Casual living and global influences are the new normal in today’s décor.
At the recent “Shang by Design,” these trends surfaced in various interpretations, from minimalist to bohemian.
“Shang by Design” is Shangri-La Plaza’s annual showcase for interior décor which features women with fine taste to spruce up the home. This year, it tapped interior designer Rachelle Wenger, Bride and Breakfast founder Janna Simpao, and hostesses Linda Ley and Mia Borromeo to create vignettes using products from the mall’s tenants.
Wenger arranged a living room with a touch of eclecticism.
Her anchor piece was a navy sofa from Bo Concepts. “If you’re starting out, invest in major, quality pieces. A sofa can last at least 10 years. I’ve been married 23 years and our sofa still exists,” she said.
She then chose an area rug with blue patterns that picked up the navy of the sofa. It was balanced by a soft gray upholstered bench.
For a stylish look, the accent chairs in complementary colors of muted mustard and green with black patterns injected life into the monochromatic theme.
At the corner, a vintage wooden armchair and antique twisted candelabra offset the modern lines. The interior designer described the look as modern with a touch of rusticity.
Wenger said these details slowly reveal themselves to the beholder. “Whenever you visit the home, it feels as if there’s something new about it.”
Travel is a great design inspiration. “In my home, I have collectibles that reflect the places that you’ve been to,” she said.
Architecture, interiors and unusual textures such as old walls, rendered distressed by time have also given her ideas.
Wenger said that a neutral-color home becomes more interesting when furniture is arranged in different heights and when elements contrast in surfaces such as old and new, soft and hard, smooth and rough, tall and short.
She also mixed high and low by juxtaposing a shiny side table from Blim’s Furniture with a printed accent chair from Kartell.
Simpao favored a less-is-more look with a young couple in mind. The center table with matte gray resin top, framed by brass, and supported by stylish legs, set the color tone for the space.
The table was sourced from Design Pod, known for its simple and functional lines. It was flanked by cozy tub chairs with textured fabric upholstery from Furniture Republic.
“When you combine curves and angles, the space looks artsy, not stiff,” she said.
The Italian leather sofa was meant to be a place to chill or socialize. “It’s where you can watch Netflix from your laptop and enjoy conversations with friends,” she said.
A tall wooden étagère with gilded brass from Restoration added sparkle in a room, said Simpao.
The matte finish of the dining table matched the gray-topped living-room center table. The leather dining chairs with a wooden frame lent warmth to the resin surface of the dining table.
Marble helped create the sophisticated look when used as the center tray of the table or top of the side table. “It’s a hip material for the young,” she said.
Simpao also mixed masculine touches such as a mini movie camera with feminine elements such as a magazine holder that looked like a large tote bag.
“Small elements add character to a room,” said Simpao.
Ley and Borromeo are famous for entertaining at home. Using pieces from Rustan’s’ Moroccan Festival, they put up a tent that exuded the global vibe.
“The Moroccan theme is so Mia and me,” says Ley. “We both love to host in a kaftan. It’s comfortable yet dressy. A Moroccan setting is so colorful and looks great in photos. That’s important because nowadays, table settings and food have to be Instagrammable,” she said.
Ley visited Morocco last April and was inspired by the flashy details, the bold colors and vibrant mix of patterns, and the fact that Moroccans leave no corner unturned.
In her Moroccan-theme dinners, she uses natural handwoven baskets as containers for hand towels in the powder room.
Curry and beef brisket are served in colorful tagines. Mini repoussé containers contain desserts such as baklava or rock sugar, while condiments are stored in mini tagines. Hammered silver tea sets and colored tea glasses are used after dinner.
Despite the potentially clashing patterns of the plates, serving dishes and tea glasses, Ley said harmony can be created by finding the common colors among the table elements. Ley cited maroon, turquoise, purple and gold as signature colors for a Moroccan-theme event.
“The proof of successful entertaining is when guests take a lot of photos and talk about it after the dinner,” she said.—CONTRIBUTED