Making well-loved furniture stand out can sometimes be a challenge. But if one has collected pieces from 20 years of living abroad -- first in Hong Kong, then in Singapore -- one confronts the question of what to do with excess luggage when returning home.
The experience of interior design student Chat Arce speaks oodles of a talent for locating the right place for everything. In decorating her new two-storey abode in Parañaque, she didn’t find the need to buy new stuff. Instead, one can make the most of what is at hand. The test is in finding the right fit for your well-loved pieces.
Original article by Camille Besinga. Styling by Coni Tejada. Photography by Jun Pinzon.
Read the original article (“From Asia, with Love”) in the September 2010 issue of Real Living Magazine. To download a digital copy of Real Living Magazine, visit Summit Newsstand at https://summitnewsstand.com.ph/real-living.
A â€œgateâ€ for entertainment
Make sure you have enough space for guests. Given a limited floor, a living room wall was torn down and replaced with Japanese-style sliding doors which open to the patio. If there's a party, guests can spill out into the garden and garage area.
The lightness of living
The main entrance opens into the living room dominated by an original Fendi couch which establishes the theme of lightness. To further achieve airiness, light-colored pieces adorn white walls with wispy drapery. Darker wooden furniture may be introduced minimally, although â€œyou don't want your living room to look too foreboding,â€ Chat says.
Refinish your tables and chairs
Originally dark and antique-looking in color, rosewood dining chairs and a teakwood banquet table were given new leases on life through bleach, with the exception of the host chairs which were painted a deep wenge. The result is a contrast in tonality between dark and light furniture.
Red dining room
Back inside, the dining room sports a fiery red wall. It's a great accent color to denote the centrality of the dining table amidst the home's contemporary Asian vibe.
The patio deck
When guests aren't around, the doors to the patio may remain closed. The wooden deck area elevates outdoor furniture in the form of painted wrought-iron chairs and an antique bronze urn turned into a table. Potted plants surround the settee that leads to an intimate garden.
Stairs find connection
A furniture collection needs to find resonance in its new environment. â€œI noticed that Burmese dÃ©cor goes well with Japanese pieces,â€ Chat says, pointing to lacquered jars from Burma that can be paired atop Japanese pedestal tables on the landing between stairs. The trick is finding the perfect fit.
Master's artwork in the master bedroom
An Ang Kiukok print at the head of the bed imparts a playful shot of color amidst the light earth tones of the master bedroom.
Repurposed entertainment suite
Two Japanese tansusâ€”low and long hardwood chests of drawersâ€”serves as the bedroomâ€™s entertainment rack. To temper the bulkiness, the original reddish parquet floor was bleached, and the room colors were kept very light.
Armoire in a niche
A large Chinese armoire fits snugly in a niche between closets. Finding such places can lead to deeper explorations of your home. The armoire now holds a bag collection inside.
Put smaller pieces in the dressing room
Chat loved the idea that her Asian furniture can be mixed and matched with other design elements. The dressing room provides space for displaying a few personal items. The tight selection of wooden boxes sourced from all over Asia keeps the tabletop clutter free.