A 108sqm Condo Unit Showcases Green Philosophy

This home mirrors husband and wife’s love for the outdoors and their kids’ appreciation for nature

Original Article: Anna Felipe Photography: Dairy Darilag Pictorial Direction: Nat M. Clave Styling: Dagny Madamba and Tala Singson

When architect Liza Morales-Crespo and husband Robert decided to move back to Manila, they made sure that their home is going to be two things: a place where their children can be comfortable in and one that coincides with their eco-conscious principles. Liza, an architect with a focus on sustainable design, was one of the first Filipino architects to be certified as a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accredited professional by the U.S. Green Building Council. With their kids – Joaquin and Cesca in mind, the husband-and-wife team started building their passion project that is their 108sqm condo home.

The unit, which they bought bare, gave them the freedom to utilize the space according to what they wanted: with adequate sunlight and ventilation. Thus, picture windows were installed in the bedrooms to let the daylight in, and glass walls were set up in the hallways to reflect the sunlight. To help clean and filter the air, Robert, who according to Liza is a “frustrated gardener,” put in some indoor plants. He was also responsible for their energy efficient fans in the living area and the foyer, which keep the house cool sans the air conditioners.

As for the furnishings, the couple shares that they follow a “less is more” philosophy. They use less material and ornaments so their projects have a smaller carbon footprint. Case in point, the salvaged and upcycled materials made into custom-made furniture pieces and tiles and the Terrazzo tiles made from recycled softdrink bottles among others fill their home.

Read the original article ("Natural Instinct") in the March 2014 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 a black Le Corbusier couch from Liza’s colleagues in New York, a locally bought red-and-white chair, and upcycled (the planks of the stairs came from railroad tracks, which they got from Nueva Vizcaya) pieces. 

Living Area

The couple chose to add pops of red as an accent color in the main accessories of their living room. The unique coffee table is a project of Robert’s, in which he attached tires to a plank of Retazo wood.

Living Area Detail

Guarding the living area is a décor first used during Christmas, but somehow managed to find permanency in Robert’s handcrafted coffee table.


Like the rest of the house, the kitchen shares the same clean look, except it’s made a little warmer by the use of wooden accents.

Dining Area

It took the couple some time before they found the right people to execute Liza’s design for their dining table, which is made of old, salvaged planks. The six chairs and the wooden bench on the other hand are all made from sustainable wood.

Cozy Corner

This wall art gets updated from time to time depending on the occasion, like fresh flowers during parties or Christmas balls during the holidays.

Study Area

Known to the family as the “command center,” the study room is an open area located at the second floor. Bamboo flooring is used because, as Liza explains, it’s an eco-friendly material. “It’s sustainable because they take a lot less time to grow,” she share. The table where they gather to do their home and out-of-office work is a secondhand piece that they scored from a Japan surplus shop.

Master Bedroom

The glass panels on top of the couple’s headboard were tactically placed to reflect the natural light that comes in, which in turn, adds brightness to the walk-in closet behind the wall. That way, turning on the lights during the day won’t be necessary. 

Daughter's Bedroom

The bright, happy colors in her room reflect Francesca’s cheerful personality. 

Bedroom Detail

The headboard is one of the many DIY projects by the couple. Liza made this using decorative letters bought from a crafts store. 

Bedroom Detail

Since Francesca loves arts and crafts, a white board that rests on an easel and some markers are readily available in her room.

Bedroom Detail

Liza and Robert made sure that the brand new pieces they bought matched their upcycled furniture, like this green chair that was a budget buy from IKEA.

Bedroom Detail

The flower lamp from IKEA complements the wall stickers and hand-painted details in Francesca’s fantasy garden-themed bedroom. 


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