Radical makeover of the house via interior architecture


Called in by a school to work on the portico of its new building, interior designer Tina Periquet spotted glaring errors everywhere. Most appalling was the sight of the lobby urinals, which potentially took away from the welcoming ambience.

Periquet learned from an American architect that bathrooms should always be hidden in a high-quality space. Who wants to see urinals, visitors coming out of the toilet with still messy clothes, or smelling something foul in a public space? Without trying to undermine the architect, she pointed out the design problem.

The architect championed the concept as a barrier-free design so that people could easily find their way to the bathroom.

Periquet replied: “Have you ever heard of explorer signage?” She wanted him to understand the reactions of women to the exposed toilet and the lack of privacy in the design.

“As humans, we react to perceptions. These should be treated as functionality. This is where the interior designer comes in, ”said Periquet. “My goal is to work with the architect, not to compete. “

A hot topic, interior architecture is seen as a gray area between design and architecture.

“Architecture can be thought of as the design of a large container in which human beings can enter and exit. It’s the box, ”explains Periquet.

“Interior designers create the space inside. What will populate this space? They’re going to smash things inside and furnish them. They will decorate the skin and arrange all the different elements that were left after the architect put in place his columns and beams; the engineers brought their plumbing and electrical wiring. Interior designers arrange everything once everything is done. Who does the intermediate things in the design: where to place the lights, how will the air conditioner occupy the space? What to do with beams and ceiling space? “

AFTER The apartment (upstairs) has been turned over with basic cabinets and a black stone countertop. Tina Periquet removed the cabinets because they blocked half of the window. The cabinets have been moved to the service area. She redesigned the layout (above), exposed the full height windows to let in more light, and created a small breakfast nook. The place is accented with polished ebony veneered cabinetry, Black Galaxy granite countertops, solid kamagong dining counter, Carrara marble flooring with black Nero Marquina marble. A mirrored backsplash reflects the light and visually enlarges the place. The suspensions float above the worktop of the island.


She knows what she’s talking about. Periquet obtained his Master of Science in Interior Design from the Pratt Institute in New York. Like many interior designers, she learned interior architecture on the job and took architectural courses. While interior design is recognized internationally and is a separate study, this field has yet to be recognized in the Philippines.

By law, the title “architect” can only be used by those who have a bachelor’s degree in architecture and are registered with regulatory bodies. Many interior designers modify the interior structure right down to the wiring to complete their vision. Yet they cannot be called “interior designers” here. On the other hand, some architects who are also skilled in interior design may be called interior designers.

As the roles of architects and interior designers evolve over time, the boundaries of their work tend to blur. This gap between architecture and interior design must be bridged.

Giving an example of architectural interventions, Periquet cited transforming a simple showroom into an upscale condominium into a design statement.

Discovering four feet of space above the ceiling, Periquet moved it to give more room height. A cut in the plane of the ceiling increased the feeling of openness and provided for a lighting accessory.

Instead of smashing the walls to install glass, she added mirrors above the windows and framed them to give the illusion of large windows. The corners have been angled to accommodate decorative lights and add visual depth.

High quality porcelain tiles accented with brass bands make a practical yet stylish flooring. She opened the windows to the garden view to bring in the outdoors.

Ivy Almario of Atelier Almario has opened the covered veranda into a veranda (above; pre-makeover, above). The stone floor and wooden ceiling exude the tropical ambience. The neighbor’s wall was cleaned and it was used as a backdrop for the bamboo to create a nice view.


Periquet cited several ranges of design skills.

The interior designer does not need to be educated but has great taste and a sense of style. They know how to choose paint, fabrics, furniture and accessories to create an aesthetic environment. “If you want a nice curtain, you don’t need someone who spent four years in design school,” she said.

The interior design stylist graduated from an accredited school, has the qualifications of an interior designer but has not yet passed the board exams.

The interior designer creates spaces that anticipate people’s needs and appeal to their emotions. “Interior design is more of an art than a science. The designer adds what will populate the space, pattern, texture and soft furnishings, ”said Periquet.

The interior designer focuses on the sculpture and the detail of the space.

“Think of space as having bones and skin. The bones are the structure, the engineering, the four walls, the ceiling, the floor and the beams. The interior designer repairs the bones, ”explained Periquet.

“If you need to upgrade your master bedroom and are happy with the look of the windows and the bone structure, you don’t need to go beyond the interior designer. Restructuring, expanding the space, breathing new life through adaptive reuse (reusing the space other than its original purpose), transforming a bachelor apartment into a house for a family of three are more complex tasks.

“The interior designer can do what an interior designer can do, but he does the serious and technical things. A designer solves a space problem by developing a strategy and decorating. The interior designer undertakes engineering and aesthetics, thinking of proportions and height.

Interior design and interior architecture can produce radical metamorphoses. In addition, the interior architecture increases the value of the space with the investment quality improvements.

Periquet stressed that the public needs to be educated about the range of designers. “Know who is who. Everyone should coexist and do their job. -CONTRIBUTED

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