A Modern Bahay Kubo Filled with Eclectic Art and Sculpture

Unique sculptural pieces made of native materials, statement furniture, and beautiful paintings adorn this contemporary Filipino home

Original Article: Chinggay Labrador Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Styling: Issa Villar Architect: Wendy Regalado

The Fernando family lives in a compound enclave that includes a family of artists, writers, and cultural enthusiasts. Although it’s located in the heart of the city, the inside of the compound feels like a quiet retreat into solace, art, and culture.

A modern take on the traditional bahay kubo, the couple’s two-storey home is elevated a few steps from the ground. Designed with the help of architect Wendy Regalado, the house highlights generous windows that let natural light stream in, as well as allow cool air to flow through. Lush gardens surround the house. The home is intricately Filipino in design from the wooden slat flooring, neatly carved callados, down to the eclectic mix of antique furniture and Filipino artwork.

Original article by Chinggay Labrador. Styling by Issa Villar. Photographed by Miguel Nacianceno. 

Read the original article ("Art House”) in the May 2007 issue of Real Living Magazine. To download a digital copy of Real Living Magazine, visit Summit Newsstand at


The compound is surrounded by a flourshing garden, with a pebbled walkway, giving it a relaxed, life away from the city feel.


The entrance of the house is like arriving at a summer retreat. Enclosed by the garden, it gives off an organic, earthy quality, usually found in serene places away from the city.

Living Area

The living area is full of soft plush couches in beige tones, accented with bright throw pillows. The coffee table is a statement piece, simulating tree roots under the glass. A whole wall is covered by an art piece, giving visitors an idea about what to expect around the house.

Dining Area

The family eats dinner on an antique wooden table, watched over by portrait busts of Lilli Ann's sons, Juaneo and Miguel, made by artist Julie Lluch.

Kitchen Detail

The kitchen cupboards have a tree-bark like design, creating beautiful shapes amidst the clean lined kitchen. Funky art pieces continue in the kitchen, like the kettle sitting on a mosquito-like sculpture.

Kitchen Detail

Face sculptures on thin stands decorate the kitchen counter. The hot water dispenser is made of copper with two taps. Finding items in a rush is not a problem with this kitchen layout – even the pots and pans are easily seen as they hang from hooks on a metal grid, looking both decorative and useful.


An antique aparador stands at the end of the hallway, the mirror at the front giving an illusion of elongated space.

Design Details

A clothing mannequin made of native wicker material models a clunky stone necklace.

Filipino Touch

A hammock hangs inside the house from the 2nd storey landing. It gives the home a relaxed, rustic feel.


Lining the wooden staircase are animal statues made of stone.

Staircase Detail

A quirky piece is seen under the stairs.

Art Detail

The front of a staircase when going down is an ideal place to hang paintings or set a tableau of small sculptures, if only for the undivided attention it will get. A Mark Justiniani painting takes center stage at the narrow space at the top of the stairwell.


Unique paintings are showcased in a room on the second floor. A La-Z boy in the same shade as the couch gives the room a relaxing vibe, toning down the art gallery-feel.

Wooden Accents

Funky pieces abound in the house, but all are made of natural material, like this dinosaur carved atop an aparador.


Books are enclosed in an antique, glass window shelf. Tribal mask and more face stand sculptures line the top of the shelf. A unique floral sculpture lamp lights the room next to a rocking chair.

Study Room

The children’s study has two identical wooden study tables. The tops close to save space and keep all their materials hidden from view. Juaneo’s paintings are displayed on the walls.

Unique Details

Children’s toy cars are hung on the wall instead of parked on the floor. This neat trick saves a lot of space.

Second Floor Hallway

Native wooden benches, decorated with wooden animal sculptures, lean against the window, perfect for some afternoon reading. The hallway leads out to the spacious second floor veranda.

Second Floor Hallway

Floor to ceiling windows bathe the home in natural light. Wooden slat flooring and a wooden rocking chair pay tribute to the home’s love for natural wood pieces.

Veranda Detail

A sculpture of Adam and Eve stand guard at the second floor veranda, their armless treatment reminiscent of Venus de Milo.

Veranda Detail

Gardens bring life to any home. The veranda is full of lush green plants, blossoming orchids, and herbs.


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