A 68sqm Apartment Full of Quirky and Travel Finds

Collecting objects can actually work minus the cluttered look

Original Article: Chinggay Labrador Photography: Dairy Darilag Styling: Dagny Madamba and Paula de Guzman Interior Designer: Arlin Roque-Andres

You could say graphic designer Lizza Gutierrez is a design inspiration. After all, it’s rare to find someone who hasn’t bought anything for her home. You read that right—she managed to skirt her way through new purchases and fill her one-bedroom apartment with old pieces rich in history, souvenirs from her travels, and other artsy accessories that reflect her personality.

Timing had a hand in her big move. The time she was convinced to move into her own place was the same time that her parents decided to sell the family home. With a hoarder for a mom, Lizza found a convenient place to “shop” for furniture pieces—her parents’ abode.

With the help of interior designer Arlin Roque-Andres, they were able to plot in advance where to place the old pieces and what to do with them for a refreshing take. The collaboration resulted in an apartment filled to the brim with stylish vignettes showcasing hints of local flavor and Lizza’s personal preferences, each telling a story of its own. Take inspiration from how she displayed her personal belongings while highlighting the design style she wanted in the gallery.

Read the original article ("Curated With Care") in the May 2016 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details.


Welcoming guests in the foyer is a chest of drawers. Placed on top of it are framed photos, a uniquely shaped vase with a plant, and other accoutrements.

Living Area

Since Lizza is a graphic designer, one can expect an interesting juxtaposition of design influences in her space. Her living room, for instance, combines colorful pieces on one side, and wooden pieces on the other. The graphic prints on the wall came from different places such as Venice and Vietnam.

Visit Space Encounters for a similar chair.

Living Area

Lizza’s space is rich in history, what with the old pieces in her living room that evoke a timeless appeal. She has a reproduction cabinet bought in Baguio, and a 1960s-style bar cart on casters from her parents’ home, both finding their own place and purpose in the graphic designer’s space.

Decor Detail

This 1960s-era bar cart was repurposed into a side table storage unit, in line with Lizza’s philosophy to find new purpose for old pieces.

Home Office

Lizza works from home, making an organized office important. She had wooden slats installed in an angle to let natural light in without disrupting the view of the balcony. She can easily rotate her chair to face the view outdoors when she needs a break from work.

Home Office

Every graphic designer needs a place for her reference materials. These wooden shelves, taken from Lizza’s old house, are spacious enough not just to accommodate books but also vases, framed art, and other accessories.


The master bedroom is home to Lizza’s childhood bed. To keep things up-to-date, she decorated the space with accessories that are similar with the rest of the house.


This wooden escritorio (secretary desk) is just one of the many antiques you can find in Lizza’s home. She says that her fondness for these old pieces are mainly her mom’s influence. “Her lifestyle before was to look for antiques and collect them,” the graphic designer shares.

Decor Detail

Even necklaces have turned into interior decorations. These necklaces and crosses are displayed right by her bedroom door.

Decor Detail

Mirrors in different frames, a rustic hook, and a wooden memo board lend a charming vibe to this wall.

Decor Detail

As a creative, it’s not at all surprising to find little artsy pieces in Lizza’s home like this nature-inspired painted plate crafted by her nieces.

Visit Landmark for pretty plates you can use as decor.  You can also create one on your own!

Decor Detail

Another souvenir from Vietnam finds a home in Lizza’s dwelling. “I notice that I pick up things from my travels that I scatter all over the place. I feel it’s these little things put together that create my style,” she muses.

Loved these horses? For similar pieces you can use as decor, check out Takatak Project on Facebook for Painted Paper Mache Horses.

Decor Detail

Neutrals are your best bets when it comes to accessorizing. For a similar piece, visit Dapitan Arcade.

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