We sat down with Philux’s head designer, Jessica Kienle Maxwell, to get the inside scoop on why she is so passionate about design. Read on for her tips on how to make your home aesthetically pleasing!
Not only is she stunning, she is also, more importantly, incredibly creative and talented. Jessica Kienle Maxwell’s vision for Filipino craftsmanship, simply stops us in our tracks.
She is the head designer for her family-owned brand, Philux, a home-grown and locally produced furniture store. Not only does Philux create furniture, which you can customize to your needs, but it also sells a whole slew of home ware. Find pillows, decorations, children’s accessories and so much more. Philux continues to showcase our countries high quality local craftsmanship and exquisite local products. For 35 years Philux has been committed to sophisticated, stylish design and premium construction -- always incorporating Filipino culture and heritage.
We cannot wait to see what else they have up their sleeves!
Philippine Tatler: Why did you pursue interior/industrial design and decoration?
Jessica Kienle Maxwell: I pursued interior design because I was exposed to the industry at a young age and developed a strong appreciation for it by observing the work that was done at our family business, Philux. By the time I graduated from high school I knew design was the direction I wanted to take. I studied interiors, and eventually became interested in specializing in furniture.
PT: What challenges do you encounter with designing/decorating?
JKM: I am still learning many things on the technical side of design. Sometimes I have ideas that in my mind seem easy to construct, but when it comes to execution time, it turns out to be more complex than I anticipated. But, that is all part of it and what makes the job more fun and challenging!
PT: How would you describe your design aesthetic?
JKM: My design aesthetic is constantly evolving. In general, I would say that I am contemporary. I tend to be attracted to clean, minimalist lines, simple colour combinations and natural materials. I don't like clutter and frou frou. I like to break the rules every now and then, and I believe accents are crucial in a space. Whether it be bold printed accent chairs or a bright accent wall, I like to keep things exciting by adding some unexpectedness in a space.
PT: Do you have a favourite colour palette?
JKM: It changes all the time! But my current favourite colours are gold, ochre and greenery, the colour of the year!
PT: How do you approach each of your designs? Do you have a method or routine that you follow?
JKM: It all starts with an idea, inspired from somewhere, usually from things and experiences I've seen and had during my travels. I'll use this idea and conceptualize a piece around it. Then we go through the shop drawing phase where we study the technical side of it -- how the piece is to be constructed. Then once we are satisfied with the initial drawings we begin with the prototyping phase. This is the trial and error phase, which is the longest, because we need to keep making a new prototypes, tweaking things until we are happy with the final product. It's a long process, but well worth it in the end!
PT: What do you love about interior and furniture design?
JKM: I love the creative process of it. How one creative idea can lead to another creative idea, and so on and so forth until eventually you have a unique concept. I love seeing ideas materialize, and of course seeing the happy faces of our clients when they buy the product! There is nothing more fulfilling than that.
PT: What are some decorating no-no’s?
JKM: Filling an entire room with eclectic vintage pieces. You don't want to make it feel like a museum! Select a few accent pieces and mix it up with some modern furniture. Also, be sure the furniture you buy is neither too big or too small for the space! Measure and double check all of them on site beforehand. The last thing you want is for the furniture to feel disproportionate or the room to feel unbalanced.
PT: What should someone keep in mind when re decorating their home/space?
JKM: First and foremost it's important to think about the use and functionality of the space you are designing. Space planning is the most important part in interior design. So reassess the layout of your space and see how you can improve it further. Next, I would say stick to a particular mood or vibe, don't try too many things for one space. Help yourself by creating a mood board to put together all your ideas and make sure they're cohesive.
PT: When designing or decorating a space, what are the most important factors to you? What do you look at/think about?
JKM: It's important to study the "bones" of the space carefully, before diving into it. What are the best traits of the current space and what are the worst? By studying this you'll be able to determine what it needs in order to decorate it to its full potential.