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Different Ways To Achieve Contemporary Filipino Style

Get tips straight from an interior designer!

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Photography: Michael Angelo Chua

Contemporary and Filipino styles go perfectly well together because the clean lines of modern design and the classic touches of the latter make for an interesting aesthetic. However, the tricky part about combining these two styles is that you have to balance them—you have to make the look Filipino enough without appearing too "provincial" but it can't be too contemporary that you miss the point of maintaining the Filipino feel. To help you out, interior designer Nina Santamaria shares what elements you can play with: 


1. Art 

An art piece by a contemporary artist, particularly one that is executed differently such as a collage, instantly changes the vibe when paired with a Filipino piece like a rattan chair. Contemporary Pinoy artists who mostly do abstract works are Eugene Jarque, Bernie Pacquing, Lexygius Calip, and Gus Albor. 

2. Lines and shapes 

A space that takes the shape of the bahay kubo doesn't have to look "native." Just stick to thin, contemporary lines so the piece does not become overwhelmingly Filipino. 

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3. Filipino furniture

When creating a contemporary Filipino home, you can still use traditional Pinoy pieces like the gallinera or butaca chair, but you should also combine these with modern pieces by Filipino designers like Vito Selma, Joseph Rastrullo, Ito Kish, and Dem Bitantes. 

This snippet originally appeared in the May 2017 issue of Real Living magazine.  

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