Curious Setting

Have you ever wondered where Celine Lopez draws her decorating ideas from?

Celine Lopez
Celine Lopez
Celine Lopez

Where Lesley Mobo sleeps?

Lesley Mobo
lesley mobo
Lesley Mobo

Or how Hindy Tantoco lives?

Hindy Tantoco
Hindy Tantoco
Hindy Tantoco
Hindy Tantoco

Curious Setting—a fairly new blog by lifestyle editors Bea Ledesma and Ria Prieto—lets you inside other people’s private spaces.
“We didn’t want to approach this like a regular magazine, where everything is styled and fixed, unlike in real life,” says Ria.
“We’re interested in the way people inhabit the space, the mess and the junk, and the offbeat knickknacks,” adds Bea. “After all, that’s what makes a place yours—not some cookie-cutter layout copied off a design book.”

Bea Ledesma and Ria Prieto
Bea Ledesma (L) and Ria Prieto

The site goes as far as London, covering the pristine townhouse of London-based designer Lesley Mobo, to nearby Guadalupe to the studio of 13luckymonkey, the label famed for their handcrafted, handcarved skull rings.
Other homes include the eco-friendly demesne of Hindy Weber-Tantoco who built her Laguna home from old container vans.
“We’re featuring a lot of people in fashion because that’s the world we know,” Ria explains. “But not to worry,” Bea adds, “we’re broadening our horizons.”
Ria and Bea are also known for their jewelry line NARRA.


Dimensione finds a new home

For me, a trip to Bonifacio High Street is never complete without dropping by Muji and Dimensione, which used to be just a short walk from each other.
Dimensione’s flagship store is no longer where it used to be. Now I need a car to go to its new location at One Parkade on 28th Avenue.


I dropped by recently to buy a funny stool I had seen at the I.T store in Hong Kong.


I know right. *Hatchoo!!* I couldn’t help it. This goes to the studio apartment I’m furnishing this week.
I love checking out what’s new at Dimensione. The new store has a new range of scented candles by Ines de la Fressange


The skitsch trompe l’oeil cupboards in the background


I love how this “bookshelf” cupboard


opens up to six interior shelves


These lounging armchair would be great for reading or watching a movie at home


The portable side table with removable tray comes in two colors


A selection of Oggimai clocks


The powder-coated iron bookcase or room divider


A selection of colorful Magis indoor/outdoor furniture


and most of the other things you love are at Dimensione, One Parkade, 28th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City.

Queen of Versailles

Apple TV is one of the best gadgets I’ve bought this year. It’s a small gadget you plug into your TV.
With an iTunes account (hopefully you have one with a US address) you can pick out any movie from its vast menu and rent it for 3.99 or buy it for around $9.99 more or less.

Apple TV 2.0 - Unboxing

This afternoon Jeroen and I had one of our movie dates in bed. For $3.99 or about Php 163, two of us got to watch a movie we chose at the time we wanted without having to get dressed, join the traffic and drive to a mall, spend for gas and junk food, or leave our kids at home.
Today we watched a movie we’d never heard about. We chose it on a whim and became engrossed. But after the movie I felt a certain sadness and fear.

Queen of Versailles

Many of us are fascinated by how rich people live, especially those who spend money like there’s no tomorrow.
But what if these rich people were high-living beyond their means, spending money borrowed from the bank or some other means, and what if one day that money goes away?

David and Jackie Siegel

Queen of Versailles follows the true story of David Siegel and his wife Jackie, who made lots of money selling time-share vacations all over America. At one point Siegel was worth 1.8 billion dollars.
They live with eight children, lots of pets, and Filipino nannies among their household staff.

Queen of Versailles
Queen of Versailles
Queen of Versailles

They ride private planes, hobnob with the likes of Donatella Versace and Donald Trump, and were in the process of building the biggest house in America when the economic crisis hit them badly in 2008.
Hotels and resorts were sold, thousands of employees were laid off, and their life changed drastically.
When forced to take a commercial flight for the first time, their kids wondered what were all these people doing in their plane?
With household staff let go, they are left with a messy house, dead pets and a severely depressed man of the house.
In spite of all that, the Queen of Versailles lives in denial and cannot stop buying things they don’t need.
They realize their kids may have to go to college and make their own money (something they hadn’t planned for) and probably apply for a college loan.

Watching this will make you feel one of two things: one is relief that we are better off with less, by living simpler and within one’s means, without any debt.
The other one is fear that you can lose everything you’ve ever worked for without warning. Where will that lead you and what would you do?

To know more, go to

Is Manila ready for Philippe Starck?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve changed careers—I’ve been a fashion designer, journalist, shopkeeper, blogger, mom. In between all of that I wished I had studied bag making instead of fashion design. Now that I’m older, I wish I had taken up interior design instead.
If I were 25 again, a dream job would be to work at yoo—the innovative design, branding and marketing company founded by Philippe Starck and international property entrepreneur John Hitchcox in 1999.

John Hitchcox and Philippe Starck at JIA Hong Kong
John Hitchcox and Philippe Starck at JIA Hotel, Hong Kong

Since the early ’90s I’ve been fan of Philippe Starck, having enjoyed once upon a time, New York’s Paramount Hotel

Paramount Hotel New York

The old Royalton Hotel

Royalton Hotel 1988

and the former JIA Hong Kong

JIA penthouse living room

You can imagine my excitement when I found out yoo was finally doing a project in Manila, care of Century Properties.
Yesterday I was in a media event with John Hitchcox and his yoo team at the Acqua Private Residences site in Mandaluyong.
With Hitchcox were yoo head of design Mark Davison, yoo designer Anastasia Kessaris, and yoo marketing director Michelle Van Vuuren.


It would’ve been too much for me if Philippe Starck himself were there.
yoo‘s individual designers also include Marcel Wanders, Jade Jagger, Anouska Hempel and Kelly Hoppen. Together they help developer clients, such as Century Properties, compete in the residential and hotel marketplace, by providing the very best in design, branding and marketing.

yoo‘s experience spans 33 different projects in 27 countries, throughout Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, North and South America, and the Middle East.
Some of their famous projects include: J Plus Hotel in Hong Kong (formerly JIA)

J Plus Hotel Hong Kong

Mama Shelter, Paris

Mama Shelter, Paris

yoo Pune, India


Dwell95, New York (residence of Gossip boy Chace Crawford :) )

Dwell 95

and yoo Adelgade, Copenhagen


So Manila, are you ready for this?

Yesterday, Century Properties Group and yoo formally unveiled its much-awaited residential development called Acqua Iguazu.
The 1.3-billion peso development will be first residential tower in the Philippines to be interior-designed by the UK-based yoo inspired by Starck.
Location will be the fifth building to rise within Century Properties’ 2.4-hectare Acqua Private Residences project in Mandaluyong City.

Acqua Private Residences (Acqua Iguazu Tower is leftmost) (1
Acqua Iguazu Tower is at rightmost of Acqua Private Residences

Acqua Iguazu will rise to more than 50 storeys, with approximately 400 units.
On top of the building will be a distinctive crown called Cielo, a multi-level amenity deck full of yoo inspired by Starck design.

Cielo_night shot

Cielo will have a gushing waterfall and swimming pool


a Wonder bar, DJ booth, dance floor, plus indoor and outdoor library

Wonder bar and Library

Movie room

The Movie Room at Cielo

Function room, and dining area.


Plus, this could be the coolest lobby in Metro Manila.


For the Acqua Iguazu units, three interior design inspirations will serve as reference motifs for unit owners who wish to decorate in true yoo inspired by Starck style:

Minimal_Interior Design Inspiration

Nature_Interior Design Inspiration

Culture_Interior Design Inspiration

I was able to view the Acqua Iguazu showroom in Mandaluyong and see them in person, starting with the 1 Bedroom (36.18 to 38.70 sqm) with balcony, decorated in Minimal theme. The bed looks delicious.

Minimal design inspiration

You can see the trademark Philippe Starck-framed flatscreen TVs against the sheer white drapes

Minimal design inspiration

Bathroom is very spare, with Starck fixtures

Minimal bathroom
Minimal bathroom

Next was the 2 Bedroom (79.40 sqm) with balcony, decorated in Nature motif

Nature design inspiration

The framed flatscreen TV

Nature design inspiration

Living room

Nature design inspiration

and little bathroom

Philippe Starck bathroom

Here’s another 2 Bedroom rendered in Culture motif (79.40 sqm with balcony):
This was my favorite theme with the strongest Starck features (well maybe not that eagle chair)

Culture Interior Design Inspiration

Love the carpet

Culture Interior Design Inspiration

The canopy bed

Culture bedroom

and the burlesque dancer on top

Culture design inspiration

This beautiful wallpaper :)

Culture Interior Design Inspiration

and the moody, Starck bathroom

Philippe Starck bathrooms

You can see for yourself at the Acqua Iguazu showroom in Mandaluyong.
For viewing hours and location, call (632) 818.9041 or (0917) 5555.274.
To know more, go to

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...