Tips and Guides

RL Picks: Interior designer Racquel Florendo's 10 Favorite Things

This interior designer, professor, and co-author of "Interior Design in the Philippines" talks about the things close to her heart

Photography: Vincent Coscolluela Styling: Paula de Guzman

Interior Design in the Philippines celebrates our country's art, culture, and heritage with a selection of beautiful homes. In line with the launch of the book, co-author Racquel Baltazar-Florendo talks about her 10 favorite things.

Read the original article (“My 10 Favorite Things at Home”) in the June 2013 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App ( now! Log on to for more details.  

Favorite Object on the Night Table

“Family photos, lavender hand and nail cream, my favorite prayer book, blue and white collection. They remind me of the best, ‘real’ authentic things that matter in life. They keep me grounded and remind me not to take things, myself included, too seriously.”

Favorite Home Gadget

“Garden hose, garden gloves, and spade. I love gardening. I have four pocket gardens of potted plants. I constantly rearrange them and replenish them with new ones.”

Find similar gardening tools at Ace Hardware or True Value

Favorite Home Scent

“Time & Again Simmering Waffle Bar Rain reminds me of being at home growing up—renewal, new beginnings.” 

Favorite Home Design Book

 “The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton and Jonathan Hale’s Old way of Seeing—such pleasure reads. They make you realize the power of interior spaces and the profound possibilities you can explore to make people better, and most of all, happy and loved.” 

Favorite Travel Destination

“Hong Kong, Seoul, Bangkok. The places are so near. They relate to our Asian core, as they have their own charm yet they relate to our being Filipino. So much to see—with common materials, textures, forms, and colors yet you share a grounding with them.”

Favorite Home Accessory

“Runners, plants, collections—they add charm. They evolve from the ordinary to become simple treasures of who you are, what you have become, and what you can be. Nice, di ba?” 

Favorite Area in the House

“The dining room and music room of our house. It contains so many things we collect as a family, old knick-knacks my husband and I enjoy finding in out-of-this-world places, flea markets, yard sales, and ‘old-Escolta, Avenida’ sites together with Mabini antique shops. My husband Gene collects old records and cameras, among other unique things.” Find similar pieces at The Grand Thrift Shop, Cubao X, Quezon City

Favorite Color Combination

“White and cream, pale tan with ash blue accents, and parsley green. White and cream are tried and true classics. I avoid painting every wall in a room the same color. I love how shadows fall with one accent wall... how the room changes mood during the day to the evening. It represents a sort of rebirth—a cleansing.” 

Favorite Pick-Me-Up Treat

“Pecan pie and white vanilla ice cream anytime. And guess what? Siopao and hot mami noodles. Also, our Yaya Goning’s slow cooked kare-kare and adobo shared with my Baltazar siblings.”

Dr. Racquel Baltazar-Florendo

Dr. Raquel B. Florendo teaches interior design at the College of Home Economics, University of the Philippines-Diliman. Grab a copy of her book, Interior Design in the Philippines, at Powerbooks.

Interior Design in the Philippines

Interior Design in the Philippines is available at Powerbooks.


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