CELEBRITY socialite Tessa Prieto-Valdes does not have one single favorite color. “I love all the colors of the rainbow!” she declared gleefully when she came to visit Davao last week with the world’s largest technology company, Hewlett Packard (HP), to promote the brand’s current HP Twice as Many Prints promo.
Tessa will be the Official Interior Designer of the grand prize of HP’s promo: two condominium units at the exclusive Forbeswood Parklane Luxury Residences in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Each condo is worth P3.5 million. Customers get the chance to win by purchasing original HP ink cartridges and by registering at HP’s website. She will be unleashing her creative designs to the condo units using one of HP’s innovative large-format Scitex printers that can print on just about any rigid surface—whether big door or a small vase.
Seeing Tessa walk in the room in her bright paisley-accented dress, donning a gigantic headdress with a giant turquoise ribbon decorated with sequins and feathers sticking out to anyone who might get in her way, would give you the impression that she’s a die-hard fashionista. But she’s more than that.
She’s a licensed interior designer by profession (the brains behind the designs of offices, hotels and Belo clinics), a mom, a wife, a philanthropist, a poker-enthusiast, a writer, and a bubbly people person—all in one. She was also the host of a TV show about urban living called House Life in QTV 11.
The epitome of fun, modern, and creative urban living gets up close and personal with the Times. Here, she talks about designing, her design inspirations, and why her bedroom’s red. Really.
When designing, how do you deal with and balance the customers’ wants and your personal ‘professional’ preferences?
I come in as an architect-designer, wherein I make sure that the proportion is right. I get all the information and design details from customers, because I believe that design is highly personalized. I want to make it more of them … but of course I have to incorporate my own.
I love space planning. I’m really challenged with small, compact spaces. I think the biggest challenge is [designing] the bedroom, because [I] can never know who’s the master: the wife or the husband. I sometimes find myself as a psychiatrist and a marriage counselor because I have to act neutral. *laughs*
Which part of the house do you like to design and fiddle with the most?
The living room! Because I really love to entertain. All my parties are in there, so love decorating my living room and changing it to a theme. Over Christmas, [my living room’s theme] was under the sea! I had these balls, shells and giant starfish all over. I really love the living room because that’s where all my friends and family really hang out.
Which part of the house do like to hang out in and lounge the most?
Of course the bedroom, with the kids.
What’s your bedroom like?
My bedroom’s red!
Yes! In fact, it’s not supposed to be [according to Feng Shui]. But I really love red, because for me, red is passion.
Do you get to fiddle with your bedroom also?
Yes. I change [the insides of] my bedroom a lot—maybe quarterly, because I try to get rid of stuff. I like to change the paintings, the pillows and the bed sheets and covers, and I just donate na lang to the *pauses* whoever. *laughs*
Why is harmony in design or in ones home important?
Harmony is very important, especially when it comes to colors. In Feng Shui, which I am also into, it’s really necessary that you are in harmony with your space. You can tell if you’re not when you have restless sleep.
So I really recommend that you don’t have a TV or a computer in your bedroom because you’re changing the energy, you’re creating some sort of a heat energy. Enclose your TV in a sliding door or separate yourself from it [when you want to sleep]. If you think about it, if you have a TV [in your bedroom] you won’t talk with your husband or sleep—you’ll just watch TV!
It’s also very important today now that space is already a luxury.
What’s your fantasy home? Have you been some place else which you’d like to, in the near future, call your own?
Before, what I wanted was a beach house. Now I want a resort in Machu Pichu or something like that. I’m so into these exotic locations now. I want to go more and more and see the world.
But I’m also discovering the Philippines more. I recently went my first ever trip to Siargao, and I discovered super beautiful resorts [like Pansukian Tropical Resort] there!
Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?
Well, I was recently in South America—and I’m so in love with Buenos Aires. I get my inspiration from my travels and from magazines, reading people’s travel experiences. I’m constantly looking. My dreams and inspirations constantly change!
Design is not just a hobby. It’s something that people need to live with—tastefully. Y’know, if you have a home, you can really make it more personalized. Good designs lead up to good energy and harmony flow. They also show that you are doing proper space planning, where all the elements are covered.
What is your advice to those who want to design or plan their own space?
You gotta be creative. You have to keep your mind always open. You have to constantly want to explore and to get creative and to just get inspiration. Inspiration is everywhere. If you stop being inspired, then you stop designing. Keep getting inspired. *laughs*
Courtesy of Boga , Jessy / Mindanao Timewww.mindanaotimes.net