hearth & haven
MEGA|November 2020
Sensible style and personal touch marry in what three interiors experts reimagine a postpandemic home to be
PIPO GONZALES

The noticeably increased length of time we spend at home is a clear-cut reminder of how sacred our living spaces are. The magnified lens handed by the constraining effects of the novel coronavirus has provided a new perspective on defining utility and efficiency. And while home improvement has been omnipresent in regular conversation, there exists a remarkable shift—the increased interest of many and the rise of purchase and demand for home goods. Whether one’s personal space is actually intended to pivot as an answer to the effects of stringent lockdown measures, the transformative art of architecture and interior design offers solutions. MEGA asked three in-demand artists in the field share their expert advice on undergoing these changes.

GEEWEL FUSTER: EQUITY BY EQUILIBRIUM

Architect and interior designer Geewel Fuster injects character into any room through a conscientious perspective, encouraging the balance of form and function in each of her spaces. “My style is relevantly chic but casual, relaxed but refined, elevated but approachable,” Fuster says. Mindful of design aging and the lifespan of human attention, she is well aware of the necessity of timeless design. Hence, she avoids becoming a slave to trends. Instead, gut and goal work hand in hand to produce visions that satisfy both her and her clients. “I can say that I can be both spontaneous and calculated. Spontaneous, since I usually follow my intuition on each project. Calculated, in the basic standard principles that should be followed.”

Has the pandemic changed her style? Fuster thinks of the new normal as a catalyst for a lifestyle change. And amidst the sudden need to adapt and evolve, her revamped itinerary was made easy by a well-curated, pre-pandemic way of life. “Every piece that I selected works not only for an office setup but could easily go anywhere in the home,” she shares. She cites a regular coffee table—located in an extension space of their receiving room—which doubles as an office table on workdays of the week. “How do we take this space from work to weekend? The chair moves to the adjacent room, the table gets a little rearranging with different elements, and the area becomes more functional. Your choice of furniture speaks for your fashion and emotional alter egos. I choose carefully based on functionality. Next is aesthetic.” Translating conscious placements for the post-pandemic residence, Fuster suggests clever adjustments that improve space productivity and comfort. She starts by addressing the need for hygienic practices, “A well-lighted sanitation area or foyer that should be well ventilated. A lavatory should be incorporated and space where tests can be done before entering. This can be styled with a modern approach since we are trying to avoid complicated materials that are hard to clean.”

“A stylish Zoom pocket area or home office should be acoustically done and should be away from the noisy areas around the house. Also, this should be dressed up accordingly to be presentable during video calls and should be the showroom of the house since it is going to be more frequently seen. Mastering a vignette and backdrop where the video’s focal point is, is definitely necessary.”

“More space for our outdoor garden is obviously hitting two birds with one stone and is beneficially pleasing to our mental and physical health. The use of the green area would be more popular now that we are limited to be outside.” Fuster’s final suggestions is a testament to her penchant for biophiliac practices. Biophilia, which suggests that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life was introduced by Edward O. Wilson as an urge to affiliate with other forms of life.

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