An interior designer and blogger, Gillian expresses her unique style through her fashion choices as well as the spaces she decorates. We talk to her about what inspired her to become a designer, new trends in interior design, and the Jetsons-style homes of the future.
What inspired you to become a designer?
My interest in design started when I was very young. I often stayed at my grandmother’s place, and she used to sew pillow covers and blankets, so whenever I visited her house, it had a different look! She was an amazing seamstress and she made a lot of stuff. So those moments stayed with me, and that sparked my interest in design.
Tell us about your schooling.
I went to USCTC, and it wasn’t what I expected at all. It wasn’t just designing spaces—there was a lot of technical work. For example, we learned what kind of paint is best to use for a certain space, and how many times can you fold the plywood to utilize the size of the wood…things like that. I thought it would be purely designing, picking out colors, choosing sofas and fabric. But I’m glad I learned so much though, it’s been very useful.
Describe your personal design style.
I like playing with space, and leaving broad empty spaces so that you have very light looking interiors. I prioritize my clients though, so I can adjust and adapt to any style.
What’s on trend in interior design now?
Right now I’ve been noticing a lot of irregularly shaped furniture, quirky pieces for a certain market. And I’ve seen a definite Scandinavian preference—retro furniture recreated in a modern way for the mainstream customer. The Scandinavian style means lots of slanted legs, or the space has a neutral look and one vivid pop of color.
What do you hope never comes back in style?
Overly upholstered chairs with frilly lace, or velvet chairs that remind me of coffins—the dark brown textured kind! But I think we should always modernize and develop old styles. Design is evolving every year, artists take inspiration from the past and turn it into something new. I’m sure there will be lace and velvet in the future, but I hope it will have a modern twist.
What will future homes look like?
I think something like the Jetsons! When you have to go into another room, the chair just brings you there. Or if you have a hologram of something—like a virtual table or chair—you can actually use it.
If you could give Filipinos one piece of interior design advice, what would it be?
Everyone’s different. But what I notice in Filipino homes is, they display everything. It’s like a hodge podge of memories. I like spaces, neat and organized, so my advice would be: Declutter! But it really depends on the individual’s style, I think there’s a way to neatly or innovatively display items.