Team Out of Town Blog Hub (www.outoftownblog.com) – Chat Fores, one of the Philippines’ top interior designers, has always aspired to be part of a huge firm and learn how to work with groups of people handling large projects. Only six years after starting out, she had no clue it would be the beginning of her journey to being one of the most renowned names in the industry.
Interior Designer Chat Fores is the Principal Designer of Chat Fores and Design Studio and a Member of the College of Architecture and Design Advisory Board at Enderun Colleges. She also holds a world-renowned mark of excellence with her recent win in the prestigious 2021 International Property Awards under the Asia Pacific Region. These recognitions include Best Residential Interior Show Home Philippines for The Galleon Residences Showroom, Best Residential Interior Apartment Philippines for JOYA Residential Unit, and Best Leisure Interior Philippines for Azure Paris Beach Club.
“I was asked to submit a project that our team designed. At that time, I felt that we were ready and submitted three options. They chose all three which we prepared submittals for. To my surprise, we won awards for all three,” she shared.
Fores began her career just after a month-long vacation in Europe with friends to celebrate their college graduation. “When I got back, I applied to an architectural firm and an interior design firm. I got accepted in both but since I wanted architectural experience, I started working for Leandro V. Locsin Partners,” she said.
A few years after joining the company, Fores began receiving offers to design model units for a developer. As a result of her efforts, the company she worked for was quite pleased with the outcome. There were 17 projects in a range of 2 to 3 years from that point on. It was her mark to start a career under her name.
“Design has to work for both client and designer, it has to be practical, beautiful, and functional. Of course, with added drama,” she explained when asked what her design principle is. She also pointed out how one’s personality can add charm to every project. “I try to add a little accent or drama in any interior either in mixed prints or texture, a dash of some bold color, a statement piece, a nice piece of artwork, or a funky piece of furniture. I try to add some of my touches and pretend that the interiors I am doing are for my own home as well. I try to put myself in the client’s place all the time.”
As a child, Fores’ design inspirations were Mica Ertegun, John Saladino, Michael Taylor, Juan Montoya, Anouska Hempel, and Sally Sirkin Lewis. Now an adult, she joins Fabio Novembre, Simone Micheli, Karim Rashid, and Santiago Calatrava to the list. “May I also add my fashion design inspirations that have given me much desire in my interior world as well: Christian Lacroix, Jean-Paul Gaultier, and John Galliano.”
Her first big tower project, the Gramercy Residences in Century City Makati, would be Fores’ most memorable. It was Fores who conceived of the condominium’s magnificent lobby and its four stories of amenities. “We were given a lot of spaces to work on with a great concept.”
Fores shares that her most ideal approach to interior design during these times of COVID-19 would be to confirm with the clients’ needs. “From there, it’s important to work on the new considerations in keeping a space or interior COVID-free—finishes and materials that are antibacterial, hands-free fixtures, easy to clean finishes, distancing in layouts, and more depending on the kind of space that you are given to design be it residential or commercial.”
As a Member of the Advisory Board for the College of Architecture and Design at Enderun Colleges, Fores advises that in keeping with the evolution of structure, interior design must adapt as well, especially at present where we’re spending almost all our time at home. With these considerations in mind, it is necessary to evolve, alter, and make our spaces more functional without jeopardizing our home’s purpose.
Time is also a key factor when earning a degree in interior design. She recommends students devote more time to research, reading more books, magazines, and researching other design ideas because these will aid them in comprehending finishing, styling, decor, and the various materials required. “Use this time to practice drawing, sketching, and establishing your own personal style.”