Inside Miguel Rosales' design laboratory

The vastness of Miguel Rosales’ work cannot be encompassed within the bijou of a space that is the Caramel office, though it does provide a glimpse of the man’s creative vision. Walls are covered in framed art, unhung canvases lean on the corner, and the selection of furniture accentuates the art rather than the other way around. It’s an effortless mix of antiques and modern pieces, high and low. Embroidery by Geraldine Javier reads “250 Ways to Prepare Meat.” Eighteenth century Philippine silver panels hang in their frames. A Tom Epperson smoke photograph stands out as the sole abstract piece. A cabinet houses various objets d’art, including a nesting doll painted as Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his family. “We want to show variety. These are more project pieces that we offer to designers who walk in and need a piece to complete a project.” There’s only one working desk, bare save for some blueprints, floor plans, and art books. Rosales’ real work happens outside: design, creative consultations, art advisory and management, artist representation, and hotel projects—the biggest one, as of writing, is the new Shangri-La at the Fort. His vision for the luxury hotel is a showcase of fine art and architecture that honors authentic Filipino heritage and incorporates works of local artists. “The details are so different from the usual Shangri-La look; it looks amazing. I think it will get people remembering how beautiful our country and our culture are.”

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