Designer Wilmer Lopez is partial to mid-century modern juxtaposed ‘with industrial design, and uses this movement as an inspiration when creating his own furniture pieces. MID-CENTURY MODERN DESIGN is a style from the mid-20th century. The pieces from this design movement are streamlined, the simplicity of which often makes the sleek, sculptural elements more eye-catching. The pioneering designers of this movement were either American or Scandinavian, which is why this design goes so well with Scandinavian pieces. Teak and fiberglass complement the many interesting colors and textures of pieces in this style, as seen in the Tulip chair by Eero Saarinen, the Egg chair by Arne Jacobsen, and the Eames Lounge Chair by Charles and Ray Eames. And though made famous in the 1930s up to the 1960s, mid-century modern’s clean lines prove to be a timeless choice for today s interiors.
While the condo unit is situated in a highly urbanized area, the feel of the city is softened because of the presence of pale wood and nostalgic vintage accessories.
As you settle into the living area, you see a slatted wooden divider by the wall which diffuses the glaring sight of the air-con without hampering the airflow. This divider slides on an industrial-type metal track that allows the homeowner to move the divider along the wall and highlight an area that she pleases.
It’s easy to imagine that you’ve been teleported to a weekend cabin the moment you step inside this young homeowner’s two-bedroom condo unit, which is located within a bustling Central Business District, and not in some hilltop retreat. The floor area may be 84sqm, but there is no shortage of accents in the space. Every corner is cool to the eye, given the indirect, ambient lighting and pale, neutral colors innate to 1950s Scandinavian design. Touches of minimal color and bold, mid-century-modern furniture break up the spare, industrial-style feel of this halfway home.
For starters, there is the pinewood-clad entrance hallway —a comforting, warm touch that stands in contrast to the polished cement walls in the other areas. This opens to the shared living-and-dining area, with its convertible pinewood table that multitasks as a prep table, entertaining spot, and space for the homeowner’s photos. This dining area abutts a narrow shelf that runs the length of the room. The shelf serves as a display space and storage area, and doubles as a decorative accent that warms up the concrete wall. Meanwhile, the main living area is crowned with a pinewood beam, and is arranged in a conversational setup of sofa, armchair, and daybed peppered with whimsical pieces. The very private young homeowner is a cultured and well-traveled lady who indulges in many passions, including biking, diving, cooking, and a bit of small-space gardening. She even dabbles in photography when she’s not busy running the family business. You may think her personal space would reveal all her interests and accomplishments, but her modest personality is reflected in the almost bare-bones, simple treatment of her unit.
Since her family home is located far north of the Metro, and her weekend activities usually involve nature-driven adventures down south, she decided to purchase this Bonifacio Global City condominium unit as a halfway point. She then called on interior designer Wilmer Lopez, director of W. Lopez Designs, to convert the unit into a soothing, weekend space.
«She’s very humble and simple,» says Wilmer about his client. From the beginning of the project, Wilmer felt that this attitude should definitely emerge in the design. While the homeowner could showcase all her travel memorabilia, or fill the space with ostentatious decorations, the designer says his client considers simplicity and functionality as top priority. After all, this is her weekend home.
«Nag-adjust ako sa kanya, in a way na educate ako because she had pieces that I’ve not yet encountered—like a 1950s lamp, a White Westinghouse fan, and a set design spotlight,» says Wilmer, adding that he did not bring in a lot of new things, except customized furniture, because his client had already collected very tasteful pieces which he enjoyed putting together. After all, the pieces’ mid-century modem feel matched his design aesthetic perfectly.
Another direct match to the homeowner’s relaxed personality is the use of refined Scandinavian touches. These are introduced in a subtle way, by means of Scandinavian-inspired furniture, mostly done in pale wood (another Scandi touch). The raw cement walls, pinewood, and industrial details are highlighted with indirect, ambient lighting—in some areas, very bright, and in other spots, diffused and moody—an almost «Nordic» type of lighting, an allusion to that region’s ever-changing clime.
Space-enhancing treatments were not overlooked, as seen in the free-flowing plan, and the open ceiling (no typical dropped ceilings here) that exposes the industrial wires and ducting but creates an airier, more spacious feel. It is admittedly one of the designer’s favorite design tricks. In his words, «The raw cement wall, open ceiling, and use of pinewood which make the space natural, open, and with a getaway feel in an urban setting.»
Wilmer says the reason why he had a relatively easy working relationship with this homeowner was because she knew exactly what she wanted. «Her suggestions and the pieces she brings are consistent to her style and personality,» Wilmer says of his carefree, dynamic, but reserved client. In fact, these very adjectives aptly describe her home.
3 STEPS TO SCANDINAVIAN DESIGN
The Scandi interiors we see today may seem cold or ultra-modern, but Scandinavian style is actually rooted in something more organic and natural.
1, SIMPLICITY. Scandinavian designers always try to capture the spirit of an object, rather than the passing fashion of its design. This is why they create refined, simple, but timeless pieces that can be used for decades, as against stunning pieces to showcase.
2.FUNCTIONALITY Scandinavian designs may be beautiful, but they are not fragile. Every piece’s line and curve has aesthetic value as well as a specific function. Scandinavian interiors also display a clear harmony between indoors and outdoors, as seen in their choice of materials, colors, and forms.
3. THE NATURAL WORLD. There is a deep reverence for nature in Scandinavian design, with inspiration coming from the sky. light, trees, and bodies of water. Hence, there is a high contrast in colors—a white backdrop and then very bright accent colors easily seen in the low Nordic winter light. There is also a high preference for organic shapes—for instance, was inspired by the shape of a river near his home.