An Open Layout is the Ideal Canvas for a Pair of Travel Bugs’ Home

A jet-setting couple decorate their home in Manila with travel finds amidst a neutral setting

Original Article: Coni Tejada Photography: Miguel Nacianceno Styling: Issa Villar Interior Designer: Vivian Gacad

Homeowners Andrew and Amy share a love for travel that has brought them to various continents around the globe. When they decided to finally settle – at least for the mean time – they chose Manila as their home base. Luck seemed to be on their side as they easily found a house they fell in love with.

With the help of interior designer Vivian V. Gacad, the new homeowners renovated and updated their home into a warm and cozy nook ready to house the many pieces of travel mementos they had accumulated throughout their travels. Vivian chose a palette of neutrals such as creams, tans, and caramels. This warmed up the house and became the perfect backdrop for the few pieces that the couple brought in from Kenya – a dining set and a few couches.

Nevertheless, the challenge was not only in choosing the right color scheme for the house. Instead, the couple were faced with the challenge of choosing which of the many souvenirs they have gathered throughout their travels would be best suited to be displayed around the house, with the intention of creating a home that celebrated the many places they’ve been to without it looking like a museum.

Some of their favorite pieces showcased around the house are a Masai necklace, smoking pipes from Sudan, miniature figures of Hindu gods, tribal masks, and African fabrics. Apart from these mementos, Andrew wanted to bring a touch of nature into their home. Vivian was able to achieve this by bringing in pots of live plants scattered around the house.

Original article by Coni Tejada. Styling by Issa Villar. Photographed by Miguel Nacianceno.

Read the original article (“Wanderlust”) in the December 2005 issue of Real Living Magazine. To download a digital copy of Real Living Magazine, visit Summit Newsstand at

Living Area Since the Padovanos own a lot of pieces in colorful, interesting shapes and forms, Vivian V. Gacad, their interior designer, opted to keep the rest of the house’s color palette within a neutral scheme. Cream walls and tan accents create a flexible canvas for showcasing their furniture and assorted décor from around the globe. The living area’s cinnamon red sofa is inviting and adds warmth to the rest of the room.
Living Area Detail Instead of hanging a large mural or artwork on the wall, African fabrics hung decoratively provide visual interest in the Padovanos’ living area. It’s not only pretty to look at but is also a conversation starter.
Living Area Detail An Indian dowry chest is one of the major travel souvenirs that the couple brought into their Manila home. The chest is used as a center table for the living area after placing a glass top on it.
Living Area Detail After the Padovanos picked the travel keepsakes that they would like to showcase around the house, these tribal masks found their place in the home on a center wall that marks the division between the living and dining areas. The house’s open layout makes the area seem much larger. A side table holds other souvenirs from their travels.
Dining Area A dining table from Kenya is the dining area’s focal point, as the mahogany wall is yet to be filled with artwork that the couple likes. Nevertheless, the console table positioned against that wall holds the homeowner’s favorite African art pieces as well as family photos.
Kitchen The Padovanos kept their kitchen simple and clutter-free, yet highly functional. A kitchen island such as this offers a work area for food preparation, as well as storage space with the drawers and shelves underneath. Bar stools convert the work station into a mini dining table for quick bites or casual entertaining with a small group of friends. Custom-made pieces around their home were made by CPA Muwebles.
Study Room The study has two sections for each of the homeowners. One of them can work at the desk while the other relaxes with a book on the sofa.
Study Room Detail An extra sofa can be used as additional seating for another room in the home. This sofa found its new home in the Padovanos’ study. A small table by the sofa’s side can hold a cup of coffee for easy access.
Study Room Detail This jet-setting couple found a nifty location to display their precious travel finds and book collection in the study. Recreate this look by building shallow cubbyholes in equal dimensions measured to hold your keepsakes for display.
Bedroom The bedroom’s neutral colored wall is the perfect canvas to show off this African fabric that the couple brought home from one their travels.
Wall Accents Do away with traditional frames and show off your travel photos by using wall-mounted glass displays such as these. You can even opt to choose photo borders in shades that complement your chosen spot’s wall color.
Reading Nook Create a simple reading nook by choosing a comfortable chair and pairing it with a pretty light source such as this floor lamp. A foot stool placed against the chair is a novel idea to amp up your reading spot’s cozy factor.
Travel Souvenirs Framed photographs from their numerous travels adorn the walls. Found on one corner are assorted walking sticks with various designs and details.

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