Antique Furniture and Abstract Art in an Urban Home

A 150sqm home is filled to the brim with antique family furniture and eclectic pieces of art

Original Article: Amillah Rodil Photography: Ocs Alvarez Styling: Gwyn GS Guanzon

Family antiques and abstract art go hand-in-hand in an urban decorated 150sqm home for interior designer Joby Belmonte and abstract painter Manix Genabe. Tastefully livening their home is an eclectic mix of repurposed furniture and art—like a 137-year-old console table from the house where Jose Rizal first studied (owned by Joby’s great grandfather Don Justiniano Cruz, Rizal’s teacher); Malang, Antonio Ko, and Manix’s paintings in different rooms; huge wooden jars as floor lamps; an old gallinera (a bench made for storing chickens underneath) used as a sofa; and a carved wooden panel that used to be a console that stored communion bread.

But it’s not just about the furniture or art pieces; even their home got a makeover to fit the couple’s needs and style. Once a two-bedroom, three-toilet affair, it’s more spacious now—with lots of room for entertaining guests. The bedrooms were turned into a creative space for work—one a study, the other a den. Part of the living area was closed off to make the master bedroom and two restrooms were combined to make a master bathroom. The living area itself is spacious and bleeds into the balcony, where cool air flows through. To tie it all together are the family antiques and art that decorate each room, giving it a vaguely historical but definitely urban feel.

Original article by Amillah Rodil. Styling by Gwyn GS Guanzon. Photographed by Ocs Alvarez.

Read the original article ("Asian Spice") in the August 2005 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App ( now! Log on to for more details. 


The home is tastefully designed in white, highlighting the art pieces like the one by James Galleon and Aman Santos.

Foyer Detail

A 137-year-old console cabinet came from the house where Jose Rizal first studied, owned by Joby’s great grandfather. Continuing the theme of family antiques, the base of the lamp is a jar from his mother, as well as the Persian rug. Tying it all is the red lampshade, which he made from China fabric.

Living Area

A gallinera was turned into a couch by adding a white cushion and pillows. Above it are drawings of three different types of couples: gay, heterosexual, and lesbian by Kiko Escora. 

Living Area Detail

Sheraton square chairs line the living area in front of the gallinera. Touches of red, in the cushions, bring warmth to the room. An abstract painting takes center stage on the wall.


The living area leads straight to the balcony. The balcony is decorated simply with a round table and wooded panel. The breeze floats in freely into the living area. 


A comfy daybed filled to the brim with throw pillows sits in the den, with a unique, rotatable painting of muralist Alfred Galvez hanging over it.

Dining Area

A narra dining set from the 1950’s is the central focus of the dining area. Surrounding it is a china cabinet with a collection of red and white jars and plates. Setting a formal balance to the space are jars on top of the cabinet, lamps with shawl lampshades, and abstract paintings. 

Décor Detail

Interesting pieces like this lamp and rotary phone give life and personality to the room.


A triptych by Wire Tuazon hangs over the tall slotted headboard. The lamp bases are made from the legs of an Indonesian bed, while the lampshades are made out of Chinese fabric. 

Décor Detail

Interesting pieces such as these figurines adorn the different corners of the home.

Décor detail

Another interesting lamp which gives off a warm yellow glow is seen in another corner.


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