Interior Design Trends That Will Stay For A While, According to ‘A Design Studio’

By Marane A. Plaza

Probably one of the easiest ways to breathe in inpiration, art and feel-good vibe would be to observe the interior design around you. A decorated space after all can influence one’s mood, uplift one’s morale even, and take you into another equilibrium.

A Design, an interior design studio owned by Tessa Alindogan, Anton Barretto and Arthur Tselishchev, is one of the design agencies based in Manila that truly curates awe-inspiring spaces that exude effortless style and quirky creativity.

The design boutique undertakes interiors projects for private homes, restaurants, and small hotels. Some of the projects they worked on are Mezze Greenbelt 2, Hillcreek  Gardens in Tagaytay, Bellaroca Marinduque, Amelie Hotel Manila and Y2 Hotel in Makati. They have catered for residential projects for clientele in Manila, Los Angeles in California, New York, London in UK, Hong Kong, Thailand and more.

Anton Barretto, Tessa Alindogan and

Tessa Alindogan, founder of A Design, described their aesthetic in a nutshell.

“If I do modern, I don’t do really like minimalist, because normally minimal is considered modern, right? In fact, I like putting a lot of things, but also adding like a twist or something off and quirky. There’s always an element of surprise. It’s not very disciplined, but it’s just looped through and through to the end. I like to characterize something fun or playful,” Tessa said.

Interiors by A Design
Interiors by A Design

“I was always into interior design as a kid, but I initially finished my college degree in Psychology at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California. And then I went on to have masters in education, I was even training teachers in Casa Montessori Internationale in Forbes Park to teach what I studied. Eventually, I decided to formally study interior design like I’ve always wanted, and enrolled in Inchbald School of Design in London and studied interior design for two years,” Tessa shared. “Tessa Prieto-Valdes became my first business partner in interior design back in 1989. Then I went on my own,” Tessa shared.

In the early 2000s, a friend of Tessa came back to Manila who would later on become her business partner.

“I used to have a furniture store called Pineapple from 2001 to 2016 in Greenbelt, Makati, and another store called Cereo which was selling scented candles. I just arrived from New York when I decided to build the business,” Anton Barretto, furniture designer and business partner at A Design, narrated.

“I started making furniture and then I started retail. That’s when I also reunited with Tessa. I really wanted to do interiors. So when Tessa asked me to work on some projects together, I went for it. We would outsource furniture from China for some clients. We would do projects together casually at first, and we started with apartments of friends and family.”

“Then we realized, we’re so aligned with aesthetic, and we work harmoniously, too. We do not butt heads. Tessa invited me to become a partner, and it was perfect because my name starts with letter ‘A’ much so like the name of the studio. We eventually formalized the business partnership,” he narrated. “She is the licensed interior designer of the firm, while I am the furniture designer, space stylist and business partner.”

Word of mouth was how their designs got applaunded in Manila, which were eventually featured by the media. It was also around early 2000s when Anton was invited to start Metro Home magazine, the home and design magazine of the Metro group of magazine titles. He eventually became editor-in-chief of Metro Home, and then TV host of the same show title being aired on Metro Channel. He’s also the associate editor of Metro Society magazine

“It was with my work at Metro Society magazine that I met Arthur Tselishchev. We learned that he’s an artist and painter who has an educational background in architecture. At first, we would give him projects to work on with us, then he eventually became a partner,” Anton said. “Like for example, when we would do renderings and we would outsource, it’s so tedious. It would take so much from us just to explain what we want. We wanted it drawn digitally. With Arthur, it’s just a little explanation since we’re all on the same page. As a painter and artist with a background in architecture, he gets it right away, and even shares his input.”

“We’re all together in client meetings. We get the brief from the client, and then right after that, of course, we agree on our design fee. Once it’s over, then we all discuss and the client will show us the pegs. And then from there, we will of course create our own designs, and Arthur draws the designs in the computer.”

Born and raised in Ukraine, Arthur Tselishchev showed an early interest in painting and art as a youngster.

“I was also so much into art as a kid. I was just fine myself, drawing on wallpaper at home. I was like maybe 10 years old when I graduated from my art school. I eventually got accepeted in the national state in the southeast of Ukraine to study design. So I studied industrial design, graphic design, interior design, got a diploma out of it. And then studided architecture a little.”

Arthur abandoned the design practice and worked as a model in the USA, Singapore, China, South Korea, Taiwan, and then the Philippines. “It was through modeling when I became based in the Philippines for a while. I would travel a lot, and observe museums and buildings, especially in the US. I enjoyed observing train stations and airports just to observe different designs, especially because my thesis in college was about international airports.”

Arthur is now an active painter in Manila, as well as photographer, model and art instructor, aside from being a partner at A Design.

When asked what are the interior design trends these days, Anton shared, “They will still maintain the lighter colors, lighter shades. Still more functional rather than decorative furniture, too.”

Here are some of the trends A Design has shared and forecasted will stay for a while:

Wallpaper

“Wallpaper is doing good these days. Wallcovering, or mural wallpaper,” Tessa shared. “It’s a mood-boosting material. Wallcovering might be one of the best transformative ways to give your space a lively, dramatic or relaxing look.”

Arthur and Tessa working on wallcovering

“Natural stone for wall cladding and covering are also trendy,” she added.

Natural stone wall cladding by A Design Studio

Organic and Zen

“There’s the trend they call ‘organic’ and the term basically just means that you go back to what is very sustainable and natural. So the aesthetic means a lot of wood and natural elements that can make your home look cozy and familiar. It could be landscaping and putting a lot of plants,” Anton explained.

Image from Pinterest
Image from Pinterest
Zen-inspired aesthetic by A Design Studio
Zen-inspired aesthetic by A Design Studio
Zen-inspired aesthetic by A Design Studio
Interiors by A Design

“So it’s like, very Zen. It could be open spaces, open land layouts but with lush and nature. People always think it’s minimal but this trend can also be lush, loud and abundant, yet very Zen,” he added.

Silver Accents

“Gold and brass have been having a moment the past five years, but also these days, silver accents are pretty trendy too,” Tessa said.

“Silver and muted, matte finish,” Anton added.

Interiors by A Design
Interiors by A Design

When asked what would be the best tips to take if one would want to work with an interior design studio, Anton had this to say:

“We have to be right there already from the start, from space planning to design application with your chosen architects, because you can save a lot of money from avoiding unnecessary production,” Anton explained. “It makes a difference if the interior designers come in at the very beginning of the process because you can eliminate a lot of production that you have to do along the way.”

If you wish to work with the A Design team, you may message them on Instagram at instagram.com/a.designph or visit their website adesignph.com.