Houses

This Family Built a Solar-Powered Beach House After Temporarily Moving Out of Their Condo Home

The property is located in a secluded area in Camarines Sur, giving the owners access to the beach and sprawling outdoor spaces

Photography: courtesy of Antonette Bernal-Colobong

When you hear about people living off-grid, questions immediately come to mind. Do they have access to water and electricity? How can they live comfortably? While these are important considerations, you can’t dismiss the fact that living away from the frenzy of the city has its own fair share of advantages.

As proven by Antonette Bernal-Colobong and her family, living off-grid can be liberating and fun. The family is living in a solar-powered beach house in Camarines Sur where they take pleasure in waking up to the sound of waves, fresh air, and the calming sounds of nature.

READ: 6 Ways to Incorporate Sustainable Living At Home


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“Living in the province has made us appreciate nature more and the natural resources it offers. We also learned to respect nature because sunlight gives us electricity, we get water from a natural spring, and we also harvest rainwater,” Antonette shares with Realliving.com.ph.

The family’s house is welcoming and built with sturdy materials. Day or night, there’s a breeze entering the space. In addition to the main structure that’s reminiscent of the bahay kubo, there’s also an outdoor kitchen and hang out nooks within the property where they can enjoy their surroundings. The big bonus? They can walk to the beach whenever they want to swim.

READ: Where to Source Legal Wood in the Philippines?

Take a peek inside the family’s beach house below:

Overview of Property


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According to Antonette, they acquired the property in 2020, at the height of the pandemic. Given the travel restrictions then, the family purchased the property without actually seeing it. “We asked someone to check it for us including the documents. Once she gave her approval, we bought it right away,” she recalls. The total size of the area acquired is 417sqm while the actual house measures 54sqm.

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The family still owns their condo unit in the city as they plan to go back when face-to-face classes resume.

READ: 6 Advantages of Investing in Solar Panels

Façade


The house looks like a modern bahay kubo, with the owners opting to use a mix of natural materials and concrete. “The house design is a combination of ideas from beach resorts we’ve been to and ideas from Pinterest,” says Antonette.

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The owners also had to choose light and easy-to-transport materials given the location of the property and the unpaved road leading to it.


One of the house’s clever features are walls that also function as doors/windows. The bifold/accordion doors can be opened to let it light and air during daytime and nighttime.

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Living Area


Antonette says that in sprucing up each area of the house, they want to make sure they showcase the feel of the outdoors. In the living area, there’s a coffee table made of bamboo and a sofa with a bamboo frame paired with a cushion. It gives off that distinct “probinsya” feel that can make anyone feel at ease. Sheer white curtains soften the look while still letting natural light stream into the space.

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At night, the living area has a magical glow from the multiple lighting pieces with a Pinoy aesthetic. Opting for different designs give the overall setup a modern yet playful touch.

Dining Area


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In front of the living area is the dining area that can seat six people comfortably. The pieces mirror the ones seen in the living space, with bamboo as the main material. Potted plants break the monotony of brown in the space and liven up the corners.

When the lighting pieces are not turned on, they still work as hanging décor pieces.

Outdoor Kitchen


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Antonette says the outdoor kitchen measures around 16sqm. Wooden beams help support the ceiling and complement the concrete flooring and countertop.


The swing seats were made by Antonette herself using pieces of wood and ropes she ordered online. According to her, it can hold the weight of adults. We can just imagine how fun it is to enjoy quick snacks while enjoying the swing and the breeze.

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Completing the kitchen are concrete stoves and a grill which come in handy especially when the family wants to dine outdoors.

Master Bedroom


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Furnished simply, the bedroom is completed with a bed, an open closet, and plants to brighten it up. As with most of the furniture pieces in the house, the bed frame is also made of bamboo.

Second Bedroom


The second bedroom can accommodate around four people – with two beds placed side by side. Aside from a ceiling fan, the owners were able to install an AC unit as well.

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Bathroom


While the bathroom features a similar ceiling treatment, it highlights expert use of concrete and tiles. The walls are kept bare to keep within the simple aesthetic while the owners made sure they have a proper shower area and toilet. Opting for a glass shower enclosure complements the overall look.

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The sink and shelf occupy the other side of the bathroom. Even décor pieces are kept to a minimum, with the owners opting to spruce up corners with plants.

Balcony


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A few steps from the main house is a separate structure where the owners can relax and welcome guests. The elevated lounge area offers serenity as it gives a view of the surrounding trees. It is completed with an area rug, nesting tables, and soft cushions perfect for unwinding.

Outdoor Area 


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Outside the property is a seating nook where one can spend some alone time or enjoy some refreshments.

Playground


Antonette and her husband was able to maximize their outdoor area by creating a playground for their kids complete with a playset and sand as flooring.

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Laundry Area


The space under the balcony functions as a laundry area where a hand water pump is found. According to Antonette, in addition to the solar panels, they had to invest in the deep well because electricity and water lines aren’t available in the area.

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Access to the Beach


The owners can walk to the beach from their home and enjoy a quick dip when they want.

Do you also have a home you'd want featured on Realliving.com.ph? Send photos to reallivingonline[at]gmail.com with the subject: My Real Living Home and we might feature you next!

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