A Filipino Eclectic Charm Radiates from this Negros Oriental Home

Hand-me-downs, unique finds, and precious treasures create a charming and soulful abode


It’s not so often that you find a house that almost radiates sunshine from within but it was exactly the case in this particular Negros Oriental home. One step inside their beautiful wooden doors, a bright and cheery atmosphere hits you immediately. Colorful walls, windows framed with stained glass of different colors, and a rainbow of different artworks fill each corner of the home. Although the house looks put together and polished, it wasn’t always the case.

It was years of collecting precious finds that helped the homeowners achieve the treasure trove house that they have now. The pieces are either a hand-me-down, a gift, a customized piece, or a bargain find—each with its unique story to tell. There’s an P800-peso harp bought from Vigan; chairs fashioned from a fallen old narra tree in the backyard; the wooden dining table they got from her in-laws which her husband used to dine in when he was younger. Even the tree house in the backyard has an interesting backstory. Colorful as the house may be visually, the cheeriness of the space seems to come from the bright and warm gallery of memories they have displayed in their sanctuary.  

Original article by Kathleen Valle. Pictorial Direction by Joanne Enriquez-Bohol. Photographed by Vincent Coscolluela.

Read the original article ("Sunny Side Up") in the October 2012 issue of Real Living Magazine. To download a digital copy of Real Living Magazine, visit Summit Newsstand at


The homeowners recall how the original house that stood on the lot burned down while they were living in their other home in Negros Oriental. Despite the tragedy, the homeowners saw it as an opportunity to build a new structure that was to their liking. They maintained the original layout of the old home but tweaked it to accommodate their things.


Natural light was very crucial to the homeowners’ design of the house. Big windows and glass door frames were installed to let more light in—with an added touch of color with the stained glass panels.


Brightly painted in yellow and blue, the foyer captures the feel of the entire house. One notable piece in the foyer is the Balinese console table that the owners bought for a bargain at a shop in BF Homes, Paranaque. The solid wood table looks expensive but it is actually the opposite. Now it holds even more memories with the framed family photos that are spread across it.

Sitting Area

A small sitting area with wooden furniture fills the other side of the foyer. There you will find an antique Chinese buffet table that the homeowner requested from her mother-in-law. She had it fixed with a marble top and now displayed beautifully.

Living Area

The house is decked mostly in wooden furniture—pieces they got from local furniture maker Bong Callao and a shop in the Daro town of Negros. Giving a soft contrast to the earthy pieces are the mirrors, paintings, and printed fabrics used as throw pillows.

Living Area Detail

A carpet in a soft blue color also adds comfort to the space.

Living Area Detail

In one corner of the living area, a unique “family photo” in the form of personalized pillows sits on an antique-looking chair. With it’s beautiful mirrored backrest, the owner was able to get it for a bargain at P3,000.

Living Area Detail

A large painting, wooden puppets, and an antique Singer sewing table create an interesting vignette in the living area—an instant conversation starter.

Living Area Detail

Even the puppets on display follow a similar Filipino theme.

Dining Area

The dining table came from the husband’s ancestral home, set against an unused wall. It is now the family’s proper dining table, paired with customized wooden chairs.

Back Door

An intricate Balinese door opens to the backyard.

Tree House

The homeowners built the tree house as per their children’s request. Built using wood scraps from the property and teak wood, the structure echoes the ethnic Filipino theme of the home.

Tree House Detail

The tree house structure is founded on stilts covered with rocks.

Tree House Detail

The tree house is divided into two structures connected by a wooden hanging bridge.

Tree House Detail

The second area creates a relaxing and quiet escape for the artist of the house.

Bahay Kubo

Just a few steps away, an authentic bahay kubo provides shelter for those seeking a quick hideaway.


Latest Stories

5 Secrets Of A Functional Kitchen

Are you dreaming of having the most efficient scullery? These tips might just do the trick.

11 Peg-Worthy Celebrity Christmas Trees

From showcasing dainty blooms to using quirky ornaments, these personalities have taken the decorating game to the next level

This Quiapo Day Tour Will Make You Love Old Manila Again

Go on a DIY Quiapo adventure and look beyond the vendors. Say a prayer, have your fortune told, take a peek at a mysterious pagoda, and visit beautiful ancestral houses from a more genteel past.

10 Ways To Make Your Shoes Last Forever

Show your favorite pairs some tender loving care with these tips

A One-Bedroom Unit Transformed into a Two-Bedroom Home

The designers of this 45sqm condo in Manila created a functional space with an urban contemporary appeal that’s perfect for its young occupants

Here's Why You Should Skip Bringing Your Phone To The Bathroom

Trust us, liking that photo on Instagram can wait for a few minutes

7 Planners For An Inspired 2018

Stay organized and keep your goals in sight with these picks

These Christmas Ornaments Will Make You Feel Like Dancing

Celebrate a yearly Christmas ballet tradition with The Nutcracker collection

15 Calming Photos of Modern Minimalist Homes

Because less is more

10 Life-Changing Cleaning Habits For Lazy People

We've got the strategies for keeping an impeccably clean house without losing your mind

Did You Know That Ellen Adarna Lives in a 1930s Apartment in Manila?

She has a fantastic view of the Manila Bay sunset, too

Neat Home Appliances You Need To Buy With Your 13th Month Bonus

It's okay to treat yourself with the best things money can buy—especially if it is for your humble abode
Load More Stories

Get inspiring design ideas and handy hints.
Subscribe to our newsletter now!