5 Contemporary Filipino Design Trends You Need to Know
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read


  1. The rise of minimalist design
  2. The influence of local craftsmanship
  3. Embracing nature in interior design
  4. Incorporating ethnic patterns and textiles
  5. The shift towards sustainable design

If you're on the hunt for fresh, innovative, and culturally rich aesthetic inspiration, then look no further than the recent wave of contemporary Filipino design trends. With its unique blend of tradition and modernity, the Filipino design landscape is evolving in ways that are both exciting and deeply rooted in the country's rich cultural heritage. Let's dive into these key trends that are shaping the new Filipino aesthetic.

The rise of minimalist design

The minimalist design trend has been making waves across the globe, and the Philippines is no exception. This trend, which emphasizes simplicity and functionality, is increasingly popular in Filipino homes and spaces. But what does this look like in practice? Let's break down some key aspects of this trend in Filipino design.

Streamlined Furniture

One of the key characteristics of minimalist design is the use of streamlined furniture. This means choosing pieces that are sleek, simple, and free of unnecessary details. In a Filipino context, this might mean a bamboo coffee table with clean lines or a sleek, handcrafted mahogany dining table. The idea is to let the beauty and quality of the materials shine without any added fuss.

Neutral Color Palette

Another trait of minimalist design is the use of a neutral color palette. Think shades of white, beige, and gray, with occasional pops of color for accent. This creates a calm and serene environment, allowing the focus to remain on the functionality and form of each piece. So, next time you're picking out paint or fabrics, consider going for a neutral, calming shade.

Clutter-Free Spaces

Finally, minimalist design means keeping your spaces clutter-free. This doesn't mean you have to throw away all your belongings and live in an empty room! Rather, it's about carefully choosing what to display and making sure everything has a place. This might mean investing in clever storage solutions or just doing a regular clean-up to keep your space feeling fresh and open.

With its focus on simplicity and functionality, the minimalist trend in contemporary Filipino design is a breath of fresh air. It's all about appreciating the beauty in simplicity and creating spaces that are easy to live in. So, if you're looking for a way to update your space while keeping it rooted in Filipino tradition, this might be just the trend for you.

The influence of local craftsmanship

Another standout trend in the realm of contemporary Filipino design is the celebration of local craftsmanship. This trend is all about recognizing and honoring the skilled artisans and their traditional craft techniques that have been passed down through generations. Let's delve into this further.

Highlighting Artisanal Techniques

Whether it's intricate weaving, detailed wood carving, or the artful shaping of metal, Filipino artisans have a wealth of skills. Contemporary design is bringing these traditional techniques to the forefront, using them in modern ways. For instance, you might find a contemporary lighting fixture featuring traditional rattan weaving or a sleek wooden chair showcasing skilled Filipino carpentry.

Preserving Cultural Heritage

By valuing local craftsmanship, contemporary Filipino design also helps preserve the country's rich cultural heritage. Each handcrafted item tells a story of the artisan's skill, their community, and their culture. So, when you incorporate these pieces into your space, you're not just making a design statement; you're also helping keep these stories alive.

Supporting Local Economies

Finally, this trend also plays a key role in supporting local economies. When you choose to decorate your space with locally crafted pieces, you're directly supporting the artisans and their communities. It's a win-win situation: you get a unique, high-quality piece, and you contribute to the sustainability of local craftsmanship.

The influence of local craftsmanship in contemporary Filipino design trends is more than just a style choice; it's a celebration of culture, heritage, and community. By embracing this trend, you're making a statement about what you value: quality, authenticity, and the rich, diverse heritage of the Philippines.

Embracing Nature in Interior Design

With its lush landscapes and diverse ecosystems, it's no surprise that nature plays a huge role in contemporary Filipino design trends. Nature-inspired design not only adds aesthetic value but also promotes a sense of calm and tranquility in our space. Let's explore how you can bring the outside in.

Use of Natural Materials

From bamboo to abaca, natural materials are a staple in Filipino design. These materials are not only locally available, but they also bring a sense of warmth and connection to nature into the interiors. Imagine a bamboo coffee table or an abaca rug — it's like getting a piece of the Filipino landscape right in your home.

Biophilic Design

Biophilic design, a design trend that seeks to connect people with nature, is also big in the Philippines. This can be as simple as maximizing natural light in your space or including indoor plants in your interior decor. It's not just about aesthetics; biophilic design can actually improve your mood and overall well-being.

Color Palettes Inspired by Nature

Lastly, contemporary Filipino design trends often feature color palettes inspired by nature. Think earthy tones like greens, browns and blues that mirror the country's landscapes, seas, and skies. These colors create a soothing, relaxing environment that makes you feel one with nature.

Embracing nature in interior design is more than just a trend; it's a lifestyle. By incorporating natural elements into your space, you don't just enhance its aesthetic appeal — you also create a nurturing environment that promotes well-being.

Incorporating Ethnic Patterns and Textiles

Another key element in contemporary Filipino design trends is the incorporation of ethnic patterns and textiles. The Philippines is a melting pot of different cultures, each offering unique and intricate designs. Let's delve into how these patterns and textiles can add a vibrant splash to your space.

The Power of Patterns

Patterns derived from various ethnic groups in the Philippines, such as the geometric shapes of the Kalinga or the vibrant colors of the T'boli, can serve as eye-catching focal points in your design. Imagine a Kalinga-inspired wall art or a T'boli-patterned throw pillow. These details can add a charming touch of Filipino culture to your space.

Textiles Tell a Story

Besides patterns, traditional textiles woven by Filipino artisans hold a profound cultural significance. Each thread, color, and design tells a story of our rich heritage. Including these textiles in your design—say, a handwoven Inabel blanket or a Yakan weave table runner—brings an authentic Filipino narrative into your space.

Marrying Modern and Traditional

The beauty of contemporary Filipino design trends lies in the seamless blending of the old and the new. While traditional patterns and textiles hold their own charm, incorporating them in modern design settings creates a unique fusion that's distinctly Filipino. Think of a modern minimalist room adorned with a colorful Banig mat—old meets new, traditional meets contemporary.

Incorporating ethnic patterns and textiles into your space doesn't just create visual interest—it also pays homage to the rich cultural tapestry of the Philippines. As you explore these design elements, you're not just decorating—you're telling a story.

The Shift Towards Sustainable Design

Placing a spotlight on another of the significant contemporary Filipino design trends, it's impossible to overlook the move towards sustainability. As we become more conscious about our impact on the environment, incorporating sustainable practices into our design approach is becoming the norm. But how exactly does this trend manifest in Filipino design? Let's find out.

Using Locally-Sourced Materials

One way to promote sustainability is by using locally-sourced materials. In the Philippines, bamboo, rattan, and abaca are abundant and renewable resources. Furniture made from these materials, like a bamboo coffee table or a rattan chair, not only looks stylish but also reduces your carbon footprint.

Repurposing with a Purpose

Another approach is repurposing or upcycling previously used items. An old wooden door could be transformed into a rustic dining table. An antique window frame could serve as a unique picture frame. This way, you're not only creating one-of-a-kind pieces but also reducing waste.

Designing for Longevity

Sustainable design also means creating pieces that withstand the test of time. In the realm of contemporary Filipino design trends, this means favoring timeless styles over fleeting trends, and investing in quality over quantity. That well-crafted Narra wood bookshelf might be pricier, but its longevity makes it a sustainable choice.

As you can see, the shift towards sustainable design is not just about being eco-friendly—it's about being resourceful, creative, and mindful. It's a trend that's here to stay, and one that we should all strive to incorporate into our own spaces.

If you're interested in exploring more about contemporary design trends, you might find the workshop 'What is Digital Fashion?' by Beata Wilczek fascinating. While this workshop focuses on digital fashion, it offers valuable insights into the world of design and its evolution, which can inspire and inform your understanding of Filipino design trends as well. Don't miss this chance to broaden your design horizons!