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: