“Personally, I like colors,” says interior decorator, writer, party planner, and one-time fashion designer Ronald Gonzales. And his penchant for palette certainly came through when he was given the opportunity to redo a spacious two-bedroom condo, which had the standard-issue beige walls and white-tiled bathrooms he simply describes as "awful."

Faced with the challenge of a boring cookie-cutter condo, the owner gave Ronald a free hand to decorate as he liked. “The owner just said ‘Bahala ka na, do whatever you want to do. Just make it look nice,’” he says. So Ronald decided to cover every dull inch of beige and white with rich hues. One of his personal favorites, brown, makes an appearance in every room, and is accented by other shades all throughout. “[There is] one accent wall [in every room], [it’s a] different color palagi because I find one color boring,” he explains.

The owner emphasized that he wanted good furniture, so Ronald designed most of the pieces and had them custom-made. He also designed most of the lamps to match the walls, and banned harsh white light, instead opting for indirect and ambient lighting in spotlights and lamps. “I wanted soft lighting,” he stresses. “If you’ve noticed, there are no white lights. I hate white lights!”

Ronald didn’t have a particular look in mind when he worked on the unit. “I just wanted something really warm and homey . . . nothing too modern,” he says. While the place looks relaxed, his first stab at decorating proved to be a nerve-wracking experience. “I couldn’t sleep,” he reveals.

But it all paid off in the end—asked how the owner liked the place, Ronald smiles “He loved it! He loved it so much that he threw me a birthday party!”

(First published in
Real Living, Real Homes section, March 2007. Photos by Miguel Nacianceno, styling by Issa Villar; adapted for use in Female Network)

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