Eclectic Filipino design reigns in this Family Home

In a three-storey townhouse, a bathroom redo sparks a renovation project that incorporates refurbished pieces, art collections and eclectic finds

Original Article: Kathleen Valle Photography: At Maculangan Pictorial Direction: Nat M. Clave

In editor Jo-Ann Marcelo’s 18-year-old home, what started as a bathroom renovation evolved into a full-scale remodel project. Her three-storey townhouse is now a quirky home with personality. Without the help of an architect or an interior designer, Jo-Ann took matters into her own hands and worked closely with the foreman to achieve the eclectic, free-spirited style she wanted.

 Jo-Ann had some practical requirements such as a child-friendly home for her grandchild who stays with them for most of the week and a more accommodating ground floor space for guests. These goals were accomplished without wavering from the editor’s aesthetic. Mismatched furniture, artwork collections and upcycled finds all coexist a happy abode with lived-in flair.

Original article by Kathleen Valle. Pictorial direction by Nat M. Clave. Photographed by At Maculangan.

Read the original article (“A House Less Ordinary”) in the July 2013 issue of Real Living Magazine. To download a digital copy of Real Living Magazine, visit Summit Newsstand at

Dining Room Door

Jo-Ann's attention to detail is evident in these mismatched door handles.

Living Room

In the living room, an Ivan Acuna abstract painting is an arresting accent piece without veering away from the eclectic, slightly rugged aesthetic. Jo-Ann combines form and function with her choices of furniture. Jo-Ann and husband Ding's birthday presents for each other, his-and-hers armchairs from Space Encounters offer mismatched charm.

Living Room

On the other side of the living room, practical seats are made interesting with art pieces that Jo-Ann have collected over the years. A commissioned artwork reminiscent of a sunburst hangs above the couch. On the right corner of the space, an upcycled chest of drawers from Resurrection is a whimsical addition. Ottomans are used instead of actual coffee tables, while an authentic Afghan rug from Waya Araos softens the space.

Living Area Detail

A wooden three-seater couch reminiscent of movie theater seats adorn the living area.

Ding's Work Area

Sports Editor Ding has a separate workspace with a view of the pocket garden outside. A hundred-year-old table is used as his desk, while old narra window frames are reused for the daybed. An ethnic rug provides softness and hints of color.

Wooden Door

A wooden door with intricate carved details add to the vintage vibe to the eclectic home

Window Detail

These iron grills are hand-wrought by the workers using various metal pieces, even the hammer of one of the workers.


A wooden chessboard with unique cube pieces makes for an interesting detail to the house.


An ornate glass chandelier hangs from the white ceiling.


This unique mirror is framed with nails, consistent with the bold character and theme of the house.

Dining Room

The round dining table is paired with mismatched chairs evoking a carefree style. Overhead, a detailed arch frames the space and is punctuated by a vintage chandelier.

Dining Room Banggerahan

Made of yakal and molave, a classic banggerahan gives a nod to traditional Filipino style and provides an interesting focal point in the dining room. Below the banggerahan, a distinctive cabinet is decorated with artist Lia Tayag's colorful tiles.

Dining Room Bookshelf

On the other side of the dining room, a console table with stainless steel cabinets and drawers adds a surprising industrial touch, but amidst Jo-Ann's mismatched finds and the couple's extensive book collection, the industrial piece somehow completes the eclectic look.

Stairs and Books

Since they are both editors by profession, Jo-Ann and husband Ding have a lot of books. Those that didn't fit on the shelves temporarily found home on the stairs.

Stairs Detail

Foregoing the usual stair rail, Jo-Ann employs a slender and organic design instead.

Steel Bars

Steel, worn-out bars act as the stairs' unique borders.

Stair Landing

Many art pieces decorate the stair landing, while whimsical cabinets store books.

His and Hers Restrooms

The current women's restroom was the original restroom that launched the entire project. Quirky neon signs mark the male and female bathrooms. The adjacent men's restroom used to be a laundry area.

Child Safety

Considering the safety of her grandkids, Jo-Ann installed a safety gate by the stairs. She opted for a wrought iron to keep in theme with the existing handrails designed by Joel Ajero.

Bedroom with Loft

The old bedroom of Jo-Ann's daughter, Pat-Pat Magbanua also went through a major renovation.The roof was raised to incorporate a play loft for her child. A more youthful color scheme of yellow and blue dominates the space, but vintage and repurposed pieces are still present.

Play Loft

A treat for Jo-Ann's grandchild, the play loft has a fun built-in slide. A mosaic artwork by Kabunyan de Guia is unexpected in a kid's play area, but it works beautifully.

Bedroom with Loft

Mature-looking carpets, upcycled furniture and childhood toys coexist beautifully in this upstairs room.

Door Detail

Beautiful wrought iron details line this door while letting in just enough natural light.

Bar Area Detail

In the bar counter, a mid-century wooden divider is reused as a partition and adds modern geometric appeal. This is wonderfully juxtaposed against the rustic tiles.


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