interior design


What is industrial interior design and what paint palette fits this style? Let’s give this some attention because although this style has been around for a decade, it is still very much a trend today, also here in the Philippines. Just go around the restaurants in the city, and you’ll see some of this design’s influences. Check out this article 21 Restaurants Around Manila with Beautiful Interior Designs. 

Some Elements of Industrial Interior Design

Last year, I wrote an article Get That Industrial Look in Your Home. The photo gallery in that article will show you the different elements that make up this style. To summarize:

  • mixture of wood and metal surfaces
  • vintage-inspired furniture
  • exposed pipes and ducts
  • industrial lamps, rust is welcome
  • brick walls
  • neutral tones
  • functional objects used as decor
  • metal suspended lamps with Edison bulbs
  • repurposing of pipes for use in furniture 

The Paint Palette that Fits this Interior Style

Industrial interior design highlights the rawness of the building materials used like bricks, concrete, metal pipes and ducts. They are left uncovered and become design elements. Some would consider this design minimalism. I would agree but only in the sense of using elements at its barest with no adornment, not the fewest or simplest, like in Turn Your Room into a Minimalist Space.

You can combine this style with contemporary, vintage or even classical furniture. Give the look more drama by highlighting the textures of the different materials, like the gleam of metal against the grit of brick, or a soft plush rug on a concrete floor.

A friend of mine who renovated his condo several years ago had a concrete pillar stripped. He loved the rawness of the concrete so much that he left it like that. His collection of high-end furniture and accessories went very well with that rough-looking pillar.

I suggest that if you want this look, tone it down and definitely do not copy what you see in the restaurants. Especially for a new-build where the ceilings are not so high, and the shape is usually like a box, you don’t have the authentic elements like old brick walls or exposed pipes and ducts that are usually highlighted in ceilings of this interior style. Look through magazines, surf the Internet, then build this look slowly. Remember that this is your home and you’d want it to be warm, welcoming, cozy and comfortable. For that, choose accessories with warm hues but be restrained about those pops of color.

Boysen has a range of products called Konstrukt that can achieve this look. More about that in the next days.





The first post we wrote about the work of interior designer Gila Salvador of Madhouse Design Studio, was about a renovation she did of a small space, a 22 sqm condo to fit a family of 5.

This  second one is about another renovation of a 29 sqm condo, again for a family of 5. It is not only space that was the challenge but also the dated look of the condo because it is in a 25-year old building.

Ways to Maximize Small Spaces

What I admire about Gila is that she makes something seemingly impossible possible. You can see from both projects that she really listens very closely to what the homeowners have to say. Here are the main elements that make her projects successful:

  1. She uses both vertical and horizontal spaces in her design.
  2. Clutter makes any space look smaller so she provides as much storage as she can so that the family members have somewhere to put their belongings.
  3. She provides fitted furniture which may be multifunctional, like a bed-cum-couch.
  4. Wall, furniture and upholstery colors are neutrals and blend well together.

Gila is the CEO and Creative Director for Madhouse Design Studio, an interior design, graphic design and construction company based in Metro Manila. If you follow her FB page, you will see that Gila’s unique abilities to cater to this market has been keeping her so busy.

For more tips, read these blog posts about small spaces:
Design Ideas for Small Spaces
Tips on How to Use Paint to Make Your Condo Look Bigger
Small, Space-Saving and Sustainable Structures


Small spaces are not a preferred choice for most people. However, majority buy smaller condo units because rents or costs of properties are more affordable for smaller spaces.  If you’re single or a couple, it’s not such a problem. But if you have children, then the challenge to live in a such a small area is greater.

The Ikea Way

Ikea, this gigantic multinational that designs and sells low-priced, ready-to-assemble home furnishings, is able to show in the video below how you can design a 30 sqm living space to house a family of four.

Here are more designs ideas from Ikea, in the layout of the space as well as the furnishings.

Other Design Ideas for Small Spaces

Small Space_2
Be creative and see how you can use those odd spaces.
Small Space_3
Use walls as additional storage space to hang things, by adding hooks, hangers, small racks, or magnetic strips.
Small Space_4
Storage space is very important so have as much of these as you can possibly squeeze into the available space. Clever storage means a clean, uncluttered home.
Small Space_5
Use furniture that does not have only one purpose, so have a sofa bed, or a table that has wheels so you can move it around where you need it, or use cabinets to also be room partitions.
Small Space_6
Use sliding doors and not those that pull out.
Small Space_7
Make multi-purpose spaces, e.g., let a dining room or a bedroom double as a living room. (Photo by Joseph Albanese on Unsplash)
Small Space_8
Use curtains to divide spaces.
Small Space_9
Use mirrors to create the illusion of space.

There have been a lot of noise in the news about Ikea coming to the Philippines. But if you’re in the middle of decorating your home right now, you don’t have to wait for Ikea. There are home stores that do have furnishings that you can use, like SM Home.

Better yet, if you know of a carpenter who can custom-make furnitures for your space, then that would be the best option.

For more inspiration, read the article Tips on How to Use Paint to Make Your Condo Look Bigger.





The industrial look in interior design, which is beloved by hipsters and mostly found in lofts, has been around for about 10 years, but it is still very popular today. In the Philippines, where we don’t have huge industrial buildings like factories that are converted into homes, there is still the possibility to get that industrial look. I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of cafes and restaurants in the city sporting this look.

industrial look_2
Photos by Stephen Di Donato, Lisheng Chang, Alisa Anton, freddie marriage, & Mitch Moondae – on Unsplash

The Elements of the Industrial Look

Check out the gallery below.

"Metal" door
"Metal" door
« 1 of 10 »


Tip: Just make sure that you have softer textures and other finishes and not just the rough, raw materials found in factories. After all, it is your home, and that should feel warm, cozy and comfortable.















Kuysen, an exclusive importer and distributor of over 70 industrial and architectural brands, got Boysen to supply the paints to create the perfect space for the Duravit LUV Bathroom Series.

“When I was drawing up my design for Duravit, the image in my mind’s eye from the very start was a bowl filled with water on a simple table,” said the Danish designer Cecilie Manz.

From a “bowl filled with water on a simple table” to this!

Luv oval above-counter basin on a console in White Structure (made of Quartz), furniture in Stone grey
Luv above counter basin with Luv furniture:
Console plate in White Structure (made of Quartz), furniture in Light Blue.

This blog is full of Scandi-style interiors, the darling of today’s interior designers and stylists, and the Luv Bathroom Series is another example of that clean, minimal look.

“Luv’s unusual design combines Nordic purism and timeless elegance. Gentle forms follow a sharp geometry. The selection of materials and colors is testament to Cecilie Manz’s refined sense for nuanced form. Her color palate of matt lacquers and glazes in soft shades was developed exclusively for Duravit and emphasizes the fresh character of Luv.”

One of many life’s joys is bathing. Whether it’s getting ready to face a new day, or washing off the dust and grime of the day before going to bed, wouldn’t it be such a pleasure to have this kind of bathroom to do your cleansing rituals? I mean, what’s not to love about this Duravit LUV Bathroom Series? See those gorgeous lines and curves, not to mention those elegant and understated colors.

The colors: The washbasins come in satin matte White, Grey or Sand, and the console tables in white, Nordic white, taupe, stone grey, light blue and night blue.

Luv oval above-counter basin made from DuraCeram® with incorporated tap hole platform
Luv guest bathroom, Console plate in White Structure (Quartz), furniture in Night Blue
The Luv oval above-counter basins made from DuraCeram® impress with their subtle lines, generous inner basins, and clean edges.

Boysen’s Virtuoso™ Silk Touch™ is the ideal paint to use if you want that upscale look. It is the only paint that combines the advantages of flat and gloss paints with its low sheen finish and easy clean feature, made possible by the incorporation of the Teflon® surface protector, an innovation of DuPont®.

Need more tips on how to make your own beautiful bathroom? Read From Budget Bathroom to Bonggang Banyo.





The young designer and entrepreneur Gila Salvador transformed a 22-sqm condo to fit a family of 5.

For this turnkey project, the team did concept, construction, furniture and accessories, and finished the project in 45 days.

Gila said, “We always use Boysen paints in our projects. Also, stay tuned for our upcoming project wherein we used Boysen paints as well.”

This video has become viral with nearly 3.5 M views. Because of the exposure, the company announced a couple of months ago that they were fully booked for July and August. According to a post in their facebook page, “Due to the overwhelming amount of inquiries and oculars conducted in the past 2 weeks. We are now officially fully booked for July-August projects. We can only take in a maximum of 12 construction projects every 30-45 days. But rest assured we are expanding our team to cater to more clients.”

Gila is the CEO and Creative Director for Madhouse Design Studio, an interior design, graphic design and construction company based in Metro Manila.

For the outdoorsy type who wants to bring the blues of Boracay and Bohol into your kitchen, here’s a brightly intense blue from the Boysen Color Trend 2017 called Rebel Yell.

This is a kitchen for those people who may love food but do not want to spend too much time indoors to prepare it themselves. Give them a great coffeemaker and a small fridge, a few dishes, and that would be enough. They have better things to do, adventures to take, new worlds to conquer.

This kitchen vignette is one of five under the concept Complete Your Home, an inspired idea from Tom Castaneda, AVP Marketing of SM Home.

Steal some ideas for your own kitchen and visit this exhibit in the bridgeway at the 5th floor of SM Makati on or before August 31.

How do you style a bedroom and home office? This article was contributed by Jules Cruz. Her original post can be found here.

Can you possibly furnish a home with all things SM Home? You sure can. And that was the challenge given to me by SM Home’s AVP for Marketing Tom Castaneda. He called me one morning for a quick brief. Before I knew it, I was inside SM Makati’s 5th floor at five in the morning. It was exhilarating! We only had a few hours to choose, pull, and decorate each space before the mall opened. I felt like I was in a reality TV show.

SM Home’s Complete Your Home campaign has been running since June. We actually worked with existing frames/spaces originally designed by interior designers. So it was such a tall order because we’re not licensed interior designers! ???? This just goes to show that even normal people (like you and me) can actually make beautiful spaces and source all items under one roof. All you need is to get creative and have fun in the process.

THE BRIEF: We are furnishing spaces for a young newly-married couple. The husband is in finance and the wife is in marketing. ????

BEHIND-THE-SCENES: These are the frames we worked with. Notice Boysen’s special walls and paint colors! That’s Lory and I with her daughter Irvette. Lory is actually our helper who also loves handling styling projects with me. This is also her side gig! ????

The Bedroom

For this vignette, I chose to highlight Boysen’s interesting ombre wall paint against a light beige upholstered bed frame and matching nightstands. A pair of black modern droplights was added for form and function, and help keep both side tables spacious for the couple’s personal things. A light wood toned 5-drawer cabinet is also on display for added storage.

Muted colors and different textures were used that go well with choice accessories such as graphic throw pillows, a chunky blanket, area rugs with geometric print, a nice stool, and some table knick-knacks. It’s possible to create a relaxing and airy ambience in a master bedroom while injecting some character into the space. The result is a fresh, modern, minimalist vibe perfect for a young couple. You can find all of these right here in SM Home.

The Home Office

I styled a space for the couple to catch up on their reading, work on their finances, or simply talk about their day. With Boysen’s cheery combination of Techy Romantic, Space Encounter, and Shimmer Shake, this home office beams with energy and optimism through clever use of colors using a dynamic geometric pattern. These lines continue with the use of a cage light and an accent area rug.

The room is kept functional with spacious ladder-type bookshelves and an ample-sized work desk. The sofa bed is a comfy reading nook that doubles as extra sleeping space for their guests. A floor lamp adds useful lighting for the desk, while carefully selected accessories infuse warmth and character into the space. With the couple’s hectic professions and fast-paced lifestyles, I envisioned a vibrant yet peaceful home office that doesn’t feel like work.

Do visit SM Makati’s 5th floor for our latest display! ???? It’s there for the whole month of August.






Someone who identifies herself as part of the Millenial Generation or Gen Y once asked me how I handle my family’s finances, including strategies on saving and/or investing.

I look back fondly at a time when I had just started working for a few years, and being in that life pace where I had ‘landed myself a decent enough job, but not yet quite making it.’  I suppose the question comes with a mix of the desire to move things forward in her life economically but at the same time feeling not quite confident to stick her fingers into something that requires long-term financial commitment.

Because it has worked for me, I was quick to share this advice: Go into condo leasing.

It may be daunting for a millennial who’s just starting a career to even conceive of regularly deducting a significant amount from a seemingly meager salary to be able to pay off the monthly amortization of a condo, but believe me when I say it IS doable.

How? Where do I get the extra cash? I hardly earn enough for my own upkeep.

Check your daily practices. See that expensive coffee frappe you just bought? What about that designer bag you purchased last week? And let’s not forget your newly upgraded mobile phone.  Shall I go on?

Needless to say, these little things lumped together, if you make a conscious effort to save, will eventually yield a bigger nest egg, which will then mean stronger purchasing power to allow for bigger, more significant purchases…like a condo unit. Now is as good a time as any to seriously look into condo investing.

The past decade has shown us significant changes in family living and mobility.  Whereas before families choose their ideal home, and expect to live there until they retire, the family behavioral landscape now is much more mobile, more active, and increasingly dynamic. More and more families are choosing to live in condos instead of houses. We can blame the worsening traffic and numerous condo projects sprouting all over the metro for that.

This observed growing mobility provided the push for our own family to go into condo leasing. What was once a family get-away place or hang-out turned out to be a great source of passive income.

Having said that, as in any business, there were hits and misses in the process, but I’m happy to note that there were a lot more hits. I’m sharing these tips based on lessons I’ve learned from condo leasing.

1.  Be smart about choosing you condo’s location.

This cannot be emphasized enough. If you have to ensure making the right decision about just one thing, let it be the wise choice of location. More often, the area where your condo is located becomes a bigger factor in the decision making process of a would-be renter, than the condo unit itself. Choose an area where businesses thrive, ones which are near schools, and has close proximity to malls, groceries, hospitals, and churches. It goes without saying that you’ll also need to check on the building history of the condo corporate developer.

2.  Size matters.

Getting a family-size unit of 2 to 3 bedrooms with 2 toilets and bath may be a bigger cash-out investment, but this proved to be a more attractive rental offering than a studio dwelling. One, because there is an abundance of studio-size units, which means more competition in rentals. Two, because a head of the family will likely allot a higher budget to spend for rent for the comfort of his family, than, say a couple or a single tenant who would be willing to scrimp on rent since they’re on solo flight anyway, and would have less need for extra amenities.

3.  Colors can increase or decrease your unit’s rental potential.

My interior designer and I had a long discussion on the merits and demerits of using either a neutral or bold color. I had always favored whites or neutrals since I like my place bright and cheery, but she argued that a low-key, subdued shade or a vivid flash of color gives a place the added oomph, which makes it more cozy. We eventually struck a compromise of painting the unit a mix of whites, and a subdued gray, and injected colors through easy-to-replace accents like throw pillows and bed sheets.

4.  Interior design is key.

To renovate or not? This is a question you need to weigh carefully. Renovations and a great interior design work can push up your leasing potential significantly but a major rework may also put a hole in your pocket, and make it more challenging to get back your investment through rental fees. My own experience on this was good, in that, after renovating a plain-looking 3 BR unit, I was able to lease out the same unit for thrice as much as its previous rental fee.

Another good thing that comes out of having this passive income through rentals – now you can eye another condo investment using the extra income from your initial condo rental to finance monthly payments.

No worries, that designer bag can always wait.


Kitchens are wonderful, magical places where homemade goodies are created, so what better color to paint it with than Glow with the Flow, a cheerful, sunshine yellow that welcomes the day and brightens the night. Glow with the Flow is one of the colors of the Technology Palette of Boysen Color Trend 2017.

The kitchen vignette was designed by multi-awarded Chef Miko Aspiras, in partnership with interior designer Dagny Madamba who works for Real Living. Because a kitchen is arguably the most functional part of a home, the design philosophy was that form should follow function. Food is a kitchen’s raison dêtre, so the layout as well as the furnishings and appliances were chosen to make sure that creating a meal and tidying up could be done easily and efficiently.

The kitchen is one of the five vignettes of Color Your Home, a brainchild of SM Home’s AVP in Marketing Tom Castaneda. It is open for viewing at the bridgeway in the fifth floor of SM Makati until July 31.

Other vignettes:
Glow with the Flow in Your Gorgeous Living Room
Tinderbox Dining Room for Warm and Intimate Feasts
Your Comfy Bedroom Space Encounter
Techy Romantic Meets Space Encounter in Your Home Office