Building & Renovating

The Year That Was: A Look Back At Home and Design Trends and News of 2015

From new stores and colors to interesting finds and exhibits—we saw some pretty great things this year


While some may claim that nothing really spectacular happened in terms of home and design in 2015, there are still some notable events — like the opening of Crate & Barrel's flagship store and Kenneth Cobonpue’s awe-inspiring designs during the APEC dinner — worth reminiscing.

Here’s a roundup of what happened this year:

Main photo from Pantone's Facebook Page.

The KonMari Method

Who could ever forget this life-changing decluttering technique? With a little practice, you can easily become a Jet Lee in folding stuff. There’s no sorcery involved, but once you learn the KonMari way, you’ll become a wizard that can make everything fit into one small cabinet.

READ: 5 Things You Need to Know About the KonMari Method

Photo by Here and Now Site and Dairy Darilag.


The Manila FAME Detlef Klatt Exhibit

After giving us a refresher on how magnificent table arrangements should be, famed German designer Detlef Klatt came back last October to show us some appetizing designs we ought to have on our home and dinner tables.

Photo from The Manila FAME Blog.

Product and appliance breakthroughs

Launch of Air Fryers

Health nuts will never be able to resist hoarding appliances and equipment that can help stave off the modern yet sinful way of living. Thankfully, one of the coolest and newest utensils on the market has made us gaga over oil-free food. Introducing: Air Fryer. The technology used on this baby isn’t really new. For those who know what a convection oven is, air fryers are like the miniaturized version of it. And it’s good for frying stuff we normal deep-fry sans the unhealthy oil.

In photo: The Philips Air Fryer.

The Dolce Gusto

Sounds familiar? Of course, it should be. This is Nescafe’s solution to our eternal craving for gourmet coffee and perpetual love-hate relationship with instant coffee. With this machine, there’s no need to go through complicated processes. Just put in your favorite coffee capsule, and you’ll get the rich taste of your preferred espresso, latte, and cappucino minus the fancy barista stuff. It’s insta-gourmet coffee without the hassle — perfect for those perpetually on the go.

Photo from Appliancist.

Kenneth Cobonpue Designs at the APEC Welcome Dinner

Perhaps one of the things you’ll remember about the APEC meet this year (aside from the nightmarish traffic and the trending APEC hotties) is Cebu designer Kenneth Cobonpue’s rice terraces-inspired welcome dinner venue motif.

The Yoda Chairs were definitely eye-catching since Cobonpue was able to combine modern elements such as wheels, armrests, and a 360-swivel feature with the organic and sustainable material of rattan. The anahaw leaf designs hovering above the circular banquet lent a cozy, intimate feel to an otherwise intimidating gathering of some of Asia-Pacific’s most powerful leaders.

READ: 4 Things You Need to Know About Kenneth Cobonpue's Design Inspiration for APEC 2015

Photo from Kenneth Cobonpue's Facebook Page.

The Battle of Amazon Handmade and Etsy

This year, handicrafts online shop Etsy became more daring with its large IPO filing. Basically, it means that it’s ready to grow more and more people might benefit from this arts and crafts juggernaut — which equates to more unique arts and crafts products. 

Recognizing the profitability of people who love DIY projects and arts and crafts, Amazon started to compete with Etsy with its Amazon Handmade. If only the customs’ tariff were forgiving, we would be the happiest people in the world.


The Rise of AirBnB and Unique Staycations

Hotel staycations have become a thing of the past. What’s hip and happening now is booking your stay in a foreign locale through AirBnB—the best way to experience local culture and find out how the locals really live.

Rent an apartment with ondol (underfloor heating) flooring in Seoul, a flat in New York or London, or fulfill your dream of living by the beach with a quaint shack at Sao Paulo, Brazil. If you find AirBnB’s rates a bit too expensive, you can always opt to sign up with — you get to stay in a local’s home (or couch) for free.

New and bigger stores opening in the Philippines

Crate & Barrel Opens its Flagship Store in SM Makati

Manila can claim bragging rights for having the biggest Crate & Barrel branch in Southeast Asia. This US-based home and design store is simply a homeowner’s wet dream come true — functional furniture and houseware, home décor, and various curios coexist in SM Makati. And even if you don’t buy anything, you’ll surely get inspired to spruce up your home by the store’s vignette-style displays.

READ: RL News: Crate & Barrel Opens Flagship Store

The Opening of Habitat in BGC

Taking up 1,500 square meters, the Habitat store in Bonifacio Global City got fashionistas, bloggers, and designers abuzz when it opened its doors to the public last October. Clean, streamlined, and minimalist designs and homeware are trademarks of this French-owned company.

READ: RL News: Habitat Manila Opens in Bonifacio Global City


Handmade crafts, craft camps and workshops have become du jour

DIY and everything handmade have become THE trend in home and design this year. From mason jars to the launch of, DIY and handmade crafts have awakened one’s creative juices and made us realize just how going back to the basics is one of the simplest ways to reconnect with ourselves, recharge our internal batteries, and rejuvenate the spirit despite the hurly burly of everyday life.

Photo from's Facebook Page.

Pantone Announces Two Colors of the Year

From the richness of Marsala, we were surprised with not one but two soothing colors that will headline 2016—Rose Quartz and Serenity. According to Pantone, "this harmonious pairing of complementary shades creates balance in a chaotic and fast-paced world."

READ: 5 Accent Pieces to Celebrate Pantone's 2016 Colors of the Year

Photo from Pantone's Facebook Page.

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