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The Easy Elegance of East Bay Residences: A Chat with Interior Designer Alice Erfe

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Photography by Beatrice Faicol

They call it Southern charm; what sets a more suburban area like Muntinlupa apart from the asphalt-covered, skyscraper-surrounded parts of Metro Manila. With Rockwell Primaries breaking new ground in Sucat through East Bay Residences, the advantages of Southern living needed to be translated through the spacious cuts and serene aesthetic of the property’s units.

To communicate these traits, seasoned interior designer Alice Erfe applied much of the discernment that Rockwell Primaries is known for to the East Bay Residences pop-up at Power Plant recently. THE START sat down with Erfe to discuss the mix of mellowed-out modernity that inspired her interiors.

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Hello Alice, the Rockwell Primaries pop-ups seem to have such distinctive aesthetics. Could you tell us about the owner you had in mind when designing these unit popups or what inspired their interiors?

They are all unit owners of homes and most of the time, they just downsize to a Rockwell unit. The units have to be a mix of modern and contemporary motifs, with a vintage touch, as well. It’s a revival of mid-century furniture and Scandinavian furniture that work with our interiors.

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We saw a preview of these interiors with the two-bedroom East Bay Residences popup at Power Plant. Could you tell us what you had in mind with East Bay? 

We have a lot of clients who used to have seven-bedroom homes that empty out because their kids are abroad or have their own families already. Still, they would like to retain the refinement of their interiors. Through a Rockwell unit, they can include the furniture they used to have in a new, contemporary environment that’s comfortable and stylish.

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As the lead designer of East Bay’s two-bedroom pop-up, which aspect of the unit are you personally drawn to aesthetically? 

I like the living room and the master’s bedroom, specifically in how the living room opens into the dining room. What is very common in Rockwell interiors is the very light and clean feel. Also the presence of greens because wherever they go, whatever property they decide to buy, there’s always a garden. And whether it’s interior design or architectural design, Rockwell has always emphasized nature. Owners can just open their windows and they have fresh air coming in, as well as light. We don’t have dark corners in our units. What we also try to do in the Rockwell units is to make sure that everything is coordinated and that each space enhances the other.

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