A Quaint Family Home Reminiscent of a Bed and Breakfast

This weekend home serves as the family’s respite from the hustle and bustle of the city

Original Article: Bubbles Salvador Photography: Michael Angelo Chua Styling: Dagny Madamba and Tala Singson

It was 15 years ago when Elo and a former classmate—a contractor for roads and bridges—collaborated on a “refuge of sorts” for her family, who lived in their house in the city. Eventually, Elo decided to buy the adjoining property, which she deemed fit for two guesthouses specifically for visiting relatives from Baguio and abroad.

Collectively, the weekend home is reflective of Elo’s preferences, which means most furniture, accessories, and décor are made of wood, her material of choice. There is also an abundance of plants around the house: ornamental plants inside and a vegetable, fruit, and herb garden outside, where Elo grows carrots, pineapples, pechay, and tomatoes among many others.

Many years have passed and the place, although richer in stories, still serves the same purpose, but this time, not only for her and her three sons and one daughter, but also for their spouses and her grandkids.

Read the original article ("Breathing Space") in the December 2015-January 2016 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details.

Living Area

The living room, despite its copious amount of wooden furniture, has a light and airy vibe, thanks to the natural light streaming in from almost all sides, and Elo’s aversion to pieces that look heavy.

Kitchen and Dining Areas

The kitchen counter gets an extension by means of a wooden table, which is made from different types of wood. The old stools on the other hand get an update through bright aqua paint.

Decor Detail

This chandelier with intricate designs on its colored glass and copper is quite a steal. They found it in a container van filled with European surplus items.

Wooden Staircase

One look at the house is all it takes to discern that Elo likes wood. “Every time I’m on my way to Baguio, I would always make a stop and ask, ‘Anong wood ito?’ And it’s interesting to know their differences, and of course, what you can do with them!” she says. The wooden stairs looks extra pretty against the windows.

Decor Pieces

Extra space and scrap don’t go to waste in this home; case in point: the one-of-a-kind desk lamp and the shelving unit below the stairs.

Master Bedroom

The intricate capiz shell inlay found on one of the wall panels in Elo’s room serves as the backdrop for the rough-on-one-edge side table by interior designer Chino Carlos.

Bathroom Detail

The bright yellow walls in the bathroom make the contrasting patterns on the sink vanity pop.

Unica Hija Bedroom

“I needed access to the children anytime, and it should be easy for them to access me,” says Elo about one of her major requirements for the house. One of those rooms was her daughter’s—a home magazine editor in Hong Kong—which Elo had closed off the access point when she got married in 2012. It is now called the Unica Hija.

Tres Hermanos

Her three sons’ bedroom, aptly named Tres Hermanos, is simple yet striking, which could be attributed to the Ramon Orlina sculpture and the headboard made of twigs cut into tiny pieces, among others.

El Atico Bedroom

“They can’t wait to come here because they have their own space. That’s my idea of a bribe,” Elo shares laughingly upon describing the low attic bedroom where the older grandchildren hang out.

El Jardin Guesthouse

“My children have always felt that this place has been a refuge of sorts—a place where they could invite their friends, too,” says Elo about their weekend home. With an aesthetic like this guesthouse, who wouldn’t?

El Jardin Guesthouse

An antique aparador, capiz accents on the window, and this solihiya lounge chair are among the few items that add charm to the guesthouse.

El Jardin Guesthouse

This duyan in the El Jardin Guesthouse hangs by the sliding doors, which, when opened, give the guests quite a view and a breath of fresh air.

El Jardin Guesthouse

A bed canopy adds appeal to any room, even in this already charming space.

Storage Detail

An open shelf with a native banig backing serves as a decorative break from the cabinet in which it is built in.

Design Detail

The guesthouse specifically made for relatives visiting from Baguio or abroad also boasts of a woven ceiling that’s made up of local materials.

Decor Detail

Elo used colorful fabric as a table runner to “break up the brown” in her all-wood furniture.

Decor Detail

Elo prefers her material of choice “in its very natural state,” probably because it’s already beautiful as it is—no need for elaborate designs, just like this chevron-patterned TV stand.


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