Client Meeting & Creating Connections

By  Celina Cruz

As an Interior Design student, design problems and client profiles are usually given by the professors. Design layouts are then made and approved by them; and then we create the plans and other documents needed for the space. For the past years, it has always been a cycle of that.

Being an intern for CMV Interior Designs gave me the opportunity to meet one of their clients and have an actual experience first-hand. Having an actual client who expresses their wants and needs for their space is more helpful than having a fictional client like the ones we used to get for our school projects. Meeting with a client makes the task of designing seem like a joint project with you, the designer, and with the client for both of your inputs make up the space. You, as the designer, translates the needs and wants of your client through your design.

Through this experience, I was able to take note of some important things ones must remember during a meeting with their client.

5 things every designer must ask:

  1. What is the space for and who will be using this space?
  2. What will they be doing on the space?
  3. Does the user have any special needs or allergies that should be accommodated?
  4. What do they like to have on their space? What do they not like to have on the space?
  5. What is their budget and when do they want the space finished?

3 details you need to remember during a client meeting:

  1. Be well-prepared and observant. Outline your meeting and prepare the questions you’ll be asking your client. Familiarize yourself with your client. Get to know your client more as a person – ask them about their interests, their lifestyle, and try to create a connection with them to create a positive synergy with each other. If you can, compile possible designs you can present to give your client an idea or some inspiration.
  2. Be professional. Always remember that you are catering to the needs and wants of your client. That means being able to design a space that will ensure a better lifestyle for them while fitting their preferences. If there is something they want that might not fit the space, suggest possible alternatives that they might also like. Settle with a design where everything is well-balanced.
  3. Documentation is very important. Always take down notes and document everything in every meeting. Being able to keep every single detail in mind can also show how professional you are to your client and how much you value their input to the design. Compiled documents can be a huge help to recap previous meetings that can be used in future meetings. Provide a copy of your documentations to your client which can also keep them updated with the project.

These are a few things I picked up from my very first client meeting which can be of help to others too!

Design Ideas: How To Store or Display Your Sneaker Collection

Design blog by: Peaches Manlangit


Got a new pair of sneakers that you can add to your collection? Wondering about how to store them in a visually appealing way, without destroying their good quality long term? No worries! Here are ways to help you organize your collection of sneakers, despite the size of your home. Scroll down for awesome ideas.


Why hide your cool sneakers in the closets when you can brag by displaying them on shelves around the room. When placing your sneakers on shelves, remember to keep the styles consistent on each shelf and put an even space between them so they won’t look cluttered.


(photo by Commonwealth Manila)                            (photo by Urban Athletics @ Conrad Hotel)



Keeping your sneakers inside the boxes will result in a more organized closet and ensure your footwear remains in pristine condition. To identify which sneaker to use, take a photograph of the pair of shoes and take it to the front of its box.


(photo by HGTV)                              (photo by Leonie Lowenherz Mode & Lifestyle Blog)



It is time to bring out the creativity and the resourcefulness in you. If you find an extra plywood or any recyclable materials strong enough to hold a pair of shoes, you can turn it into an open box shelf. This is excellent for people who loves doing “DIY products”. Anyone can do this by themselves. In order to add interest and to achieve a dimensional effect, use different-sized boxes, painted with preferred colors.

(photo from Thea Manila)



Wide space has to be maximized. One solution is the usage of a center island. Placing your sneaker collection in the middle of the room makes them stand out. Sneakers to be placed on the center island are easy to reach and these may include your everyday footwear.

(photo from The Social Foot)



In order to attain a high-class boutique for your closet, keep your amazing sneaker collection behind a glass material. Each and every favorite sneaker will stay visible. This will create a high-end appeal through the glass barrier.

(photo from Adidas)

(photo from DIY Build)



Adding lighting to your sneaker collection shelves will showcase the beautiful works of art in them. You can either use warm white for a luxurious ambiance, or bright white for simplicity. You can use lighting on all of your sneakers or only on the unique ones you have.

(photo from Urban Athletics @ Conrad Hotel)


Another kind of storage that unleashes one’s creativity is by creating an abstract idea and translating it into a design. The examples in the picture include usage of shoes and stairs because we take a step using our foot (left), and angled shelves giving an impression of falling apart (right). You can think and do anything when conceptualizing, while taking note of certain considerations so it will not be overwhelming or off-style.

(photo from Adidas)

(photo from a residence using IKEA Product)



Not only that it has visual appeal, but it also looks more organized than just having your sneakers laying around everywhere. It has a multipurpose function, as it can also stand next to the front door where guests could put their shoes on. When you decide to use this type of storage, look for a wooden ladder at the flea market.

(photo from A pair and A spare website)



The shoe hive helps you organize a family’s shoe collection. Placing your sneakers in these holes, built from lightweight PVC pipes, will keep them in shape and easy to locate.

(photo from Decorating your wall space website)



For questions, kindly fill up the form below:

Cool & Stylish Aircon Units For Your Home

Cool & Stylist Aircons for Your Home

By Celina Cruz

Air conditioning units, also known as aircons is one of the must-have appliances for every home – especially when you’re in a tropical country such as the Philippines. Most aircons may not be exactly as aesthetically pleasing as one’s interior, since its function is usually the priority instead of its physical attributes. That doesn’t stop us from searching for air conditioners that can actually enhance your space – wouldn’t that be cool?

Window type 

  1.  Panasonic Energy Efficient Air Conditioner

Window type air conditioners are usually in colors like White or Eggshell White. Though this particular unit is in White, the addition of the color Black helps create a much sleeker look that makes it stand out.

  1. Hitachi Rapid Cooling Air Conditioner

The matte silver finish at the bottom helps complete a subtle, more stylish look with the Pearl White body.

  1. Hitachi Window type with DC Inverter

The matte silver finish makes this air conditioner different from the usual neutral-colored cooling units. Unlike the previous air conditioner, the silver element takes up majority of the body.


Split Type

  1. Panasonic Sky Series

Other than its unique design, this air conditioner features Radiant Cooling. This cooling unit also embodies the elegance and pursuit of perfection inherent in Japanese design philosophy. It is sleek and makes it a luxurious complement to designer interior.

  1. Panasonic Aero Series

The Aero Series features a slim profile that is complimented with a metal finish. The photo doesn’t give justice to its classy tone with a soft, pearly glow from its lustrous pearl finish in real life.

  1. LG Split Air Conditioner

This particular air conditioner caught my attention for the Red accent which gives it a subtle, bold image that can complement one’s space.

(actual photo not available)


Free-standing Type

  1. Samsung Free-standing Air conditioner

This ACU is simple yet its not as boxy and rigid as the usual aircon. Somehow its texture, proportions, and its simplicity achieves a very stylish look that isn’t boring.

  1. Carrier Designer Series

With its matte black finish, this aircon will definitely catch your attention. The black body is complimented with a silver chrome finish.

  1. Samsung Turbo cooling free-standing AC

This is not your usual air conditioner and by far my favorite out of the bunch. The shape isn’t as boxy, and I find it interesting how it uses three spiral airflows which cools the entire house more quickly and efficiently. It also includes an amazing air purifying technology, ‘Virus Doctor’, which neutralizes all harmful contaminants in the air, including bacteria that resist physical filtration, and turns them into harmless water vapor.



Although the physical attributes of air conditioning units are usually overlooked in homes, searching beyond the usual ACU forms can really help enhance one’s space. Aircons can be cool & stylish too!

Got questions? Message us and fill up the form below


10 Tips on How to Make Your Home a Pet-Friendly Space

By our Visual Stylist: Pamela Mongcal

Any pet you have, we always treat them as our own children or part of the family. As a pet owner, we give them the love and safety so they could be with us for a long time.


We don’t know what comes to their mind so we should be cautious on what we put on our home. We will help you create the pet-friendly space, so our pets will feel safe and comfortable because it’s important for their overall wellbeing and so as the pet owner.

  • Secure the Garbage

Garbage gives different varieties of smell because we throw different items in there. The different smell it gives attracts our pets to come because they are curious and of course we have to prevent that. It is full of materials that are toxic or even lethal to your pets, so you don’t want them getting into it. Be sure your garbage is secured and can’t be accessed by a pet.

  • Décor? Is it safe?

Home without décor won’t always be complete but, it’s dangerous for our companions if they are fragile. Especially if they are tall or just loves to run around your home it’s dangerous if they accidentally hit the décor expensive or not. It’s better if we put limited decors. Decors who are heavy and don’t easily break are the safest choice. We limit the fragile ones like items that are made of glass or porcelains.

  • Space

Space is very important to our pets because they love to play around and stay one place to another. It’s safer if there’s a bigger space for them to walk, run or wriggle. Animal-friendly spaces are free of places where pets might become lost or stuck without access to food and water.

  • Cover it up!

If you can’t resist letting your pets on your furniture, go for materials that won’t be dramatically affected by wear and will be easy to clean. Materials like leather and ultra-suede will be perfect options for your furry friends. Covers sewn from washable fabrics are the wisest, most affordable choice.


  • Play Time!

Store pet toys throughout the house or incorporate pet play stations into the décor. Attach trendy shelves for cats to climb above their scratching post. Designate a toy box in the playroom for doggos’ toys and teach him to fetch those instead of the kids’ toys. Making pet playtime easy keeps them from chewing your shoes and other things that he thinks that’s a toy. Check this DIY pet toy box.


  • Sweet dreams

Most of the pets love to stay next to their hoomans. Incorporating beds into the décor of several rooms avoids extra chores and keeps pets feeling safe. Have their beds (and litter boxes) located in comfortable places that aren’t too isolated, if pets don’t feel comfortable with a space, they are unlikely to use it.


  • Indoor plants

Many common household plants are toxic to animals and we should be aware of it. If you have cats, lilies can cause kidney failure for them. Other toxic plants to pets are: amaryllis, poinsettia and aloe vera. You may search on line those plants that are toxic for your pets.


  • Sunshine

We usually have our pets inside our home but they definitely have to get some sunshine. Build a seat by the window so cats can curl up in the sun, give birds a good view of the birds in the yard, and make sure doggos has lots of light while your clients are at work. Give our pets a bright, happy place to spend their day while also keeping them safe.



  • Safety is the best policy.

Make sure to keep breakables out of the reach of wagging tails. Always try seeing things from a “pet point of view”, and keep anything that could choke, electrocute or suffocate an animal. Keep electrical cords hidden or covered by having the TV stand against the wall or feeding cords into a box that animals can’t open. Look out for similar risks and account for those as well. It’s also important to keep human foods and medications out of reach as well we wouldn’t want them to get harmed or get sick.

  • Fooooood!

Food is the most important thing we should give to our pets. Humans aren’t the only one who should enjoy their food but also, our little companions. We should let them eat comfortably consider bowls that are raised off the ground on stands to keep the food more contained and discourage bugs or rodents searching for crumbs. If you don’t like them eating messy try adding a plastic placemat under their food bowls it is easier to clean than the floor. Check out this DIY Place mat for pets or check out this comical mat you can order online.

Woodsville Viverde Mansions

Collaboration of ideas with our client and design team. As much as possible, we want to transform the space with much better air flow and to maximize the natural light. We want to have bigger and better master bedroom and ample space for all the clothes, luggage, and diving gears of our client. The living room, with sliding glass partition serves as guest room with functional sofa bed.

We are really happy with the layout and the outcome. Enriching the lifestyle of our client is our number ONE goal.

for more info about our work, please visit our website

or follow our social media accounts for more updates

Instagram: @cmvinteriordesigns
Twitter: @cmvinteriors
Pinterest: @cmvinteriordesigns
Facebook: Christine Manalo Villamora Interior Designs


During our preliminary meeting, our client defines which item to maintain and to let go. She even mentioned to us her existing acacia wood planks at her guest bedroom. We decided to highlight the wood by placing it on common area like dining room so that even their visitors and friends can admire the stunning wood grain features of this acacia wood.

During that time, her 60 square meters condo unit have 3 small bedrooms. Even for the master bedroom, it was too small and there is no enough space to lounge and enjoy. So, me and my team decided to open up the space by creating movable dividers like sliding glass door and knock down dry walls that previously enclose each room. Since we are removing some walls, we are required to replace the floor finish because of the existing marks of the partitions. I know in my heart that our client have immediate need for storage space and creating a simple nice flow from her bedroom+to walk in closet+to bathroom would be such as great help and relieve.

After the renovation

10 Mobile Apps Every Interior Designer Must Have


by our guest blogger: Katherine Ronidel


Houzz is a free app which gives you lots of design ideas that can provide inspiration for renovation or redecoration. The app lets users look into a vast collection of photos that can be browsed by different categories. You can also save your favorite photos and share it with your friends.




The pinterest app is super fun and easy to use. They basically have a collection of the most amazing crafts ON EARTH. You can search different products and you can easily bookmark it to your own mood board.


With this tool, you can find the perfect colors for your walls. It allows you to try new colors and you can virtually paint your home, or experiment with one of the built-in rooms provided by the app. Give the virtual painter from Sherwin Williams a try


This app is a new interior and exterior design plan and is easy to create by means of dragging and dropping. This architectural app lets you import floor plans and change the space itself, then add in the furniture and other amenities of your choice.


Homestyler Interior Design is a nice tool for creative minds, bringing a whole package of home furnishings and possibilities to your smartphone. At the beginning you can choose if you want you look in the photo gallery or set up a space yourself.


Design Home is the perfect game for those who want to design their perfect home. Your main agenda is to design beautiful rooms as possible, all through buying new pieces of furniture and placing them accordingly. You can even discover and vote on new looks and styles created by other players and win exclusive in-game prizes for the designs that you have created.


MagicPlan creates floor plans. It measures your rooms and draws floor plans just by taking pictures. Simply add objects, annotations, and attributes to create the complete plan of a property. MagicPlan is not another floor plan drawing application: no need to measure, no need to draw, no need to move furniture and no need for expertise.



If you’re talking about measurements, this app will let you measure the dimensions of your living space almost instantly. Instead of using a measuring tape, all you have to do is click a photo and mark the lengths: Photo Measure will do the rest. It’s not just the corners that you can measure with this app. You can measure dimensions of your furniture, of the shelves and other items in your room.




This app consists of a vast library of more than 10,000 standardized hues. You can create your own color palettes with up to five captivating colors. You can also take a photo, or use an existing one and the studio app allows you to capture the colors in that image and convert them to a Pantone palette.


This app has the ability to let designers, architects, photographers, artists, and other creatives lay out mood boards, design ideas, and collages. It’s a mobile app that lets you get all of your creative ideas down into one, easy, and super fast place by way of mood boards.


Hope you liked this post! Cheers!


10 Best Indoor Plants For Home Or Office

10 Best Indoor Plants For Home or Office

By our guest blogger: Kaye Ellson



This shop sells indoor and outdoor plants and offers good services to the customers.

The place is like a whole package because they also sell koi fish and herbs are available too.

“This charming garden in near Corinthian hills were so big it will take your breath away but the plants are well chosen, the staff extremely helpful, and the collection of gifts and gardeners’ accessories were delightful. This shop sells a new trend preserved roses from beauty and the beast for only 2000, to 3,000 pesos. I asked the owner of the shop to help me choose the best indoor plants for home and one of the list are;

  • Aloe vera

The gel of the aloe plant has a number of healing properties. Not only does it soothe skin burns and cuts, it can also help to monitor the air quality in your home. The plant can help clear the air of pollutants found in chemical cleaning products, and when the amount of harmful chemicals in the air becomes excessive, the plants’ leaves will display brown spots. Just an FYI: It grows best with lots of sun so you don’t have to sprinkle more water.

  • Bacularis

The plants are very drought tolerant and are watered about every other week during the growing season. During the winter months they are watered once a month. Water sparingly and not at all as temperatures dip in winter but can tolerate going months between watering.

Heat Tolerance: Excellent

  • Spider plant

One of the most common house plants, spider plants are decorative, easy to grow, and also make the NASA list of the best air-purifying plants. Spider plants are effective at fighting pollutants including benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene. Which is good for indoor.


  • Cactus

It can be a tricky process caring for plants indoors. You may find that your plants do not get enough sunlight or you could simply forget to keep them sufficiently watered. This is where succulents and cacti become useful. Both varieties of plants are known for being hardy and easy to care for. They do not require as much water as most common plant varieties and can survive in difficult environments. You do not need a green thumb to care for succulents and cacti.

Fyi:it’s not safe for kids and avoid touching it and cactus must stay in one place because they tend to die fast.

  • Fern punk plant

This one is also a family of bacularis plant. will die if temperatures drop below 7°C with wet soil. However, it can survive near freezing temperatures if the soil is dry – but it is best to avoid freezing temperatures. If growing outdoors in frost free areas keep in a covered patio or under an area where plants do not receive winter rainfall.


  • Snake Plant


Snake plants don’t need much light or water to survive, so they’re an easy choice for any corner of your home. The plant absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen during the night (while most plants do so during the day), so add one to your bedroom for a clean-air boost.

  • Golden pothos

The golden pothos makes the NASA list for its ability to clear formaldehyde from the air. Try adding it to your kitchen or living room as a hanging plant, as the leaves will grow down in cascading vines. They grow easily in cool temperatures will low levels of sunlight.

  • Stargazer

Potted lilies prefer a constant daytime and nighttime temperature of 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, although they will grow in daytime temperatures of up to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Placing their pots near heating or cooling vents may quicken or slow growth, resulting in stretched or stunted plants. The amount and intensity of light that a “Stargazer” lily receives will also affect its growth rate and habit. Indirect, bright sunlight for at least 6 hours per day will produce healthy, regular growth. This plant gives a good scent which is good for home as well.


  • Philodendron

heart-shaped philodendron is a popular plant choice for indoor areas, as they’re easy to care for and can grow decorative vines. Like the English ivy, they are particularly good at absorbing xylene. They can also last for many years when properly cared for. Grow with moderate water and some sunlight and they’ll be fine.

  • Boston fern


Boston ferns need a cool place with high humidity and indirect light. When you care for Boston fern plants indoors, it’s a good idea to provide additional humidity for them, especially in the winter. Most homes are rather dry, even more when heaters are running. For extra humidity care for Boston fern, try setting your fern’s pot on a tray of pebbles filled with water. You can also try lightly misting your fern once or twice a week to help it get the humidity it needs.

  • Warneck dracaena

This shrub, also known as Dracaena reflexa, can grow to be very tall. It’s another plant that can provide separation of different office areas. And it also combats pollutants commonly found in varnishes and oils. If your office space has hardwood floors, this shooting plant would be ideal.


From The Masters: Interior Design Mistakes To Learn From

By our guest blogger:  Aia Atienza (

The art and science of interior design requires a great deal of creativity, patience, flexibility, and attention to detail. Whoever said being an interior designer was simple clearly still has a lot to learn. Undeniably, even professionals who’ve been at it for years can overlook a few things from time to time. So don’t stress yourself out when you end up making a mistake.

To try to help fresh graduates, and maybe even wannabe interior designers, steer away from common design mistakes, I have asked a few licensed interior designers (that I look up to) about their slip ups and the lessons they learned from the mentioned experience.


Top 1 Interior Design board exam passer of 1994

Licensed since: 1994

Dean and professor at the Philippine School of Interior Design

One of the partners of J.P. Lake and associates



“I’ve committed a lot of mistakes in practice. The first one that I’ve ever committed was I relied on the measurement of the supplier instead of verifying the measurements of the project by myself. It was a room, it was an office that I was supposed to floor with carpet tiles tapos of course I referred it to the supplier and then the supplier said na based on the measurement of the room, this number of carpet tiles ang kailangan. But I didn’t verify. So ang nangyari when the tiles came, kulang siya. So there was like a big spot on the floor that lacked carpet tiles and then of course to add insult to injury, ininstall yung carpet tiles one day before the blessing of the office. So ibig sabihin it was very, very tight na parang feeling ko hindi ako aabot to supply the missing carpet tiles. So solution, instead of like a solid pattern, I created nalang a combination of different carpet tiles based on what was available during that time in store. But siyempre diba I still had to panic. Yun yon eh yung nakakapanic parin siya, but buti nalang din, parang I dunno, siguro the creative instincts set in diba so parang inisip ko sige gagawa nalang ako ng pattern. So instead of like solid gray I made it gray with the accent color of the company’s color which is maroon. So parang gumawa nalang ako ng random pattern on the floor kasi yung maroon available na siya on stock. So that was again, oh I dunno, parang I feel that it was a mistake that I committed diba on my own kasi nga hindi ako nag verify, but at the same time I was able to provide also a solution na nagustohan naman nung client. Initially, of course, hindi naman yun yung inapprove niya but under the circumstances parang when it was already done parang blessing in disguise diba that the client liked it.”


I also made a mistake in relying on the color swatch of what was available in the hardware store. Even if kunyari I already applied the color on the wall and it was the same color, hindi ko tinake into consideration that lighting would of course affect the overall color of the wall. So it was a costly mistake because we had to repaint because yung may lighting na, hindi nagustohan nung client yung color. So parang moral of the story, every time that you deal with color you also have to of course take into account the lighting, whether white light or yellow light. Kasi it’s bound to affect the overall finished color look.”



I have to be more obsessive compulsive. Not just you know parang just rely on what they say but I have to like double check. And ever since naman that incident, I always make it a point to double check.”



Licensed since: 2003

Principal Designer of CRL Interior Designs

General Manager of Mity Mike Inc.

Board member of the Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Philippines (CFIP) – VP for design

Professor at the Philippine School of Interior Design



“This is a common mistake of designers and I personally committed this mistake before. Yun nga diba we customize furniture and of course yung client wants customized furniture and we made this bed tapos I realized medyo late na na teka muna parang hindi papasok yan sa elevator. Good thing that we produced the furniture that’s why when I realized that it won’t fit, I had to make that knock-down diba, eh gawa na so diba we had to alter it and at least hindi pa nadeliver sa site diba. What will you do if nandun na sa site yung furniture and it won’t fit the door? And if ikaw yung designer and nagpagawa ka sa manufacturer, you will be charged extra. Ikaw siyempre nagbigay ng design eh. They will charge you. Malay ba nila, you just asked them to make that.”



Number one you have to check the elevator, if it’s a condo ha. You have to check the elevator, the entrance, the hallway and make sure that whatever you customized, whatever design furniture you have, will fit the elevator of the condo. Well you can use the stairs but what if it’s like 30th floor or 50th floor diba, the suppliers will not bring everything up. So if you have to make the furniture knock-down then you have to.”



Licensed since: 2005

Country manager – Eggersmann and La Cornue

Professor at the Philippine School of Interior Design



“Recently, I customized a queen size bed box with pull-out for storage. 2 pull-outs on each sides. I asked the maker to do me a unit for a standard queen size. Then we went on site just to verify and measure. I asked the guy to measure the bed. I didn’t pay attention, so he ended up measuring the mattress together with the beddings and the comforter, ayun yung cutomized bed box was 5″ longer and 5″ wider. Toink!”



Attention to detail is important.


So there you go. These are just some of the lessons these professionals have learned over the course of their careers. I hope that their insights and experiences would be of help to you. Don’t let your mistakes serve as a deterrent to your ambitions.


City Tour Guide: Our Top 10 Most Stylish and Unique Coffee Shop Concepts Around The Metro

Featuring our guest blogger this Month of August Ms. Beatrix Cruz





Address: 7635 Guijo St., San Antonio, Makati City

Store Hours: 12N-10PM

Number: 09176631011

This café has one of the most artistic interior I have ever seen. From paintings to collages to pictures and etc. They are not just selling coffees here but they are also selling local CD’s and goodies from their brand




Near MC Home Depot

This starbucks in BGC is one of the biggest starbucks I’ve seen. It’s a two-storey loft type building. It has big drop lights in the middle and I like how its interior is mixed in modern-filipino style.




Address: 2nd floor, Archer’s Nook Center, 2624 Taft Avenue, Malate Manila

Store Hours: 9AM-12MN

Number: 09052248003 / 09291559770

The coziest café in Taft Manila. Café Travel’s interior gives a Korean feeling to it. You are not allowed to wear your shoes/slippers inside each crib-like stall just like in Korean culture. Inside those stalls, you will only find a circular table and pillows and you will just sit on the floor. When it was new in Taft Avenue, you are not allowed to write anything on the walls. You can only write on post-it and post it on the walls. But when I went there recently, there are already a lot of writings on the wall.




Address: 2nd floor, C3 Building, Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

Store Hours: 7AM-12MN

Number: 02 2469069

This place is where you want to work peacefully. I like the ambiance and the colors of this interior though mostly it’s just brown. They’re not just offering coffee but they also serve meals and wine. I really like their tea and the people here are accommodating and friendly.




Address: 4th floor, SM Megamall Bldg-D Fashion Mall, EDSA cor Julia Vargas Ave., Mandaluyong, 1550 Metro Manila

Store Hours: 10AM-10PM

Number: (02) 9586510

Satchmi is my new favorite store/café. It’s also a store because they don’t just sell coffees but they also sell vinyl records, cd’s and turn tables. It’s almost the same look as Simple Origin but this one is not super sosyal as compared to Simple Origin.




Address: 4th floor, SM Megamall Bldg-D Fashion Hall

Just an ordinary café but these chairs are out of this world. This is the first time I saw chairs like these. It’s really cool and comfy. I like how they mix the color orange with brown and black. Nothing new in the interior but I would still recommend that you go here because of their desserts.




Binondo area 

Café Mary Grace has the same interiors in every branch. It’s always the old-American style that has a little bit of the Spanish-Filipino style. Mary Grace’s interior is full of accessories and the tables have letters of people who visited Mary Grace.



Address: Lucky Chinatown

 Not the ordinary Starbucks here in the Philippines. Not ordinary because I think this is the only Starbucks in the Philippines that has Chinese feels inside. It still has a mix of the usual Starbucks interior which uses brown color and warm lighting




Address: Beach Club, Azure Urban Recidences, Paranaque City

A super cute café inside Paris Hilton’s beach club! I am not really a fan of pink but I don’t know why this shade of pink attracted me. As you can see there’s a pink banquet beside the counter. It looks super comfy but when you sit on it, it’s not that comfy.




ADDRESS: 102 East Capitol Drive, Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig City

Store Hours: 8AM-10PM

(photo from

 Brick and wood is a perfect combination! (for me) An industrial-rustic kind of look is not really bad for a café. Well, most of the café’s are industrial but this one really goes well with the drinks. I could actually work here all-day because of it’s interior.



How to Deal With That Awkward Moment When Your Prospect Client Says “NO”

I’m really thankful for all the done deals, inquiries and feedback we’ve received these past months. Since I started our website using our own domain,  we doubled our search engine optimization and inquiries from Google links and social media accounts. It really helps! But it wasn’t that easy. Since we don’t have Web Developer, I ended up doing our own SEO, links, etc. and I’ve enjoyed it! I always develop our website layout, features and theme almost every month.

In the past 6 months we have received 150-300 views per day on our website and social media accounts and this means more traffic, more inquiries and more prospect clients.

With all the inquiries, quotations, deals and transactions I have encountered, here are some top reasons why I received “NO”:

  1. Your design fee is too high
  2. I don’t like your initial idea/ concept board
  3. We’ve found another designer that we felt we have a “personal connection” with
  4. We’ve decided that we won’t hire a designer at this moment
  5. You can’t tell me your design fee via phone that’s why I won’t hire you

OUCH! That hurts for someone like me who is a go-getter, gives my heart and my very best in everything that I do and who doesn’t believe in NO.

We can’t force something that is not meant to be for us, so I have learned to move on quickly and here are some of my responses to these awkward situations:

  1. Your design fee is too high

My response: I can’t argue enough on what amount is to “too high” for every person. What is “too high” for you might be “too low” for someone else. As for me, we have researched and based our design fee on the published rate of professional interior designers. We also dedicate our time and effort to continuously enhance our design techniques through travelling here and abroad, attending seminars/ trainings and visiting trade expos and latest exhibits. We devote our selves to improve our design skills so that we can be better designers for our current and future clients.

  1. I don’t like your initial idea/ concept board

My response: Usually when a prospect client requests for design fee quotation, I include a concept board (my initial idea for the space) which this is free of charge. As we move forward and agree on the design contract, that’s the time that we dedicate our time and effort in custom interior design based on their personal style. Great things in life are free! right? Do we have to complain? hahaha

  1. We’ve found another designer that we felt we have a “personal connection” with

My response: Ooh.. that “personal connection”.  Well.. me too, I want to hire someone who shares the same values, principle and same work attitude as I do. This is too personal and I don’t want to blame anyone if this is the reason why my prospect says no. I simply reply.. It’s cool, no worries (This means we are not meant to be).

  1. We’ve decided that we won’t hire a designer at this moment

My response: In some cases, people realize that they need to enhance their space and they can’t do it on their own, so they seek for a professional. When the professional provides them proposal/ professional fee they tend to disregard their will to enhance their space because they think it’s too expensive to hire them. BUT in most cases when I asked my clients why they hire me, they said that they have tried doing their own renovation but it didn’t worked and they’ve spent a lot of time and money doing trial and error. Instead of saving money, they regret that they should have sought professional help first to avoid common mistakes and improve their lifestyle within their space.

  1. You can’t tell me your design fee via phone that’s why I won’t hire you

My response: I really can’t discuss and negotiate my professional fee via phone because for me it’s too tacky and informal. I make it a point to put everything in writing and in print so that I can clearly explain the details and scope of work of my design contract. You can’t expect me to dictate my design fee via phone without defending or even backing up data on why I charged that amount.


What I usually do when I received rejection thru emails and feedback?

Just like a normal person (with emotions), I tend to feel sad and disappointed. But I guess I have learned how to move on quickly. The moment I received the bad news, I reflect on the situation and what went wrong. I write down my mistakes and find ways on how to improve my negotiation skills so that next time I can avoid the same mistake. I point out some mistakes and difficulties I have encountered and search for articles and books on how to deal and avoid it. I pray to the Lord for guidance on what to do next, give my very best on the next client and God will do the rest.

How do I deal with this kind of awkward situation?

  1. I divert all my negative energy like frustrations into positive ones like perseverance
  2. I immediately search for answers how can I improve and develop my business skills
  3. I review my business plan, portfolio, website and social media accounts and improve it as best as I can
  4. I stick to our brand features and personality; WORK HARD+STAY HUMBLE
  5. I keep it cool, calm and collected
  6. I seek for mentorship thru Youtube videos featuring my favorite business tycoons
  7. I research on what my company pegs do: Victoria Beckham, ZGallerie, Rachel Zoe, etc.
  8. I re-layout and re-design my website with more informative and valuable content
  9. I pray to the Lord for help, enlightenment and guidance on my decision making


Here’s an online article that helped me cope up with this situation.

6 Surprising negotiation tactics that get you the best deal


  1. Share information
  • Studies have shown that revealing some information, even when it’s unrelated to the negotiation, increases the outcome

2. Rank order your priorities

  • Grant recommends another approach called rank ordering. His research shows that you are able to achieve better outcomes by ranking and leaving all the issues on the table and being transparent about it. That way both parties can compare their rankings and determine what the full set of options really are
  1. Go in knowing your target price and your walkaway terms
  • It’s critical to do the research ahead of time here. You need your research to be based on firm data, as not only will it provide more confidence and power to you, but it also reduces the chance that you’ll throw something crazy out there
  1. Make the first offer
  • Higher prices make the buyer focus on the positives, while lower ones invite focus on the downsides. In other words, we find data that supports this anchor
  1. Don’t counter too low
  • Let the other person know that their offer is way off, and go back in with a new reset. It also may be helpful to call out what you’re observing to redirect the conversation, i.e. you may be trying to test my thinking with that first offer, but here’s more of what I had in mind
  1. Counter offers make both parties more satisfied
  • Every buyer wants to feel that they got a good deal; every seller wants to feel as if they drove a hard bargain. Parties are most satisfied on both fronts if there was some back and forth


Hope you’ll find this helpful 😉