This Country-Inspired Vacation Home Channels the Spirit of Tagaytay
A harmonious relationship with nature defines Pitchpine Tagaytay
Aug 5, 2018
"The reason there isn't a lot of artwork in the house is because we want to frame nature in every space. That's our ultimate backdrop."
It seems hyperbolic to say that Pitchpine Tagaytay embodies the essence of its location. One step inside, however, would be enough to convince you—the house is bright, fresh, and airy, the usual elements we've come to expect when visiting Tagaytay. The house is "inspired by Scandinavian living," though a renovation was needed to fulfill that inspiration.
Before the slate was wiped clean, Pitchpine Tagaytay was a vacation home bursting with colors worn by the walls, tiles, and furniture. With the growing number of destinations in the city, the owners thought of converting the house into a place for big families and groups to stay in. The new brief was to simplify the interiors and make it as refreshing as the cool, Tagaytay air and the surrounding trees. Interior designer Erika Uichanco's solution was as simple as the finished product—coat most of the spaces and furniture with white paint, and purge some of the items for a clean, uncluttered look. "An element of the Scandinavian style is minimalism, and everything has to be airy and comfortable," says Erika.
The style of furniture inside the house posed a problem as most sported a Balinese look that contradicts the owners' desired aesthetic. It didn't matter as much once they were painted white, making them blend easily with the rest of the interior spaces. Though painting over the original wood finish seems like an ill-advised thing to do, it was deemed necessary to achieve the client's preferred look for the house. The spaces glow with purity and lightness, as if the house is in its element amid the lush foliage and chilly Tagaytay weather.
Defined by its pristine brightness, the living area is symbolic of the whole house's style. Light from the large windows bounce off the predominantly white surfaces, giving the space a surreal glow during the daytime. There are plenty of seating options as couches, armchairs and ottomans crowd around a repainted center table. All the furniture are from the client's collection, with the chandelier from Restoration being the only fixture bought for the space.
The living area flows into the dining and kitchen areas. The table and chairs, as with most of the furniture in the house, are repainted and reupholstered to fit its new environment. For this space, Erika and crew decided against painting the wood chairs white to balance the bright color tones dominating the space.
A teppanyaki grill, a relic from the old house, stands front and center in the kitchen. Guests can hold cookouts here if they like, should driving out for lunch or dinner prove tiresome.
Second Floor Common Area
A pass-through area to the different bedrooms, the second floor common area is a cozy nook with a view of Taal Lake. Slip covers in subtle tones are draped over the old furniture.
Unlike the other furniture, the antique pieces were spared from being whitewashed to add a nostalgic flavor to the house. "They're meant to be a subtle reminder of the past, to make people nostalgic," says Erika.
The other side of the master bedroom used to contain a full closet, which was removed to clear space for a small lounge that can function as a prep area for weddings, complete with a full-length mirror.
The distinguishing element of this space from the rest of the rooms is its customized four-poster bed, facing a majestic view of Taal Lake.
For the master bathroom, blue patterned tiles crawl from the floor up to the jacuzzi which, together with the barn door, give the space a distinct country house feel.
Erika elected against using paintings as decorations for the rooms, reasoning that art runs the risk of looking dated as time passes. To prevent the rooms from being bland, a motif of wood slats on the walls or ceilings was implemented instead. "It's a way to tie the entire look," says Erika. "With a big house, sometimes it's hard to marry the themes for all the rooms, so this was our way of tying them together."
The contrast of nature's colors with the ivory-white interiors prove how refreshing and soothing a minimalist aesthetic can be—when done right, of course.
Located a floor below the living and dining areas, the lanai has the feel of a secluded getaway. The space is open on three sides to welcome the cool Tagaytay breeze, with numerous outdoor furniture ready to accommodate tired bodies.
"Here, we whitewashed the furniture to accentuate the space's relaxing vibe and for the surrounding nature to stand out," says Erika.
Find similar pieces at Home Matters.
Ready for your own home makeover? Get in touch with interior designer Erika Uichanco through email at erika.uichanco[at]gmail.com.
Photos: Kurt Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions
Styling and Pictorial Direction: Tala Singson