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Young interior designer swears by uncomplicated design

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By Angela Casco

If there’s anyone who understands the phrase, “less is more,” better than anyone else, it’s freelance interior designer Claudine Medina. It’s the philosophy she abides by for any and every space she designs.

Regularly working on residential condominium units, the Philippine School of Interior Design (PSID) graduate is making her mark in the design industry with her “bright, airy, clean interiors,” which people often refer to as “minimalist Scandinavian.”

APPROACHABLE STYLE Avoid unnecessary details in the bedroom

APPROACHABLE STYLE Avoid unnecessary details in the bedroom; (below) interior designer Claudine Medina

Claudine (Half)

“It’s chic, practical, and easy to maintain,” she tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Home in an interview when asked about her design aesthetic. “It can surpass fads and it’s flexible enough to tweak when you want something new.”

Evident in the spaces she has designed, as seen on her Instagram account (@interiorsbyclaudine), Medina sticks to subtle, pastel colors, furniture with simple silhouettes, as well as natural accents like plants, flowers, and wood.

“My designs are not over-the-top. I utilize streamlined, multi-functional pieces in neutral colors, all while avoiding unnecessary details that serve little purpose to the space,” she says.

This style is a reflection of what she believes in when it comes to design.

“The reason why I’m so comfortable with this style is because it resonates with my own design principles,” she says. “I’m all for simplicity and practicality.”

CLEAN CORNERS Medina relies on 'minimalist Scandinavian' for her living room designs that are chic, practical, and easy to maintain

CLEAN CORNERS Medina relies on ‘minimalist Scandinavian’ for her living room designs that are chic, practical, and easy to maintain

Viera Residences - Dining-Living

Though some designers might argue that this is a gasgas trend, Medina believes it is here to stay.

“I want the spaces I create to be sustainable and easy for my clients to use,” she says. “This style, in particular is classic chic, yet approachable and practical.”

Medina’s experiences in the three years she’s been designing spaces has also taught her a few important lessons—one of which is to unlearn what she has learned.

I have learned that it’s important to have your own style and identity to establish credibility, attract ideal clients that respect your vision for their spaces, and set yourself apart from other designers.

“I try not to stick to one style before because we were taught in interior design school to be flexible with all styles,” she says. “Two years into this industry, however, I have learned that it’s important to have your own style and identity to establish credibility, attract ideal clients that respect your vision for their spaces, and set yourself apart from other designers.”

Medina also thinks that honing multi-tasking skills is imperative, especially for freelance interior designers like her. It’s an ability she has picked up as an account manager in an advertising agency as she also has an advertising degree from Assumption College.

“I consider this an important skill in freelance interior design because you do everything on your own—from doing design work, marketing your services, doing business development, and branding, even taking photos of your work for your portfolio, to dealing with clients and contractors,” she says.

On what she plans to venture into next, Medina hopes to design her own furniture line. This, after a bench she designed for a particular project, has earned a lot of interest and inquiries from people thinking that it’s an off-
the-rack piece.

“I usually design condominium units that require smaller and multipurpose furniture given the limited space,” she says. “I hope I get to produce a furniture line that’s targeted to this market.”

3 easy steps to achieve a minimalist space

  1. Choose quality over quantity. A clean and minimalist space starts with having curated quality pieces that serve purpose and give joy. Focus on owning fewer but better pieces that will last. Try not to bring in pieces that serve little purpose and will eventually be clutter in your space.
  2. Let the light in. A well-lit space is a good starting point for a clean, minimalist space. Maximize natural light by not blocking windows and use proper artificial lighting if you can.
  3. Avoid impulse purchases. Making a clean, minimalist space should be a thoughtful process because you want to ensure that each piece you put in is something you will use and enjoy for a long time.

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