Brace yourself as this is going to be quite a wordy post. I just knew it thinking how psyched I am about this place and this venture all together. (And the long post begins...)
WHAT IS DUODECO STUDIO?
DuoDeco is the brainchild of yours truly and the BF. It all started out as a vague idea that we talked about casually for some time. He asked me what else I wanted to do, my answer was "I'd like to sell chairs." Yes, just chairs. HAHA... It's not a big piece, everyone needs it either as an accent, a work chair, a vanity chair, or whatever. I love making over vintage chairs, and so that was my answer. He told me why not sell other items, I just brushed it off and the discussion ended. He, on the other hand loves to create unique decorative MANLY items. I'm stressing the manly part just in case he's reading this. :) If you've been following my instagram, I've recently posted his previous works (here and here).
As months passed, we have grew quite a collection of items that we're working on or planning to work on. At first, we thought we can sell it just online, but the question we always asked ourselves was.. "Where the heck would we show the items in case potential clients wanted to see them personally??" Both our houses won't do it. That's when the hunt for an office/workshop/showroom came to play. To simply put it, DuoDeco Studio is a furniture/decor shop that will showcase updated vintage furniture, new items designed by us, his decorative masterpieces, my artworks, and other items that will help you accessorize your home. And yes, a lot of chairs. haha
A lot of other names were discussed, but its either he likes it and I dont, or vice versa. We've been thinking of different words that we can play around with, and when he said.. "Duo..?", I said "DuoDeco?".. He likes it. I like it. Simple as that. It fits perfectly since we're partners in this, hence the "duo". And I don't think I need to explain the "deco" part.
THE HUNT FOR THE PERFECT PLACE
Once we realized that selling just online without a proper space to display our items won't do it, the hunt for the perfect place was in order. The criteria for judging are...
1) Convenience. For us and the clients. We need a place near our houses so we can go and stay there as often as we possibly can. A place that can easily be located, near commercial streets, and doesn't require special gps system to navigate. haha
2) Space. At least 100 sqm. We'll be packing the space -showroom slash office slash workshop slash lounge- so it needed to be a decent size.
3) Commercial yet not so much. Huh? Let me explain. It should be in a commercial area, but not a commercial space. Huh? Let me explain further. Since we wanted it to be easily located, it must be in a busy area, but since we're planning to have a workshop and a place where we can stay overnight if the need arises, it can't be in your usual commercial stalls/buildings. Clearer? I hope so.
4) Decent Facade / Neighborhood. This is a given. This is what you first see when you go to our place, that is your first impression. We don't want anything that would scare you away. A cool brick loft facade would be great, but impossible in this country of ours, so anything decent is fine.
5) Parking. We don't need a garage, we have our houses. We just needed outside parking which potential clients can use.
6) Affordable. You may say.. "With all your criteria above, you're expecting to find something affordable?? Seriously?" Yes. We wanted a place that we can sustain for the long haul.
You can't possibly understand how long I spent online to look for our perfect place. A lot are quite nice but is way off our budget. Like 5 times off. Some are nice, within budget, but is too far from our place. We even drove around our neighborhood to search for a sign. Literally a "for rent" sign. We saw a few, called a few, but nothing fits. There's this place we almost went for, very near my house, big enough, though not so much decent looking. But the flood came, and we realized we can't risk a place that might get flooded sometime in the future. And we really hated the facade. The search continues...
We are almost losing hope but then a flick of luck turned when the BF was told that there's a "for rent" sign a few blocks from his house. They knew the owner so they called them and asked which unit is for rent. Since we have this anxiety building up with all the search going on, we walked right out his door to see the unit. We fell in love. Very decent facade. Very near commercial streets (Quezon Ave and E. Rodriguez). Very near our place -5 minutes walk from his, 5 minutes drive from mine. We're sold right there and then.
We were like stalkers looking at the house while calling the landlord. It was still rented at that time, so we have to wait 3 weeks to see the inside. Three very long weeks. But our anxiety got the best of us and we sealed the deal with the place without even checking inside. We're insane I know. It's even above our budget. But the "pros" of the place got us big time. We're not too worried about the interior since we'll be doing some renovation. It was officially rented by us based on the location and facade alone. Hahaha
80 Sqm Lot Area
140 Sqm Floor Area
1 Big Bedroom
1 Small Bedroom
It's a small house that would probably fit a small family, or two grown adults who would need to fight over who gets the big bedroom. But our plan for the space is a different story. This will be the Future House of DuoDeco.
After 3 very long weeks of waiting around to finally see the unit, the time finally came to view the inside for the first time. I know it's an old house so I wasn't expecting anything superb. Whenever I see a new space, all I see is the potential. And my imagination gear was totally on the moment we set foot inside.
This is what you'll see once you enter the gate. It's an enclosed/outdoor space where we'll be hanging a huge navy chandelier. The window grills will be painted gold, and we're setting some art installation behind it. We'll also be showcasing some items here since it is somewhat enclosed.
Once you enter the door, you'll see this living space. That wall will be knocked down to open up the entire first floor. I was happy to see that the walls look somewhat similar to bricks but in hollow blocks size. I love painted bricks, and anything I can get that looks like it, I'll take gladly.
Here I was standing on the door towards the supposedly dining area. We'll be having the entire downstairs as a showroom so we doesn't need all the extra cabinetries, so we'll take them out. Stair rails will be painted blue, and the step will be sanded to show its natural wood.
When designing for my own space, I don't make my usual moodboards since everything is just in my head. But for the sake of showing you guys what's really going in this brain of mine, I made a mock-up of the elements we wanted for the space. So here's the look we're going for for the showroom.
We wanted white walls since we'll be having a lot of colors and textures in our items, they should be the star of the space. Accent chalkboard paint will go on one small wall. The idea really is just have a nice creative space to display our pieces. Oh and that painted floor is just an idea, I'm not sure if I can pull it off, but I will definitely try!
The kitchen will stay since we needed to eat, so we'll be incorporating it to the design. That glass paneled upper cabinets will be transfered to the kitchen side since it's so much nicer than the existing.
The plan is to have a fun kitchen that would compliment the showroom. We're painting the fridge and stove to have that custom vintage vibe. I've always wanted a polished cement countertop and this is my chance to have them. Dark charcoal lower cabinets and white upper ones. A fun graphic roman shade for the windows.
The bathroom is very reminiscent of our house's bath. Same tiles, same fixtures, same toilet and sink. I'm thinking this house was built within the same era as ours, meaning it is OLD. But it doesn't bother me one bit, I actually love the vintage looking sink.
Since the tiles had faded, I wanted to set it off with navy paint for the upper walls and ceilings. It will set the mood for this space. Brass lantern light will hang in the center, thank you high ceiling. We'll be putting artworks and graphic mat to bring in some color.
Office / Studio
The bigger room will be our office / studio. This is where we'll spend most of our time so the design MUST be gender neutral. We both should enjoy the space meaning my usual ultra girly aesthetic (like this office I really love) is definitely out. But thank goodness I'm now into woods, metals, blacks, which we will use as the neutrals for the space.
The floors will be sanded to have a somewhat rustic look. The walls will be painted white, and black for the far wall to modernized the 50's window. Reclaimed wood table will be smacked right in the middle. Accents of gold for a rocker and bar cart. I, of course, can't live without colors, so I'll bring that in through a green bookcase, artworks, throw pillows, and a pink chair. Yey to the pink chair! Told you, you can incorporate pink with a man in the house.
I'm really excited about the office/studio. I have created the series HO of the Day 'coz it's my dream to have my own office, and now I'll be having one. :)
The smaller room will be the lounge/bedroom for overnighters. It has some weird big closet layout (the protruding wall on the right) which really closed up the very small space. You can't even fit a double bed in here. We'll be removing the closet and have the floor space needed for a nice size bedroom.
I always wanted to try a dark bedroom, so that's what we'll do in here. The walls and ceilings will be a very dark taupe. The coral bed will be the highlight of this room. It would pop against the dark walls. Two different drop light will flank the bed, one is industrial and the other is tiffany to have some his and hers vibe.
Most of the furniture we're bringing in are those we already have that we're just refinishing. Even the fabrics we're using for the curtains I already had for some time. Our goal is to makeover the whole space at minimum cost possible without sacrificing the look we're going for.
I've always dreamt of designing my own house, and even if it's just rented, this is my chance and I can't wait! :)
We'll be launching DuoDeco Studio soon! I'm really psyched about this project. Expect a lot of unique furniture and home decor that both guys and gals would love. Some may be really femme (just because I love girly patterns, shapes, and colors) but there's a lot that everyone would appreciate.
Our goal, really, is to provide pieces that are beautiful, functional, and won't burn a hole in your pocket.
Sign-up here to be the first one to know once our collection is out. Since many of our items are one-of-a-kind, once it's sold, it can't be reproduced. Go! :)