An Ancestral House turned into a Colorful Home and Restaurant in Marikina

In Patio Vera, Asian and Filipino design shines through antique finds, recycled pieces, and unique details

Original Article: Chinggay Labrador Photography: Vincent Coscolluela Pictorial Direction: Dagny Madamba

For homeowners looking for alternatives to classic design, an eclectic style could be the perfect choice. Dermatological surgeon Rommel Caballes certainly thought so when he converted his traditional ancestral house into a home and restaurant defined by open spaces with elements of Oriental, Balinese, and Filipino style.

Rommel explains that the dark and gloomy rooms that the old property once had made it seem like a haunted mansion. He made the family house bright and airy by removing walls, changing the floor plan, and creating open spaces connected to the lush garden. After the renovation was completed, he furnished the areas with unexpected furniture and accessories. He has also transformed the old kitchen, laundry, and garage areas into a Patio Vera, a restaurant named after his grandmother.

Read the original article ("The Life Eclectic") in the December 2011 issue of Real Living Magazine. To download a digital copy of Real Living Magazine, visit Summit Newsstand at


The lush and verdant garden filled with flourishing tropical plants is now one of the al fresco dining areas of Patio Vera. Black tables are surrounded by white chairs and white Chinese stools. Quirky red-orange umbrellas look great against the green foliage and also shield diners from the harsh rays of the sun.


The kitchen can also be found in the garden. Aside from its unusual location, the area becomes more impressive because of the entrance – a stone path walk on a small pond leads to the space. Another unique feature is the open layout that makes the kitchen look like it is a part of its verdant surroundings.


Treasured antiques and new pieces fill the private living area.


In the dining area, the intricate details of Asian furniture and accessories stand out even more against the plain white walls and floor. Carved wooden benches are topped with pillows covered in different colors and patterns. A wooden dining table with a distressed finish is in the middle of the space.


A four-poster wooden daybed is made inviting with colorful throw pillows. A wooden horse adds a touch of charm and whimsy to the outdoor space.


The homeowner reveals that he likes to buy old wooden doors and windows from Antipolo, Dapitan, and other antique shop havens. One of the pieces from his impressive collection serves as an accent piece in this seating area. Guests can relax on an oversized daybed made from worn and weathered wood.


A textured stone wall draws the eye toward this outdoor seating area furnished with another daybed and a pair of Louis XV chairs.


The enclosed Patio Vera dining area stands in the place where the old kitchen and servants’ quarters used to be. The ceiling, textured walls, cabinets, and shelves are all in white for a clean, fresh look. While the Tiffany chairs purchased in Dapitan are also in white, the orange seat cushions liven up the room.


Another Patio Vera dining area becomes stunning because of the unusual elements such as the floral canopied ceiling and the accent wall covered in wooden slats. Warm ambient lighting and the woven dining chairs make the space cozy and comfortable. The black floral stools were purchased at Marquee Mall, Pampanga.


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