A 450sqm Home Reminiscent of an Aussie Beach House

Light, airy, and spacious, the Dearing home is the perfect blend of Eastern and Western influences

Original Article: Samantha Echavez Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Styling: Gwyn GS Guanzon Architect: Joel Munoz

If there is one thing homeowner Wayne is adamant about, it’s that “I love modern-clean. I don't like antique-y, clutter, dusty. I hate dark. Nothing here is dark.” Indeed, the house he and his wife, Stella, share is testament to their love for everything minimalist and modern: glass windows, clean lines, a monochromatic palette that mostly consists of neutrals.

The couple’s design preference is greatly influenced by Wayne’s love for hotels, “because they're so minimalistic. Everything’s clean, simple, and comfy. I like the resort-style living.” And with the help of architect-friend, Joel Muñoz, and contractor RG Roa, the Dearings were able to make their vision of having a Sydney-esque beach house in the middle of chaotic Metro Manila come true.

Original Text by Samantha Echavez. Styling by Gwyn GS Guanzon. Photographed by Miguel Nacianceno.

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


The Dearings specifically wanted their abode to be a resort-style of living within the city. The brick walls and paneled gate already clue one in of the serenity that awaits.


Though not seen in the photo, the main entrance crosses a koi pond and leads to the foyer, which opens into the sprawling first floor that houses the kitchen, dining room, and living area—in that order. Its most striking feature is the white motif, a foolproof color that never fails to evoke a feeling of tranquility.


Natural sunlight lets itself through glass windows with roller shades. Red and black accents offset the creams and beiges, and modern elements such as the black leather La-Z Boy mingle harmoniously with vintage-looking pieces, such as the wooden cabinets and exotic Asian accents placed on the marbled tabletop.

Den Detail

A couple’s relaxing haven-within-the-city is the perfect mix of tropical design, coastal Aussie influences, and resort living.

Dining Area

The absence of walls and dividers only serve to increase the roomy, breezy feel of the Dearing home, which is exactly what the couple wants to evoke. Instead of dividers, carpets are used to define the dining and living areas. Meanwhile, the red velvet dining chairs break the monotony of neutral beiges, whites, and creams.

Dining Area Detail

Wayne admits that one challenge of having their house patterned after a Sydney beach house—all open spaces—is dealing with the unbearable Philippine heat. To address this matter, they put layers of insulation and rely on cross-ventilation.


A discreet light fixture hangs from the ceiling and small, framed prints subtly decorate the space. The effect is certainly minimalist but far from impersonal.

White Details

The Dearings chose to do away with the usual dark-hued doorframes and went with white—a smart choice, as it definitely makes the space seem bigger than it already is.

Master Bedroom

Clean white lines define this room, with hints of warm brown for a touch of coziness. The abstract painting on the wall behind the bed put a pop of color to the minimalist setup.

Space and Light

In one corner of the room sits a comfy turquoise chair and a white floor lamp that blend well with the rest of the room. Both pieces go well with the predominantly white and brown space.


The closet area highlights space -- perfect when getting ready as one can move freely. All items, clothes, and other personal belongings are neatly organized on shelves and cabinets.


Even the bathroom highlights the touches of green that pervade the Dearing home: A potted plant sits next to the sink, providing a fresh contrast to the predominantly brown setting.

Pool Area

In keeping with the Dearings’ penchant to have a summer home in the middle of a bustling metropolis, the L-shaped pool was installed.


Off to one side of the pool area is a covered lanai, the perfect spot for drying off after a dip in the pool or for shooting the breeze with family and friends.

Beach Vibe

Seen from above, the lush greens and swimming pool look so inviting especially when one wants to beat the heat.


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