An Asian-Tropical Dream Home with a Warm and Earthy Palette

Timeless pieces, soft lighting, and an open layout create the ideal space for an art-loving family

Original Article: Tisha Alvarez Photography: Ocs Alvarez Styling: Issa Villar and Gwyn GS Guanzon Architect: Ramon Antonio

The Narciso family wanted a dream home where they can showcase their prized art collection without the cold, sterile vibe of a museum. With the help of architect Ramon Antonio, the homeowners came up with a design inspired by Asian-tropical homes that had an open layout, sliding doors, and lots of natural light.

Before embarking on the building process, Antonio asked the Narciso couple for their wish list of everything they wanted in their dream house. The husband and wife team came up with these requirements: plenty of open space for the kids to move around in, a kitchen and dining area to enjoy long and lazy Sunday brunches, areas to display their art collection, and a lovely garden that can be seen from every room in the house.

Antonio’s design aesthetic focused on modern functionalism interspersed with Asian-tropical touches – the perfect canvas to complement the Narcisos’ wish list. Antonio was very much inspired by the project that he even did interior designing, garden landscaping, and even feng shui for the Narciso home. The result is a timeless home that is cozy, warm, and inviting, yet visually interesting at every turn.

Original article by Tisha Alvarez. Styling by Issa Villar and Gwyn GS Guanzon. Photographed by Ocs Alvarez.

Read the original article ("Wish Fulfillment") in the November 2006 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App ( now! Log on to for more details. 


The foyer features an Ang Kiukok pen and ink clown sketch given by Rocio’s uncle, Joey de Leon.

Foyer Detail

These cane occasional chairs on the other side of the foyer echo a pair of Chinese yoke-back chairs in the living area.

Living Area

The Narcisos chose major furniture pieces that are sleek and minimal in design details. Yet, they picked accent pieces around the living area that are visually interesting, such as a pair of spherical vases in deep green and a carved wooden side table in the shape of a human torso hugging a drum.

Living Area Detail

Since the Narcisos mostly have wood furniture, it was best to pair them with cream and beige hued upholstered sofas that lend a warm, cozy vibe to the space. The sofa is by G.C. Romero, paired with Chinese yoke-back chairs and a sleek coffee table. The sliding doors allow natural light into the area and provide access to the garden.

Dining Area

The round, glass-topped dining table and upholstered dining chairs are by Primafil, while the light fixture is from Arrakis Oggetti. The dining area has a lovely view of the garden, too, via sliding doors that open up for an al fresco vibe. A doorbell on the floor calls househelp during formal meals.

Design Tip

An open layout is always a good idea for common living areas, but these sliding doors add privacy without constricting space because the glass allows you to see through the rooms and retain the airiness of the space.


Fernando and Rocio created a display area for their precious art collection which includes a Fernando Amorsolo piece featuring a farmer and sunset scene that they bought from the artist’s wife, a pencil drawing of a cockfight also by Amorsolo, a Malang mother-and-child painting from Migs Zubiri and Rocio’s first purchased piece, an Ang Kiukok mother and child painting.


The staircase landing was designed as a window panel to allow more natural light into the house. An oxcart wheel at the foyer stands guard by the staircase.

First Floor Bathroom

Despite being dressed in dark wood, the Zen-inspired bathroom’s paneled window and wide, wall-length mirror enlarges the space. A small yet brightly colored artwork keeps to the home’s art-inspired theme, while adding a touch of vibrancy.

Outdoor Detail

A waterfall setup at the garden is accented by a row of large pottery pieces.


One of the Narciso’s requests was to have a beautiful garden that is visually accessible from every room in the house.


Architect Ramon Antonio not only designed the house’s main structure, but also created the landscaping design for the Narciso home.


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