A Filipino-Inspired Duplex with Antiques and Wooden Pieces

A family’s love for wood furniture and décor finds a perfect backdrop in a nature-inspired, breezy home

Original Article: Chinggay Labrador Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Pictorial Direction: Issa Villar Interior Designer: Francesca de Guzman

Miguel and Ria Vecin used to rent a house for seven years until they decided to build their own home. The Vecin’s family home was a collaboration between the couple and Ria’s sister Francesca de Guzman, an interior designer, and Ria’s mom who used to build-and-sell houses. The homeowners wanted a rustic and outdoorsy home that would be child-friendly, and yet be able to hold all the antique and wooden furniture that the family collected over the years.

The result is an airy home that is cozy and inviting, and ideal for entertaining family and friends. The dining and living areas are breezy, as it opens up to the garden, while a large picture window allows natural light to stream in. The home’s earthy palette is the perfect canvas for the wooden furniture and décor, complemented by wicker, solihiya, and rattan pieces. Finally, touches of art and Spanish influences can be seen throughout the house, as Miguel’s stepmother is Nettie Laya Vecin who is based in Barcelona. Paintings and lithographs by Gus Albor, HR Ocampo, Vincent Ramos, Marcel Antonio, Charlie Co, Ben Cab, Hermes Alegre, Estrella Campon, and Sanso are displayed throughout the home, while the rest of the furniture were from Urban Effects, Jo Liza, and Maxi Abad.

Original article by Chinggay Labrador. Pictorial direction by Issa Villar. Photographed by Miguel Nacianceno.

 Read the original article ("Tropical Punch") in the June 2009 issue of Real Living Magazine. To download a digital copy of Real Living Magazine, visit Summit Newsstand at

Living Area

The Vecin home’s airy living room (which opens out to the garden) is a showroom of a wooden furniture and décor – some antiques are from Ria’s father-in-law, some from their own collection, and others newer finds such as louvered door used as a magazine rack. Solihiya seating designed in a more modern, streamlined style is paired with a footstool in natural, unvarnished wood, while a pair of vintage luggage are used as pedestals.

Living Area Detail

Pieces of wood stumps are used as pedestals, while large floor pillows with hand-embroidery make for comfy seating in the living room. A large picture window adds airiness to the space and allows plenty of natural light to stream into the room.

Sitting Area

This picture-perfect sitting area holds a pair of rattan chairs that are very inviting. The rug made of natural fiber adds a homey vibe, while the vanity cabinet is the ideal spot to put family photos. A rustic footstool is used as a pedestal for a pretty little birdcage.

Dining and Kitchen Area

The Vecin’s kitchen was specially designed for the homeowners who love to cook and entertain. An island faces the dining area with a 6-seater dining table paired with benches and cushioned seats, while a sliding door opens out to the garden.

A Cook's Nook

The homeowners are self-confessed foodies who love to cook and entertain at home. This section of the home showcases wine bottles, a coffee machine, cookbooks, and travel finds that the couple have collected over the years. Its clean, white palette comes to life with interesting knick-knacks that reflect the Vecin’s shared passion for food and travel.

Colorful Espresso Cup

Hints of Catalan culture can be seen around the Vecin home, as Miguel travels frequently to Barcelona. Here, a colorful espresso cup reveals Spanish influences.

Decor Detail

Although most of the house is bathed in a white and cream palette, boldly colored accent pieces add life to the home.

Staircase Landing

This staircase landing makes efficient use of space, with its floating shelves that frames one of the Vecin’s art pieces.

Master Bedroom

The master bedroom’s mocha walls blend well with the rest of the home’s predominantly wood furniture. The white tufted headboard adds a touch of softness to the room, while brightly colored throw pillows add a lively punch. Vertical shelving multi-functions as a display area and organizer. An old baul is used as a bedside table.

Kids' Bedroom

The kids’ bedroom has simple wooden furniture and shelving, yet keeps its youthful and playful vibe with the assortment of toys and kid-friendly pieces. Wicker baskets lined with canvas help keep clutter at bay.

Powder Room

Although small in space, this powder room packs a punch with its interesting set of paintings hung on and propped against the walls. A small wooden stepladder is used as towel rack.


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