I always pass by First Midland Building on my way to my dear friends’ offices along Gamboa Street in Makati. I love the area—the lush park, the late-afternoon joggers, the walk-able, quiet street that is so near busy Greenbelt—and I absolutely love the building, with its standout 1970-ish façade of cobalt-blue tiles.
Midland houses two interesting home furnishings stores, namely the sophisticated Indigo (Shop of the Month RL January 2008), and charming iiideas right above it. Unfortunately this street is being marred by unsightly constructions (a building there collapsed just recently!), and I believe these two stores are moving shop really soon (I’ll update you on their future addresses). So I definitely recommend you all drop by and visit them now! Our ed assistant Kathleen made a recent, unpublished writeup about iiideas. Here it is:
STAIRWAY TO HAVEN
Spelled with three I’s—Inspired, Interior, Ideas—iiideas store and café shows that a compact showroom can pack up a few surprises
Like a well-guarded secret, iiideas isn’t out in the open. To get there, one must pass through another fab shop, Indigo, where a narrow flight of stairs leads to this space.
But surprises await visitors upstairs. Owned by Singapore-based Filipino designer John Paul de la Rosa, the nearly one-year-old shop is a more of a well-edited lifestyle store than your usual furniture showroom. The unassuming but cozy store has an inventory of sleek, modern-Asian pieces such as vases and trays made out of pressed leaves and bamboo, and elegant slipcovers from Singapore, where the mother branch of iiideas is located, wooden furniture mostly from Surin and Munggur in Indonesia, and luxurious rugs made out of cowhide and leather strips from the Philippines.
This lifestyle shop also serves as a café so visitors can take a bite while browsing through the merchandise-John Paul says you can “coffee all you want”-he wants to promote the Barako blend, so you can freely ask for coffee refills within the store. But here lies a cheeky twist: while cashew caramel and blueberry cheesecakes slices flank one side of the shelves, you’ll find on the opposite side mock cakes which are actually soap blocks that come in “flavors” like pear, coffee caramel swirl, and roses, sold at P225 per slice. Standing between real and faux desserts are shirts by filmmaker Elvert de la Cruz Banares, one of the artists the store supports.
But what surely command attention are the artworks by Cambodia-based artist Loven Ramos. His all-Filipino subjects—jeepney, tricycle, Calle Real—were rendered vivid in UV links color print with archival silk, beads, and generous servings of hues. Others like the “Window Vigan” and “Sta. Ana Cathedral” are embellished with Cambodian lace trimmings. IIIdeas wishes to support these young artists and designers, in their quiet café-store, up that secret flight of stairs.—Kathleen Valle (iiideas photos by At Maculangan, styling by Coni Tejada; Indigo frontage photo by Jun Pinzon)
iiiDEAS is located at 2/L Unit 102, First Midland Bldg., Gamboa St., Legaspi Village, Makati City, tel. (02) 817-3424