This Makati apartment can easily be featured in a magazine, but the owners prefer to be low-key. I am ever grateful therefore when these friends allow me to photograph their homes for my personal use (and blog). Pictures allow me to see what things I didn't notice in person, and pinpoint what gives the space a total ooh-able reaction.
One thing I did noticed as a whole was that the space was filled with beautiful iconic furniture pieces.
The main piece in the living room is a Vladimir Kagan-design serpentine sofa. Kagan started a trend in the 50's when he designed free-flowing sofas as they could now float in the middle of a room. With straight backs, sofas were usually set against a wall.
The clever use of mirrors to clad a whole wall makes the apartment look bigger than it really is. This treatment looks divine because the mirrors sit above a glowing onyx counter.
Contrasting nicely with the iconic Barcelona leather day bed is the similarly iconic Tessa in a fluffy tulle confection in baby blue. lol. ( I should ask her who designed her dress--and let's not forget that headpiece!). No need to be low-key with Tessa...
The Barcelona chair is designed by Bauhaus master Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Look here at other ways it is used.
The Tolomeo Floor Lamp by Artemide can swing from the chaise to the sofa. It contrasts beautifully with the traditional chandelier hanging in the dining area.
One of the stars of the apartment is of course this Le Corbusier LC4 Chaise Longue, which sits in the center of the apartment.
It's definitely a stand-out in brown pony.
In the dining room below...
Eight Philippe Stark ghost chairs surround a Platner-inspired glass table, keeping the space light and airy. The addition of cushion pads in neutral upholstery prevent the chairs from totally disappearing.
However, they are invisible enough to provide a perfect foreground for the modernly elegant tiger-wood-clad bar and sideboard behind.
The small details are well thought out. This tassel brings together the colors of the apartment, even incorporating an acrylic element representing the ghost chairs.
Rustic details provide a homey contrast. The black acrylic Louis chair is probably used as the host's chair at dinner parties.
If one side of the apartment reflects and glows, the walls of the opposite side are upholstered in a velvety matte fabric. The design elements of texture and contrast are at work and harmonize beautifully in this space.
In keeping with the theme of the unit, the owners chose to hang advertisement posters, also iconic, instead of art pieces from their vast collection of original art. This Taittinger poster is an ad the champagne company used in 1988-1990.
And this one in the foyer is an original event poster from 1995. By the way, here is another study in contrasts: a Barcelona ottoman under an antique console. My photo is too dark but there is a lovely antique door resting behind the console.
The owners already had a lot of the iconic pieces, so it was a matter of showcasing them properly. You can see how the furniture inspired the look of the unit. The design theme is decidedly mid-century modern with a few "monkey wrenches" thrown in such as the chandelier, architectural salvage and provencal-type basket.
I'm always excited to see how my friend puts together her spaces because it is always a reflection of their cultivated and discerning taste.
Mixing it up: antique impressionist nude beside a glass table lamp and an 80's phone (lol).
I love modern design when it is expertly incorporated into a space providing warmth and coziness, words that are not usually associated with the idea of "modern". Then again, this apartment is a study in contrasts so a mixture of contradictory terms to describe it is just as appropriate.
PS. Read more about iconic designs in this blog post.