A 600sqm Manhattan-Inspired Family Home

Take a bite of the Big Apple and step inside this one-of-a-kind space in Makati

Photography: Mark Francis Jesalva

Inspiration strikes anywhere—in a coffee shop, in a new country, and even while we’re walking down a familiar street. For the owner of this stunning home in Magallanes, the vision for his dream house came after seeing the same brick house every day while he was completing his master’s degree at Columbia University in New York. “I told myself, ‘One day, I want to build something like this.’ So I took a picture of it. In fact, when I was designing this house, I put the picture right in front [of me],” he shares.

Living in the famous state gave the owner an opportunity to complete the overall look he wants for his space. Aside from the brick house, he also took inspiration from the Brownstone house where he lived and the various warehouse apartments found all over the city. While these apartments are often dark and gloomy, he turned things around by building a home that’s light and airy. With the help of an architect friend who drew the numbers to finalize everything, the owner achieved a unique property in the heart of Makati—one with an arresting façade and a clean and spacious look that many would find inviting.


From the outside, one can immediately see and feel the New York vibe of the home. Bricks are highlighted and paired with industrial windows—achieving the warehouse apartment peg that the owner had in mind.


The owner doesn't have an interior design or achitecture background but through thorough research and by collecting pegs from different sources, he was able to finalize the design. The wooden door matches perfectly with the bricks—completing a warm vibe that still creates impact.


The atrium features a beautiful mini garden with a fountain. The plants delightfully adorn the walls—giving the home a refreshing feel while a sculpture by Daniel dela Cruz serves as focal point in the middle. According to the owner, the atrium was inspired by Joseph Eichler's designs. Eichler was a 20th century post-war real estate developer known for his mid-century modern style tract housing developments.


A flight of steps leads to the different rooms in the house and from this angle, one can best appreciate the home's high ceiling and openness. Natural light streams into the space through the windows while a big ceiling fan help improve air circulation.

Living Area

Given the floor-to-ceiling glass windows, the living area enjoys plenty of natural light. The owner opted for a custom-made couch to fit the space while a carved cobalt blue crystal by Ramon Orlina known as Lavish Strokes in Cobalt Blue sits on top of a coffee table. "I'm a fan of art, especially [the ones] made by local artists," he shares. The arm chairs are from Calligaris.

Living Area

Even if there are glass windows all over the place, it doesn't get very hot in the home since these are tinted. They also keep the topmost ones open so that air can circulate.


The woman of the house wanted to call the shots for the kitchen and her request to have a sleek black-and-white cooking area was granted. A spacious layout allows the owners to move freely during meal preparation while the island in the middle serves as extra storage center, prep area, and dining nook.


To keep the space from being dull and dark, customized tiles were chosen for the floors to match the look that the owners wanted. Aside from the windows, cove lighting was added so they can work more efficiently.


By simply adding barstools, the owners and their kids can enjoy a quick meal in the kitchen while watching TV.

Dining Area

Same with the living area, this part of the house benefits from a lot of natural light. The industrial-inspired lighting fixture was designed by the owner and since he wanted the elbows of his design to look unique, he had a hard time finding a supplier. Fortunately, Make It Up does 3D printing—bringing the piece to life. Surrounding the round glass-topped dining table are chairs from Triboa Bay Living.

Dining Area

The brass sculpture by Daniel dela Cruz serves as a centerpiece.

Extra Dining/Work Area

In this room of the house, brick walls serve as canvas to the wooden pieces and select artworks. The wooden table can seat around six people and would be perfect for days when they are expecting guests.


Dark walls paired with brick details and colorful floor tiles give the area an eclectic yet edgy vibe. To keep up with the overall theme of the house, a vintage-industrial counter was chosen, plus wire baskets for storing clean towels.

Family Room

For the complete movie experience, comfy recliners and a reclining sofa take center stage in the family room.


The master bedroom is kept simple with white walls and selected furnishings. An Eames Lounge chair and ottoman are investment pieces while the bed with a cushioned headboard is completed with pillows featuring geometric patterns.


The bathroom highlights a mix of industrial and vintage-inspired elements. The chandelier and cove lighting keep the space illuminated while a large window lets in natural light by the shower area. We especially loved the sliding glass door that separates the shower area from the rest of the space.


"New York-inspired pa rin! Subway tiles best represent the Big Apple," says the owner about the pieces chosen for the bathroom.

Kiddie Room

The three little girls stay in one room featuring aqua walls, hints of pink, and white furnishings. "Our first plan was to have it renovated, to divide [it for each of them]. Since they're still young, we decided to have an open layout," the owner shares.

Kiddie Room

Given the many belongings of the kids, the room also has various storage options—cabinets and shelves keep toys and other must-haves in place.

Kiddie Room

An open closet is divided into three equal parts—to give each little lady ample space for clothes. Matching hot pink chairs complement the color of the closet and the light pink walls.

Work Area

The work area would instantly remind you of offices found in New York City. Wooden elements, shelves, and hardwood floors complete the space.

Work Area

Would you believe that this interesting piece used to be a refrigerator? It was upcycled into a storage must-have to hold various belongings and other knickknacks.


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