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Date: March 2014 issue
Article by Leo Balante
Ten years from now, Christine Manalo-Villamora would be part of a team working on a design proposition for the Malacanang Palace. She calls it a dream project—one with a clear career projection that includes setting up a product line of furniture pieces, and home fragrances. But while that remains her dream project, she is focusing on cementing her way to be a respected designer building a brand of minimalist sleek interiors for her growing clientele.
“Interior design is all about translating the lifestyle needs of your clients into functional, aesthetically pleasing and organized living,” the young interior designer answers when asked about her design philosophy. The BS Interior Design graduate from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines calls the art of interior design as an “opportunity to enrich the quality of life that each client deserves”– one that always puts premium on the client’s needs.
It was her signature design process that led her to come up with functional yet edgy designs fro recent projects such as the Azure Residences and dessert cafe The Cake Box. Through design and construction fim COVA, she developed a design scheme for the residential and hotel facility Thunderbird Resorts. “When it comes to design, I really don’t have a standard style. As much as possible I want to create different designs that fit my client’s lifestyle and personality. The perfect design is always one that is personalized and engineered to fit what the client needs and wants.”
A fashion and arts enthusiast, Villamora shares her thrust in the design world as an organic development. “People think it’s actually funny when I tell them all about it, but for me it’s the natural and logical progression. In high school, I would always get good grades in trade drawing—one where we would be given a certain object and be tasked to translate them into drawings just like drafting.” she says.
Getting into interior design school made her knack for translating designs on paper get more footing with deeper understanding of the craft like space planning, sketching, and design innovation. “When I got in design school, I did find myself enjoying all activities, even the sleepless nights we’ve dealt with. I realized it’s a passion and I just had to live it.
With six years of professional experience tucked nicely under her belt, Villamora can safely say that connecting with her client’s ideas and melding her exposure with trends and new schools of design along with her stamp makes every encounter meaningful—a feat that has grown to become more rewarding through the years.
While research is imperative in arriving at a design proposal, the young designer expresses how inspiration plays a big role in constantly delivering what each client is asking for. “Essentially, you need to keep your ideas fresh to excite your client and keep their options open if they wish to be guided by what you know,” she opines, adding, “in my case, I travel a lot and go around new stores and establishments for inspiration.”
Aside from British neoclassical architect and designer Robert Adam and American architect and furniture designer Eero Saarinen, Villamora gets inspiration from artists Coco Chanel, Monique Lhuiller, and Jonathan Adler—all experts in their selected fields. Inspiration from her design heroes and unfailing interest to consistently be in the know has kept her driven to pursue excellence in the field of interior design.
“In this field, the hardest part really is developing a competent portfolio. That significantly drives your career to where you want it to be. You have to grow into the artist you know you can be. Your weaknesses can be developed into good. Your strengths could bring you closer to your goals. Once you set this all up then you’re good to go.”
Interview on SAKSI GMA 7
Date: November 23, 2011
Topic: Christmas Decor trends for the year 2011
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