Scand Style

2007 posted in Home Finds by Rachelle, Real Living Editor-in-Chief.

I’m still obsessed with Scandinavian style—but enough with Ikea, let’s go designer just for one day :D

Iittala’s 2008 colors

This just came in, Iittala’s new colors for their 2008 collection: black and turquoise. Iittala is best known for its modern glassware and ceramics, and most especially for producing Finnish designer Alvar Aalto’s iconic Savoy Vase. You can see it at far left here, in a beautiful new black color, which is rather difficult to produce in blown glass. I’d like to call it the LBV: Little Black Vase, as it goes well in any interior. :)

Iittala is available locally at Rustan’s, or log on to


left hanging…

2007 posted in Decorating Tips by Coni, Real Living Assistant Stylist.

It’s the day after Christmas so I would like to think that you’ve reached your annual quota of Christmas cards. (Then again, maybe not. Blame it on the post office.) And as usual, you just wouldn’t know what to make of them. You’ll feel guilty if you’d throw them away even before the holidays are over but then again, you absolutely abhor clutter! So why not take cue from Stables Real Coffee in Boracay and hang your Christmas cards!


We spotted these strings of Christmas cards sent by family and friends. It’s a cheap and easy way of dealing with your stack of Christmas cards. This wouldn’t just add to the festive mood but will also make you feel better in welcoming the new year, as you’ll remember how much you are loved.


Holiday Tidbit

2007 posted in Others by Rachelle, Real Living Editor-in-Chief.

Vince Uy’s exuberant Christmas tree

Before we get run over by the deluge of panic-buying shoppers, we’d all like to wish you a Merry Christmas! We will blog again next week! :)


Poor Bedside Manners

2007 posted in Others by Rachelle, Real Living Editor-in-Chief.


I went on an exhausting hunt for a bed the other week. Now I know you might think it odd that someone who works in a home magazine would have an extremely hard time looking for basic furniture, but yes, admittedly, I did have a hard time.

I was just looking for an affordable, simple, bare-bones bedframe that would fit in my dinky apartment; and if there was a box spring I can buy off the floor, all the better. Needless to say, I was disappointed with the service of some of the major furniture stores. The first store I went to had OK-looking bedframes but the salespeople were pushy and kept on bullying me into buying the pricey models; they also tried to make me buy the king-sized models even though I specifically told them I only needed a single! Finally, they directed me to the good-quality box springs, and just when I was about to snap it up, the salesperson told me it would take three to four weeks to deliver it. Three to four weeks?? Why? Do they have to grow a box spring from the ground?

The second store was even worse. First of all, the salespeople didn’t know the standard dimensions of the beds! They also carried a lot of wrought iron monstrosities. When I went to the mattress section, I asked how soon they can deliver.

Salesman no. 1: “Ma’am, basta every three or four days lang kami. So kung hindi Saturday, baka Sunday…o baka Tuesday. Tama yon, ‘tol?”
Salesman no. 2: “Ah, ewan ko ba, ‘tol.


By the end of the week, I was desperate and willing to buy anything that can be delivered within 24 hours. I ended up at basic-furnishings store Blims, and in total fairness, they had good salespeople. They weren’t pushy, showed me products within my price range and specs, and even brought me to their stockroom to show me other items of the same size but with different finishes. I don’t like wenge, but decided to go for it since it was solid wood and I could just have it refinished eventually, so I snapped it up. I asked them to deliver the next day at 3PM; and yes, the truck arrived at exactly 3PM, and they assembled it in 15 minutes flat. Fini. :)

(Styling by Issa Villar, photo by Miguel Nacianceno)


Blueprint R.I.P.!

2007 posted in Others by Rachelle, Real Living Editor-in-Chief.

Martha Stewart BlueprintThe canning of shelter magazines is in the air! Afraid! Another one of my favorite magazines, Martha Stewart’s Blueprint, announced it was shutting down this Monday. Blueprint (not to be confused with the US architectural mag of its same name, and the local counterpart BluPrint), unlike its closest rival, Domino, is a total lifestyle mag, containing tips not only on interiors, DIY projects, and housekeeping, but on simple fashion and beauty as well. The publishers said that they would maintain Blueprint online, and include it in special sections in their Omnimedia publications.

In spite of this, I will sorely miss their lovely features and some of the prettiest photography around. :( Sad!


Get a Whiff of This

2007 posted in Home Finds by Rachelle, Real Living Editor-in-Chief.
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Nest Scandale room spray and candleIn spite of what the wags say, you have to give it to Celine Lopez for knowing how to market herself—and turn her name (and whatever else she thinks of) into a brand. She recently launched Nest, a line of home fragrances that are little bit more off-kilter than your expected lavender or citronella scents. Instead, her room sprays and candles carry names like Amour Fou, Ground Control, and Scandale. Friends describe the scents as mild, but unexpected, sexy—kinda like scents that would help you get ready to go out at night; not the kind of scents that put you to sleep.

Nest room fragrances and candles, P995 each, at Rustan’s Department Store.


Winter Wonderland

2007 posted in Home Finds by Rachelle, Real Living Editor-in-Chief.
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As basic as black, pristine white never goes out of style. No wonder almost every wardrobe has a piece of clothing in this color—for attending a wake or all-white parties, perhaps. Well, cupboards should have sets in this color, too. Good thing department stores make it much easier for shoppers to stock up on white. Robinsons, SM and Landmark have their own respective areas for white and black plates, cups, saucers, and other kitchen whatnots. Rustan’s has its own share of white as well, check out Multiple Choice by Top Choice which recently unveiled their new White Hot collection. Divided into three concepts, the selection gives shoppers choices indeed.

“Urban White” plates and bowls go well on a no-nonsense casual table setting. What differentiates this concept from the two is the multi-functionality of the pieces.

“Fountain White” takes its cue from water and its free form. Pieces mimic the grace and unrestricted beauty of spring and stream.

“Organic White” features pieces that takes inspiration from leaves and natural contours.

Get an entire set or mix and match with punchy colors. Within its “Wonderful World” line, Multiple Choice, available at Rustan’s Makati and Shangri-La, introduces lovely happy printed wares in shades of candies. Yum! Appetizing even without actual food on it!


Still Life with Flair

2007 posted in Decorating Tips by Rachelle, Real Living Editor-in-Chief.

vince vase

We spotted this decorating trick in Preview magazine’s creative director Vince Uy’s home yesterday—he made a lovely arrangement of old cloissone vases a inside red Lucite box. I don’t know where he got the box; let me find out and I’ll tell you next week.

It’s also a good way to update your aging tchotchkes. :)


It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

2007 posted in Others by Coni, Real Living Assistant Stylist.

I dearly love Christmas!

What’s not to love about chinese hams, Kriskringles, and the Ray Coniff singers?

I so look forward to this time of the year that I set up a tree in my workstation in the middle of November. My tree is about two feet tall and wrapped in strips of red ribbon and a string of lights. Perched on top is the very same Santa featured in this month’s green thumb!

Coni’s Christmas Tree

So it’s a little disconcerting (or should I say, a little bit disheartening) that it seems like there isn’t much jolly good cheer going around. Or is it just me? Along our street, our home are one of the only two houses decked for the holidays. Some of the office buildings are bereft of holiday décor that there isn’t even a lone parol hanging on top of the doorway. (Of course there are exceptions – like the ever reliable Meralco Building which is all lit up every night.)

So i have to ask – what’s happening? Where are the parols? the christmas lights? and Santa Claus on his sleigh? If you don’t have the spare cash to buy new decor this year, go ahead and unearth last year’s boughs, balls, and bells. It’s okay.

But lights are a different matter. Have your christmas lights checked or chuck them out. It’s better to shell out a few hundred pesos than have a fire emergency waiting to happen.

Or is it really about the trying year? 2007 might have been far from perfect but there has to be some things we ought to be thankful for. It might have been a pretty trying year but hey, there were some good times, right?

Spread some holiday cheer!

Happy Christmas!


Smells like Christmas

2007 posted in Home Finds by Rachelle, Real Living Editor-in-Chief.
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I saw the first sign of the Christmas season this morning—heavy traffic. :(

Noel Home Fragrance Diffuser by Crabtree & EvelynFortunately, there were other signs of Christmas that greeted me today, most notably in the form of Crabtree & Evelyn’s Noel home fragrance line for the holidays. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like the overpowering cinnamon scent we smell so often in the stores. Noel is more subtle and friendly than that, with lovely hints of birch, orange, and mulled spices. It’s comforting like fruitcake, only better. :)

Available in home sprays, oils, scented candles, fragrance diffusers, and more at Crabtree & Evelyn stores in major malls in the metro.