A French-inspired 350sqm home in Parañaque

This cozy abode is filled with rustic, old-looking pieces and has a clean aesthetic

Original Article: Anna Felipe Photography: Paolo Feliciano Styling: Issa Villar and Tala Singson Architect: Cecil Marfori Filart

Well-traveled entrepreneur Gigi Gonzales Uson looked to her favorite European destination, France, for design ideas when they were building their family home in 2013. The walls were painted off-white: a neutral base for her desired soft, clean aesthetic: “I knew I wanted to fill the house with rustic, old-looking pieces. For me, those have more character.”

Without getting over-the-top girly, she wanted her husband Mario and their son Marty to feel at home too. For Mario, she allocated a ‘man cave’ to keep his bike, other sports gear, and tools. Throughout every phase, down to buying pieces for the house, Gigi remained faithful to her chosen theme.

The couple worked with friend and architect Cecil Marfori Filart. “She is an old friend of mine from college, so it was easy to communicate my ideas to her,” says Gigi. “She’s also a working mom so she understands the need to stay within a budget.” Although they are currently a family of three, the Usons planned their home with the future in mind. “My husband and I see ourselves growing old here. We want to welcome more guests into the house, and God-willing, we’ll have a daughter to share this home with,” Gigi says.

Read the original article ("A Charming Classic") in the April 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.

Living Area

Unmistakably French are the tables and chairs in the living area. She also brought in plants to soften the interiors. They used a slatted box to cover up the split-type air conditioner, a brilliant way of hiding an eyesore.

TV Room

Against the neutral walls, the couch in the TV area—carried over from their first condo—goes with the same color scheme as the accessories and other furniture.

Dining Area

The dining area is spacious: the table seats up to ten people. This is perfect for the couple, who loves having family and friends over for dinner.

Dining Area

A chandelier hangs over the dining table, imbibing it with definitive elegance. Framed botanical prints add a classical flavor to the modern dining set: a new table and their old chairs.

Dining Area Detail

In the dining area, the beige clock that goes with the neutral theme, also complements the chandelier. It adds a French flair to the space.


The kitchen is spacious, with a center island that doubles as food preparation area and breakfast nook. It opens into the dining area and the lanai. Gigi loves to cook, and she uses the herbs by her kitchen window in her dishes. 

Kitchen Detail

The windowsill has potted plants to add a bit of color to the neutral palette. The sink area is functional, with racks for cutlery and tableware.

Guest Room

The guest room is a cozy affair, with white linen and asymmetrical beds. Light streams in from the big window.


The white walls serve as a great background for various bric-a-bracs in the bedroom: framed photographs, small potted plants, a chalkboard, magazines, and books.

Master Bedroom

The bed in the master bedroom was inspired by a bed frame that the couple spotted in an issue of Real Living; the mattress was reused from their old bed. A white ceiling fan adds elegant ventilation.

Work Area

The custom-made table and Bergère chair are French sophistication. On top of the table are an elegant lamp, some flowers, and a dish for keys and trinkets.

Kids' Playing Area

Their son’s room is the only exception—the entire house is monochromatic, but here, colors pop. The walls are still painted in neutrals, but the boy’s toys and furniture are cheerful and child-friendly.

Outdoor Dining Area

The breezy lanai is a nice place to enjoy afternoon snacks. It is also a good place to entertain guests when they have big gatherings. 

Outdoor Detail

The lanai is home to these comfortable—and still white—garden chairs. 

Outdoor Area

The porch is light and breezy, and the swing makes it conducive to lazy days.

Decor Detail

On Gigi’s table, a dish of trinkets is still transformed into elegance with a catchall fitted with a set of colored pencils. 

Home Office Detail

Gigi’s home office displays books and magazines in an organized fashion. Items like paperbags and scent diffusers are used for her business. 

Guest Bedroom Detail

In the guest bedroom, the chest of drawers, hamper, and dainty hooks are practical and functional. Accents on the chest make the space more cozy. 

Decor Detail

On a quaint shelf is nestled a miniature tree and framed floral print.


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