Art and Travel Come Together in this Three-Storey Home

Upcycled vintage pieces, different kinds of artwork, and finds from all over the world fill these travel enthusiasts’ abode

Original Article: Kathleen Valle Photography: Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions Pictorial Direction: Nat M. Clave

Just by looking at the façade of their three-storey house, one can already get a glimpse of the interesting style of Red and Kala Contantino’s humble abode. The exterior is painted in a shade of blue inspired by Frida Kahlo’s home, La Casa Azul, and is adorned with Moorish-print tiles. Upon entering the house, a moody ambience welcomes you. The space’s look is heavily influenced by the couple’s favorite destination, Spain, and is accented with pops of Frida Kahlo-blue. It’s also filled with Spanish-style ornaments mixed with travel finds, upcycled vintage pieces, and different kinds of artwork.

While similar pieces can be found on the second and third floors, what makes the upper levels different is its bright and airy ambience. “Wala kaming kisame so that we can accommodate big windows, high ceiling, and big doors,” says Red. And instead of the machuka-like printed tiles, which was their choice of flooring on the ground floor, concrete was used. The master bedroom on the second floor is a sliding door away from the couple’s workspace, which in turn is a few steps away from the balcony. The third floor is where their kids' bedrooms are located. Just like the rest of the house, these rooms are not devoid of artwork and travel trinkets.

Read the original article ("World Beat") in the December 2013-January 2014 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details. 


Red accented the façade of their home with Spanish tiles, which echo the patterns of the window grilles on the upper floor.


“Our colors are very blue, di ba? It’s inspired by Frida Kahlo’s home La Casa Azul,” says Kala of their choice of color for their home.


These metal star ornaments that Red and Kala used as inlay on the risers are finds from their home depot shopping.

Entryway Detail

This evil eye trinket from Istanbul is yet another travel treasure found around the house. 


Travel knickknacks interlace with Red and Kala’s personal interests. On her side, a Senegal mask is seen among her detective novels and food titles, while on his side are some curios from Marrakesh and Armenia speckled beside books on religion, poetry, and history.

Living Area

The sofa and low cabinet positioned against each other separate the living area from the kitchen. Meanwhile, the machuka-like printed tiles are Red and Kala’s choice of flooring design.

Living Area

Printed throw pillows from Colombo, Sri Lanka break the solid color of the sofa, which Red and Kala had reupholstered in blue fabric.

Living Area

By the stairs is this wall adorned with paintings by Jason Moss, JP Samson, and Red’s sister, Ninel Constantino. Her piece depicts a typical scenario at Fred’s Revolucion, a bar in Cubao X co-owned by Red and Kala.

Living Area

This monochromatic abstract in the living area is by Red’s sister, Marika Constantino. Below it are more works of art and a lamp from Palawan atop an antique console. 

Dining Area

Natural light and ventilation fill the dining area in which the old dining set is the centerpiece. Accompanying it is an artwork by Marika, which shows a floor plan that includes actual wood from their previous house.


The owners and their kids in their open plan kitchen and dining area. The cabinets are painted a darker shade of blue to set them apart from the rest of the kitchen. This area is filled with repurposed pieces from their old house. The island table, for example, is from a tongue and grove flooring and wood scrap sidings, while the vintage wrought iron panel functions as a hanger for pots and pans.

Decor Detail

Seen in the second floor’s landing are top-to-bottom white shelves filled with Red’s collection of beer bottles from all over the world. The collection, which includes chocolate beer, vintage San Miguel beer, Trappist Rochefort, and Dogfish Head Brewery from Delaware, started in 1987 and is now over 300 in number.

Master Bedroom

A sliding door separates the couple’s working area from the master bedroom. Seen here is an Old English smoking chair that is paired with a piano bench on Kala’s side of the workspace. Behind it is the couple’s bed with identical table lamps on both sides.

Daughter's Bedroom

The freedom given by her parents to choose the colors for her bedroom led the young girl to this shade of green on her walls. Above her bed is an artwork done by her aunt Ninel.

Capiz Detail

Not only can this vintage Capiz panel be used as a window, it would work well as a wall accent, too.

Decor Detail

This piece of art doubles as a mirror, too.

Design Detail

Embellishing the front gate is a peacock door handle from India.

Design Detail

The punched-wood door, which separates the master bedroom and workspace from the stairs landing, is a purchase from Dapitan Street in Manila. Its design allows light and ventilation to pass through the rooms. Red and Kala updated it with white paint.

Decor Detail

Small details like this mirror can spruce up and add color to a plain bathroom.

Decor Detail

Another travel haul decorating the living area are these zinc ceiling plates from old houses in the East Coast, US. 


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