A Family Home in Laguna Showcases History and Local Culture

This green-and-white cozy abode shows how nature and culture merge seamlessly with functionality and practicality

Original Article: Kathleen Valle Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Pictorial Direction: Gwyn GS Guanzon

One wouldn’t think a house in the province can look cool, elegant and contemporary, yet retain a feeling of warmth and coziness at the same time. Yet, the owners of this house have created a family home that is not only refreshing but also updated.

Originally built in 1970s by the owner's cousin, architect Francisco de Tiangco, the home doesn’t show even a tinge of its age. Its facade is painted a cool green-and-white, and a rich collection of greenery embrace the home from the outside. The owner's innate sense of motherly practicality prompted her to choose home décor in heavy-duty wood and wrought iron – most of which she easily acquired through Artes Espanol, a furtniture shop in Manila.

Good sense also guided her in keeping precious antiques – not only for their sentimental value, but most especially for their long-lasting durability. Several pieces of hand-me-downs from her parents, along with pieces culled from her retired pilot husband’s travels, add a sense of history and earthiness to her home’s updated look.

Despite its three decades old age, the home is refreshing and welcoming. It has maintained its youth alongside its rich history, and it has made its homeowners feel more at home than ever.

Read the original article ("Practical Magic") in the September 2009 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 home is washed in muted green that serves as a backdrop for this bright red armoire from Pakistan where a jade jar from a sunken ship sits alongside a lamp shade—a gift from the owner's mother. The artwork behind is from Vietnam.

Living Area

The owners took advantage of their home’s location by building a wide sliding door that opens up to allow fresh air into their home. The living room’s bright and airy ambience makes it the ideal place to enjoy a laidback afternoon lounging on this antique solihiya divan, a hand-me-down from the owner's parents.

Living Area Detail

The living room’s open layout and wide sliding doors allow fresh air and ample natural light into the home. The bright yellow upholstery and plaid pillows add a vibrancy that complements the dark wood furniture in the room.

Dining Area

The dining area’s avocado-colored walls whet the appetite, along with this inviting wooden dining set with seats made more comfortable with pillows in muted beige. The antique tocador lends a touch of history, while the painting from Bali adds life to the space.

Decor Detail

A collection of silver spoons from all over the world is displayed on one table.


White cabinetry provide ample storage, keeps the kitchen organized, and create a functional set up for modern kitchen appliances. Seating and the worktable is kept simple and sleek in design. No one would guess the blue painted chairs were purchased by the owner's mom back when she was a kid for only P150.


The same muted green wall is carried over into the bedroom with basic amenities that hold much personality. The dresser is a classic design, while the gantsilyo bed cover adds a softness to the almost stark room. The framed baro by the bed was owned by the owner’s mom—an ingenious way of showing off one’s history and cultural roots.


While the owner’s daughters no longer live with them in the family home, the house continues to be an inviting place for gatherings, particularly with the addition of this gazebo. The brass framed divan was bought from Ugu Bigyan, while the wooden table and tabletop accents were created from trees that fell during Typhoon Milenyo.


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