A Look Inside a Family Duplex Designed Like a Container House

This modern home in Alfonso, Cavite celebrates the charm and simplicity of tiny living

Photography: OG Channel

What makes a home special? For Alvin Harilla, it was drawing inspiration for their new home from his family.That’s how they came up with the name “F.A.M.Ville."

Nag-start yung F.A.M.Ville because ‘yon yung mga acronym sa mga pangalan ng family namin,” Alvin tells the OG team. “And ‘fam’ is actually short for ‘family.’”


Located in Alfonso, Cavite, F.A.M.Ville is surrounded by greens, with plants that Alvin and his family personally planted, such as ficus plants to flowering varieties.

Lahatto mga organic so mula sa bahay namin sa Parañaque, nadala namin sila dito,” he explains.

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READ: This Family Built A Container House for Only P800K

Tom Wood and May White

The Harilla home is divided into two parts: Tom Wood, named after their father, Tom, and May White, named after their mother, May. Outside Tom Wood is a zen-type area with outdoor garden chairs, perfect for morning cups of coffee. At night, it’s illuminated by solar lights.


Stepping inside Tom Wood, one can instantly recognize the color theme: brown or wood-inspired hues. There’s a brown sofa bed, a brown dining table, and even brown plates and utensils.

Guests can play board games like Monopoly, Cluedo, or Boggle, and cook food with the house’s available kitchen appliances, and there’s a door that makes the outdoor lounge area accessible.

A staircase with slim railings leads to the bedroom upstairs, which comes with a queen-size bed and artworks by Anina Rubio, a visual artist and environmental advocate. For some much-needed fresh air, there’s a balcony.

READ: These Must-See Container Homes Measure 70sqm or Less

May White, the other part of F.A.M.Ville, is more or less a structural mirror image of Tom Wood, except the colors used were white, gray, and black. It’s also equipped with similar kitchen essentials, board games, staircase, and art pieces. For interested renters, the house also comes with an air purifier and a water dispenser. One key difference is that instead of a bed upstairs, May White has a single bed. Just like Tom Wood, there’s a balcony area.


Outside, visitors can experience a taste of the provincial life with a kubo, where Alvin and his family sometimes have breakfast or merienda while enjoying the cool breeze. For the more outdoorsy types, there’s a fire pit perfect for making s’mores or grilling. At night, it’s lit up with string lights.


Designing the container home illusion

Probably the most striking thing about F.A.M.Ville is its black exterior, which very much resembles that of a container home. Realizing that the location is prone to termites, they decided to use materials such as cement and steel, with minimal wood.


Yung goal talaga namin na pagmukhain siyang container, na-achieve namin,” Alvin proudly says. “Many instances, every time may mga bagong tao makakakita ng lugar, inaakala nila lagi na container siya. So ‘pag sinasabi namin lagi na, ‘Hindi, this is actually just made of GI sheet,’ so ‘pag kinatok nila, they would realize, ‘Oo nga, ‘no, GI sheet lang siya.’”

READ: Thinking of Building a Container Home? Know the Pros and Cons First

The entire lot measures 500 to 517 square meters, which they bought at P2,800 per square meter. For the property itself, they spent around P2.4 to P2.5 million.

With its touching inspiration from family, simplicity, and inviting outdoor spaces, F.A.M.Ville is an ideal place for those who want to experience charming tiny living.

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