Ito Kish’s interior design work may have been overshadowed by his award-winning furniture since he came out with the Gregoria baluster chair four years ago. Only two months ago, he rebranded his namesake company with four sub-brands. Ito Kish Home is for his designs. He continues his curated retail brand, something he has been doing since 2000 in Glorietta, now as Kish Stories. The latest addition is Kish Live, his communication design arm improving online spaces. This year, Kish Interiors sees a full revival, thanks to all the requests he received from customers who at first only wanted to buy his furniture. He also has advice for those who’d rather DIY:

Cultivate your taste
We must admit that most of the time, it’s really about taste, how you put things together. Before you start anything, it would be wise to go through home magazines or go on Pinterest and look at boards, even start your own. Google interior design sites or blogs so you can get ideas. Knowing what you like should be the starting point.

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Take your time
Always start at a level that you don’t hurry because there’s a tendency to get the wrong measurement and proportion. It is very important to feel your space. You should know your available space in line with the size of furniture you need to buy so that it will fit, otherwise it can be a very expensive trial and error thing. For example, don’t buy a rectangular dining table in a square space. You can only buy a square table or a round table for a square space because the proportion would be wrong.

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Invest in the major pieces
Because we do not buy furniture every year – it usually takes five years until your next purchase –invest on the major pieces like a sofa, a dining table, dining chairs, and your bed because these are the ones that will stay.
The beauty about furniture is you can always refurbish them, reupholster them after five years, but for sofas, you can only change the cover. The inside will stay, the legs will stay, so you have to find a high quality sofa.
Don’t buy plastic furniture because they can be damaged in a way that it can get really dirty. You cannot paint over plastic furniture. Wood can be refinished and repainted. Go for solid wood pieces and not veneer because veneer can actually peel off.

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Try ambient lighting
In my own home, I only have lamps, no general lighting. Lighting can change the way your space looks like. Just changing the wattage of a bulb can make a big difference. You can change your shades every now and then. A black shade on one lamp will totally change the feel of a room.

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Make it personal
Always incorporate personal effects, things you purchased along the way, like when you travel or gifts that you want to keep from friends, or else your home would just look like any other house that you see in a magazine.

Interview by Marbbie Tagabucba

Photos by Arabella Paner


Ito Kish is at 233 Nicanor Garcia, Makati.

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