Design rules! - Weekend

Design rules!

Holly Dawn talks design at 32 Sanson by Rockwell


INTERIOR designer Holly Dawn Dychangco shared her expertise in design through a talk dubbed “Design Rules” at 32 Sanson by Rockwell last April 25. Holly is CEO of Chrome Architecture and Interior Design Studio and holds a degree in interior architecture and design from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California where she graduated cum laude.


With the lifestyle of the modern Cebuano of having a condo for a home, Holly’s talk focused mainly on small spaces. She shared design tips and tricks on how to get the most out of a small space and making it feel like home. According to her, a house is just a foundation of materials, construction, concrete, walls, brick, roofs, while a home reflects a person’s character and personality. Although a lot of people are intimidated by the idea of tackling home decorating and design, Holly proved that it need not be that daunting.

Holly Dawn Dychangco, CEO of Chrome Architecture and Interior Design Studio, gives a piece of her mind during her talk “Design Rules” at 32 Sanson by Rockwell. (CONTRIBUTED FOTO)
Holly Dawn Dychangco, CEO of Chrome Architecture and Interior Design Studio, gives a piece of her mind during her talk “Design Rules” at 32 Sanson by Rockwell. (CONTRIBUTED FOTO)

Turning a space into a home by incorporating style and taste can be achieved by following the six principles of design: space and planning, lighting, impact of color, pattern and texture, balance and harmony, and personality in decorating.

Holly’s Design Tips

space-and-planningSpace and Planning

According to Holly, “There are many ways to create an illusion of space, but before resorting to these cheats, think first of ways on how you can actually make space.” Double-purpose furniture, such as sofa beds and coffee or center tables that are convertible to chairs are practical in making that space. She also added to only display what you want to see; the rest should be put into storage. Another tip was to keep your surroundings tidy by avoiding the usual clutter like tiny figurines, decors, and cleaning items.


As Holly said, designers refer to light as the animator of space. When designing your home, you must consider both natural lighting and the plug-in kind. The former enriches your home, while the latter creates a certain atmosphere. Some tips she shared were: (1) use lamps to bounce off light towards the ceiling, making it appear higher; (2) use corner spotlights instead of a center chandelier to provide added brightness and more visual space; and (3) for spotlights, consider using LED bulbs for an energy-efficient home design.

PatternPattern and Texture

Aside from providing visual interest, patterns and textures can also soften sharp angles, create a specific atmosphere, and disguise rooms with odd proportions. Using plain color fabrics on big elements such as draperies, furniture, and rugs makes the whole room look unified, thus creating an expanded effect. If printed fabric is your choice, use the ones with smaller prints.

ColorImpact of Color

The most fundamental and basic way to transform a room is by using color. To start, rather than choosing a color and deciding what you want to see right off the bat, decide what you want to feel and the kind of ambiance or mood you want to achieve. A basic rule to remember is that warm colors cause increased heart rate, blood pressure, and heavier respiration, while cool colors create the opposite effect. Holly also shared the 60-30-10 rule, which tells you how much color should be used. The main color should cover 60 percent of the room on the biggest canvasses, the second color should use 30 percent of the room, on rugs, furniture, and even the ceiling, and the remaining 10 percent should be reserved as an accent or accessory color. If you’re still unsure of what colors to pick, use neutrals instead and let nature be your inspiration.

BalanceBalance and Harmony

Most of the time, we don’t realize that the space that we have is actually smaller than the existing furniture piece we have in mind. We have the tendency to want to keep the bed that we have in our old home to transfer to a space that cannot accommodate a king-size bed. Holly says to consider where your furniture goes before anything else, because they are the main pieces to fill your space. Their placement affects everything.

PersonalityPersonality in Decorating

Holly says it all boils down to style and choosing which theme suits your personality best. The five style types are modern, contemporary, traditional, industrial or urban, and classic. Study how you dress yourself and how you use trends. Make your space mirror your own personality to reflect what you like and what your unique characteristics are.

With so many elements to be creative with, 32 Sanson’s spaces are structured to allow homeowners to transform their condo units and make them their own. Giving great importance to superb design, 32 Sanson is all about lifestyle and satisfying clients’ demands by offering sophisticated living. (FSE/With PR)

Photos by Alfred Bartolome
Locale: 32 Sanson Showroom

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