Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Kissing 2013 Goodbye

I'm in Manila now and for sure it's going to be loud and noisy tonight.  For it's NEW YEAR's EVE later and all sorts of fireworks will be filling the sky! Christmas lights will be blazing (like this one from my Instagram account...follow me at @nina_santamaria).

Allow me to look back and be thankful for the highlights of my year:

The launch of my work portfolio & design blog in January 2012, www.GrupoSantamaria.ph

Going back to Siargao in April (#faveplaceonearth) 
Siargao pic by Charlie Gomez

 Bali in May. To read about that epic trip, click here.

Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte with my family. No surfing but plenty of SUP-ing.

 And then...there was Paris in September. Paris where everything was perfect. 

Beautiful places on earth.  Seeing these cities and hanging out with old & new friends enriched me and filled me with so much inspiration!

And then, I just came back from another favorite destination, La Union.  I couldn't have asked for a better way to end my year.  It was not my best year, for I got majorly sick in many ways...but for four days I was just so grateful to be able to still go to the beach, enjoy nature, hangout with my friends, and still ride the waves in the ocean, even for just a few times each day.  I usually seal my year with surf (click HERE), now sharing with you images from the last days of 2013...memories I'll cherish for a loooong time.

Photo from Coast Thru Life. 
chilly weather, beach December

Buji & monkey-Nikki at our fave break

crossing the highway to get to El Union Coffee (best coffee in town!)

met my new goddaughter for the 1st time
I went to Sunday mass but got there early.  
I decided to have merienda outside the church and met Lola Irene--
she is 82 years old and told me her secret to a long life was eating a lot of vegetables! 
God's way of reminding me to watch what I eat.  

quality time with Mia & Carla...and Barry the wagon
watched "HUGO" outdoors and under the stars
(follow @flotsamandjetsamhostel)

vigan longganisa pizza
(words aren't enough to describe how insanely yummy this is)
Carla, Joncy, & Marco taking a kitchen break and showing some holiday spirit
With best bud Nikki. We're smiling and you know why.  
perfect weather. photo by Kim Jones

You surprised me to no end, 2013.  Thank you and goodbye.  
I can't wait to live each day of 2014. 

 “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” 

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Sunday Surf

Last Saturday, I had to go fix up a client's Christmas party in the morning, help out briefly at a shoebox relief drive in my office, and go to 2 exhibit and gallery openings (one of which was in Tagaytay and the other was in Sta. Rosa, Laguna).  

After which I hurried home, threw bikinis, sunblock, and apples in a bag and hopped on a bus to San Juan, La Union.  

I'm so happy to have done that.

Nikki going cuckoo over...Cuckoo. 

Morning surf, cool weather, smiles and greetings from surfers who were glad to see me after a long absence in the lineup.  Awesome afternoon chill-a-thon at Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel til the sun went down. 

Room to breathe, baby.
Bring the next Saturday on.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


I and my friends from Coast Thru Life are very excited to share with you this website we have been working on for a long time.  Featuring our Back to Basics Collection and our Lookbook as shot by Charlie Gomez, Ian Zamora, and Jefferson Ganuelas.  

Hope you can drop by and take a look.

Have a blessed weekend, everyone.  

Monday, October 21, 2013

Jacques Garcia for Baker

In love with the new furniture line of Jacques Garcia for Baker Furniture.
Simple lines, luxe materials, sexy looks.

I want that St. James sofa so bad.
It's could be the lovechild of Marie Antoinette and Lenny Kravitz.

Monday, October 07, 2013


Pardon the lack of posts, for I have been traveling and went to Paris for business and holiday.  My discoveries at the Maison et Objet Furniture fair were posted last week at Grupo Santamaria -- the  website of my design firm that has a blog feature as well. Just to clear things up, that blog will be the venue for sharing work-related design experiences with you, such as the business trips to lovely cities.  Although I'm sure you'll understand how the lines of work and pleasure are sometimes blurred as I try to live and breathe design...

Chandelier-by-the-Sea, on the other hand, was originally meant to chronicle my weekend and holiday life by the ocean, as I and my friends surf and soak up the sun, smiles, and good vibes that come with a life dancing with waves.  Along with a bunch of random experiences outside the office that leave me...well, inspired.   

I will try to post here more often now that I'm back in Manila and surf season is in full swing.  

Meanwhile, I leave you with my room inspiration for the week: a bedroom in Almunecar, Granada, designed by Susanna Cots.  

Clean, minimal, yet cozy.  
This definitely goes up on my future beach house mood board.  

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Hey Sexy

This Vita side table from Uncontrollable Urge

Rare marble base with folded anodised aluminum top.  OMG.
I love simple forms used ingeniously! 
This table is so elegant in its simplicity it hurts to look at it.  

Bring sexy back into your home. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

My Week in 10 Photos

T'was a busy but pleasant week for me and Grupo Santamaria.
Sharing with you some snapshots of the past few days, in random order:

we worked on 2 client presentations

always thinking about my trip to Paris in September
can't wait to do these walking tours when I get there

The UP Architectural Students Association of the Philippines 
did a tour of Grupo Santamaria for their "firm-hopping" activity.  
Although I still can't get over how 20-25 people fit in my office, we had FUN! 
To be blogged soon at Grupo Santamaria.

Was visited by these 2 dear friends...bringing heaps of good news with them!

Did some shopping for a returning Client...

...and for me!
(haha! Brought home this new frock from the Zara sale. 
A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do)

attended a Production Design talk by Leeroy New

visited a new job site in Alabang
(I can imagine the new house rising---a very good lot, with eucalyptus trees on one side) 

Meet Boulette (French for Meatball). 
I had to dog-sit for my friend Apol from La Pomme, now I don't want to return her anymore.

And the furniture-hunting continues.  

Work goes on, til next week, friends. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Poolside Guest House

If you had an extra 30 or 40 square meters and could build a guest house on it, how would it look like?

I love everything about this place! Note: I wouldn't necessarily say this is how I want my own home to look like, it's a bit too frilly for me.  BUT I think it is perfect for a guest house by the pool (if you have one), or a farm house or weekend getaway on a tiny lot far away.  What I like best about this home is the very smart space layout where the kitchen and the charming little dining area is across each other.  You can see the space is small but you won't really mind it.

Kudos to Tillman Long Interiors, an interior design company based in Atlanta, for this gem of a guest house.