A cozy conversation. Angel Trinidad
Angel Trinidad – editor, writer and content producer from Amsterdam who weekly shares her inspiration in Angel Magazine. Once I painted her portrait, and recently she told us about her home, workspace, favorite things, sweet treats, and about the importance of the individuality. Enjoy!
– How much is your home important to you?
Home is very important to me, and something I think about often, having lived in different countries. I grew up in Manila, moved to Gottingen to study my Masters, spent a couple of semesters in Bilbao and Stockholm, stayed a couple of years in Arnhem, and now living and working in Amsterdam with my boyfriend Mark. During my travels, I wrote this piece about home in one of my blogs:
“Home to me for the past years have been a psychological phenomenon, a place where you can be yourself and where you are surrounded with the people that you love and who love you. A place where the most authentic “you” can flourish, and where you have the freedom and the state of mind to create, express and just be yourself. Simply, somewhere where you can be comfortable, happy and true. It is a bit different from the traditional definition of home, which is a more physical and non-flexible entity (and most usually refers to “where you came from”). Mine is a more mobile definition, perhaps a skill I have adapted to to match the currents of my life and/or a truth that I have discovered. I believe that you can be at home anywhere.”
Now I am more settled, and can definitely pinpoint that – here, now, with Mark – is my home. And at the same time, when I think of my mother, I feel at home too. Home is where your loves are, where you find your strength, where you feel safe and loved.
– What fills your home?
Coca-cola in the fridge, lots of art books and zines, paper and pens, memorabilia and photos, Mark’s guitars, and too much (of my) clothes and shoes. 😉
– Tell us about your favorite place at home?
It’s definitely our studio. I designed it myself! I knew I wanted a long wooden table spanning the whole length of the wall and lots of storage space; a place where me and Mark can work together but still have our own spaces. I am an editor and writer, while he is a software developer and musician. I love that we can both do our things in the same place – me, writing articles and doing crafts, while he writes music and programmes. We put long white curtains, also spanning the whole wall, to divide the studio from the living room; making it into a semi-private room.
– What do you prefer for decorating your home?
We both have the same aesthetic, which makes it easy in decorating our home. We both love mid-20th century furniture combined with Scandinavian design. There’s lots of animal-inspired art and decorative objects – they make us smile. We also love Amsterdam School, De Stijl and moody styles of visual art. I would love to have beautiful Art Deco and Art Nouveau pieces, but they are very hard to find.
– Tell us about your favorite objects, stuff at home?
1. Gispen (Wim Rietveld 1401) chair. Probably our favourite piece of furniture at home. We love Dutch design from this era, plus it’s very comfy.
2. Nijntje “Wallflower” sculpture designed by Emilio Kruithof. My friends say it looks like me!
3. Paula Arntzen lamp. I got this paper and glass lamp while living in Arnhem. Arntzen is a product designer who studied at Arnhem’s ArtEZ Academy of Art (a hotbed for product and fashion designers) and is now based in London.
4. Jel Suarez collage artwork. It was given to me by my friend Jel, she’s a collage artist based in Manila. I love her dreamy, mysterious works.
5. Bart van der Leck cat print. We fell in love with this print which we got at Kroller-Muller Museum in Otterlo (a must-visit!)
– When you visit someone at home what do you notice most often?
The scents of the place, the small things that make up who a person is. Little ephemera on top of tables, shopping lists, pictures on the refrigerator. I think these small things are truly the most important ones in a home.
– How do you feel about domestic order or mess at home?
I think domestic order and Marie-Kondo style neatness are overrated! Mess should be embraced as well; creative chaos, spontaneity and carefreeness are values that are also good to have, aren’t they? I believe that the era of Kinfolk, white washed “Instagrammable” sets and minimalist interiors is soon to be over. I personally think it’s boring! The next wave will be about colour, creative chaos, decoration, personality, individuality and carefreeness. Think of the DIY spirit, zines, artists’ homes, Art Nouveau, etc. It’s time to express more, to feel more.
Besides the aesthetic, I think cleaning is a waste of time. Sure, hygiene is important, and I do believe in tidy liveable spaces, but I don’t like striving to such a level of immaculate perfection that it almost erases the personality of the home. Plus, cleaning wastes precious time that can be spent instead in doing fun, meaningful things.
– Do you know interesting home traditions, maybe in other countries?
In Sweden, like in Japan, you need to take off your shoes before entering anyone’s house. It’s a sign of respect, and of course a practical way to keep homes clean. So make sure to always wear nice socks without holes in them! 😉
I am also fascinated in what kinds of special treats people keep in their homes. In Holland, grandmas usually have well-stocked tins of cookies at home, for visitors. So I always make sure to have some kind of sweet treat around, for visitors’ and as well as my own sake. Haha!
Dutch treats I like:
– Tell us about your childhood home?
Oh, I love my childhood home. I lived in my grandparents’ big old house in Marikina, a city part of greater Manila. I lived there since I was eight with my mom, brother, grandmother, uncles, aunts and cousins. People move in and out throughout the years. My grandparents owned a carinderia downstairs, a sort of low-key restaurant where they sell homemade dishes, porridge, hamburgers and other Filipino fares. Oh, to be back in those days! Waking up, going down the stairs, my grandpa asking me if I want a bowl of goto (rice porridge with meat) for breakfast, and watching cartoons before going to school…
I love that there is always someone around. You never feel lonely there. I can always hear my aunts laughing loudly downstairs, or my cousins running around, while I’m in my attic room reading, or writing letters. There is also always a cat walking around, or a dog. We always had pets. It gives such a great sense of comfort, having my family’s (and pets’) presence all the time, round the clock. I can still feel that warm, almost unexplainable sense of home.
– What makes the home cosy?
A boyfriend who also loves cosying up at home! 😀 We both love spending time in our living room, just relaxing together and being cosy. We watch series or horror movies while having dinner on the couch. Candles, Christmas lights (a whole-year decoration, in my opinion), and being surrounded by the things and people you love definitely makes home a cosy place.
The main photo by Robin Kuijs.
The rest are from Angel.