7 Unforgettable Experiences of Interior Designers and Landscape Architects

Can you imagine spending more than P20,000 A MONTH on books and magazines?


Every interior designer, architect, landscape architect, and design professional can tell you that nothing beats the feeling of making a client's dream come true. Unfortunately, before they do get the job done, many of these design experts have to deal with funny, strange, and downright frustrating situations.

Here are 7 unforgettable experiences of some of our favorite  interior designers and landscape architects:

"I came all dressed up for a presentation, only to realize that the site was literally just a piece of land! The guard pointed the "meeting place" out, and since it just rained, I had to walk in my high heels on wet soil. I just pulled my hair back, removed my shoes, and walked for around 15 minutes until I reached the actual site. Once I got there, I wore my shoes again and pretended like nothing happened."  —Nikki Quesada of Decoliving Manila

"Twenty years ago, when I was just starting out as a junior designer working for a design firm whose main client was a certain member of Asian royalty, one of my assignments — aside from helping redecorate the spaces every quarter — was to stock the family's immense English-style library with the latest magazines and coffee table books. Almost every month,  the company gave me more than P20,000 worth of cash (this was a huge amount back then) to blow on books and magazines for the client. I'd walk into Bufini or National Bookstore and purchase dozens of books and magazines. Needless to say, I read each and every book and magazine before delivering it to the client!" —Rachelle Medina, Real Living editor-in-chief

"I had a client who asked me to to design a wall with a built-in desk, TV shelf, and bookshelves for the master bedroom. When the project ended, she paid me with a P10,000 check. Since she did not know what name to put, she filled in the cash amount and left the payee name blank for me to fill in. Weeks later, I was looking for the check to deposit. I then realized that I accidentally dropped the check when I left the client's house. I figured that it may have already been encashed by then and I was too embarrassed to inform the client of my stupidity. I still squirm when I think about it." — Alexie Claparols, interior designer

"Right after graduating from landscape architecture in 2001, I got a small landscaping job for our church grounds in Cavite. Two of my hired workers were absent, so I had to drive the small truck, load gravel, sand, garden soil, pavers, and plants to and from the site. I also had to do the work with the remaining workers. It was a fun, productive day." —Christian Bautista, singer and landscape architect


Carinderia Sign purchased for P20,000

"My art collector client wanted me to buy this old carinderia signage from an actual carinderia for P20,000! And so, I went to the carinderia and asked the owner if we could purchase their signage. He just laughed because he thought that I was joking, crazy, or working for a gag show. Right before I left, he changed his mind and finally sold us the carinderia signage for P20,000." —Carmen Lim-Regala, interior designer

"A few months ago, my sister and I went to the hardware store. As soon as we made our purchase, I told her: 'Maye, I'll ask Dad to buy me a stud finder kasi mas mura 'yon sa Saudi.' And she replied, 'Kuya, ang landi landi mo talaga. Aanhin mo ang stud finder sa trabaho mo?' She thought that stud finder is something used to look for hot guys! I had to tell her that it is used to look for studs or pamakuan on the walls for dry wall construction. —Sieg Ramos, interior designer

"I did a garden for a client and she wanted everything rushed in time for her house blessing. Since my design included an elevated area that required riprap, I opted to just get this done after the house blessing. However, she wanted it installed, even without the needed support. I advised against it and instructed the workers to leave it alone. A few hours later, one of the guys on the site called me because the owner was freaking out. She screamed at me over the phone, shouting that it was her garden and that she should be followed, so I said, 'Okay, but it should be clear that I am not recommending that you go through with this.' She said she didn't care and had the workers elevate the area and work overnight to finish it in time for her house blessing at 12 PM. But, before the workers could finish, it started to rain very hard. At 4 AM, I got a call from my crying, hysterical client asking if I can go to her house in an hour. When I got there, I found her whole patio and part of the living room buried in a truckload of soil. My workers spent the whole morning cleaning, while I listened to her apologize. I know it's wrong, but, I charged her big time for being mean to everyone. She signed the check and stayed quiet the whole morning." —Hazel Santos, landscape architect


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