A 1600sqm Modern Country Rest Home in Tagaytay

A lush garden, clean white space, neat lines, a gentle breeze, and a touch of country make this home an ideal place to relax in

Original Article: Tisha Alvarez Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Styling: Issa Villar

Interior designer Chris Umali’s first project is this 1600sqm family rest home at the outskirts of Tagaytay. A former coffee farm, the soil is rich and perfect for planting—something the Umali family took advantage of to create a lush garden, full of flowers (that they use as decor inside the house), and fruits and vegetables. To get to the off-white house, you’ll have to pass through a lush garden and a curved driveway. From the outside, you’ll see generous windows and sliding doors let natural light shine through, illuminating the space, giving it a soft, ethereal feel. The windows let the fresh Tagaytay air in.

Inside, the home gives off a relaxed vibe, with its pristine white walls, wood furniture and lack of electronics. An inviting custom-made sofa from Danilyn’s takes up space in the living room, while the second floor den has a hint of a nautical-country feel with wicker chairs and striped upholstery. Plants abound in the space, from the living room, to the kitchen, to the second floor, giving the place a vibe that’s definitely fresh and alive.

Original article by Tisha Alvarez. Styling by Issa Villar. Photographed by Miguel Nacianceno.

Read the original article ("The Simple Life") in the November 2005 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App ( now! Log on to for more details. 


A modern house with clean lines and an off-white color scheme stands tall amidst a lush green garden. The neutral colors of the house emphasize the beautiful verdant front yard.


This well-maintained garden holds various flowering blooms, plants, and even fruits and vegetables.

Garden Detail

Quirky details are also added to garden -- giving the space a touch of character.

Living Area

A large custom-made sectional sofa from Danylin’s fills the space. Chris recommends custom-made furniture instead of store bought items. Standard sizes tend to make you buy more to fill up a space, while custom-made items will fit your vision perfectly. 

Living Area Detail

Tables of different heights and interesting shape add character to the space. Highlight this more by choosing a contrasting color from the wall. 

Dining Area

Natural light and the presence of plants inside the home keep it looking fresh and alive, even when the space is bathed in neutral colors and hard lines. Wooden dining chairs and upholstered benches around a glass dining table subtly update the dining area.


An island occupies most of the kitchen area, with custom-made seats from Danilyn’s. The open shelves (instead of overhead cupboards) above the counter immediately give the illusion of a bigger space. 

Second Floor Den

A hint of nautical and country pervades the space in the second floor, from the striped upholstery on the wicker sala set to the tatami mats. Around the space, the walls are pristine and white, highlighting the decorated space.


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