By Joseph Tan
To help the homeowner better understand how trained interior designers work, RADAC is scouring the industry to look at how different designers handle design request. This week we spoke to Bonaventure (86) Pte Ltd and met their interior designer, Robinson Villamayor who graduated from the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines. He has been working in Singapore for the past two and a half years.
As an interior designer, Rob believes that not only must the space he designs be visually appealing, his creations should also invoke a sense of completeness; something he believes can be accomplished as long as he endeavours to meet the practical objectives of everyday living in his designs.
"After all, we are talking about space that people use and sometimes abuse on a regular basis," Rob said with a twinkle in his smile. "What is the point of having a beautiful space if the things you put into the space interfere with your daily activities?"
To illustrate the point, Rob further demonstrates.
"Let's just say for example, you buy this incredibly beautiful, equally expensive coffee table and place it in your living room," he said. "You look at the finishing and decided it was worth every penny. So far, so good right?"
"Then your friends come over and someone places a cold drink on it," Rob went on. "Without a coaster," he smiled. "As the condensation trickles onto the highly polished wood, you feel a corresponding increase in the pain that started to throb at your temple the very second the cold glass was placed on the table." Ron chuckled.
"Now imagine your friend placing his feet, dirty shoes and all, onto your very precious and very expensive coffee table," Ron continued.
"The point of all this, is that even design must be subjected to context before it can become relevant," Rob explained. "Nothing is absolutely beautiful or undoubtedly ugly when it comes to creating designs. Depending on taste, lifestyle, materials available and the skillset of the designer, solutions can vary and we are not even looking at the space we are working with yet.”
“However,” Rob insisted. “The constant amongst all these variables remains that interior designing is really a solution surrounding a living space and should be treated as such.
Echoing the sentiments of his peers, Rob also believes that very often, space designers would jump too quickly into dealing with how a place will look like versus how it would be used. This, it seems, is an industry-wide practice evolved in markets where consumers expect to be visually dazzled when talking to interior designers.
“That’s why I usually interview my clients to find out as much as I can about their way of life,” Rob continued. “After that, I will take some time when I am alone in my studio to think about how the different people living in that space will use it in their daily lives before drafting my proposal.”
The advantage of splitting the design tasks into two, Rob further explained, would allow him to be able to still look at the practical side of designing without boring his clients with details of practicality.
“This way, I can present my findings to the client when we meet and quickly go through all the practical stuff before engaging them with visual designs,” Rob added. “It’s the best of both worlds.”
Currently, Rob works for Bonaventure (86) Pte Ltd, an interior design firm established in 1986. The company boasts a well-seasoned work belt that offers planning, designing, general works, carpentry and the building of customised furniture – just about everything you need from a one-stop interior renovation service.