Passionate about design, Raiza loves creating spaces that are both beautiful and functional.
Constantly surrounded by beautiful spaces and objects, this interior designer is quite a beauty herself. Despite the sweltering summer heat and the crazy winds at BGC, she arrived in her white outfit looking amazingly fresh. Coupled with a cheerful personality and a soft-sweet voice, I’m sure a job site would look 10 times better with her in it!
Raiza and I met at Unit 27 Bar + Café for a quick chat over some banana and peanut butter waffles that we shared. And in between all the whipped cream and syrup we devoured, we talked about her passion for interior design and how it serves as a visual expression of character.
Currently working on freelance projects, Raiza is enjoying the freedom and the steep curve of hands-on learning she might not get at a big firm. At only 24, there are still a lot of blank spaces that Raiza’s design magic can bring to life and we’re excited to see them all!
Take us through your background. How did you end up as an interior designer? Were you always dabbling in creative arts as a young girl?
I was definitely into the arts while studying. Whether it was arts and crafts, drawing, photography, or performing arts, I found that I had skills there and I enjoyed it. I wanted to take up architecture at first, but I decided I wanted to focus on interiors more than doing large scale projects, such as buildings.
How would you describe your interior design style? Do you have a design philosophy?
I wouldn’t say I have a specific style. Interior design is both an art and a science. We were taught to live by the philosophy, “form follows function,” but I say, why can’t something beautiful also be functional, rather than something to be functional, but beautiful also?
Where do you find inspiration? How do you keep creative?
The Internet is amazing. There are so many talented, inspiring, and brilliant minds out there and it’s great to easily have access to admire their work. I do my best to keep updated with trends, new materials, and it’s usually our job as designers to innovate. I think the best way to keep creative is to surround yourself with friends and people who are creative in their own way and like to share their experiences with you. It easily gives you that boost of inspiration you need.
You must learn a lot from working with contractors, engineers, and even electricians and plumbers. What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from them?
Act like you know what you’re doing. That, and learning the construction worker’s jargon.
What’s been your favorite project so far? What did you like about it?
Probably my aunt’s house. I love how she’s into the unusual, but modern. I got to include elements in my design that most people wouldn’t really be into. It makes a unique statement so I love it when clients are more open to these ideas.
You’re also a blogger (check out @misspopquiz on Instagram)! How has that been like? When did you start, what got you started and what do you enjoy most about it?
Back in college, I was never into fashion, but going to SDA (De La Salle College of Saint Benilde’s School of Design and Arts) probably helped me to start dressing better. Then I got into Tumblr and Lookbook. I just liked sharing inspiration, and I always produced original content. Eventually I featured brands I liked and it just grew from there.
You constantly need to have your phone or camera out for the blog. What are the gadgets you swear by? Who takes most of your photos when you’re in the frame as opposed to taking the photos yourself?
I couldn’t take outfit photos or event photos before without my DSLR and 50mm prime lens. The photos just looked cleaner and had more impact. But now, mobile phones are quite amazing. I easily opt to use my iPhone for Instagram photos. I have a Sony a5100 mirrorless camera now, which is great for traveling because it’s lightweight but I still get to switch lenses.
How is it like being in front of the camera for your blog versus being behind the scenes when you’re doing interior design? Do you prefer one over the other?
I don’t really intend to be the focus or the subject of anything. When I’m in front of the camera, I’m showing my outfit, or trying to create a beautiful photo. With interiors, I want people to see my design, my concept. I don’t really want them to see me, I want them to see my talent and hard work.
When you’re not creating beautiful spaces or creating content for your blog, what do you do in your free time?
I like spending time with my family and friends. Movies, dinner, anything that’s fun. I’d love to travel more, too.
Take us through a day in your life. What do you do on an average day?
Get ready for work (this takes an hour or more), answer emails, go to Home Depot to buy materials, visit the site, talk to contractors, meet clients, attend an event or two, go home, and if I still have energy, work on my laptop.
You seem really fit (if your abs on Instagram are enough indication!), how do you keep in shape? What exercises do you swear by?
Gosh, I actually only do simple workouts at home if I know I need to get my beach bod ready. Ab workouts, such as sit-ups, leg-lifts, planking, and some squats.
What restaurants, stores, and brands do you love?
Zara is probably my go-to fashion brand. I also love shopping at River Island, Bershka, Stradivarius, H&M, and Mango. You’ll probably see me eating at Mamou, CBTL, Todd English, Wildflour, Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza, Cibo, Recovery Food, and Nihon Bashitei.
What is your go-to outfit?
Long-sleeved polo, jeans, and heels.
What advice would you give aspiring interior designers, and those who want to get into the world of blogging as well?
Go for it! I’ve always lived by the words, “inspire and be inspired.” If you have a dream, do whatever it takes to turn it into a reality. It’s going to be difficult at first, but we all have to work hard and keep at it. Don’t ever feel like you have to please everyone. Just do what makes you happy.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I really want my own design firm/studio, and store. I’ll eventually venture into designing home décor and furniture pieces, maybe apparel, too!