet. I’ve some furniture already. However it is not wise for us to get and ID here because we are only a little more than a year in this posting. Thank you for offering to refer me – so sweet of you! I don’t know if you seen my entries on Furniture but yes I’ve much more furni now. I’m still in the process of ordering them though. I’ve so much more to go!
I love love love the nesting prep bowls. Even if they are expensive it was so worth it. I regret not buying it as well. I am sure you will see it again! =)