Saturday, July 2, 2011

To Italy and Back in one afternoon

murano chandelier

An email from my friend Lilibeth (who is an interior designer) sparked my interest. It was an invitation by Rustans (a local department store) for an Italian Decorating Workshop.

I was really excited to hear what information I could get from this workshop, after all, I had just recently moved in a Mediterranean inspired house and decorated it myself. I still had a long ways to go. The 5th floor of Rustan's was set up with some cocktail tables and they were serving some coffee (using delonghi brand coffee maker). We got some coffee and browsed the display before the workshop started. On the far corner of the floor, there were 3 tables set up, each with a different design concept. When the workshop started, The first to talk was Daphne Osena Paez - the host of several home shows and who coincidentally has a line of furnitures she sells in Rustans. This is her table
the table is verry simple

shell and coral accent
Her inspiration was the south of Italy near the sea. All the ceramics are from the San Marco line of Rustans. The plates had coral accents and shells. For me though, I found her table very sparse and not too exciting. She was a good speaker except when she was describing her furniture (the sofa in the middle and some side tables I did not care for -so did not take any pictures) that was featured. She kept saying "see these beautiful colors, the intricate inlay... " and basically raving about the design and furniture she sells herself. (LOL)

The second speaker was one of the owners of Rustan's Nena Tantoco. She is very elegant lady and I really liked her table. Her inspiration was central Italy and vineyards of Tuscanny.

I really like the colors of her table. The green accents and the country feel of it all. You can see she took much detail in putting together the setting , placemats, the center piece and the napkin holders. she made me want the buy the whole table setting.

She talked about the long standing love of the founders of Rustan's with Italy.
she gave a lot of helpful tips on how to spruce up the table with different  setting. I am partial to the country look. Something rustic and homey so my inclination was the setting of Nena.

I also loved the side setting they made. I love the painting on the plates. (I would have bought some if not that they were expensive.) The green glass tumbler in the table setting above is 900 pesos a pc (about $20) and that is just the glass.. I was afraid to ask about the plates! hahaha

love the salt and pepper shakes and the bird motif on the plates

 My friend, Lilibeth liked the modern table presented by Erik Hannikainen, I think he is a consultant at Rustans. His table represents Northern Italy, the more modern and industrial part (think Milan). This idea is reflected on the very clean lines of his table. The table top and legs are all made of glass in a mirror finish. His chairs were made of acyclic (thus a see through effect)

The table itself was very sleek, with plain ( with minute details on the rim) plates, silver and glass accents. I could imagine a bachelor having this kind of table in his condominium unit. If you have a family like me, you'd be afraid the kids would break the table.

Lilibeth and I both agreed the displays were good (us liking different tables for different reasons). Nena Tantoco also pressured her son, Donny, head of Rustan's supermarket to raffle off a part of this big parmigiano cheese wheel. (it weights 40 kg!)

We weren't so lucky in the raffle. But we got to taste some italian wine and some small hors d'oeuvres.
As much as I loved the plates, I would still need to save up to be able to buy the whole table setting I need. It was nice though to be able to see what a nice table setting would look like and how i could set up my own table for an intimate dinner with friends. I honestly am thinking of doing just that.

I wonder.... who do I invite?

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