A Museum-Inspired Contemporary Bachelor Pad

This two-storey contemporary Asian home pays homage to the owner’s passion for art and architecture

Original Article: Chinggay Labrador Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Styling: Issa Villar Architect: Jowee Tatad

It took two years of planning and revisions with architect Jowee Tatad to fully realize the owner’s art-inspired home complete with essentials such as – a small garden, an office, and an entertainment area.

The result is a space built like a museum, with antiquities from ancient worlds encased in elegantly fashioned podiums, art pieces on plywood covered in black cloth, and even miniature pieces displayed in subtle niches carved into wood-paneled walls. Unlike local museums, this home takes after international ones, in terms of the view outside and comfort. A picture window shows a landscaped garden, an open layout leads to a dining area, and comfortable furniture abound, much like the presence of many cushioned benches found in the Metropolitan Museum in New York. The space highlights an eclectic mix of different elements as it perfectly balances Zen touches – a stone Buddha in the garden, a rock garden in the living room, and ornamental figurines—with modern flair.

Upstairs, two guest rooms, the owner’s home office, and entertainment room—acoustically treated, complete with sound-absorbing drapes—are found. A wall that turns 360 degrees connects the entertainment room to the bedroom, with a 50-inch TV mounted on it. A proof of the owner’s passion for the arts, this home doesn’t just house art, it’s art in itself.

Read the original article (“Conversation Piece”) in the July 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.


Light streams in through the glass door, illuminating the spacious, minimalist foyer.

Living Area

A comfortable L-shaped couch in all white keeps the room crisp and clean and brings focus to the podiums showcasing art pieces.

Living Area Detail

The owner blew up an image from a book so he can translate it into a painting. He used rocks, sawdust, and popcorn kernels to decorate the swirls and give the piece texture.

Dining Area

The eight-seater table is the perfect place to view two gardens: one found at the front porch, and the other at the back of the house.

Dining Area Detail

The dining area is flanked on both sides by solid walls decorated by art pieces. The kitchen door is hidden in one of the wall panels, making the space neat and uncluttered.


The steps offset the tall windows and give the space a sense of balance.

Display Detail

Three more podiums showcase the owner's collection. These podiums light up so one can better appreciate the pieces inside.

Entertainment Room

The owner's mother call's this room as "the naughty boy room." This is where he entertains guests and where he indulges in X-Box.

Entertainment Room Detail

The huge TV is the main highlight of the room as the owner enjoys quality movie time.

Decor Detail

Although the TV is the main attraction, art pieces are still found in every corner like this resin diver's helmet which adds a quirky touch to the space.


The bed is set against a floor-to-ceiling tufted headboard that is rich in color and texture.

Bedroom Detail

Three windows bathe the room in light, opposite which hang three Asian art pieces which the owner mounted himself on plywood covered in black cloth. The wall art mirrors the windows so that those who view the house from the outside can see the art through the slats.


Asian in design, the bathroom even has a television set with cable.

Koi Pond

For low maintenance pets, the owner chose to house koi in his garden. The koi pond brings a refreshing water element to his home, tying in with the modern-Zen aesthetic.


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