I embarked on an Asian Adventure last week that left all of you without posts, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t thinking about all of you on my trip. In fact, the trip was completed with The Potted Boxwood in mind. An exploratory adventure of digging for treasure, meeting with skilled craftsman, and broadening horizons. This was my first trip to Asia, and Manila was my first stop. Don’t worry, it is not a stupid question, Manila is in the Philippines. Remember Imelda Marcos, the lady with all the shoes?! It is a highly populated town with traffic that will leave those envious of L.A. at rush hour. There are malls for miles on apparently every corner, they call it “malling“, which is baffling when you see the amount of homeless housing scattered along street corners, the likes of which you have never seen. The warning of a massive earthquake looming around the corner left me with a pit in my stomach for those thousands of people who will be in desperate need of help and life.

That in mind, I also had the privilege of meeting one of my favorite instagram friends, Blue Carreon. If you don’t follow him on instagram, you should. He has impeccable taste and a home store in Manila that is so chicly designed. It is full of treasures, and his inviting sophistication made him feel like an old friend. He was the most hospitable host and gave me access to neighborhoods that I am able to share here with you. I also met another instagram friend, Rachelle Wenger a.k.a Everyday Flair. She invited me to her home for some wine and it was a very pleasant evening overlooking the city lights.

This is not part of the world that many frequent, but I am happy to share what I saw with you. Lot’s of gated homes, in gated communities belonging to diplomats and the upper crust of Manila. I find it fascinating that you can barely see the homes, so they very much rely on curb appeal to get a sense of aesthetic.

Tomorrow I will post on the fabulous Hong Kong (seriously, plan a trip now!). Until then, enjoy my glimpse of Manila. So happy to be back with you all! There is one thing traveling does…and that is inspire my creative thinking. Lucky me, and lucky you! And just be grateful you get to experience Manila with air conditioning 😉


All photos by Christina Dandar for The Potted Boxwood


Gated Curb Appeal

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Doesn’t this gate make you feel like you are pulling up to a Kelly Wearstler designed home?! From the driveway to the gate detail, I can’t get enough!

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Here is some blue and white to inspire. I love seeing bits of Spanish influence throughout.

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A more contemporary approach and clean lines for this new construction.

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I love the color ad contrast of this blue/gray gate against the crisp white.


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I really admire the detail of this door. The light butter color makes the greenery pop.

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A perfectly landscaped wall. All walls should look like this.

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Bamboo has such a tropical sophistication. I wish more people used it in tropical locations, especially Florida. Manila via The Potted Boxwood  23

Another beautiful gate full of lush landscape.

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Would love to see the courtyard behind the gate.

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This just screams Trina Turk to me! A fresh coat of paint and it would be ready for business.

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Notice the floating lanterns that provide a magical flickering of light at night.

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Fantastic woodwork on this more Balinese style gate, all that is missing is some bougainvillea.

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A very colorful but beautifully hedged home with boxwood to boot. The most glimpse of a home I got in Manila. A majority of these homes had guards out front.

Gated enterance in Manila via The Potted Boxwood

I adored the lions and urns flanking this gate full of prestige and character.

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Isn’t it interesting how these shallow pots are practically floating on top of this walled in fence.

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A beautiful church inspired by the Spanish influence that once ruled in the Philippines.

Manila Spanish district via The Potted Boxwood

A lovely pink building in the Spanish area of Manila. Not sure what those little trees are, but I adore them!

Loely pink front door in Manila

How could you not want to see this perfectly pink door flanked by boxwood in a place that I hope to be frequenting upon my return to Manila.

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A real view of Manila from take-off. Those are all little towns and homes. Apparently the government housing is too far away from town, so people just continue to build on the side of the road. I just hate to think what will happen if this large earthquake they are anticipating actually strikes…read more here


Fab Finds


joanna preysler handbags via The Potted Boxwood

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Wish list!!

joanna preysler store via The Potted Boxwood

Joanna Preysler is one store that I wish I could go back to do some shopping. You know when you are on a trip and you find such a fantastic store right away, but you feel you need to hold-off because there is more to see. Well, don’t fall for it! Her bags were butter to the touch and the skins sent a shiver up my spine.

Amazing curated colletion in Manila

Blurry, but I am sure you get the picture.

Home Line for The Potted Boxwood

I have some exciting things coming around the corner. Raise your had if you would purchase this? More details coming very soon!


Blue Carreon

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Blue’s store left me feeling anything but blue. So many treasures and high quality items that would add a flair to any home. Too bad it is in Manila. I guess we all just need to beg him to open one state side (it is cooler here!). His items are also available in NYC at Bergdorf Goodman.

Blue Carreon Home in Manila via The Potted Boxwood

Blue’s adorable pup Brighton attracts visitors in his utterly chic pagoda bed. Notice the wall of placemats…how clever!

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A fantastically curated collection of housewares. Very inspiring.

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My mom is begging for those ginger jar prints on the left, and I do not blame her!

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His store was really a gem of good taste, which Blue is highly regarded for and uses in only the best ways.


Everyday Flair

Everyday Falir Home via The Potted Boxwood

Rachelle Wenger (Everyday Flair) invited me over to her penthouse for wine and cheese. While traffic had me two hours late (it should have taken 20 minutes), she was very understanding and gave me a tour of her three story view above Manila’s city lights.

 Everyday Flair Penthouse via The Potted Boxwood

A very open floor plan with exposed brick and a split level with open shelving above. Many of the pieces in her home told a story of their travels and time spent living abroad.

Everyday Flair Home via The Potted Boxwood

On the top floor I found this the most architecturally intriguing. A seemingly floating painting is actually a mirror for her bathroom on the opposite side. Everything is very open, leaving a sense of spaciousness and use for structured lines.

Everyday Flair powder room via The Potted Boxwood

I was quite fond of the wallpaper in her powder room. The park and city scene was calming and added a lot of character to the restroom.

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The view of the city with boxwood growing in the corner. Boxwood is not easy to grow in Manila, but she managed to have some vibrant spheres. Her incredible view of the city was the focal point of her home, as well as her ample patio for entertaining.