Designing interiors for families is a project that can benefit from professional expertise. Sophisticated design can coexist with comfort and functionality. Just ask Danie Valdepenas, known for her creative and inspiring style and a hands-on approach to parenting. Working with Pbell A+ID, an architecture and interior design firm, Danie has created a home that is both expressive and enriching for her family life.
BluPrint: Tell us about how you chose your designers. Did you have any requirements before getting them?
Danie Valdepenas: I wanted to get someone experienced and had the same vision and style as I did. I searched and got recommendations from a lot of people but in the end, after meeting each of them, I felt the most comfortable with PBELL + A. ID and they met our qualifications. Seeing their previous works was also a big plus because I got to know their strengths in terms of design which was aligned with what I was looking for.
BluPrint: Can you describe the importance and experience of working with design professionals during the renovation process? How were you able to communicate and combine your personal styles with that of your designer’s overall direction?
Danie Valdepenas: Your designer should be someone you can trust and you can get along with because you’ll be working with them for a significant period of time. It’s also important to build a good relationship because they need to get to know your preferences as a client so they can recommend and propose designs that match your personality and vision.
I felt like finding a good designer was like finding a couturier for my wedding! I had to look for one that knew what I wanted and more importantly, knew how to make it happen. PBELL + A. ID was very professional and easy to deal with. They were very accommodating and helpful in streamlining my ideas during the early stages of planning, when my ideas would be everywhere. Having design professionals are excellent especially in giving recommendations that can be quite technical like proportions, spacing, stability, etc., which I honestly would not know if I did the designing all by myself.
In terms of having a unified style and direction for the renovation, I first made sure that the designer had experience with the kind of style that I wanted. That way, it will be more natural for the designer and easier for me to explain what I was after. Of course, we did not always see eye-to-eye in terms of design but PBELL+A.ID was accommodating and very patient to explain and adjust based on what I envisioned and what would work aesthetically. It was really important to have an open line of communication which I was fortunate to have with my designers. They listened to what I wanted and gave recommendations based on that.
BluPrint: What role has your house played during the pandemic? Are there any holistic approaches you considered in detailing your home?
Our house became a haven and retreat from the chaos outside. My kids are enjoying the space and I have been able to keep my mind off things by styling my home and making it a happy place for the family. Since I have toddlers, I had to make sure that the way I detail my home is very practical and safe. No glass structures or vases that are within their reach, pointy objects or edges that they can run into, heavy pieces/furniture that can fall on them, etc. Also, due to the pandemic, I wanted to fill my home with some plants that can help purify the indoor air and at the same time give us positive vibes through its beautiful greenery.
BluPrint: How did you navigate the process of having your house designed while under the restrictions and threat of the pandemic?
Danie Valdepenas: Thanks to technology, I was able to stay up to date with the developments through photos sent through chat and video calling. Our designers were also very professional in managing their team and knew how best to deal with the timeline and their manpower. It was helpful that they had initiative and had the same goal as ours.
BluPrint: What is your favorite space in your home?
Danie Valdepenas: The beauty of having your home professionally designed is that you can dictate and tell what you want. In my home, I wanted all spaces to be well-designed so they are all my favorite! But if I had to choose one, it would be my living room. The space is so relaxing and I can also style it whenever I want through throw pillows and accent pieces on the shelves. This is the place where the family can just get together and chill.
BluPrint: Can you give some tips on how you were able to decorate and furnish your home while under the restrictions of the pandemic? How can your followers emulate your methods in styling their own homes?
Danie Valdepenas: Again, thanks to technology, I can do everything online! I never had to step foot in an actual store to get my home styled. I researched online for stores and they were all very accommodating with my inquiries. Sometimes I would give them pegs and they would be happy to give suggestions. I also gave them the measurement of the spaces that I wanted to fill, and they would give proposed items that would fit. Then I would check if the pieces can fit the shelves. The measuring tape was my best friend – and the couriers.
In terms of choosing the design, all I did was stick to neutral tones for the pieces that aren’t so seasonal, and focused on those so it would look unified. Due to the pandemic, I did not have the luxury to explore and do trial and error. It would be a hassle and a waste of energy to return pieces that I didn’t like so it was the easiest to stick to one theme and work from there.
BluPrint: What is a healthy space? Do you think you achieved having one?
Danie Valdepenas: I think a healthy space is one where everyone residing in it can get their personal space and all the functions are met. For instance, I have two kids so I chose a space that can accommodate sleeping quarters for two and have enough space for them to move around and play. I also have big families and want to have them over from time to time, so I considered this and made sure I had a dining area that could fit all of us and a living room where they can bond. As a mom, I also thought about the possibility of running the household without any household help, so I made sure the space was just right for me to be able to manage it all on my own. These factors have all been met in our space now and I am very contented with it.