Old and New Pieces for a Cozy Contemporary House

After an eight-year house renovation, a family home now has a retro Filipino feel

Original Article: Kathleen Valle Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Pictorial Direction: Joanne E. Bohol Interior Designer: Louis Luna

Structures that stand the test of time need only some modern touches to update its look and feel. The Villena family, who loves collecting antiques ---rediscovered the beauty of their valued pieces when used in tandem with simple and modern décor. Open, unused spaces are transformed into practical venues for entertaining with the addition of comfy seating and beautifully designed signature pieces.

Designed by Louis Luna, this home renovation project that took eight years utilized Luna’s tried-and-tested design formula of “one in, one out,” which helped streamline the home’s updated yet lightly Filipino retro vibe.

Read the original article ("Sixties Shakeup") in the December 2011 issue of Real Living Magazine. To download a digital copy of Real Living Magazine, visit Summit Newsstand at


Empty spaces can be converted into interesting extensions of the home. Choose pieces that go with your interiors to keep to the home’s overall theme.


The lanai was a previously unused space that Luna recreated into a more functional entertaining area. He created the area by putting together some wrought iron table and chairs made cozy with padded seat cushions in muted colors that are inviting and cool to the senses.

Living Area

To make the home more modern, walls were opened up and replaced with glass partitions that allow natural light to come in. A bright yellow painted wall adds a joyful mood to the rest of the room and serves as a backdrop to bold pieces.

Eclectic Pieces

The owners’ antique collection is given new life as they are paired with modern artwork and streamlined, understated pieces.

Rock Garden

A little of the outside is brought indoors with the creation of a pocket garden. This previously unused small space was easily converted into a pocket garden by opening up the roof to let natural light in and adding some rocks or pebbles for the ground, potted plants that need minimal care, and an eye-catching light fixture to balance the look.

Dining Area

Antiques take center stage in the dining room, but the room’s soft white walls serve as a clean palette for the key pieces in wood. The buffet tables and mid-century chairs take on a more updated look amidst the room’s more contemporary light fixtures and large glass vases. Antique doors have been reused as accent pieces to add charm.


An old working desk paired with a more modern industrial chair create a charming pairing. Some sketches (such as the original Ang Kiukok ones in this room) done in pencil, charcoal or ink to add an interesting visual accent to the cream walls.


The bathroom brings the indoors outside, allowing the owners’ to have a spacious en suite bathroom.

Family Room

The tomato red accent wall works well with the wrought iron daybed and an old escritoire. Completing the spacious room is a slatted wooden divider, a 1994 painting by German artist Dieter Korbanka, slender lamps, and candlesticks.


The hallway shows another perfect combination of the new and old as warm colors and modern pieces lead the way to another major part of the house.

Functional Decor

Décor was kept to a few select pieces that were carefully chosen for their value and significance in the homeowners’ lives.

A Mix of the Old and New

The old chair works well with the modern design of the table --- keeping the overall theme of the house.

Green Corner

The green wall perpendicular to a white one tones down the rigidity of the streamlined table and movable side return.

The Other Side of the Lanai

Another open space is converted into a functional area with the addition of understated key pieces such as large dining table that is perfect for al fresco entertaining.


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