1 | What made you transition from your previous job into full-time interior designer?
I worked in a local TV network for the production team. So I do production work mostly. I started as a production assistant, then eventually transferred to another network where the beat is lifestyle. So from there, I transitioned to interior design. I really gave up my work in production, studied again, took the boards, and then here I am practicing.
2 | If you weren’t an interior designer, what would you be?
This is my second job already, so this is what I have imagined for, before when I wasn’t happy with my job. So, if not ID pa, it’d be something creative pa rin. Maybe like a set designer, an art curator, or maybe even a florist! Also, lighting designer. If I’m going to study again, after this, hindi ako mag-MA (master of arts). Pero I’m looking into lighting design, parang specialty.
3 | What would you recommend to people who are just starting out, especially the young designers who just passed the boards?
Just have confidence, first, because no one will believe in you at the beginning. You need to research on the field you want to be in as well. After the research and all, and you’re confident enough, just do your thing. Do your thing, and don’t be afraid to express what your design style is or what your design preferences are. Basically, panindigan mo ‘yong aesthetic mo. And you start from that. You’d get recognized for that first. Mentorship is another option. Start from there, being an apprentice and all, and then learn everything. Then from there, practice on your own.
4 | Where do you get your design inspiration from?
I just go back to wabi-sabi aesthetic pa rin—forever. You know, not everything is perfect. So maybe, I find it in designers who are like that.
5 | What design style do you resonate to?
Ang dami kasi eh. Depende sa araw. Sometimes gusto ko steampunk, kapag nakapanood ako ng animé na steampunk. Ako kasi gusto ko mag-explore. I can take anything for inspiration, like comic books. Minsan Instagram artists, you can get inspired by these. Animé, books, and even series you watch on Netflix can inspire you.
6 | What’s the most important piece of furniture in any house?
For me it’s really the bed. You go to your house after all the work you needed to do for the day or night… ‘yon talaga ‘yong place for comfort. You don’t build a house or a home for work; you build a house for you to relax, for you to have your own sanctuary. So maybe the bed is important for me. Like, at the end of the day you go back to it, and you wake up with it. So maybe it’s like a furniture… na if you’re a designer, you need to give importance to.
7 | What are the top 3 home accessories that a house should have?
Plants, toys, and something for health and well-being. Plants to make the environment relaxing, fresh, tapos it’s life itself. If you inject life into the project it will look good. Toys because toys are colorful; they can sometimes be so simple, and sometimes so complex. As for the third, you have to have like a workout accessory set at home; consider your health. For me, the house should be something na hindi lang relaxing, but should improve your whole personality or your personal well-being, too.
8 | What’s the best design tip you can give to ordinary people who don’t know anything about design?
For me, even though you don’t know anything about design, but you’re clean with your space, the best design tip will still be organizing. As long as your house is neat, as long as you have the right amount of furniture in your house, wala lang kalat, it will look good, it will look clean. You will have a space you can relax at every day. Uncluttered spaces are still the best spaces.
9 | What are your go-to stores right now?
If you want to find unique pieces, go to thrift stores like Bangkal and Cubao X. Then for personal aesthetic, I like the Habitat pieces. I like their designs, especially their lighting designs. Décor, thrift stores and online stores. Just browse on Instagram. You have to go trade fairs, too, kasi may mga makikilala kang suppliers do’n.
10 | What do you hate (worst part) and what do you love (best part) the most about designing?
What I hate about it is… sometimes if you’re known for a certain design, you get boxed with it. People come to you and expect you to do the same thing. And then sometimes when you try to bend a little, like present something different to them, they won’t like it because they like your previous work. ‘Yong best pa rin talaga is being able to help other people change their lifestyle. It changes their lifestyle if their home is well-edited for them. Like, it takes off several minutes of preparing if they know where to get this and that. So sometimes in that way, you educate, you help people understand how to use their spaces. So that’s fulfilling, that’s really fulfilling.
Check out IDr. Uzel Alconera’s latest projects on Instagram @idr.uzelalconera
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