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Building & Renovating

13 Beautiful Photos of Pinoy Wooden Home Designs

These wooden home designs are fine examples of how to use reclaimed materials

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Photography: Lourd Pocon (Main Photo)

Wood as a building or finishing material has become scarcer, especially when a moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of timber was filed several years ago. But wooden home designs are perfect for Filipino houses, as the material lends warmth and color to a space, and is versatile enough to go well in tropical, traditional, or modern house styles.

So what could a homeowner do? The best solution is that, aside from buying wood from legal sources, homeowners and designers can make use of recycled wood that is reclaimed and from demolished structures. Here are some beautiful examples:

A vacation home made out of reclaimed materials

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Raul and Maribel Dizon’s rustic and earthy 350sqm home near Palace in the Sky in Tagaytay may look that it is decades old, but it is just made out of reclaimed materials. The furniture, bricks, grilles, windows, doors, and especially the wood were either sourced locally or are surplus materials from Raul’s projects, as he is an architect.

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In the living area, up-cycled wood panels are re-stained to match the other wooden elements in the house. Even the furniture pieces are made of wood, including a center table from Pangasinan, and a three-piece seating set that Raul designed and had customized in Tagaytay. The brick cladding on the wall is from Vigan.

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The second floor of the home acts as a sleeping loft, and is built almost entirely of wood, including vintage balusters, midcentury wood and glass panels, and large wooden rafters and beams.

READ: A Rustic Filipino Rest House in Tagaytay

Bahay na bato redux

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Another example of a contemporary home that looks like an ancestral house is Casa Fausta, the Antipolo home of noted Filipino dancer and academic Ligaya Fernando-Amilbangsa. Ligaya wanted to achieve a look that was evocative of the old houses she grew up in, so she used recycled materials from old homes, such as wooden wall panels, ornate wrought iron grilles, capiz windows, and machuka tiles. Much of the wooden furniture comes from her family, such as an aparador and a wooden bench, which came from her great-grandmother. “Dito kami naglalaro ng bahay-bahayan ni BF (her brother, the politician Bayani Fernando).”

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READ: Recycled Materials Form a Creative Hub for an Artist’s Rest House

A magnificent Boholano beach home

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This beach house in Bohol looks like an enormous bahay kubo from the outside, but inside, wood is the main finishing material. Almost every one features wooden beams and rafters, log columns, and intricate wooden calado panels to let in light and air. “One lot came with a two-storey house, which was made of wood, and my wife and I decided to renovate it and make it a rustic Boholano beach house to differentiate it from others,” the homeowner shares.

READ: This Beach House in Bohol Looks Straight Out of a Painting

An Manila home with bohemian touches

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Choreographer and former artistic director Denisa Reyes’s house in Manila is a fine example of post-war Filipino wooden home design. The rooms are light-filled and naturally airy, and the spaces flow smoothly into each other. This was the former home of the great Filipino fashion designer Ernest Santiago, who knew Denisa loves old houses. “I grew up in one…this is exactly like the house that we all grew up in as children in Sampaloc, Manila, with trees, large windows, and calado.”

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One detail that Denisa loves is the windows, which jut outwards. “We fell in love with the way [the late fashion designer] Ernest Santiago changed the windows,” Denisa shares, adding that the windows used to be upright. Now, the windows make the rooms look more airy, and it takes in more of the view.  

READ: An Old Pinoy House In Manila Filled With Art and Vintage Pieces

Industrial bahay kubo in the province

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When interior designer Wilmer Lopez decided to build a new home in the same lot in Nueva Ecija that he grew up in as a child, he decided to go for a bahay kubo-style structure. “There’s still that kid in me who wanted to create my own bahay kubo, but something functional na for me, my family, and my friends,” Wilmer explains. “I wanted it to adapt to the environment—airy—siyempre sa probinsya, kailangan open-plan. Inisip ko rin yung materials na gagamitin, kaya hindi rin siya ganoon kabilis natapos,” he says.

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The reclaimed wood that figures in most of the structure and interiors was sourced from Pampanga, and the bamboo used for the wall finish (seen here in the ante room that leads to the open-air living area) was also carefully chosen—it had to be completely dry, so that it could be easily flattened out to create the cladding.

READ: A Filipino Bahay Kubo With Modern Industrial Touches

Wood-and-concrete wonder

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It is possible to warm up a bare concrete house with touches of wood, as seen here in one of our most popular modern home tours. Architect Pierre Briones renovated this outdated home into a sleek and modern house with minimalist Japanese touches. Wooden details like a wood slat brise soleil (sun screen) of sorts on the transom, wooden eaves, and solid wood door canopies add a warm feel to the façade.

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Another nice touch: a wooden sliding door with a glass-and-wood side panel. “We originally wanted a metal sliding door, pero masyadong mabigat. The door was customized by BRIOarc and the owner’s trusted skilled workers,” reveals Pierre.

READ: A Renovated 1970s House In Pasig

Container van living at it finest

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Architect-couple Buji and Nikki Libarnes are also known as the surfers who now live part-time in La Union as the owners of the famed Vessel Hostel, a sleek and modern hostel built out of old stacked container vans. From a single shipping container found on a lot, the couple decided to extend it to accommodate a guest room and a garage. Instead of leaving the cold metal bare, the architects finished the interiors with a mix of light reclaimed wood and tanguile slats, which give off a vibe that is both mid-century-modern California and Japanese-style, as well.

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“I like how the tanguile wood slats have different random shades which relax my eyes when I lounge on the couch [or while watching TV],” Buji says, showing how wooden home design can be incorporated into industrial-style houses.

READ: This Architect-Couple Built Their Home Out of Container Vans

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