A Fun and Functional DIY Cavite Home

With the help of online and print home inspirations, a young couple creates a cool, casual, and colorful haven they can call their own

Original Article: Tisha Alvarez Photography: Ocs Alvarez Styling: Gwyn GS Guanzon

When time came to choose the 2008 winner of Real Living’s Best Real Home, the decision wasn’t hard to make. The Catilo family’s colorful and playful abode was everything Real Living had hoped in a winner—a space that was lively, decorated beautifully and still embodied the character and personality of the people living in it. Without professional help or any background in interior design, the couple managed to create for themselves a home that was quirky yet affordable—listening to their own voice and taking tips from magazines and home blogs.

No doubt the home directly reflects the personalities of the two: creative, quirky, and fun. The living area showcases a spectrum of colors: from the rainbow of throw pillows on an orange sofa bed to the vibrant rug from Ikea. Similarly, the kitchen cabinets are painted in a bright yellow hue and decked out with multicolored dishes and cups. Each person’s interests and hobbies are also represented in the design. The husband’s collection of guitars hangs neatly against a wall in the dining area while the wife’s Lomo cameras are displayed interestingly on another. The place is also dotted with pieces the couple either made or revamped themselves. In its entirety, the Catilo home is a “real” home in the sense that it just naturally and effortlessly personified the real people who reside in it.

Original article by Tisha Alvarez. Styling by Gwyn GS Guanzon. Photographed by Ocs Alvarez.

Read the original article ("Inspired Living") in the October 2008 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App ( now! Log on to for more details. 


A toy gun adorns the wall next to the front door—a testament to the playfulness of the Catilo home.

Living Area

Despite the stark white walls, Jorem and Sheila managed to make the living area lively and bright thanks to their colorful furniture pieces and accessories.

Living Area Detail

The Catilos weren’t afraid to mix and match. The pop art prints from the throw pillows and chairs reupholstered with green and brown fabric found in Hong Kong play well with the nesting baskets that the couple bought from Bangkal. The wicker from the baskets and the Japanese lantern on top of the corner side table tone down the loud colors and make the space serene.

Dining Area

Even if the couple had to rely on cheap finds to fill their home with the necessities, they only had to add their own personal touch to make the pieces fit into their unique space. An inexpensive dining set from Abensons was adorned with cushions from Landmark. Jorem’s collection of guitars hangs neatly against a wall.

Dining Area Detail

Not only did Jorem and Sheila made bargains for their furniture pieces but they also traded for them too. The couple got the fish mobile found in the dining area in exchange for two photos they did for Art in the Park.


Instead of a colorful backsplash or walls as seen in most homes, the couple decided to paint their kitchen cabinets instead. Although bold in color, the application doesn’t overwhelm the entire space—only adding a complimenting color to the white tiles and walls.

Kitchen Detail

Instead of décor and knickknacks, Jorem and Sheila display colorful cups, glasses, and dishes in their open kitchen shelving.

Kitchen Detail

The effortlessness of the couple’s design can be seen mostly in the kitchen. There are no extra frills here, just colorful items that they use in their everyday life that fit well into the casual feel of the entire home.

Kitchen Detail

Even their refrigerator is personalized with these word magnets.

Kitchen Detail

Sheila's Lomo cameras are displayed on angled shelving while a colorful vintage bike simply add that quirky vibe to the home.


The colorful scheme of the couple’s home is carried over to their bedroom as well. Linens in bold, bright colors and revamped side tables from Bangkal give off the same lively feel. Jorem and Sheila did away with the prints and patterns they used in the living area so the space can breathe.


Jorem and Sheila’s humble home also features a quaint garden where a duyan hangs—a perfect spot for a leisurely afternoon nap.

Garden Detail

The couple’s small herb garden is found in the garden, too.

The Owners

The colorful space is also home to the couple’s household cat. The couple believes that their pet represents their personalities: it has one blue eye while the other is orange—the couple’s favorite colors.


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