A Traditional Home Gets A Scandinavian Upgrade

Cool colors, varying textures, and furniture pieces in clean lines do the trick

Original Article: Tisha Alvarez Photography: Michael Angelo Chua Styling: Dagny Madamba Interior Designer: Iriss Mangio

Designer Iriss Mangio thought she had an impossible job ahead of her when the owner of a modern-meets-traditional home wanted a Scandinavian look without doing any repainting. “Ang una niyang pinakita sa akin is Scandinavian. She wanted clean colors, marble, a touch of pink, and then black and white,” says Iriss.

Nung unang tiningnan ko yung picture with the house, sabi ko impossible kasi hindi puwede i-repaint. But I tried my best to find furniture pieces na babagay sa theme niya na at the same time, hindi magca-clash du’n sa house. Kailangan ko sila mapagtagpo.”

But make the two styles meet, she did. Iriss picked out pieces in clean lines following the client’s color palette. A few touches of color like blush were also added. For contrast, she put in a bit of gold, silver, and black. Fuzzy throws and other similar textures made the space more inviting. Her secret to marrying the two styles successfully? Being consistent and deliberate when putting pieces together.

Read the original article ("Middle Ground") in the April 2017 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details.

Living Area

It was a challenge to find two L-shaped sofas, which Iriss had originally planned for the living area. A sectional sofa paired with similar-colored armchairs, set off by a graphic rug, keeps the space from looking empty. The customized marble-topped center tables help maintain a streamlined look.

Find similar gold console tables at West Elm, Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City.

Living Area

Iriss says it’s also important to play with vertical space. Among the many ways to do this is to install droplights and place tall plants so that high ceilings don’t swallow up a room. Unique window treatments such as extra-long curtains also help. 

Find a similar sofa at Habitat, 3/L Abenson, 28th Street and 4th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

Dining Area

Space flows freely, so the informal dining area serves as an extension of the living area. Iriss suggests using this for casual gatherings, such as coffee sessions, hanging out with friends, or even as a work area for family members.

Dining Area

In this area, sliding doors bring a bit of the outdoors in. Indoor plants complement the view from this vantage point.

Formal Dining Area

Sliding doors separate the formal dining area without making the ground floor look cramped. Large spaces require delineation as well among different areas. This can be achieved through the use of a screen, a daybed, or a console table.

Formal Dining Area

The massive marble-topped dining table is the piece de resistance in the formal dining area. Droplights replaced the simple pin lights over it, giving it added pizzazz, along with matching floor lamps.

Formal Dining Area

The simplest tabletop or wall accessories can instantly liven up a room. Just look at this snippet in the formal dining area where geometric shapes instantly energize the space.


With a bar counter, center island, and plenty of counter space around it, the kitchen is exactly how the owner wants it: an open layout with clean lines and the much-preferred light gray color.

Family Room

The family room, where the owner’s nephews and nieces frequently stay, features a more playful look, with a light blue couch jazzed up with geometric-printed throws and pillows and a patterned rug. “It’s a place where you can hang out and be messy,” says Iriss.

Family Room

A narrow table with matching stools provides extra space for any activity—even eating. The tiffany-colored rolling cart stands out among the mostly wooden elements.

Master Bedroom

The bedroom is done up in gray, black, and white—the owner’s preferred color palette. “We wanted something Scandinavian pa rin but at the same time, pagka magka-baby siya, it’s not too colorful para makalagay ng baby stuff here,” Iriss says.

Master Bedroom

The master bedroom also doubles as the owner’s yoga space, hence the open area at the foot of the bed. Iriss affirms, “Ito talaga yung style [ng owner].”

Master Bedroom

Featuring signature Scandinavian furniture, this nook set by the window is an ideal setup for writing, quiet talks over a cup of coffee. Injecting freshness are pots of the owner’s current favorite indoor plant, cacti.

Find similar chairs at EDIA, Glorietta 4, Ayala Center, Makati City.

Guest Room

The guest room is furnished with the basics: a bed, side tables, and a writing desk. Prints on the pillowcases, along with some accessories on the bedside table make the space restful and comfortable for guests. If the black table lamps look familiar, it’s because they are smaller versions of the floor lamps in the formal dining area.

Guest Room

Neutral shades come together beautifully in the guest room. Wood elements provide warmth, while a touch of green courtesy of small potted plants add a natural feel to the space.

Guest Room

A comfy reading chair makes for a perfect nook where one can curl up with a good book. Setting it by the window means getting natural light, but if needed, the floor lamp provides additional lighting. The fuzzy rug adds texture to this vignette.

Find similar pieces at SM Home.

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