Antique Pieces in a Two-Storey 400sqm Dream Home

Heirloom pieces from the homeowners’ parents complement their sleek and modern residence with an open layout

Original Article: Ciel Tagaza Photography: Ocs Alvarez Pictorial Direction: Issa Villar Architect: Dan Lichauco

The first step to take when building one’s dream home is to find an ideal location that’s within the vicinity of each family members’ workplace or school. The Bengzon family took this a step further by considering their dream home’s “orientation, elevation, and wide frontage” before purchasing the 400sqm lot where they built their family home.

With the help of architect Dan Lichauco of Archion, the Bengzons realized their dream of having a modern home that satisfied their needs – from identifying specific areas best for entertaining to bedrooms that allowed more than enough room for the parents and kids to bond to roomy bathrooms, walk-in closets, and bay windows perfect for reading.

The key to achieving their goal of building their dream family home is systematic planning, says the homeowner, and while it took them seven months to finalize the plans before they started construction, it was well worth the effort and time. From their architect’s initial “interview” with the homeowners about what they wanted and needed in their dream home to deciding which areas of construction needed to be invested on more (basic structure, electrical and plumbing quality) to managing the budget, the Bengzons completed their home project with teamwork, a well-organized plan, financial discipline, and resourcefulness.

Original article by Ciel Tagaza. Pictorial direction by Issa Villar. Photographed by Ocs Alvarez.

Read the original article ("Exceeding Expectations") in the November 2006 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App ( now! Log on to for more details. 


Since the owners liked to entertain guests at home, they decided on a floor plan that allowed them to welcome guests with ease. The foyer where guests are welcomed shows off the couple’s first major investment piece – an abstract painting by Carlo Magno. The bright red painting’s strong and bold mood is balanced out by the dark wood console table’s simple décor, and keeps the eye focused on the painting that the couple are proud of.

Living Area

This modern dream house’s main features are its large glass windows laid out across one main block of the two-part structure. High ceilings define the living area space decorated with just a few new furniture pieces such as the sofa, carpet, and center table. The rest of the area’s furnishings are hand-me-downs from the couple’s parents such as chinoiserie, a bridal gift from Jay’s mom to Anna, and a Filipino lounge chair that holds a special place in Jay’s heart sitting in a corner. A non-traditional sofa like this gray piece softens the sharpness of the room’s architectural design, while at the same time, the bone-shaped bolster in mustard adds a quirky touch.

Living Area Detail

Hand-me-down delights! These nesting tables came with a Chinese chest that Anna’s mom didn’t have space for in her own home. While the nesting tables are of classic Chinese design, it accentuates the modern space and adds character to the space.

Living Area Detail

This butaka, a Filipino lounge chair that originated from Isabela province, holds a lot of sentimental value for Jay, so he had it restored. Placing it at a corner near one of the access doors to the patio make it the perfect spot for reading or an afternoon nap. The corner windows allow ample natural light to illuminate the living area.


The Bengzons requested a breakfast nook for times when it’s only their small family dining at home, so Architect Lichauco placed the nook near a corner window that looks to the garden. The red walls were also Architect Lichauco’s brilliant idea, which complements the simple white linen tablecloth and seat covers. Fresh blooms and colorful pots in orange add a happy vibe.


Since the Bengzons love to entertain at home, creating three entrances for the patio made practical sense. The patio is accessible from the foyer, living area, and dining area, which makes it the ideal spot for al fresco brunches or late afternoon barbecues. The outdoor furniture came from SM while the orange umbrella that gives a splash of color is from Anna’s mom.

Powder Room

Still with their guests in mind, the homeowners decided to transform the small space under the stairs into a powder room. Aside from choosing smaller bathroom fixtures, a large mirror gives the illusion of more space to the room, while a small divider neatly organizes the space between the sink and the toilet.


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