Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Real Living Style Talks

A series of panel discussions on design with industry experts was launched last December 12 by Real Living - The country's best-selling home magazine.  This was in partnership with Wilcon Depot and GMA News TV's Home Base.

The Philippines is home to some of the brightest stars in the world of interior design and architecture, all of whom are putting the country on the map in the design industry with their world-class furniture designs, global style, and great architectural structures. Real Living aims to celebrate the nation’s growing status as a design hub by launching its RL Style Talks program, a series of special panel discussions on the state of design in the Philippines.

This was the first of the RL Style Talks series which gathered  three industry experts to discuss Modern Filipino design and examine how the nation’s growing list of renowned architects, interior designers, and furniture makers are helping to revolutionize the Filipino design aesthetic in our present times. The panelists included interior and furniture designer and design educator Wilan Dayrit, designer Grace Moslares, and James Razo.

Wilan graduated cum laude from the College of Architecture and Fine Arts at the University of Sto. Tomas. He worked as a senior interior designer, stylist, and visual merchandiser for the prestigious firm of Budji Layug. Afterwards, he set up his own design practice and currently teaches design at the University of Sto. Tomas.

Grace Moslares  is an interior design alumna from St. Scholastica's College, and worked under various firms before launching her own design company, Magara Interiors, a company that works on residential, commercial, and hospitality interior projects, as well as designs customized pieces for the firm’s clients. Grace is one of Real Living's go-to Real Makeover designers, and has completed almost ten makeovers for the magazine in recent years.

Lastly, James Razo, a graduate of the University of the Philippines, who has worked in a variety of roles in the world of design. Along with serving as an interior design consultant, he worked as a set and production designer and visual merchandiser for brands like L’Oreal Paris, Nivea and Philip Morris, as well as projects manager and design supervisor for Grupo Santamaria. James is currently the managing creative director at the Gold Team Design Hub.

It was an afternoon of interesting know-hows and one that had engaged the listeners to be mindful of their own spaces at home.  Having to grow up with a mix of influences when it comes to design ideas at home, our love for our own Filipino design still prevailed.  However, with the growing influences from the West and even from the East, plus the overwhelming need to go with the trend, it's hard to establish ones own character when decorating or re-inventing their own homes.  Well, that's how I felt.  However, after listening to the three panelists, I've gained a deeper understanding of how to make my home, my own, without being to flashy nor drab nor out of this world, but something that everyone in the family could really live to and would always come home too.

My parents condo unit has just been turned over to us, and you know what's next to happen, we need to decorate it.  I love the thought.  Though I never really thought of having to use a Filipino design, I've always loved "shabby-chic" and country-look.  But according to them, you can still achieve that look and yet help local artists (furniture makers) and still indulge on a design that is distinctly Filipino yet modern at the same time.

“Our RL Style Talks program will celebrate Filipino artistry and design at its best, offering further evidence of the Philippines’ growing influence as a design authority,” says Real Living’s associate publisher Tom CastaƱeda.

“Each panel discussion will bring together the nation’s design pioneers, influencers and trailblazers to highlight their visionary projects, which will undoubtedly help influence the next generation of Filipino design stars.”

Can't wait for the next ones...

“RL Talks is an opportunity for our readers and viewers to get to learn about the secrets of design in an attainable and easy-to-understand way,” says Rachelle Medina, editor-in-chief of Real Living. “It’s a chance to know how our designers think and work,
and also how trends and styles are created."

For more design inspiration, visit Get your daily dose of home and design ideas by visiting the Real Living Facebook page at, and follow Real Living on Twitter @reallivingph, on Instagram @reallivingph and on Pinterest at RealLivingonline.

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