“ We are all Wanderers on the earth. Our Hearts full of Wonder. And our Souls full of Dreams. ” ~ Gypsy proverb
To meet someone living the life you wanted is not only inspiring but life-altering as well. It’s like you were directed to a path where your heart beats faster.
It was so many moons ago when I first met Ms. Evelyn. It was year 2008 more or less. Her Souvenir/ home decors shop is situated in her home at Tacloban City.
It was such a pretty place, there’s a huge lush garden, and if I remember it right, the items she sells are somewhere in the back area and I was able to purchase a few as gifts. One item I also got from her shop is this.
Getting a peak of the interiors of her home, amazed me. It was a combination of modern furniture and antique ones, a plethora of collection by an artist like her. She is a Designer too. =) She probably detected my sense of wondering and she invited me to go inside.
She showed me this massive antique wooden cabinet, which we call “platera” as a child (I just hear it from my parents and grandparents), it’s where we keep our dinner wares and flat wares and all those things you need to prepare the dining table.
However, the doors aren’t made of glass. It’s made of wood as well and with delight she gladly open them for me to see what’s inside. And to my amazement, it was a collection of blue and white ginger jars in all sizes. Each one prominent in its’ own. I didn’t dare touch them, I was just contended gazing at their beauty.
According to her, she accumulated them from her travels. Some are gifts and definitely most of them are categorized as antiques.
It reminded me of my cousin’s collections too.
Her house upon first glance is literally boho eclectic.
I do not know why I didn’t take pictures from her place, I only have her business card. But the vision of it stayed in my mind up to this very moment.
It actually prompted me to let the energies flow inside of me and practically do what I love. And it is to proceed with my plan to create a boho chic home, or convert my parents’ house into a boho one, realizing that if I didn’t start right away, it’d really take me a while.
I have limited resources, since most boho homes achieve its’ look because the owner probably is a traveler or a collector and the decors are accumulation of souvenirs from all her travels through the years. When I no longer travel so often, though, lucky enough to have traveler friends who gifted me with souvenirs from different places. I think, it’ll take me years to complete it.
Though the process itself is gratifying. Just ticking off one from the list excites me each time, like a lifetime commitment, this is what I want to do, and to not ignore even a single chance, Be it made by me, purchased, a friend’s gift, something I recycled or upcycled. An advocacy to save Mother earth by limiting build-up of land fills. This is what I wanted. That just by looking around from where I live, It’ll make me happy. And I have no intention of really being something else. This is my focus. Because from this, I’d be able to re-open my mama’s shop.
Anyway, after the pandemic, my priority is to travel. Again. =)
Just recently, I’ve found a virtual friend who resembles Ms. Evelyn. Time and again, It is astonishing that I met different people with the same hobbies or interests, and they are all truly inspiring. Meeting them personally and discovering their pages from Instagram.
Honestly, when I first encounter her Instagram page, I didn’t expect that it’s in my country. It is so unique. If you go further, her home is the epitome of an artist’s canvas, the works of a bohemian by nature.
We were discussing things lately, and I told her that our taste might be eyesore to some, though for us, it is what makes us happy and keep up our spirits. And then she said, well, we are increasing. Which is apparently true, I have met so many friends in my IG account, the same circle loving the same niche. Before I was in love with Ibiza boho girl, The spotted zebra (which I recently featured in my blog: My 1 dozen most favorite pages at Instagram and true enough, it surprises me that I’ve been seeing those pages I follow are also following Happy nest in the tropics.
It gave me a certain bliss, that, Hey, I found my niche. ❤
As to why following them makes me happy. Their abodes are bursting with happy colors, stunning flares, like every corner is pleasing to the eye. Our pair of eyes. Be it brand new, vintage or antique, recycled, upcycled, name it.
Another thing that is truly inspiring with Happy nest in the tropics is that she appreciates and validates handmade crafts that are made locally. Which is a good thing as she is literally helping out these businesses. Empowering them to do more, create more, inspire and be inspired more.
This ignites the fire to bring forth the talents and passion of creating beautiful things and share it to the world.
That part is my favorite. =)
Check it out and witness the boho chic beauty of her own heaven on earth, the good and magical vibes it radiate, and be excited like I am (finally found my tribe) to be motivated by her day to day pursuit to stay happy and creative, gleefully shared to remain connected via Instagram. =)
“She’s an old soul with young eyes, a vintage heart, and a beautiful mind.”
I am trying to figure out as to when my fascination to these sacred hoops started.
Sacred hoops which are best known as Dream catchers.
I just saw this curtain made of dream catchers in my most loved colors and had this assumption that it is somewhere far and someplace I can not easily access. Doing my research, said curtain is just a few towns away from my hometown.
So I asked my foodie buddy (who have been supporting all my wishes all these years) and head to Batangas one weekend. So there, I saw it right in front of me. =)
The place is called Purple beetle. It’s a coffee shop and they also sell Dream catchers and other Bohemian stuff.
Since then, it has been one of my favorite stuff. I started collecting it at every chance. I even wished that Pandora would come up with dream catcher charms, and like they heard my prayers, and I was so ecstatic to discover they came up with one, so instantly it’s already in my bracelet.
You will see dream catchers in my bedroom, in our living room, in some of my bags as key chains, in my notebooks. =)
After my mama passed, and I’m trying to make use of her stuff (she used to create dresses as a profession) and I’ve got lots of fabrics , laces and beads. I made key chains out of it and eventually, I thought of using beads (fabrics) as charms, and collect them and soon enough, I was already selling them.
Handmade with love. ❤
Trying to find the right market, we decided to visit this only place that’s endorsing Bohemian culture and the most number of Dream catchers that you’ll see in the Philippines.
Dreamland Arts & Crafts cafe in Tagaytay is so huge and displays all kinds of Dream catchers and it gave me too many ideas in my mind, I even brought some beads from them. =)
It’s like a museum of all things boho and crafty. It’s so me. True enough, there’s too much for me to learn.
I am so amazed with the varieties. It comes in all sizes and colors and used different materials too.
I learned that they also have one in Batangas though the one in Tagaytay is bigger.
They have accessories too.
It is really beautiful here. Like I found my tribe. =)
There is a cafe, we just had drinks and that awesomely prepared nachos.
They also have a bed and breakfast, and getting a peak to its’ interiors, the boho vibes is literally extended to each room.
They say I’m a dreamer (but I’m not the only one), I wish to have a similar place right in my home (where my mama used to create lovely dresses), not as big as this, as long it’ll showcase all of my creations.
I think it is timely that our visit happened to be almost New Year. I left the place with just one feeling in my heart, I am so inspired. I wish them more success and I think it’s not gonna be my last visit. Dreamland felt like home to me. =)
They are so transparent in supporting local artists. =) It is evident in all corners.
Should you wish to visit, their address is: Calamba Road, Tagaytay, 4120 Cavite, Philippines
Oh, another favorite of mine, is that Vintage look. So what differs vintage from antique? The latter must be at least a hundred years old to be considered as antique while items that are preserved for more than 20 years already falls under vintage.
It sounds as easy to collate our grand parents stuff to achieve this look, however, we don’t want our abode to look literally old and gray right? So the tricky part is finding the right balance in combining the past with the present in the most cunning way.
Pulling it off all together requires careful study since we can literally make use of existing items from our parents or grand parents’ house. There are Stores that sell these stuff making it easy to pull it off. You are also the one to decide what decade is closest to your heart, and/ or applicable.
Yes, they are so pretty, but there is no rule that if this is the style that you’ve chosen, everything had to be vintage. It is how the old and new come together in sweet harmony.
It’s a matter of combining pieces from your chosen era, a few perhaps but distinctive enough to create that vintage feel. If I have to choose, I like the early part of 1900s and are considered already an antique. And the 1940s-50s too.=)
For some years, I have been so fascinated with Shabby chic, not only because my first love is pink prior to me being addicted to the color violet, but also because I love pastels, laces, and all those girly, floral, soft and very feminine elements. Parts of me being influenced by my mama who used to be a dressmaker.
Shabby chic style has often been mistaken as Cottage style design, or Farmhouse and sometimes Vintage. It is actually not a mistake as the resemblance is very strong.
From the root word shabby, the pieces being used are distressed [and there is a way to make something new looked distressed too], worn-out and aged. Shabby chic is coming up with something pretty despite of its’ fragmented condition. You will have the impression it is literally casual, yet elegant.
Personally, each time I see a room styled in Shabby chic decors, I sensed a story. So it feels good looking at them. =)
It is so appealing because the set-up is so inviting, comfortable and very light to the feel. It utilizes very light colors like white [specifically dirty white or tea-stained white] and pastels, and when you opted to inject bold colors into it, it’ll automatically be switched to a “Boho Chic” Interior Design style which I will be glad to discuss later.
Shabby chic is usually intertwined with French country decor, specifically the remarkable houses found in Provence. Which is why if you notice, one strong identity of this Interior design are lavenders which can also be found in Provence. A basket of fresh lavenders sitting pretty on a distressed side table, or a bundle of lavenders in a vintage tin can, some dried lavenders inside an old newspaper shaped into a cone, and other similar scenes, lavenders are very visible and is always a sweet sight to behold, it tells a story how it brings its’ relaxing scent to a place, thus, we visualize how relaxed to be in that place.
A designer whose synonymous to this style of Interior Design, is Rachel Ashwell. She have been cascading this Shabby chic inspired interiors for 20 years already and still is very popular.
Some of its’ characteristics:
wooden furniture here and there in peeling off paint (distressed)
color motif of white and/or pastel (usually light pink hues)
scented candles nestled in tin cans or dainty glasses
worn-out looking soft slip-covers
floral printed fabrics
for a variety of textures: they make use of lace, embroidered fabrics, soft rugs
they are fond of wreaths
piles of vintage books
flowers (artificial or fresh) on ceramic or tin can vases
crocheted table runners or throws
sun hats and veils on corners
lots of wooden racks, shelvings, and hangers
a restored and repurposed louver window
an old ladder as display rack of flowers and some knick knacks
use of ornate frames
The nice thing about this is you need not hurt your pocket to achieve this and it surely is so much fun putting all these together since most of these can be “DIY”. So on your next Design project, you can even share the fun doing it with friends and family.
Rustic Interior Design style is getting more famous lately, well, in my observation. I discovered and fell in love with this theme 5 years ago and I still see it anywhere I go. In residences, in offices, in retail shops, in restaurants, even some weddings are inspired by this theme, I see it almost everywhere.
You’ll be surprised that Rustic look doesn’t follow a rule, not even uniformity. It is carefree and eccentric. In fact, it is so carefree it can be mixed and matched with several Interior Design themes like Shabby chic, Nautical, Boho chic, and others.
When it comes to textures or materials, wood is a prominent element, however, metal can be utilized, leather or suede, wrought irons, also rocks, stones, and nature-inspired pieces like indoor plants.
The chief colors used are mostly nature-based hues. When you’re the type who loves neutral colors, this is the theme for you as most elements work well with earthy colors.
A typical rustic interior is surely with beams made sometimes with an untreated or salvaged woods. A rustic themed room can make you wonder and might ask often “Oh, is it really possible?”
As with accessorizing, most pieces that are hand-made emulates this theme. Like you found something from the woods, and an idea popped-up in your mind and before you know it, you already have a planter made of twigs in your living room, branches of woods can be recreated as a door handle/ pull too. Patterns used are usually huge, checkered and plain. Patchworks and quilts are anticipated too.
For actual cabins situated in the mountains, you’ll see inspirations from animals like a taxidermied head of a deer, a faux bear skin rugs [I suggested faux because I do not support products made from executing animals. Unless, it was taken from an already dead animal which cause of death is natural and is allowed by several existing federal or state laws]. While if in the urban areas, and you’d want a rustic feel for your homes, this can be forged too and will instantly remind you of the great outdoors.
To achieve this vibe, you need to consider the following:
a fireplace if applicable (trompe l’oeil will do if not applicable)
massive pieces of furniture
You will not typically find a feminine piece in a Rustic theme, as it might look off or out of place. As one of this theme’s distinct feel is its’ masculinity.
Here is my most favorite style and what I wanted my home to be. I just realized that it is not a “Lalala lala lala” thing, it isn’t that easy. It is the exact opposite of minimalist. There is a lot happening in every corner. A melange of anything beautiful collected through the years.
Originally, Boho chic have been inspired by the Gypsies and their lifestyle. We all know that they travel a lot. This type of designing is the result of an assembly of varying stuff they’ve got from most of their travels. This design is literally full of life.
And why oh why I have this strong penchant for gypsies.
This style has come to be so unique due to the varying origins and culture from the places they have visited. They have an eye for literal beauty, love for splashes of bright colors, varying textures, their artistry to blend one item with another and come up with a place so divine and awe-inspiring. The perfect canvas to paint this style are neutral tones, followed by all those bright hues that you love.
And only a few fell in love with this type of designing, some hurts their eyes, some says it is so chaotic and a mess. However, for some which includes me, I will call it “A very beautiful mess” with so much pride.
There is no rule, as it is the rule. It is how you fused something you found from India with that lantern you found from Vietnam. How you match that pretty rug from Turkey with that salvaged accent table from Waco, in Texas. Where you place a box of teas from Japan to that dainty lace from Belgium.
Actually, it isn’t necessary that one piece match another. Nothing is in order. It is the over-all look that you created and to have that special eye, is all that it takes. Like if it created a clash, it is why it was beautiful. Which is why there is flair. Which is
why as your gaze turns to another, there is a story.
Working on this kind of Interior style is effortless. If there is “Less is more”, for a Boho chic theme, it is “More is better.” It must be heavily adorned, massive in visuals. It’s like if there’s a space, you should be filling them up in no time. And it spells happy.
You wouldn’t believe, you are allowed to put two different rugs side by side.
You’ll see lots of pieces hanging: tassels, beaded curtains, crocheted caravan shawl thrown on a 3 seater, trinkets and laces, indoor hanging plants, name it. And they mesmerize my soul.
Those who’d prefer this style won’t be a fan of uniformity or symmetry, you can even use different chairs for your dining table should you wish so and in different finish and colors. A blank space is no no.
You will be stunned with the result, as it is a reflection of your own persona. Different patterns are of course in prominence. It is as fearless as doing a print on print. As Boho chic is all about liberty. You are free to do anything, if there is a hashtag to it, it is #freespirited
And just like other themes, a focal point is still possible with a Boho chic abode, don’t fret even if there’s a lot to see, A vintage chandelier will still work. A heavily-embellished mirror, or an Accent wall can create a rich statement.
Boho chic considered eclectic, while on top of it, there is more. This diversed style definitely speaks for itself, upon glance, you’ll conclude that the dweller or owner is an artist or a boho, a hippie perhaps. There is an articulated individuality.
Designing or decorating a place is really so much fun. I see myself like a scientist who keeps on experimenting until I get to see what satisfies all of my senses. At the end of the day, designing is like a happy pill for me. =)