Saturday, January 29, 2011

Creating a Cozy Guest Room

Where I come from,we love to entertain or to crash into friends and relatives homes.  It's in our culture.  Providing an awesome experience for your guest should be complimented with a relaxing guest bedroom.  You may not always have enough space for them but creating an ambiance of comfort is all you need to be a fantastic host.  Here are a few tips:

Give them a bed you would actually be comfortable sleeping on.

Fresh smelling linen guarantees better sleep.  I’ve stayed with relatives, that didn’t bother to change the sheets for me, I was appalled! Even if your guest room hasn’t been used in awhile, the linen can still smell of dust or mildew.  Provide freshly washed sheets, and go the extra mile by spraying it with lavender water, or any linen spray you might have. Be hygienic by throwing pillows into the dryer or having them cleaned.  I like using antibacterial and mite resistant pillows, and have thrown away old ones made of foam or filler.

Test the bed mattress yourself.  Check for bed mites and other foul odors. Thin bed mattresses that you can drape over an original bed mattress can be bought for instant comfort.  Air mattresses are fine for young guest, and those staying for a few nights. 

Make sure the room and bathroom are clean.  Cleaning it two weeks ago won’t cut the deal.  Dust and cob webs accumulate in days.

Make the room guest friendly.

Remove unnecessary furniture and equipment that will make the room crowded.  Clear some closet space for the guest so that they can unpack their belongings.  Provide hangers for their clothes, and clear tops of dressers and tables for personal items.  Provide a night lamp by the bed and even a flashlight or hall light if they have to walk down the hallway to the bathroom at night. 

Decorate your guest room with a purpose by providing a clock, some artwork and a mirror they can use when dressing up.  Make sure windows are covered with the proper window treatment for privacy.


Put together a welcome basket.

I like to make guest feel at home by adding a welcome basket placed at the foot of the bed.  These can include towels, shampoos, soap, toothpaste, candles, and even a book that you think your guest will like.  If you know you will be busy at work, providing travel maps, and a list of places to visit, eat in and see around town would be nice.  Furnish your guest with important phone numbers like your office number, mobile, doctors, or hospitals in case of emergency.


It doesn’t matter who your guest is.  They will surely appreciate your efforts to make them feel at home.  Your guest room is a reflection of who you are.  A sloppy guest room made without effort spells a lousy home keeper too busy for her own family. 


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

KISH is on sale

My very first job as a designer was working as part of the sales and decorating team of KISH, a locally well- known store that caters to everything about design.

From January 28 to 30,2011 everything will be on sale.  Get your favorite art pieces and the furniture you so covet for as low as 50% off!  Here are some of the items you'll find on sale:

KISH is located at

2nd Floor LRI Design Plaza
210 N. Garcia St., Bel-Air
Makati City 1209
t: 02.896.8366
f: 02.896.8367

Painting a Bedroom Wall

There are so many useful do- it yourself tools in the market these days, changing your kids bedroom paint can be addicting.  Here are a few rooms to inspire you...

All photos from

Here are a few steps to changing the wall paint of your rooms:

1. Plan and decide on color schemes.  Know what walls you'll want to put each color on.
Color charts can be useful. 

2. Sand existing walls to remove any rough and uneven parts.  Your goal would be to make sure your wall is as even as possible. Imagine pointing a flashlight on your wall and looking at it from the side. Are there any shadows and waves?  Try to even these out.
3. Apply putty on surfaces that remain uneven or recessed to even it out more.  Tape all edges and joints so you don't get them on other areas like floors and cornices.  

The white stuff you see is actually putty. PHOTO FROM

4. Mix the base color of paint you want, and apply this evenly with a roller brush following one direction.  Let paint dry lightly between layers.  2-3 layers or coats is all you need.  Paint color will lighten when dry.  

carefully paint edges with a flat brush  PHOTO FROM


5. With a light pencil draw any image or stencil in any design you want.  practice on a sheet of paper so you get scale and proportion right. Imagine the paper is your wall.

You can search the web for design ideas.  Here are some links to planets and the solar system

6. Paint your sketches to life with different colors and brush sizes to give it depth.  Here is a link to a do it your self mural site

Have fun, dare to be creative.  Water-based paint is best for cement walls, while oil or enamel will have to be the first coating for wood based walls.  Ask your local home depot, they'll know what to recommend.  Odorless paint is now available in the market.  Leaving a bowl of charcoal or vinegar out will absorb any smell of paint after you are done.  Of course, open your windows and air the room out. 

Wall stickers works just as well if you don't want to have to paint the detailed murals yourself.  More of that in my next blog.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bathroom Design Essentials

Bathroom Design Essentials

A well designed bathroom is something that everyone will benefit from. Playing with color and tile pattern is the most fun part of bathroom design.  Bold candy colored bathrooms work for some people, while others like to keep it monochromatic. If you are one of those stressed individuals in today’s fast paced world, a relaxing bathroom is something you need in your home.  Candles, scented oil, and bubble baths are some of the pretty things you can add to achieve a spa- like atmosphere but knowing the important components of bathroom design would be the most basic.
Make sure your bathroom is a safe area by selecting flooring materials that are not slippery.  Stick to unpolished or rustic tiles.  Smooth tiles are safe to use for the wall, but pick something safer for the floor.  Floor stickers to prevent unwanted incidents can be purchased and applied in strips on bath tubs and other smoother surfaces.  Tiles are the best option as these are non- porous materials.  Marble and granite as well as other natural stone require special and costly treatment for it to be non absorbent.   Counter tops can be made of natural stone, tempered glass, tile, or finished cement.  See to it that the material you pick is treated to be water proof.

This bathroom made use of slate looking tiles.  It is a good idea to have a niche on the wall where you can put bottles of shampoo and soap. Tempered glass is used as a shower partition in place of traditional shower curtains.

The most essential bathroom accessories are the towel bars, toilet paper holders, robe hooks etc.  I like to make use of those that come in stainless steel or chrome plated finish.  Bathroom rugs, shower curtains, and towels can be carefully selected to dictate your bathroom’s color scheme. 

 Bathroom Fixtures
 Carefully select bathroom fixtures to compliment your theme.  Modern fixtures should go with modern design, clean, simple tiles, and easy cuts.  Traditional fixtures go with traditional bathrooms, floral tiles, formal marble, and elaborate details.  

This is an example of modern bathroom fixtures.  Very clean, and minimalist

PHOTO FROM BRISTOL BRIGHT FIXTURES. Very traditional bathroom fixtures

The fun thing about bathrooms is that there is really no rule as to how they should be designed.  Portions of the bathroom that does not get wet can be painted.  Tiling the whole wall is not necessary.  I like to put at least a layer of tile around the wall.  This protects the wall from getting wet when you clean the bathroom floor.  The shower are should have tiles that extend to at least 7 feet of the wall.  

The water closet area generally does not get wet.  Only one layer of tile is needed around the wall to save on expenses.

This bathroom is an example of a fully tiled shower area.

Research and imagination is all you need to plan your perfect bathroom.  The only rule for bathroom design is SAFETY.  Pick the right materials to avoid accidents, install grab handles, and make use of floor mats that are skid proof.  Proper lighting and abundant storage space can be a benefit, but with regards to patterns and color it is definitely up to you!  

Here are other bathroom designs to get your quirky and creative juices churning

PHOTO BY: Axeldeviaje 


 Until the next blog...:)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Someone asked about chalk boards, I have a better idea.

Leslie asked about chalk boards in kids rooms.  Yes we've heard horror stories of kids drawing on walls.  We don't want to spend precious time scrubbing them off, so having a wall that they can actually write on is a great idea.  Chalkboard paint can be bought at specialized paint stores, fastening an actual chalk board is an easier option, but chalk can be harmful for children. 

Classrooms are computerized because chalk has been found harmful when inhaled, and touched.  I've tried using acrylic sheets and water-based erasable markers. Water based markers don't emit bad fumes.

 That shiny bottom half of the wall is acrylic which your child can draw on with washable whiteboard markers.

 Here is the other half of the room, and yes that's me.

Real white or colored glass can also be used, it can be heavy and you might need professional help to attach it. 

Which ever method or material you decide on, I'm sure your kids will have lots of fun drawing.  Creativity is something every kid should be able to express and discover.  Have fun moms!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Designing Kids Rooms

Decorating Your Kid’s Room

Creating your child’s bedroom can be something fun for you and your kids.  In reality, there are no rules when it comes to decorating for them.  You can have fun and let your imagination run wild, while still incorporating function and taste.  I’ve compiled some important guidelines for those of you that love to decorate but don’t know where to start.

1.Consider your child’s age and interest
There are many options you can use for decorating like wallpaper, stickers, murals, stencils and artwork but the key is in knowing what you want your theme to be.  Picking a focal wall as a main spot for your design often helps.  I usually like to use the headboard wall.  You can then repeat portions of this design in various areas of your room like cabinets and shelves.

You don’t always have to go for a theme.  Try playing with color, and experimenting with texture to splash on various areas of the room. 

  Pieces of cutout paper was used to make a wallpaper collage. PHOTO BY: Artlovejoy

2. Go easy on the furniture
The beauty of designing kid’s rooms is that there are no rules when it comes to furniture.  You will save a ton on cash if you learn to re use and revamp your old vintage pieces.  You can always paint them in interesting colors, and even cut off parts that you don’t like.

 The bedroom above has a very non traditional take on a bed.  Photo By: Colorhome

3.  Consider child’s safety and needs
Planning a kid’s room can be fun but carefully select materials for younger ones.  It is best to use wood flooring or laminated wood which is a cheaper alternative.  It is synthetic, and very easy to clean.  Hard flooring like tiles can be dangerous for young kids who like to run around.  Carpet may be soft but gathers dust and mites which may trigger allergies.  If your child has asthma, it will be a good idea to use vinyl roll up blinds or wooden shades as an alternative to fabric curtains.

 Young kids often need a lamp or night light that they can leave on.  You can be creative by cutting out patterns and shapes and attaching them to the shade so that the light goes through it. 

Reinforcing good study habits can also be done by providing a functional study desk in the room and keeping television sets in other areas. 

There are no rules with regards to color, as long as it is something your child will love.  Odorless paint is now available in most home depots making the painting process quicker.  Careful planning of materials to be used, along with an endless dose of imagination is all you need to design your kid’s bedroom. 

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Monday, January 17, 2011

My Baby's Room

I always knew I would be a great mom.  When we learned we were having a boy, I was ecstatic!  Some mothers look forward to candy pink, ribbons, and flowers, but I wanted balls and baseball caps.  Being an interior decorator, his bedroom was in my dreams.  I wanted it to be educational, in lively baby colors.  I decided to go with wall stickers.  They are easy to apply, and easy to remove.  I can change them with no mess and hassle when my son outgrows them.  

I've done a room with murals (pink bedroom below), yes they have a somewhat whimsical feel to it, but in this day and age, practical design seems more appealing. 

 In the end, this is what my baby's room looks like.  Now at six months (they grow too fast) he knows to look at the right sticker when I say "where's the monkey?" or "where's the elephant?"  Still working on the other animals, but hey, he's only 6 months right?