In­side the home and of­fice of dec­o­ra­tors Pinky Chang and Deb­bie Huang

Cebu Living - - Front Page - By OLIVER EMOCLING Images by DAN ONG

“Flow­ers can brighten up the day. Just by look­ing at them, you tend to for­get what­ever is both­er­ing you,” Pinky Chang, who helms Pink Flora, says. I agree. Flow­ers are of­ten given as a sign of ado­ra­tion and as a show of con­so­la­tion, and in some cul­tures, they’re re­garded as deities; the Bago­bos, for ex­am­ple, wor­ship the blooms of Wal­ing- wal­ing or­chids.

“I re­ally love them,” con­tin­ues Chang. Aside from live flow­ers, nu­mer­ous paint­ings of blooms adorn her of­fice on To­jong Street, most prob­a­bly done by her mother. “My fam­ily is on the artis­tic side. My mother is a painter,” Chang, who had trained to be­come a nurse, con­firms.

Clearly, her pas­sion for flow­ers drove her to open a flo­ral shop, but be­yond that, Chang found her­self need­ing to own one af­ter her hus­band had opened Ma­jes­tic restau­rant. Pink Flora is lo­cated in the same build­ing as the restau­rant, and Chang found her­self jug­gling the two busi­nesses. “I had to help my hus­band. [ I’d spend] maybe a few hours in the flower shop and then, I’d go up [ to the restau­rant],” she re­calls.

Chang de­scribes her style as “nat­u­rally clas­sic,” in­flu­enced by one of her style icons, the New York- based events stylist Pre­ston Bai­ley. For her fa­vorite bloom, she chooses the clas­sic rose. With her pos­ture im­pec­ca­ble, she leads me to the ta­ble she has styled to show me her DIY cen­ter­piece. “I used tulips be­cause I like their el­e­gance,” she says. “Tulips are clean and easy. They’re not over­pow­er­ing. You can use rose, but [ the re­sult] might be stiff- look­ing.” A re­pur­posed egg car­ton lies on top of sev­eral ma­son jars, shel­ter­ing the flow­ers. Around this cen­tral at­trac­tion, white plates and golden cut­lery are neatly ar­ranged, re­flect­ing Chang’s clas­sic style.

When asked what good styling is, she ad­mits, “That’s very hard to an­swer.” She thinks for a while be­fore adding, “It’s very sub­jec­tive.” For Chang, styling is a per­sonal pur­suit that starts with one’s own style prin­ci­ples and spurred on by know­ing what mes­sage the host would like to send to their guests.

Chang ad­vises the use of clean lines, es­pe­cially for smaller spa­ces. “There are peo­ple who tend to go [over­board], but you don’t have to put so many things on a ta­ble,” she says. To a con­sumerist cul­ture that fo­cuses on ac­quir­ing more and more, she gives a sim­ple re­minder: “You don’t have to spend that much just to have a nice ar­range­ment.”

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